Technical Art for Animation and VFX

Coming June 2010…

May 8th, 2010

It’s official…

In June, I’ll be joining the incredible talent at Blur Studio as a Mocap TD!

I’m excited to get back in the trenches of a smaller studio setting, in a shop with a Softimage centric animation pipe and to be part of the incredible projects these guys have coming down the line. I’m especially stoked about the open nature of their tools. This feels like a really good fit.


May 5th, 2010

The Previsualization Society is hosting a forum this coming weekend. I went to the panel discussion they did at the Produced By Conference and got a lot out of it. If it’s anywhere as good, the evening will be worth the money.

For more info, shoot on over to the Previs Society’s site.

Date - Saturday May 8, 2010
Time – 2pm event start, reception following 7 pm – 9 pm
Venue- Sofitel Hotel – Los Angeles Ballroom
8555 Beverly Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90048 (310) 278-5444

The program will highlight recent motion picture previs, as well as feature a Round Table Forum that promotes interdisciplinary group discussions.  The Forum will encourage conversation and input from all vantage points of film-making with an emphasis on PREVIS in relationship to the creative work-flow across the disciplines of cinematography, production design, visual effects and editorial.

  • Preview of the latest and greatest Previsualization from around the world.
  • Gain direct contact with peers and experts in the industry both within Previs and other disciplines, such as cinematography, production design, visual effects and editorial.
  • Learn from a production and directorial point of view how Previs affects the budget and schedule as well as the creative process.
  • Participate in the Round Table Forums: Professionals from each area of production will be invited to discus how Previs has been used and aided in their area of expertise.  The Round Table Forum will be up close and personal and will give all a chance to ask specific questions, and voice views and ideas.  These smaller groups are a great opportunity to learn about Previs and have an open discussion of how Previs can support all areas of filmmaking.
  • Become a innovator- Everyone is encouraged to participate in the discussions

Inside Pixar’s Leadership

May 3rd, 2010

If you also geek out on discussions related to successful organizations and systems…

A very frank and mature discussion about creative leadership with Ed Catmull (president of Pixar and Disney Animation Studios).

IMD and All Good Things

April 26th, 2010

ImageMovers Digital will be closing after the completion of Mars Needs Moms… it’s still really hard to type that sentence, but I’ve waited long enough. It has been one heck of a ride and I couldn’t have asked to work with better people. We did the impossible, and that makes us mighty.

Since the announcement, I’ve been busy with the reel and networking. Made a trip to SF for a job fair at IMD North and visited a couple PhaseSpace powered mocap stages while I was in town. Thanks to the Motion Capture Society, I was lucky enough to get a seat at the Performance Capture Technology panel hosted by Dreamworks on Thursday. Incredible line-up of presenters, including IMD’s very own, John Root.  I also spent the last week  standing in as a mentor over at Rigging Mentor. Created some video training for MoBu related questions. Had a blast. Love to do it again.

VERY excited about my FXPHD classes this session: Crafting The Scene, Mathematics for Visual Effects and Design, Intermediate RenderMan. Especially the math class – I hate not knowing how my tools work under the hood, so I’m pumped to be part of this.

There’s much more I want to say, though I think I’m just going to quote a fellow IMD’er and call it a night…

“The future is bright. Time for beer.” – Geordie Martinez


April 22nd, 2010

My buddy Scott Englert has been working on getting his PyMoBu wrapper ready for ‘beta’ release. I’ve been pretty excited for him to get time to make this happen. Figured some of you might be as well.


“Inspired by PyMEL, I decided to write my own Python wrapper that expands some of the areas that lacks intuitive functions, such as constraints. By doing this, my tools are much stronger and break less due to software updates. The overall goal was to make it easier to work with MotionBuilder by making some higher level functions and seamlessly attach them so you automatically get these extra abilities.”

You can check it out in more detail here and here.

Q&A with Naughty Dog’s Josh Scherr

March 6th, 2010

The Mocap Club has a great Q&A with Naughty Dog’s cinematics animation lead, Josh Scherr…

Rigging Dojo: Free Tips and Tricks

February 12th, 2010

If you become a fan of Rigging Dojo on Facebook, you’ll get access to their feeds – several of which have links to solid resources like this and this. They’re just getting started, so expect a lot more content to stream in as they add more mentors and students.

Uncharted 2: Behind the Scenes

February 9th, 2010

Great team. Great process. Great work…

IMD’s George Murphy and Jenn Emberly on FX Guide

February 8th, 2010

George and Jenn did a short interview about their work at IMD for A Christmas Carol for the folks over at FX Guide…

I’d like to single out a quote from George…

“So that was one of the things that pushed us to create this head-cam technology where we could isolate the facial performance animation separately from the body capture and allow us to break those into different types of problems that could be dissected and gotten to much faster.”

Coincidentally, I heard one of the guys at work mention that exact same point in a meeting today. It underscores what I see as an important bit of theory and I really feel that type of thinking is crucial to not only coming up with effective and elegant solutions to very large problems, but also building a foundation which allows for intelligent maintenance and upgrading.

Free 2-day MotionBuilder SDK Training in San Francisco

February 2nd, 2010

Kristine Middlemiss from Autodesk is teaching this…

Free 2-day MotionBuilder SDK Training in San Francisco

The Autodesk Developer Network is offering a free 2-day MotionBuilder SDK training at Games Developer Conference (GDC) in San Francisco on March 9 and 10, 2010. This is a rare opportunity to work in a small class room environment with a very knowledgeable instructor on the last release of Autodesk MotionBuilder. The unique opportunity allows you to dive into the inner workings of the software, and come out with a strong fundamental knowledge of their architecture to see and understand how you can utilize and benefit from the SDK of this powerful software’s. For more details, go to the following links:

MotionBuilder SDK Training Description and Agenda

Register here for MotionBuilder SDK,%20San%20Francisco,%20Mar%2009%202010,%20201008

Sign up while there’s still space!