1. Pyroclastic Flow
* Simulation, lighting, and compositing of all FX. DreamWorks (DWA) gas & Bullet solvers, Houdini POPs, Mantra, Nuke.
* Outstanding FX and Simulation in an Animated Feature Motion Picture. VES Awards (nomination), 2014.
* Outstanding Achievement, FX in an Animated Production. Annie Awards (won) 2014.
* Shot 1: FX Lead. Shots 2 & 3: Simulation & compositing of all FX, lighting of volumetrics. Naiad, Houdini, OpenVDB level set operations/meshing, DWA gas & shallow-water solvers, render time displacement, Mantra, Nuke. FX Lead.
* Liquids in ‘The Croods’. ACM DigiPro Short Paper, 2013.
3. Fire & Embers
* Simulation, lighting, and compositing of all FX. Choreographed 1300+ frame shot with ~100 hand-animated embers, Maya Particles, Fluids, burn maps, DWA filament gas solver, PBGI & art-directed point lights, DWA REYES & volume renderers, Nuke. FX Lead.
* Developed studio-wide Nuke gizmos: fire glow, adding light flicker in post. Many others, including channel lighting, color lookup, contact sheet, and default FX element gizmo.
4. World ripping apart
* Simulation, lighting, and compositing of all FX tearing elements. Houdini geometry preparation, POPs, SOP solvers, COPs, Maya Particles, complex shaders, DWA REYES renderer, Mantra, Nuke. FX Lead.
* Outstanding FX in an Animated Feature Motion Picture. VES Awards (nomination), 2011.
5. River development
* Simulation of all FX. Houdini FLIP (customized), POPs, SOP solvers, OpenVDB meshing, simulation analysis tools (per spawning secondary elements), collaborated with R+D to guide level set toolset development, wrote simulation profiling tool (Python).
* Simulation, lighting, and compositing of FX hourglass and glass. +60 shots, ~10 hero, automated setup with MEL/Python. Maya Particles, Fluids, NCloth. DWA REYES-based and Particle renderers. Wrote tools to perform glass lighting and refraction interactively in the comp. FX Lead.
7. Dust wall
* Simulation, lighting, and compositing of all FX. DWA gas solver, Houdini POPs, Mantra, Nuke. Built systems for artists to quickly execute 40+ full-screen volumes shots: large library of simulations, tools for placement & instancing, re-simulating & deforming existing volumes, art-directable shaders & lighting. FX Lead.
8. Volume tools
* Developed numerous OpenVDB tools & SOPs (HDK, C++) for cloud explosion sequence. These include instancing, point sampling, simulation retiming, geometric volume deformers. FX Lead.
* OpenVDB: An Open-Source Data Structure and Toolkit for High-Resolution Volumes. SIGGRAPH Course, 2013.
9. Debris tool
* Wrote tool to facilitate seamless handoff from Maya Particles (or hand-animated debris) to DWA’s Bullet solver (MEL, Python). Alleviates RBD setup time & asset management; utilized in multiple departments (including set dressing).
* Shot 2: Simulation of all FX. Lighting, and compositing of volume & particle elements. Maya Particles, Fluids, debris tool, hand-animation, Mantra, Nuke.
10. Plant deformation
* Simulation of all FX. Soft-body dynamics rig art-directed by various methods: Maya fields, bend deformers, or hand animated; automated setup with MEL/Python. Wrote tool for easily selecting and promoting instanced assets to hero.
11. Flower field
* Spearheaded workflow and developed multi-department flower field (shaders, C++). Density & height maps drive fur placement; each fur drives deformer that grabs a random asset in the correct height range. Render time wind, plant dynamics via curve deformation, debris tool for flower petals/grass, easy LOD control for Lighting. FX Lead.
12. Destruction geometry generator
* Geometry procedural for rendering Houdini Bullet data in the DWA REYES renderer (C++) and Houdini exporter (Python). Multiple orders of magnitude disk savings over studio’s previous RBD caching/rendering technique.
13. Bonsai foliage modeling software and supporting pipeline
* Developed DWA’s next generation procedural foliage tools/libraries/pipeline (C++, Python, PyQT, MEL, Maya API, HDK). Clients include Maya/Houdini authoring tools & visualization, asset configuration/installation, and geometry generators & deformation across multiple renderers.
* Technical Achievement Award. DreamWorks Animation, 2012.
* Beyond procedurally modeled foliage in ‘Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa’. SIGGRAPH Talk, August 2008.
14. Wind deformer
* Wrote divergence-free noise procedural and interactive flow field visualizer (C++). Facilitated artists to quickly art-direct wind in foliage, fur, hair, etc.
15. Foliage level of detail
* Built LOD system for foliage & crowds yielded +10X render time savings for Lighting (C++, Python, Shaders). Replaces high-resolution asset with camera-tracking card with pre-computed renders per viewing angle. Performs light-tracking for accurate shadows.
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