illusion of houdini

How To Train Your Dragon


I was responsible for the majority of the body rigging for Toothless. Due to an especially
compressed schedule, other riggers handled the wings and the leather harness at the same time that
I was working on the rest of the body. Extra attention was given to the spine in order to get
consistently pleasing shapes, as well as to the hands and feet in order to give them a wide range
of motion at the ends of his thick limbs.

Myself and three colleagues -- the face rigger and two supervising animators -- won the 9th Annual
Visual Effects Society Award for "Outstanding Animated Character in an Animated Feature Motion
Picture" for our work on Toothless.

Deadly Nadder

I built the entire body rig for the Deadly Nadder, including the wings and the spikes. The spikes
were unique to this dragon species and required a custom system which allowed them to remain flat
against the body and disguised when folded down. Zone-based meta controls allowed the animator to
move a region of spikes together. The upper legs had extra functionality to automatically squash
the belly out of the way when necessary.

Path Animation System

I developed a system to visualize the motion arcs of existing rig controls. The system allows the
animator to choose a control (e.g. the hand or the hips) and see its path through the scene for
the duration of the shot. Editing the control instantly updates the displayed path. In addition,
the animator can directly edit the path in the 3D window, which updates the associated control.

Bee Movie

I was responsible for rigging all aspects of Vanessa's body, (layered) clothing, and accessories.
Her standard outfit consists of a short-sleeved cardigan over a collared shirt and jeans. The
shirt overlaps her jeans as well as her necklace. All of the layers are able to slide
independently of each other and of the skin.

Over The Hedge

I rigged Tiger's body and his collar. His body required extra time due to his heaviness, and the
collar required a system that would keep it in place regardless of how the head, neck, or
shoulders were animated.


The Verminator truck has a blendshape-driven rabbit on the roof that is squashed as it is hit by a
mallet. The "Krelman" is one of the machines used in the production of honey. All of the parts
of the Krelman are driven using mathematical expressions -- there are no driven keys or joints
following modeled curves.

Graduate School Work

My Master's thesis topic was the creation of a muscle system that could be semi-automatically
created by sketching out curves on the surface of a given model. The muscles deform the skin in
real time.


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