I work at Blizzard Entertainment on the Rigging & Simulations (RigSim) team in Cinematics since 2010. As part of this team I get to work on all sorts of character rigging and simulations for the Cinematics. I also have the huge privilege to be able to do Hair Grooming whenever my team is able to spare me 🙂
I initially went to college to study Computer Science with a goal of becoming a video game programmer. Programming was fun and challenging, but after 2 years I realized that I just didn’t have the passion for it like I did for 3d. I have always been a believer that anything is possible and that you should follow your dreams, and that’s exactly what I did! After that realization I moved on to Savannah College of Art and Design in 2001 to finish college with a Bachelors in 3d Art.
Shortly after graduating in 2004, I joined Omation to work on The Barnyard movie, working with a team to integrate hair into the film. After 2 years and being promoted to a Hair Lead, I decided that working on hair grooms and simulations was the perfect blend of tech and art to complement me. I have been in love ever since 🙂
After The Barnyard wrapped, I joined the team at Blur Studio as the lone Hair TD for 4 years. I was responsible for taking their pipeline from one where hair was a dreaded part of the show to where it was seamlessly integrated with shots. I worked with the modeling department to create the characters’ hair grooms, and then was responsible for creating all of the hair simulations, making them look as realistic as possible while under tight deadlines.
At the end of 2010, I moved on to Digital Domain for a short time to join the Tron Legacy team with hair simulations at the end of the project, and then to Blizzard Entertainment.
In the time I've been at Blizzard I have had the huge privilege of working on some amazing shows and characters. When I started working at Blizzard I was hired for my simulation work, and I was lucky that my team was invested in teaching me rigging as well. I was mentored in rigging from my team, and then took a rigging class at Gnomon which really helped me start off on the right foot. After that I have been given progressively more challenging characters to rig, and I've come to really enjoy the rigging portion of my job! I'm constantly learning and growing, and I'm so grateful that my job gave me this opportunity :)
Hired on as a Simulations Artist for Blizzard Cinematics, doing hair and cloth simulations for characters. Also worked on Characters’ Hair Grooms as my schedule allowed. In 2012 I began training to learn Character Rigging.
Providing hair sims that hold up to photo-real quality for the main characters of Tron Legacy.
I was in charge of the hair/fur pipeline, making sure it stays current and works efficiently and smoothly within Blur’s pipeline. I was the first person to take up this role at Blur, and was able to change much of how the hair fits into the pipeline, making it much more seamless and less painful. Both the modeling department and I create the characters’ hair grooms. I am also responsible for creating all of the hair simulations using cloth, making them look as realistic as possible while being under tight deadlines. I have developed many Quality Check procedures that have helped smooth out the areas that were causing problems, and also to make sure the styling and simming is done quickly, efficiently and always pushing the bar.
Worked with the Director and Art Director to design the furred characters. These were all done in XSI’s hair. After the haired assets were created, I was part of the team that applied dynamics. We used a proprietary dynamics package to achieve the desired movement for the hair.
Create 3D characters based off of concept art. Models are made using polygons and subdivision surfaces in Softimage XSI, and are designed for animation. The models had to adhere to the style of the film as well as keeping the polygon count as low as possible to achieve that style. Each model was given a strict timeline, and then handed off to texturing and animation departments.