My work in VFX has focused on the design & creation of digital environments & scenery and is usually heavily slanted toward fully integrated 3d shots and CG environments. This means variously evolving skills & duties and I've found myself working at times as a Designer, Art Director, Matte Painter, Conceptual Illustrator, Layout Artist, Lighter, Modeler, Texture Painter, Compositor and Technical Director, often on the same project. Other concerns have been concept art creation, visualization & design, UI design, VR, and even a few digital humans.
I'm formerly the Head of Environments, along with Ben Von Zastrow, for Tippett Studio, and in addition to this functioned as the Environments Art Director and occasional Conceptual Illustrator. Prior to this I was the Environments Design Supervisor for Neill Blomkamp's Elysium, and before that spent time on staff at Industrial Light & Magic and other top VFX shops working on projects such as Avatar, Transformers, Pirates of the Caribbean and StarWars Episode II.
Starting with a degree in Fine Arts & Graphic Design from the Ontario College of Art in 1991, I worked for a bit as an illustrator and magazine designer before dropping into an odd job in 1996 as the Graphic Designer for the television show Stargate SG1 in its initial season. In the second season I began creating their matte paintings and environments, and in 2001 moved to Industrial Light & Magic to work on Star Wars Episode II. Since then I've continued to work on some pretty thrilling projects with many of the top studios in the industry.
At Tippett Ben VonZastrow and I built a very flexible department that focused on creating fully 3d environments combining a fully asset based system with traditional matte painting tricks. Starting with the film "The Crossing" and refining it with the "Dream of Anhui" Special Venue ride project - for which we were nominated for a VES award in 2016 for best environment (sadly loosing out to ILM) - we designed and created a pipeline that allowed multiple artists to feed work into a single environment by filling any one of the multiple roles required for 3d environment work.
My work in the department ranged from bidding and project planning to hiring, to production work at all levels such as layout, design & art direction, to production shot work and final reviews.
I consider the work I do in VFX, VR & Illustration Design to be mainly about problem solving, about finding the appropriate - hopefully most elegant & simple - solution to the problem at hand. Because of this I'm open to many different methods and ways of working, tuning my effort to what's needed. I can work competently in most all software packages, and very well in Maya, 3dSMax, Modo, Clarisse, Nuke, AfterEffects, Mari, Photoshop... Sometimes I build physical models to photograph...
I occasionally do illustrations for magazines and book covers and welcome the opportunity. My training in school was in illustration & graphic design and I still love it. When I do illustrations for print I employ the same tricks and techniques as I do for concept design & Illustration, please look there for examples of how I work. My work is highly precise and very exacting, but never I hope at the expense of the beauty of the final image or idea.
If you have any questions or thoughts please feel free to send me a note. I'm a big nerd and am happy to chat about the work I do and how its done.