LATEST - CG Technology Supervisor (Industrial Light & Magic)

Into Film 2016: Star Wars Panel



Into Film gives every child and young person aged 5 to 19 in the UK the chance to experience film creatively.

The Into Film Festival brings schools together to experience film on the big screen, along with speakers related to that film. For the Star Wars: The Force Awakens screenings, I joined an ILM panel to discuss and take questions about our Visual Effects work (recorded excerpts below).



| Into Film |

Ciclope 2016: Headline Presentation



Ciclope - The International Festival of Craft - 2016, took place in Berlin. This years programme included a fantastic and inspiring range of speakers, including energetic musician Sam Spiegel and advertising authority Sir John Hegarty.

I kicked off the festival exploring digital character design, build and performance for Star Wars VII.





| Ciclope Festival |

NVX 2016: Headline Presentation



NVX - The Dutch Association of Visual FX Professionals - brings together artists from around the Netherlands in their annual meet up and award ceremony as part of the Dutch Film Festival.

I presented some of ILM's work on The Force Awakens and had a great time getting to know some of the fantastic talent in this ever-growing centre for Visual FX in Europe.

| NVX2016 Utrecht |

SCA 2016: Keynote Speaker



The Symposium on Computer Animation 2016 focuses on time-based phenomena, and brings together academia and practioners across a great range of related subjects.

I gave a keynote presentation for Industrial Light & Magic - looking at the Design, Capture and Development for Star Wars VII characters Maz Kanata, Supreme Leader Snoke and BB8.

| SCA2016 Zurich |

BAFTA 2016: Winner for Special Visual Effects



Great fun at the British Academy Film and Television Awards 2016 - where Star Wars VII won best Special Visual Effects.

| BAFTA 2016 winners |

Visual Effects Society Awards 2016: Nomination for Maz Kanata


Very honoured that our work bringing The Force Awakens' Maz Kanata to life, was nominated for a VES Award, in the 2016 category for 'Outstanding Animated Performance in a Photoreal Feature'.

We didn't mind being beaten to the win by another ILM team with their amazing work on the bear attack in The Revenant.

| VES 2016 winners |

Star Wars VIP Screening: Speaker



Hope and Homes for Children - who work to ensure all children grow up with the love of a family - ran a VIP charity screening event on the first day of release. I had the pleasure of giving an introductory (spoiler free) presentation.

| Hope and Homes website |

Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens, 2015



CG Supervisor (Industrial Light and Magic)

An incredible show to be part of - Star Wars awoke with a galactic bang. ILM London delivered a range of work, including hero characters Maz Kanata and Supreme Leader Snoke, and the reveal of the Millennium Falcon.











Paddington, 2014



CG Supervisor (Framestore)

Paddington is a fun, funny and charming show, directed and written by Paul King and produced by David Heyman.

I look developed Paddington, his iconic blue duffle coat and red hat and was CG Supervisor on the show.

Guardians of the Galaxy, 2014



Look Development (Framestore)

Guardians expands the Marvel universe, including the introduction of Rocket Raccoon.

I had a great time developing this gun-toting, munitions expert comic book icon in readiness for his shoot..

CG Student Awards 2014 - Judge


This year I was asked to be a judge for the 2014 CG Student Awards which offers a range of prizes, recognition and internships to winners.

There was an amazing level of skill and talent on display and some outstanding winners.

| cgstudentawards.com |

Academy Awards 2014: Winner for Visual Effects


Wow! Gravity had another amazing night at the 2014 Academy Awards picking up 7 Oscars, including Visual Effects for our work sending Sandra Bullock and George Clooney into space.

| OSCARS 2014 winners |

BAFTA 2014: Winner for Special Visual Effects


Gravity had an exceptional night at the BAFTA Awards 2014, winning 6 categories including Special Visual Effects.

| BAFTA 2014 winners |

I was fortunate enough to attend and celebrate.

Visual Effects Society Awards 2014: Winner for Gravity Exterior


The Visual Effects Society holds annual awards for, and nominated by, the visual effects industry. This year Gravity claimed 6 awards, including for Gravity Exterior environment, which I was a part of.

| VES 2014 winners |

Bringing Gravity down to Earth - 3dtotal.com


3dtotal.com wanted to write a piece about Gravity, highlighting several team members who had come through the National Centre for Computer Animation in Bournemouth. I fitted the bill having studied for my MSc there, going on to be Look Development Lead on the show, and you can read the article here.

| read article |

NCCA Film Lighting Master Class, 2013/2014


Lecturing and setting coursework for the National Centre for Computer Animation, Bournemouth University

This year's project was 'Key Lighting', focusing on the core lighting skills required to integrate CG with day and night time plates.

Gravity, 2013



Look Development Lead (Framestore)

Alfonso Cuaron - one of my favourite directors - brought us an incredibly challenging, cutting-edge, intense, exciting and beautiful show to work on.

My role as Look Development Lead was initially to explore how to render this photoreal project, including the transition from RenderMan to the Arnold renderer, and pushing shaders, tools and images to the level we needed.

With techniques establishing, I focused primarily on the development of the character assets, including CG space suits, facial capture and digital doubles.

NCCA Film Lighting Master Class, 2012/2013


Lecturing and setting coursework for the National Centre for Computer Animation, Bournemouth University

This year's project brief was 'Motion through Light', a challenging concept where students had to demonstrate their ability to light CG objects of their choice, moving through spaces in footage they shot themselves and maintaining a seamless integration.

| project notes can be found here |

Think Computer Science, 2012


Talking and demonstrating VFX with students brought together by Microsoft Research Cambridge

Under the wing of a Sunderland Bomber at the Imperial War Museum Duxford, I captured student's and teacher's faces on camera, converting their images into a 3D reconstruction for all to admire on a very large TV!

Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader



Aslan Shading and Look Development Lead (Framestore)

The aim was to use the latest technology and create an even more realistic lion. A significant amount of time was spent studying the seminal Marschner paper for producing realistic hair fibers.

S.T.E.M. 2011-


Promoting Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics with schools in London

A really worthwhile and enjoyable activity. I get to meet lots of enthusiastic students keen to see how their STEM subjects can lead into exciting, creative careers.

Head of Pipeline


...


Establishing and running the studio Pipeline Department, overseeing projects including 'Prince of Persia', 'Clash of the Titans', 'Avatar', 'Where the Wild Things Are', 'Sherlock Holmes' and 'Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince' (Framestore)

Badger Trust Annual Conference 2008


Presenter of 'Trufflehunter - the CG Badger'

I didn't know what to expect presenting to a lecture theatre contaning the country's leading badger lovers / experts, but had such a warm reception.

SIGGRAPH 2008


Presenter of 'Aslan and Trufflehunter - Creature Creation From Follicle to Chronicle'

Narnia: Prince Caspian

Narnia Prince Caspian 2008
Look Dev and Lighting Supervisor. Pipeline/RnD TD (Framestore)

One of my favourite projects to work on. A great mix of challenge, people, ideas and sitting in a field full of badgers for reference.

I was a shader developer and look development lead for Trufflehunter, the narky badger.

Harry Potter

Harry Potter V 2007 Harry Potter IV 2005

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, 2005: Lead Technical Support
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, 2007: Pipeline/RnD TD
Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, 2009: Head of Pipeline
(Framestore)

The series that gave London VFX a serious boost, Harry Potter was always great fun to work on, especially seeing the buzz and anticipation surrounding each film as wells as being a fan myself.

Underdog

Underdog 2007

Look Development Lead and Lighting/Pipeline/RnD TD (Framestore)

Polly the King Charles Cavalier was underdog's (canine) love interest. I was look development lead for her, starting a run in furry projects with a sideline in pipeline and tool development.

X-Men: The Last Stand

X-Men The Last Stand 2006

Lighting TD (Framestore)

My first VFX shot (ever) was providing claws for Wolverine being hurled through the air, but I was mostly creating wings for Angel. Quite a steep learning curve!

Nanny McPhee

Nanny McPhee 2005
Technical Support (Framestore)

Render wrangling was a great way to enter the industry, gain experience and work out the type of role I wanted to move into.

It's quite common to be offered paint&roto, tracking or support roles fresh out of university.

Don't be dismayed!

Getting your foot in the door is a major step and there will be people out there with production experience able to fill the more senior roles. Once you're in, however, you're able to show what you can do.