Shot List

Please Note: I am in the process of updating this shot list to reflect the changes in my new 2011 demo reel, which includes work from Blue Sky. The list below is for the previous iteration of my reel. I’ll have the new list up here shortly.

The following is an explanation of each shot in my 2008 Demo Reel, listed in the order they appear on the reel. All shots were produced between 2002 and 2007 at Dreamworks Animation. Click on the thumbnails to view a larger version of each frame.

1. Flaming Burp, Shrek the Third — Simulated, rendered and composited all fx elements including flames, smoke, embers and heat distortion. Flames and smoke were simulated using Maya fluids and rendered with a proprietary particle renderer. I wrote a number of custom particle shaders to facilitate rendering and compositing. I also produced dynamic GI area lights so the lighting department could illuminate the environment using the flame geometry.

2. Grinder Sparks, Shrek the Third — Simulated, rendered and composited the grinder sparks and chunks of Shrek’s toenails. The sparks were a Maya particle simulation rendered using a proprietary particle renderer. I also developed an original shader to produce curved motion blur for particles which was subsequently used on many other shots in the film.

3. Burning Bra, Shrek the Third — Simulated, rendered and composited all flame elements. I also produced the burnt surfacing on the bra. Flame simulation was done with Maya fluids.

4–5. Flaming Kebabs, Shrek the Third — Simulated, rendered and composited the flames on the kebab skewers. The flames on the tapestry in the second shot were done by another animator with whom I worked closely to ensure that the motion and look of our flame elements blended seamlessly. I also wrote MEL scripts for these shots to allow reshaping the Maya fluid grids via a lattice deformation.

6–7. Torch Flames, Shrek the Third — Simulated, rendered and composited all flame elements. The main challenge with these moving torch shots was dealing with flames moving relatively quickly over a large area. I wrote a MEL script which localized the Maya fluid grid around the flame area to improve simulation times and also allow the motion of the torch to be selectively removed. About half of the torch shots I worked on are represented on my reel.

8–9. Dust and Wagon Debris Simulation, Over the Hedge — Simulated, rendered and composited the dust kicked up by the wagon as it bounces. I also animated the various boxes that fall off the wagon, as well as the motion of the cloth tarp covering the wagon.

10. Leaf Animation, Over the Hedge — Animated the motion of the leaves using a Maya particle simulation.

11. Dancing Lemur Crowd, Madagascar — Laid out and simulated all crowd characters in about half the shots in the lemur-rave sequence. Crowd simulation was done using Dreamworks’ proprietary crowd system. I helped modify the crowd system to handle very large crowds of furry characters. I also contributed to building the shader networks which create randomized surfacing for the lemurs and all the human crowds in the movie. In this particular shot the front seven lemurs were hand-animated by a character animator.

12. Panicking Lemur Crowd, Madagascar — Laid out and simulated all lemur characters with the exception of the front hero character.

13–14. Fishing Line Animation, Over the Hedge — Animated the motion of the fishing line. In the second shot the fishing line motion was keyframed entirely by hand, but I used a softbody simulation as reference.

15–16. Dust Simulation, Over the Hedge — Simulated, rendered and composited the dust kicked up by the bear’s collapse. The challenge in these shots was to make the dust subtle yet still readable in a very dark lighting situation.

17. Grass Debris (note: pre-lighting render), Over the Hedge — Animated the grass debris using a Maya particle simulation. I have used my approved pre-lighting animation render on this reel because it is a lot easier to see the grass in this version than in the final lighting render. The grass is purposefully blown-out here so that it reads better.

18. Net Gun Simulation, Over the Hedge — Rigged and simulated the net bolt loading mechanism, based on an original rig by another animator. The net motion was created by attaching it to a simulated softbody in Maya.

19–21. Torch Flames, Shrek the Third — See shots 6–7.

22–23. Torchier Flames, Shrek 2 — Rendered and composited all torchier and torch flames for the entire closing sequence of the film, totaling about 30 shots. Flames were simulated using PDI’s proprietary fire system and rendered as particles. The main challenge was maintaining continuity and a cohesive look across a large number of shots.

24. Flower Animation, Over the Hedge — Rigged and animated the motion of the flower popping out of the snow, along with a few small chunks of snow debris. Final lighting and compositing were accomplished by another animator.

25. Zebra Spit, Madagascar — Simulated, rendered and composited the water spray and mist. This was a simple Maya particle simulation rendered as particles.

26–29. Fossa Crowd Simulation, Madagascar — Laid out and simulated the fossa crowds using Dreamworks’ proprietary crowd animation system. In each shot all fossa are crowd characters with the exception of two or three foreground hero fossa (animated separately by a character animator). These shots make up about half of the total shots I completed for this sequence.

30. Eyeball Crowd Simulation, Madagascar — Laid out and animated glowing lemur eyeballs peering from the foliage for an entire sequence of the film, totaling about 20 shots. The main challenge was coordinating with the lighting and layout departments to create sufficient shadowed areas in which to place lemur heads without them colliding with the foliage.

31–32. Lemur Crowd Simulation, Madagascar — Laid out and simulated the motion of all characters, with the exception of hero characters. Also see shot 11 for further explanation.