Six new Maya Masters have been selected by Alias for 2004: Andrew Daffy, CGI supervisor formerly with Framestore CFC; Jeremy Gordon, president/ceo of San Francisco-based game development company Secret Level; Lee Griggs, product specialist at ART VPS; Derald Hunt, digital effects artist; Tom Kluyskens, CG supervisor; and Rene Morel, character modeler and texturer.
Masters are defined by Alias, developer of Maya 3D animation software, as those "whose work reshapes and redefines the boundaries of technology, art and visualization." Twenty-two Maya Masters have been selected worldwide since Alias began the program in 2001.
Daffy started working at Framestore CFC as a junior animator in 1996. After earning the position as head of 3D commercials some years later, he worked on award-winning projects such as Levis Odyssey, WALKING WITH DINOSAURS and two James Bond title sequences.
Daffy's final project within the company was the CGI supervision of a bat sequence for the film HARRY POTTER AND THE PRISONER OF AZKABAN. He's now looking at branching out. As well as editing promos and pitching for directing work, he's currently researching the idea of setting up a London-based school focusing solely on training in photorealistic animation.
Gordon has spent the last 10 years running small self-funded game development companies. At Secret Level Jeremy has helped create and grow strategic relationships with companies such as Epic Games, UbiSoft, Atari and LucasArts Ent, Co. in addition to driving and contributing to Secret Level's tools and technology strategies.
Griggs has worked in visual communication for 10 years. His experience ranges from multimedia for children's education and language learning, to computer games, television ads, promotional videos and product visualizations. In 2003, he created the animated logo for SIGGRAPH.
In his current job, Griggs travels around the world, visiting major corporations and studios to demonstrate the marketing and communications power of photographic-quality 3D images rendered with ART VPS' hardware ray-tracing technology.
Hunt is a versatile 3D animator who enjoys a successful career in both film and broadcast. He is able to solve a variety of production challenges in all areas of Maya. He is the co-author of a new training DVD for Alias and continues to work on materials that help the 3D animation community grow.
Hunt's most notable film projects are effects for the two X-MEN movies, the two ride films THE ADVENTURES OF SPIDER-MAN IN 3D and CORKSCREW HILL, and the animated short LITTLE MISS SPIDER. Hunt is the animation director at Turner Studios.
Kluyskens worked at Weta Digital for two years on THE LORD OF THE RINGS movies. Prior to that he spent several years with Alias supporting and consulting with customers in Europe and the Middle East. Early in 2004, he moved to Trollhattan, Sweden, where he works as a CG supervisor with Farmland Pictures.
In the early '90s, Morel worked as a character modeler and texturer on the award-winning short THE BOXER. This first step in the industry gave him the opportunity to work with Square for a year-and-a-half on FINAL FANTASY.
As a leading innovator of 3D graphics technology, Alias (www.alias.com
) develops award-winning software, custom development and training solutions for the film and video, games, Web, interactive media, automotive, industrial design, education and visualization markets. Alias is headquartered in Toronto with a Custom Development Center in Santa Barbara. Alias was recently purchased by Accel-KKR, a technology-focused private equity firm, and the Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan.