Cassidy Curtis: Curriculum Vitae
CASSIDY J. CURTIS

<cassidy at otherthings dot com>

EXPERIENCE

2015-present GOOGLE SPOTLIGHT STORIES
Mountain View, CA
Technical Art Lead

Spotlight Stories are interactive 360° narrative experiences that you can enjoy using a mobile phone, Cardboard, or VR device. As technical art lead, my role is to translate a director's artistic vision into graphics techniques and workflows that can ultimately run in real time on all supported devices. My key contribution is that I take the concept art seriously, extrapolating it into 3D space and motion while ensuring that its distinct visual qualities are reflected in every frame. Doing this effectively has required skills ranging from team leadership, pipeline planning and creative supervision to look development, Python scripting and GLSL shader writing, as well as hands-on surfacing, lighting, effects animation and compositing.

Current project: Pearl, directed by Patrick Osborne.

2007-2015 PDI/DREAMWORKS
Redwood City, CA
Supervising Animator

As a supervising animator my role was to mentor, manage, and guide the creative work and technique of a small team of other animators, while also setting a high quality standard through the animation in my own shots. I helped to define the personalities of new characters, such as Toothless, the titular dragon of How to Train Your Dragon, which won the Outstanding Animated Character award from the Visual Effects Society in 2010. I was also responsible for clearly defining animators' needs for the departments we depend on, such as Layout, Rigging and R&D. I was part of a small team that created the spec and supervised the development of our next-generation animation software, Premo. The other features I worked on during this period include Madagascar 2, Madagascar 3, Turbo, Mr. Peabody and Sherman, How to Train Your Dragon 2, and The Penguins of Madagascar.

2000-2007 PDI/DREAMWORKS
Redwood City, CA
Character Animator

As a character animator, my role was to create compelling, memorable performances under the guidance of the film's directors and supervising animators. The work entails a combination of skills, both artistic (acting, appeal, design and composition) and technical (mastery of 3D animation software and principles.) I animated characters for the feature films Shrek 2, Shrek the Third, Madagascar, Over the Hedge, and Sinbad, as well as related promotional projects (short films, commercials, DVD extras, etc.) and other films in development.

1998-2000 PDI/DREAMWORKS
Palo Alto, CA
Character TD

As a character TD I rigged characters for PDI's second feature film, Shrek. This involved creating articulated skeletons, easy-to-use animator controls, and believable surface deformations, using a combination of code-based and interactive techniques. I was the primary developer of a system for non-dynamic clothing wrinkles, which was used on the upper bodies of all of the main characters. During this period I also created a watercolor look for David Gainey's short film Fishing, which won Best Computer Animated Short at the Ottawa Animation Festival in 2000.

1996-1998 UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON
Seattle, WA
Researcher, Instructor

I came to UW to do research in non-photorealistic rendering. My first project, to simulate the artistic effects of watercolor painting, was presented as a paper at SIGGRAPH 1997. My second project, a loose and sketchy ink rendering method, was a SIGGRAPH sketch the following year. I also taught a computer animation class for undergraduates in art, music, and computer science, designed to closely aproximate a real production environment. Each year, the class culminated in a group short film project, which I coordinated and directed. The Art of Survival, the film produced by the 1998 class, won the audience award for Best CG Animation at Anima Mundi 1999 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

1994-1996 PACIFIC DATA IMAGES
Palo Alto, CA
Technical Director, Animator

As a TD, I planned and directed the execution of animation sequences, supervised live action shoots, and coordinated teams of up to nine animators. But mostly I wrote scripts in C-shell or one of PDI's proprietary languages. To better understand the rest of the production process, I took on various other roles including effects animation, character animation, and shader writing. On the side, I taught classes on the principles and use of PDI's software as part of the animator training program. I also completed my first short film, Brick-a-Brac, which has since appeared in several animation festivals including SIGGRAPH 1995.

1992-1994 XAOS, INC.
San Francisco, CA
Production Programmer, Animator

As production programmer, my job was to develop new, experimental animation software, and to support the animators who used it. My main code contributions were a physically based particle system and extensive image processing libraries. I developed techniques for motion blur, non-photorealistic rendering, and simulating natural substances including ink, paint, mercury, smoke, fog, and gaseous explosions. Shifting into the role of animator, I used these techniques to create special effects for broadcast, commercials, film, and independent projects.

Summers,
1990-1991
R/GREENBERG ASSOCIATES
New York, NY
Animator and Programmer

In my first internship, I helped create special effects for television commercials, and high-resolution print ads. I used SoftImage and R/GA's largely script-based proprietary software. The following summer I also wrote non-photorealistic rendering code to simulate the style of 19th Century engravings.

1989-1992 BROWN UNIVERSITY
Providence, RI
Research and Teaching Assistant, Illustrator

While still a student I helped rewrite a 3-D visualization tool that was being used by students of multivariable calculus, extending it for use in a differential geometry class. As a TA for that and other classes (including computer graphics) I led lab sessions and acted as mentor for independent student projects. I also used the visualization tool to create a series of chapter opening illustrations for a calculus textbook.

EDUCATION

BROWN UNIVERSITY, Providence, R.I.

B.A. in Mathematics, May, 1992

Relevant Coursework:

PUBLICATIONS

INVITED TALKS

"Pearl" "The Animator as Designer" "Graffiti Archaeology" Other talks:

TEACHING

PROFESSIONAL ACTIVITIES

PATENTS

HONORS

ART AND PERSONAL PROJECTS

FILM CREDITS

FEATURES and SHORT FILMS
indie "How to Make a Baby" (2009)Director / Animator
"Word Wars" (documentary, 2004)Motion Graphics Designer
PDI "How to Train Your Dragon 2" (2014)Character Animator
"Mr. Peabody and Sherman" (2014)Character Animator
"Turbo" (2013)Character Animator
"Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted" (2012)Supervising Animator
"How to Train Your Dragon" (2010)Supervising Animator
"Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa" (2008)Supervising Animator
"Bee Movie" (2007)Character Animator
"Shrek the Third" (2007)Character Animator
"Over the Hedge" (2006)Character Animator
"Madagascar" (2005)Character Animator
"Shrek 2" (2004)Character Animator
"Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas" (2003)Character Animator
"Shrek" (2001)Character TD
"Fishing" (1999) (screenings)Look Developer
"Brick-a-Brac" (1995) (screenings)Director / TD / Animator
UW "The Art of Survival" (screenings)Director
"Whose Hat is That?" (video) (screenings)Director
Xaos "The Pagemaster" (1994)Programmer / Animator
BROADCAST and COMMERCIALS
PDI Kraft "Franky's Noodle"TD / Character Animator
MercedesTD / Effects Animator
Halls Penguins "Airport"TD
Toyota "Disclosure"Effects Animator
Listerine "Power of Prevention"Effects Animator
Xaos MTV's Top 20 Video CountdownDesigner / Programmer / Animator
Capri Sun "Liquid Cool"Programmer / Animator
Sci-Fi Channel "Expedition"Programmer / Animator
SIGGRAPH '93 AnijamProgrammer / Animator
R/GA Kodak "Let the Memories Begin"Animator
Panasonic "Prism"Animator / Lighting

FILM SCREENINGS

How to Make a Baby:

Word Wars:

Fishing:

The Art of Survival:

Whose Hat Is That?:

Brick-a-Brac:


SELECTED PRESS