The majority of my career has been focused on environment creation and augmentation. I offer extensive experience working in feature film and special venue projects. The environments created have ranged from highly realistic to very stylized, fantastic settings. My goal is always to create compelling scenes that reinforce the underlying story, and feel authentic to the world being presented. Working in a variety of roles has given me a great appreciation for all of the specialized tasks, and how they complement each other. My development style tends to start procedural, build modular for variants, while keeping appropriate hooks open for artistic control.
The Ring (2002) lighthouse shot was a significant milestone for me. It was a fun puzzle to solve: matchmove two helicopter shots with very different motions/speeds/locations, build landscape to bridge them, add in a third plate filmed later, and make it into one continuous shot. In the years since, I've worked on many shots more challenging and/or spectacular, but this is the time when my vision clarified on many concepts. Fluidity of 2D and 3D spaces, nesting real and virtual cameras to create hybrid camera moves, preserving image integrity over long movements, etc.
Before working at ILM, I was already skilled in using the power of image modeling and projection mapping to create and modify 3D locations. But the scale and systems developed there were incredible. The use of "panospheres" were not unlike cycloramas, but creating a massive library allowed for rapid creation and modification of shots that were efficient and realistic.
While at Tippett, we needed to recreate flyovers of real world locations. There was a lot of exploration of proposed sites, with various camera moves featuring different formations. Sometimes it's hard to know the potential of a location until you explore the space with a camera. There's a lot of useful information online. It can be a chore to get it in a clean format, and process into usable assets to explore. I worked on a tool/process I called "Topograb." It was a way to quickly pull all the necessary parts and assemble them into assets for "virtual location scouting" and shot previz. The assets then became the foundation for final scenes.