Thursday, September 27, 2007

Maks Naporowski Bio

I think Maks' career is really interesting because he's done character animation, character setup, and also has experience with keyframing over mocap data. He's done a lot of high profile work at Sony, and as a result, I think he's in a really good position to comment on both the technical and artistic sides of 3D animation. Also, if you didn't already know, he teaches both a rigging and a 3D animation course at DADA. He's currently working as a character animator on Beowulf.

Below is a bio that I got from the DADA website:

Born in Kielce, Poland in the seventies, Maksymilian Naporowski studied art, philosophy, and psychology at McMaster University in Canada. In spring of 1996, he graduated with a B.A. in Philosophy, after which he moved on to Sheridan College in Toronto for a summer art program. The following fall semester, he switched to Seneca College, and studied digital animation, focusing on Softimage and Alias/Wavefront's "Power Animator" software. In 1997, he received a teaching position for the same program, teaching digital animation and character setup for two semesters. In 1998, he took a demonstration artist position for a Toronto based company called "Puppet Works".

There with Puppet Works he developed character demonstration content, presentations for visual effects oriented shows such as Siggraph and NAB, and provided training, consultation, and development services for clients. He provided character animation development and training using the PuppetWorks digital input devices for a variety of high profile companies and shows. This included training, character animation, and motion capture tests for the "Duke Nuke'em" title at 3D Realms in Dallas as well as internal 3d character content for Lockheed Martin in Florida. He also trained staff, did character rigging, and created animation tests for "Merlin" and "Lost in Space" at the Jim Henson Creature Shop in the UK, as well as for "Atlantis" at Walt Disney Studios in California. His character animation tests on the "Incredible Mr. Limpet" at Pacific Title/Mirage were with actor-comedian Jim Carrey and on the 1998 spoof comedy "Jane Austen's Mafia!" he produced character rigging, animation, and structured the pipeline for Swansons Production.

In 1999 he moved to Los Angeles to work with incredible artist and director Mark Swanson on a CG feature called "Fish Tank". Within six months they developed the characters in 3d, built a solid character animation/motion capture pipeline, and provided over three minutes of animation tests for the feel and look of the film. When the funding fell through, he moved on to a job at Centropolis FX where he helped develop the motion capture/animation pipeline for "Patriot" and choreographed/animated some of the large battle sequences. After "Patriot" he spent a few months working as a 3d animation consultant for 2G Productions/Elektrashock where he rigged and animated content for a video feature called "You're mine", a music video for No Prisoners called "Fiction, dreams in digital" by Orgy, and a feature film named "Vertical Limit".

In 2000, he took on a cg artist position with Sony Pictures Imageworks and started on "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" as a technical animator, where a majority of his time was spent on the musculature of "Fluffy", the 3-headed dog, the troll, the Centaur, the digital humans- "Harry" and the kids for the "Quidditch" match. For the sequel, he provided both the animation pipeline and support for the animation team. He has been working for Imageworks for over five years and his duties include character setup, pipelines, support, modeling, and character animation. He has taken a lead role on a number of shows and has focussed on character animation in the recent past. His credits at Sony Pictures Imageworks include

Ghost Rider
Superman Returns
Polar Express
Matrix Revolutions
Haunted Mansion
Bad Boys 2
Charlie's Angels 2
The Chubbchubbs ! - Oscar Winner for best Animated Short Film
Stuart Little 2 - VES Award for best character animation in an Animated Motion Picture
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

In addition to the production work, in recent years he has been teaching character rigging and animation in Maya at the University Of Southern California's School of Cinematic Arts.

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