Resume

Ben Sledge, MFA

Vancouver, BC Canada

Professional History

Creature TD ILM Vancouver (April 2017 - present)
Implemented and maintained cloth and simulation systems for digital double characters. Supported and maintained creature rigs. Used proprietary systems to craft in-shot creature simulations, including cloth and rigid body dynamics.

Rigging Artist Rainmaker Studios (March 2015 - March 2017)
Crafted character rigs for characters, props and sets using a proprietary, Python based rigging build system. Extended build system with custom modules. Created scripts used by animators to increase rig functionality. Developed and maintained custom Maya nodes and tools in Python and C++.

Technical Animation Artist (Mid) / Character FX TD MPC Vancouver (September 2014 - March 2015)
Designed, implemented and maintained cloth, hair and dynamics systems used to create visual effects for feature films. Used nCloth and proprietary hair solvers to create digital doubles of actors. Enhanced character-to-environment and character-to-character interactions and deformations with the use of Maya and proprietary deformers.

Production Manager / Python Developer Campus Banner + Design (August 2011 - May 2014)
Supervised a team of 8-10 designers working on the campus of Clemson University. Duties included hiring and training new designers, managing workflow efficiency and prioritizing projects and tasks to meet client deadlines. Designed, developed and maintained a job tracking and invoice web app built on the Python framework Django.

Rigging Lead / Pipeline Lead / Animator ROBO+REPAIR Short Film (May 2013 - July 2013)
Part of the DreamWorks Animation Summer Industry Course at Clemson University. Designed a full-featured, joint based deformation system for the rigid body main character featuring three interchanging arms, and a torso that pivots around an arbitrary angle. Wrote scripts and tools to move assets and resources between software packages and strengthened the production pipeline by extending render-queue management scripts.

Pipeline Technical Assistant Clemson University (February 2013 - December 2013)
Worked as part of a team of programmers to develop an automated and fluid production pipeline infrastructure. Scripted CineSync and rigging workflows.

Character TD / Modeler / Animator "The Water is Always Bluer" Short Film (January 2012 - December 2012)
Modeled, rigged and laid out UVs for the main character and environment models and assisted with lighting, character design and story concepts. Lead animator on several shots.

Academic History

Clemson University Clemson, SC (2014)
Master of Fine Arts Degree in Digital Production Arts School of Computing

East Tennessee State University Johnson City, TN (2010)
Bachelor of Science Degree in Digital Media, Minor in Computer Science Magna Cum Laude

Filmography

  • In Production
    • A Wrinkle in Time (Creature TD)
    • ReBoot: The Guardian Code (Rigging)
    • Spy Kids: Mission Critical (Rigging)
    • Barbie Dolphin Magic (Rigging)
  • 2017
    • Transformers: The Last Knight (Creature TD)
    • Barbie: Video Game Hero (Rigging)
    • Surfs Up 2: Wave Mania (Rigging)
    • Monster Trucks (Character FX)
  • 2016
    • Barbie and Her Sisters in a Puppy Chase (Rigging)
  • 2015
    • Open Season: Scared Silly (Rigging)
  • 2014
    • Night at the Museum 3: Secret of the Tomb (Character FX)
      • Short-listed for the Oscar for Visual Effects (2015)
  • 2013
    • Robo+Repair (Rigging, Animation, Pipeline)
      • SIGGRAPH Dailies (2014)
  • 2012
    • The Water is Always Bluer... (Modeling, Rigging Animation)
      • Charleston International Film Festival (2013)
      • Blue Plum Animation Festival (2013)
      • International Film Festival (2013)

Animation & Visual Effects Skills

Character Rigging
Experienced in designing character setups using deformers, skeletal systems and blend shapes. Able to create animator friendly rigs while maintaining a high level of control over deformations.

Python / C++ / MEL Development
Seasoned with Python both in and out of the Maya environment to increase productivity and reduce user error with a focus on pipeline integration. Experienced with Maya plug-in development using both Python and C++.

Character Effects
Experienced with simulating hair and Maya nCloth systems for digital characters. Creates character interactions with dynamics and cloth solutions as well as deformation based approaches. Comfortable creating cloth and dynamics rigs on a shot and a show basis.

3D Generalist
Skilled in modeling, UV layout, texturing/surfacing, lighting, rendering and animation. Possess a fundamental understanding of the Maya to Unreal game engine work flow.

Technologies
Operating Systems - Windows, Linux and Mac OS X Software - Autodesk Maya & Mudbox, Nuke, Marvelous Designer, CineSync, Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator and Premiere Programming - Python, MEL Script, C++, git and SVN

Leadership

ACM SIGGRAPH
Member (2009-Present), Dailies Presenter (2014), Conference Student Volunteer (2009)

Greenville International Film Festival
Judge for Emerging Filmmakers Category (2012), Student Volunteer (2012)

ETSU Student ACM SIGGRAPH Chapter
Treasurer (2009-2010), Webmaster (2007-2009), Secretary (2006-2007)

Honors

Phi Kappa Phi - East Tennessee State University (inducted 2009)
Epsilon Pi Tau - East Tennessee State University (inducted 2009)

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