Creature TD | Ben Sledge Creature TD | Ben Sledge

Ben Sledge

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Professional History

ILM Vancouver
Lead Creature TD (April 2021 - present)
Area Tech Lead - Rigging (June 2020 - present)
Senior Creature TD (April 2019 - April2021)
Creature TD (April 2017 - March 2019)

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. Served as a mentor for new-hires and assisted other artists troubleshooting creature rigging, simulation and pipeline issues.

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 / 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.

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.

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.

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

Academic History

Clemson University
Clemson, SC, USA (2014)

Master of Fine Arts Degree in Digital Production Arts
Thesis: "An Automated Build Script for Articulated Characters" (Dr. Tim Davis, Chair)
School of Computing

East Tennessee State University
Johnson City, TN, USA (2010)

Bachelor of Science Degree in Digital Media, Minor in Computer Science
College of Business & Technology
Magna Cum Laude

Selected Filmography

  • In Production
    • Hawkeye - Limited Series - Winter 2021 (Lead Creature TD)
    • Animated Feature Film - Summer 2023 (Lead Creature TD)
  • 2021
    • Space Jam: A New Legacy (Creature TD)
  • 2019
    • Terminator: Dark Fate (Creature TD)
    • Aladdin (Creature TD)
      • Nominated: Saturn Award for Best Film Special/Visual Effects (2019)
  • 2018
    • Spy Kids: Mission Critical - Season 1 (Rigging)
    • ReBoot: The Guardian Code - Season 1 (Rigging)
      • Nominated: Canadian Screen Award for Best Youth Program or Series (2019)
      • Nominated: Canadian Screen Award for Best Visual Effects in a Program or Series (2019)
    • A Wrinkle in Time (Creature TD)
  • 2017
    • Barbie Dolphin Magic (Rigging)
    • 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)
  • 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)


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

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

Treasurer (2009-2010), Webmaster (2007-2009), Secretary (2006-2007)


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

Download as a printable PDF: bsledge-charactertd-resume.pdf

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