Throughout my varied work experience I have been fortunate
to work on projects where I have been able to apply and evolve
both my artistic and creative problem solving skills to solve
complex problems related to 3D animation and visualisation.
3D Character Artist, Educator
Raffaele brings a broad technical expertise in
the production of Feature Animation projects and is a foremost
expert in the production and assembly
of 3D character pipelines.
Since watching the early Pixar shorts of the late 80's and early 90's,
Raffaele has been keenly interested in develloping skills to efficiently
character production for Full CG Feature Film.
With an Engineering background from Johns Hopkins University,
Raffaele became interested in Computer Imaging in the late 1980s,
using Virtual Reality
software to visualize civil engineering projects. As a natural extension to learning
about physical forces, Raffaele took an
early interest in character animation and has spent the better part of his
career develloping broad set of techniques to handle complex character setups and
managing a parallel workflow to push large amounts of characters through feature film
productions. With a Master of Fine Arts from The School of Visual Arts, where he both
attended and taught, Raffaele develloped an understading for animation principles which he
exercised through inovative solutions in character setup techniques.
Starting in Mid-nineties, Raffaele has worked at many production facilities most noteably
Rhythm & Hues where he learned the advantages of automation, Curious Pictures where he
helped implement the rendering/job pipeline for longer format television series production,
Bell-Labs/Face2Face where he develloped both an automated
Facial Motion capture Rig to generate talking 3D characters from lipsync video, and create
the pipeline tools and methodology in order to effeciently manage the production of
animation clips.Raffaele also worked a Dreamworks on several feature films, building the framework
for a character assembly pipeline to create and manage large amount of characters.
And as Character Setup Supervisor at Omation, Raffaele build and oversaw the character setup and
animation pipeline to manage over 170 characters in production concurrently.
Raffaele regularly attends Siggraph, having participated in both course lectures,
technical seminars and panels, and throughout his career has taught about the techniques he
he has build to handle large 3D character projects.
- Working in multiple real-time project integrating character/avatar animation with interactive immersive technologies.
- System administration, setup, management and support for PC network of 45+ client computers and file/software/queue server.
- 3 D production pipeline with expertise in automation of character rigging and animation tool implementation.
- Team coordination and management on multiple production related projects.
- Experienced in software integration for 3D production pipeline.
- Developed and taught multiple courses in Louisiana State University in Shreveport( LSUS) Animation and Visual Effects program.
Louisiana State University - Assistant Professor, Department of Arts and Media, (Louisiana) - Jan 2009-May 2015.
- Working with Theatre Group based in France, to design and integrate interactive 3D avatars for a play currently in pre-production.
- Researching, designing and implementing immersive concept/experiments in Cognitive data visualization for situation awareness applications using multi touch,
Kinect and multi-display VR cave setups.
- Instructor for 40+ students in Animation and Visual Effects Program on animation techniques in multiple courses including:
pre-production, 2D animation, introduction to 3D (with Maya), 3D animation (including character animation in Maya),
production pipeline (scripting), 3D modeling, asset production, character rigging and senior project support.
Built and managed:
- software license server, queue/manager server, account file server, processing/backup servers.
- 2D, 3D, video and network software on 45+ client computers (running windows 7 and Apple Snow Leopard).
- queue manager to distribute 3D render and 2D image processing tasks on local network of client computers including Dell based Blade Center.
- Set up users and group policies and managed both centralized home and shared project accounts (Windows Server 2008).
- Designed and Integrated work in 3D game like environment (Virtual Reality stereoscopic cave environment for Tech Expose 2009).
So Animation - Technical Lead, (New York City, New York) - Jan 2008-Jan 2009
- Set up and managed production pipeline for use in 3 full Computer Generated character production of commercial spots for Virgin Media (based in UK)
and 1 live action and effects spot for a pharmaceutical company, Sinupret.
- Trained, coordinated and supervised 3 Technical Directors on production projects.
- Helped manage the production networked computers including building and installing an IBM server with 3 Blades.
- Software and programming used:
- Windows XP Pro x32&x64 Dell & BOXX 3D client workstations.
- Setup & manage IBM Blade Center (Project File Server and Processing/Rendering Node ) with Window 2003 x64.
- Managed Windows 2003 x32 domain controller with ~20 active users.
- Designed, Implemented Apache/PHP internal web site for file tracking.
- Setup and maintained external web site for client login and file viewing.
- Designed and implemented various automated scripts (BAT, Jscript & Python) to automate file processing tasks.
Vectormax - Production Technical Supervisor/Director of Production, (New Jersey) - May 2006-Jan 2008
- Started as Pipeline Supervisor, became Creative and Technical Director.
- System Administration for team of ~25 (artists & programmers) supporting numerous Operating Systems (winXP, Linux, Irix) using:
- Windows 2003 Domain controller to manage central accounts.
- Web/DB: Designed and implemented PHP/mySQL/custom asset and video database tracker with automated encoding for cell
- Organized and built production infrastructure (WindowsDomain+Linux server support) for production artist.
- Handled company relocation to larger facilities in Jersey City minimizing down time for access to file server.
- Built and implemented character pipeline for multiple content projects (XSI+Maya+ColladaBridge+custom).
- Designed, built and supervised 3D cell phone animation pipeline to deliver 3D "game" characters to realtime 3D cell phone engine.(XSI+Collada+Maya+Custom).
Brain Zoo - Character Setup/Technical Director Freelance, (Van Nuys, California) - April - May 2006.
- Built character rigs for character as part of cinematic content production ( Maya ).
Gigapix Studios - Character Setup|Pipeline Supervisor, (Chatsworth, California), May 2005 - March 2006
- Designed and built custom script tools to be able to use multiple 3D software for large scaled 3 D CGI computer generated imagery productions for internal film project developments (Maya -> PointOven -> LightWave && XSI -> PointOven -> LightWave ).
- Implemented processing tools for Verari blade center (~200 Xeon cores) to render projects using queue software.
Pixel Liberation Front - Character Setup Freelance, (Venice, California) - March-May 2005
- Rigged nine characters for a film project Dead or Alive.
Omation Studio - Character Setup Supervisor/Asset Manager Supervisor, (San Clemente, California) - Jan. - Dec. 2004
- Setup character assembly tools (JScript/XSI), hired, trained and supervised a team of 6 riggers for "Barnyard" movie.
- Implemented reference asset pipeline and mySQL database asset support.
Digital Domain - Character Setup Technical Director, (Venice, California) - Sept. 2003 - Jan. 2004
- Built rig setups (Mel/Maya) for Nike Commercial, I-Robot Film.
DreamWorks - Character Setup Technical Director, (Glendale, California) - April 2001 - Sept. 2003
- Set up Characters rigs (Mel/Maya) for "Sinbad" (2D/3D) and "Shark Tale" 3D movies.
Bates USA - 3D Artist/Generalist, (New York City, New York) - Sept. 2000 - Feb. 2001
- Storyboards, Model, Rig, Render. Worked on several internal 3D projects in Mixed Media Department.
Face2Face/Lucent Bell Labs - 3D Artist/Generalist, (Summit, New Jersey) - June 1999 - Aug. 2000
- Design and Implemented complex rigging system (SoftImage3D/MentalRay/Maya) to mimic facial muscle patterns for use with makerless facial tracker software.
- Setup and ran core production servers.
- Setup and maintained IRIX based Origin 2000 as file server and processing nodes.
- Setup and managed PC processing clients running Windows NT (with remote shell access)
- Travel, setup & demo-ed technical demonstration of technology (small & booth demo).
- Built and managed automated rendering pipeline (Unix/CShell/Perl/Soft3D/MentalRay) for character lipsync sequences.
Nickelodeon Digital Studios - 3D Freelance Artist, (New York City, New York) - March - April 1999
- Setup Rigs and animated characters on 711/MTV Commercial. Managed rendering (Unix/CShell/MentalRay). Model characters for real-time character test.
QuietMan, 3D Freelance Animator, (New York City, New York) - March 1999
- Character Animator on HBO Family Commercial.
Curious Pictures - System Administrator, (New York City, New York) - August 1998 - March 1999
- Built and maintained systems (Irix/NT/MacOs) and troubleshooted CG production problems (Maya/Mel) for various in house productions.
- Maintained SGI IRIX file servers and Windows NT 3D workstations.
- Helped production of episodic series "A little Curious", (wrote Maya/NT/Mel Queue tools using BAT & NT-Ressource Kit).
Butterfly Effect - 3D Artist, (Los Angeles, California) - April - July 1998
- Built and Integrated Computer/Video Network (SGI Irix/Flint/Accom).
Rhythm & Hues - Lighting Technical Director, (Marina del Rey, California) - March - August 1996
- Lighting and Compositing (custom lighting/compositing/qRendering) on comercials "US Postal Service", "Kellogs Pop Tarts" & "Vaseline Intensive Care". Helped beta test custom animation tools.
School of Visual Arts - Master of Fine Arts Graduate Computer Art. 1998 (New York City, New York) - Fall 1996 - Spring 1998.
Also worked as Lab Assistant & Software Manager (Irix/SGIs):
- Organized and taught series of workshops on character setup & animation.
- Designed and helped implement automated environment settings for various Irix software.
- Designed "glue production tools" for using several different applications.
- Designed and helped implement video output tools for use with Accom Digital Disk Recorder.
- Helped install SGI Irix upgrades and patch installation for various softwares.
- Helped manage User Account Data for Lab SGI network.
Pratt Institute - Graduate Student Computer Graphics, (Brooklyn, New York) - Fall 1995. Also worked as Lab Assistant Maintaining Macs, PCs and SGIs. Webmaster for Department's home page.
George Mason University - Graduate Student Computer Graphics, (Fairfax, Virginia) - Fall 1994 - Spring 1995. Also worked as Graduate Teaching Assistant for course taught by Professor Jules Bloomenthal. Responsible for installing/managing Macintosh Lab and creating/helping with computers.
Johns Hopkins University - Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering, (Baltimore, Maryland) - May 1992. Also worked as Lab Assistant for Computer Science Lab (Mac System6-7/Dec Unix).
- Fluent in English French and Italian and some Spanish.
- System Administrator: PC/SGIs/Network installation, Linux, SGI Irix, Window NT/2000/XP/7/2003 & 2008.
- Code, Mel/Maya, JScript/XSI, mySQL/PHP/html/CSS, CShell/Bash, Perl/PerlScript_NT, python, C programming.
- Research and Development: comfortable working with beta/proprietary/open source software and have experience building "glue" tool for computer graphics pipelines.