department supervisor   º   crowds   º   pipeline engineer   º   technical director
allen.stetson@gmail.com   º   19677 crystal springs ct. newhall, ca 91321 usa   º   661.857.4023
       
year: may, 2001
role: render assistant
duties: submit and monitor render requests from artists in all departments, managing farm queue priorities within department shares, load balancing to ensure that all renders complete on time in an order reflecting their relative priorities, repair and/or log errors resubmitting repaired jobs and elevating critical problems to management, data conversion, farm machine and server monitoring, emergency contact.
direct manager: carrie van etten (render department manager)
notes: worked nights from 12am-8am, was present for the anouncement of the formation of PDI/Dreamworks, also assisted in the rendering of several other notable productions such as Minority Report, Legend of Bagger Vance, A.I. Artificial Intelligence, Evolution, The Mexican, several commercials including Intel and Koolaid, and a feature that was never released called Tusker.
year: may, 2003
role: assistant technical director
duties:
direct manager: matt authement (technical director)
notes: i spent most of shrek4d as a render assistant writing code to improve processes and pipeline for the rendering group when i was approached about an opportunity to grow my skills in animation as an assistant to the technical director. from there, supported numerous artists with the copying of animation, installation and trouble-shooting of assets, setting up parenting relationships in our infantile and cumbersome pipeline.
year: may, 2004
role: technical director, animation
duties: educating animators on pipeline tools and processes in place to accomplish their goals and increase efficiency, authoring tools to assist in the production of our feature, trouble-shooting the animation software and process as well as renders and baked model generation, performing tasks that ease the process of animation for our artists.
direct manager: jeff beall (lead technical director)
notes: with the advent of a new pipeline and new technology at PDI, shrek 2 provided ample justification for keeping myself and one other technical director constantly busy in the animation department.

among my many accomplishments on shrek 2 were the authoring of a tool to assist in visualizing small slices of large scene geometry so that the artist need not slow down their software with unneccessary geometry, the co-authoring of a tool that allowed for cycle animation to be multiplied and offset for display within our animation software which allowed cycle animators to envision their work in context, and the co-authoring of a new standard for our cycle animation and model storage for crowd animation.

i assisted animators in setting up parenting relationships, introducing a new technology which allowed for surface-constraint parenting on arbitrary geometric surfaces; a technology that was invaluable for the sequence involving Gingy riding on the shoulder of Mongo (the large gingerbread cookie). software was written in perl, our studio language at that time.
year: may, 2010
role: department supervisor, crowds
duties: Oversaw operations of entire crowds dept. both artistically and technically. Oversaw creative approvals, technical deliverables, interviews, performance evaluations. Directly collaborated with VFX Sup and Director.
direct manager: doug cooper (visual effects supervisor)
notes: i have never felt as such an inseparable part of any film in my career as i have with Shrek 4. crowds made an appearance in 22 sequences. 11 different character types featured in our crowds, most with four different bodies and countless costume options. i led a team of over a dozen in an effort to fill the screen with dancing ogres, flying witches, crowds of peasants, battles and birthday parties and it was all accomplished on time and on budget.

as my first foray into department supervision, i faced such managerial challanges as personality conflicts amongst my team members, underperformance in one direct, and a huge delay in upstream assets. my prior experience as a lead technical director allowed me to handily negotiate these challenges and step in as a hands-on contributor, at one point dedicating a week of my time to preparing upstream assets for delivery into my department.

perhaps most rewarding of all, i earned the trust of my visual effects supervisor enough that on future shows, he has stated that he no longer needs to think about crowds or worry that there might be any delay or set-back that goes unaddressed. i earned the loyalty of my directs, all of whom expressed desire to work with me again. i grew as a manager and a helper, and as a scout and first responder.

technologically, i helped raise the bar for crowds at our studio when i became the first crowd supervisor to employ motion capture into our work beyond visual development. i directed three martial artists with over 20 years of combined experience in a motion capture session for our battle between ogres and witches.s
Shrek 4 Demo Reel