A little history about me...
I've been working with computer graphics since about 1993. I worked in New York doing post production before moving to Northern California to work in Video Games. I worked closely with a great group of engineers before moving on. I now reside in Portland Oregon where I work at Bent Image Lab where I helped build their 3d animation department.
When I was 12 years old, I started making movies with my grandfathers Bell and Howell 8mm camera. You actually winded it up to run it. It had 3 different lenses, and you could shoot one frame at a time. I remember my first production of "Star Wars III" Which kills me cause Return of the Jedi was probably already being filmed, but what did I know. There was even an FX shot where I jammed a firecracker up R2-D2's ass and lit it. I shot it 5 times, and after I got the film developed, only 1 frame showed a little flash of yellow orange fire.
The 3D stuff was introduced to me at the State University of New York at Farmingdale.Autodesk gave away 3D Studio (DOS) with every copy of Autocad so the school had copies installed on every computer. When I rendered my first teapot, I was hooked! I remember when 3D Studio v2 came out, one of the big features was that lights would cast shadows.
Back then we heard rumors about these computer called "SGI" (Rumors, since even pictures of an SGI were pretty hard to come by in the early 90's.) When I had my first chance to take a job using Alias's Power Animator on an Indigo 2 Extreme, I jumped at it. (Turns out those SGI's were dinosaurs just about to go extinct.) So I started working at a post production facility that had one of the earlier "digital" video editing bays.
I moved to California in 1995 and worked for Crystal Dynamics in Palo Alto for a while before hooking up with Frank Delise again. (We knew each other from College in New York) I took a position with Autodesk as an Application Engineer for Southern California. I traveled to many different studios over the years showing the tools and usage of 3dsmax. I've been everywhere from LA to New Zealand, from Brazil to Korea presenting the in's and outs of 3ds Max. I talked with users and gathered feedback on how they did 3d in their production pipelines.
I eventually pushed hard enough to be on the design team for 3ds Max and became the lead designer. I've designed many of the features you use everyday, and helped guide the direction of 3d studio. (I even had a patent pending while I was there.) I was one of few people who got to work closely with a talented group of engineers many of which had originally created 3D Studio and 3dsmax. I have tons of little inside stories about how and why 3ds Max is the way it is and now I'm sharing that with everyone that visits these pages.
I now live in the Northwest, in Portland Oregon, where I work at an animation studio called Bent Image Lab. I run the CG department and supervise all the CG production that goes on there. Bent was mainly a stop motion production facility and wanted to get more into 3D animation than they currently were. I now manage the pipeline of TD's, modelers and animators that use 3ds Max at Bent. I've shaped their internal process and pipeline along with streamlining their rendering to composite workflow. At Bent we're constantly trying to break ground in animation, be it stop motion, paper cut out, live action or computer graphics. I do my best, to use the tools I know to achieve all different kinds of mixed media styles, from photo-realistic, to stylized.
Well thats me. Fred Ruff (Ruff Stuff is my video game screen name) So post a question if you have one, let me know if there something you've always wondered about, or even email me if you have a big budget 3d animation project you want me to run!