With over fourteen years of experience in the computer graphics industry, I have pursued the dual paths of programmer and artist. This rare ability to combine both the technical and artistic has won me many awards and credits. I have played a key role in the development of an eclectic mix of technology, including an award-winning laser rendering system for Pangolin. I developed software for controlling the Kuper motion-control rig, as well as the Monkey stop-motion puppet. I personally developed Illustrate, the market leading toon and technical illustration renderer. This renderer is used by NASA, British Aerospace, Walt Disney Imagineering, and Sony Pictures Entertainment, among others.
My career has spanned a wide variety of companies and continents. In Paris, I supervised the production of 3D stereoscopic scientific films, including the award winning films, Inside the Cell and The DNA Story. In London, I developed a patented facial animation system. Further broadening my experiences, I worked in New York in the post-production industry, where I contributed to many high-profile commercials. While at Walt Disney Feature Animation, Los Angeles, I developed cutting-edge animation and modeling technology that was used in the production of their animated feature films. I diversified further by joining Exluna, Berkeley, the software company founded by former Pixar rendering researchers, including Larry Gritz. While there, I played an active role in the design and development of Entropy, the Renderman-compatible renderer, as well as other products. I continued his rendering development efforts while at NVIDIA, in Santa Clara, California, by aiding in the design of their future 3D graphics chips.
I worked at the academy award winning studio WETA Digital in New Zealand for over three years. I have worked on The Lord of the Rings trilogy, and more recently King Kong. My varied roles in production include research and development, shader writing, lighting, and effects.
I am the author of two acclaimed books on Maya programming: Complete Maya Programming (Volume 1) and (Volume 2). I also recently won the Maya Masters award.
COMPLETE MAYA PROGRAMMING (Volume I) More...
An Extensive Guide to MEL and the C++ API
* Translated into Russian, Chinese, French, and Japanese
Published by Morgan Kaufmann Publishers, San Francisco, CA.
This is the first professional textbook on the subject of Maya programming. It covers the fundamentals of Maya programming including an in-depth look at the heart of Maya(Dependency Graph) and how it works. Both MEL and the C++ API are covered in great detail, with complete explanations on how to write your own scripts and plugins. Many complete, real-world, examples are also given.
COMPLETE MAYA PROGRAMMING (Volume II) More...
An In-depth Guide to 3D Fundamentals, Geometry, and Modeling
Published by Morgan Kaufmann Publishers, San Francisco, CA.
This book builds on the first. It covers the areas of fundamental 3D concepts and techniques, geometry, and modeling. It covers all of Maya's geometry types (polygonal meshes, NURBS, Subdivision Surfaces, and so on) in great detail. The displaying, creating, and editing of each geometry type is explained with accompanying MEL and C++ API examples. Writing custom modeling tools is also covered.
Facial Motion Capture/Expression Method
Filed: 9th April 1998
Application No: GB 9807899.1
Personally developed a unique method for capturing an actor’s face and translating them into facial expressions. The final result is a complete facial motion capture and animation system I developed called Visage.
Senior Technical Director
September 2002- present
Wellington, NEW ZEALAND
My many diverse roles at Weta Digital include research and development, shader writing, lighting, and effects animation. I worked on the films, The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, and King Kong.
Senior Graphics Researcher
August 2001 - August 2002
Exluna Inc./Nvidia Inc.
Exluna is a company focused on developing the most advanced look development tools for technical directors and general artists alike. My role was to research and integrate advanced rendering techniques into the core Entropy renderer. Since this renderer is used by some of the world's best production studos, my work also involved a close collaboration with production crews. With my extensive knowledge of 3dsmax and Maya development, my contributions also include the design and implementation of a streamlined and intutive pipe between these animation packages and Entropy. My role also included the detailed design of the underlying architecture on which many of the company's future products were based.
Senior Software Engineer
March - August 2001
Walt Disney Feature Animation
While at Walt Disney Feature Animation I worked in the Technology Group; more specifically the Modeling and Dynamics Department. While I can't discuss the precise details due to strict confidentially agreements, I can note that I played an integral role in the design and implementation of their next generation of muscle and skin system. A system that was first conceived and extensively used in the Dinosaur movie. Through a series of company-wide lectures I was able to raise the general awareness of Disney developers as to the importance of correct Maya plugin design and implementation. My responsibilities also included creating any necessary tools and applications needed by the animators, modelers, and technical directors, on their current productions.
Visual Effects Animator
My principle duty is to design, animate, and composite the majority of the visual effects for the feature animated film Tristan and Isolde. The scenes often require complex 3D and 2D effects such as oceanic waves, storms, and fire. My direct programming contributions include the development of the "toon" renderer software as well as the development of custom in-house software solutions.
New York, USA
Directed the production of computer graphics elements for high profile television commercials. Personally developed several custom programs for particular production needs.
Computer Graphics Supervisor
Nov 1997 – May 1998
Pepper’s Ghost Productions
My main role was the research and development of techniques and procedures for the timely and efficient production of a 3D animated television series.
Computer Graphics Supervisor
Jun 1996 - Jan 1997
Digital Studio SA
I managed the 3D department in the production of stereographic films including the award winning scientific film The DNA Story. On this particular film, the project manager would prepare with the client, Rhone-Poulenc, a detailed storyboard. Once the storyboard was complete I began organising the team (5 animators, 2 programmers including myself) to produce the required film. Since we were working on several films at once I modelled and animated much of the film myself. I did a lot of custom programming in order to produce the complicated and precise animation needed.
Jan 1995 - May 1996
Digital Studio SA
Modelling and animating of complex organic structures inside a human cell using Autodesk 3D Studio R4 for the award winning film Voyage Inside The Cell. The animation was designed for viewing in stereoscopy. The modelling included the creation of technically accurate (an accomplished cytologist surveyed our work to ensure its accuracy) internal structures and their intricate movement.
Computer Graphics Programmer
Jun 1995 - Present
Gold Coast, AUSTRALIA
- Registered Alias-Wavefront Conductor™ Developer
- Registered Discreet Sparks™ Developer
- Registered Autodesk ADN™ Developer
Having established my own software development company, DavidGould.com, I have since created numerous software solutions both for companies internally and on a freelance basis. For a complete and detailed list of software I have developed refer to Software Development References.
1992 - 1995
Design and implementation of a computer assisted learning program to teach university students economics. Additional programs were also created to aid lecturers in developing tutorials. Programming of multimedia tools using Multimedia Toolbook OpenScript language for the creation of pedagogique tutorial software.
For a complete list of software I have developed, refer to Software Development References
Cel and Technical Illustration Renderer (Worldwide Distribution: Digimation, Inc.)
I personally developed this NPR renderer that takes a 3D scene and renders it in 2D as if were hand drawn. It is currently the market leader in its class.
Illustrate! is used by some of the world's leading companies including Walt Disney Imagineering, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Aardman Animation Studios, IBM, Microsoft, NASA, MGM, Lockheed Martin, Westwood Studios, British Aerospace, Ex Machina, and many others. Some of the leading universities and institutions are teaching Illustrate! including Sheridan Center for Animation and Emerging Technologies(Sheridan College), California State University, Pratt Institute(New York), University of Montana, Brown University and many others.
It has also been showcased in the following publications:
Advanced Flash 5, ActionScript in Action by Dan Livingston, published by Prentice Hall.
Flash Site Workshop by Ken Milburn, published by SAMS.
3DS MAX 4 Magic by Sean Bonney, published by New Riders Publishing.
Flash 5 Studio by William Spencer, published by Friends of Ed.
3DS MAX: From Models to Movies by R. Shamms Mortier, published by Charles River Media.
Webmaster Dreamweaver, Flash & Fireworks by Erik Mansvelders, published by Sybex, The Netherlands.
Flash 4 Bible by Robert Reinhardt, Jon Warren Lentz, published by IDG Books Worldwide.
Web3D Animation by Born Digital, Inc. Japan.
Computer Arts Special Feb 2001
3D Magazine Jan 2000
Digital Production Magazine Sep 1999
Kinetix World Magazine Feb 1999
Computer Graphics World Magazine Dec 1997
Entropy Renderer More...
Film-Quality Photorealistic Renderer (Exluna, Inc)
I contributed to design and development of the Entropy renderer; a hybrid scanline-raytracer. Entropy is capable of handling complex geometry, with sub-pixel displacements, and user programmable shaders. It is also capable of advanced raytracing, global illumination, caustics, area lights, etc. This renderer is used at numerous studios, including Industrial Light and Magic, Sony Pictures Imageworks, Disney Feature Animation, Mikros Images, Frantic Films, etc.
Entropy for 3dsmax More...
3dsmax to Renderman Translator (Exluna, Inc)
This product is designed to take a 3dsmax scene and convert it to RIB for rendering in the Entropy renderer. It converts all the geometry, lights, cameras into the required RIB statements. It also generates Shading Language(SL) shaders from the 3dsmax materials. This product is targeted to non-technical artists. As such, it handles all rendering preprocessing(RIB generation, SL creation and compiling) and renderer execution transparently. The user initiates the render by clicking on the Render button and a final rendered image is returned without any additional user intervention.
Monkey™ 2.0 More...
Animation Controller driven by Monkey Device (Digital Image Design Inc.)
Designed and developed this updated plugin that allows you to move the appendages of a Monkey device(articulated electronic model) and have the animation imported into and manipulated in 3DS MAX.
LaserShow Converter™ More...
3D to 2D Laser Graphics System (Pangolin Laser Systems, Inc)
I was responsible for the design and development of this product that generated animated 2D vector laser paths from a scene consisting of 3D objects. Clients typically use this system for the creation of animated shows or presentations that project laser images onto walls of water, smoke, etc producing unique and spectacular laser effects.
Introduction to Maya Programming - Disney Feature Animation
Presented multiple classes that explained how to program Maya, including an introduction to MEL and the C++ API. More advanced topics were also covered. The classes were taught to the entire Feature Animation crew and not just the programming staff.
Maya Master Class "3D Visualization of Maya Shaders" - SIGGRAPH 2003
Presented a class on a toolkit (Maya plugins) I developed for the 3D visualization of Maya shaders. This toolkit allows shader writers to visualize the internal state (variables, data, etc) of a shader during its execution. The 3D data can be drawn interactively in Maya as points, arrows, graphs, etc. using OpenGL. By presenting the data in a visual form the shader writer can easily gain a greater and more intuitive understanding of the shader. This toolkit is a great improvement on the often antiquited shading testing and debugging methods of using printfs, outputting to color channels, etc.
Masters In Advanced Graphics
Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology
Note: I completed all the Advanced Graphics subjects not the entire Masters.
- Foundations of Computer Graphics
- Image Synthesis
- Geometric Modelling
- Computer Animation
* 100% mark on Foundation programming assignments using Open GL on SGI machines
Degree in Computing Science
Gold Coast, AUSTRALIA
Major: Software Engineering
Minor: Artifical Intelligence
Subjects awarded Highest Distinction (85% - 100%)
- Advanced Graphics
- Human Computer Interfaces
- Artificial Neural Networks
- Project Applications (Created 3D Rendering C++ Programming Library, ala Renderman™)
- Programming Languages
- Operating Systems
- Database Management Systems
- Computing and Data Skills
Subjects awarded Distinction(75% - 84%)
- Introduction to Artificial Intelligence
- Applications of Artificial Intelligence
- Database Design and Use
- Computer and Systems Architecture
* Award for Best Graduate Artificial Intelligence Project
Certificate Course in Stop Motion Animation
School of Visual Arts
New York, USA
Completed certificate course in stop motion animation. The curriculum included clay and articulated model making followed by the implementation of a short film using the animation techniques learned. The final animation was captured using the Video Lunch Box device.