Thanks for visiting my website. My name is Ahren and I'm dedicated to the creation of quality animated media and production assets for both games and film. As a professional character artist I strive to meet both the needs of the client, as well as balancing the unique demands of high yield production pipelines. My background in brief, spans from achieving my MFA in animation to actively working for over five years in my field. I'm available through freelance and contract options, and welcome all opportunities to grow. Please feel free to contact me regarding any questions or comments about my work or my services!
Character and Prop Modeling
My primary 3D animation and modeling software has been Maya, but I have working experience with 3DS Max as well. To stay current with the pace of the industry I've focused heavily on Physically Based Rendering in all of my current projects. This required a working knowledge of Substance Painter and Quixle Suite for texture generation. For scene assembly and testing I've used Unity 5 for its simple standard shader, but Marmoset Toolbag 2 became my go to real time render engine. I cant say enough good things about it!
My sculpture package of choice is ZBrush for its robust artistic tool-sets, but I've spent years working in Autodesk Mudbox. It really comes down to UI preference and the immersive experience that each can provide. After learning sculpture with traditional clay slab techniques I felt that there is a solid reason why more artists choose ZBrush.
Entertainment and Animation
During my time at Fisher-Price, I've worked on seven different public facing entertainment properties and many other internal intellectual properties. All of these required a strong knowledge of key-frame animation with heavy focus on character and the principles of animation. Outside of the daily grind I've worked with many aspiring directors and artists, filling a number pre and post production roles from character concept artist to prop and environment modeling.
Editing and compositing are not foreign to me either. I've worked on live action pieces for amazon and YouTube sales drivers as well as corporate public relations events. I typically use Adobe Premiere and After Effects for primary editing but also use Autodesk Composite for 3d render layer composting
Themed Entertainment and Animatronics
While working at Animax Designs I was presented with a number of challenges. I was, at the time, the only polygonal modeler and animator in a shop of brilliant engineers and practical creative minds. I needed to create a mechanical asset rigging program to allow any new animator to drive our animatronics safely and accurately, while maintaining the core creative intent of the performance.
My second goal was to address the issue of cross program asset integration. I needed to create polygonal models in Maya and Zbrush and find multiple ways to bring them back to Solidworks as Nurbs based solids and surfaces. The need to push that boundary went even deeper, as I was given projects that required me to convert highly detailed digital sculptures. This required specialized machinable files readable for CNC and 5 Axis routing using some very advanced software packages in combination with some well worn polygonal modeling practices.
And last but not least, I was presented with the opportunity to grow the interest for in-house 3D printing capability. This meant detailed and scale accurate rapid prototyped character maquettes, extremely organic production parts and tight tolerance animatronic shells. This lead ultimately to the growing interest and necessity of scaled practical prototypes for patterning and mass production needs.
My focus is polygonal modeling and sculpting with additional experience in physically based shading workflows. I thrive in a team dynamic and put my best foot forward every step of the way.
Savannah College of Art and Design
Master of Fine Arts 2012, GPA 3.82
The Art Institute of Washington
Bachelor of Fine Arts, Media Arts and Animation 2008, GPA 3.9
Summa cum Laude and Recipient of the Washingtonian Award.
WORK / PRODUCTION EXPERIENCES:
2018: Character Artist at Animax Designs Inc.
2017: Character Artist at Animax Designs Inc.
2016: Design Animator at Fisher-Price
2015: Character Animator on Fisher-Price's music video "BeatBo Boogie"
2015: Character Animator on Fisher-Price's music video "BeatBo Freeze Dance"
2015: Character Animator and prop modeler on Fisher-Price's music video "BeatBo Shake"
2014: Design Animator at Fisher-Price
2013: Animator, Layout Artist on Fisher-Price's Little People brand project: “Zoom Boing Boom”.
2013: Animator, Prop Modeler, and Layout Artist on Fisher-Price's Little People brand project: “Silly All Day”.
2013: Animator, Modeler, and Layout Artist on Fisher-Price's Little People brand project: “ It's Okay To Be Shy”.
2013: Animator, Modeler on Fisher-Price's Little People brand project: “Meet The Little People”.
2012: Adjunct Faculty at The Art Institute of California Sacramento, teaching 3D Modeling and Animation in Maya.
2011: Writer and Director of the animated short film “The Boatman's Ghost”.
2011: Animator on Independent short film “Madcow”.
2011: Animator on Independent short film “Shift+”.
2011: Animator and Character Concept Artist for Independent short film “Flash Bulb”.
2010: Environment Modeler for Independent short film “Awake”.
CGI Products: Maya, 3DS Max, Mudbox, Zbrush, Quixel Suite, Substance Painter, Creo, Solidworks.
Engines : Unity 5.2, Unreal Editor, Marmoset Toolbag 2.
Adobe Suite: Acrobat, After Effects, Dreamweaver, Flash, InDesign, Illustrator, Photoshop, Premiere.
Other Programs: Alien Brain, Crazybump, Monkey Jam, Plastic Animation Paper, xNormal, Mesh Mixer.
Microsoft: Word, Excel, PowerPoint.
Operating Systems: Windows, Linux.