Meet the Rigging Dojo Founders
While searching to fill positions for character technical artists, Josh Carey, Brad Clark and Chad Moore have noticed increasing difficulty in finding highly qualified applicants. Many applicants show software and rigging knowledge, however they are lacking the deeper understanding and theories behind the character rigging process and pipelines. Seeing a need for more personal instruction and training to elevate the skills of character technical artists, they created Rigging Dojo.
The three founders are actively working in production and as educators. We do what we teach and teach what we do. We all have worked together and with clients both on-site and remotely from all over the world. With years of teaching and training experience, including college level courses, short form masterclasses and in-house production training, our experiences make us a uniquely valuable source of knowledge for both amateurs as well as industry professionals.
We are actively involved in the creation, advising and testing of many cutting edge applications for the entertainment industry. Our involvement in web forums and user communities have allowed us to provide help, tools and critiques to artists around the world. This has also contributed to our passion to teach and to improve techniques and technology for our industry. Our expansive connectedness throughout the industry allows us to gain and share knowledge from people in different studios, as well as be able to recommend Rigging Dojo students when it comes to hiring.
Our history of combined experience make the knowledge of rigging and technical art accessible to those who want to grow their skills or learn new ones.
Josh is the Rigging Supervisor at Reel FX Creative Studios in Dallas, Texas. While at Reel FX, he has rigged and supervised the rigging on projects such as Open Season 2, Open Season 3, Kung Fu Panda CP and DVD work (including the Secrets of the Furious Five), Madagascar 2 CP work, ABC’s “Princess” and “Snow 2” movies, Escape from Planet Earth, and countless other feature and commercial projects. He has also mentored apprentices at Reel FX, and is constantly training and working with multiple departments to improve production speed and workflows. Before Reel FX, Josh has worked in the game industry at KingsIsle Entertainment on an MMO project developing the character pipeline and acting as the bridge between artists and programmers. He also worked at The Animation Farm in Austin, TX, where he carried many hats with rigging, modeling, and animating on projects such as Wideload’s Stubbs the Zombie, some projects for Disney, MTV commercials (which won a 2008 Telly award), Biscuit Brothers (which won an Emmy), cinemas for Terminal Reality, and much more. Over the years, he has developed good relationships across the industry while rigging and consulting for clients such as Megasquad, Gentle Giant Studios, Lockheed Martin, Synergy Productions, and Motus Digital. In 2005, he contributed to the book by Brad Clark, John Hood, and Joe Harkins, Inspired 3D: Advanced Rigging and Deformations, with a chapter on facial rigging. Josh continues his drive for pushing technology, techniques, and has a vision to share that knowledge with others.
Brad Clark has worked on a wide range of projects; from modeling and rigging for television and video games to editing motion capture for Gollum in “The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers.” while at Weta Digital. His career has taken him around the globe: from Florida to the Philippines, from Texas to New Zealand. Brad taught animation, character design and setup classes at Full Sail, trained 2D animators on Softimage in Manila and headed up internal training on motion capture, character rigging and scripting for artists while with Acclaim Studios, Austin. During his time at Acclaim, Brad designed an automated scripted character rigging and weapon system with Steev Kelly for “The Red Star” game and helped create a universal animation pipeline for the studio . A previous two time Autodesk Master Class instructor including co-authoring with Chad Moore, the only class dedicated to custom character rigging with Motionbuilder- The Character Animator Toolkit for Motion Builder. Brad has twice been an instructor for the Conceptart.org workshops and was lead author of “Inspired 3D Advanced Rigging and Deformations” with John Hood, and Joe Harkins. Most recently, Brad has provided custom training and consulting for Bungie, Disney Junction Point Studios and Reel FX on Motionbuilder, Maya and 3ds Max. During his work with Disney, Brad designed and built the Epic Mickey character rig and evaluated and helped guide the engine animation requirements needed to meet the extreme demands of the design.
Brad is currently a Character Art and Technology Consultant actively working with several next generation rigging and animation software projects, character specialist for Motus Digital, Mentor and Lead Studio trainer at Rigging Dojo.
You can find out more detail about Brad on LinkedIn.com
About 20 years ago, Chad started as a 3D animator, and grew tired of fighting against the technology. He learned how to rig models so that they could animate better, and found that he was better at that than animating.
In 2001 Chad joined Sony Computer America in San Diego. He came aboard to teach animation and rigging to the Motion Capture group. The goal was to improve the aesthetics of the emerging technology. While at SCEA he helped make a lot of games and game cinematics too.
These experiences lead Chad to leading teams and projects at Sony, Turbine Games, and Warner Brothers Games. His focus was the discipline of Technical Art. In a nutshell, Tech Art is the overlap in the venn diagram of the art, design, and engineering departments.
While at Turbine Games and Warner Brothers Chad championed User Experience based development. Game Development tools are hard to use, especially for non-technical users. By making these tools and processes less technical, and easier to use, artists do what they do best. Which is to create. Every second you save an artist with a technical task is saved in orders of magnitude. By utilizing User Experience processes Chad’s team was able to save time and increase quality. He spoke about the specifics at GDC 2015 in the talk “UX for Technical Art”.
A keen interest in UX and experience leading projects and teams lead Chad to Mad*Pow. Mad*Pow leverages strategic design and the psychology of motivation to create innovative experiences and compelling digital solutions that are good for people and good for business.
Chad believes that “All arts and sciences are branches of the same tree”. He enjoys teaching, coaching, and mentoring people in the spaces where art, design, and development overlap. He lives on the Seacoast of New Hampshire with his wife and two children. He likes tacos, the New York Islanders, The Gentleman Bastard Sequence, and the color orange. Find out more about him on his micro blog or check out his longer form writing.