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About the Authors

About the Authors

Mark Adams has been doing 3D modeling on computers for 20 years. He began CG work while working in the Detroit area as a draftsman (after leaving behind the crazy idea of being a lawyer). He had seen Robert Abel's work and leapt at the chance to get into the same field when the firm where he worked considered a CAD system purchase. Over the next decade, Mark spent four years each at Intergraph and then at Alias, primarily as an applications engineer learning, demonstrating, supporting, and tackling the problems du jour of their customers. In 1994, he received a call from Pixar that brought him to California to work on Toy Story. He has since been working there as a technical director on Pixar's feature films (plus some CD-ROMs and commercials), mainly as an Alias modeler. A full-time Alias user since 1988, Mark now uses Maya daily for his modeling needs. He recently finishing his work on Pixar's fifth and latest film, Finding Nemo. He shares a house in the North Bay area with his wife, two boys, two cats, and a few too many computers. He's a Leo and thinks that astrology is nonsense, except when it says interesting things about Leos.


Erick Miller is currently a technical director at Digital Domain, the Academy Award-winning visual effects company responsible for digital effects in recent blockbusters like The Time Machine, Lord of the Rings, X-Men, and Armageddon. Erick uses Maya and its robust 3D environment in his everyday responsibilities as a technical director, writing many proprietary Maya API Plug-ins and Mel scripts, rigging advanced character setups and deformation systems, as well as developing production pipelines for high-budget feature films and commercial projects that work between Maya and other 3D software applications. Since Erick has been at Digital Domain, he has contributed to many important projects; a plug-in pose based deformation system, and a proprietary muscle/skin-deformation plug-in system for Maya are just a couple examples. After wrapping up on a Maya-based crowd animation pipeline for Roland Emerick's high-budget apocalyptic end-of-the-world feature film entitled The Day After Tomorrow, Erick has been given the position of team lead on the feature, I, Robot—a huge CG character film based on the acclaimed science fiction novels by Isaac Asimov about robotics and humanity. To integrate Maya's powerful architecture into a production pipeline, he connects his artistic knowledge with MEL scripting, Maya's API, and other external programming languages (Perl, Tcl), and C/C++ APIs (RenderMan, OpenGL). Some of his other tasks include advanced character setup, complex skin deformations, RenderMan integration with Maya, and realistic cloth or dynamic simulations. Erick has a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Computer Graphics from the Academy of Art College, is Alias|Wavefront certified in Character Setup, and has been a Maya user since its inception at version 1.0.


Max Sims began his career as a car designer in Europe with Opel and then Renault. He joined Alias in 1989, servicing industrial design and animation clients. After leaving Alias, Max began his own entertainment design and design visualization firm Technolution, which boasts clients such as PDI, ILM, Pixar, frogdesign, and Apple Industrial Design Group. He went on to become a product manager for thinkreal, with an upstart Italian company called think3. In 2000, he joined LuuLuu.com to create digital fashion tools. As the director of 3D production, he used Maya as the primary tool to make models' bodies and drape clothing on them. Since 1994, Max has been teaching advanced rendering and modeling as well as Maya at the graduate level at the Academy of Art in San Francisco. He is now an adjunct professor at Cogswell Polytechnic, where he teaches concept design and Maya. He also teaches Painter and Advanced Alias Studio in the industrial design department at the Academy of Art. Max is still designing and can be reached at max@technolution.com.


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