resume

Graham Cunningham

CG Artist, Lighter, and Compositor

Goals:

  • Create and execute the highest quality cg imagery.
  • Exceed client's expectations.
  • Work with and learn from the best people in the industry.

 

Accomplishments:

  • 18 years of CG production experience.
  • 8 years as Lighting and Compositing Artist at Blizzard Entertainment for pre-rendered cinematics, with 6 years as a sequence lead.
  • 10 years as a 3D generalist for feature film and television visual effects.  Experienced in all aspects of production, from pre-visualization to final delivery.
  • Sequence Lead at multiple studios, providing direction, artistic & technical support, and mentorship to the team.
  • Helped implement lighting & rendering workflows at multiple studios.
  • Creative problem solver, able to visualize and help implement new workflows and techniques.
  • Gemini award winner, VES award winner, and Emmy nominee for “Best Visual Effects”, as a member of highly talented production teams.

 

Expertise:

  • 3D Software:  Maya, 3dsMax, Renderman, Vray, MentalRay.
  • 2D Software:  Nuke, After Effects, Photoshop, HDR Shop, Premiere.
  • Full CG lighting and rendering techniques:  HDRI and traditional CG lighting models, HDRI capture and light-rig creation, character beauty lighting, matching lighting to painted artistic reference, and lighting to integrate into matte painted backgrounds.
  • Full CG Compositing techniques:  Compositing multiple lighting passes for separate rendered elements (including characters and environments), applying atmosphere and depth, integrating CG elements onto matte painted backgrounds, integrating 3D rendered or stock effects elements, building custom Nuke nodes & templates, 3D compositing, lens effects, and final shot polish.
  • 3D Generalist:  modeling, texturing, surfacing, animation, particle systems, camera match-moving, pre-visualization, lighting & rendering.

 

Job History:

Lead Cinematic Artist / Lighter & Compositor: Blizzard Entertainment (Feb 2007 – Present),

Overwatch (Intro Cinematic); World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor (Intro Cinematic); Heroes of the Storm (Intro Cinematic); Starcraft II: Heart of the Swarm (Intro Cinematic); World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria (Intro Cinematic); Diablo III (Teaser Trailer, Death of Cain, and Black Soulstone Cinematics); Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty (Building a Better Marine, and Dezergified Cinematics)

  • Successfully lead teams of lighters and compositors to complete multiple cinematic sequences.
  • Provided key shot lighting and compositing, working closely with the directors to achieve their artistic vision.
  • Shot HDRI and reference photography.  Built light-rigs using captured HDRI to match to reference, and worked closely with the Surfacing department to ensure asset consistency and quality.
  • Built light-rigs and 3D setups (including render layers), which were propagated to the rest of the artists on the sequence.  Also built custom Nuke nodes and shot templates, and helped design compositing workflow for the studio.
  • Provided mentorship and support to the lighting/compositing team.
  • Ran dailies with the team, providing artistic and technical feedback.
  • Helped implement custom lighting package for the studio, working closely with the former lead developer of Katana.  Provided user input and feedback during testing.
  • Partnered with Leads and Supervisors from upstream departments (including Look-Dev, Modeling, FX, Matte Painting, Animation, Layout, Production Tech, and Pre-vis), to successfully develop and coordinate delivery of assets to the Lighting & Compositing department.
  • Lead Lighter/Compositor for The Black Soulstone cinematic.  Helped transition this show to a linear workflow, setting a higher visual standard for the show (as well as the studio).  This was the first Blizzard cinematic to use a linear workflow, and this cinematic went on to win “Outstanding Visual Effects in an Animated Commercial or Video Game Trailer” at the 10th Annual VES Awards.

3D Department Head & Lead 3D Artist: Rocket Science VFX (May 2004 – January 2007)

Everest (TV Movie); Terry (TV Movie); In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale (Feature Film); The Path to 9/11 (TV Movie); Slither (Feature Film); Universal Studios Japan Commercials (TV); The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (Feature Film); Trump: Unauthorized (TV Movie); The Woods (Feature Film);

  • Supervised a team of 3D artists through multiple productions, providing mentorship and direction.
  • Extensive experience with camera projection techniques for matte painted set extensions.
  • 3D Generalist role.
  • Planned and pre-visualized feature film and television visual effects, with an emphasis on cameras and on-set planning.  Worked under the direction of the Visual Effects Supervisor.
  • Nominated for Emmy Award for The Path to 9/11.  Modeled and rendered the World Trade Center towers for a sequence of shots, utilizing HDR lighting techniques.  Provided camera match-move animation for the show, including a sequence of shots inside the Windows on the World Restaurant.
  • Gemini Award winner for Best Visual Effects for Terry.  Generated camera match-move animation, utilized camera projection techniques to create clean-plates, and provided lighting and rendering for Terry’s artificial leg for 2 shots.
  • Sequence Supervisor and Lead CG Artist for Slither.  Responsible for pre-visualization, sequence supervision, design, animation, lighting, and rendering of the asteroid and planet earth.  Also developed and finished a creature shot, melding cg to an actor.

Lead 3D Artist / Generalist: Intelligent Creatures Inc. (November 2003 – May 2004)

Stay (Feature Film); Slow Burn (Feature Film)

  • Lead Animator on Stay for the car crash sequence for the first half of the project.  Supervised and mentored a team of five other 3D artists, who were responsible for modeling, texturing, and animating various elements of the scenes.
  • Created lighting setups and rendered multiple layers during the testing phase of the project.
  • Helped implement the studio’s Maya/Mental Ray pipeline and workflows.

3D Artist / Generalist: Calibre Digital Pictures (February 2001 – November 2003)

Foolproof (Feature Film); The Man Who Saved Christmas (TV Movie); Max (Feature Film); Ace Lightning (TV Series); Earth: Final Conflict, seasons IV and V (TV Series); Beastmaster (TV Series); Relic Hunter (TV Series); Invincible (TV Movie); Telus Mobility Commercial (TV)

  • Nominated for a Gemini Award and VES Award for The Man Who Saved Christmas. Modeled, textured, lit and rendered a house, matching to the setMatch-moved camera for crane out and extended the camera move in 3D.  Integrated matte painting elements into 3D camera move.

3D Artist / Generalist / CG Supervisor: Sundog Films / Stargate Studios (April 1997 - February 2001)

They Nest (aka. Creepy Crawlers) (Feature Film); Robocop: Prime Directives (TV Movie); The Second Arrival (aka Arrival II) (Feature Film); Harvard Man (Feature Film)

 

Awards / Nominations:

  • VES Award Winner (team member): “Outstanding Visual Effects in an Animated Commercial or Video Game Trailer”, 10th Annual Visual Effects Society (VES) Awards (2012), Diablo III: The Black Soulstone.
  • Nominated for “Outstanding Special Visual Effects For A Miniseries, Movie Or A Special”, 59th Creative Arts Emmy Awards (2007), The Path to 9/11.
  • Gemini Award Winner: “Best Visual Effects”, 21st Annual Gemini Awards (2006), Terry.
  • Nominated for “Best Matte Painting in a Televised Program, Music Video, or Commercial”, 1st Annual Visual Effects Society (VES) Awards (2003), The Man Who Saved Christmas.
  • Nominated for “Best Visual Effects”, 18th Annual Gemini Awards (2003), The Man Who Saved Christmas.
  • Nominated for “Best Visual Effects”, 17th Annual Gemini Awards (2002), Earth: Final Conflict Season V, Unearthed.

 

Education:

Diploma: "Computer Graphics Imagery”, Seneca College of Applied Arts, 1997

  • Graduated with High Honors.
  • Studied computer graphics applications (2D & 3D), graphic design, editing, video post-production, web design, and traditional drawing, composition, color theory, and photography.