Internationally renowned rigging expert, Judd Simantov, has joined the programme of master classes for postgraduate students at Wits Digital Arts. In the beginning of September 2011, he devoted 4 sessions, each 3-4 hours long, demonstrating his techniques of modelling, rigging and lighting to Wits students. This was an extremely beneficial experience for participants. He also looked at their current short-film projects and provided valuable comments and suggestions.
Judd Simantov, who was part of the Feedback project which was used to launch the postgraduate animation programme at Wits Digital Arts in 2003, has worked in the Computer Graphics industry for over 10 years. He currently operates as an independent contractor in South Africa working for a portfolio of clients around the world. Some of his clients include the famous game design studios of Naughty Dog, Crytek and Blizzard Entertainment. Prior to moving to South Africa, he was the Lead Character Technical Director at Naughty Dog for almost 7 years. Judd was part of the Research and Development Team for the popular computer game Uncharted: Drakes Fortune – and has been an integral part of the entire Uncharted series during his time at Naughty Dog. Previous to Naughty Dog, Judd worked in South Africa where he ran his own studio, Back2Back Animation, for two years.
Judd is a professional who has been committed to sharing information throughout his career. He has taken part in the open source community by developing an open source muscle plugin called cgMuscle. He has also given talks at GDC in 2005 on Advanced Tool Writing for Character TD’s; in 2007 on the Uncharted Facial System; in 2008 on an depth look at the Animation of Uncharted; and in 2010 on the Uncharted 2: Character Pipeline as well as the Uncharted 2: Animation Pipeline, which he presented in Tokyo Japan that same year. Judd was also a member of the GDC panel for Tech Artists in 2008 and on a Siggraph Panel for The Gaming Industry in 2008. His game credits include JakX; Uncharted: Drakes Fortune; and Uncharted 2: Among Thieves.
Judd’s workshop was another opportunity for Wits animation students to be closely tutored by a top professional from the industry. The master class programme provides the opportunity for our students to learn the latest in all aspects of 3D animation from professionals who are leading the way in their fields of expertise.
Photo by Christo Doherty