Lead R&D Engineer – Site Rendering Technology

Was the lead (and primarily sole) R&D developer for all Houdini lighting and shading at the company for the last two and a half years.

  • Part of core R&D department working on rendering technology, shader library development and artist tools for Houdini and Mantra for use on all shows.
  • Wrote and maintained all of the light rig and light transfer API and tools for all packages (Maya, Houdini etc) and all light shaders, tools and in-scene gizmos for Houdini lighting.
  • Mentored a number of supervisors and leads in various workflows and techniques for general lighting and shading pipelines and fx work (primarily fluids).
  • Consulted and advised on the site HDR pipeline.
  • Developed a complete shading framework for Houdini for use across all shows called ‘Cuttlefish’, comprised of a full set of cross package compatible matching materials, supporting VOP node library, two APIs, large python toolset and VOPfx menus.
  • Developed a lightweight framework for managing configuration and general data at a site/show/user level (integrated into Cuttlefish).
  • Developed a masking system for context and package consistent 2d/3d interchange and operations.
  • Wrote multiple customised versions of the Mantra pathtracer for use on shows (Interstellar and Heart Of The Sea) and one for in house default use for all rendering with a number of added features.

Cuttlefish and previous incarnations of the materials, shading and lighting tools are used across Dneg for all shows as the standard toolset, current ‘uncredited’ usage includes :

  • Captain America : Civil War
  • Fantastic Beats And Where To Find Them
  • Alice Through The Looking Glass
  • Geostorm
  • Batman Vs Superman
  • Spectre
  • Ex Machina

Also provided full R&D support for all Houdini lighting and shading for all facilities at the company on top of the development work schedule.


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