About Me

| Michael Sewell

selfFirst and foremost, I’m a character animator. I’m very passionate about improving the quality of my work and the overall quality of the productions I’m involved with. Since I was a kid I wanted to be involved with video games. having initially no idea where to begin, I attended college at the University of Texas at Dallas with that goal in mind. Starting out with modeling, I tried each field the program had to offer: I delved in Lighting, level design, cinematography. Rigging however, rigging gave me my first taste of animation.

While there’s something amazing that comes with the feelings of creating a character (modeling), making it beautiful (lighting), and allowing it to move (rigging). I find the greatest joy in taking that character and giving it life and a personality. Nothing fills me with more awe and passion than making that character perform for an audience, whether that be through games or film.

Once I found animation I immediately plunged myself into it, starting with a few classes, an animated short (Bird in a Cage), and a few games (Little Fields and Zog). Now I find myself working with a lead animator at ReelFX in a mentoring program, teaching a seminar on Game Animation Pipeline for the Student Games Developer Alliance at UT Dallas, having taught myself motion capture and Motion Builder, and now, reaching out for a position in the industry.

I’m working constantly to beef my portfolio and bring my skills up to the potential I know I can achieve. Animation is my life, and my passion.

Thank you for taking the time to view my portfolio, I’ve enjoyed making each piece of it and I can’t wait to add more to it.

Contact/ Resume

Download PDF

 

MICHAEL SEWELL

(972) 898-1070

15 Lundy’s Ln

Richardson, Texas 75080

Michael.j.sewell@gmail.com

Education

The University of Texas at Dallas

Bachelor of Arts, Arts and Technology
Expected Graduation: Spring 2013

 

Skills                                                                        

– Animation & Technical Animation

Software Autodesk Maya, Autodesk MotionBuilder, ViconIQ, Speed Tree, Crazy Bump, After Effects, Unreal Development Kit, Photoshop, Premier Pro, Microsoft Office.
IT Capabilities Networking, Software installation and debugging, Computer Hardware, Web Development, Stereo and Audio/Video installation and setup.
Transferable Skills Customer Service Experience, Teamwork, Team Management, Attention to detail, great communication skills, strong work ethic and highly motivated.

 

Experience

  • University of Texas at Dallas – Research Assistant (August 2012 – January 2012)

I worked with a team on multiple grant projects until completion. I provided animations and technical animation support with both the GATES and TIME projects at UT Dallas, specifically within Maya and UDK. Through the projects I learned motion capture and the software to go along with it: ViconIQ and Motion Builder. For more information on this project contact Monica Evans or Adam Brackin, listed below.

  • Bird in a Cage Animated Short Team – Animator/ Rigger (Jan 2012 – Present)

Work in a team environment. Provided necessary assets for other team members. Meet rapidly changing deadlines. Quickly expand knowledge of 3D software as necessary. Quickly adapt to new challenges as they arise. Strong background in multiple software platforms.

  • Web Designer/ IT Technician (Jan 2008 – Present)

Software Debugging. Hardware Diagnosis/ Repair. Build websites.

References

Kent Alfred

Lead Animator –  ReelFX Dallas                                        Email: kent.alfred@reelfx.com

Phone: (903) 450-3148

Dr. Adam Brackin

Research Prof./ Co P.I.  – UT Dallas                             Email: alb032000@utdallas.edu

Phone: (214) 354-6161

Dr. Monica Evans

Research Prof.  –  University of Texas at Dallas              Email: mevans@utdallas.edu

Phone: (972) 883-4332

 

Daily Blog

Friday, March 29th, 2013

ALRIGHT, so I finished filling out my portfolio page today, new version of my reel up too. Sending in my application for gearbox too, wish me luck.

Stream will be up later.

Thursday, March 28th, 2013

Just a small stream today. I got meetings out the wazoo today. Here’s the stream for today.

Monday, March 25th, 2013

Apparently that freelance job was something in conjunction with Element X, pretty small world I suppose. Had to tip my hat to some friends working over there. Anyway, got more Zog stuff going on, and I’m gonna finish up the job tonight so I can continue the mentor-ship. 😀 

Thursday, March 21st, 2013

I’m so close I can taste it, gotta plow through, gotta be the best there ever was. To move them is my real test, to bring them to life is my caaaause.

Today’s stream.

UPDATE: Goal achieved.  Also i got a small contract modeling job. Decent amount of work for decent pay. I’ll probably get that done over the weekend.

Wednesday, March 20th, 2013

Alright, I have to get through my first pass of blocking plus by the end of the week. Goal set, let’s get to it.

Today’s stream. 

Tuesday, March 19th, 2013

Back at the grind today. Zog’s got some serious work to get done for the milestone in two weeks. I may or may not be streaming that work. In the meantime, back to my current shot:

Today’s stream.

Monday, March 18th, 2013

Good weekend, got some rest, ready to work at it again.

Today’s stream right here, read all about it.

Thursday, March 14th, 2013

Productive day today, started plowing through blocking + on my current shot. Needs to have the speed adjusted, to feel faster. I’ll be playing with that tomorrow.

Here’s today’s stream.

Wednesday, March 13th, 2013

Just got back from a wonderful few days with my wonderful girlfriend. Spent the time at Cedar Creek lake, fishing, boating, reading. Caught a nice sized catfish, tied it up and left it in the lake for a while. When I came back I had caught a heron with that. Good day if I may say so myself. Speaking of books I just finished A Song of Ice and Fire: Book Three, A Storm of Swords. Fantastic read. Longest book I’ve ever read, at 1128 pages, and it was intense on every page.

Anyway, I’m ready to get back to work. Check out today’s livestream.

Thursday, March 7th, 2013

Working on the new demo reel today, check it out on the demo reel page. I’m heading out of town for a few days, I’ll post larger updates when I get back.

Wednesday, March 6th, 2013

Another day of streaming and studying. Making this a common occurrence. https://new.livestream.com/accounts/2305123/events/1931505

Tuesday, March 5th, 2013

Started streaming my work live today, I can already tell it will improve my work.

Check it out here: https://new.livestream.com/accounts/2305123/events/1928343

 

Post History

Tuesday, March 5th, 2013

Wednesday, March 6th, 2013

Thursday, March 7th, 2013

Wednesday, March 13th, 2013

Thursday March 14th, 2013

Monday March 18th, 2013

Tuesday March 19th, 2013

Wednesday March 20th, 2013

Thursday March 21st, 2013

Monday March 25th, 2013

Thursday March 28th, 2013

Friday March 29th, 2013

Demo Reel 2013

Finished Projects

GATES-TIME

Project Description:

Educational Training Games

These two projects are educational games, built in Unreal 3, aimed at training professionals digitally through games. It’s an experiment  in STEM to STEAM research at the University of Texas at Dallas, previously headed by Dr. Monica Evans, now headed by Dr. Adam Brackin. One of these projects (GATES) was funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates foundation.

My Role: 

Animator & Technical Animator

I was hired on officially as a Research Assistant, focusing on Animation and Technical Animation for the project. Though not official in title I acted as lead animator, helping figure out the systems by which the characters would animate. I built some of the main rigs for the game, for Unreal 3, and taught myself motion capture Animation for both projects. These project incorporated both key-frame and motion capture Animation.

 

AudreyTossesSeymour

A2_play Audrey01 Audrey03 A2_treePlay

Project Description:

Digital Puppet Live Theater Performance

Audrey 2.0 was a large undertaking in which we created the character “Audrey 2.0” from Little Shop of Horrors for a live theater performance of the song “Feed Me.” It was set up to be controlled by a puppeteer to sing and dance along with and actor and live band. It was set up to be controlled via keyboard, with a key press triggering “cues” which played a sequence of animations. This was to allow the puppeteer to move the character at the correct time in the performance. The character used a blend of key-frame animation and FaceFX.

My Role:

Animator and Technical Animator

This project acted as my senior capstone at the University of Texas as Dallas. During this project I came on this extra-curricular project as one of a team of five animators during the summer. When the fall semester started we had the deadline of March 15th to finish the project, so it fell to myself and one other animator to finish and clean up all of the animations, get them ready for UDK, and make them all work “in-game.” I was the backup puppeteer as well. This project further pushed my knowledge of UDK and game animation, acting as my 3rd project in the engine.

 

littlefields

 LF_PLAY lf_07 lf_06 lf_03

 Project Description:

3rd Person Platformer

Little Fields was a student developed game built in Unreal 3 for the UT Dallas course, Game Production Lab. It was my first experience in animating for game in Unreal 3. This game hosted a talented team of students all working together to push out Little Fields from start to finish within a 3 month deadline. The game came together at the end. Now, a year later, the team is discussing coming back to the project to improve upon the project.

My Role:

Animator and Rigger

I was the rigger and animator for Little Fields. Rigging the main character and 5 different enemies all for unreal 3. From there I animated the characters, exported them into UDK and with the help of the sole programmer on the team, got them working in game.

Projects In Progress

fsq

Indiana zogAtt Walk_play run_play

Project Description: Professional Training

Run by ReelFX Lead Animator Kent Alfred, this program is all about training your skills in animation. This program focuses on polish that you can’t normally achieve with constraints in the traditional school system. Easily the most valuable training program I’ve experienced.

My Role: Animation Trainee

Having been taught by Kent for a year already I enrolled in this program to further evolve my skills. Through his teachings I feel I have improved rapidly and my passion for animation has only grown. I’m currently still enrolled with Kent, working on some of the shots you see in the gallery above. Feel free to click, as each is a video.

 

ZogTitle

zog_treePLAY zog_test zog_tree zog_4th

Project Description: 3rd Person Brawler

A 3D brawler built in Unreal Engine 3, this game is an attempt at achieving the polish and quality of a AAA layer slice demo in a semester. The ultimate goal of the project is for a large team of students at the University of Texas at Dallas to have a taste of the fast paced environment of the game industry, to gain a significant portfolio piece, and to have fun exercising our skills and abilities together.

My Role: Animator and Technical Animator

I am an integral part of this project as one of the animators and the technical animator. I am in charge of all the key-frame animations for the main character. This includes working with the UDK animation system; planning out  the animations by building the Anim Tree first, side-by-side with the programming lead; animating content such as combat, jumps, landings, and general movement; and touching up the animations from others in the animation team as they focus on other aspects.

As the technical animator I also help with rigging, exporting maya animations to UDK; cleaning, preparing, and exporting Motion Capture data in Motion Builder; and camera work and environmental animation in UDK.

 

Biac_logo

Project Description: Animated Short

This is a student developed animated short. We are currently nearing the end of production, in the final stages of animating and lighting. Soon we’ll be rendering and releasing the short. This project started in 2011 and was, for many of us, a gateway into bigger and better  projects. Through this project I developed my skills early on in animation and rigging and have since been hired to work on games and hand picked by student directors to work on their game projects.

My Role: Rigger and Animator

On this project I started out working with the rigging team, focusing on the many rigged objects in the scenes throughout the short. Moving on from there I have been key-frame animating on a set camera basis.