I am a graphic artist and a writer. I work at
Pixar Animation Studios, where I spend most of my time in the Lighting department. Since starting at Pixar in 2002, I've worked on movies such as
The Incredibles, Cars, Ratatouille, WALL-E, Up, Toy Story 3, Cars 2, Brave, Monsters University, Inside Out, The Good Dinosaur, Cars 3, Coco, Incredibles 2, Toy Story 4, Onward, Soul, Luca, and Turning Red,
in addition to a number of shorts and streaming projects.
Before I started working at Pixar, I wrote the book
Digital Lighting & Rendering, which is now in its third edition.
At the beginning of 2001, I moved up north to the San Francisco Bay area,
and worked as a Lighting Technical Director at Tippett Studio, in Berkeley, California, lighting and
rendering shots for the feature film Evolution. After that project was done, I spent a few months working in Tippett's art department on a set of Blockbuster
commercials. Staying in the Bay Area, I spent the first half of 2002 working at Wild Brain in San Francisco on Hershey's Kisses commercials, before I got hired at Pixar.
From 1998 through 2000, my time was split between freelance production work, teaching, writing, and research.
I moved to Marina Del Rey, California, and was hired by different companies (mostly in the southern california area) to create 3D graphics for television and film productions.
I taught a computer graphics course at Cal Arts for two years, and also developed a collection of NURBS models that I sold on-line along with my Secrets of Softimage videos and other training materials.
My first book, Digital Lighting & Rendering, was published in July 2000.
From 1995 through 1997, I worked at Palomar Pictures. I moved to Hollywood and basically worked as a 1-person computer graphics department at Palomar, working by myself on the 3D graphics for all of the productions I made there, using a Silicon Graphics Indigo II Maximum Impact with Alias and Softimage software. After I left their full-time staff in 1997, I did more projects with Palomar on a freelance basis, while also working for other clients and shooting an instructional video tape called Secrets of Softimage 3D.
I got my MFA in Film at the Art Center College of Design in 1995. I spent
thousands of hours working in the computer lab there, as a teaching assistant
and working on my thesis project. There are a lot of renderings from my
thesis you can look though in my Thesis gallery. While studying at Art Center, I worked at the "Anti-Gravity Workshop" in Santa Monica on a part-time basis, doing animation and product development on Amigas. I made a product there called "Snap Maps,"
a texture library for the Amiga.
At Northwestern University, most of the computer graphics work I did
was on my own Amiga 2000. (Commodore Amigas did multimedia before it was fashionable, and were the only affordable home computer you could get to
do 3D animation back then.) I was in the Radio-Television-Film department in Northwestern's School of Speech. I did effects shots for student films and videos, and also produced some animated short films on my Amiga. I also did some stop-motion animation in 8mm and 16mm. In my senior year, Northwestern got a few SGI Personal Iris systems and Wavefront software, so I started learning UNIX and Wavefront's Advanced Visualizer.
I started with an Atari 800. Basically all you could do with those things was program them, so I did a lot of that, first in Basic then in 6502 assembly to get into animated graphics.
For information about fiction by J. M. Birn, see TheSecretSaucer.com.
Contents of 3dRender.com Copyright © 1995-2021 by Jeremy Birn.