Sean Curtis

Digital Jack-of-all-Trades

This is a random collection of images and movies I've created over the years. Much of this is a relic of a demo reel I created for the game industry shortly after completing Civilization: Call to Power. As such, the videos are small and interlaced. Still, the details are still visible and well worth noting.

The work is divided into four basic categories: traditional media, low resolution models, high resolution models, animation, and hobby, i.e. random and unfinished personal projects.

Traditional Media

At one point, I got on a portrait fix. I spent a fair amount of time drawing quick portraits of friends/acquaintances/strangers who happened to be in my proximity. The first two images are samples from the portrait set. They are simply pen on paper.
Along with quick portraits of acquaintances, I also started sketching from photographs. This is a rather rough version of Kirk Douglas.
This last sketch is a design sheet for the model of a barosaurus (see below.) The final model ended up in Viewpoint's model catalog.
At Viewpoint, many of our clients would provide drawings to work from. To produce a 3D digital model from the drawings, it was standard practice to sculpt a physical maquette, or at least a partial maquette. The maquette would be marked up with a coarse mesh layout and then digitized by hand. The image to the left is by Matt Stumphy and illustrates the types of drawings provided.
I sculpted simple half-maquettes from these drawings. Even though a model may exhibit asymetry, it is often simpler to sculpt half the model and then introduce the asymetry in the digital version. The link to the right will show photos of the marked sculpture, ready for digitizing.

Low Resolution

All of these videos are interlaced at a resolution of 320 X 240. Unfortunately, the models are long since out of my hands and these videos are the only reference I have left.

World War II

The models in this first set of images are in-game models. I made all the models and textures. Typically, the source materials from which I had to build these models were typically one or two 1940s era photographs. Note the quality of the textures on the treads of the tanks. (The thumbnails link to turn-table animations of the models.)

Civilization: Call to Power

I served as Art Director on Viewpoint's side of production for Civilization: Call to Power. The original art direction came from our client at Activision. These models are pre-rendered units for the game. I textured all of these models and modeled most of them. The work was all done in SoftImage. The resolution isn't technically low resolution. But because the units are so small on screen space, the characters often had to be exaggerated to differentiate one from the other. (Again, each thumbnail links to a turn-table animation.)

High Resolution

This section contains various kinds of models. There are models (and corresponding screenshots) from movies, games, and general purpose models. Over the years, I've modeled organic and inorganic subjects. I've worked from drawings, sculptures and, sometimes, from descriptions.

Inorganic Models

Audi A6

Anyone who knows Viewpoint knows that their bread and butter model was cars. No Viewpoint modeler is complete unless they've modeled at least one car. This is mine. The Audi A6.

Dungeons and Dragons - Palace and City

Along with a major portion of the city, I built the Imperial Palace for the movie Dungeons and Dragons. This image sequence shows the initial reveal of the building and then, later, a long shot of the palace as back drop to the dragon battle.

Organic Models


This is the model from the sketch above. It was modeled as my "audition" into Viewpoint. The modeling was done primarily in Mirai (a now semi-defunct graphics package.)


This model was used for video game cut-scenes. The original creature design was by Joe Madureira. However, the client only had two sketches of the creature by Madureira and they were wholly insufficient to create a model. Based on the two drawings, I drew up my own version of the creature which led to this model and a very contented client.

Dungeons and Dragons - Red Dragon

In addition to the major portion of the city, I also worked on the red dragon for the film. In the images below we see a few frames of the dragon from the film and a close-up of the untextured arm of the dragon. As an aside, the production company sent us sculptures for these models. I still have the sculpted arm--it makes a great back scratcher.


For a time, Viewpoint was owned by Computer Associates. This animation was part of a CA corporate video. I worked on a team of three. My colleagues were responsible for modeling and texturing Santa and the reindeer and some of the Santa animation. The concept was one of my colleague's, but I helped determine the shots. I was responsible for the following:


When I can squeeze in a moment or two, I enjoy modeling and animating for fun. Because time tends to be a bit tight, I tend towards using other people's designs to realize in 3D. I've been a fan of Paul Kidby's artwork for several years. As time permits, I'll select a character of his, sit down for a few hours (or more) and model it. Mr. Kidby is certainly not my only inspiration, but his expressive style always leads to very interesting characters.

Discworld's Death

Death is one of two characters which appear in all of Terry Pratchett's Discworld novels. (The other is the Librarian.) The stark juxtaposition of his rather terrifying exterior with his naive interior make for a unique character. Always involved with humans, he can't understand them; he lacks the glands necessary to truly grasp emotion. This simple bust of Death was based on one of Mr. Kidby's drawings and took about 1.5 hours to make.

Discworld's Rincewind

Rincewind is the consummate coward. He doesn't know the end of the adage, "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but..." because the first half holds his attention so tightly. All of his scars are on his back because he believes in the school of thought which says, "Run away and live away another day." And yet this cowardice is based on a foundation of cynical cunning. Rincewind usually has the most direct insight into Truth.

Because his character is so intriguing, I've wanted to do an animation with him for years. I've gotten as far as modeling his head and doing the initial rigging for facial animation.

The images below show the geometry of Rincewind's face. He has no hair yet and the texture is a coarse place-holder (except for the eyes.) The final image in the series links to a short animation--a test of the expressiveness of the face.