|Asst Prof Mark Joseph Chavez|
School of Art, Design and Media
College of Humanities, Arts, & Social Sciences
Phone: (+65)6316 8827
Office: ART 4-18
- MFA University of California, Los Angeles 2003
- BFA Arizona State University 1980
|Currently at a research university in Singapore, Mark is teaching digital sculpting and animation and leading a team of researchers investigating content development that leverages digital technologies to define appeal in simulated intelligent characters. He has received grants worth millions of dollars for research in approaches to digital animation. |
Mark has worked at major studios in interactive media and games, television and feature films, with more than 25 studio based interactive projects, games, animated feature films and live-action visual effects movies to his credit.
Mark's animation movie directing debut is with the animated movie [Vengeance+Vengeance]. It was executed as part of a larger research project titled "Cinematics and Narratives: creating stories within real-time visual toolsets."
1. Colortape International Film Festival (Apr 2013) nominated for Best Animation Award and Best Direction Award
2. 13th Annual Beverly Hills Film Festival (May 2013) Animation Award
3. AHOF's Savannah International Animation Festival (Apr 2013) Best Game Animation
4. Canada International Film Festival (Dec Jan 2013) Royal Reel Award
5. The Accolade Competition (Jan 2013) Award of Merit
6. Love Unlimited Film Festival (Dec 2012) Best of Fest Visual Effects
7. The California Film Awards (Dec 2012) Best Animated Short
8. Urban Mediamakers Film Festival (Nov 2012) Third Prize
9. Vegas Cine Fest (Oct 2012) Honorary Mention
10. Marbella International Film Festival (Oct 2012) Best Animation Award
11. Albuquerque Film and Media Experience (June 2013)
12. Vegas Indie Film Fest! (May 2013)
13. Arizona International Film Festival (Apr 2013)
14. Jeridoo Universal Film Festival (Apr 2013)
15. Boston Science Fiction Film Festival (Feb 2013)
16. European Film Festival (Nov-Dec 2012)
17. Oaxaca FilmFest (Nov 2012)
18. Roseville Animation Festival (Sept 2012)
|Animation has been of interest to me since I did my undergraduate work at Arizona State University where in 1980 I received a Bachelor of Fine Arts focusing in Drawing. At that time, I experimented with animation doing short clips with clay figurines. I went on to study animation at the University of California Los Angeles Film School doing most of my academic studies in the 1980’s with a focus on Animation. Immediately I began to experiment with interactive technologies doing my MFA thesis work in laser light. It was projected onto the Federal Building in Westwood, California during the 1984 Olympic Games. I went on to other experimentation in interactive works at Philips Interactive developing CD-I or hypermedia/interactive games. Part of the attraction of doing animation research in industry was the ability to develop ground-breaking techniques. At that time I experimented with the Symbolics Corporations Graphic System. That work led me to work in Japan at Tokyo Broadcasting System Vision, and finally to Acclaim Entertainment where I worked developing methodologies for use with motion capture technologies. As senior artist we created the first use of motion capture in a computer video game. I joined DreamWorks Feature Animation shortly thereafter doing crowds for the “Prince of Egypt” as well as other feature films, later I joined Rhythm and Hues Studios Los Angeles though there the work was mostly production related. |
My academic research is concerned with exploring animation production and popular thematic trends. In 2008 I received funding that enabled research that resulted as a final result of inquiry a short animated movie (18mn 27sec) called [Vengeance+Vengeance]. Although the movie is authored in a game engine it is designed to have interaction primarily in visual styles. Initially these designs were morphed in real-time in an interactive playback system. Our interactive version also blended stylistically different audio tracks. The movie was made with a custom authoring system. The final outcome of research is a complete short film where during authorship the visual design of the characters and sets change dynamically to manipulate the viewer’s experience. The final is baked out into a rendered format and plays as any movie plays.
In what ultimately ended up being a director driven system, the characterization was varied between three design targets: extreme, standard and cute. Cute-style targeted cartoon-like rounded shapes and colorful though soft tones. This style was used to draw empathy from the audience making the character appear more child-like and vulnerable. Standard-style targeted assumed naturalistic proportions and colors, this was our heroic action setting. Extreme-style attempted a more film-noir look with sharp, exaggerated though human-like proportions. This style used more texture detail and contrasting tones within the scene and was used portray danger and threat. I call the toolset/methodology of the research an Active Cinema movie system. The research process included an examination of the impact images and imagery to emotion. The work was completed in July of 2012.
|Research Grant |
- IDM R&D Programme (2008-)
- NRF Competitive Research Program (2007-)
|Current Projects |
- Cinematics and Narratives - Creating Stories within Real-time Visual Toolsets
- Cinematics and Narratives- Creating Stories Within Real-time Visual Toolsets
- Don't Do That, Do This? Exploring Real-Time Authoring Toolsets and Addressing Social Issues in the Medium of Digital Animation
- Intelligent Agent-Augmented Multi-User Virtual Environments: Research into Designs for Learning Environments of the Future
- Serious Immersion and Embodied Learning: Traces of Dinosaurs in Earth System Science
- Chavez, M., Liu L. (2010). Specialization and Collaboration: Approach to Interdisciplinary Research in Contemporary Animation. The Journal of Image and Cultural Contents, v.2008(1), 293.
- Chang, Y., Morales-Arroyo, M., Chavez, M., & Jiménez-Guzman, J. (2008). Social Interaction with a conversational Agent – An Exploratory Study. Journal of Information Technology Research, 1(3), 14-26.
- Michael J. Jacobson, Chunyan Miao, Beaumie Kim, Zhiqi Shen, Mark Chavez. (2008). Research into Learning in an Intelligent Agent Augmented Multi-user Virtual Environment. Proc. IEEE/WIC/ACM International Conference on Intelligent Agent Technology. IAT 2004, 3(3), 348-351.
- Chavez, Mark. (2006). Creating Adaptive Design: Intelligence in Dynamic 3D Characters. YLEM - Artists Using Science & Technology Journal, 26(4), 4-9.
- Chavez, Mark. (2005). Avatar Teachers. Proceedings, .