As a senior character modeler at LAIKA Studios I create heroes for films like "Paranorman" and "The Boxtrolls". My models are rigged, animated, and held to the same standards as any CGI production. But LAIKA is a stop-motion studio and models here are "grown" using cutting-edge 3D-printers rather than rendered. Modelers like myself consider physical limitations of real-world materials, mechanical tolerances, and find ways to trick temperamental 3D printers into doing exactly what we want.
Hey look, it's that picture from "The Oregonian" newspaper. This is filler text.
More filler text. Eventually this is where I'll explain my desire to do more lectures like I did for the University of Iowa last year. This picture was taken at EPX-con.
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Ty Johnson - 3D Modeler
  • 8 years combined film/commercial studio experience
  • Character modeler for "Paranorman" and "The Boxtrolls"
  • Bachelors of Science "Media Arts and Animation"
  • Extensive experience modeling to specification
  • Award winning fine arts background
Maya | ZBrush | Topogun | Linux | Adobe Creative Suite
LAIKA - Unreleased Title
July 2013 - Present
I'm already hard at work on LAIKA's next feature and couldn't be more excited. As the first modeler back I'm setting the pace for my colleagues and establishing best work practices. Until the studio's plans are made public I'll only say that I'm incredibly excited by the designs and that LAIKA fans are in for a treat.
LAIKA - "The Boxtrolls"
November 2011 - July 2013
With an emphasis on doing things more efficiently than "Paranorman" I continue to model hero puppets and their many components. I am increasingly involved with mentoring new character modelers and improving the established workflows amongst all disciplines within my department.
LAIKA - "Paranorman"
May 2010 - November 2011
Responsible for modeling Norman, Mitch, Witch transformation, Sandra, and other heroes for Laika's second animated feature "Paranorman". This entailed modeling a great deal of robotics within each character's head as well as the outward appearance of each puppet. Furthermore I make certain these models exceed the demands of texture artists, riggers, quirky 3D printers, and ultimately stop-motion animators.
LAIKA - Digital Design Group
September 2008 - May 2010
LAIKA's Digital Design Group (DDG) is a proof-of-concept team and the first to transcend ideas from paper to production quality shorts. These shorts stress-test LAIKA's CG pipeline and shed light on technical problems that may arise during full-scale production. Needless to say my models were each held to exceptional standards. Having worked on so many unique projects in just a year's time was one of the greatest learning experiences of my career.
Reality Engineering
June 2006 - September 2008
Within a small team of generalists I helped build a library of over 200 animated dental procedures for Reality's own proprietary software. I also modeled many complicated devices accurate within a thousandth of an inch. With these assets I created mechanical blow-ups, promotional videos, training aids, trade-show fodder, and interactive media.
3D Genralist
Animation Dynamics (ADi)
2005 - 2006
Initially contracted to model the lion share of characters, props, and environments for an Intel promo. After completing my models ahead of schedule, ADi asked me to stay on and rig them. One job lead to another without pause for nearly a year and included HD magazine spreads for Wilson Sporting goods and exploded views of machines.
LAIKA - Art Department
June 2005 - September 2005
Being LAIKA's only intern exposed me to nearly every facet of production at a very crucial time in my career. At first I performed simple chores but was soon crafting props for use in a korean cell-phone commercial. Ultimately I found myself interfacing with director John Logue to produce a series of figures to use in his PSA.
The Art Institute of Portland
B.S. - Media Arts and Animation
Graduated 2005
 AIPD Regional Portfolio Scholarship - First Place
 AIPD Scholarship Competition - Second Place
 Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, Art Portfolio competition - Silver, two-years full-tuition
 The Art Institutes National Portfolio Review Competition - Third Place
 PHHS Art Club Scholarship - winner

Soon this area will be filled with links to fellow artists I've come to know and trust.