Starr Allen Shaw

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What is your name?
Starr Allen Shaw
What are some of your favorite projects you’re proud to have been a part of?
“I once made a 3D pre-vis film for Nextel that ending up making a multi million dollar sale. I help design the Nascar Car of Tomorrow inspection platform that is still used in Nascar today.  But, by far one of my most favorite… and proud of projects is a game my brother, a friend and I made together in just a little over 2 months for the Apple iPad & iPhone called BattleNoidz (Available on iTunes) LOL. ”


What would you say has been your primary job in animation?
For most of my Computer Graphics career (Since the early 90’s) I have been a 3D artist. I have done my share of animation, video, short corporate films,  and web media. The smaller the company I work for, the more animation I seem to do.  I often have to wear an Animators hat when its called for. So, I would say I primarily do 3D Pre-Visaliaztion Animated films, well at lest I did for many years before I started working in the game industry.

How did you become interested in animation?
“I remember when I was young I was lucky enough to meet Don Bluth at a mall in southern California. I think it was the mall.  He was sketching there and I was able to walk away with a signed sketch of Dirk from Dragons Liar.  I do not remember where the hell that sketch ran off too… I lost it.  But, anyway, I remember going to the art warehouse somewhere in Pasadena, and getting my parents to buy me tons of Cels, Pegboards and Cel paint for my next animated feature film. 🙂
My dad made me a Rotating Light Table for painting cells and I somehow got a 8mm film camera with a stop motion trigger for doing animation.  I can not remember if I actually even finished any animation…. but do remember working allot on my own kid version of the next dragons lair. LOL”

Where are you from and how did you get into the animation business?
I am from Southern California. My first CG job was in Hollywood.  I started making little animated banners for websites, and Shockwave Director applications.  Now I am a bit of a CG nomad and really move to where there is work to be done.  I have travel and worked from coast to coast.

What’s a typical day like for you with regards to your job?
These days I work in the game industry.  I am a CG generalist, so I will do a lot of Tech Art, Rigging, 3D Modeling and Animation.

What part of your job do you like best? Why?
I really enjoy 3D sculpture the most. Sculpture in zBrush or Mudbox… I like both and love to sculpt.  3D modeling in general is still pretty fun for me and I have been doing it for many years.

What part of your job do you like least? Why?
Meetings, I do not like them, I know we need them sometimes. But, lets face it… sometimes people just have too many long ass meetings and get less work done.

What is the most difficult part for you about being in the business?
Well,  right now the economy is the most difficult part. Its a very tough market place. It feels like 100 times harder to find work than it was 10 years ago.

What kind of technology do you work with on a daily basis?

My job is very technology dependent.  I use several 3D and 2D applications, and need to sometimes write and edit code.

In your travels, have you had any brushes with animation greatness?
“Well, Yes.  I kinda already told that I met Don Bluth. Oh Oh… I once did meet Tom Hatten, he did host the channel 5  The Popeye Show in LA in the 80s. He did a drawing of Popeye for me. Yes, I lost that one too..”

Describe a tough situation you had in life.
I used to be the kid who forgot to bring something to write with to school… yeah an artist without a pencil isn’t worth much at all.

Any side projects you’re working on you’d like to share details of?
I do play around with my new iPad 2 allot.  Here is a video I recorded of myself drawing on my iPad with Brushes for iPad.

Is there any advice you can give for an aspiring animation student or artist trying to break into the business?

Watch this video… its all you need to know.

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