We chatted with Warren Trezevant, Shotgun Product Manager and Pixar alumnus, who is currently helping improve the artist’s experience in Shotgun.
How did you come to join the Shotgun team?
I officially joined the Shotgun team in February 2017. Prior to Autodesk, I was a character animator at Pixar Animation Studios for 17 years. Not only did I have the opportunity to work on many of the feature films and shorts, but I was also involved in fun, unique projects like creating the stroboscopic Toy Story Zoetrope, animating an animatronic life-size WALL-e using Pixar’s animation system, as well as being part of the team that built Pixar's next-gen proprietary animation system, Presto.
The experience of working with animators, designers and developers to improve animation production tools was thrilling and I wanted to continue this work and was fortunate enough to find an opening with the Maya team at Autodesk. I joined Autodesk in November 2012 and was the Project Manager for Maya's animation & rigging tools until coming over to the Shotgun team in February 2017
My production background has helped me tremendously, not only because it helps me better understand our customer’s viewpoint, needs and struggles, but having exposure to a world-class proprietary animation system offers a unique insight into how a studio develops tools. Additionally, my role on the Maya team meant I was talking to customers at large studios all the way down to a couple of folks in a garage. From folks in the high-end FX industry, to animated features and TV shows, as well as AAA games to indie games.
What have you worked on in Shotgun up to date?
So far, I feel my main contribution has been to help communicate the viewpoint and workflows of our customers to the toolmakers at Shotgun. Visiting and talking with our customers has helped me identify the commonalities amongst the workflows and helps me see how we can offer something that improves everyone’s production life.
I’m currently working on a presentation of Shotgun designed for artists, which gives them a view on all the data relevant to them but presents it in a way that is visually meaningful.
One of the things we see everyone benefit from across the industry is standardization. Any time artists, projects and studios can agree to a standard, they become more effective and efficient and are able to spend more time on being creative and unique. I think Shotgun does a lot to help bring all these best practices together and one of the things I’m excited about focusing on is figuring out how artists can easily and quickly share the media they’re creating with others. Telling stories is a team sport and the more we can collaborate and share our work, the better it is for everyone.
What’s your favorite Shotgun feature?
As an artist, I love it when I get to use the annotation tools to express my ideas visually to other artists.
There are so many ways I’ve seen people bend Shotgun to their will, I’m just impressed at everything people do to make the experience as good as possible for all the artists in production.
We’ve heard that your love for animation extends to your free time. Care to share?
In my spare time, I assist in creating large-scale interactive art for Burning Man. This includes offering my animation skills on massive stroboscopic zoetropes like Charon and and Eternal Return by Peter Hudson, as well as designing the motion for R_Evolution, a 40’ sculpture of a standing woman breathing, by Marco Cochrane. I’m also one of the core members of the Sonic Runway, a 1000’ light-art installation that converts live music into light patterns that shoot down a corridor of arches at the speed of sound.