designXchange – January 16, 2015

designXchange

Join us! This is a terrific opportunity. Our Featured Designer will be Jacob Stephens of Weta Digital (more info below).

The Penn State designXchange is a multi-disciplinary design/think workshop bringing together faculty and professionals. It will take place in the Hammond Building on the Penn State – University Park campus on January 16, 2015. Although the event is free, advanced registration is required.

To register, please complete the registration form here. Additional information (e.g., locations and schedule) will be emailed to registrants. You must register by January 12.

The weather in State College

The weather in State College


Outline of Activities

  • “Pecha Kucha” introductions (two slides, submitted in advance). We will have the opportunity to get to know participants whose activities are of particular interest to us later in the day.
  • “How we do design”–Short summaries of within-discipline design activities from Business, Psychology, Arts & Architecture, IST, and Engineering.
  • Our special guest, Jacob Stephens of Weta Digital is an alumnus of Penn State’s Architecture program. He has worked on such films as Avatar, Prometheus, and the Hobbit. He’ll teach us the design process he uses in creating special effects and how his training as an architect prepared him for this career. Later, he will guide us through a design charrette. Additional information on Jake below.
  • A continental breakfast and lunch will be provided. Participants are invited to stay and enjoy State College on Friday evening. You can choose to support either the Penn State Men’s Hockey or Volleyball teams with us on Friday evening (both have games).

If you have questions, contact Matt Parkinson (parkinson@psu.edu).

THE HOBBIT: THE DESOLATION OF SMAUGJacob Stephens Bio

Jacob Stephens joined Weta Digital in 2008 to work as a Senior Layout Technical Director on James Cameron’s Academy Award® winning Avatar. He continued work as a Lead Layout Technical Director on X-Men: First Class, Stephen Spielberg’s The Adventures of Tintin, Ridley Scott’s Prometheus and Peter Jackson’s Hobbit trilogy.

Jacob has nearly twenty years experience creating award-winning environments for film and games, from Dark Forces II: Jedi Knight’s Falling Ship level to the floating mountains of Pandora to the forests and cities of Middle Earth.

Born and raised in Pennsylvania, USA, Jacob combined his mother’s love of art and his father’s knack for engineering and construction by studying architecture at Penn State University. It all came together for him when he was introduced to 3D modeling at the Stuckeman CAD lab. A lifelong interest in computers, games and film led him to apply to George Lucas’ computer games company LucasArts after graduation, where he designed and built levels for several Star Wars games.

Jacob has recently completed work as the Layout Show Lead on The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug and Layout Supervisor on The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies.

Jacob is also an active member of the Visual Effects Society.

Selected Credits

  • THE HOBBIT: THE BATTLE OF THE FIVE ARMIES – Layout Supervisor
    (2014) Director: Peter Jackson (Warner Brothers)
  • THE HOBBIT: THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG – Layout Show Lead
    (2013) Director: Peter Jackson (Warner Brothers)
  • THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY – Lead Layout Technical Director
    (2012) Director: Peter Jackson (Warner Brothers)
  • PROMETHEUS – Lead Layout Technical Director
    (2012) Director: Ridley Scott (20th Century Fox)
  • THE ADVENTURES OF TINTIN – Lead Layout Technical Director
    (2011) Director: Stephen Spielberg (Paramount)
  • XMEN: FIRST CLASS – Lead Layout Technical Director
    (2011) Director: Matthew Vaughn (20th Century Fox)
  • AVATAR – Senior Layout Technical Director
    (2009) Director: James Cameron (20th Century Fox)
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