Monday, May 18, 2009


I'm Dave Chen, a 3D modeler and student at the School of Visual Arts. This is my Spring 2009 Modeling Reel. Work is comprised of student short films and personal work. Please contact me with any questions.

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Thanks for looking!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

A Walk in the Park

Here is a digital illustration done in Photoshop promoting the "Abyssus" thesis. The two protagonists of the short film, James and Rock, are in the foreground walking through a post-apocalyptic city, while an army of "skinner" creatures are looming behind them in the background. This piece was originally intended for a t-shirt design, but alas, time constraints inhibited it from falling through.

Doodle Frenzy

Here are random doodles that I've done and experimented with throughout the semester. It's not much....I'd wish I spent more time painting! All pieces done in photoshop.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Victoria I've Found You!

Here are some Victorian tenements that I modeled and UV'd for Zed Bennett. Because it was in his opening shot, I was well-aware that the models had to be both detailed and efficient for production. Although the building on the far left was never in the shot, it made up for a lot of good practice. Transferring UV's for objects in Maya is pretty nifty when dealing with numerous parts! Zed did all of the texturing for the buildings.

Sweat and Gunfire

Rail Gun animation TEST from Dave Chen on Vimeo.

Here are two of the models I made for Christian Haniszewski and Rogelio Olguin's epic thesis "ABYSSUS"! I was so grateful and honored to work on their thesis project. Both Chris and Rogelio are maniacs! The first gun model I made was the "pilsner gun", which is originally designed by Chris. I was given a messy gun mesh to rework and refine in order to make a clean mesh with many details.

The second gun was the "rail gun". I was given creative freedom for this one, so I did the design, modeling, and animation! The rail gun was supposed to unfold, open up, and fire a powerful beam at its target. Unfortunately, it never made it to the final screening due to various issues involving time constraints. The fun part in creating the rail gun was visualizing how every part was to work with each other. I had to use a lot of reference from "Transformers". All of the animation for this weapon was created with set driven keys. Ultimately, this was a fun and rewarding experience.


This was a side project that I took on during the spring semester. Jesse Flores, a junior going senior, is a great lighting and texturing guru! I learned many new things about mental ray nodes, light linking, layered shaders, and color temperature through this experience.

Apple Gadetry

Here is one of the models I created for Gilad Kenan's thesis "Catenaccio." While modeling this I went a bit overboard by modeling all of the different ports and cables. The fact that it was only a background element slipped my mind. The model was further optimized afterwards to avoid killer render times and unneccessary detail.

Something FISHY Going On?

It was a pleasure working with Sharlene Lin on her "Fishy Tale" thesis. Above are a compilation of some models I had done throughout her project. While creating the octopus and fat fish, I found it was a great learning experience in figuring out topology for animation. In the image with the sashimi above, I modeled everything except for the chopsticks and the plate.

Blades and Flowers

Here are some models I quickly created for Jane Kim's thesis "Rue". I had more time to practice speed modeling with these two mini-projects.

Tick Tock Who's Got the Clock?

Here is a barrage of low-poly clocks done for my good friend Zed Bennett. He is an amazing guy and a phenomenal teacher! His thesis "Le Cou Cou" requires a shop filled with many of these antique clocks. I'm glad to be have been able to contribute to it. The pictures with the individual clocks below were done earlier in the year, before I knew much about modeling. The wall of clocks above, which became Zed's primary "DNA pool" to pull & duplicate clocks from was done later on in the semester and took approximately 4-5 hours.

Magic Wizard Thesis

Here are some of the many props from Sheri Wong's "The Wizard of Odds" thesis. Both these models were interesting to model. The ornamental metal on the hilt of the sword and the solar wheel itself were constructed via nurbs.

Christo Salvitori

One of my earliest models that I created in Maya. It is a 3d replica of the Christo Salvatori in Rome, Italy. Originally supposed to be used as a background element in Ryan Gotilla's thesis " Gypsy Story", it never made it. This cathedral was pretty messy and not very efficient.