The Quick Sketch: Maquettes and the Art of Storytelling – Geoff Campbell

geoff1333About Geoff Campbell

For 25 years Geoff Campbell has created award winning digital animation as a Model Supervisor for Industrial Light & Magic in San Francisco.  Commencing as a modeler and animator on Terminator 2, Death Becomes Her, and Jurassic Park, Geoff has advanced to play a pivotal role in the creation of acclaimed digital characters in the global film industry.  As the Department Supervisor for ILM’s Digital Model Shop, he’s led a team of 40 artists working at all levels of production to produce numerous memorable digital characters for a variety of celebrated live action and feature animated films.

Prior to ILM, Campbell worked as a freelance designer and computer animator for post-production companies in Canada and the United Kingdom.  He is also a graduate of the Ontario College of Art and Design, in Toronto, Canada specializing in sculpture, anatomy and design, and a graduate of Sheridan College, Computer Graphics and Animation in Oakville, Ontario.

His list of film credits includes:

  • Jurassic World (model supervisor) 2015
  • Super 8   (technical support: ILM)  2012
  • Rango  (model supervisor) 2011
  • Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (model consultant) 2008
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End (creature model supervisor) 2007
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest (creature model supervisor) 2006
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (cms) 2003
  • Signs (digital modeler) 2002
  • Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones (digital modeling supervisor) 2002
  • Galaxy Quest (digital model supervisor) 1999
  • Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace (digital modeling supervisor) 1999
  • Men in Black (digital modeler supervisor) 1997
  • 101 Dalmatians (supervising digital sculptor) 1996
  • Jumanji (digital model supervisor) 1995
  • Disclosure (computer graphics modeler) 1994
  • The Flintstones (digital animator/modeler) 1994
  • Jurassic Park (computer graphics animator) 1993
  • Death Becomes Her (computer graphic artist) 1992
  • Terminator 2: Judgment Day (computer graphics animator) 1991

Course Introduction

Wikipedia defines `Maquette’ as a French word from the Italian macchietta, a diminutive of macchia, or sketch.  The purpose of a maquette is to communicate a 3D concept through gesture.  More importantly it’s used to visualize and test ideas; inform a creative team to all aspects of a character; bring a character to life; and ultimately to streamline the modeling process by answering critical questions early in the modeling process.  Like a photograph a maquette should tell a story captured by a moment in time.

Course Contents

This 2 Day hands on workshop will guide artists through the process of the quick maquette using Zbrush and KeyShot to visualize and communicate conceptual ideas.  It will cover basic and intermediate levels of sculpting in Zbrush with an emphasis on the quick sketch Maquette as a communication tool.

  • what are maquettes?
  • how are maquettes used in the film industry for pre-visualization?
  • working quickly without a safety net
  • digital vs physically sculpted maquettes
  • the zbrush workflow
  • introduction to sculpting with organic and hard surface sculpting brushes
  • painting maquettes in zbrush
  • posing
  • decimation for rendering
  • Keyshot Renderer
  • critique of your class made maquettes


  • Duration: 2 day master class
  • Time: Jan-Feb, 2016
  • Location: iacc Studio (3rd Floor, DeTao Masters Academy, Shanghai Institute of Visual Art, 2200 Wenxiang Road, Songjiang, Shanghai 201620)