the Art of Dug Stanat
Splash Image
Academy Award winnning Richard Walsh and me getting ready to move out of the Midtown building, 2002.

Dreamworks Rigging History

WARNING: this is a vanity page, in large part so I don't forget what I did while at probably won't find it very interesting.

I am proud to have worked as a character technical director (digital puppet maker) at PDI/Dreamworks from January, 2002 until October, 2013. Not only was I given the opportunity to create art that millions would see, but I was blessed to be working with so many talented and wonderful riggers, animators, modelers, and artists.

A note from Simon Otto, Head of Character Animation on How To Train Your Dragon...I am very proud to have worked on this show.

During my twelve years at Dreamworks I worked on nine movies, with tours of duty ranging from six months to almost three years. I specialized in rigging faces, and enjoyed working with the animators to be sure that they could get the speech, emotion, and range of movement required for each character. Below is a chronological list of movies and characters I worked on. It is not a complete list of tasks. For example, on Rise of the Guardians I did some work on every face in the movie, and likewise with all human faces on How To Train Your Dragon. But unless otherwise noted I'm only listing the faces for which I was the primary rigger. Also note that my face work did not include any hair work, except ocassionally providing hooks for facial hair movement.

Shrek 2

(10 months: 4/02 - 2/03)
Roll: general rigger and complete newbie.

  • womanA: motion system
  • womanA: body and body variations
  • womanA: face and face variations
  • boy: face variations
  • Simon Cowell face variation for DVD (done 5/04)


(12 months: 3/03 - 3/04)
Roll: Richard Walsh's sidekick until he left the show, at which point I became the acting face lead (no leads were credited on this film). It was an honor to be part of the effort of modifying the Shrek face rig to work with a broader animation style.

  • Marty face
  • Melman face
  • Mort face
  • penguin faces: Skipper, Kowalski, Rico, and Private. After rigging the original penguin face, I pulled these four variations with no art direction beyond a few adjectives for each character. All four penguins are variations, with Rico being closest to the default face. I also created the body variations, although I did not rig the bodies. These four face designs are probably my longest-lived contribution to Dreamworks, as they are still going strong a decade later in movies and television (although the actual rigs haven't been used since Madagascar 2). I was told that a great effort was made to redesign the penguins for Penguins of Madagascar, but in the end they could not find better designs.
  • police horse

Shrek the Third

(19 months: 4/04 - 11/05)
Roll: face rigger

  • Donkey face
  • Shrek details (nose wrinkles, various face work (refinement per animators, mouth, brow and jaw work), belly and breath, hand deformation)
  • womanA body variations
  • womanA face and variations
  • princess faces (variations of womanA)
  • witch faces (variations of womanA)
  • Mabel (variations of womanA)
  • manA face and face variations
  • Hook and Rumpelstiltskin (manA face variations)
  • dwarf face variations
  • manA body variations
  • ogre baby faces
  • Dragon face
  • bunny (tertiary character) motion and deformation

Bee Movie

(6 months: 1/06 - 7/06)
Roll: face rigger

  • generic pollen jockA face
  • hero pollen jock faces: Splitz, Buzz, Jackson
  • Monty face

Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa

(6 months: 10/06 - 3/07)
Roll: face rigger

  • zebraA face (cut from film)
  • giraffeA face
  • In addition, the face rigs I did for Madagascar were reused (after some poor soul painfully ported them to the new pipeline archetecture):
    • Marty
    • Melman
    • Mort
    • the penguins

How To Train Your Dragon

(23 months: 5/07 - 3/09)
Roll: human face lead* ("lead" titles were not used in credits on this film)

  • Hiccup face
  • Stoick face
  • Gobber face
  • Tuffnut face
  • Fishlegs face
  • Spitelout face (a variation of Snotlout, which was rigged by Matt Steele if I remember correctly)
* Mariette Marinus was the dragon face lead and won a VES award for Outstanding Animated Character in an Animated Feature Motion Picture for rigging Toothless, sharing the award with body rigger Brent Watkins and animators Gabe Hordos and Cassidy Curtis.

Shrek Forever After (UNCREDITED)

Roll: I didn't work on this show, but some of the work I did on Shrek3 was used in Shrek4.

  • Donkey face
  • womanA face and variations
  • witch faces (variations of womanA)
  • ogre baby faces
  • Dragon face

Rise of the Guardians

(31 months: 6/09 - 12/11)
Roll: face lead (credited).

  • Pitch face
  • Bunny face
  • Mini Bunny face
  • Sandman face
  • North face

How To Train Your Dragon 2

(7 months: 6/12 - 1/13 (included training in next generation technology))
Roll: face rigger and once again a complete newbie

  • Cloudjumper face

Puss In Boots 2

(5 months: 2/13 - 10/13 (3 month break 2/13 - 5/13))
Roll: acting face lead until I left Dreamworks. This movie was scrapped, and I feel lucky that only one movie I worked on suffered this fate.

  • Puss face
  • Pedro face
An all-star crew...this was a great project.