Matt Paulson: Mormon Animation Modeler

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Matt Paulson Mormon Animation Modeler

Matt Paulson is a supervisor and lead modeler at DreamWorks Animation in California, where he oversees the artistic and technical creation of 3D models. Paulson has served as the modeling supervisor and lead modeler on How to Train Your Dragon and How to Train Your Dragon 2, helping create characters such as Toothless the dragon and environments like the world of Berk. He is currently working as the modeling supervisor and lead modeler on How to Train Your Dragon 3.

In 1994, Paulson joined computer graphics forerunner Viewpoint Datalabs in Orem, Utah, where he worked on award-winning commercials, shorts, and feature films. Some of those films include Space Jam, Batman & Robin, Independence Day, Godzilla, Minority Report, and Antz.

In 1998 he graduated from Brigham Young University with a major in Industrial Design and a minor in Japanese. While at BYU, he wrote the short film The Brief Social Life of Charles Wickham. He continues to write short films. He is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

In 1999, Paulson was hired by Pacific Data Images (PDI) in Palo Alto, California, and worked as a senior modeler on Shrek. After DreamWorks Animation bought PDI in 2000, Matt relocated to Glendale and helped start the 3D animation division. As a department head, Paulson was instrumental in integrating new modeling strategies and specialized tools into the DreamWorks production pipeline. In 2014, he was honored with a Technical Achievement Award from DreamWorks Animation for his development of “Doris,” a modeling pipeline and asset management tool.

He has been a member of the Visual Effects Society and The International Animated Film Society since 2001.