Coleman Smith

Senior 3D Animator

"Every artist was first an amateur." Ralph Waldo Emerson

So you made it here and you are reading about me. Congratulations. First off I am considered an old fart in the 3D world now. I have been doing this stuff for about 18 years and have seen a lot of change over the years. All for the good I hope. I started learning animation when I was a wee child and I was always fascinated with special fx, film and anything that involved a lot of gore and blood. When I was a teenager I would spend hours in magazine and comic book shops reading Fangoria and Cinefex mags. I always wanted to learn how the masters of fx created such compelling and beautiful imagery. In high school I studied art, painting, sculpting and computers. This was just the beginning of the PC and there was no such program as Photoshop or even 3D software. In 1994 I read about a college program at the Art Institute of Dallas to study Computer Animation. I was hooked. Only two schools at the time offered a 3D animation courses. CalArts and The Art Institute. I picked the Art Institute because it was a 2 year program and it was a hell a lot cheaper. At that time there were only a couple 3D programs they offered. Alias Wavefront PowerAnimator (precursor to Maya) and 3D Studio R4. I learned both and loved Power Animator. But they only had a few machines running this software. Each PowerAnimator workstation cost 30k or something like that and they ran on Linux. You had to learn how to use Linux to use the software.  So a lot of the students used 3D Studio. I also was learning Photoshop 1 or 2 and the first version of After Effects. After I graduated from AID I was picked up at a gaming company in Austin called Microprose where I was a 3d modeler for Civilization 3 and other games. After a couple years in Austin I moved to Boston where I helped start a medical animation company called Argosy Medical. I knew nothing about the human body but I learned and helped make the company become one of the largest medical animation companies in the country. From Boston I moved to Philly and worked for another medical animation house called 3FX. After 11 months in philly my wife and I moved to Seattle. I received a job at gaming company called Smith and Tinker. It was such a wonderful and creative place to work. But It only lasted so long before the great recession hit. I then started my own animation consulting company called Starfire Animation and VFX. Today I still run my own little animation house and work for a variety of corporate clients in the Seattle area and around the county. I really enjoy what I do for a living and feel very privileged. The world of 3D animation has gone through a huge amount of change over the years. I just hope I can keep up.



Coleman Smith


Starfire Animation Seattle, Washington October 2010-Present
Senior 3D Animator/Modeler/Owner

  • Provide 3D animation and post-production services for retail, broadcast, and social network gaming companies.
  • Produce animated scenes and vignettes that demonstrate product functionality and usability for the consumer market.
  • Develop 3D interactive gaming animations for mobile devices

Client list: T-Mobile, Costco, Superfeet, Pfizer, Kimberly Clark, Hunter, Rug Dr


Smith and Tinker, Bellevue, Washington March 2009-October 2010
Senior 3D Animator

  • Handled all aspects of 3D modeling and animation for the game Nanovor and Nanovor Evolution.
  • Built 3D models of characters and environments, designed custom character rigs, IK systems, and facial rigs
  • Created 3D episodic content for promotional videos showcasing the game
  • Worked with the development team to integrate 3D assets into Nanovor utilizing the Unity game engine
  • Managed and maintain relationships with outside creative vendors
  • Managed animation pipeline to ensure on time release and integration of deliverables
  • Trained junior animators and serve as a 3D mentor to other artists and development team


3FX Inc. , Philadelphia, Pennsylvania November 2007- 2008
Senior 3D Animator

  • Produced hi-end 3D animations for the healthcare and pharmaceutical industry. Tasks included building models, texturing, rigging, and animation for device and MOA animations. Assisted in post production and special effects.


Argosy Publishing, Newton, Massachusetts April 2003-October 2007
Senior 3D Animator

  • Created unique, high-end 3D modeling and animations for the healthcare and biotech fields. Produced animations for training courses, broadcast TV, and multimedia. Set up scenes that involved bones and rig setup and IK. Handled all animations that require complex character movement or characters interacting with a prop.
  • Managed a team of 3D artist and animators to create compelling and award winning animations


360 Training Inc., Austin, Texas August 2000 – August 2001
Lead Artist

  • Developed customized e-learning modules for continuing education and business certification programs utilizing 2D animated Flash vignettes and streaming audio/video presentations.
  • Supervised three artists and two programmers on a regular basis.


Microprose Inc., Austin, Texas August 1996 – June 1998
3D Artist

  • Built 3D models of buildings, furniture, and environments. Designed textures and set up lighting for the gaming environment.
  • Sketched characters and designed storyboards.
  • Modeled and animated characters for Guardians: Agents of Justice and Civilization III.


Software Applications/Years

3D Studio Max/18+


Adobe Photoshop CC/17

Adobe After Effects CC/17

Adobe Premiere CC/17

Next Limit RealFlow/10

Trapcode Particular/4


HDR Light Studio/4

Chaosgroup V-Ray/6

SideFX Houdini/Learning


  • Certificate of Merit in Animation at the 2006 Associate of Medical Illustrators Meeting
    • Award of Excellence in Animation at the 2006 Healthcare’s RX Club Show


Jordan Weisman, Chief Creative Officer & Founder, Smith & Tinker, Inc.
managed Coleman indirectly at Smith and Tinker
“Coleman was a wonderful addition to our art team at S&T. His broad experience with both 2D and 3D art and animation allowed him to contribute extensively in a wide range of areas. Coleman’s determined work ethic made him a strong central pillar of the team. I would be pleased to have the chance to work with him again.” November 17, 2010

Chris Klimecky, Executive Producer, Smith & Tinker, Inc.
managed Coleman indirectly at Smith & Tinker, Inc.
“Coleman is the kind of guy you love to have on your 3D art team. Whether it’s environments or characters, stylized or realistic, modeling or animation, he has a great creative eye and technical skill to get high quality results no matter what is asked of him. He also has such an easy going personality and his sense of humor make him someone you just enjoy working with every day. Highly recommended.” October 9, 2010

Krista Leemhuis, Art Lead, Smith & Tinker, Inc.
managed Coleman at Smith & Tinker, Inc.
“Coleman is a guy you want on your team. Beyond being an excellent 3D modeler, rigger, animator, UV mapper and video editor, the cheer he brings to the workplace makes him invaluable. I was privileged to work with Coleman for over a year at Smith and Tinker, and in that time he played a critical role in building and/or managing most of the 3D assets for the game. He quickly and efficiently handled any task given to him, and was a great resource for any questions about how the 3D assets needed to be created or manipulated. Were I to find myself in a position to hire him or work with him again, I absolutely would. I sincerely hope you will consider making him part of your team!” October 10, 2010

Bert Oppenheim, Director of Creative Services, Visible Body
managed Coleman at Argosy Publishing
“I had the pleasure to work with Coleman for many years, I found him to be one of the more creative and skilled animators that I’ve art directed. He always took on animation challenges that really brought our medical animations to that next level.” October 20, 2010