VFX and animation technology veteran Darin Grant has joined Solid Angle, the developers of the Arnold image renderer, as VP of engineering. Grant has a held tech roles at a variety of VFX houses over the years, including time as CTO of Digital Domain and Method Studios. He also held senior technology titles at DreamWorks Animation and Google.
“Darin has a long history leading massive technology efforts in VFX and computer animation at big global studios,” reports Solid Angle founder/CEO Marcos Fajardo. “And, like we are, he’s passionate about making sure production needs drive development. Having Darin on our team will help us scale our efforts and bring fast, accurate rendering to all kinds of productions.”
Prior to joining Solid Angle, Grant was CTO of Method Studios, where he focused on unifying infrastructure, pipeline and workflows across its many locations. Prior to that he was CTO of Digital Domain and head of production technology at DreamWorks Animation, where he guided teams to maintain and enhance the company’s unified pipeline.
He has also provided strategic consulting to many companies, including The Foundry, Chaos Group and Autodesk, most recently collaborating to create a Pipeline Consulting Services team and advising on cloud enablement and film security for Shotgun Software. He began his career in visual effects, developing shaders as rendering lead at Digital Domain.
“Having followed the development of Arnold over the past 17 years, I have never been more excited about the future of the product than I am today,” says Grant. “Broadening our availability on the cloud and our accessibility from animation tools while allowing Marcos and the team to drive innovation in the renderer itself allows us to move faster than we ever have.”
We’ve known Darin for years and reached out to him for more.
What’s it like going from a creative studio to a software developer?
After spending a career helping teams create amazing content at individual studios, the opportunity to be able to help teams at all the studios was too good to pass up.
How are you taking your background as a studio guy and putting it toward making software?
On the studio side, I managed distributed software teams for the past 15 years, and I can definitely apply that here. The interesting piece is that every client meeting I walk into ends up being with someone who I’ve worked with in the past, so that definitely helps strengthen our already solid relationship with our customers.
The main difference is our company’s focus is on building robust software to scale versus trying to do that while the rest of the studio focused on creating great content. It’s nice to have that singular focus and vision.
Grant is a member of the Scientific and Technical Awards Committee for AMPAS and the Visual Effects Society.