Tony Chai  
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Walt Disney Animation Studios
March 10 - Present

General Technical Director
Olaf’s Frozen Adventure (2017), Moana (2016), Zootopia (2016)
Led technology initiatives between Disney, Pixar, Lucasfilm, and ILM to share processes and techniques between our studios. Prioritized software tasks based on risk vs reward for production needs. Designed asset conversion process to support older data from previous productions. Mentored other Technical Directors to complete pipeline/support tasks.

Effects Technical Director
Big Hero 6 (2014), Frozen (2013), Wreck-it Ralph (2012), Tangled Ever After (2012)
Product Owner of effects’s code repository, handled code reviews and design decisions for new contributions. Automated fx templates to run based on certain conditionals from front-end departments (animation/layout), saving hundreds of hours. Developed tools in Houdini/Maya to support heavy fx datasets for lighting.

Lighting Assistant Technical Director

Prep and Landing: Naughty vs Nice (2011), Tangled (2010)
Pipeline data management between lighting and effects. Developed publish process for lighting to pick up GL visualization of procedural elements. Rendered lighting shots and composited stereoscopic shots.

Stereo Artist / General Assistant Technical Director

Lion King 3-D (2011)
Stereoscopic compositing. Created depth maps in the original artwork layers to final shot.

Software Developer - Virtual Locomotion Controller
October 09 - February 10

Worked on interactive 3D simulation/gaming content for a wide variety of applications, such as using an elliptical exercise machine as a virtual locomotion controller for a motorcycle racing game.



University of Pennsylvania, Penn Engineering/Penn CIS
Masters of Science in Engineering in Computer Graphics and Game Technology 12/2009
Relevant Courses: Computer Animation, Computer Graphics, Game Design and Development, 3D Modeling, Physically-Based Animation, Engineering Entrepreneurship

University of California Irvine, College of Engineering
Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering 03/2008
Honors: Dean’s Honor List 04-06
Relevant Courses: Graphics (OpenGL), Algorithm Design, Electronics, Computer Architecture



Languages: C++, Python, Java, OpenGL, Qt, MEL, HTML

Applications: Houdini, Maya, RenderMan, Nuke, Android App Development, VICON Motion Capture, Gamebryo, ZBrush, Adobe Premiere/After Effects/Photoshop, Arduino Microcontroller



  • Maya Plug-in
    Wrote a Maya Plug-in that automatically rigs a biped character. Based on Baran’s SIGGRAPH 2007 Pinnochio paper [Automatic Rigging and Animation of 3D Characters].
  • Motion Capture
    Experience with UPenn’s SIG Motion Capture Lab. Captured various self-motions in VICON Nexus and used the exported BVH data to design a character controller.
  • Rigid Body System
    Wrote an impulse-based rigid body system, including broadphase and narrowphase collision detection/resolution, contact resolution, gravity, and friction. Narrowphase collision detection based on SIGGRAPH 2003 paper [Nonconvex Rigid Bodies with Stacking].
  • Curve Editor
    Wrote a curve editor for Bezier curves, Hermite curves, and B-splines. User can edit/drag control points to see how it affects the interpolated points accordingly.
  • Automatic Guitar Tuner
    Designed and invented an automatic guitar tuner that twists the pegs of a guitar to the correct pitch when plucked.


    Member of The Animation Guild Union Local 839 IATSE
    Member of ACM Special Interest Group in Graphics and Interactive Techniques (SIGGRAPH)
    Panel member of Music Teachers’ Association of California (MTAC) Certificate of Merit

    Languages: Fluent in English and Chinese, Basic conversational in Spanish
    Overseas Living Experience: USA, Taiwan, Japan, China