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Dingyi(Dean) Zhou


1354 Nestwood Way, Milpitas, CA 95035
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  • 12 years of video game animation experience + 10 years of outsourcing experience.

  • Expertise in character animation, mocap, rigging, game development, team management, outsourcing management, and art directing. 

  • Helped ship the most successful games, including Apex Legends Mobile, Final Fantasy XV: A New Empire, and Game of War.

Senior Character Animator

Respawn Entertainment | Los Angeles, CA | August 2022 – January 2023

  • Led a co-dev animation team to deliver all the animations for "Apex Legends Mobile." (Game of the Year 2022 on both iOS and Android)

  • Drove daily reviews for both motion capture and hand-keyed in-game animation.

  • Led the ideation process for animations, including skin entrances, emotes, skydives, etc.

  • Directed the mocap shooting.

  • Directed body acting, facial, and lip-sync animation for both in-game animations and cinematics.

  • Art-directed cinematics from storyboard to final render with scripts provided by the narrative team.


Senior Character Animator

Applovin Inc. | Palo Alto, CA | May 2020 – August 2022
MZ Inc. | Palo Alto, CA | June 2018 – May 2020


Senior Character Animator/Rigger

Phoenix One Games Inc. | San Francisco, CA | July 2016 – June 2018

Kabam Inc. | San Francisco, CA | March 2014 – July 2016

  • Animated and rigged characters/buildings with Maya for “Guardian Kingdoms.”

  • Animated and rigged characters/buildings with Maya for an unannounced project.

  • Flash animated characters/effects/UI for the “Castle Age” and “Underworld Empire.”

  • Created particle VFX for all games made by the studio.

  • Created animated promotion videos for the marketing kits with Adobe After Effects.

  • Collaborated with other art disciplines and engineers to bring the best-looking art assets into games.


Animation Director

GameVision Studios | Chicago, IL | March 2015 – Present

  • Art directed and led multi-animation teams.

  • Provided feedback for daily internal reviews.

  • Provided technical support and troubleshot all issues between art and engine.

  • Worked with the directors of the world’s most famous IPs, such as Disney, Marvel, and Star Wars, to deliver high-quality animations that are on brand. 


Character Animator

PennyPop Inc. | San Francisco, CA | Nov. 2013 – March 2014

  • Animated the creatures/effects/UI with Adobe Flash for “Battle Camp.”

  • Designed/set up the monsters in Adobe Illustrator.

  • Created animated promotion videos for the marketing kits with Adobe After Effects.


Character Animator

Red Robot Labs, Inc. | Mountain View, CA | Sept. 2012 – Oct. 2013

  • Maya modeled, rigged, UV-mapped, textured, and animated characters for an unreleased project. 

  • Flash designed and created animations for “Life is Magic.”

  • Animated characters/effects within the platform's limitations.

  • Worked with engineers to determine frame-rate parameters.


Character Animator

The Base Studio | Foster City, CA | April 2012 - May 2012

  • Maya key-frame animated characters for a short film titled “Call of Dude.”

  • Collaborated with other animators to create a character performance process.


Mocap Animator

Mixamo Studio | San Francisco, CA | November 2011 – March 2012

  • Created animations with Motion Builder for the online motion database.

  • Skillfully use Motion Builder’s performance-related tool sets, cleaning up, characterization, constraints, motion blending, animation layers, pose controls, and story mode.


Cinematic Character Animator

Anitime Studio | San Francisco, CA | January 2011 – May 2013

  • 2D/3D Character Animation, 2D/3D Character Rigging, Mocap, 3D nCloth simulation, Story-boarding, Character Design.

  • Animation Team Management, Art Directing, Animation Pipeline/Planning/Estimate, Outsource Supervision.

  • Autodesk Maya (Animation, Rigging, nCloth, Modeling, Texturing, UV Mapping)

  • Adobe Photoshop, Flash, After Effects, Illustrator, Premier

  • Autodesk Motion Builder (Cleaning up, Characterization, Constraints, Motion blending, Animation layers, Pose controls and Story mode.)


Academy of Art University | San Francisco, CA

  • Master of Fine Arts in the Animation & Visual Effects, May 2012

  • Awards/Honors: Art work was selected by spring show every year.


Animation Workshop | San Francisco, CA

  • Trained under Jean-Denis Haas, animator at ILM.

  • Trained under Mike Makarewicz, Victor Navone, Rob Thompson, Terry Song, Bruce Kuei and Raphael Suter, animators at Pixar.

China Central Academy of Fine Arts | Beijing, China

  • Experimental Animation and Film, May 2007

  • Bachelor of Fine Arts in Animation and Film, May 2006

  • Awards/Honors: Received Academy Award Scholarship for academic excellence.


Mandarin (Native proficiency)
English (Professional working proficiency)

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