Mel is a digital media producer with a lifelong interest in entertaining storytelling
experiences. His love of movies, animation, and games (both video and tabletop)
inspire his 3d creations. He brings that passion for creativity into his classroom.
Mel worked as an Associate Producer and Outsource Manager for YETI CGI (a technology innovator and integrator based in Grand Rapids Michigan). He interfaced with the clients' technology, art, and management teams allowing the internal teams at Yeti to maintain a high quality of production, hitting tight deadlines with minimal feedback. When the need arose, Mel contributed to projects doing concept design work, modeling, texturing, and animation. During his time with Yeti, he worked on over a dozen titles and helped ship 8 games for clients such as Disney, Nickelodeon, and Mattel.
"Students need to know current and cutting-edge techniques to stay competitive in the fast-paced industry of digital art. Keeping abreast of industry trends is one of my past times, researching emerging hardware technology, new rendering techniques, and how these new breakthroughs will change the way we interact with media. Whenever possible, I bring these discoveries into my classroom, either as a discussion or incorporating a new skill into a lesson."
Currently, Mel is collaborating with a team to create a cutting-edge virtual reality flight simulator, incorporating realistic visuals, accurate flight models, and hand tracking. The current build is deployed and actively being used by the USAF. Portability is essential, so this system can be broken down into several hard cases and transported anywhere, providing training facilities when and where the need arises.
You can watch more about Mel Danes and his bulldog story here.