Academic Profile
Mark Joseph Chavez 
Assistant Professor 

School of Art, Design and Media 
College of Humanities, Arts, & Social Sciences 
  • MFA University of California, Los Angeles
  • BFA Arizona State University
Mark is an animation industry professional that has joined academia to experiment with emergent (hybrid) animation technologies.

Having received his Bachelor of Fine Arts in Drawing at Arizona State University, Tempe, he moved to Los Angeles in 1980 where he enrolled into the presitgious University of California at Los Angeles Film School to pursue an MFA. While pursuing his studies he worked professionally in emergent media technologies. In 1980 he created a motion billboard displayed on the Playboy Building in Hollywood, California. It encompassed the creation of animated characters projected in laser light. Among other early professional work, executed in 1983 and still on display are the historic leaders of the Old South charging into fading Glory. It encompasses laser light projected onto huge carvings on the side of the granite mountain at Stone Mountain State Park, Georgia. Other experimental laser animated work was shown at rock concerts, theme parks, corporate presentations. His Masters thesis was displayed during the 1984 Summer Olympics on the side of the Federal Building in Westwood, California in laser light.

Mark's professional experience includes work for interactive medias, broadcast television and console games and feature films including eight at Dreamworks Feature Animation. While at Rhythm and Hues Studios Los Angeles he created photorealistic visual effects for many major feature films. In all he has work on more that 15 feature films including "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Flight of the Phoenix, Scooby Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed, The Cat in the Hat, Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas, X-Men United, Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron, and The Prince of Egypt among others.
Research Interests
An animation industry expert, academic and researcher Professor Chavez's interests are in emerging technologies and hybrid animation systems. With a focus on visual aspects of artistic research, he is currently conducting basal studies in the emotive impact of non-objective imagery. He plans to leverage his findings into more narrative and story driven content.

As Primary Investigator his currently funded National Research Foundation (NRF) project, Cinematics and Narratives -Creating Stories within Real-Time Visual Toolsets, is multi-disciplinary in nature. With a team of from the NTU's College of Engineering, the School of Communications and Information as well as the School of Art, Design and Media, and industrial collaborators from Dreamworks Feature Animation, the research goal is the creation of a cinema system that adapts the narrative output to the emotional input of the viewer.

Along with his CaN research he is currently engaged in another two National Research Foundation (NRF) funded projects. 
As co-Primary Investigator these initiatives primarily focus on experiential learning in the classroom within the context of Singaporean secondary school students. These two NRF funded research projects have teams of up to 14 people each with 3 to 6 people being based at ADM. The projects are collaborative research with National Institute of Education’s Learning Sciences Research Lab, the College of Computer Engineering and the School of Art, Design and Media.

Currently Mark is an animator who's interests are in emergent computer animation techniques including synthetic sculpture, motion and related forms in popular culture. Research interests are in characterization and storytelling with real-time and rendered imagery exploring visual and behavioral representation in the animated form; including the creation of intelligent animated forms with a richness in personality and emotive evocative states that are flexible enough to respond to the viewer within a predetermined simulated performance.
Research Grant
  • IDM R&D Programme (2008-)
  • MOE R&D on IDM in Education (2008-2011)
  • NRF Competitive Research Program (2007-)
Current Projects
  • Cinematics and Narratives- Creating Stories Within Real-time Visual Toolsets
  • Intelligent Agent-Augmented Multi-User Virtual Environments: Research into Designs for Learning Environments of the Future
  • Serious Immersion and Embodied Learning: Traces of Dinosaurs in Earth System Science
Selected Publications
  • Chang, Y., Morales-Arroyo, M., Chavez, M., & Jiménez-Guzman, J. (2008). Social Interaction with a conversational Agent – An Exploratory Study. Journal of Information Technology Research, 1(3), 14-26.
  • Michael J. Jacobson, Chunyan Miao, Beaumie Kim, Zhiqi Shen, Mark Chavez. (2008). Research into Learning in an Intelligent Agent Augmented Multi-user Virtual Environment. Proc. IEEE/WIC/ACM International Conference on Intelligent Agent Technology. IAT 2004, 3(3), 348-351.
  • Chavez, Mark. (2006). Creating Adaptive Design: Intelligence in Dynamic 3D Characters. YLEM - Artists Using Science & Technology Journal, 26(4), 4-9.
  • Chavez, Mark. (2005). Avatar Teachers. ACM SIGGRAPH, .