Learn more about his amazing life animating sequences for the best show on planet Earth!
Osaki is the Lead Modeler for Atmosphere Visual Effects, a post-production visual effects house located in the heart of Hollywood North. They specialize in the creation of hundreds of spacecraft, robots, and effects for the new science fiction series Battlestar Galactica, also shot in Vancouver. And their hard work has paid off – in the form of a National Television Academy nomination for Outstanding Special Effects in a Series.
A Paycheck for Modeling Spaceships
For Osaki, the job is a dream come true. An avid sketcher, designer, and aspiring architect, Daniel lives for drawing and creating models, many of which have been seen in various Battlestar Galactica episodes. In fact, the episode which earned Atmosphere the nomination contains a massive refinery tunnel through which Apollo – one of the main characters – must fly his Viper starfighter. The tunnel was modeled entirely by Osaki.
Osaki originally worked as a broadcast designer at a prominent television station. At the time, the station was experimenting with a new form of 3D technology that made it possible to place live actors within a completely digital set. These “cyber-sets” soon bored Osaki, however, so he searched for a path to more exciting work.
A Production-based Portfolio
Osaki found that VFS was repeatedly recommended by various production companies, including Industrial Light & Magic and Digital Domain. Osaki enrolled in and completed the one year VFS 3D Animation program. “All the teachers were professionals; my classmates were great – and then, Vancouver. I fell in love with the city and snowboarding in the winter.”
Osaki’s student demo reel landed him interviews with 5 big-name effects houses. One of them, GVFX, put him to work as a general effects artist. “It was a great starting point for visual effects in Vancouver,” he says.
On the Road to Art Direction
Osaki was soon hired by longtime friend and Atmosphere co-owner Andrew Karr. Since then, Osaki has worked on Kingdom Hospital, Stargate: Atlantis, Dead Like Me, and I, Robot, where he modeled – and designed parts of – the massive auto-demolition robot that nearly crushes Will Smith.
The nomination puts Osaki in a good position to pursue his true ambition. “I would like to become an Art Director and do visual effects movies. I love visual effects and movies,” he says. “Maybe on a Battlestar Galactica movie. I grew up watching the old show so that would be a dream for me.”