The origins of the studio started in 2004 as an artists collective. Unable to find inexpensive space in the central areas of Vancouver, the group discovered a repurposed sawmill complex in the old industrial district near the city's edge.
When a refugee from Hollywood fell in love with the Whistler ski slopes and didn’t go back, the change for the studio began, eventually resulting in becoming an incorporated entity in 2014.
Comprised of industry professionals from the visual effects, gaming, music, design and scientific disciplines, the intent of the founding group was to create a publicly accessible facility that would engage in research, development, and content creation for motion capture and immersive industries while providing limited production services.
MoCap has traditionally been an expensive service because of high equipment and infrastructure valuations and lack of trained personnel on a global level particularly in the entertainment industries.
The studio aims to streamline the motion capture pipeline by limiting the amount of post production work including retargeting data for delivery to animation teams. In essence, the facility will provide MoCap services at an affordable cost thereby making it available to a larger pool of clients.
The Sawmill is already a recognized technology startup from the BDC attracting a wide cross section of industry and disciplines ranging from academia to entertainment. Articles about our work have been published by mainstream media outlets and emerging associations to academic and technology institutions have been regularly occurring since then.
We are one of the few studios in Canada with a mandate to facilitate motion capture production service, develop industry tools and engage research involving immersive technologies.
We are The Sawmill—meet our team.
Managing Director, Partner
Derrick's experience in producing & strategizing guides the studio's diverse interests. He is responsible for ensuring overall operational structure, workflows & client liaisons are efficiently provided.
Technical Director, Partner
Alastair is a veteran of the VFX industry supervising animation & motion capture on many film & game projects. He provides software code for specialized research & VR applications.
Executive Producer, Partner
Decades of experience creating software & tools for artists, extensive knowledge of and contribution to feature film, game & commercial production allow Ivan to solve any pipeline or development issues quickly.
VR Technologist, Partner
Aaron is an entrepeneur and pioneer in VR development for medical simulation and a technologist in mobile app solutions, focusing on the user experience and real time collaboration.
Motion Capture Animation Director
With nearly 20 years’ experience in games, film, TV and music video productions, Andrew provides both technical and creative support for your project.
With over 30 years’ experience in the computer graphics & complex enterprise systems, David is currently developing advanced VR hardware & software & has been collaborating with the Sawmill for several years.
Ramiro Cuenca Sabido
Production Coordinator, Motion Capture Specialist
Ramiro oversees performance capture sessions & metrics on projects. He attends to all details of data delivery & works closely with clients to ensure optimal acquisition.
Director of Research
With ten years of research into the immersive realities and an eclectic artistic and technical background, Denise heads up the Sawmill’s research arm.