VISUAL EFFECTS LEGEND WITH A FLAIR for creating compelling, sophisticated content
Zai Ortiz is a creative director, multi-dimensional thinker, 3D visionary and also the founder of DarkMatter, an animation and visual storytelling studio. His most famous and recognizable work is the animation design of the J.A.R.V.I.S. system holograms in Marvel’s Iron Man. Among his many titles, his favorite is futurist. Proving Zai’s ideas are truly ahead of his time, developers of holographic technology use his molecule and armer suit animation sequence in Iron Man as visual inspiration for real life holograms in film, tech and medical. Known as a 3D virtuoso, Zai currently specializes in creating visual content for emerging technologies as well as Hollywood’s most profitable movie studios (Paramount, Marvel, Universal, 20th Century Fox, etc).
Zai’s successful path as the industry’s leading Maya artist was carved early on as he studied with Alias Wavefront directly from its software developers and he landed his first job on the 2003 Hollywood blockbuster film 2 Fast 2 Furious. From working with (Oscar winning director Marc Forster) to hologram development (Marvel’s Iron Man II) to video games (Bethesda Studios; Elder Scrolls Legends), his design, visual effects and animation expertise bring forth ideas and iconic images into tangible space. Equal parts designer, director and technological wizard, Zai’s distinctive signature is his ability to bridge artistic storytelling and technical innovation. By immersing himself in both the creative and technical sides of animation, Zai is a standout in his field as he is fluid in both trades and this unique mastery earns him high on the ranks of the industry’s top echelon of visual talent.
Along with his strong leadership skills overseeing teams of 50+ artists, Zai’s technical savvy garners technical director and CG supervisor positions. He has supervised the graphics and VFX for numerous films (up to 300 shots in a film) including Battleship, Iron Man and Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol. His designs continue to live on in film - the J.A.R.V.I.S. system is referenced in subsequent Iron Man and Avengers films.
Zai’s design skills span creative genres and his client list is just as diverse. Known for his cinematic animation work in Tron, Sherlock Holmes, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, War of the Worlds and I Robot, his clients include advertising agencies BBDO, Tribal DDB, Juice Worldwide, GSW, a leading robotics company, a drone defense company, Dubai Parks International and numerous feature film directors. With DarkMatter, Zai’s developing several intellectual properties and augmented reality tools.