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Interview with Jaehoon Kim - Clicker/Last of Us

By 3dtotal staff

Web: www.artjaehoon.com/ (will open in new window)

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Date Added: 11th April 2014

Last of Us character artist, Jaehoon Kim talks about creating Clickers and the drive to produce top-quality work over at Naughty Dog.


Jaehoon Kim's Clicker in gasmask image sent shivers down the spine of many a gamer, specifically those who had played The Last of Us. Naughty Dog's character artist talks about working on this critically-acclaimed videogame and his artistic inspirations.

Tell us a little bit about yourself: Who are you, what do you do, and where are you located?

My name is Jaehoon Kim and I live in Los Angeles, California. I create 3D characters, concepts, and illustrations. I am currently a character artist at Naughty Dog, and the latest published project I worked on is The Last of Us.


Tell us about your image Clicker in gasmask. Was it a challenge to create?

Yes, it was an enjoyable challenge to create a 3D illustration without the limits of a game engine. I picked one of the infected and re-rendered it using some additional touch-ups for illustration purposes. The art team and director had many ideas for the creatures, and with this illustration I was able to include all of them.


Can you give us an insight into how it was to work on The Last of Us?

The teamwork was very energetic. There was a lot of communication with people from other departments – sharing ideas, having discussions. Our goal was to present the best character work possible in the game. Everyone wanted the product to be of the highest quality so we didn't stop polishing the game until it shipped.


Are there any particular things you worked on in The Last of Us of which you are most proud?

I'd have to say it's the character David. His facial expressions reflect his personality very well. The production of the facial expressions involved many people, such as the director, actor, rigger, animator, and so on. I am proud of myself and the team for the way his facial expressions turned out.


Tell us the story behind your artwork in general: What brought you into the digital art world and what software do you use?

My passion for art began when I was in middle school, when I first started using my pencil to draw comics. Not only did I really enjoy them, but my friends liked them as well, which encouraged me to keep at it. It was in high school that I started actually studying drawing, and it was then that I saw the Final Fantasy VIII cinematic trailer. Seeing it left me breathless. That's what first inspired me to want to create characters that move in three-dimensional space.

My primary softwares are Maya, ZBrush, Mudbox, xNormal and Photoshop. I've been using these for a long time, but I'm flexible when it comes to trying new software too because I believe the CG industry always creates new tech and we must adapt to them.

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