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Interview with Robin Benes

By Richard Tilbury

Web: http://www.tes3d.com/ (will open in new window)
Email: moc.d3set@set

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Date Added: 10th October 2012
I see from your profile that you're currently working freelance. Can you tell us how you came to be involved with CG and why you chose the freelance route?

My interest in CG began when I started to first play games on a PC. I began to imagine what could be found in a few pixels and started to create my visions on paper and other forms of art. Later, I joined a school with the intention of promotional and classical art forms. 3D applications were missing however.

In the second grade, I saw an amazing Diablo 2 intro and it made me realize that 3D graphics was going to be my hobby and dream job. I began to learn 3ds Max V2.5 and when I finished school I joined a gaming company as a senior 3D/2D artist.

There were more reasons why I chose the freelance route, the main one being the lack of job offers in my country (gaming and film companies). The second is that as a freelancer I have a chance to work on many different types of projects, meet interesting people and lose my temper over dodgers and so on (Laughs).

What was it specifically about the Diablo 2 intro that sparked such a definitive decision to pursue a career in CG?

There is no specific reason except the all-round high quality CG containing great characters, their transformations, particle effects, animations, simulations, music and - most importantly - the story. I think that the Wanderer being morphed into the shape of Diablo, Tyrael with his wings and other great stuff by Blizzard made many of us say, "Wow, this is what I want to know and do!"

What was it like working on Mafia 2 as a supervisor and senior artist, and what were the main challenges you faced?

Working on Mafia 2 was really interesting. As a supervisor I was responsible for passing on the correct technological procedures to junior character artists and checking their output for further usage. As a senior artist I produced members of the Mafia clans and civilian folks. The work consisted of high poly, low poly, UV preparation, texturing, skinning,

and exporting into the engine along with the shader setup. In terms of production I cannot remember any problems and people were very enthusiastic about the project. It made them open-minded and agreeable to solving any glitches that occurred.

What types of characters interest you the most and what do you feel are some of the key guidelines to bear in mind when designing characters in general?

I prefer characters with interesting features (deformations, wounds, scars, interesting tattoos); things that make the audience interested and leave them wanting to find out more about their past and reasons why they look the way they do.

Creating the character history is also a fundamental aspect of the whole design, together with giving the character the correct anatomy.

Which characters have impressed you the most, whether in films or games?

When it comes to films, it is absolutely H.R.Giger's Alien. It will be my number one forever. In games, my most vivid memories are linked to Diablo. I destroyed a few mice while playing it.

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Readers Comments (Newest on Top)
(ID: 156290, pid: 0) Tom McNamara on Tue, 16 October 2012 4:16pm
Most images look like busy iterations on Blizzard's franchises. Not my cup of tea.
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