This month's interview is with talented character artist, Paul Nelson. Having been in the industry for 10 years he talks to us about his route into 3D, his approach to character modeling and the demands of the prominent titles he has worked on over his career.
Can you tell us a little about your background and your route into 3D?
Well, like many guys in this industry I grew up watching spellbinding films full of visual effects and playing video games. I remember when I was a kid, there used to be a program on TV called Movie Magic
, which would take viewers behind the scenes of movie making and show how all the visual and special effects were done. Having been exposed to all of this, I knew what I wanted to do.
What do you feel were the most valuable lessons you learned during your first job at Codemasters?
I learnt so much in my first job. I learnt to be very humble; there are so many talented people in this industry and no matter how much you think you know, there are always others out there that know a lot more than you. I absorbed and learnt as much as I could from those around me. The biggest lessons was good working practices and time management, which I still feel are so important especially when you are constantly working to tight deadlines.
Having been in the industry for the past 10 years, where would you say art practice has evolved the most from the perspective of a character artist?
When I began I was working on very low poly meshes and, in a way, you had to be a lot more creative to get the best out of the limitations you had at the time. Due to the increase in technology, things have become a lot more demanding, especially in terms of level of detail and quality. Adding software like ZBrush and Mudbox into the pipeline and creating high resolution meshes has added a whole new dimension to the job.