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Inside the Artist's Studio: Christophe Desse


By 3dtotal staff


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Date Added: 26th May 2015

Step inside the mind of a working technical artist: Naughty Dog's Christophe Desse unveils his top tips for working within the industry...


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Naughty Dog's Christophe Desse has worked on prestigious titles such as The Last of Us and Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception. He lives in Santa Monica, California, and currently enjoys fitting in family life and personal work between his full-time employment. Check out his advice and experiences of working
in the industry...


3dtotal: Deadlines are looming and time is of the essence. How do you typically start your day to ensure maximum productivity?
Christophe Desse: My typical day starts with a coffee and a quick round of email checking and internet surfing. On one hand to stay on top of the actuality in our industry and on the other, to see what type of software and workflow advancements are coming. Then a very quick glance into the forums and gallery of 3dtotal to get inspired, and then I quickly submerge myself into the next task at hand.

Seeing the amazing work from other artists is what makes me realise that I still have much to learn, and push me to deliver the best work possible.

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3dt: Your brain runs faster than your machine! How do you improve your system performance to stay at the top of your game?
CD: At work, we obviously have the IT department taking care of our upgrades, and they make sure that we run the most powerful hardware possible.

As for home, I generally try to upgrade my machine every other year, putting emphasis on the graphic cards, as a lot of my rendering happens on the GPUs nowadays. Beside of the main hardware, I also try to buy the best monitor that my budget will allow me, preferring resolution over size, since my desk space is limited. I'm currently running two 24-inch screens side-by-side with a resolution of 2540 x 1440.

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3dt: When it comes to software, when time is of the essence and demands for quality are high, which programs are the ones that you turn to for solid results, and why?
CD: Since I started 3D back in '91, I have had the pleasure of using almost every main piece of software under the sun. Now that I am a little bit older, I tend to not get excited anymore by the new kid on the block, and I tend to be experienced and cynical enough to be able to read between the marketing lines.

I tend to stick with what works the best for what I do; currently Maya, ZBrush and Substance Designer.

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3dt: Which program shortcuts have you adopted into your workflow to speed things up? Please explain what they are and how they help.
CD: I would strongly suggest that people to try Substance Designer as it is rising very quickly to an industry standard for texturing, in the same way that ZBrush did with 3D sculpting.

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