Industry News

Junior Artist Alec from Sumo Digital

This time around we are interviewing a former Escape Studios’ student, Alec Tse, who is currently working as a Junior Artist at Sumo Digital.

Who or what inspired you to get into 3D art?

Initially I wasn’t interested in 3D art until I went to university…I wanted to do concept art at the start since I like drawing. But after getting introduced to the 3D side of things within game art, I saw another side of creating game art and became more interested in it.

What are you working on at the moment?

In terms what project im currently involved in at work, unfortunately I cannot divulge. However I did work on a game called Team Sonic Racing, which will be launched in May 2019, please look forward to it.
Outside of work, I am currently working on a little diorama scene, which I need to revisit after a busy holiday. And re-practicing some character art.

What are the best and worst parts of your job?

The best part of work is working with a bunch of talented artist and people, who will help you if you ever feeling like you’re struggling with something. As well as cake friday that we have at work. And the worse part would be me not managing my work/life balance well, its easy to get lost in doing work after completing your daily shift.

How your typical workflow looks like and which tools and software do you prefer to use?

Workflow kind of varies depending on what you are making, reference is key however.
But a basic workflow of creating a game ready asset would be:

  • low poly block out for what you are making, making sure the size/ measurements are right
  • high poly modelling/sculpting for high frequency detail and texture baking
  • create a game ready model (making sure there’s good topology for texture baking, have enough supporting geometry and reasonable tri count)
  • UV unwrapping
  • texture in painter/ photoshop
  • apply textures in engine with material set up

Software that I use:

  • Maya for modelling
  • Zbrush for sculpting
  • Substance Designer/ Painter, Photoshop and X-Normal for textures
  • Pureref is also good for putting your reference on a moodboard instead of making one in photoshop

What key piece of advice would you offer to a 3D artist aspiring to work in the games industry?

The best advices I can give would be dont be afraid to show your work and ask for feedback, be humble and take in the feedback, question and be critical about your work.
Also have a good work/life balance too.

What’s your favourite game and why?

Favorite game is always a hard question to answer for me, but the game I loved and played the most which got me more interested in video games was Dynasty Warriors 3.
This game is a hack and slash game where you play as a historical character in the three kingdom era of the chinese history. You fight a large group of soldiers on a map using flashy combos. There’s a huge array of characters to choose from different factions, they all had different stories depending on what character and faction, hence why I played it so much because there was so much replay value and of course 2 players co-op as well, which amplifies the fun.

What do you like to do in your spare time (if you have any)?

Right now I am trying to exercise more to maintain fitness and move my body,
and also doing some life drawing if possible.

I would like to thank Alec for answering the questions and as usual don’t forget to check out his work at:

Unreal Authorized Instructor, Programme Leader for MA Games Art at Escape Studios & Tutor for Games Art Short / Part Time Courses. I have been teaching new creative talent for the past 15+ years, at institutions such as Alpha Channel and the University of Hertfordshire. I've also wrote numerous published books about Unreal Engine including; UDK Basics, Level Design and Documentation and UDK Games scenarios integration as well creating game assets for the next generation consoles such as the racing game ‘Pacer’. Currently working on my own game!

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