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Environment artist Miki Butler

For this week’s blog entry, I would like share a great chat I had with Miki Butler, an environment artist, who worked in games like Plants vs Zombies and Dead Rising 4.

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

 I always enjoyed drawing since I was a kid, I was also very into computers and videogames, the moment I realized that this was the bridge between these two disciplines, I had my AHA moment in life.  AHA!

What are you working on at the moment?

I’m currently working at Offworld Industries as an environment artist  (Creators of the FPS Squad). The project I’m currently working on I can’t talk about because of the nature of my contract πŸ™‚ 

What are the best and worst parts of your job?

The best part is always the people I work with, I have nurtured some of the best relationships from colleagues that  I had the pleasure to work with, and that eventually became life long friends. The worst part can be some of the stress that we have to deal with sometimes, in occasions, deadlines can be pretty challenging and you have to be ready to do the work but in a completely different way. 

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

I use Maya and Blender for 3d modelling, Zbrush for the sculpting, and Designer or Painter for the texturing.

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

Show who you are and your particular interest through your work, even if you have a lot of different skills, your portfolio should only show a specific interest, so employers can tell what are you passionate about and decide what’s the best fit for you. Even if you come fresh from school, put yourself a title such as character artist, UI artist.. etc. This will help define who you are, and will determine any actions towards any career goal. 
Learn how to use a versioning system such as perforce. This is not fun at all for us artists, but there is a 100% chance that you will use this in any studio production, no matter what your task is. I am not sure why schools don’t teach this, but I would rather show an onboarding artist other parts of the workflow that are a bit more creative, than spending hours or days ramping them up on how change lists work  πŸ™‚ 

What’s your favourite game and why?

This is the toughest one! I could give you a list of my top ten but If I had to pick one right now I think I would go with Bioshock Infinite.

Finally, what do you like to do in your spare time (if you have any)?

I’m also a musician, playing drums is something that I’m also very passionate about, you can hear some of it here. πŸ™‚

https://www.instagram.com/mikibdrummer/

And I also do a lot of 2d Artwork that you can check on my other Instagram profile.

https://www.instagram.com/mikicompany/

I have made a discord channel in case you wanna shoot me any questions, happy to help! 
https://discord.gg/HcCAqSTNat

Huge thanks to Miki for patiently answering my questions as well OffWorld Industries for the opportunity.

For more of Miki’s work, please go to:

https://www.artstation.com/mikicompany

For more info about OffWorld Industries:

https://www.offworldindustries.com/

Games Art Tutor for the MA at Escape Studios. I have been teaching new creative talent for the past 10+ years, working worldwide at places including 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 β€˜Pacer’.

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