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Lighting Artist Ana Belén Hernández from Ubisoft

At this weak’s interview, I had the pleasure of talking to Ana Belén Hernández, an architect and lighting Artist from Ubisoft, Spain.

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

My first contact working on 3D was when I was studying architecture. At the same time, I was playing some videogames, from time to time, and I knew that 3D could be way more than what I was doing at the moment. I still remember how I was joking with my brother while I was playing the first Assassin´s Creed saying things like “I could work on something like this, who better than an architect to build this historical world” Funny how, some years later, I was actually working on an Assassin´s Creed game bringing light and mood to some environments. But if there is a game or two that totally got me and convinced me that this is what I wanted to do, those were Mass Effect and Bioshock. I was completely fascinated with the worlds they created, without limitations from real world or structure calculation. The sky is the limit, or in this case, your imagination. I wanted to design things without hearing the words “that can not be done”, I wanted to see how far I could push my creativity.

What are you working on at the moment?

A super secret cool project, that I can not talk about… yet:)

What are the best and worst parts of your job?

I would say that the worst part is when I get into a very repetitive task that I can do with automatic mode on. That is why I appreciate having some other tasks aside so I can change mentality and work on something a bit more motivating so I can disconnect from a loop task.

The best part is a bit harder to choose, cause I enjoy every step of the creation process. But I guess that seeing people playing and enjoying the game that you have worked on so hard and put so much effort into is a very rewarding feeling. I feel very grateful about that. 

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

In my day by day, Ubisoft provides me with the tools and softwares adapted for every game needs.

For personal projects, I use Unreal Engine mainly. In my opinion, it has everything a lighting artist can dream of for free. It allows you to do plenty of things and play around with so many possibilities. It is like a playground for artists. 

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

I would recommend working hard on a good and complete portfolio. Oriented to the role they want to achieve and with variety to show all the skills. But in order to do so, the best tip I have been told is, keep the scenes and the scope manageable with a realistic goal. It is very easy to get lost inside many sources of inspiration and all the cool things you want to do. It is better to have something smaller but full quality. At the end, the portfolio is going to be key to enter in the industry. And if you work on that portfolio with motivation and enjoy what you do, that is something that later can be appreciated in the work you have created. 

 

What’s your favourite game and why?

The first Mass Effect trilogy. Not only because it was one of the games that inspired me to become a videogame artist, but also, because it was the first game that made me cry. I was not aware about how deep it was the connection I was developing while playing the game. It was the first game which taught me that every action has consequences. That I could not go back to fix a mistake done earlier, so I had to go on without looking back, accepting my destiny whether I like it or not. It made me grow and face reality. It was the first game I felt such a deep connection with. 

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

Lately, I have been developing more and more interest in photography. It is something that I want to learn more about. So I guess that now, I really enjoy going for a chill walk, admiring the views across the way and stopping to take some cool pictures. I am trying to push for this further, maybe start uploading more shots on my Instagram account. Will see how it goes. 

Thank you Ana for the lovely talk as well Ubisoft!

Don’t forget to check more of Ana’s work at:

ArtStation – Ana Belén Hernández

and Ubisoft Spain website at:

Ubisoft – Spain

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 ‘Pacer’.

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