Interview with Andre Holzmeister
Q. In Games, do you do any animating yourself, or is your role purely supervisory?
I try to, if I can I will do, have done for a few. But animation requires a lot of concentration and deciding, you are always deciding what to do next key frame, and as later studies of the brain indicates, we have a "limited" decision power along the day.
I stop a lot to look at my team's work and a there are a lot of meeting about new prospected jobs that makes it hard to concentrate. And my decision calls are already very high every day, making animating more challenging and tiring process then I should be in normal conditions.
But animation is a passion, and every time I can, I will try to participate, in games or in animation commercial films, does not matter the media if I have the time I will. I do model a lot too for the games we have done, especially characters.
Q. What's the hardest part about when creating the games?
Everything ;) Making games was the most challenging of all areas of CG I have worked. There are so many rules, you can`t cheat a lot, like in film/animation.
I have some part on creative and gameplay decisions, and this is very hard part of the processes, but I will keep it to the 3D end of this discussion.
Understand that we make advertising games (Advergames) for the web browser as part of the publicity efforts of a brand's campaign. We use Unity3D engine and now we are experiencing WebGL, so we have a lot of limitations, from the technical part and from the media itself, I mean we have to make a game look good without using an high end hardware, we can't use a lot of textures because the games are to be very small in size, we can't use a lot of Unity's engine most expensive features because we don`t know the hardware the user is using on his end. This created so many challenges that we have to use a lot of creativity to make a game look good.
The texture budget is always so low that this is easily the hardest part on the 3D pipeline, we never could use baked lighting textures for our games as this would increase a lot the game size which is a giant problem, if the game is large we lose a lot of our audience. We use light maps though.
Q. Can you share your pipeline working in CUBOCC?
As I said, sometimes I have some participation on the creative end of some projects we develop, at this point I work as technical and creative consultant, so the creative and project conceptors can evolve and keep their efforts on what is possible to accomplish with the given budget and time. After all is concepted and the project starts, I get into preproduction, sometimes we develop everything in-house and sometimes we contract outsourcing partners, local or remote, it depends on the nature of the project, for games we usually rather it to be local freelancer. When we get into production it is really much like any production house, we get the job done and drink some beer at work all Fridays!