Interview with Andre Holzmeister
Q. How much difference in the nature of job do you think between 3D Supervisor of Games and 3D Supervisor of Films and Commercials?
A lot, the medias are very different, the only thing that bind them together is the 3D environment used to create both. When you create a game you focus on several things that you does not think about when producing film/commercials. Example is animation, when you animate for film, you animate for the camera, what is seen is animated, if you can`t see his feet in a given scene, you do not animate it, but when it comes to games, usually the camera is in control by the player, so you have to animate everything, and there is blend animations and procedural character animation too, which is not much used in film as much as it is in games. So when you are supervising these different Medias, you have to know where the focus is to put the efforts of your team into where it matter the most.
Q. What do you think is the best work you've ever produced?
Well I liked to work on so many projects, it is hard to pick one, but I think the series of illustrations I did for Ghost Mania game from Legendo Entertainment, was a nice illustration project. I had lots of liberty to create and modify the original concept arts I received, putting my art direction skills to the proof. I had about a week to create each image on my spare time, from concept to final composition. I think the hardest part was to combine my work at TV Globo and produce at night without losing my wife ;) Keeping the quality was a difficult task too, the deadline was a bit tight given the circumstances.
Cornetto Feelings was one of the most interesting animation project I made. I like the look and feel of this film a lot; I had a strong participation on art direction and the screenplay of this piece.
Cheetos Rain Forest was easily the best game project I made, probably because of the nostalgia about the old school platforming gameplay I always loved when I was a kid, Sonic and Donkey Kong was my main inspiration on art direction for the in game. The hard part was to make the game beautiful with just a few texture sheets, all vegetation leafs had to be contained in just one 1024x1024 texture, just to make clear how limited are our texture budget for Advergames.
Q. Do you feel your life is more or less stressful than people in non-artistic careers?
I cannot put myself under other people perspective, so I do not know if a medic is more stressed when he is preparing to operate a sick guy then when I have to accomplish a tight and almost impossible deadline after 4 nights of low rest. I doubt I would be more stressed then the doctor.
Overall working with something that you love is very pleasant, I love my work, this makes it all much easier, its being more of an artistic career or not I don't think it really matters; what is important is to really enjoy your work. But indeed, art if very fun, I can't see me working in other stuff.
Q. How do you manage to combine your personal life and work? In other words, you got some time to work on personal projects? Do you have any hobbies?
This is a lot hard, the hardest thing by far. I have a lovely wife, no kids yet, but soon to come, I think when they come it will be much harder. I always make some time to produce personal projects, this is what motivates me more, I think I do them when I am most overwhelmed by my professional work as an escape to another mood, or other ideas, to keep the brain well. When you work on the same project for a long time you need get to other stuff not to get bored I guess. At least it is how I feel.
My hobbies are movies, series, and videogames, I hardly have time to play lately, but I try to get my eyes at the industry, and try to make time to play a few games a year, last year I played Mass effect 2, Uncharted 2, Batman Arkham asylum, Assassins Creed 2 and Trine. This year I played Uncharted 3 and started to play LIMBO, great independent game by the way along with Trine, the best 2 independent games I have played to date.
Q. Do you believe in 'talent' or just daily practice and understanding concepts will help?
I believe in both. "Talent" and "gift" are a great start, but this turns to nothing without sweat. So you have to study a lot, the best way to cut a long way is to go to a nice school, but if you lack the resources, there is a lot of info and tutorials on the web just need to search, dig and find the useful stuff and practice a lot. Communications skills are a must, you have to understand what your supervisors are trying to say and have to ask if have any doubts, making yourself clear is an art by itself. Drawings and thumb nailing are a great way to "talk".
Q. On which projects you are working these days?
We never stop to work on new stuff here at Iceland, always prospecting new projects for our clients, unfortunately I can`t talk about them, for my personal works I am modeling an Orc based on Blizzard's Warcraft world, and I am pushing myself to participate in a few 11 Second Club competition this year, last November I have participated, and finished 10th place, which I find really nice, I had finally finished one, as I tried to accomplish this a couple times before, but spare time was never on my side…
Thanks for taking the time to talk to us Andre. We look forward to your new work.