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Abraham Valdez p3

The production cycle in making a video game...

READERSVOICE.COM: I liked reading about how you researched your pictures of characters. Where did you get some of your ideas for Sonny Tang from Eat Lead: The Return of Matt Hazard?

ABRAHAM VALDEZ: The credit belongs to the art director, Alden Fillion. Sonny Tang drew his inspiration from a movie called The Last Dragon. I was thrilled to bring this character to life and still have fond memories of when he was created.

RV: In very simple terms, does the creation of a character go something like this: drawing it; molding it like a clay sculpture; adding textures like cloth and skin, adding lighting directions, then rigging it for animation or movement in a game, then rendering or producing the image? Or are there other big stages involved?

AV: Overall that is the production cycle for a game character with the exception of lighting; the lighting is part of the environment.

RV: In your daily working life as senior character artist at places like Kojima Productions LA, what sorts of meetings with people, and other jobs would you have to perform in a fairly typical day?

AV: A typical day all depends on the part of the games life cycle that we are in, the beginning of the game is primarily focused on establishing pipeline-related issues dependent on the type of game we’re creating. During the middle of production is where the bulk of the art is created and at the end we are focusing on additional final artistic improvements and bug fixing.

RV: What are some of your plans?

AV: My plans for the future are to continue to improve as an artist and give back to the artist community through teaching. Teaching is very rewarding, humbling and I’m glad to have been given the opportunity. I am an instructor at the Gnomon School of Visual effects, teaching a character art for games class.

– See abrahamvaldez.com for some characters from his portfolio.
– copyright Simon Sandall.