What were you doing before you joined ZeroLight?
Hello! I graduated in 2012 from Teesside University with a degree in Video Games Animation. After that, I became interested in architectural visualization using V-Ray, so I moved down to Hull for a job doing that.
Whilst I was there, I gradually began to work more with real-time engines, and I got to work on a lot of automotive and architectural projects both with and without VR. I really enjoyed these projects, so when my friend showed me ZeroLight's volumetric video Bamburgh Beach environment, I knew it was the place I wanted to work!
How have you found being back in the North East after moving up to Newcastle?
It's great to be back up here! I missed it a lot while I was in Hull. Newcastle is, in my entirely unbiased opinion, the best city in the UK. It's also becoming a big tech hub, and it's so exciting to see the city as vibrant as I can ever remember it being. More importantly, it's also the home of Newcastle United!
What are your hobbies?
I've been developing an indie game outside of work for about a year now, which I'm really enjoying! Aside from that, I also watch and play a lot of football, and I compliment this with the ZL Run club on Thursday lunchtimes. It's not always easy, but I've seen a marked increase in my fitness thanks to the training and advice from our more senior runners. That fitness has really helped me out with my latest hobby, Jiu Jitsu. It's quite full on, but I'm really enjoying it so far!
What do you do here at ZeroLight?
I am an Environment Artist, so I work with the landscapes around the cars using a mixture of photo projection and PBR techniques to make them look as close to real life as possible (or even better!).
What's your favourite thing you've worked on so far?
To be honest, I just enjoy the process of creating each environment, as each one brings with it a new technical challenge. Some require a lot of dynamic elements such as water or foliage, whereas others need precise recreation of the ground around the car using advanced PBR techniques.
If I had to pick one project in particular, it would probably be an environment we completed recently of Milford Sound in New Zealand. It utilized almost all of the specialist techniques in one single project, and the end result was incredible.
What are you most looking forward to working on?
Not so much a project, but I'm looking forward to visiting our studio in Chengdu, China. I work closely with them via Skype and email, so I'm really excited to meet the very talented team we have out there in real life!