Devoted Studios Blog

Devoted Stories
20.10.2022

Raymond Yu: “If your work becomes your life, that’s when things become stressful”

2 months |

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Hey there! I’m Raymond Yu, and I am a concept artist based in Los Angeles. I will say it’s been a wild ride during these times, but nonetheless, it’s been a great time working with various clients and studios. I love to tell stories through my design, and I love medieval fantasy and sci-fi. Besides art, I like to workout regularly, and I like to play basketball whenever I have the chance. One of my favorite things outside of all that is to cook and research ingredients. It feels like I am playing a game whenever I do anything that has to do with food. My favorite games are Hades (Supergiant Games) and Valorant (Riot Games).

Give some useful advice to your colleagues who are just starting out in the profession.

My advice to them is to never give up. The art industry is indeed tiring and discouraging at some times, but you need to remember your dreams aspirations since you first started. Get excited about making revelations and breakthroughs as an artist, and don’t stop learning. Also one more important thing that artist forget to do is to have strong work-life balance. If your work becomes your life, that’s when things become stressful.

What do you want to learn next? (in terms of software, engine, pipeline)

I have been slowly getting familiar with Blender a lot more. It is a an extremely intuitive program for artist to use to create blockouts for any of their artwork. I would highly recommend concept artist to start using Blender if they are interested in an efficient way to set up their drawings.

What keeps you going in this mad world?

I believe what really keeps me going in this mad world, is that I truly believe I am privileged to be working as a creative during these hard times. There are people out there struggling to find the smallest of jobs, and here I am drawing and honing my craft as a profession. It truly is humbling to think about the bigger picture of this world, and I push myself because I do not want this opportunity as an artist to go to waste.

What’s your dream project?

My dream project personally would be to work on my own story or game as an art director. For my career, I would love to be a part of Riot Games,and help with conceptualizing for their show Arcane. I have always respected Riot’s art direction with their games, but I realized how much talent that they truly have after watching Arcane. This was their first show as a game studio and they managed to receive so much praise. It would be so awesome to work on a show that truly breaks the norms of storytelling through animation.

Where do you find inspiration?

When I find myself low on inspiration or creativity, I like to take a step away from my workspace and do something different from my everyday (can be going to the beach or hiking). Challenging myself from my daily routine and trying something new has always helped me change the way I think, and I when I make breakthroughs as a person, it excites my mind and my hed comes flooding with ideas and stories.

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20.10.2022

Ray Song: “You need to be crazier than the world!”

2 months |

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Let’s get introduced! Tell us about yourself in a few words.

Hello everyone, Iam Ray Song. I have been in the game industry for 13 years. Now, as a shareholder of 7 kingdom, I am also responsible for the research and development of a console project in China as an Art Director.

What inspired you to choose this profession?

I liked playing games since I was a child, I also studied art and was admitted to an art school. After graduation I engaged in the next-generation game art.

Reveal a secret sauce of your professional development.
Keep learning and don’t be stingy in it.

Give some useful advice to your colleagues who are just starting out in the profession.
No matter how difficult or bad your life is, please maintain professional concentration and enthusiasm for a long time. Just as the development project will be postponed, the professional development is the same.

Tell us about the project that changed you as a person.
I think it should be my first project: God of War III.

How do you see the future of the industry?
It was a very bad time, but the gaming industry was the best of times.

What do you want to learn next? 
The UE5 engine is so fascinating!

What keeps you going in this mad world?
You need to be crazier than the world!

How do you manage burnouts and unfortunate difficulties as a professional?
Temporarily become a workaholic and bury yourself with countless work. Don’t stop. One day you will find that methods and opportunities are always more difficult than difficulties. I want to participate in the research and development of the Naughty Dog, The Last of II. I have traveled to a lot of places and taken a lot of pictures. I like to observe different corners of the world very much.

10.10.2022

Hurskyi Bohdan: “We went through a long road from the first 3D models in 90s to where we are now,”

2 months |

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Here’s a story of Bohdan, who made an awesome model in year…1999! Can you imagine this?

Bohdan: This model was made using a 166Hz Pentium Processor and believe it or not, it took whole night to render.

I used a LightWave 3D program to make it. Back in the day no one knew about sculpting in 3D, everything was modelled.

Maybe this will make you think about your favourite old game’s models in a different light, thinking how much differently they were made back in 90s.

We went through a long road from the first 3D models in 90s to where we are now, and I believe that in next 20 years we will be in a completely new level of sculpting and modelling possibilities.

Working in the industry for a longer while lets you witness the technological changes and improvements over the years, and it is important to always learn new stuff and to adapt to new, improved ways of creating things.

10.10.2022

Paul Bold: “Sometimes I wish I lived on Venus”

2 months |

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Paul: I can’t stop myself sometimes.

Sometimes I wish I lived on Venus because I can get more work done on my projects when a day lasts 2784 hours. I just love what I do, and since a while ago I started doing it almost every minute I have. It just started as “I want to be better for myself”, but when you see what others do on Artstation for example, you just keep pushing yourself to be better and better and sometimes forget to rest.

Before collaborating with Devoted, I used to spend my spare time working on my personal projects, yet I understand taking a break from time to time is also a must.

Devoted: There is a lot of competition, so you need to keep pushing yourself?

Paul: Yes, of course, but that depends on what you want to do – characters, enviro, props. There are different levels of difficulty and, sure, constant training is necessary.

Devoted: You are a character artist, right?
Paul: I haven’t decided yet. I think I’m a generalist, but I enjoy doing a character as much as I do working on an enviro, f.e.
I guess it’s that thing when you want to do a character… You finish it and then you’re like… “Wait a minute, something is missing” and then you do a prop for it – a gun, a sword, etc., and then an enviro and then it finally feels complete.
To get somewhere in this industry you gotta keep pushing yourself, no matter what kind of art you make. But remember to put your health first.

10.10.2022

George Shevchenko: “1. Learn English 2. Learn English 3. Learn English”

2 months |

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Hello from the Devoted team! Let’s get acquainted! Tell us about your role and specialization.
I am a 3D Art Lead.

What inspired you to choose this profession?

Since my childhood I enjoyed Science Fiction, later I was inspired with the classical era video games. So I think I always wanted to be a part of the industry.

Reveal a secret sauce of your professional development.

There’s no secret – study all the time, work as much as you can, talk to people from the industry.

Share your experience on managing your workflows and projects.

I worked as a freelancer for years, have performed as an Art Director in studios for a couple of times. These experience taught me to manage multiple projects at a time.

How do you approach a project estimation and calculate your work hours?

This comes from the experience, you can look at the model and tell how much time it takes to accomplish. I also try adding 20-25% of estimated time for fixes and polishing. The calculations are very simple – I just track time in a txt file while working.

What’re your favorite platforms to share your portfolio and why?

Artstation – because it’s an industry standard, Sketchfab – because it allows sharing 3D-art online with acceptable quality of shading and lighting.

What’re the main advantages of community in our industry?

– Sharing experience, tips and tricks;
– keeping track of new technologies and cool projects;
– an ability to find a specialist fast.

How do you see the future of the industry?

When I’m asked for my opinion on the game industry, I always say that it follows the cinematography steps, and considering the fact that today gamedev is less than 40 years old, we are somewhere close to Charlie Chaplin’s silent movies on the timeline. We didn’t even reach the color movies! The best is ahead.

Give some useful advice to your colleagues who are just starting out in the profession.

Just 3 pieces of advice here:

1. Learn English
2. Learn English
3. Learn English
Best tutorials are in English. Top artists are English-speakers. Best studios are English-speaking. Language is the key.

Last but not least, share your experience with Devoted CG and Devoted Studios
I started working as a vendor for Devoted in the autumn 2021. Half a year later I was offered to join the studio on a full-time basis. That’s it!

10.10.2022

Vitaliy Vatsko: “Once a 3D Artist you are always a 3D”

2 months |

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Hello, my name is Vitaliy Vatsko. I am a 3D Photoreal Environment and Props Artist from Kharkiv, Ukraine. I like to create buildings and props for computer games.

As far as I can remember I was fascinated by different stories. When I was young I liked to visit museums, look at exhibits of old artifacts, and through their story learn the stories of those who owned them in the past. Old castles and buildings which remain now witnessed a lot of human history and have their own stories to tell. Making 3D models allows me to create something from imagination into some sort of reality, it allows me to tell stories from places that never existed but were inspired by reality. I remember reading Hobbit by Tolkien and how it inspired me to become a magician like Gandalf the Grey. I was a child back then. Now I think that creating something material from pure thought is the most magical thing I know, and by doing so I make my child’s dream come true).

There is no secret sauce except that my ideas and thoughts motivate me to create new scenes and props that have a story to tell, an impression to make, and a feeling to share. If my idea demands certain techniques or tools to be used, that motivates me to learn and grow professionally.

3D Artist wasn’t my first profession. Long before I allowed myself to make my hobby a serious profession I was working as a Project Manager in IT. That experience taught me much about planning, risk management, and project documentation. First of all, before starting working on a project it is crucial to understand what is the core of the project, what is needed for its success, and whether or not my skills and competence can match the demanded level of quality. Risk management is very important so before starting anything I ask questions that might be very important to the quality of my work, and that can save much time and effort while working in the process. If I see that I can handle what is demanded, I start breaking down the workflow into smaller stages and evaluate them accordingly to similar tasks that I’ve done before.

I also have a golden rule – I don’t work on several projects at once, since there can be a situation when many projects demand my immediate attention at once, which is not possible for me to do).

Before any calculation and estimation, I have to break down the chosen workflow into smaller stages. For example Blockout, Highpoly, Middlepoly, UV, Baking, Texturing, Importing to UE, Rendering, Delivering. I know myself and I know how much time I usually spend on each stage (it also depends on the complexity of a model). Of course, I’m just a human, and sometimes not everything goes as planned, so for those situations I add some time for the most crucial stages to deal with unexpected complications.

My main portfolio platform is Artstation. It allows looking at the works of other people there and learn some techniques from them, to see how they dealt with some challenges that I’ll face in the future. It is also exciting to look at the “Artist journey” that people make throughout their lives, improving their technical skills and creating meaningful art.

In my country, it is still a pretty close community. Almost everyone knows everyone, or at least the studio or projects that someone is working on (except for NDA’s). That allows artists to ask for advice for their projects, share knowledge, and support each other. I have some friends from different studios, who work on very different projects, yet still face common technical difficulties. One day we made a call and there was a guy who changed his profession from 3D Artist to Game Designer, and while listening to our problem he remembered the same issue that he faced several years ago, so he gave us a good solution to it. As my friends say: Once a 3D Artist you are always a 3D Artist)).

I am a very bad fortune teller, though looking at some new technologies like UE5 and plugins to it, I can certainly tell that some stages that took a lot of artist time like retopology or manual LOD making will go to the past allowing us to spend more time on art itself rather than its technical sides like optimization and other time-consuming things. I assume that If 3D scanning will go further, some professions like Weapon artists can change their ways forever, because why manually create the same existing in our world rifle 1000 times, if you can just scan it and retopologize using some artificial intelligence).
– “Don’t be afraid of failures.

– You will and you should fail a lot. Failure isn’t a tragedy it is a lesson, that will teach you how to become stronger in areas where you are weak now. Don’t be afraid to fail.

– Motivate yourself.

There is nothing more important than inner motivation to achieve something and to learn something that is demanded to achieve it. Motivation from others whether it’s family or friends helps. It helps a lot! But It should never be a core source for all you do as an Artist. Bad times may happen, a family can be separated, and friends can be out of reach. In times like that, it’s only up to you to face the challenges and keep yourself motivated to achieve your dreams. To achieve not for the approval or excitement of others but yourself.

There is no end to knowledge in our industry. Due to its constant evolution some skills that were highly appreciated several years ago, are irrelevant now. You should be prepared that the “Old ways” of doing things might be not needed or even considered inefficient. So it is very important to be prepared to constantly evolve as an artist, to learn new techniques, new skills, new tools and to work on yourself as a person. Evolve constantly”.

I like working with Devoted Studios. Our project allowed me to be part of a friendly, supportive team, that was motivated to produce results as well as possible. During that project, I learned new tools and worked with a type of computer graphics that I’ve never worked with before. I was glad to participate in that project and I hope to work with Devoted Studios more in the future on similar projects or others). As for the Devoted CG – it’s a promising young platform that can become a really good competition for Artstation.

I’m registered there and I hope it will bring some cool projects to me and allow Devoted Studios to be a part of top Game Titles in the Industry.

10.10.2022

Satish Koththolla: “Try to create your own ways always instead of just following the old methods of doing things.”

2 months |

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1. Hello from the Devoted team. Let’s get acquainted! Tell us about your role and specialization.

Hi, this is Sathish Koththolla, I’m a 3D Digital Artist and Game Designer. I’ve been partnering with Big AAA studios and Producing the Quality for the Games and Movies. And now I’m developing my own games while making the art for other studios.

2. What inspired you to choose this profession?

I have been a great fan of Games since my childhood, I used to play a lot of games and I still play them of course. One day I got to know about the gaming industry from a person. I started digging about it more and more. I started it at an early age. I did a masters degree in Game Art and Design.

3. Reveal a secret sauce of your professional development.

I always believe in working smartly rather than hard. I tried to invent my own pipelines for my work. I always try to make different tricks and techniques and use them in my workflow. These days some big AAA games are using my tricks and techniques for some specific artworks and shaders. I have been offering art direction to some studios along with my Art. The secret is just that, work smart and make your own pipeline by using different pipeline skills.

4. Share your experience on managing your workflows and projects.

When it comes to the work, I will always try to plan the days according to the work and try to finish before that. It is really important to plan and give the specific deadline for the specific work. I will always have an estimation of time for every work. The specific workflow that I follow always helps me to reach the work on time. I always have the necessary starting stuff to kick start and save the time for every style of project.

5. How do you approach a project estimation and calculate your work hours?

To be honest, it totally depends on the concept. For some specific works I charge them per piece instead of per hour. The more things I consider are how much time it takes when I see the concept, and what tools I need to use. For example, hair work will be constant with the price per piece most of the time. But sculpting works keep changing according to the concept.#nbsp;

6. What’s your favorite platform to share your portfolio and why?

Aa of now, There are few platforms I really like.
I myself built so many facebook and instagram 3D communities, We share the works there most of the time and pinned. We have communities with more than 300k artists and Industry professionals. I really like Artstation as a portfolio showcase site as of now. Youtube for some game design works. Artstation is the place where every artist can check other artists’ works constantly. But I really like facebook communities of mine because they always have been study material for many upcoming artists.

7. What are the main advantages of community in our industry?

If it is Facebook then So many people can meet and talk and learn from each other, Ask doubts. Get feedback and show their vision.
If it is Artstation. It is more kinda showing the skills you have already got than learning. But there is a category for learning these days. So people can learn easily but at some cost of money. But on facebook people don’t charge to clear your doubts.

8. How do you see the future of the industry?

I really have a clear mind about what I’m gonna do. For now I’m working on game development while working as a 3D Artist. So focusing on what I have right now. A Game Developer and Entrepreneur.

9. Give some useful advice to your colleagues who are just starting out in the profession.

Just work with your passion. Try to create your own ways always instead of just following the old methods of doing things.

10. Last but not least, share your experience with Devoted CG and Devoted Studios

I am really happy to be a part of Devoted Studios. I have been working with them for so many years now. Very friendly atmosphere and friendly people. It is a fun environment. I love it. They always give importance to the artist who works with them.

10.10.2022

Fabio Cacciola: “If a studio chooses you, you’re probably doing the right thing”

2 months |

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How did I start?

I chose to work on characters because I like all that is related to them. While playing videogames or watching movies, I would always pay a lot of attention to characters, their styles, personalities, what they are carrying with them, all those things. Growing up, I loved to draw characters. I used to draw comics back in school, but the process was to draw all the characters “perfectly” and rush the background, so… they weren’t that great This helped me understand what my passion was, and that I wanted to make a living out of that.

My struggles?

While studying, and then trying to get jobs, my biggest struggle was dealing with real life. Health related problems took my attention away from improving as an artist. It wasn’t easy, and it’s still not easy, but I was able to get back to work 100% after I started working on the mental side of things, so I would say that’s something that shouldn’t be forgotten, and you always have to take care of that.

How to get better?

I’ve always tried different ways to improve my craft. One of the things that helped me a lot was learning softwares like Blender and Daz. Not having to think about things like anatomy allowed me to focus mostly on the design part of the characters. Still, you have to study a lot of fundamentals, so continuing with that helped as well. And there’s no real comfort answer for that, you have to do it a lot and be patient. Sometimes, or always, it is really frustrating, but the results are what keeps me going because there’s no better feeling than getting good at something you love to do.

Feedback is “the thing”.

I started getting real work back in 2018, and one of the things I learned working as a Pro is the importance of feedbacks. I really think they made me improve because your Art Director sees lots of things that you probably don’t notice and the moment I’ve worked on something personal, I realized I’m way more critical of myself, and I see lots of things I wouldn’t have noticed before.

Pieces of advice?

Also, you have to pay the bills. My only suggestion would be: do not undersell yourself. An important thing is to be able to understand your value, and that’s one of the things I struggle a lot with, because the first thought is that everything I do sucks. But you still need to get over that, and be very objective about your work, and understand that this is a job, and you have to make a living out of it. If a studio chooses you, you’re probably doing the right thing.

10.10.2022

Munkhjin Otgonbayar: “There is no way to make learning process less painful, no shortcut”

2 months |

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My specialty is 3D Concepts, making designs for Environments, Characters and Hardsurface stuff.

I’ve started as a 3D Generalist in the beginning, so I tried and experimented a lot, and in the meantime,I decided to push myself as hard as I can to become a 3D Concept Designer. 3D Artists or others, everyone faces the same obstacles. It’s not about any profession or something. It’s about mindgame.The person who can improve their mind and psychology and control themselves will be able to rise up when all falls apart.

There aren’t any special and extraordinary people, but Special Effort makes them special. that’s the only difference.

There is no way to make learning process less painful, no shortcut. If you want to achieve anything you need to pay with your effort for it.

Important thing I realised today:

Honesty is a first step for all of us – Admitting to your weaknesses and sharing it with others will help find a way to fix it! This requires extermination of an ego, so forget the ego and accept the lesson.

10.10.2022

Ruben Orellana: “Know where you are to focus on what you need”

2 months |

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Devoted: What part of work took the longest to master?

Ruben: Final designs. To be honest I believe I’m still in the process to master it. As a creative you believe that your first idea has the whole potential to be the best. I decided to tell myself that wasn’t enough, that there’s a lot of “something’s missing”. That makes me more focused, more open to changes, trying to increase my techniques, learn from other artists, approach different tools, get the right resources, get the best references and try to be as proactive as I can. One of the most important things in the process is the Feedback. Opinions of others, their perceptions – accepting it as advice will increase your own view on how to be a better artist. That “something’s missing”. In the industry it will help you to understand that teamwork can be the best way to get the Final and the Best Design. For me, the Final Design is just like a puzzle that will never be finished because I always try to include something new. Said that’s “something missing” it will make me focus on keep looking to master it.

Devoted: Someone who would like to do the same thing as you do might face what obstacles?

Ruben: Theory and experience. Theory as a knowledge. Experience, as in resolving problems using the knowledge you have. You can overcome those obstacles with patience. Not all of us could do something really fast. But continuous trying and repeating will lessen your obstacles or change the way you see them. What can make this process less painful is order and focus. Knowing where you want to go. Know where you are to focus on what you need.