Introducing guest writer: Markus
I am Markus Hammarstedt and I have been asked to write as a guest for Sabine’s blog, sharing my experiences as an animator in the industry. I work as a ‘Senior Animator II’ at Blizzard on the Overwatch Team and hope to raise some curiosity about what it is to be an animator in the industry for you all. I have previously worked at BioWare up in Edmonton, Canada, MachineGames, Massive and Starbreeze in Sweden and People can Fly in Poland.
As an animator there is a lot of freedom as animation bridges entertainment in multiple forms. TV, Movies, Commercials and of course Games to mention the big ones.
There are a lot of sub-genres within Animation and I have so far specialized in gameplay animations as gameplay and game design is a big passion of mine. If you want to specialize deeper there are subsets like creatures, player animation, 3rd person/1st person animations etc. Big teams and studios have a lot of specialization based on their project.
Main software I use as an animator is currently Autodesk Maya. In previous jobs I’ve used Autodesk MotionBuilder a lot (mainly for motion-capture, something we can go deeper into in another post).
Other abilities that are good to have basic knowledge of as a gameplay animator are:
3D modelling - Understanding the models you animate and what good topology for animation helps communication with character artists
Rigging - Even knowing the basics helps a lot when talking to riggers about how to improve animation workflows and rigs to help your animation shine
Engine Implementation - Basic knowledge of how to implement animations into the game can help a lot, especially since we have to communicate with programmers and designers a lot about how the animations function in the game
Basic scripting - Something I’ve started getting more lately. Having the ability to make basic scripts to speed up your everyday workflow is a huge asset
Thank you for reading this far! I’ll be back with upcoming posts about more specific animation topics. Please let me or Sabine know if there is anything you’re looking for me to cover!