Rafael Grassetti  

We’re really happy to share this interview made by Sebastien Tafani with Rafael Grassetti, a major artist from today’s game industry .

ST – Could you describe a bit your experience?

RG – I worked for 3 years with advertising in Brazil and at the same time started to build my personal portfolio focused in characters. I did some freelance work at the same time I was working fulltime and after I got a couple of clients I decided to work only as a freelancer. I did that for 2 years and I had the chance to work with many big cients. In 2011 I was hired by Bioware and moved to Canada, I worked in Mass Effect and Dragon Age titles. Im currently living in San Diego, CA. Working as a character supervisor at Sony.

How could you explain this passion for the modeling?

RG- Ive always loved to draw and sculpt, I think it just grow with me from over the years.  I remember spending days and weekends copying cartoon and comic characters with clay and paper when I was younger.

ST – You’ve been working for quite a lot of well know companies in the game industry. How does the workflow changes from one studio to the other?

RG – It changes a lot. I always learn new things at every studio I work with. The character artist part of the workflow vary but a lot of studios work the same way. Studios are also always open to learn, so I always try to bring something of my own pipeline to the studio pipeline.

ST – Could you describe a typical day as a Chara Artist?

RG – It changed a lot from what I used to do and what I do now. Most of the game studios have a very good schedule and deadlines so as a character artist you know what you will do in the next couple weeks so its very easy going to sit, create and have fun doing it. As a supervisor now I have to be there for all the artists and go to many many meetings, that sometimes is not that fun and creative.

ST – Could you explain to us the process of creation in production?

RG – We work together with the art director and concept artists to came up with a concept, after that is approved we take over and create everything that is needed to the ingame character, model, textures and ingame shaders. We give that to the rigger and they give it back to us so we can check the deformations and we finish the process.

ST – What’s best experience?

RG – I believe my first years were the best one, to have that first fuel and excitement of this industry is still my best memory. I still have those things, but now I know all the sides of this industry.

ST – What was the most difficult challenge you had to face?

RG – When I left my fulltime job to work only as a freelancer, I was really insecure specially because I didn’t had a degree to support me with my famiy. But I was very happy that they support me and everything worked out.

ST – What are your favorite tools?

RG – I have to use maya and mudbox at work but I love 3dsmax and ZBrush.

ST – You’re currently Character Artist Supervisor. Could you explain what your role is exactly? Is there more responsibility?

RG – Its way more responsibility, I basically have to control what each artist is working on and how they are doing. Plus create art at the same time.

ST – In your opinion what are the main rules to achieve a great sculpt?

RG – The message that the sculpt is giving you when you look at it. A good silhouette, pose and basic forms are better than details.

ST – Which artist inspired you the most?

RG – I have so many inspirations that its hard to pick one. I believe  every famous artist have his own merits and I try to see that and learn as much as I can from each.

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