Damien Levaufre from Ubisoft, who has worked on Assassin’s Creed Unity, Watch dogs DLC Bad Blood and The Division talked about the difference between developing massive games and creating own projects, discussed the creation of different assets and shared some very valuable advice.
Hi everyone ! I have passed a bachelor degree in 2009 at the Bellecour School in Lyon. After my graduation I have been a trainee and then employed by Ankama, a great company based in the north of France that has developed the Dofus and Wakfu licenses.
I was a 3D modeler at the goodies and products department where I was also in charge of the 3D printer we used for prototyping.
In November 2013 I have joined the Ubisoft Annecy team as a 3D character artist. I have worked on several AAA licenses: Assassin’s Creed Unity, Watch dogs DLC Bad Blood, The Division and I am currently working on Steep, Ubisoft’s new license that has just won Best Sports Game award at the Game Critic Awards in the 2016 E3.
What would you say is the main difference between working on projects like the Division or Unity and creating your own projects?
My personal preference goes to cartoon designs but I have learned a lot with the ultra realistic style that is required in the Ubisoft licenses.
On my personal projects I often work directly with an illustrator that has his own style and it’s challenging and interesting to interpret that style in 3D while expressing my own vision.
Creating Assets for Massive Games
At Ubisoft it’s the role of the concept artist/illustrator to design the characters and make these kind of researches, they make a detailed drawing of the characters they’ve designed.
Based on this concept/illustration I make a lot of researches on textures and realistic details of accessories for example.
I then make the 3D model, the texturing and the technical integration in the game’s engine.
I was very glad to see my characters in the ACU Game, it was the first time that I’ve worked on a video game and it’s amazing to see your work live. I had the same feeling when I saw printed prototypes of my figurines in Ankama.
The Division’s Head Wear
Thanks ! It’s a bit complicated to explain the process as I make my own “mix” using different softwares.
For example on the knitted bonnets some braids are modeled in 3D and the knitted effect is a texture I’ve designed and altered with the Noise Maker tool in ZBrush.
The suede and the leather effects are made with Substance Painter that is an amazing texturing software we have recently started to use.
What part of your job most makes you think: «This is why I do this thing»?
What I love about this job is that it is very challenging : the technology evolves fast, you have to learn new softwares and processes all the time and it’s also very creative.
I am always in the process of learning new skills, it’s very interesting. Also I am very lucky to be surrounded by great artists and we share a lot.
What’s the best piece of advice you were ever given in your career?
That would be my dad : be passionate about the career you choose as you will probably spend a lot of time working. Choose a job that really motivates you.