Insights by the Pros with Outfit7 Game Animator Loris Vodeb
Game Animator and iAnimate Alumni, Loris Vodeb, shares his stories and inspirations and how he succeeded in his animation journey.
"iAnimate helped prepare me for the industry in many ways, but one of the most effective ones was how it simulated a professional studio environment."
Meet Loris Vodeb, a creative and skilled 3D animator. Loris has been in the industry for years now and currently working at Outfit7 as a Full-Time 3D Character Animator. Loris is an exceptional talent who brings his passion and professionalism to every project he works on. He is professionally trained in both gameplay and cinematics and is an expert in the field of previz and camera work. Loris has a keen eye for detail and a competent understanding of scripting and engine implementation.
Animation Journey and Inspiration
iAnimate: Tell us a bit about your animation journey and throughout your time with us. Who or What inspired you to become an animator? How did you become an animator, and when did iAnimate become part of your journey?
Loris: I've been interested in storytelling for as long as I can remember. My first memory is of my dad telling me stories that he made up and illustrated on the spot. That had a huge positive impact on me and inspired me to pursue storytelling as a career. Animation soon became my medium of choice because of its versatility of use in mediums, such as video games, film & TV, and its support for a wide variety of styles. What excites me about my craft is its constantly evolving nature - pushing the boundaries of entertainment value and artistic expression.
Video game animation interested me the most so I decided to search for a specialized course that would help me reach the necessary skill level and allow me to get my foot in the industry's door. I did some research and ultimately decided to enroll at iAnimate. After a year, I completed the program and became alumni (Game Animation Workshops & Directing for Animators). Not long after completing my demo reel and starting to apply for jobs, I got an invitation to an interview for a Senior 3D Animator position at Outfit7. I managed to complete the recruitment process and got the job offer soon after. I've been at Outfit7 ever since and got the opportunity to befriend and work with so many incredible people. Joining iAnimate is one of the best decisions I have ever made.
iAnimate: Can you tell us more about your role and responsibilities?
Loris: My primary responsibility is creating animations for Outfit7's games. That often includes all the stages from planning/ideation (editing animation lists and creating previz) to engine implementation. I also provide feedback to our content team that, along with outsourcing studios, produces animated shorts and promotional material. I've just recently started preparing content for our distribution team as well. The role is incredibly collaborative, iterative, and as such, highly rewarding.
iAnimate: What do you do to stay inspired and motivated animator?
Loris: I consume a lot of content of all sorts (Books, Movies, Music), but even more so - I try to be present in the here and now. Staying curious, observing, and analyzing how things work helps me build that visual collection of sources that I draw from every day.
I'm highly inspired by people who are great at their craft - many of whom, I've had the distinct pleasure of working with at iAnimate. I'm inspired by seeing thoughtfulness in their work and how they solve problems, which motivates me to constantly seek improvement and avoid complacency.
Something that resonated with me throughout my time at iAnimate was also the interconnectedness of the animation community. Being a part of it makes it easy to stay inspired and motivated.
[Loris Vodeb Team]
Animation Lessons and Growth
iAnimate: How did iAnimate help prepare you for the industry? What were the most important things you learned at iAnimate?
Loris: iAnimate helped prepare me for the industry in many ways, but one of the most effective ones was how it simulated a professional studio environment. Having concrete deadlines and reaching them with the desired standard of quality helped me stay productive, which ultimately allowed me to assemble a demo reel that got me hired.
There are many lessons I learned at iAnimate. One of the most important ones was about how to build an effective workflow. During the program, I got many opportunities to observe professional animators at work and ask them all my burning questions. Seeing my instructors' workflows helped me build my own, which I continue to use and fine-tune every day.
I also learned how to think about the characters I'm animating and my work within a production environment. That is to say - sincerely contemplate my characters' thoughts, feelings, and decisions before ever opening up any software. In addition, I came to understand that the ultimate point of my work was to entertain the audience.
iAnimate: What is the most challenging shot you’ve ever animated, and why did you succeed at the shot?
Loris: One of the hardest shots I ever animated was the one I did during Game Animation Workshop 3 with Ricky Wood and later continued during Directing for Animators with Richard Arroyo. That was the first time I animated an in-game cinematic and it pushed me to use every trick I had learned up until that point.
One of the reasons behind the success of the shot was definitely temperance - focusing on quality rather than quantity. The shot was originally longer, but thanks to expert guidance by Ricky Wood and Richard Arroyo, I was able to focus on the part of it that had the potential to make the shot stand out.
[Loris' Current Reel]
iAnimate: Do you have any demo reel or interview advice you can share with animators on the job hunt?
Loris: When creating your demo reel, view it as the trailer that is meant to pull the audience in and leave them wanting to see more from you. It's generally best to bookmark the start, mid and end points of it with your best work. Try to avoid plain text with no background and create a custom thumbnail that is dynamic and clear. It is also great practice to update your demo reel often and not to be too attached to shots that may no longer represent the best of your animation ability.
Job interviews can be extremely stressful, especially when applying for the first time. Try to be as prepared as possible before you enter the meeting. Do thorough research about the company, prepare your questions, and be yourself.
iAnimate: What other advice do you have for current or future iAnimate students?
Loris: My main piece of advice would be to soak up as much information as you can. Use all the resources that are available to you. Get involved in the community and ask for help if you need it. When animating your shots, focus on quality over quantity, and don't be afraid to experiment with new workflows that you may find intimidating.
Animation Career Advice & Tips
iAnimate: If there’s one animation tip or technique you’d share with someone wanting to animate in a feature film, what would it be?
Loris: Spend a bit longer thinking about who your character really is and then let that influence your acting as you film your reference. During the filming process, minimize the distractions around you and just act out the shot as if you were the character in that situation.
iAnimate: Given that there’s so much to learn, how would you recommend a brand new animator start their training?
Loris: Start with the absolute basics and keep your first assignments as simple as possible. Create a few primitive shapes in your software of choice and practice moving them around with your graph editor open.
iAnimate: What makes a great animator or an animator a studio would hire?
Loris: Someone with a growth mindset and a positive work attitude. Staying humble, eager to improve, and constructive towards others are all great qualities to have and will get you far in the industry.
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