Eric: Hi my name is Eric Cassels and I’m an Environment Artist at Bungie. My job here is to take amazing concepts created by our very talented artists and translate it into playable spaces. I work with a number of software packages to author models and textures and then use our editor to compose scenes.
Eric: I have too many hobbies to list them all, seriously! If I had to pick one it would probably be 3D printing, this has been my main source of distraction for the past year or so. Printing models and listening to the strange robotic carnival music that the printer makes.
Eric: The same as every other kid: "I will do what my dad does!" When I was old enough to realize math was not my specialty and nuclear engineering requires some basic understanding of the subject, I moved on to art! I think it was in early High school that I really began looking into options in various art fields.
Eric: I studied Media Arts and Game art and Design at The Art Institute of Seattle with a focus on environment art and hard surface modeling. The most important skills I learned in school, other than art related trades, were networking with others and being able to seek out information and continue to learn new things on my own.
Eric: Before Bungie I worked as the senior environment artist at Flying Lab Software in Seattle, (now Cryptic Studios), where I worked on environment art, concepts, prototypes, and a whole host of other tasks. It was an amazing, one-of-a-kind experience. I was able to explore many different art styles and learn a great deal about everything that goes into creating game content. Prior to the games industry, I worked on cars for quite a few years mainly on mechanical and electrical systems and also did a lot of custom fiberglass work. Being around technical things regularly gave me a broader visual understanding of how real world things are assembled and function, knowledge I still use today!
Eric: I put together a portfolio of my best work and sent it off to Bungie with fingers crossed! I had a few friends that were currently working at Bungie who were kind enough to assist me in getting my portfolio viewed. A short while later, it was a success and I had an interview.
Eric: The interview process was actually a lot of fun and pretty mellow. Rob Adams grilled me decently with technical questions - by far the hardest part of the day!
Eric: Cool people! There is an ever-growing pool of amazing talent and truly inspiring people working here and it has been an incredible experience so far.
Eric: I arrive at work in the morning and walk up what seems like four hundred stairs. I stop by the kitchen for some snackins and head to my desk. While I wait for software to load, I check my mail and crank away at my tasks until lunch time. Most of the time lunch is whatever can be grabbed quickly enough to get back to the office to cram in a round of Company of Heroes before its back to work! Afternoons are usually a mix of work, meetings, and playtests. I wrap things up in the evening by checking in files and sending mail.
Eric: Seeing the game take shape and just being a part of such a massively epic project like this is truly rewarding. And free shirts. :)
Eric: I work on small art projects at home fairly regularly to expand my skill set and broaden my knowledge base. I browse polycount regularly to keep up to date with the latest tech.
Eric: My best advice if you are just starting out is to focus on one specific field whether it is environment art, concept art, animation, etc. and put all of your efforts towards that field and a future job. Keep an open mind, general information never hurts. If you are passionate about making games and put the effort in to make it in this industry it is a very rewarding field to be in.
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