Antony Ward

Not too long ago we had the very talented and interesting Antony Ward come in to talk to us about his past, his work, being freelance and for general chat about the world of 3D, animating and games developing. I had my laptop out for this talk and was able to get quite a few notes down whilst he was giving the talk.
It was interesting to hear his progress in the game development area as well as hearing the journey he took into freelancing and how that’s turning out for himself. You can never get too much advice and input from someones personal experience, and no more is more interesting and useful than someone such as Antony with so much experience and having had so much diversity in work.

Notes:
Software (previous use)
artist 2 – 2 colours per 8×8 square
DPaint Anim

building on own portfolio within 3DS Max
left first company before collapse

moving to Krisalis software working on the unreleased LEGO Fantasy
not well organised with a lack of direction
sadly closed but then moved onto Gremlin Interactive
creating rigging tool ‘creature tools’ having to deal with rigging 60 characters
MEL scripting

Moved into EA as associate character animator
re-using past systems and tools created
working on untouchables which was unreleased due to the similar game coming out, ‘Need For Speed’

due to personal reasons, wanted to leave EA and move back to Leeds but was asked to keep working from Leeds
decided to leave because of wanting to go freelance

while at infograms, created a tutorial with character modelling which became quite popular
wanting to show the whole process, created first book ‘Game Character – Development with Maya’
in spare time working on the book whilst being at EA
18 months to complete

Sumo Digital
started on ‘Trixter’ and moved onto to other projects
Outrun 2006: Coast to Coast
Broken Sword: The Angel of Death
Sega Superstars Tennis
Sonic & SEGA All Stars Racing
made Lead Artist but didn’t feel as though it was the right path
most see moving up ‘the ladder’ as the way to go but the higher he went, the less work he would create
left to pursue a freelance career

2007 onwards – freelance
wanting to experience more within the industry
no regular income
scary move
going freelance meant he had to be prepared to do other things as well
always being open to various jobs
Lloyds TSB
Ragdoll Productions
Sumo Digital
Just add water

next book ‘Game Character Development’
only 6 months to complete within spare time but purely on modelling the character
no point in repeating the whole process again

taking a break from modelling
for Abney & Teal, created a 2D rig to animate in 3D
purely all MEL scripting, easier to script it all than create a rig and do edits and have to make it again

‘3D Modeling in Silo’
Publisher approached him this time

‘Strangers Wrath’
Upgrading 86 characters from original Xbox to PS3
most characters went from 3,000 to 20,000 polys
but had to reuse Maya 4.5 and original rids
went from 3 month contract to 16 months
interesting challenge to think bout all the problems and issues

3D World
looking on Twitter again
went on to do some tutorials covering various topics
– Character Modelling
– Character & Vehicle Rigging
– Dynamics Simulations
– Game Development
– Top Tips Series

Nice being freelance, having the chance to do a lot of different things
when you’re freelance, you don’t have a break
Digital Tutors then found him
approached in Dec 2011
about 8 courses so far – between 2 & 7 hours of video
courses include
– Creating a Cowgirl
– Low Poly Character & Vehicle Creation
– High Poly Aircraft Creation
– Sci-Fi Hero

get use to things not being released
still getting paid and rolled onto another project
always working on your own portfolio
can have some people who are a bit bad on the pay etc
get use to working within a studio first and then perhaps go freelance rather than other way around due to contacts, understanding, learning from the good and bad
a lot of it is ‘who you know not what just you know’
having knowledge in other areas but it is nice to have that specialism
if going freelance, if all they do is one area then they’ll have to narrow the work

never happy with his work and always building upon his own skill and improve
reach out to more clients
using and improving ZBrush
improve drawing skills again
‘getting use to a mouse means you loose out on the 2D drawing skills’

Begin writing for CGTuts+
Creating MiniCrits which last about 5 mins

when started going freelance it went from being online
looking constantly
getting your name out there
getting a website sorted
being at the right place at the right time
online networking
DO MORE ONLINE!

understanding the work in progress, breakdowns and showing the potential to development rather than just having a great looking final piece
learning scripting slightly would be good, dabble in it to understand the basics

Contact info:
ant-online.co.uk
vimeo.com/anchuvi

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