Champions Online Introduces Christopher Chamberlain

Cryptic’s latest Meet the Team feature for Champions Online puts Christopher Chamberlain in the spotlight. Christopher “Absinthe” Chamberlain is the lead artist in charge of characters, animation and FX for the upcoming MMORPG.

Chamberlain’s been part of the gaming industry for over ten years; working first with Atari before coming to Cryptic. He’s a fan of Buckaroo Bonzai, Frank Franzetta and AC/DC as well as a pen and paper RPG gamer who spends his spare time slaying dragons with his two year old. His calling keeps him busy and often entertained. Here’s one part of Chamberlain’s work day:

Just today I spent some time with the animators while we loaded up lots of martial arts reference material. We took foam swords and attacked each other and videotaped it – all while screaming maniacally, of course. Then I sat with our character concept artist and decided on the look for a villain group, and whether or not they should have these wicked spiked collars, bare chests and ginormous scars.

According to Chamberlain, who should know, Champions Online will have four times the parts and twice as many attachment areas for character customization as City of Heroes did when it went online. Players will also be able to easily define their avatar’s build and muscle tone.

Chamberlain has some advice for gamers who hope to break into the industry.

…do what makes sense. Look at the area of gaming you want to get into, whether it be animation, FX, environment, whatever, and make it, literally. For example, you get the Unreal editor free with a few of the EPIC games. Getting a job as an artist at a videogame company isn’t just about being able to make a cool guy in ZBrush; you also have to be very proficient with the pipelines. If you can’t get that awesome model from Zbrush into the game, it doesn’t really do anyone much good.

If you want to be an environment artist, lay out a level. Texture it, light it, etc., and be able to show your avatar running around in it. If you want to be a character artist, create your awesome character and then get it running around in the game.

I guarantee that if I see a demo of a guy running around in a level he created with his buddy, it will get my attention faster than another Mudbox head bust. Unless that headbust is of Angelina Jolie. (Shh! Don’t tell my wife!)

via Champions Online

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