November 6th 2013
He’s not James Bond… but he does all of our stunts! Daniel Craig is one of Star Citizen’s animators, working with the mocap hardware that enables our characters to walk around and perform any number of movements. Check out his interview below, or get to know him better during his interview on Friday’s Wingman’s Hangar!
While I did have a degree in Computer Animation, I first got my foot in the door by doing German localization and testing for a rap karaoke game (Def Jam Rapstar). It was a bit surreal to come in to work every day and test German rap songs for 8 hours. As you can imagine, it was a pretty noisy QA room with testers rapping in English, German and French simultaneously. After that project was completed they needed someone who was familiar with the various 3d software packages as well as Photoshop to fill a position in the Art Outsourcing department for the next game. I was fortunate to be chosen for that position, which also allowed me to help out the animation department whenever we slowed down on the outsourcing side. After a year in Art Outsourcing I officially joined the animation department as a full time animator.
My official title at Cloud Imperium is Animator / Mocap Artist which is the fancy way of saying I help record, manage and clean up the raw motion capture data for integration in to the game. I handle most of the technical side of recording the motion capture. This means running our motion capture software Motive and making sure we keep the shots organized for easy access later on. Once the data is recorded and organized, I do the first cleaning pass and then hand it off to Bryan Brewer for additional technical adjustments and clean up before it goes in to the game. When time allows it, Bryan also likes to challenge me with more difficult animations to improve my knowledge of MotionBuilder and the CryEngine. As I haven’t been in the industry as long as most of my coworkers, I appreciate being asked to do animation tasks that are slightly out of my comfort zone. It can be a bit nerve racking but there’s nothing more rewarding than the feeling of overcoming a challenge. Lucky for me, the vast amount of talented individuals at Cloud Imperium offer years of experience I can draw from.
I can’t wait to see all the modular pieces come together. I think I’m most excited to experience the very first time I can seamlessly walk in to the hangar, fire up my ship and take off in to the unknown. The joy of discovery you can get from this type of game is something I am very looking forward. I’m hoping I can get some of our awesome fans to play bodyguard as I’m exploring some of the more outlaw areas of space.
The first memory that came to mind was playing Super Mario Bros. on the NES with my dad in 1989. I remember him realizing that you get 50 points if you destroyed one of the brick blocks and from then on trying to destroy every block in the level. This of course meant extreme boredom for me, but also that he never made it to the end of a level because he would always run out of time. I tried to explain to him that it’s not about the score, but I guess he got enjoyment out of destroying those little virtual blocks. Thinking about it now, I wonder if he just got enjoyment out of seeing me get worked up while he was wasting time.
Believe it or not, I recently stopped playing GTA5 to play through the campaign of Theme Hospital again. Yes ! Theme Hospital. It holds up extremely well and it actually makes me want to jump back in to some other classics such as Crusader: No Remorse and Dungeon Keeper soon. I haven’t played those games since they first came out and I’m interested to see how I feel about them today. Other than that, my go-to game for a few years now has been The Binding of Isaac. According to Steam, that $5 game has given me hundreds of hours of entertainment. I can’t wait to play the remake on the Vita whenever it’s released next year.