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EPISODE 20

Justin Holt // Epic Games

HOW TO BE A KICK ASS TEXTURE ARTIST

TOP TAKEAWAYS

  • The similarities and differences while working VFX and gaming.
  • What it means to be a commercial artist
  • What is it like working on Fortnite, and why is it so wildly popular
  • Who are the 'rock star' juniors and what makes them so?
  • Learn the estimated time that an artist takes to work on a character and what a typical job entails.
  • How to balance the studio working environment for the smooth running of things.
  • The volatility of the VFX industry and how an artist can protect themselves against it.
Art Heroes Podcast ep.20:
Justin Holt // Epic Games
Listen to the episode now:
Who is it
Meet Justin Holt, a senior texture artist for Epic games since the end of October 2019. He had previously worked in the VFX industry for 15 years. Justin Holt has contributed to 50 films including 3 Oscar winners. He is currently painting character skins for FORTNITE as well as delving into the world of real time rendering.

Why should you listen
In this episode of Art Heroes Podcast, Justin shares his visual effects career in the film industry and why he made the transition to the gaming world. He talks about what it entails to work in a film studio as compared to a gaming studio.
Summary
Meet Justin Holt, a senior texture artist for Epic games since the end of October 2019. He had previously worked in the VFX industry for 15 years. Justin Holt has contributed to 50 films including 3 Oscar winners. Throughout his busy career, Justin has also managed to author 2 Gnomon Workshop Titles, serve as a CG Workshop Online Instructor for CGWorkshops and act as the original Texture Painting Mentor to countless students for Think Tank Training Centre's mentorship program. But after 15 years, Justin has decided to take on a new and exciting challenge. Most recently Justin has accepted a position as a Senior Texture Artist with Epic Games. He is currently painting character skins for FORTNITE as well as delving into the world of real time rendering.

In this episode of Art Heroes Podcast, Justin shares his visual effects career in the film industry and why he made the transition to the gaming world. He talks about what it entails to work in a film studio as compared to a gaming studio.

Listen in to learn why Justin believes that every studio needs a solid junior artist as a part of their capable team. You will hear his opinion on the popular online game Fortnite, that he has been working on at Epic Games.
GET IN TOUCH WITH JUSTIN
Website: http://justinmichaelholt.com/
Gnomon account: https://www.thegnomonworkshop.com/instructors/justin-holt
KEY MOMENTS OF THE EPISODE

  • [0:29] Justin shares his career journey and how he transitioned from the VFX industry to gaming.
  • [3:36] He describes his passion for texturing.
  • [5:58] He describes his transition from lighting to texturing and any additional skills he might have required.
  • [7:06] What sets apart texture artists from others.
  • [9:14] The similarities and differences while working with VFX and gaming.
  • [10:49] Why Justin describes himself as a "commercial artist".
  • [12:45] Why artists need to understand that commissioned work is not their work.
  • [14:17] How long does it take to work on a character in the studio- the good, the bad, and the in-between.
  • [16:48] What a typical job entails while working for different studios.
  • [21:45] How to have a balanced ecosystem in the studio to ensure easier workflow and career progression.
  • [24:15] Who are the 'rock star' juniors and what makes them so?
  • [28:27] What makes the visual effects industry volatile?
  • [32:14] Steps to take as an artist to protect yourself from the visual effects industry's volatility.
  • [33:45] When was the last time Justin updated his portfolio?
  • [35:28] He explains why he left the visual effects industry for the gaming industry.
  • [40:57] Why has the Fortnite game exploded worldwide compared to other games?
  • [43:11] What makes Fortnite the best game of all time? Will it come to an end?
  • [46:10] The major steps that Epic Games is doing to ensure the growth of Fortnite game.
  • [48:50] His advice to junior artists on whether to generalize or specialize in a certain modeling role.
  • [51:48] He answers the fun 10 questions.
"You have to have a balanced ecosystem, you can't have a team of all juniors, you can't have a team of all seniors, and you can't have a team of all middle-skilled people."
"Your demo reel will get you through the door, but it's your reputation that'll keep you there."
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MARIA JD
Art Heroes Podcast Host
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Building a career, a business and a lifestyle.
Becoming your own hero.
Art Heroes Podcast is the show to help you thrive as a digital artist, where we share tips, stories and strategies from other amazing 2D and 3D artists from videogames, advertising, CG, VFX, VR, and other industries, from all over the world. Art Heroes' goal is to inspire and give actionable tips that will help you to make your passion into a career and make the most out of your talent and skills.

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