Paul Steed & Jesse Rapzak visit AIE


Submitted by mattw

AIE students were today treated to a visit from renowned games industry veterans Paul Steed and Jesse Rapczak from Exigent 3D, a world leading animation and games studio based in India. Paul and Jesse spent several hours with AIE students imparting some of their wisdom gained in over 25 years (combined) in the 3D business.

An experienced film and VFX artist, Jesse spoke to current Diploma of Screen students about his experiences in applying film style special effects and particles systems in real time game development and the challenges (and limitations!) of working in a real time environment. Jesse was also able to spend time talking one on one with students and offering them some tips on the character animation assignment they are currently working on.

Paul spent most of his time with Advanced Diploma of Professional Game Development students and talked about his experiences in the games business, particularly his work on id Software's Quake? series and the challenges of working in a developing games industry like India. Paul was also able to offer some invaluable advice to students on their work, including individual feedback to students on deformation points, supination, mesh flow and anatomical proportion. Some hilarious facts were also imparted to students throughout the lively session, such as "no one can lick there own elbow" and as discovered during a competition while working on Quake? that id Software founder, John Carmack, can bench-press 270lbs!

Paul and Jesse's visit caps off a busy month for AIE students, with guest lectures recently from Stavros Georgiads of the ACT Filmmakers Network, John De Margheriti, CEO of Micro Fort? Games & Bigworld Technology, Robert Byrnes, Technical Lighting Director on Happy Feet, Shane Trewartha and Dayne Rathbone from Micro Fort? Games, Chris Whaley and Anthony Whittaker from RZ2 Games and Daniel Lamb from Irrational Games visiting AIE in recent weeks. More guest lectures are planned for later in the year.

Paul Steed serves as Chief Creative Officer for Exigent, and leads their creative development. Paul has extensive experience in the game industry as an art director and creative director with 6 major companies over the past 15 years. His vast development experience includes hugely successful franchises like Electronic Art's Wing Commander and id Software's blockbuster Quake series. Paul is also author of three books on 3D art for game development.

Jesse Rapczak serves as the Vice President of Production for Exigent. Previously, Jesse co-founded Artificial Studios (creators of the Reality Engine, acquired by Epic Games in 2005). He led the creative team at Artificial Studios for 4 years, directing the need for many of the high-end features now contained in the product. A veteran in the film visual effects industry, Jesse has led teams in the area of CG content for feature films such as Scooby Doo 2, Exorcist: The Beginning, Cat Woman, as well as many national commercial and advertising campaigns.


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  • 1. Sonic Wang - Tue, 24 Apr 2007 12:54:0Z
    Oh please. Paul Steed is an overrated prick with no real talent. All he ever does it titties. The only reason he has a name is because he worked on quake
  • 2. Neil - Tue, 24 Apr 2007 17:2:14Z
    Actually the couple of times I have met Paul he has stuck me as an genuinely nice guy who continues to be really passionate about making games. He is happy to share his knowledge and has some great war stories to tell.
  • 3. Ex Dude - Wed, 25 Apr 2007 11:24:52Z
    "All he ever does it titties"

    Probably done more titties than you ever will mate...

  • 4. Anonymous Coward - Thu, 26 Apr 2007 7:51:31Z
    is much 3d work outsourced or done in india?
  • 5. Souri - Thu, 26 Apr 2007 11:6:39Z
    Actually, Paul Steed is actually a pretty talented fellow. I remember seeing his work on polycount during the Quake 3 days, and the stuff he could put out was incredible. I don't think it's fair to say that all he could do were those "female in space boots" models, even though he did put a book out that taught just that ;) I know a fair few people have cited that book for bad practices and don't suggest learners to start out with it.

    The work that I've seen (so long ago) from him and some modelling judging he's done showed some incredible thoughts and insights on anatomy. Unfortunately, I haven't really seen much of his work in recent times (I was wondering where he's disappeared to actually. He had a stint doing web based games at some point), but I still think he's the king of low polygon modelling. I'm not sure how important that is anymore, but he could do some wicked stuff with polygon limits (after all, he's been in the biz for yonks when 3D modelling was in its infancy).

  • 6. Souri - Thu, 26 Apr 2007 11:26:35Z
    Sumea gets some spam over the years from 3D outsource companies from India. Probably over half a dozen. One of them even entered their company in the Sumea wiki. Before I delete them, I usually check out their site, purely for curiosity sakes, and whoah-boy, that stuff was bad. Like, really terrible. Of course, this is definitely not indicative of all 3D outsource companies in India, but the ones that got sent to me? BAD.

    I've always been curious as to how successful creative/art work is when outsourced to places like India and China. It looks like China might be way ahead though. There are some world class concept art and game dev studios in Shanghai like Ubisoft and Massive Black.

  • 7. Simon Cottee - Thu, 26 Apr 2007 23:22:55Z
    I'm in my second year at AIE and I can safely say he has been the best speaker we have had. He helped bring the excitement and passion of game development back into our minds. After a lot of "doom and gloom" speakers, Paul really motivated me!
  • 8. Anonymous Coward - Thu, 26 Apr 2007 23:53:40Z
    Wow, AIE had people from Micro Forte visit! They must be sooo lucky!
  • 9. Jackydablunt - Sat, 28 Apr 2007 2:38:34Z
    That is a good point about the whole doom and gloom thing, people trying to get into the industry now must be generally shitting themselves. From my perspective there seems to be really a handful of individuals in only a couple of companies that seem to be giving all a bad name, but they do influence a lot due to the word of mouth nature of the industry. When its all you hear than naturally it will turn the mood. It's like anything really, you notice extremes, not averages, but unfortunately its easier to be extreme in the negative sense.

    I myself used to be quite negative about the industry, and when you feel like you're on the bottom then you look for the bad to justify you being in that current position. Its a natural form of defensive self righteousness, and unfortunately the games industry is like a sewing circle when it comes to gossip so its easy to find things to blame and become overly bitter about it all.. But you'll gain a certain level of exp where the top guys suddenly just seem merely on par guys with a different job, as opposed to being this upper echelon of supremacy, You start seeing things from above the storm clouds where you can gain a better perspective, and you see that though the negatives were loud and defined, they're not the norm, and generally things are actually pretty cool.

    It's still a right bitch of an industry to get into though, but its getting better.

  • 10. Maestro - Sat, 28 Apr 2007 15:23:6Z
    All depends on the company you work for, some game development companies are better than others.