Game Developer

& 3D Artist

EA Firemonkeys

Junior Animator Application

 Hello Gemma, Sebastian, and the team at EA Firemonkeys,
 

The following is a written presentation I have prepared as part of my application for the Junior Animator Position. I have showcased three most recent animation works that I feel demonstrate my current skills and what I have to offer the team at EA Firemonkeys.

 

This role is very appealing to me, and I believe I would be a great fit for the criteria you have listed in the job posting. To work on The Sims FreePlay would be a great honor for me, as I have played The Sims games along with my sisters my entire life.

Last year I completed my Bachelor in Game Design at RMIT, and graduated within the top 2% of HE students in 2019. In addition to my study and personal experience with 3D art and animation, I also have 7 months professional experience at SMG Studio as the animator on their upcoming game 'Moving Out'.

I have been passionate about animation since a young age, I first began 3D animation part way through 2019 and have continued to broaden my skills since then - I pride myself in my ability to learn quickly! In addition to animation, I also have skills in illustration & digital art, technical art & shaders, 3D modelling, and game design, which help me to cooperate and communicate with my workmates across disciplines.

I would greatly appreciate the opportunity to work with you at EA Firemonkeys. Learning from experienced developers, and to work alongside like-minded, passionate people is an opportunity I would not take for granted!

Thank you for your time and consideration, I hope to hear back from you at your convenience.

Kind regards,

Mickey Krekelberg

 

Referees

John Szoke
Senior Games Producer - SMG Studio
0431 854 961
jszoke@gmail.com

Dr Helen Stuckey
Senior Lecturer, Bachelor of Design (Games) - RMIT School of Design
0404 082 070

helen.stuckey@rmit.edu.au

Jonathon Swanson (Soft Science)
Art Director - SMG Studio
0428 563 251

mail@softscience.com.au

Kate Inabinet
Industry Fellow, Bachelor of Design (Games) - RMIT School of Design

0410 687 872

Katherine.inabinet@rmit.edu.au

'Moving Out' (Link)

Maya & Blender animation, Unity implementation
SMG Studio (July 2019 - current)

I am currently employed at SMG Studio, as the contract 3D Animator & Technical Artist on their upcoming title 'Moving Out'. My role as animator at SMG involves:

  • Creation of character locomotion cycles & idles

  • Character 'emotes', reactions, and dance cycles

  • Animating in Maya, Blender, & Unity as part of a complex animation pipeline

  • Working with Programmers, Artists, and Designers to integrate animations in to Unity

With permission from SMG, I am able to share with you this brief showreel of some of my animation work on Moving Out. Some of my work is also viewable on the Moving Out Twitter Account and game trailers.

As the only animator on the project, it is my responsibility to ensure that the characters feel alive and playful, while still maintaining gameplay functionality. Much of my animation work on the project focusses on embuing the 'Mover' characters with personality and silliness, through their locomotion and interaction cycles, as well as ensuring players can relate to their avatar through 'emotes' and dance animations.

To support the chaotic gameplay, all of the interactions involve exaggerated physics and some of the Movers' animation is driven via in-engine IK solvers (e.g. arms snapping to furniture when carrying). As a result, there were many considerations to be made during the animation process to ensure the animations look presentable when brought in to the game.

I was also responsible for some larger set piece animations that integrate gameplay elements - these were animated in Unity with custom Animator Controllers, animated Triggers for scripts, and Nested Prefabs with concurrent animated elements. Timing, readability, and functionality are crucial in these scenes, so I worked closely with our Level Designers, Programmers, and Artists to ensure the spectacles are engaging and gameplay is unimpaired.

Moving Out is being developed in collaboration by DevM and SMG Studio, it will be published by Team 17 in 2020.

Note: This content is for internal purposes and this application only - it is not to be distributed elsewhere.

 

'Efi Debugging'

Maya Character animation

Rig by Christoph Schoch

Produced as demonstration for this application (Feb 2020)

I created this short animated loop specifically for this application. My intention was to animate a character performing a simple interaction, but do so in a unique and more entertaining fashion. The interaction I chose to animate was of a character 'debugging' a computer, by pulling pieces out and trying to fix it.

I chose this rig and character as I felt it was a good fit to animate in a similar style to The Sims games, with exaggerated expressions and movement for readable physical comedy. My focus was on demonstrating weight and force, expressive action, and character intention through movement.

This character model and rig by 3D Artist Christoph Schoch is a fan rendition of Efi Oladele, a character from Blizzard's Overwatch. The rig consists of a standard humanoid skeleton with IK/FK options, facial bone controls, and secondary controls for jewellery and props. I also modelled some additional props to better demonstrate the interactions taking place.

'Demon Girl'

Maya rig & animation, Unity implementation

Technical Demonstration (Feb 2020)

My intention with this small rigging and animation project was to familiarise myself with the entire character animation pipeline - from rigging and skinning, to animating, to implementation in to a Unity project. I feel that gaining a deeper understanding of all elements of the 3D animation pipeline will strengthen my animation skills and allow me to collaborate with peers in other skill areas more readily.

I designed this character to have a simple rig with low-specifications, to meet performance requirements on a mobile or low-spec device. The facial expressions use blend shapes, while the body rig uses an FK skeleton with IK legs and set-driven keys. Additionally, I also wrote custom shaders and scripts for this testing project which were optimised for mobile.

In regards to animation, the character performs basic locomotion, and some simple interactions. 

Thank you

for your time and consideration