Part 1 [01/03/2001]

re · Odd Squad
First up in this month’s Odd Squad is Jr. Technical Director Ryan Ellis. The CG Department’s favorite fair-haired boy, Ryan is a native of the state of Washington and attended the Vancouver Film School before bringing his bright talents to Oddworld Inhabitants. Check out Ryan’s observations in his web correspondence debut.


pop_middle

Q: What does a Jr. Technical Director in the CG department do at Oddworld?

Ryan Ellis: First a little about the CG department. CG of course means computer graphics or images created using a computer. Here at Oddworld CG is used to create the movies that tell the story, before, between and at the end of gameplay.

So that said, what is a Junior Technical Director? Well, this question has been plaguing man since the dawn of time. In fact Einstein gave a considerable amount of thought to . . . well, no, maybe not.

Anyway a Jr. T.D. is a fancy way of saying “jack-of-all-trades.” We need to be able to take a concept and make it into a digital image. For example, lets pretend the story calls for a giant bacon sandwich to fall out of the sky and land in a cornfield. First both the sandwich and the cornfield would be designed by the production design department. After their designs are signed off we would sit down and discuss the intended feel of the design and potential problems that might occur when we create it in the computer.

Then after that, the sandwich and cornfield would be created on the computer as three-dimensional models. They would be textured, lit and set up for rendering. The animators would then animate the objects. (i.e. the sandwich falling and lettuce flapping in the wind, etc.) Finally the sandwich and field would be rendered and composited together. And taa-daa! You have a movie or at least part of one.

So that is a small look into the life of an Oddworld Jr. T.D.