Once again, GGG has published a developer interview, giving deeper insights into the path of exile development process. This time, Felipe talked about the visual effects.
Developer Felipe to the visual effects
In recent weeks, the GGG guys have been quite talkative about the development process of their hit Path of Exile. In addition to the map system and the Elder items, developer Felipe gave us a detailed interview on the use and design of the visual effects.
You can watch the complete interview afterwards:
While much of the GGG team takes a break for the holidays, we sat down with one of our new visual effects artists, Felipe, to get the low-down on what his experiences here have been like and a little bit about him.
Hi Felipe! Thanks for taking part in the interview! Could you please introduce yourself and let us know a little bit about your history with Visual Effects?
Hey! Thank you very much for the opportunity to participate in this great series! My name is Felipe, I am 24 years old and I’m Brazilian. It’s interesting because my history with Visual Effects actually starts with Path of Exile! This is my first ever job in this area. I was working as a video editor back in Brazil, then when I got the job offer from GGG, I finally started my journey in VFX.
When did you start playing Path of Exile?
I started playing Path of Exile back in 2013 right after I got married. A friend of mine called Matheus knew that I played Diablo II a lot, and showed me the game through Steam. I fell in love with it at first sight and I haven’t been able to stop playing since then. Now I have over 4,000 hours of this awesome experience and impressively enough, my wife didn’t leave me!
How did you end up working for Grinding Gear Games?
Like I said before, I was working as a video editor in Brazil and by the end of 2016 I had lost my job due to the current situation in Brazil. It was then when I started working on a good portfolio. I had a good notion about visual effects, motion graphics, video montage, editing and stuff like that but I had never worked in the VFX before. I can’t remember the time correctly but GGG posted on forum about hiring new employees and I decided to give it a shot! I prepared a separate portfolio just with creepy and gory stuff and sent it to Erik. I couldn’t even believe what happened after that. Erik liked my portfolio and asked me if I would be interested in joining the team and here I am! Doing effects for the game that I love!
Could you please tell us about your current role at Grinding Gear Games and what an average work day is like for you?
Currently I’m working as a Visual Effects Designer, which means that I mostly do effects for enemies, skills, microtransactions and a bunch of miscellaneous stuff like environmental effects. Because of my Motion Graphics, Video Editing and After Effects knowledge, I also help with some trailer stuff and UI effects (like the Fire & Ice Mystery Box Opening and Fusing effect). But 90% of my role is to work with Maya and our Particle System tool.
Are there any unexpected challenges you’ve faced while working on visual effects for Path of Exile?
All the time! I didn’t know I would have to rely on Maya (our 3D software) that much, for example, and I think that’s because this is my first job in the VFX area. However, these challenges are nothing for the VFX team we have here. They are awesome people, very supportive and patient. They really helped me from the very first day I started working here and they’ve been helping me day after day with all sort of things, particularly Maya which I had little knowledge of when I first started here, and getting used to our Particle Systems tool. So, it has been pretty challenging for me, but thanks to the company, I’m able to endure all of this and grow more and more to become the professional that the company deserves!
Are you able to give us an overview of what it takes to create a visual effect for Path of Exile?
Mostly balance. Balance between the visual itself and the context of the visual effect. Sometimes you want to create a really flashy effect, but the context that effect appears in doesn’t call for that kind of moment. So you have to keep it simple to fit the context, you need to make it look as good as possible to give greatest impact to the players. I would say that having a good notion of these things is the ideal mindset to create effects for Path of Exile currently!
What is your favourite thing you’ve worked on for the game so far?
The Abyss League was full of really awesome stuff for me but I think that my favorite thing that I’ve worked on recently, is the Constrictor Elder Guardian fight! It’s my favorite one because I did all of the effects for the fight, from beginning to end, and some of the arena effects too. It became special to me because it had a new and different debuff mechanic called Growing Vines, where if you stand still for too long in the arena, vines start attaching to your body and reducing your movement speed. It was a bit of a challenge on how we would represent that visually but together with the programmers we could find a really cool way to represent that. Because of how well it was executed, both in code and visually, it’s going to be seen again the future in another form! So, this one is definitely my favorite for sure but I’m pretty confident that I’ll have a lot more to share in the future. The designers never fail to amaze me with their ideas and I’m here to support those ideas visually!
Do you have any advice for aspiring visual effects artists?
I will say the same thing it was said to me by my manager Ivan:
Be confident in your skills. Not in an arrogant way that will prevent you from learning but be confident in your vision for effects, on what inspires you and in your creativity. Always try to push your creativity on non-creative days. This is something that all artists have to deal with – being able to produce content even when they’re not feeling well, or ‘uncreative’ so the keywords here is confidence and consistency.
Does it sound like interesting and exciting? It seems that fighting with excellent players is so cool! Just make sure to visit our site regularly to gather Path of Exile currency at reasonable price for you.