Lead Vehicle Artist
Is being the lead vehicle artist at Criterion as fun as it sounds?
It means I’m in charge of making the vehicles we create fit the game design and the visual theme of the game, and making sure they look amazing when you’re playing with them in the game world. It’s a big responsibility and I love it!
For the benefit of all those young artists who want to be where you are, tell us how you got your start in games.
Well, like a lot of 3D artists, I got started when I was a kid and I got into playing with 3D software on my PC. Nowadays there’s software and information all over the internet, but back then it was very hard to get started. If you wanted a tutorial you had the programme’s built-in help and that was it.I remember my first model was a dromedary camel. I called him Gary and he looked pretty awkward, but the more things I tried to create, the more addictive I found it. I lived in Italy where there wasn’t much of a games industry, certainly in comparison to the UK or USA, so I didn’t think of making a career out of 3D graphics. In fact, I started studying medicine at university – my mother dreamed of me being a doctor! But after a while I had to be honest with myself and I realised I had to follow my dreams. I had to give my folks the news that they weren’t going to have a medic in the family.I ended up studying 3D graphics for three years at university in Milan. At the end of the course we had our degree show and I got talking to someone from a Milanese game company. They liked my work and they offered me a job as a 3D artist. So that’s how I got into video games.
You’ve ended up as a vehicle artist. Is that because you have a special love of cars?
I’ve got to be honest, the love I have for vehicles is purely aesthetic. I love to watch them, to see how precisely they are engineered. The shapes amaze me. But I’m not so interested in what’s under the hood. The specs about horsepower, torque… I really don’t care so much about that.
You’re an Italian vehicle designer who loves beautiful cars. So do you have a fondness for Lamborghini and Ferrari?
I do have a thing for supercars but thanks to Criterion I’m discovering there are tons of vehicles I’d never even heard of before, so this project will be great fun.
Sure, because our next game has a much broader range of vehicles than before. Does that mean you can be more creative?
Well, in the past I have worked on a lot of licensed games where I was only reproducing a few real, specific vehicles. In that case you don’t have any room to create. In fact if you get creative at all you can get into big trouble with the licensor.For Criterion’s next game we’re not limited to just picking cars, or cars that have a big name attached to them, and the priority is definitely to build vehicles that our fans will love looking at and playing with.
My First Game:
Doom on DOS. When I wanted a network game I had to telephone a friend to let him know, and have him put the phone down so I could dial into his computer.
Favourite Burnout car:
Rossolini Tempesta GT: a sexy beast that was super fun to dodge traffic with, at insane speed.
Greatest car in the world, ever:
Ford GT (2003/2006)