Herbert Lowis: senior Character artist
Rafael Grassetti: senior Character artist
Rion Swanson: senior Character artist
Rodrigue Pralier: Lead Character artist
How long have you been working in the industry?
Herbert: I have been working in the industry for seven years so far. My first job was to work for Infinity Ward on Call of Duty: Modern Warfare.
The very first in-game model that I ever built was a pickup truck for the game. It fun, yet challenging because I had never built a vehicle before.
After that, I joined Bioware on Dragon Age: Origins. Since then, I have also worked on some game cinematics such as for Saints Row: The Third, Dawn of War 2 and others.
Rafael: I’ve been working in the industry for the past five years. I was working as a freelancer before coming to Bioware so I had the chance to experience a lot of different types of projects and studios. The Mass Effect team is one of the best I have had the pleasure to work with. Especially the character art team; we learn from and have fun with each other every single day.
Rion: In total, about eleven years. I started with texturing characters and vehicles on Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic and then moved into modeling after that.
Rodrigue: I started in 2002. I was first working on character concepts and FX. I then moved on 3D environments for a few years and have been focusing on making 3D characters since 2005.
How long have you been working on Mass Effect at this point?
Rafael: I started to work at Bioware in 2011, so I worked on Mass Effect 3 for six months.
Rion: I joined the Mass Effect team part of the way through Mass Effect 2. So for me, it’s been around four years total working on content for the Mass Effect universe.
Rodrigue: I arrived at Bioware at the end of ME2 and have been part of the ME team for a bit more than two years
What has the experience been like?
Rafael: Mass Effect is a great title that allows artists to have a great mix between creatures and sci-fi models. I think it’s a very rewarding and defiant project for any character artist.
Rion: The experience has been a really enjoyable one, yet challenging at the same time. I’ve been pushed to grow; to create higher and higher quality models while learning to work faster as I go. A huge part of an experience like this is really about the people you work with. I’ve had the pleasure of working with many very skilled people through this time. The direction from Derek Watts (Art Director) and Casey Hudson (Project Director/Executive Producer) has been very focused the whole way through. This is great for us character artists because we get sign-offs on model changes in a quick and efficient way to allow us to continue working for the most part uninterrupted.
Working with other artists who care so much about continual improvement of all the character, creature, weapon and vehicle assets is really inspiring. It was basically a continual haul with many extra hours put in. Pretty much all of the older assets from the original game were updated at one point or another. I felt that the quality bar was continually being pushed higher, which in turn pushed me more for each model I worked on. I really appreciate the feedback, critique, and help I’ve been given through my time working on these games. Thanks to Derek Watts, Jaemus Wurzbach, Rodrigue Pralier, Kolby Jukes, Herbert Lowis, Rafael Grassetti, Ray Lim, Cristian Enciso, Brian Sum, Ben Huen, Jeff Vanelle, Scott Mitchell, Ken Finlayson and all the other Mass Effect artists I had the pleasure of working with.
Rodrigue: It has been amazing! I have been working in the video game industry for more than ten years and this has been my best experience so far. All the people of the ME team are passionate about their work and the video game industry. It's very motivating to see all the teams pushing for quality and working hard to deliver a great game. And the best part for me is that everyone is super nice so it feels like I'm working hard but I'm also hanging out with my buddies.