The team of Out of Line at Nerd Monkeys is now on it's third month of remote work from home.
It took us a while to get organized but we quickly turned it around and managed to speed up and scale production while keeping everyone safe at home.
It was back in March, that Inês Pereira joined us exactly on the week that we moved out of the office and into the safety of our homes. It was an odd position to be in as for a Junior Animator. At the time, the idea was to guide her and help her as much as possible to integrate into the team and the animation pipeline alongside a Senior Animator. Of course that quickly proved to be impossible as we hastily packed our computers and moved into improvised offices at our homes.
Fortunately for us, Inês has proven to be a true professional, not only with her art but also with her commitment and that in turn allowed us to feel confident in giving her more complex tasks and animations and it shows.
Here's what she has to say about herself (we kept her words and made no corrections):
"Hello! My name is Inês and I'm your local Junior Animator! It hasn't even been a year since I left college so this is still baby's first experience when it comes to the real world. It's way more responsibility but also way more rewarding! Besides your typical school assignments, Out of Line is the first project I'm part of. I'm from Almada, but attended high school in Lisbon and college in Portalegre. I've been pretty sure I wanted to be an animator since middle school, and I've been following that path ever since. Whether it was film & TV or games wasn't a choice I was focused on making: I just really wanted to animate. I tend to think of animation as very close to acting, as we are technically acting through our animations. I think that's part of the reason why I love this area so much! I'm a big theater nerd (specially musical theater) and like with acting, I think each animator brings a new version and new life to each character they do and I just think that's really cool. Plus I really like drawing, so these two combined made me end up here. From here on out, my focus is learning and improving as much as I can. That's my main goal! I don't have much else set in stone as of yet, as I'm mostly seeing where life takes me (ugh this sounds awfully hippie, I know). Still, you're not getting rid of me that easily! I still got a lot to show and a lot of work to do, so hopefully you'll see me a bunch around here! See you soon, Inês"
|Inês Pereira working on a Cutscene for Out of Line using the Spine software|
Meanwhile, and considering the amount of animations that were planned to go into the game, a Senior Animator was already planned to enter the team. We just didn't expect it to be doing it all so... remotely.
An ad was placed on Nerd Monkeys Facebook on the 31st of March, seeking for a Senior Animator. Alongside other personal contacts a few dozens of emails were received from Portuguese professionals here in Portugal and abroad applying for the position. We were super happy to so many young professionals with great portfolios, which in turn made our job that much harder in picking someone that would be the right one.
After doing all the interviews for the potential candidates alongside a few tests, one final person was chosen and, fortunately for us, he accepted our offer.
João Vasco Leal started working as a Senior Animator for Nerd Monkeys, directly from his home in London on the 22nd of April. Being a seasoned professional working as an animator he immediately started working with our characters and rigs and in a few days he was turning over complete and finished animations. Awesome.
Here's what he has to say about himself (we kept his words and made no corrections):
"As a kid he was a big fan of comics, video games and cartoons, nowadays... not much has changed!
With quite a few years of experience both in Portugal and in the UK, he was able to amass a wide number of diverse projects that include childrens illustration, animation for music videos, commercials, video games, VR experiences, amongst others.
He brings with him his passion for entertainment arts and pop culture and that is reflected in his work."
|João Vasco Leal working remotely with the Out of Line team|
Both Inês and João are using Esoteric Software's Spine animation package to create the in-game character animations and cutscenes, but this you already know since we already covered it in a previous post ;)
You can follow João's work here.
That's it for now. Make sure to follow us on Twitter and Facebook!
And stay safe!
Understand, rubber band?