Syn Studio Podcast Episode 33
This podcast will be available at the end of July
We are overjoyed to be joined by Naomi Savoie in the next edition of the Syn Studio podcast. Naomi is a concept artist and illustrator at Ubisoft Montreal, and she just finished working on Far Cry: Primal. We discuss about Japan, the Legend of Zelda, Virtual Reality, the Matrix and Naomi’s experiences at Ubisoft while working on Far Cry: Primal. Naomi provides valuable tips about the techniques that she uses, the importance of practicing traditional art forms and why you should never feel discouraged with your work.
EP 31 – David Giraud – Character Artist, Digital Sculptor and Art Director – Assassin’s Creed, Prince of Persia Sands of Time, Hitman Blood Money, Splinter Cell…
This episode of Syn Studio podcast features concept artist and art director David Giraud. David is known for his incredible character sculpts – his concept and character artwork are featured in widely popular franchises such as Assassin’s Creed, Prince of Persia, Hitman and Splinter Cell, to name a few. We share a lot laughs, talk about anime, and the time David became homeless, and how he broke into the industry and worked hard to get where he is today. It is a very interesting and entertaining podcast for industry artists, especially for those interested in character design and digital sculpting.
EP 30 – Isaac Hannaford – Concept Artist, owner of Spaceship Guru – Worked on Halo Destiny, Halo Reach, Halo III, Team Fortress II…
This month’s Syn Studio podcast features concept artist Isaac Hannaford, also known as the Spaceship Guru, and who owns a company of the same name. Isaac specializes in spaceship design and has worked on a ton of exciting titles, such as Halo Destiny, Halo Reach, Halo III, Team Fortress II, and Halo comics as well. Spaceship Guru is a cool new company of his that designs spaceships for entertainment products, which you can check out online (look for the link below!). Isaac previously worked at Bungie as lead concept artist and has over 14 years of experience in concept design. Originally from Seattle, he is currently in Montreal at Rodeo FX working on an exciting new upcoming film. Isaac’s spaceship design skills are fantastic – it’s no wonder he is called the Spaceship Guru.
EP 29 – Samantha Youssef – Founder and Art Director of Studio Technique, Disney Animator – Curious George, Lilo and Stitch, Bambi, Tarzan…
We are very lucky to be joined by Samantha Youssef, founder and artistic director of Studio Technique and previously a character animator at Disney. Samantha recently released the first volume in her drawing series, the Youssef Drawing Syllabus, titled “Movement and Form,” which is intended for animation industry artists and is packed with insights and techniques for figure drawing. She has had experience with game companies such as Ubisoft, Filmax and Yowza, and has worked on films such as Curious George, Lilo and Stitch 2, Bambi 2, and Tarzan 2, among many others. She is also the creator of an award-winning animated short film La Fuga Grande, which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival. Samantha is currently working on personal projects, including her next book, and teaching courses at her studio and online. We are happy to have such an accomplished artist join us for this podcast!
EP 28 – Mystical Experiences, Psychedelics, Star Wars, Ontology and the Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain with Jeevan – X-Men: Days of Future Past, Gods of Egypt, World of Warcraft, Deadpool…
This is a special Syn Studio podcast featuring matte painter and concept artist D. Jeevan, who is also a teacher at Syn Studio. Since our last podcast with him, Jeevan has been going on journeys into the mind and spirit. These experiences have greatly influenced his whole sense of being and has furthermore influenced his artwork in not just aesthetics but also with regard to intention. This podcast will delve into the experiences of a spiritual nature with entheogens such as ayahuasca and DMT, isolation tanks, holographic breathing and much more. Jeevan currently works at Rodeo FX where he has worked as a matte painter on several films, including: Gods of Egypt, World of Warcraft, Riddick, Deadpool, The Walk, The Last Witch Hunter, Unbroken, and many more.
EP 27 – Making Indie Games and running a Successful Kickstarter with Xin Ran Liu – Co-owner, Lead Artist and Art Director at Kitfox Games – Moon Hunters, Shattered Planet.
This episode of the Syn Studio podcast series features Xin Ran Liu, a young and dedicated entrepreneur who not only teaches at Syn Studio but is co-owner, lead artist and art director at Kitfox Games. Xin is heavily in the indie game scene and has recently been working on his new game, Moon Hunters, which was a huge Kickstarter success in 2014, raising over $150,000. It is to be released in early 2016 on Steam, PS Vita and PS4. Only 23 years old, he has accomplished a lot, having had experience working at mainstream game companies, teaching, book cover illustrations and other projects – and Moon Hunters isn’t his first video game project either! We are happy to have someone so inspiring to come chat with us in this podcast!
This Syn Studio podcast features Po Yuen Kenny Lam, a multidisciplinary artist who has worked on many game and film projects, including District 9, Tin Tin, Avatar, Deus Ex, Rainbow Six and many more! Kenny has worked not only as a concept artist but as a lead texture artist, previsualization artist and art director. Just this month he has switched from Ubisoft Montreal as an Art Director to Ubisoft Toronto, working on a new top-secret project none of us know about… We are honoured to have him chat with us for this podcast!
EP 25 – Frédéric Bennett – Senior Concept Artist at Eidos Montreal – Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, Conan, Transformers…
In this Syn Studio podcast, Anthony, Stephen and Bing sit down to chat with Frédéric Bennett, senior concept artist at Eidos Montreal. Frederic is currently working on the exciting upcoming game Deus Ex: Mankind Divided and has worked as a concept artist in the video game industry for over 8 years! His past contributions include various projects in the Conan, Transformers, Wet and Kung Fu Panda universes. Frederic is actually one of our amazing teachers here at Syn Studio and has taught our popular Character Rendering class with wide acclaim!
EP 24 – Eytan Zana and Shaddy Safadi – Naughty Dog and One Pixel Brush – Last of Us, Uncharted, Magic the Gathering, Bioshock Infinite…
WARNING: This podcast contains raunchy, insensitive humour and some views on art you may find controversial. If you are easily offended, get ready to be outraged and otherwise, get ready to laugh and to learn! In this special Syn Studio podcast, Anthony and his co-host Stephen chat with Eytan Zana, Concept Artist at Naughty Dog, and Shaddy Safadi, Art Director at One Pixel Brush. The podcast was sponsored by ArtStation and Wacom and the podcast video footage can be watched on ArtStation’s YouTube channel. Check the link below in the show’s footnotes.
Eytan Zana is a senior concept artist at Naughty Dog. His work includes The Last of Us, all of the Uncharted series and illustrations for Magic the Gathering. He has been widely recognized as a master of digital painting and his work has been featured at E3, Imagine FX and other major industry publications.
Shaddy Safadi is an art director and concept artist with 14 years of experience working in the games’ industry. His designs can be seen in Naughty Dog’s award winning Last of Us and Uncharted series. He recently started his own concept art studio, One Pixel Brush, which has created key designs for titles such as Bioshock Infinite, Ryse: Son of Rome and Tom Clancy’s The Division.
EP 23 – Justin Yun – Section Studios and Blue Canvas – Art Director, Concept Artist and Illustrator for Video Games, Television, Music Videos and Film!
In this Syn Studio podcast, Anthony chats with Justin Yun at the Effects Montreal conference. Justin flew in from Los Angeles and is co-founder of the art outsourcing and game company Section Studios and also founder of Blue Canvas, a magazine publication as well as an online artist community. He has worked as an art director, concept artist and illustrator in the entertainment industry for the past 9 years and his work has ranged from video games to television, music videos and film. Some of the clients of Section Studios include Riot Games, Harmonix, Sony, Gearbox and Microsoft, among many others. Justin is currently teaching at the Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles.
EP 22 – Comic Book Artist Panel with Salgood Sam, Thierry Labrosse and Jose Holder (worked with Marvel, DC Comics and French BD publishers and published independently as well)
This is a special podcast recorded at the Montreal Comic Salon event at Syn Studio. It’s a comic-book making panel with three industry veterans: Salgood Sam, Thierry Labrosse and Jose Holder.
Salgood Sam is now an independent comic book publisher worked with Marvel and DC comics in the early 90s on series including “Dr. Strange”, “Wonder Woman”, “Spider-Man 2099” and “Ghostbusters.”
Jose Holder is a veteran comic book artist as well as writer/director/producer, storyboard artists and concept artist for film, television and videogames. His clients include Ubisoft, Universal Pictures, Marvel and IDW.
Thierry Labrosse started doing storyboarding for advertising and animated TV series. He has since transitioned to the world of BD as an award winning comic book artist, writer as well as cover illustrator for several major French publishers.
These panelists give answers to audience questions about their process and how to be successful that are sure to enlighten aspiring artists.
(Title image by Thierry Labrosse)
EP 21 – Robert Bonchune Part 2 – VFX Artist – Winner of 3 Emmy Awards – Battlestar Galactica, Star Trek: Voyager, Deep Space Nine, Enterprise, Babylon 5…
In this follow-up to last month’s podcast, we continue our interrogation of senior artist and visual effects supervisor Robert Bonchune. You can read a description of Robert with some of his credits in the previous episode. He started as a physical model maker and transitioned to CG during its television debut on seaQuest DSV and Babylon 5. As one of the pioneers of CG and VFX and having worked on most of the top sci-fi shows of the last couple decades, Robert is in an excellent position to share some industry insight and some juicy Hollywood stories.
EP 20 – Robert Bonchune Part 1 – VFX Artist – Winner of 3 Emmy Awards – Battlestar Galactica, Star Trek: Voyager, Deep Space Nine, Enterprise, Babylon 5…
In this exclusive Syn Studio podcast, we spoke with senior artist and visual effects supervisor Robert Bonchune. Robert has had over 20 years of experience and has been the recipient of numerous awards, including three Emmy Awards. He is known for his work on legendary television series’ like Babylon 5, Battlestar Galactica, Star Trek: Enterprise, Star Trek: Voyager, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, and Lost.
EP 19 – Henry Fong – Concept Designer for film – Worked on X-Men: Days of Future Past, Pacific Rim, The Mummy 3, The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Immortals…
In this episode, Anthony speaks with concept designer Henry Fong in Toronto. Henry is best known for his work on Hollywood movies like Immortals, X-Men: Days of Future Past and The Amazing Spider-Man 2. He also worked on productions shot in Hong Kong such as The White Vengeance on which he was also the artistic director.
In this Syn Studio podcast you will learn how Henry began his career in the film industry. Henry emphasizes the importance of networking and staying open minded while building a career in the industry. He also explains the differences between North American projects and those filmed in Hong Kong and how these differences have influenced his work.
EP 18 – Nick Oroc – Video Game Artist, Designer & Senior Illustrator – Worked on Prince of Persia, Rainbow Six, Assassin’s Creed, Child Of Light
In this Syn Studio podcast Anthony speaks with Nick Oroc about his career as an illustrator and concept artist in the video game and publishing industry.
During this episode you will learn how a traditionally trained artist has transitioned to 21st century techniques and how it has influenced him in his career. Nick discusses how he started in the industry as a texture artist and how he rose to become internationally renowned within a few years.
EP 17 – Bruno Gauthier Leblanc – Working as a Character Designer in Games – Worked on Deus Ex, Far Cry, Assassin’s Creed, Splinter Cell and Rainbox Six games
In this episode, we talk with Bruno Gauthier Leblanc. Bruno is currently at Eidos Montreal where he is a senior concept artist specializing in character design. He recently finished working on Deus Ex: Universe and is now on a top-secret unannounced project. He has also worked for Ubisoft where he designed the iconic character Vass for Far Cry 3, considered one of the best “villains” in the history of gaming.
Bruno has also also designed characters for brands such as Assassin’s Creed, Splinter Cell and Rainbow Six..
EP 16 – Karla Ortiz – Highly-acclaimed Fantasy Illustrator – Marvel Studios, ILM, Fantasy Flight, Bali Illustration Workshop, Wizards of the Coast, NCSoft, Kabam…
In this Syn Studio podcast Anthony chats with artist Karla Ortiz in San Francisco where she currently resides. Karla has worked as an artist-designer and she is currently freelancing as an independent artist for the movie, video game and illustration fields.
We invite you to listen and discover this incredible and optimistic artist. You will find out what tips and tricks she is using to improve in her art, how to accept the feedback in a constructive way and above all how to continue the drive to create again and carry on.
EP 15 – Scott Robertson – Influential concept designer and educator – worked on Minority Report and for Rockstar Games, Nike, BMW and more…
The world famous Concept Artist, Transportation Designer and Educator chatted with Anthony after hosting an intensive Workshop presented by Autodesk ® SketchBook® Pro, Wacom®, Design Studio Press and CG Masters Academy in June 2014 in Montreal.This workshop was organized by Syn Studio in collaboration with Cégep du Vieux-Montréal.
In this Syn Studio Podcast Scott chats about the difference between becoming an entertainment designer and an industrial designer, using Sketchbook Pro and how to market yourself as a freelancer. The insights he provides are invaluable, making this podcast episode a must-listen event for every aspiring concept artist.
In this special episode of the Syn Studio podcast, Anthony traveled to Singapore and met Ben Mauro and Eduardo Peña, two of the most cutting edge concept artists around who’ve worked together on projects such as The Hobbit Trilogy. Ben’s credits also include Elysium, Man of Steel, The Amazing Spiderman 2 and Call of Duty, while Eduardo has worked with Bethesda, Square Enix, and Edios.
Check out the website of these amazing artists below – definitely worthwhile !
PS: We have switched to a monthly release format for this podcast. See you all next month for another amazing show!
EP 13 – Geof Isherwood – Comic Book Artist for Marvel and DC Comics on Spider-Man, X-Men, Silver Surfer, The Avengers, and many more
On this episode of the Syn Studio podcast, we are joined by the famous comic book artist Geof Isherwood. Geof has worked with Marvel and DC Comics for 18 years on series such as Spider-Man, X-Men, Silver Surfer, The Avengers, Thor, and many more. He has also worked in the film industry as a concept and storyboard artist for several major blockbuster films, including latest X-Men film, Battlefield Earth, and Confessions of a Dangerous Mind.
Learn more about Geof’s work at his fan page:
Fans of Geoffrey Isherwood
EP 12 – Dhamindra Jeevan – Matte Painter & Concept Artist for Source Code, X-Men: Days of Future Past & Cosmos (TV Show)
In episode 12, we were joined by matte painter and concept artist Dhamindra Jeevan. We talked about his work on the much-anticipated TV series Cosmos, the Riddick movies and on the film Mars & Avril. Also, we also talked about the digital painting class he developed and taught at Syn Studio.
Note: This concludes the 2nd season of the Syn Studio Podcast, thank you for listening and see you again in the Summer for season 3 !
EP 11 – Thierry Doizon – Aka Barontieri; Art director at Ubisoft Montreal & Concept Artist on Tron: Legacy, Assassins’ Creed & Deus Ex: Human Revolution
Thierry Doizon, a.k.a Barontieri is the special guest for episode 11 of the Syn Studio Podcast. Thierry is an art director at Ubisoft Montreal and has an impressive portfolio, which features work from the Assassin’s Creed, Prince of Persia and Tron Legacy universes, among others. In the podcast, we discussed how to get hired in the game industry and the challenges of the future.
Thierry’s Web site:
EP 10 – Andrew Maximov – 3D Artist for the MMORPG World of Tanks – Update : He is now at Naughty Dog
In episode 10 of the Syn Studio podcast, we spoke with the Andrew Maximov, a 3D artist, concept artist and technical art director. He shared some stories about working on the very popular game World of Tanks when he was in Belarus. We also talked about his experiences at Gameloft in Montreal and he offered some advice to people trying to improve their skills.
To learn more about Andrew, please visit his website at:
EP 09 – Daniel Kvasznicza – Concept Artist at WB Games on Batman : Arkham Origins; worked on Far Cry, Starcraft, Diablo and Fallout franchises
This week we are very lucky to welcome Daniel Kvasznicza as our guest. Daniel is a formidable compositor and
concept artist currently working at Warner Brothers Montreal.
In the podcast, we talked about the work he did for them on the acclaimed
video game Batman Arkham Origins along with many other things.
Find out more about Daniel on his blog :
EP 08 – Alp Altiner – Former concept artist for Blizzard, comic book artist for Marvel, teacher at Art Center and also the Founder of VFX Art Portal
In Episode 8 of the Syn Studio podcast, our guest is the multi-talented Alp Altiner. In fact, Alp has worked for Marvel, Blizzard, Eidos and taught classes at Art Center. Plus, he founded the online school VFX Workshops and is also an awesome electronic music maker.
In the podcast, we talked about how Alp started his carreer as a DJ in LA’s Korea Town, then became a comic book artist, and later founded VFX Workshops. He also gave us a sneak peek at his latest endeavor: VFX Art Portal.
EP 07 – Jung Park – Concept artist on God Of War Ascension, Lineage, Guild Wars 2 and Battle: Los Angeles. Co-founder of Red Engine
In Episode 7 of the Syn Studio podcast, we spoke with Jung Park, Lead Concept Artist at Sony Santa Monica working on God Of War Ascension. He’s also designed and illustrated for Lineage, Guild War 2, Transformers 4, Hawken, Battle Los Angeles and Magic the Gathering, among others.
In this podcast we spoke about his experience at Midway, on Lineage and as a co-founder and instructor of Red Engine Studios, a top art school in Los Angles. You can find out more at:
EP 06 – Meinert Hansen – Illustrator and concept artist for Batman : Arkham Origins, Myst IV: Revelation, Splinter Cell Conviction and the movie 300
In Episode 6 of the Syn Studio podcast (recorded April 6th, 2012), we spoke with Meinert Hansen, an amazing concept artist artist and illustrator with 28 years of industry experience! His recent credits include Batman Arkham Origins (Warner Bros. Games Montreal), Splinter Cell Conviction, Myst IV Revelation (Ubisoft Montreal) and 300 (Warner Bros. Pictures). We had an interesting conversation about the differences between working in the games and film industries and the golden age of illustration. You can see some of his work at: http://meinerthansen.com/
EP 05 – Adrian Bobb – Concept artist, scientific illustrator and Independent Filmmaker whose clients include The History Channel and Ubisoft
Adrian Bobb is an illustrator, concept artist and filmmaker. He’s worked for the McGill Redpath museum as a scientific illustrator and for the History Channel and Ubisoft (on Assassin’s Creed 2), among others, as a concept artist. He’s also made a few independent movies. One feature length film that Adrian just finished making called Red Shift and another short film that was at Fantasia festival in 2010, among others. In this podcast we had an entertaining and enlightening chat about storytelling, creature design and film. You can see Adrian’s work at http://vimeo.com/abobb as well as http://www.adrianbobb.com/ and you can find out more about his film Red Shift here : https://www.facebook.com/Redshift2013.
EP 04 – Jeff Simpson – Character designer on the Assassin’s Creed franchise, and concept artist for Eidos Montreal; freelance illustrator
In Episode 4 of the Syn Studio podcast (recorded September 4th, 2012), we talked with Jeff Simpson, a fantastic concept artist working at Ubisoft as a character designer on the Assassin’s Creed franchise. We had a fascinating chat and shared some laughs about art, film and the future of the game industry. You can see his work at http://jeffsimpsonkh.cghub.com/images/ and http://surrealsushi.com/.
EP 03 – Frédéric St-Arnaud – Matte painter and concept artist on Indiana Jones, Sin City, Elysium, Immortals and The Amazing Spider-Man
In episode 3 of the Syn Studio podcast (recorded April 2nd, 2012) we spoke with Frédéric St-Arnaud, a top matte painter, vfx and concept artist whose movie credits include the most recent Indiana Jones movie, Resident Evil, Sin City, the latest Terminator, the Golden Compass, and Spy Kids 2 & 3. We spoke about the roles of visual artists in the film industry and the different projects he’s worked on. You can see his work at http://starno.net/ .
EP 02 – Marc Taro Holmes – former Art Director at BioWare, illustrator, watercolourist & concept artist on Baldur’s Gate, Halo Wars & Age of Empires 3
In episode 2 of the Syn Studio podcast (recorded Februay 20th, 2012) we spoke with Marc Taro Holmes, formerly art director at BioWare and currently a freelance concept artist working with Electronic Arts and co-founder and water colour instructor at urbansketchers.org. We spoke about how the games’ industry has evolved over the last decade and what it takes to be an artist in today’s industry. You can see some of his work on his blogs : http://tarosan.wordpress.com/ and http://citizensketcher.wordpress.com/.
EP 01 – Jack Zhang – Character modeler and and former lead artist at Funcom. Currently working on Star Citizen. Credits include Dead Space 2 & NHL 07
In episode 1 of the Syn Studio podcast (recorded July 5th, 2012) we spoke with Jack Zhang, an amazing 3D artist who’s worked at THQ, Electronic Arts and is now a lead artist at Funcom. We had an interesting and entertaining conversation