EP 38 – Rasmus Poulsen – Ubisoft Art Director, Concept Artist and Illustrator: Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days, Hitman…

This episode of Syn Studio podcast features Ubisoft Art Director Rasmus Poulsen. Rasmus has experience art directing in concepts, illustration, marketing visuals and world building among many other artistic fields. He is a three-year art director at Ubisoft on top of having 12 years of experience in the commercial art department under his freelance company, Technouveau, which specializes in unique aesthetics, logo design and concept artwork. Ramus has worked on many popular titles such as Kane and Lynch 2, Hitman and more, on top of drawing impressive amounts of quality Star Wars inspired art. If you’re looking for insights into the industry pipelines, or are interested in geeking out over pop culture with us, this podcast is for you!

“The core thing of what we are trying to do as designers: make something that is anchored in reality”

In This Episode…

Rasmus joins Anthony and Stephen for a discussion over the latest and oldest Star Wars movies, interesting insights on working in a team environment in the industry and what it takes to create a successful and believable world.


Here’s what you’ll learn:

[05:18] – The conversation kicks off with great art in movies such as Akira, Cowboy Bebop etc.
[06:42] – Spoiler Alert! The group spends some much needed time geeking out over the newest Star Wars movie in comparison to the old
[21:07] – “Another thing is building elements and daring not to talk about why” – Rasmus gives us tips on how to create a believable world and how daring to hide things is as important as showing them
[26:52] – What is Paleofuturism and how it relates to Blade Runner 2? The group talks universes and movies
[37:57] – Art Direction: the crafts, the decisions and the team – Rasmus discusses his experience working on Kane and Lynch 2 and how to juggle everything in a creative leadership position
[43:49] – Rasmus walks us through his production schedule at Ubisoft and the types of things he needs to think about for creating a successful project
[52:16] – How to get people onboard with your ideas? Rasmus talks about giving critiques and the key to essential art directing
[1:05:06] – Rasmus talks about his interest in jet fighters and how the history of an object can inspire new concept designs
[1:11:13] – “It’s engineering, it’s capabilities and then it’s emotion […] it’s expressive, yet has a job to do” – Rasmus explains why drawing cars is a great concept art exercise. See the illustration we talk about here
[1:15:50] – Stylization and how it can give your drawings energy and accentuate emotion
[1:18:17] – Rasmus’s Reagan Era Nikon Orbiter and how he came up with the concept plus some talk about Elon Musk’s Mars colony project
[1:25:17] – Open mode and closed mode – Rasmus describes this method for coming up with ideas for designs
[1:30:27] – Art director by day and parent by morning/night: a day in the life of Rasmus Poulsen
[1:33:25] – What Rasmus thinks all artists should do that he doesn’t do enough of
[1:36:16] – Some tips for using SketchUp and some techniques used in Kane and Lynch 2 with photos and 3D planes

Links you’ll like…

Rasmus Poulsen



Even More…

This interview is part of a series of exclusive Concept Art, Illustration, VFX, 3D and Comics Podcasts created by Syn Studio. If you enjoyed this podcast please share it with your friends. And please sign up below for our newsletter to keep informed about all of our great podcasts, interviews, tutorials, articles, videos and other material created for you: the artist.


“Excellent class! Best teacher in the world! I learned more with Syn Studio than 4 years at university! Thanks Kelly!” […]

Read More