Andrew Baker, Creature Designer at Weta – 3DTotal

We’re pretty envious of Andrew Baker. The Creature and Character Designer studied at New Zealand’s Wanganui School of Design before migrating to LA to work on Sega’s game Golden Axe: Beast Rider and facial modelling for Image Metrics. He then returned to the land under the land down under (New Zealand, in case that doesn’t make sense) to work alongside Weta’s legendary co-founder and co-director Richard Taylor. We had a chat with Andrew about how he gets things done, what it’s like to work at Weta Workshop, as well as his guitar and skateboarding skills!

1) Deadlines are looming and time is of the essence. How do you typically start your day to ensure maximum productivity?

I tend to find that when deadlines loom, all sorts of distractions present themselves – like cleaning the house! It varies depending on the project but I find having a good playlist of music, or a soundtrack to get you into the right head-space really helps! Starting off a project with some mood boards and inspiration also helps keep one on target. I find when I have a blank canvas and time is ticking I feel the most intimidated, but having some inspirational images to set you back on track really helps.

2) Which program shortcuts have you adopted into your workflow to speed things up?

Rendering out various layers from ZBrush and compositing and painting them up in Photoshop. I have found with this workflow that there’s not much in the nature of materials, form and lighting that I can’t achieve for a concept. It’s incredibly fast to sculpt in ZBrush and effective to finish the image off in Photoshop.


3) How and where do you learn new skills?

Looking online constantly at other artists’ workflows and always trying to improve my own. The communities online are so helpful! It’s rare that I have a problem and go on the forums and can’t find someone with the same problem.

Pricked you attention? Read the rest of this interview on the 3DTotal website.