The Originality | 3D Character Artist, Yu-jin Kim
Creating a game is to create a world that does not exist. It is the hard work of many people that becomes the building blocks for the wonderful world that we view on the screen.
It is not an easy work; however, NC firmly believes in the value of ‘fun’. Professionals from various fields are gathered in NC, making serious efforts to think and imagine new fun. This persistent efforts to create fun determines the quality of the output.
NC never makes a compromise on quality. The stepping stones of NC’s quality are its < The Originality >.
“Beauty moves people’s mind. Artists are in pursuit of beauty, and they need to understand fundamental charms. You should never compromise and keep doubting again and again to deliver the best quality.”
3D Character Artist Yu-jin Kim
Cinema Character Design
I work on game characters and make them more look three-dimensional and charming. Our team make cinematic videos of games, and I am responsible for design of characters in the videos. In “Lineage Lancer”, a cinematic video that we recently produced, the face of the lancer was expressed in a very detailed manner, and his wrinkles and pores could be easily observed. Also, I gave a sensitive touch to the texture of his hair and facial hair.
Seeing Is the Beginning
It is important to see many things to define characteristics of each character. While there are numerous characters out there, only a few of them are truly loved. There are reasons to why some of them are considered more charming, and artists should always try to figure the reasons out. You could ultimately find the answers in the things you see. You need to find the new charm through combining the things you see. Therefore, I try to see as many things as possible, regardless of areas or genres.
Keep Doubting Again and Again
The Search for Fundamental Charms
Cinematic videos should be able to attract the attention of the viewers that pass by. It is like TV commercials. To develop characters that are loved by many people, artists should try to understand the charms of all living creatures in the world. Based on such observations, artists may decide how to zoom in and to show the bone structure, characteristics, and authentic charms of a character. This is because the characters that lead the market’s trend should have excellent visuals and also other charms beyond those visuals.
Do Not Compromise; Keep Doubting
It is foolish to become complacent with your own creations, because you will end up locking yourself up in the boundary. This only serves the need for self-justification and keeps you from further utilizing your capability. You need to keep doubting whether your creation is truly beautiful or not. You should ask yourself if it is the best you can do or not. There is no limitation in the charms of a character.
The difference between what is good and what is really good comes from whether you doubt once again. You need to keep thinking whether it is the right thing or not, whether it is all you can do, and whether it is the best you can do. You need to persuade yourself first before trying to present your creation to the world.
There Is No Limitation in the Virtual World
The Boundary Between the Virtual and the Real World Will Disappear
In NC, we build a database of actual human beings to create characters, utilizing 3D scanning technology. We may create more photo-realistic characters based on this. Technologies will develop further. If it becomes our reality, as advertisements on TVs emphasize their high-definition screens that offer even clearer vision than reality, characters will become more realistic and catch our eyes with their more charming visual. Would there be any creatures that have better visuals than human beings? Our role as an artist is to discover the point where the creatures in the virtual world would be considered more charming compared to the ones in reality.
Characters with the Charms That Used to Not Exist
Human brains get tired of the things they see every day. This is an undeniable fact. However, another ironic fact is that people feel resistant towards the things that are completely new to them. Artists should take the right balance between the two opposite values, familiarity and unfamiliarity. When we can take the right balance, we can create the characters that are considered completely new but most charming.
Between Freedom and Responsibility
Freedom Comes with Responsibility
Last year, I had much fun developing a swordswoman character for Lineage. At the time, I was given much discretion at work and could achieve self-development in many ways. When you make decisions at work, you will be held responsible for such decisions, because no one makes the decision on whether it is right or wrong for you. Therefore, I had to practice making decisions on right and wrong. It was close to how characters grow.
Teamwork Is to Understand Each Other’s Position
Sometimes I had to modify the videos to deliver better quality based on feedback from multiple teams. In such a case, it is important to be in each other’s shoes, because we should not damage the character’s concept that we have pursued to deliver. In case another team requests us to straight a character’s arm when the arm is bent due to the character’s structure, we need to consult with them. We normally believe that our arms are straight, but they are actually bent. In case they ask us to straight the arm, saying that it suits their concept to do so, we need to listen to their opinions while trying to make ourselves understood, instead of just saying “no”.
Knowing What to Keep and Be Concentrated on and What Not to Keep
Since I have been working as an artist for a long time, I still have the tendency to continue to work as an artist. I pursue to create an atmosphere in the team to enable vibrant communication and to work freely. Therefore, I think once again whenever I try to give feedback on results. I ask myself whether I am in the right position to give a certain feedback. As a head of team, there are moments where I need to make decisions on what to keep and be concentrated on and what not to keep to improve quality within the tight project timeframe. I wish I could find the best solution to understand the characteristics of each staff and to help them best deliver their best potential.
I feel rewarded when there is efficient communication with the staff and the result is produced as expected. I want to build a team where multiple heroes would join hands to create the best synergies, instead of the one dependent on one superstar, just like in the movie, “Avengers”.
Consistent Pursuit Of ‘BEAUTY’
Stories Maximize the Beauty
Characters that are just pretty and handsome have their limits. When a beautiful character has solid stories, it could become one’s once-in-a-lifetime character. I am interested in storytelling these days.
No matter what I do, it must be fun. Since the beginning, I have always liked visualization. Interests in something give you the power to continue. I have had passion towards beautiful actresses since I was little and liked watching them. I especially liked Isabelle Adjani. Beauty moves people’s mind. As I pursued beauty in human beings, I became interested in the muscles and bone structure of human beings. That is why I studied sculpture. I have pursued my careers as an artist, as I like and have fun being one.
‘Deficiency’ Is My Power
I started to study sculpture, because I felt something lost inside me. That is why I continue to walk my journey as an artist. Some deficiency prompts you to do something. The things that put me in trouble have become the power that makes me move. Based on the power bestowed by deficiency, I will keep creating charming characters that glow as they are.
* The opinions expressed in this article are those of the interviewee and do not reflect the official position of NCSOFT.