Internship at Ember Glitch

By March 11, 2019 No Comments

Having done an internship at Ember Glitch is something I didn’t want to miss. I have learned a lot from the team and every day I learned something new. Ember Glitch is a young, vibrant game studio ready to teach their interns and improve their skill as a game artist.

My name is Jonathan, 21 years old and I'm specialized in 3D modeling. I'm currently focussed on 3D game animation and improving my animation workflow. Besides that I am a generalist, being able to box model, texture assets and until recently, sculpting assets.

Working in a start-up company surely is exciting for everyone. The team is pretty new to the industry and managing a studio isn’t child’s play. Having your first intern can be quite a challenge alongside freelancing and game production. At first, I wasn’t sure what to expect and was kinda shy, but slowly but surely I started to feel more at ease.

During my internship, I have worked on assets for their game Bloodbag. A world made out of flesh. My first asset was 'the Infection pustules'. This was the first time I had to sculpt an asset. I was mainly figuring out how to make it look good and true to the concept art. Simon guided me through the process of sculpting. Getting the hang of sculpting and working within Unreal Engine was quite new to me. It was a really fun first asset to do.

Besides sculpting, I also made several 3D animations for the game, animating was really fun to do again. I made an animation for a plant and multiple animations for an enemy. In November I was tasked with creating an animation set for a tick like creature. Besides doing the locomotion for the tick I also did an attack animation, some idle animations and a death animation. After various iterations, the animations were ready and exported into the Unreal Engine. This was the first time I made an attack animation which was made into one big sequence. In engine, I cut it up again and stitched it back together for an animation montage clip. During this month I relearned a lot of the base principles. And after various iterations, the animations were looking good and ready.

Every two weeks we had a ‘Demo Day’. On that day we reflected back on the sprint and shared our thoughts about everyone’s work. This is done to improve everybody’s work and see what the team has accomplished in two weeks. After the Demo, we have a PNI, positive, negative and interesting. It is a moment where we get together and talk about stuff you thought went well, what went wrong and what you think is interesting. Everyone had an opportunity to talk about work-related topics, personal stuff or a cool video I saw on YouTube. I really liked the Demo days, at the end of the day we would show our work to each other and receive feedback from all the team members, this helped me improve my assets. we would also hold an PNI, Positive Negative and interesting. This is where I was able to share things that bothered me, This helped me concentrate on my work during the sprint to come.

Every Monday we would play a session of ‘Dungeons and Dragons’. I really enjoyed the quarrels between the party members and we had some epic boss fights where we almost died. With Dnd I have also learned that you should never go alone into a sewer dungeon. Because of that, my character died to a werecrocodile. I almost killed him, but it wasn’t enough! It was a bit embarrassing but also really comical. On my the last day of the internship, we decide to play the whole day Dnd, as a fair goodbye to my character. For eleven hours of roleplay and fighting, we managed to slay two huge bosses and killed one of the party members. Because of the Dnd sessions, I got to know the team a bit more and relax a bit after a long day.

My biggest challenge at Ember Glitch was focussing on my work and creative thinking. During my internship, I was constantly thinking about stuff while working. Things I shouldn’t be bothered with while working. That decreased my work speed because I was indirectly doing two things at the same time. The team helped me with this, they gave tips and tricks to flip a switch and let me focus more on my work.
Besides that, I had trouble adding my creative input to the assets. It really showed when I was making block-outs for rock like bone assets.
The team showed me multiple ways of adding my own twist to an asset, and so I started experimenting with shapes and what feels right to me. I was using the concept art more as a guide instead of trying to copy it directly. In the end, the team and I were really happy with how they turned out. Everyone in the team is always willing to help and understood what I was going through. It really helped me in those tough moments and kept me motivated.

At the end of my internship, I was sculpting the rock bones. While still having trouble with sculpting and adding my own creative input, I was starting to make higher quality sculpts than before. I also started to experiment more and felt more confident about my work.

Working as an intern at Ember Glitch was a great experience. I have learned so much and there is still so much yet to learn. The studio is filled with knowledge and never stops expanding that knowledge. The whole team is passionate about what they do, which motivated me to work just as hard. I want to thank the whole team for the things they have taught me and the amazing time I have had there!

For the next intern, I would like to say, learn as much a possible at these guys and have a wonderful time. Also stay for the Dnd sessions, they are really fun!