CG Chatter 021: Senior Animator Edward Hull

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Welcome to the CG Chatter Podcast episode #21! In this episode I chat with Edward Hull, Senior Animator at Turbine.

Ed has been with Turbine for nearly seven years where he’s worked on Dungeons & Dragons Online, Lord of the Rings Online, Infinite Crisis, Batman: Arkham Underworld, and currently on a not-yet-released Game of Thrones mobile game. Before his work at Turbine, Ed started his career in Scotland working on a feature animated film starring Sean Connery with Glasgow Animation, then worked with Eurocom on several well-known videogames including Dead Space and 2010’s 007: Goldeneye.

We talk about Ed’s path to finally working in animation, the significant role that his dog, Toffee, plays in his life, and of course tips on effective work/life balance.

"The Goodfather"

“The Goodfather”

 

Ed's hearing dog, Toffee

Ed’s hearing dog, Toffee

Highlights include:

  • 1:39 – Ed’s “Goodfather” t-shirt
  • 2:17 – What it means to be a Senior Animator
  • 2:55 – How different platforms affect the style and specifications of character animation
  • 4:04 – Ed’s childhood and the origins of his interest in art and animation
  • 4:51 – The many jobs he went through before getting back to art
  • 5:57 – Ed’s education in animation and 3D
  • 7:53 – Stopping his training in order to go to Scotland for his first animation job
  • 9:31 – How Ed’s interest in animation grew over time
  • 10:35 – Tuition and how hard it can be to grasp its financial implications when you’re young
  • 12:55 – Ed’s work in Scotland with Glasgow Animation on an animated film starring Sean Connery
  • 15:29 – His freelance work with Eurocom after returning to the states
  • 19:13 – How working from motion capture compares to creating animations from scratch
  • 20:46 – His transition to Turbine
  • 21:36 – Ed’s many creature animations for Dungeons & Dragons Online
  • 22:21 – A challenging dragon animation he created for Lord of the Rings Online
  • 22:21 – Ed’s work on Bebelith for Dungeons & Dragons Online (see image below)
  • 26:03 – Ed’s work on Draegloth for Dungeons & Dragons Online (see image below)
  • 27:56 – Ed’s work on Blue Beetle for Infinite Crisis (see image below)
  • 29:54 – Ed’s work on Atrocitus for Infinite Crisis (see image below)
  • 31:38 – Ed’s work on Minigunner for Batman: Arkham Underworld (see image below)
  • 33:02 – Ed’s work on “Necessity of Sleep” from iAnimate (see image below)
  • 35:46 – The worfklow between animators and VFX artists in a game studio
  • 37:28 – Ed’s animation process and workflow
  • 39:37 – Why recording video reference of himself and coworkers is one of Ed’s favorite parts of the animation process
  • 42:55 – An explanation of step, spline, and polish
  • 44:31 – What a typical workday looks like for Ed
  • 46:07 – Ed’s service dog, Toffee
  • 46:29 – How walking Toffee at work gives him a chance to take a break and get refreshed
  • 47:24 – Toffee’s origins and how she helps Ed with hearing
  • 48:05 – How hearing dogs are different from seeing eye dogs
  • 48:46 – How Toffee’s become a sort of support dog in the office
  • 49:53 – Ed’s rules with Toffee: “Don’t feed her, and don’t feed me!”
  • 52:13 – Work/life balance tips
  • 53:25 – Ed’s hour-and-a-half commute and the difficulties that poses
  • 56:16 – The advantages of being able to occasionally work from home
  • 57:56 – Finding ways to break up the workday
  • 59:40 – Ed’s advice for those looking to get into animator or computer graphics
  • 59:49 – Ed’s annual involvement in Skills USA
  • 1:00:41 – Ways to get involved in 3D and animation
  • 1:01:28 – Start learning and don’t stop learning
  • 1:01:52 – What Ed’s up to and where to find him online

Episode links:

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