Meet Joe Kim — MAKE’s Lead 3D Animation Artist

November 16, 2023
3 min read
Featured Image

Can you share the moment or experience that sparked your desire to pursue a career in this field?

As a kid, I always enjoyed comics, animation, and games, and loved drawing characters from them. I dreamed of working in that field.

During my mid to high school years, I met talented drawing buddies, and together we significantly improved our drawing skills, fostering hope in pursuing an artistic profession.

When one of my drawing buddies enrolled in art college, I decided to follow suit, and from there, I gravitated towards animation.

Highlighted Project: Envirometer - led character builds, asset modeling, animation and rendering

What's the story behind you finding MAKE and becoming a valued team member?

After graduating from college, I applied to a few places in town. MAKE was at the top of my list since it had one of the best reels in town and had recently hired two of the best artists from the previous year's class... and the rest is history.

Highlighted Project: Mechsporers MAKE Original - led character builds, asset modeling and rendering

Your professional development at MAKE is extensive—could you share some of the milestones, challenges, and triumphs you've encountered along the way?

When I began at MAKE, the studio was divided into two groups using Maya and 3D Max.

Initially, I worked with Maya, facing challenges as technical directors were proficient in 3D Max and couldn't assist when I encountered a wall or encountered a bug in the program.

Later, the studio transitioned to using solely 3Ds Max. It took some time to adapt, but eventually, it improved the overall workflow.

Highlighted Project: Childs Play Charity Pro bono Project - led character builds, asset modeling and rendering

Creativity thrives on inspiration; what fuels your imaginative fire and keeps your creative tank going?

Our 2D department is composed entirely of imaginative individuals. It's always challenging but inspiring to bring their 2D images to life in 3D space.

New hires and interns also bring fresh ideas and perspectives to the studio.

Highlighted Project: PSA Scleroderma Cure - led character modeling and rendering

Among the many memories, is there one that encapsulates the essence of your time at MAKE—a core memory?

So, the memory that stands out the most for me is a time when I felt extremely defeated, in all honesty.

MAKE was comprised of a handful of people, and we took on a project where we bit off more than we could chew. It happens to the best of us. I worked overnight and on weekends, constantly stressed by deadlines. I felt horrible then, but looking back at that time, not only did it toughen me up, but being put into those scenarios significantly leveled up my work entirely!

Highlighted Project: BraveHurts MAKE Original - led 3D character builds, asset modeling and rendering

What wisdom or golden tips do you offer for someone stepping into a new role in this industry?

You don't know what you don't know.

Always ask and search for a better and faster way to do things; no one will think less of you for asking. When you make a mistake, focus on finding ways to reduce the likelihood of repeating it rather than just trying to avoid making the mistake.


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