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Full name

Michael McDonald

Title

Sr. Artist at Weta Gameshop / Magic Leap

Location

Wellington, New Zealand

Biography

As a game developer with over 9 years of experience I have had the opportunity of working with some very talented teams over the years, creating content for a wide range of games that are enjoyed by millions of players every day.
Throughout my career I have been involved in all stages of game art development from pre-production right through to live service updates. I have also had the pleasure of working with other internal and external teams including Engine Core, Marketing, Legal, Creative Services, and Publishing as well as having a working background in film, TVC's, web and print.


12 Shipped Games:

• Need For Speed: No Limits (iOS/Android) – Lead Environment Artist
• Real Racing 3 (iOS/Android) – Mid-Level Artist
• Need For Speed: Most Wanted (iOS/Android) – Mid-Level Artist
• Mass Effect: Infiltrator (iOS/Android) – Mid-Level Artist
• The Sims: FreePlay (iOS/Android) – Mid-Level Artist
• Dead Space (iOS/Android) – Mid-Level Artist
• Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit (iOS/Android) – Mid-Level Artist
• Need For Speed: Nitro (DS) – Outsourced Artist
• The Sims 3: World Adventures (iOS) – Outsourced Artist
• Path of Exile (PC) – Environment Artist
• Petanque Pro (Wii) – Technical Lead Artist
• World Sports Party (Wii) – 3D Artist

Specialties

Photo-realistic or stylised art asset production, (environments/characters/vehicles/props), High/low poly modeling/sculpting, Texturing and material shaders, Real-time and pre-rendered lighting, Concept art, Look development, Level greyboxing, VFX, UI graphics, Key art, Game optimisation, Bug fixing, Pipeline maintenance, Documentation, Task planning/scheduling, Art direction, Team leadership/mentorship, Agile scrum meetings

Experience

Sr. Artist

Weta Gameshop / Magic Leap

Wellington, New Zealand · December 2016 – Present

Working with amazing people and technology to help create new and exciting Mixed Reality gaming experiences. (more information once NDA’s are lifted)

Lead Environment Artist / Sr. Specialist Artist

Electronic Arts

Melbourne, Australia · June 2013 – December 2016

• Conceptualising, greyboxing, modeling, texturing, lighting, optimising, polishing and delivering real-time art assets and level environments for high budget game titles on iOS and Android.
• Working closely with the Sr. Art Lead to ensure all art across the project is consistently high quality and meets our high level objectives.
• Supervising environment artists by providing mentorship, constructive feedback, art guidelines, reference materials and documentation, as well as hosting scrum meetings, assisting with sprint planning, and task scheduling.
• Collaborating with internal and external teams including: Game Development, Engine Core, Marketing, Legal, Creative Services and Publishing to help plan and produce exciting new game content and improve upon art tools/pipelines.
• Providing look development images, proof of concepts, visual target images, pre-vis videos, and case studies to assist with the projects visual direction.

Mid-Level Artist

Electronic Arts

Melbourne, Australia · April 2010 – June 2013

• Modeled and textured real-time environments, characters, vehicles and props for a wide variety of game titles on iOS and Android platforms.
• Collaborated with designers and Art Leads to ensure environments were effectively facilitating gameplay, free of bugs, and of high visual quality.

3D Artist (Contract)

Tin Man Games

Melbourne, Australia · October 2009 – March 2010

• Provided outsourced art assets for IronMonkey Studios and Firebrand Games.
• Created environment models and textures for games on iOS and Nintendo DS.

Environment Artist (Contract)

Grinding Gear Games

Auckland, New Zealand · August 2009 – September 2009

• Created tileable environment assets to support procedurally generated levels.

3D Artist (Technical Lead)

Mere Mortals

Auckland, New Zealand · July 2008 – July 2009

• Created cinematics and real-time art assets for game titles on Nintendo Wii.
• Established lighting methods and art optimisation techniques for the team.

Art Lead / Co-Founder

Disyi Arts

New Plymouth, New Zealand · February 2008 – July 2008

• Helped manage the business direction of a small start-up games studio.
• Directed a small art development team to create our own original IP.

Art Tutor

Bubble Dome Ltd

Auckland, New Zealand · April 2007 – April 2008

• Taught 3D art skills to students and other teachers.
• Prepared and managed lessons and lectures.

Education

Graduate Diploma of Game Development (Art Stream)

Media Design School

Auckland, New Zealand · 2006 – 2007

• Recipient of the Sidhe Interactive Scholarship for 2006.

Diploma of Multimedia

Natcoll Design Technology

Wellington, New Zealand · 2005 –

Skills

Photoshop (14+ years), Maya (11+ years), 3ds Max, ZBrush, Modo, Quixel Suite, Substance Painter, After Effects, various rendering engines, in-house proprietary tools

Awards
2012 Best Mobile Graphics , IGN
2012 Mobile & Handheld – Nominee , BAFTA
2008 Best Animation , 48Hour film festival
2006 Sidhe Interactive Scholarship , Media Design School
2004 2nd place in a nationwide TVC competition , The Edge Radio Station