Meet Mareva Rousselle, our Lead Vehicle artist
If you want to know more about the Vehicle Artist job at Kylotonn, this interview is for you!
How would you define the job of Vehicle Artist at KT ?
As a Vehicle Artist, the tasks are varied and differ depending on the project. We outsource the vehicle modeling because we also have to manage a lot of things internally: take care of the vehicles’ integration in the engine, retouching some of the cars (3D, materials, textures…), the customization, the livery… We are always exchanging with the programmers, the game designers, the UI Artists…
As the cars are the core of our games, we have to pay special attention to the details, to be able to offer the players the best quality result possible!
Can you tell us more about your role in Kylotonn?
I’m the Lead Vehicle Artist, so I’m in charge of the team making the vehicles. I manage on one hand the external people who will model the cars, and on the other hand the internal team that does all the things I mentioned before (touch-ups, customization, engine integration, textures etc.). I communicate and exchange with the other departments to solve the different problems we may have. I also have to manage everyone’s schedules. Unfortunately, I don’t have much time to produce (I do it when I have a free moment…but it’s rare!).
Can you tell us about your background?
I did a Maths and Natural Sciences baccalaureate* (*T.N: French high school diploma), then a bachelor in the Haute École Albert Jacquard in Belgium. It’s a graphic design school where you can specialize in video games.
In 2014 during my 3rd year, I was hired as an intern at Kylotonn as a level builder and…I never left!
I was an environment artist for a while, and since I really enjoyed nice and clean models, and the finicky details that are required to make vehicles, I was able to evolve with time and practice. And thanks to my leads from that time who were very supportive!
What do you prefer in your job?
The balance between the artistic and the technical! It’s a lot of constraints, we always have to be very precise and we are not allowed to do anything approximately. First of all for the pleasure of the player who is going to play with these vehicles, but also since we work in close collaboration with the manufacturers, we have to model their vehicles well!
And it’s very gratifying to see the work of the whole team at the forefront of the game. The car is the first thing you see, it’s a very important thing and our fans will pay a lot of attention to it. So it requires a lot of precision. As a little anecdote, I had the chance to go to the Tourist Trophy in the Isle of Man and meet some of the players and pilots. It was really impressive having some of the riders coming up to us and saying “I loved the game, could you put my bike in the game please?” It was crazy, and so rewarding!
What does your typical day look like?
As a Lead, we don’t really have a “typical day”, because we often have issues or problems that come up in the schedule. Overall, every day I give feedback to the internal and external teams, I try to find solutions to problems that have just been discovered, I talk with the other departments about improvements that could be made… and I have meetings!
I do have some fixed times that I reserve for myself, for example on Friday afternoon I always dedicate an hour to test the game we are working on at the moment.
What qualities do you consider essential for your job and for VA?
To be a lead as well as a Vehicle Artist, precision and attention to detail are essential qualities. On the artistic side, as I mentioned, we strive to have as perfect a rendering as possible, whether it’s for the players or for the manufacturers. On the technical side, we have to be very careful when integrating the vehicle into the game because there is a lot to do, and the slightest mistake can block the development work for several people and even several teams!
So overall, it’s a job that requires a lot of precision and of course good modeling skills. Even if some parts of the vehicle modeling are outsourced, we still have to do most of the steps in-house. I would add that on the lead side in particular, you need (very) good organizational skills, good interpersonal skills, and solid technical knowledge.
What is your favorite project to work on?
I think it’s Test Drive Unlimited Solar Crown, which I’m working on right now. I can’t say too much about it of course, but it’s exciting, ambitious, and modeling dream cars is really great as a Vehicle Artist!
Plus it’s very different from Kylotonn’s other projects so it’s very interesting to work on those things.
Any anecdotes you want to share with us?
I have a little anecdote for those of you who know our games: I’m in TT Isle of Man! In the sidecar dlc in fact. We needed people to model for the fictional sidecar pilotes’ pictures. So I’m Mike Cooper’s (who is also a former employee of KT) co-pilote, I’m Sarah Laurent!
WRC 10 is available on PlayStation®4, PlayStation®5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, PC and on Nintendo Switch™ at a later date.
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