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Interview with Scott Easley - The Oddworld Scriptures

Interview with Scott Easley
Published: 5 May 2002
Host: 3D Festival
Interviewer: Sofia Saile

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Interview with Scott Easley

Senior CG Animator, Oddworld Inhabitants,

Written by: Sofia Saile

As 3DF Conference Manager, I get to meet and talk to great and inspiraing people. Here I managed to excuse my enormous expense account (he, he) to do an odd interview with a very Oddworld Inhabitant.

Scott Easley has spent the last decade working in Computer Graphics: from Wavefront, to Josten’s Learning, Mediashare, and Sony ImageSoft. As one of the founding members of Oddworld Inhabitants, he has worked on every game and each movie for the last six years. Although he has mainly concentrated on animation, he has set up characters, worked with modelling, texturing, and some coding. He is now one of the Senior members of the Oddworld staff. Scott's awards include two Emmies and a Telly for a local TV commercial that he wrote, animated, and produced.

What’s your background (education, jobs)?

I am an English Major from University of California at Santa Barbara, and have worked in CG for eight years now at various companies.

Who are your biggest influences? Why?

Chuck Jones, John Kricfalusi, animation‐wise.
Mom and Dad, existence‐wise.

As one of the first Inhabitants, do you have any stories from the early days of Oddworld you could share?

The original eight were very much like a family—​we tended to all hang out together and have dinner, lunch, etc. The size of a company just starting out was also amusing—​four of us would be out at coffee and we realized that we WERE the entire CG team, out at coffee.

What kind of a place is the Oddworld Studio?

Large. We’ve grown to fit the entire floor of a building we once only could fill up a corner of. The design of the place itself—​the layout and interiors—​have some crazy angles not usually expected in a work environment. Open girders, gently sloping walls, open wiring suspended by an overhead steel mesh. Post‐apocalyptic nuttiness. You can tell that some time and effort was given to make it a visually interesting place to work. I get a lot of comments on how ‘cool’ the place looks when I give tours. The workplace of Dr. Caligari.

What do you like to do when you’re not at work?

Sleep, and lots of it. Actually, being in a smaller town allows you to detox from the workweek pretty well—​no real traffic to speak of, not a lot of crowds. Just chillin’.

What do you like best about coming to work? What’s the worst part?

The best part is finishing off a project that has taken weeks. There’s a thrill there like completing a marathon. Sometimes, the worst part is getting through a work ‘slump’, when the software and other things seem to unanimously conspire against you.

If you could change jobs with one of the other Inhabitants who would it be and why?

Lorne. Because then I could command Giant Robot Monster and finally take back the city from Crime Lord X.

What is the longest ‘day’ you’ve ever spent at Oddworld?

Oy—​There have been more than just one 24‐hour days, take your pick.

How do you feel about Munch’s move to the Xbox?

If the glove fits …

What at Oddworld are you most proud of?

Games that apparently seem to entertain, educate and amuse the world over. It’s almost surreal, because where Oddworld is located is in such a quiet town, you don’t really get to see the impact you make. Walking into a video game store in Scotland or Italy and having the people inside thrilled they’ve met someone from Oddworld is quite an eye‐opener.

What advice would you give to anyone wanting to be an animator?

Study motion constantly. Keep improving. Also, nothing will train you like actually being on a job as an animator, so decide which company you want to work for, and then do what it takes to make it happen.

Who is your favorite Oddworld character and why?

Abe. He’s thilly.

You seem very busy at Oddworld, do you ever get time for personal projects?

I have done some work when time and interest permit; Oddworld understands that without a personal release of a project on the side at times, you start to see CG as just work. I did a couple of CG posters for Marvel Comics of Iron Man, and also some flyers for friends. It’s all fun.

What can we expect from your Seminar and Class at the 3D Festival?

A basic understanding of how an animator approaches a scene; from storyboard to the finished product. I will touch less on the technical aspects of the process, and more of how people should observe and breakdown the project step by step, to allow the greatest result while keeping to a tight schedule. I can also answer some questions about the overall process of the characters, both in setup and rendering.

‘If we have any time left over, I’ll juggle.’