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Life & Work with Guy Wolfus

Today we’d like to introduce you to Guy Wolfus.

Hi Guy, thanks for joining us today. We’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
I’m a technical artist and pipeline developer in the video games and animation industry. I always loved games and movies, and I knew this is something I wanted to pursue as a career in some capacity, so I started out by studying Computer Graphics at the Israeli Animation College in Tel Aviv.

My first job was as a character animator at Snowball Studios, one of the largest studios in my country, but after a year of animating on a daily basis, I realized this is not quite what I wanted to do in the field, and started pivoting towards the more technical side of animation.

I was lucky to get to work on some really amazing titles such as Disney’s Muppet Babies and Barbie Dreamtopia, as well as on some more indie projects such as The Black Slide short, the video game Fort Triumph and recently even an NFT project called Katatonik.

Over time I’ve grown fonder of scripting, and eventually that led to me joining Larian Studios to work on the highly anticipated Baldur’s Gate 3 as a technical artist and pipeline TD, which also meant moving to Canada.

A couple of years ago, my partner Shir Baron started working at DreamWorks Animation, and at that point I moved to LA with her and have been here since.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
The biggest hurdle for me so far was to move to a different country, away from family and friends. I don’t regret it for a second! I really enjoyed my time working at Larian Studios in Quebec, Canada, and I am loving Los Angeles so far. Luckily I also have my partner and a two years old puppy here with me, so I’m definitely not lonely – we’re having the best time going on hikes and restaurants around the city.

Coming from a very close-knit family, I do miss them a lot. It’s hard being away from home for so long, especially recently with everything that’s been happening with Covid. Things seem to be calming down and peoples’ perception of life post-outbreak is more relaxed, so hopefully visiting family and friends every so often will become easier.

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
My specialization is with tools and pipeline development for animation software. Coming from a background in computer graphics and having worked with all sorts of art and CG-related software myself (such as Photoshop, Maya, Nuke, Shotgun, etc.) – I wanted to familiarize myself with these specific Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) in order to help artists achieve better results, faster.

I write tools and automation for these programs that make other team members’ workflows easier and allow artists to focus on what’s important – the art – rather than get hindered by technical limitations or just very repetitive tasks.

When I went to college to study animation, I wasn’t quite sure what I wanted to focus on, so I’m very glad that I’ve found my niche between art and programming. I also believe that coming from an artist background is a huge advantage since it gives me a better perspective of what the end-users want to achieve and what’s the most easy and elegant way to let people interact with these tools and pipeline automation.

So maybe we end on discussing what matters most to you and why?
It’s a bit of a cliché, but the thing that matters to me the most is loving my job and having a good work-life balance. Basically, I’m describing happiness! I enjoy spending time with my partner and friends, dining out, watching movies at the cinema and taking the occasional vacation to travel abroad and experience all kinds of amazing cultures and fantastical views!

On the other hand, I decided to study animation and scripting because I’m passionate about it, and I wanted to spend my day-to-day doing something I enjoyed and believed in. If we’re honest, I don’t imagine anyone has ever gone into art studies thinking that’s how they’re going to become rich, haha! But we all do it out of passion and appreciation for the craft and because we enjoy working on things that we believe in, and that’s the most important part.

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Image Credits
“Baldur’s Gate III” by Larian Studios “Fort Triumph” by CookieByte Entertainment

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