I met Catherine Verret through the various social networks related to video games. I want to speak with her today because I think her journey can inspire children, teenagers and students who aspire to join the industry.
Hello Catherine! Could you please tell us what your current profession is?
Hello Marc! I am currently a 3D Animator at Lowbirth games,an independent game studio developing narrative games.
And is this your first job in video games?
No, when I finished my studies, I started my career at Gameloft Montreal.
What studies did you do?
I studied 3D animation oriented video game at the DNA Campus.
It is a public program, funded and recognized by the Ministry of Education that leads to an Attestation of College Studies (ACS) diploma.
What was your background to working in the video game industry?
Coming out of high school, I had no idea that it was possible to work in the field of 3D or gaming, I knew nothing about the development process. I searched for my field for several years of study before discovering a little by chance what the professions of the game consisted of. Before completing my studies in 3D animation oriented video games, I studied cinema and visual arts, I learned useful concepts in my work as an animator. The gaming school where I studied, the DNA campus, completely changed my life. I had the chance to meet great mentors and professors who were able to share their passion with me and I became friends with students from various fields.
What does a typical day look like as a 3D Animator?
The day starts with a coffee and a small team meeting to share our work and report a blockage, so everyone is on the same page. Taking care of the “rig” side, gameplay animations and cinematics, I work closely with our creative director, art director and 3D character artist to bring the different characters of our game to life. Before starting a task, I have a meeting with one or more of them in order to understand the intention and set a goal. Depending on the movement, I embark on the collection of references before starting to animate, the animation having the aim of creating the illusion of life, it is important to analyze certain movements in reality in order to have a credible result. I make sure to test the animations in the game at all stages to make sure everything works well before investing a lot of time in an animation.
What are the points you enjoy most when working in the industry?
I love my job. That’s probably the best point. Then, meet and exchange with people who are as creative and passionate as me. I am fortunate to work with great people who have equally different backgrounds. I also like the fact that my work is not repetitive, I love learning new things and it is necessary to keep abreast of new technologies.
What are the negatives when working in the industry?
I spend a lot of time in front of a screen, otherwise the fact that no one outside the industry really understands what my job is all about. I also know that it is sometimes difficult to be a woman in the industry, but I must admit that I was lucky enough to have never experienced this.
What advice would you give to students who want to enter the industry?
Don’t settle for what you learn in school, if you’re interested in game development, watch GDCs (game developer conferences), join groups on social media, and feel free to ask people in the industry for advice. We are truly a beautiful community and many of us are ready to help and advise you.
What advice would you give to parents who want their children to play in moderation?
Take an interest in their passion. Ask them to explain the game they are playing, your interest will please them, and it will be easier for you to understand their hobbies and ask to stop a game at the right time. Often parents project a sense of confrontation towards their children around the game, the only interaction being to tell them to stop and often in an inopportune moment. Asking him to do his last match/dungeon/level/run etc will be more effective than just telling him to stop right now.
Do you have any other tips for parents who don’t know a video game?
Play with them! By finding out what kind of game your child is playing, you will learn about them. Understand that as long as it is not in excess, and your child seems fulfilled, video gaming is a hobby like any other. Some games are also very conducive to the development of creativity and problem solving. Take the time to do a quick search when you buy a game for your child. There are many sites where parents share their impressions and many of them are gamers themselves.
Learn about the different monetization models, for example, some games are free but require subsequent and frequent purchases in order to progress while others require frequent breaks in order to bombard the player with advertisements.
What are you playing at the moment? And do you recommend the titles in question?
I have to admit that I spend a lot less time playing since I’ve been in the gaming industry. Recently, the time I spend playing is dedicated to League of Legends games with friends. Honestly, I don’t particularly recommend this game. It’s not bad, but the learning curve is really long and difficult for a new player, and unless you have a strong interest in this game and/or have friends to play it with, I don’t think it’s worth it.
Do you have any games to recommend for the kids? and for teenagers?
Rabbids: Learn to Code!
Super Mario Maker
Rainbow Billy and the Curse of Leviathan
Catherine, on which social networks can we find you? Do you have any creations, sites to promote?
Mainly on Linkedin.