(Contact form is at bottom of the page)
SAN FRANCISCO, USA – “TWELVE MINUTES” (2016 – 2018)
While working on the Witness, surrounded by so much talent and inspiration, I took the leap to start working on an idea I had in my head for a few years. I learned how to program, created a prototype and shared it with the world, and it was covered very positively by Rock Paper Shotgun!
I then took it to festivals, getting even more positive coverage, making me realize that after ‘The Witness’, I should maybe take the plunch and create the game.
I have been doing it since 2016, and you can read about the development progress here.
SAN FRANCISCO, USA – “THE WITNESS” (2012 – 2016)
Moved in just in time for the New Year of 2012…and what a journey it was.
I worked with Jonathan Blow on “The Witness”, easily the best game I’ve ever been part of. I’ve also been invited to talk about the art direction of the game for GDC 2014 which was an amazing experience.
I’ve also been fortunate enough to have my work published in Ballistic Publishing’s Expose 10, and articles about my work on 3DCreative, 3DWorld and other publications.
The game was released and it has been acknowledged as one of the best puzzle games with a lot of praise to the art direction (yay!).
Since we were a small studio, I had the chance to be responsible not only for what I was hired to do (the art in the game) but also to create trailers, posters, and even the current witness website. And you can read about it in detail here.
QUEBEC, CANADA – UBISOFT (2009 – 2012)
Quebec was a nice breath of fresh air from London, switching from drinks and incredible nightlife to sports and outdoors. I’ve done yoga, snowboard, learn French and even piano lessons, something I never believed I would have the time! I kinda miss the cultural vibe of a city like London, everyone is so passionate while here its a lot more laid-back.
But its amazing, each new experience makes me learn more about the world and life and what I want to build for my future.
In terms of work I had the chance to work in 2 Xbox360 Kinetic titles and learned a lot about being a Lead Artist. I had the chance to mentor younger artists, get my hands in scheduling, defining outsourcing and pipelines and work closely with the art director to achieve the art style. There is a very rewarding feeling to see a game grow while you support with the direction, its one of the things that I’ve always loved in games, the amazing teamwork and spirit that it generates while the team creates truly original ideas on the most groundbreaking industry.
I was given the chance to become Art Director, a role I enjoyed since I could use my skills to define the visuals and make the work with the gameplay as much as possible.
Unfortunately, big studios are always “shackled” to stockholders, marketing pitches and seeing some great ideas and talent go to waste was bringing me down. So I decided to look towards the indies, people like Chris Hecker and Jonathan Blow that have inspired me for a long time.
I had the opportunity to move to San Francisco and work on “The Witness”, something I couldn’t refuse!
LONDON, UK – ROCKSTAR GAMES (2005 – 2009)
This was the second eye opener, what life really is and what is there to enjoy. The amazing amount of passion, culture, activities, and beauty in this city is hard to describe. I’ve met amazing people and lived incredible stories that I can’t even believe.
Professionally I had the privilege to work with some amazingly talented people and learning what the video games industry is all about.
At Rockstar I worked on Manhunt 2 and Midnight Club L.A. Remix, being given more and more responsibility having a chance to work on characters, environments and helping with outsourcing and organizing Life Drawing for the studio artists.
Briefly working on Max Payne 3 and doing some concept for a brand new IP I decided it was time for a change so after some searching around the world I found a great opportunity as a Lead Artist in Ubisoft Quebec studios.
So at the start of 2009, I moved to Quebec, Canada and started a new chapter of my life.
LISBON, PORTUGAL – UNIVERSITY (2000 – 2005)
After high-school, I had high enough grades to choose Architecture or Fine Arts, once I realized how much more vast and creative I could be in Fine Arts, I made my choice.
For the next five years, I had the chance to try a bit of everything, from web design, film, editing, logo design all sort of multimedia and get my hands in many different applications from Flash to Dreamweaver, Photoshop, and AfterEffects. I must also say, even though the teachers where not that tech-savvy they knew a lot about methodology and organization, the core of design, understanding the Why of everything we do and organize and plan around it, something I find crucial in my daily life and attitude as an artist.
Always on the side, playing video games and understanding what happens behind them I had my first eye-opening moment. While messing around in Worldcraft (Half-life original level editor) I decided to have a try at doing an asset for it, and for that, I needed to learn 3Ds max. I got one of those fat “3Ds max Bibles” and for the next 3 months, every single evening I would stay until the early hours in the morning learning how to use it.
I have to say it was one of the greatest revelations, the power of tridimensionality! Nothing would ever be the same… from my 2D illustration background, seeing 3D come to life.
I also realized that in my degree no one really used any 3D tools, I was fascinated with compositing and making animation in Studio max while everyone else was still trying out stuff in flash. This was when I realized I had to move forward.
Since I was always drawing I decided to start my professional career as a freelancer and save enough money so I could “grow” out of Portugal once I had my degree, so I started my freelancer adventure as an artist for some of the biggest Portuguese magazines and newspapers, including Expresso, Maxim and did some TV work for channel SIC allowing me to have a varied portfolio.
This was also the time that I started to understand the power of communities, CGtalk, Conceptart.org and all the others, growing and growing and everyone sharing knowledge.
During the last 2 years of University, it all became clear, I would work in video games no matter what. I finished my portfolio and thanks to my degree I was able to make a strong online portfolio as well as interactive DVD with work samples and a demo reel. Now it was just a matter of applying to my favorite video game companies and see what would happen.
I got a job offer from Rockstar Games in London so I decided to give it all and moved out of Lisbon to start my game developer career and first ever full-time job.
…Thats about it, more will be written as I live it! Can’t wait to see what tomorrow will bring 🙂
GDC 2014 – Art of “The Witness”
Gamasutra “The Witness artist reminds us to keep it simple, stupid”
Rock Paper Shotgun: “Preview : Twelve Minutes”
Rock Paper Shotgun: “Interview – Luis Antonio talks Twelve Minutes”
3D Total Interview – Overview of my work and career
Expose 10 – Ballistic Publishing: “Finest Digital Art Annual Publication”
3DWorld : “A Journey of Discovery”(6 page article about my work)
3D Creative : Work as Art Director and career overview
3D Creative: Making of “The Interview”