80 Level Podcast

The Art of Being an Artist in the Age of AI with Laura from Outgang - 80 Level Podcast

February 01, 2023 Kirill Tokarev / Laura Gallagher Season 3 Episode 1
The Art of Being an Artist in the Age of AI with Laura from Outgang - 80 Level Podcast
80 Level Podcast
More Info
80 Level Podcast
The Art of Being an Artist in the Age of AI with Laura from Outgang - 80 Level Podcast
Feb 01, 2023 Season 3 Episode 1
Kirill Tokarev / Laura Gallagher

Send us a Text Message.

Laura Gallagher and Kirill Tokarev discuss how to use your artistic value as a way to stand out in the age of AI tools, the current state of the game industry, and the importance of keeping track of your emotional and physical state as a developer. Laura has 13 years of experience in gamedev: she was Lead Character Artist on games like Deus Ex and Horizon. She’s also creating courses and YT tutorials on character art, helping 3D artists improve their skills.

Check out Laura’s tutorials on Outgang YT channel: https://www.youtube.com/@outgang 

Visit Outgang website and browse classes: https://outgang.studio/ 

Follow 80 LEVEL on social media:

We are looking for more artists!
Join 80 LEVEL Talent for free: https://80lv.pro/join-80lvTalent
Get your work noticed by some of the biggest and best developers, publishers, and studios in video games today.

The Gaming Blender
Could you design a video game?

Listen on: Apple Podcasts   Spotify

This video is sponsored by Xsolla, a global video game commerce company with a robust and powerful set of tools and services designed specifically for the video game industry: http://xsolla.pro/8023

Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Send us a Text Message.

Laura Gallagher and Kirill Tokarev discuss how to use your artistic value as a way to stand out in the age of AI tools, the current state of the game industry, and the importance of keeping track of your emotional and physical state as a developer. Laura has 13 years of experience in gamedev: she was Lead Character Artist on games like Deus Ex and Horizon. She’s also creating courses and YT tutorials on character art, helping 3D artists improve their skills.

Check out Laura’s tutorials on Outgang YT channel: https://www.youtube.com/@outgang 

Visit Outgang website and browse classes: https://outgang.studio/ 

Follow 80 LEVEL on social media:

We are looking for more artists!
Join 80 LEVEL Talent for free: https://80lv.pro/join-80lvTalent
Get your work noticed by some of the biggest and best developers, publishers, and studios in video games today.

The Gaming Blender
Could you design a video game?

Listen on: Apple Podcasts   Spotify

This video is sponsored by Xsolla, a global video game commerce company with a robust and powerful set of tools and services designed specifically for the video game industry: http://xsolla.pro/8023

Laura you have this amazing career and you're you're taking those

incredible Chances with because if you if you watch your journey you're kind of like you're not the kind of person who's

kind of like afraid to make the move and so on so I don't want to do like this like standard intro tell us a little bit

about yourself or something like that but maybe you could say about kind of like the pivotal points in your career

when you were working as a you know as a as a lead and uh like very big games on

characters and when you decided to build your own school or maybe there were some other things where like along your

career where you thought like oh wow like that's like that's it that's a changing thing for me

sure yeah so uh the pivotal moments that happened in my career there's been a few um there's been a few that were recent

there's been a few that were uh much earlier there um one of the pivotal moments that

happened in my career there was one of the first ones to happen was when I got hired on Deus Ex human

Revolution and so that was the first game that had worked on I was straight out of school uh I was still very naive

as far as everything was was a concern there and um the reason why uh and the

pivotal moment that happened there was that um I got to work with an amazing art a director of the nine of geneta

Jacques and um he um helped me understand that we were

doing art when we're doing video games and we're doing characters when we're doing um environments uh that was his

mentality it's like we're here we want to create something that has a very high artistic value like we want to make art

and our role is to be artists it's not to be modelers per se because before that I was actually calling myself a 3D

modeler as opposed to 3D artists because I was like my my role is to take a concept and to do it in 3D directly uh

as is and without changing anything in there so just give me a concept I'm going to do it don't uh ask me to

somehow be creative just give me the concept and I will make a great version of that but uh you know you need to tell

me what to do sort of thing um and he got me to like understand that no no like the most important thing that

we can do here is to do art to have an artistic dialogue to make artistic choices as to the details that we put on

characters um and also to um instead of trying to match reality

100 percent because that's kind of what you do when you're a modeler you try to just be okay I'll just match whatever is real as as

well as I can like can we actually try to uh let go of reality a little bit and

try to introduce a little bit of artistic um I don't want to call it stylization although that game was certainly

stylized but um artistic expression perhaps into the details we put on the character

um perhaps we can actually uh exaggerate proportions of our characters slightly if we want to let's say make a character

uh more um imposing without necessarily going so far that now it looks like a cartoon game right but but just like can

we just just let go of this kind of very dry um approach to uh trying to capture

reality in in 3D and actually try to uh approach every detail that we put on a

character with a certain amount of artistic expression or artistic dialogue perhaps

um it turns out that that game uh got a lot of uh awards for its art Direction and it makes a lot of sense so he was

extreme family influential in in kind of shaping me to kind of understand that ultimately art

uh and reality are not necessarily the same thing you know like sometimes you have to go against reality a little

bit if you want to make something that has more of an um artistic um interest there that was one of the major shifts

that happened within my career and that kind of influenced all of my um

uh the rest of my a career um and and that is something that I try

to also uh tell all of my students you know because when you when you talk to students like people who are trying to get within 3D uh who are starting to be

uh to get within 3D um you can tell that they're highly focused on tools and they're highly focused on capturing

reality and you have to get them to kind of understand that what we do we have to Value the artistic Merit of what we do

and the artistic Merit of what we do has more value than the simple rote uh usage

of the tools you know that's why studio will hire you afterward it is because of your artistic value your artistic

critical judgment those are the things that you bring on the production that ultimately really make you valuable for

a studio uh which ultimately I I think is also part of the answer as to what

should artists do in the age of AI um you know really think of the value

that we bring on Productions and really ask ourselves what is the value that I'm bringing um and is that value that I am bringing

tied to a particular tool or is it more of a uh a meta thing um in a certain way

there you know because like if we have a high artistic Judgment of the work that

we do or the work that other people do um then it doesn't matter what tools that we use uh we will be able to

provide something that is valuable to a studio because the studio will in turn benefit from having people on their team

who is able to look at any result of any tools whether those are AI tools whether

those are traditional modeling tools I find it very weird to now say that we are that there are that there's such a

thing as a traditional digital artist but I think that that is probably something that we'll have to call ourselves uh more and more there

um and so uh if you have a strong artistic sense uh if you understand what

makes something artistically appealing um it doesn't matter what tools you are using or what tools other people are

going to use uh that particular value that you're bringing to production will always be there you know yeah I think

there's you mentioned a lot of things here I just want to kind of start unpacking

um so first of all thank you for sharing like for those people who don't know like they are director that you uh

talked about he actually looks a lot like the main character in the in the

game so yeah you can now picture him and the other thing I wanted to mention that

you said like about this uh this idea that it's not it doesn't have to be one to one so it's not it's not really

you're you're not doing like a copy right you're rethinking

and have two analogies for that is one is like from my former professional life

where I I worked as a translator and I try to translate books and I

failed miserably at it and my idea was that uh I'm not actually I don't wanna

like repeat whatever the guy is saying I want to do like my own thing and my translations

were kind of like all over so I think in a way this is like what like we see reality and artists is a lens he sees it

in a certain way and another analogy I had I heard I think from one of the photographers of somebody like of my

friends and he said that um because I'm big in on photography and uh

like even when you take a picture which is like a mirror image of what you

see it's still distorts reality right it's still not one to one right because there's so much

thing there's so many different elements there and this is like what Andrew

Maximo was talking one uh on on one of his uh GDC talks he said like that

naughty dog is not building he worked at naridak back then it's not before he started like his new uh

company uh he said that they're not trying to do like the like the real

thing they're they're doing like artistically enhanced reality because like if you look around like I live in

L.A it's a beautiful city but if you go around like a parking lot there's like there's nothing there it's not really

that exciting but if you go to like Battlefield or something it's like explosions like you know everything's

shimmery and the reflections everywhere it's like such a different experience so

as artists I think it's great that that you got this piece of advice where you

look at things and they're like very different and you you kind of go through this you are this lens that's kind of

like shifts things and changes them and you're not really like locked into

whatever the physical parameters are and talking about physical parameters and

being locked so a couple of days ago I think maybe like five days ago I subscribed to some of

the new Journey groups on Facebook like I'm not a user myself but I did I did subscribe to that and uh like my

my first emotion will shock

you know what I mean like I I looked at it and I was like I have zebrush group and then I have like majority group and

I I understand that it's very hard for me to tell the

difference now if I look closely I can right but if I'm just you know surfing through a feed on

on a phone I'm like what what is happening right and um we we discussed this question

about like the biggest Trends what are the biggest Trends in games right now but um I I feel like this is my feeling feel

free to kind of build on on that or kind of share your opinion I feel like this is some kind of like a tectonic shift

like the ones that uh we we maybe we've seen something like this with the

introduction of like procedural tools or maybe photogrammetry but I it feels like it's even bigger because it's it attacks

so so fast and is it this disruption that um I mean I was not ready for because I

remember like five years ago they showed us like how computer vision works and it was like all like fractals and gibberish

and you couldn't make you know heads or tails and and now it's like

it's almost like a zebra sculpt or it's almost like something out there and my

question is what's your take on it like where do you think this is gonna take us like as an

industry and the kind of the last part is like what do people actually do because you you

you're probably uh um you know in groups if you have friends and everybody is super worried because some people are

already losing jobs yeah yeah I mean that

there's a lot of socilities about AI that I think are worth to spend some time on and to um unpack um individually

um first of all it you are absolutely right that this is a technology shift

um for me the only like no one can predict where this technology will go but the

only thing that we can say for certainty is that it will simply get better it will get better and it probably will get better than we think that it will get

better um if you are an artist right now and you see your job as the only uh

um as the simple copying of something let's say that you do 3D character art and you see your job as simply taking a

concept and copying it within 3D you should be shaking in your boots right now this will impact you

um if you start uh seeing your own role as something that is bigger than the

simple usage of tools then I think that in there lies a particular um path for the future for you like okay

so here's an example for me okay um now I don't use AI Tools in any sort of way

right now but um and you were asking me previously about um the kind of the the

um the particular moments in my life where something happened that changed my own perspective of my own career well

there's been a change recently where um I used to teach 3D at a local University

and that was great I had a lot of fun doing that I had plenty of really cool students to interact with on a regular

basis but I kind of figured out that actually if I kind of look at the impact that I can have throughout the world and

that I can like how can I help people what is the value that I can bring to the world um it was clear to me that uh as fun as

it is to teach at a university it is very limited in the amount of people that I can reach with what uh the the uh

of my particular style of teaching with the kind of things that I particularly teach it was clear that there was a

limitation there there's only so much that I can do and so one question always goes through my mind is how can I maximize the impact that I have either

throughout the world or on the production and to focus on on becoming the person that will be able to do that

you know so I left University because I figured if I teach on YouTube instead I

can go from teaching to what would be 30 people at a time to 30 000 people at a

time right and so I figured okay what is the impact that I can have in the world in the world in its current state what

is the biggest impact that I can have and can I uh shift myself towards that

you know because the thing about um and

so so that's more or less one of the biggest reasons why I became um a YouTuber there is just to reach a lot

more people there and just maximize the kind of impact that I can have there but um

so when we think of AI you know um it's it's worth to to consider other

subtleties too like as far as as people working within video game studios

um our role if we are let's say people who do concept art becomes now becoming mini

art directors where um we have to be able to

um I mean that's what people who do concept art do so far but less being

focused on the tools and more being focused on what is the output of those particular tools and

um really trying to shape whatever will be the output of those particular tools towards the actual goal which is to

design a character or an environment that has X Y or Z elements in there

um so that role for me doesn't necessarily change but if we see our role as only let's say a roll event

illustrator and our job really isn't to Think Through okay how can character be displayed you know like if you're good

at taking let's say a bio of a particular character that you are given and to think through what are the

elements that could constitute the visual design of that particular um uh character then you

have a lot of value that you can still bring regardless of what tools are being

used now the problem is that today to day you may like it a little bit less if you spend a lot of your time actually

writing prompts as opposed to actually drawing stuff but you can obviously draw things on top of whatever it is it is

the output of those particular prompts um but ultimately like your role is to

imagine what a character will look like and I think you also have a responsibility to figure out in your own

mind what you think a character should look like before you start to jump into using those particular tools because

those particular tools will give you an output that you have a little bit less control over especially in the beginning

um and um if you do a little bit of brainstorming yourself to figure out okay I want character to look like X Y

or Z um before you even start to use those particular tools maybe you keep doing

research um on the side uh maybe you still build yourself a mood board you have a good

idea of where it is that you kind of want to go before you even start to introduce those tools then those tools will actually become more of a tool to

help you realize your vision as opposed to be tools that will give you a vision to which you will uh start to attach

afterwards your own opinion of what the character should should um look like there's so you know I I

think the danger is just to jump to using those tools a little bit too quickly um without having done that particular

reflection ourselves what we would think a character should actually look like um because we want those tools to help

us make our revision come to life we don't want to get those tools to make a vision come to life and then afterward

to ourselves kind of absorb that particular Vision that EI has given us

as what the character should look like there you know so so uh we still have to be masters of the tool we still have to

see our role as art directors in a way that is responsible ultimately for

making our own Vision uh come to life and those are tools there to help us um

on Productions it's awful like there's something interesting about um the legal aspect of AI tools

um where um obviously like depending on the AI tool itself

um it really Falls within a gray Zone whether a studio can't even hold the

rights to the image that are created there like I I I believe uh if I recall correctly

um the U.S government or the U.S copyright office and I'm not sure which is the uh entity

there exactly there's responsible for that but said something along the lines of uh an AI generated image it's not

copyrightable um now hopefully that's not fake news that I read and that's actually true there but um no no I don't know I don't

know if you're uh if you're a studio like I I can't see value for a studio to

say um let's use those AI tools perhaps to prototype the look of something but then

once we know kind of what it is that we want um let's give it afterward to an actual

concept uh artist to do the final uh version of that particular concept so that we we own the actual rights to the

image that we have produced as opposed to just take the uh um output of the AI directly and then

use it as is you know um which I think would be the part that that probably Falls within a great

um Waters there as far as the the legal aspect is a concerned there's going to be a bunch of lawsuits in the future uh

regarding these particular tools and those will probably shape a lot how these tools are particularly used I I

can see a lot of the what you're saying I can see a lot of that happening in

like in like next year and I I have kind of like two perspectives here on the on the things

that you said that um how you kind of advice using this tool is very

similar to what you would say let's say 20 years ago to somebody who would uh

start working with Photoshop right so in Imagine people were kind of doing like acrylic paint or something

and then suddenly they're like okay I'm gonna do this on the screen that's like that's that's not an easy transition

and people would be like okay and I'll try to figure out how do I do this first

on paper then scan it and put it in a computer or something like that or I'm just gonna print it and work with it but

now if you look at the like workflows of just a traditional artists but we don't do that much on an 80 level but if you

just go on YouTube and have a look it's just like it's it's totally different what you would expect when kind of my

daughter sits and she paints with a brush like the Peppa the pig or something right it's it's it's it's

completed there's like a lot of shortcuts there's a lot of elements that are repeating there is a lot of uh

things that are done that are inconceivable in a traditional kind of

like classical I would say workflow that's that's one thing and the other one is

kind of like the legal and ethical aspect the the this thing that you uh that you

talked about is so I I'm uh I think okay so let's say

there is some company out there and they say okay I'm gonna do design similar to like the late uh you

know Michael Andrew Nash so I want to do like you know robotic let's not like

figure out not not animals but something like a robotic thing and they're gonna do it and it's going to be very similar

let's face it it is copying a lot of the like especially if you're throwing the

correct prompts and so on so what do you do with that art like it's really not

that innovative and who knows like whether you can even

publish it or use it in in a project it's fine when you're doing mood boards and you're like trying to find

inspiration but at the end of the day I'm like can you use it

um but that's like Laura is not the not even like the biggest point that I have is but the my biggest thing is and I

keep comp repeating this but people don't seem to kind of comprehend this like this is only happening in a very

small Niche thing that's like you know like illustration

let's say a concept art what's gonna happen when it was the same

speed it's gonna start generating 3D objects or material materials or

anything else because it's it's just it's it's ridiculous how quick this thing is

and I'm thinking uh this is not like this is not like an easy so my previous comparisons was like

photogrammetry or like proceduralism yeah those things kind of speed things up

but this is like a whole nother level this is like bam I have a concert or so

what's going to happen when it's like bam I have like a thousand barrels and I just write it

lots of very interesting things yeah yeah and it's like we're not really

prepared it feels like we're not prepared because people are posting like no to AI art like no to this and that

and for me it's like uh I was like what what like it's like there was a

horse and now there's a carry like there's a a car do you like no no I mean I'll have

horses but like cars are faster and it people I it seems like people don't

really understand what kind of impact this is gonna have on all of us not just games you know what I mean

it goes It goes much Beyond you know if if I just look at my

Facebook feed I would have the impression that somehow AI is only taking over concept art

um but it it is taking over everything right now like I was actually looking at the uh recently you know it was um

Nvidia in September it had their Nvidia uh uh yearly talk where I'm not quite sure what is the name there but um if

you look at their uh uh the video that they had posted in September

they show AI developments tools that go much Beyond 2D Creation in fact I'm not

even sure that 2D creation was even part of that there were showing tools for uh the beginnings of AI tools that would

create 3D models um AI tools that would take uh very rough lidar um images of an

environment and generate a full environment out of that um and so uh and if you go and you check

nvidia's uh um um Omniverse uh website you see that

they also are developing tools that are AI tools to help uh believe uh to write

lyrics for songs or something like that you know and you hear left and right uh AI tools that are now starting to write

music like AI to anything that is digital content creation will eventually

get replaced by AI um just yesterday I believe that you had shared an um article on the 80

um LV about uh open AI uh chatter uh

chat GPT um yeah generating uh python code for

blender someone can just say what kind of code that they want what kind of plugin that they would like for for for

a blender and then the um AI will actually write some code for

that you know so that's going to get taken over as well uh so we think of it in terms of

um I like us who operate within the concept

art 3d art field uh first of all if we do 3D art it is very easy to kind of

look at what's happening on the concept art field and feel like oh okay it's too complicated it's never going to happen to 3D right because 3D you got polygons

you got very cities and you got scale you got rigging and you got skinning and leg is so complicated right it's like no

no it's like this will happen sooner than you actually think uh because it is already um happening there so um

we everyone who does digital content creation of any kind not just

um those who do concept art I think those who do concept art concept art is the canary in the coal mine right now

but uh whatever is happening concept art will happen to every digital content creation

I suppose uh discipline that there is this will come and this will probably come faster than you imagine that it

will be there um and you know it's easy to look at that and and to feel like oh people are

going to lose their job this is really bad we should um boycott this but there's no putting the genie back in the bottle

um if you look at the number of people using mid-journey uh it is it has completely exploded the number of people

using that versus people who do or are interested in uh more traditionally made

uh concepts are there um most of those people's most little people using those particular tools

don't necessarily care that people who do concept art traditionally are losing their jobs you know they only

care about the result and how it is helping them to realize their own vision of something and yeah I kind of

understand that to a certainly agree I mean I I as someone who um right now there's a lot of videos is running a

business uh has a website to run these sorts of things like truth be told I as much as I could feel that AI tools are a

threat and that no one should use those because people are going to lose their job at the same time I kind of am

interested to see what kind of other AI tools can help me run a better business in the sense that you know if I am

editing a a class that I have recorded on 3D creation um I am and typically that might actually

take me a few days to like um um edit a full class or a full um interview there well I am very

interested in AI tools that may help me to speed up that process to maybe cut out the parts of the video where no one

is actually talking and to uh really just just um um cut down the amount of time that it

takes me to um edit a particular class afterwards I'm very interested in those particular

tools um I'm not a musician um but I see value in having music here

and there over certain videos my business is not focused on Music Creation but I see the value in having

um having um uh you know a particular soundtrack of some kind so can AI also kind of help

me to create a soundtrack that um and perhaps even to think about it in the context of doing

um um um can I think of or can there be an AI

that can help me to create a soundtrack that will amplify the educational value

of something right um I could obviously work with a uh with someone who does

um with a composer for that of course but

I could also kind of explore that on my own and if I were for composer then I have to pay a composer and if I have to

pay a composer then I have to increase the amount of money that it costs people that are subscribed on my platform and

so in a way people who whose interest is learning 3D art actually kind of lose to

a certain extent if I have to start hiring people to do things that I could do with um AI there so if you are a 3D artist

sure you can feel threatened by AI but also there are circumstances in which AI

if you are trying to learn 3D um you know if I can lower the price or

keep the price of the membership of my platform down because I use AI tools to help me edit videos faster or create

better educational content if you are someone who is trying to learn 3D character art this is an advantage to you you know so it's not clear that AI

is necessarily always a bad thing um and so

um there's all this kind of Gray Zone left and right and of course if we approach this from our own discipline we

are very biased but if we look at it from a from an external point of view um you know what I've said about website

is kind of the same thing if I need a functionality for my website and I can get AI to write it then ultimately I can

probably lower the cost that it takes me to create the website and which in turn lowers the cost of whoever are paying

members on the platform there right so there are advantages like that uh as

long as uh but those seem like advantages because my focus is not on

being a web um uh developer there it's simply to create better 3D educational content

yeah there's all these kind of appraisals right and we kind of have to look at these tools and their impact a

certain amount of perspective um I think I I think what I hear most

right now and this will this is the video is gonna probably gonna be get published a little bit later so maybe

things are going to change by the time we publish it but um

the main question is like remember like our our previous

kind of ideas about AI we're like okay so maybe it's gonna do like animation

right or it's gonna do like better like joints like whatever like Ubisoft was

doing a lot of research in that or it's gonna help with rendering or or

something right and then suddenly out of all of those kind of more technical Parts it it it did the job which was

considered to be most safe from AI kind of like the creative process in in our

mind and in in a way the algorithm that they're using they're not really creative

they're just kind of like it's a repetition of what was already done it's not really that they're coming up with

some new ideas or or Styles and so on so I'm I'm not sure where the limit to this

is and coming back to like the beginning um of our conversation where you talked

about your experience on Human Revolution is

um there is this grain rate of creative idea look right there

is this lens and I guess if you have that that it doesn't really matter you know

what kind of tools are are out there whether they're from music or therefore

sketches or therefore models right you will just be able to do stuff faster and

kind of be more um kind of intentional with what you're

doing like um my again like sorry about this analogy it it again goes to like

photography like if you go um you're in my vlogging space so you probably know like Sony cameras they

have very good autofocus right they're like they're boom on the spot AE each

time and I I saw a video recently where it was so good that the guy was doing

like uh like a dance he was like on his back twirling his feet in the air

and the camera got like the the his leg right the focus on his like like

automatically that was kind of like scary stuff right but at the same time you go to like

people who are shooting film right now it's like Resurgence right Carter is

selling more more film than ever and they're like no no I'm gonna take my

time I know how this works I'm gonna take a tripod I'm gonna put a camera there I'm gonna be like super deliberate

about my composition choice and so on so I feel like what's happening with AI is

sort of like what Sony's doing with autofocus right so it's like super quick and fast and every picture is like ideal

and but at the same time people still gravitate to kind of like messy

you know stuff that's not perfect and especially in games this is also what I

learned like through through my career games films you know books what what whatever

uh I don't want to sound esoteric or anything now because I'm not that kind of person but there is a certain level

of magic happening in those projects and consumers uh they feel it they

understand that when we're when we're looking at even like this year I I have

let's say in the next question but I don't want to jump into it like they feel that there is something going on

there and I just I don't have like a vision in my head where every single

thing is going to be generated with AI which is not that it's going to be artificial but it's going to be like a

secondary like a a copy of a copy of a copy of a copy of a copy right and

suddenly it's gonna be like a huge success I just don't like consumers are just not going to be into

it and therefore you know companies are not going to fund it so yeah yeah I don't know how popular this

is of an opinion but like I personally speaking okay like I get very disinterested when I

give me the exact same picture one has been generated by um Ai and the other one I know has been

made by human I will be inherently more interested in one that has been made by um a human because I care about

um thinking through okay what was their thought reasoning behind putting down detail XYZ

um and so like the human aspect for me is a big part of why I consume Mark to begin with

um and so AI cannot replicate that it could replicate the exact same image let's say but knowing

as someone who loves to consume artistic media it is the intent of the Whoever has

created that media that ultimately is what makes me interested in that media to begin with you know like if you think

of movies right um I love Christopher Nolan movies I just love them and I

don't care what kind of AI tools could generate movies I'm still going to want to watch a movie by Christopher Nolan

because it came out of his mind right that's what I care it's like I want to see what he makes because I find that it

is interesting to Think Through what he like imagine myself what was he thinking through when he made a particular movie

when he made a particular choice somewhere that's personally what I uh enjoy the most out of uh art itself so

it's not as much about the artistic or rather um I can't in my mind dissociate the uh

human aspect that has gone into creating a piece of art um

from the art itself you know uh the art itself you we can make pretty pictures but if I know that it has been made by

an um AI somehow I I I lose interest quickly I can't acknowledge that it's

nice but I lose interest because I lose the human aspect of it um I think for me that that part will

probably always stay there like even if you have Aida can generate an infinite amount of um images I think you know we

as humans or at least I I like to think that this is what will happen in the future I certainly don't know but I like

to have I like to think that um you know we will all still be interested in personalities we will

still be interested in people we will still want to follow people that create content that we care about

um because uh you know there is an Infinity of music

that I can already listen to on Spotify there is literally anything I could ever want to listen to is there but I still

gravitate to listen to a few um artists that I care about because there's just something about the work that they are

doing that really um interests me and I'm interested in anything that they will be doing in the future so I'm following them if they

release a new song they're releasing new um album I'm I'm interested in it because it has been created by them you

know and and so I hope that that part stays there I I don't know that that will necessarily be the case but

um you know AI won't necessarily change how I like to consume art because

the fact that art has been created by human is such a fundamental part of why I enjoy that art to begin with

yeah and it's also everywhere like if you look at the when people think about concept art

they're like okay some people are going to lose jobs but the idea of the concept there is actually everywhere

like everything was concept art at some every product like every car was at some

point in time as catch on uh on a piece of paper and the the question

is like do we want to Trust kind of like computer generating

algorithms so much that we're just gonna like Outsource all of that

kind of Niche creative stuff to whatever is Prada going to say okay let's fire

all those nasty designers we're just gonna do computers gonna generate the new because they can the computer can't

right so it's not like rocket science but I feel like the magic is going to be

missing and uh I it's at least this is the belief I'd like to clean on like

before whatever happens next um it happens right and then we'll see it's

again it's like the the level of uncertainty so high right now so it's just like I think it's we're just kind

of like you know making discussions and sharing opinions yeah but we don't

really know Oreos we don't really know so let's switch gears a little bit so we're going to publish this probably in

January so let's imagine that we are in January and the 2022 is behind us

and the the question is because um again sorry to jump the copy so I I

actually learned about Laura and your channel and your school from reaction videos you're posting

those reaction videos where you saw like the horizon horizon game or like the other

game it was like I thought like wow that's that's fun like the the person who was actually doing those things he's

like reacting to the the trailers and the checking out the character artwork so my question for

you in 2022 what were kind of the projects the games

that you felt um kind of are not noteworthy right I

I'm not saying like game of the year I'm not talking about from that like an email like a gamer perspective but look

from from your life it they can be published they could be published

anywhere but maybe there are some projects that kind of you know made a real big influence on your kind of

surprise you in a way yeah yeah I have to um uh uh I I have to say something that

that might uh not sound all that great but I haven't actually played that many games in 2022

um a big reason why I haven't played a lot of games although I did play some games but

um a big reason why I haven't played that many games in 2022 was because um it's been actually a pretty big Focus

for me in 2022 and in 2021 as well to try to reach a better work-life balance for myself

um I had uh and I've publicly said in the past I have left Gorilla Games because of a burnout that I have done

there um I've recorded my thoughts in a YouTube video on that particular topic and

I've kind of realized uh through time that um it is impossible to do everything that

we want to do in life right there are just too many things that we want to do we have to start to prioritize what it

is that we want to do and we have to be we have to be willing to let go of certain things that matter a little bit less to us

um and if we care about living a long life if we care about living a healthy life we have to start to make some very

hard choices as to how we spend our time um and for me part of that was uh

focusing more on sleep focusing more on better healthy habits in in in a general

and a lot of that came from cutting out some of the times that I would be spending playing video games to instead

uh do physical um activity or try to uh try to Simply

simply clean up my sleep hygiene um

and but also to try to find pleasure in life in those other activities which I

think is is extremely important right um I'm kind of doing a big attention and

I'll come back to the question that you've uh asked her but um

one thing that I have kind of figured out is that if I do want to start to develop healthier habits and for those

habits to stick around I have to figure find things that I find enjoyable in those habits that I'm trying to change

so I've been playing a lot less video games and I've been doing a lot more bouldering instead which is physical

um activity where you try to climb walls that are typically five uh five meters

in height and it goes with varying levels of difficulty so there are very

easy walls to climb there are very hard walls to climb in all cases it is like a

solving a puzzle or it is I like to think about it as in uh if we had Dark

Souls but Dark Souls was a physical activity of some kind what would it actually be and it would be bouldering

because it is trying to solve very hard problems onto which uh you fall and so

quote unquote die although of course you don't die uh when you do a bouldering there but you certainly fail quite a lot

which teaches you to get back on your feet to try again and to eventually

succeed and get that satisfaction so I've been doing a lot of bouldering so I I look at it as a real life video game

uh because of its similarities to playing games there it kind of tickles uh or it takes the same boxes for me so

uh that that has been my game of the year uh and

um it has allowed me to find pleasure in doing physical

um exercise there um so I've been doing quite a lot of that um other than that I've been playing and

I've been trying to uh get a lot better and trying to finish um um Elden ring uh that's that's been the

game of the year for me as far as I'm concerned as far as actual video games is concerned I'm like 200 hours in and

I'm not even sure how far the and is uh so I've been playing quite a lot of that so far that's been my 2022 uh certainly

my game of the year I have a long list of games that I I wish that I will be able to play soon including God of War

uh Kalisto a protocol has had some of the most amazing Graphics that I've seen

um so that is certainly uh one of the highlights of 2022 for me um

also uh um a few other smaller games or uh

riskier games perhaps uh I find it very interesting that there was a game that came out now if this is uh something

that is uh not safe for work uh in any sort of way as far as your podcast is concerned feel free to cut this out but

I thought that high on life was very very interesting uh as a game uh because it's like okay like let's do a game that

like like I think that the uh the the the driving idea behind the game was uh

can we make a game for people who like to consume marijuana which is a very interesting uh it's not something that I

had seen before so just seeing the direction that they took with that particular game I think is kind of interesting uh that game was created by

the uh the creative um um oh gosh I forget the name of uh the

show there um the show with the scientist and the uh small kid Rick and

Morty thank you um I also thought that uh there was a game called the wandering Village uh that was actually at uhm I think that

won the game of the year for uh def cam this year uh very very interesting game uh has a very nice mix of 2D and 3D uh

where they're really using uh I think both 2D and 3D art uh simultaneously and

and really getting them uh using both medium uh in its um for for its um

advantages uh and doing a really nice mix between these two things there so the one the wandering Village was very

interesting high in life was interesting for its originality uh in 2022

um but on the uh as far as gameplay is concerned for me um Elden ring is definitely the top top

um game there and Visually speaking um Kalisto protocol and uh God of War Ragnarok yeah I mean I didn't again

saying basically says same train of thought as yours like I I don't play

that much because I have other stuff basically unfortunately or fortunately and

um the only game I did kind of like submit it to it was Alden ring

I played like we have to submit ourselves to this game yes yeah yeah no I mean I I got like maybe 140 160 hours

and that's like it is a so immense

it is such a I don't even understand how it is possible to build something like that of that scope

because it feels it felt like there was like it was Game of the Year Edition of a game that that was never released you

know like with all the DLCs and additional content that would have you such a deep incredible ride like I love

that game like that was like for me it's like the Pinnacle of like what the soul series was and kind of like reinvention

and that guy is a genius like Miyazaki is like he's like serious

genius material like I'm I'm thinking about okay like Kojima is super smart

dude obviously like very good with gameplay this guy is like I feel like he's on another level he's just like

it's it's insane what that guy's doing so Laura thank you so much for sharing

and especially the kind of these these things about sleep physical activity just kind of

doing just normal human stuff right that it's

kind of like also don't people can really talk about it but maybe like with the was the whole AI

thing and let's all hope we keep our jobs and we'll be maybe we'll have more

time to just kind of like chill you know I I go to Europe people are just sitting there you know drinking

coffee and whatever it's not like us where it's like you you go to work at seven a.m you

come back at 7 pm and it's like you collapse and then you watch TV and then

you fall asleep so I hope we'll have more time just like as a as a communal

whatever uh have just more time to enjoy ourselves and to enjoy life and have

more fun I guess in in all the different ways but um

what's your take in general about like 2023 what what do you what do you expect

like in in terms of industry in terms of maybe your career in terms of maybe your

business maybe your school uh I don't know what to expect but I I

think we should all be ready to expect the um unexpected because I believe that

2023 tools only like AI development will only develop itself faster and faster

you know like we used to look like only a few months back this year we used to look at Mid journey and kind of look at

it and say like oh yeah but everything it does is within the same art style and uh it can't even do hands properly any

sorts of things and before we knew it these things were actually solved um so expect the um unexpected um I

think we all have a deep reflection to go through as far as what is the value that we bring Society to the Productions

on which we work how can we maximize that if we find a way to find a value if

we figure out what is the value that we truly bring I think that um uh I think that that um

that protects us against uh AI as something that will replace our job

um so yeah 2023 will be uh will be an interesting year because 2022 was the

year where all these tools really came to our minds uh collectively and 2023 I

believe will be the year where this really starts to have very uh

um a lot of practical uh usage uh it will really start to have a really

practical impact you know like it it takes time for Productions to change their tools you know like a production

isn't even if a new tool becomes promising it production isn't necessarily going to change the tools that they use Midway because that

introduces a very high degree of risk um they might start to experiment with tools but they're not fundamentally going to change their production Midway

right like you don't stop production of a movie just to restart it because there are now certainly um AI tools that can

help you out there you finish what you have started um using the tools that you have started because uh you want to reduce the amount

of risk and you want to make sure that you are getting the job done within the time that you have there but as these Productions that perhaps have not used

those AI tools so far start to wrap up and start to look into whatever will be

the next Productions that they will work on and whatever will be the tools that they will work on I think that we will start to see uh this tectonic shift of

uh more AI tools being used left and right uh I I would would be a fool to

try to predict anything as far as how it will impact things or how much it will be used but

um I think as we have said at the beginning it is inevitable that these tools will get better will get used more

and we have to adapt to that um so myself you know like I I keep

thinking about okay what is the impact that I can have on the world uh how can I maximize the impact that I can have

and like I I will be completely completely Frank with you I kind of figured out that the impact the bigger

impact that I can have and how to make that particular impact is not to do 3D um anymore so I I I don't do a lot of

um 3D I wish I I would but if I you know

if I had let's say a block of um let's say I have a week that's free I

can either spend that week doing 3D art um and produce something cool out of

that or I can spend that week talking to people interviewing people trying to figure out how they create 3D art

um and um produce something that will be useful for the world based on that afterward

right so I'm kind of already looking at a time that I have for you and thinking okay what is the biggest impact that I can have with that particular time and

for me it means de-prioritizing doing 3D because I think that there are other things that I can

do that will have a bigger impact instead so I'm I'm kind of always looking at the at the world at the time

that I have read through that particular lens um I hope like you that AI tools eventually

allow us to enjoy life a little bit more but I am also kind of concerned that um

um tools that make us more efficient do not necessarily mean that we

certainly have better work-life balance it may simply mean that we have more things to do

um you know like it's very easy to finish something and then start the next thing afterward and if

you can finish something faster then suddenly you have more projects that are um ongoing at the same time so

efficiency and productivity like being more productive doesn't necessarily mean that we have more free time we have to

make that choice that that is a very conscious choice we have to do ourselves to say okay I will stop working I will

put work aside and I will do something else with my time um and so

um it you know at its base is a a reflection that we all have to do with

how much do we value our own free time first of all and what do we want to do with that free time

um and tools can help us to liberate more free time but we have to make sure that we are actually truly using tools

uh that are out there as a way to reduce our workload so that we ourselves have

afterward time to do other things than work you know we have to make that very deliberate conscious reflection that

conscious choice um as opposed to just say uh which I think might be something a little bit

more um automatic uh oh well I have time to wrap up a 3D model faster so I'll just start the next one faster you know

because then you're you're still using as much of your time to do work you're just going through work a little bit faster

but you're not necessarily um giving yourself a better work-life balance there so that's something that I

myself also will continue to I wanted to do like a like a little flash ball with you

so like short questions just to kind of get the blood going you

don't need to do like uh super high level answers just to kind of like get an idea and kind of talk a

little bit so uh what's your favorite game of all time

favorite game of all time that's a hard question every time I try to think about that question I come up with a different answer but it's usually Super Metroid

so on the opposite what is like the most

underrated lesser-known game that you think the world should know about

these are hard questions I could think about this for like 30 minutes uh the most underrated game that

people should know about wow that is such a um this might come across as a surprise but

off the top of my head I would say Journey I think Journey has quite a lot of uh it

has a very strong message as to trying to get to the destination but what happens if you ultimately get there

um and that it is as the name implies it is the journey that matters more I mean it's not an underrated game necessarily

but it's one of those Niche game that probably not enough people know about and it's also one of the games that I I

it makes me um see game making

as an art form as opposed to as an entertainment phone form on which we tack art on top of for me journey is a

piece of art and I'm not sure I can necessarily say that about most games yeah so two more questions so what did

your so what do your parents think about your career as a game developer do they like

it or not like it or like what's their five well my mom just wants me to be

happy in life and that's what I am doing video games so she's quite happy for me my father was hard to convince because

he's part of the older generation who sees games as a kid's toy uh and did not

really see the value in that at the beginning it was it was actually quite hard to convince him to uh fund uh 3D

school for me because uh he's actually the one who had co-science uh my loan so that I could go to Santana in the

Montreal to study 3D art it was hard to get him to to give us him to do that but I think at some point he just saw the

fire that I had within my eyes and he decided to trust me on that but yeah that was not an easy thing

Zoom or quake oh Doom

all right well I think those are uh great answers and you can really feel

the passion that you have for games even like from our little discussion about the journey because I really like that

game as well and this is the kind of game that I would show to my mom and my mom is also like an older

generation my dad is like 90 so it's very hard to explain to them I try to think sorry to cut you out

there I try to think like what games would I put in a game Museum you know like a game like if there was a museum

somewhere of like games that we think are like actual art pieces that we want the world to show uh to know about and

to see and to preserve for the future for me Journey would definitely be one of those that I I would I would certainly and it's kind of fun to see

how you know that that game company the the company who created the journey and flower and all those other projects

how they can keep Reinventing everything because their their games are always

like about flow kind of like movement it's like very kind of like about this almost

meditative kind of uh State and in their last game I think it's called sky right

or something they they kind of turned it around and it's kind of like now uh a very massive

um mobile game now it's like on consoles and it's also free to play so it's kind

of like this weird shift where it's still very artsy and it it looks nice

but it's also kind of like successfully a super successful financially which is

like something that you you don't always say about the you know when you when you talk about like hard games and and so on

so I think this is a perfect kind of answer to and the perfect ending to the podcast is

just like take care of yourself people and think about your time because it is

limited unlike Ai and the projects the time on this Earth is limited so do the

most out of it Laura I want to thank you so much for your time uh thank you for spending this hour with us uh we'll

leave the links in the description so you could people can check out your channel check out your school there's a

ton of info there so you'd be amazed and yeah thank you so much and I hope we'll

talk next year thank you I hope so too thank you thanks for enjoying another

episode of the 80 level Roundtable podcast check out upcoming episodes on

the 80 level website at 80. LV join our career site at 80.lv RFP

and share our podcast with friends and on your social networks

(Cont.) The Art of Being an Artist in the Age of AI with Laura from Outgang - 80 Level Podcast