ART DIRECTOR · TECH ART · ENVIRONMENT ART · LEVEL DESIGN
After Effects · Agisoft · Github · Illustrator · Jira · Maya · Perforce · Photoshop · Pixotope · Quixel Suite · Revit
Substance Designer · Substance Painter · Unity · Unreal Engine · Various Proprietary Engines · xNormal · ZBrush
BIO + CONTACT
San Francisco · Seattle · New York City 🗽
Hey there, I’m Javier.
I have over ten years of experience as a AAA game developer, specifically with teams who leverage real-time technology like Unreal Engine. I’ve been fortunate to contribute to many great titles like Call of Duty, Just Cause, inFAMOUS, and more. I find magic in design that contributes to a larger narrative and advance the storyline through clever and thoughtful design decisions.
Beyond my technical expertise in 3D art, I proactively build solutions for pipeline management, provide art direction on a variety of projects, and mentor junior artists in the field.
My approach to art and design is about being smart with the tools available and quickly identifying bottlenecks and constraints. I design and create efficient and scalable art pipelines, and optimize for performance early and often. By getting smart about these fundamentals, the team can shift their focus to high-impact elements that users will actually notice.
Senior Level Designer · People Can Fly 2019 - Current
Senior Level Designer · Defiant Studios 2017 - 2019
· Lords of the Fallen 2
· L.A. Noir VR, for Rockstar Games
· Warframe, for Digital Extremes
· VR Starbreeze project
· Unreleased AR Facebook project
· Various projects/prototypes
Environment Artist · Avalanche Studios 2014 - 2017
· Just Cause 3 + DLC
· Just Cause 4
Environment Artist · Sledgehammer Games 2014
· Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare
Environment Artist · Sucker Punch Productions 2013
· inFAMOUS: Second Son
Environment Artist · Gazillion Entertainment 2011 - 2013
· Marvel Heroes
Playcrafting - Learn Unreal in 8 Weeks 2018 - Current
Game Mentor Online 2013 - 2018
Ex'pression College 2008 - 2011
· Bachelor of Applied Science in Game Art & Design
· Awarded salutatorian
· Dumon Landscape Design
· Boss Key Productions
inFAMOUS: SECOND SON
Infamous Second Son was one of the first titles made for PlayStation 4 and was on the cutting-edge of real-time technology. I was responsible for environmental storytelling, asset creation, in-game branding, tiling materials, and neon power. Many of my projects started with several cycles of R&D, as what we were doing had largely not been done before.
One of my favorite parts of this role was collaborating with several independent businesses to ensure that Seattle's essence and people were positively represented in our game world. This included adding in LGBTQ flags in the environment, which was a first for PlayStation 4.
Awards and Press
Kotaku: Infamous: Second Son: Review
Call of duty:
Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare was a holiday blockbuster and was one of the highest grossing video games of the year. For this title, I created environments and built custom 3D assets on both multiplayer and single player teams. I worked closely with the art director to ensure consistent art language not only in gameplay but also in the highly anticipated trailers released to the public.
One of my favorite parts of the role was working with what felt like the best of the best in video game talent. They showed me what it meant to be organized, to meet every milestone with precision and quality, and to produce work that the world will continue remember and reference.
Awards and Press
Just Cause 3
Just Cause 3 was an explosive open-world sandbox title. In my role, I created modular kits for buildings and skylines, props, and terrain sculpting. I created Capitol City, which is the largest city in the map and the most complicated due to optimization requirements and design flow.
My favorite part of this role was that I was heavily invested in pipeline improvement and R&D for unreleased spin-off concepts. These experiments were anything from procedurally generating buildings to generating city layouts optimized for high-speed gameplay. The learnings from these experimental projects led to art pipeline improvement for Just Cause 4.
Awards and Press
The Verge: Why Just Cause 3 is my game of the year
Marvel Heroes was a massive multiplayer online game. I was one of the original environment artists hired to concept and build environments based on the Marvel Universe. I constructed environment benchmarks used by the entire art team to develop consistent, high quality standards in presentation, design, and workflow. My main responsibilities include asset creation, level design, lighting, and pipeline creation.
My favorite part of this role was that I was given the responsibility to lead many parts of the team from art direction to new talent development.
I founded myVR which was an architectural visualization company. We worked with high profile architecture firms to create VR walkthroughs of project proposals. These VR walkthroughs helped the architecture firms visualize their desired space and communicate the vision to high profile clients who were investing millions of dollars in each project.
I led and managed a team of artists who created hero assets and optimized art for VR headsets. While there are many firms who do this work today, myVR was the first of its time.
global game jam 2019
rats, roaches, & roombas
🏆 1st Place Prize for Best Game and Best Game in Unreal Engine
Rats, Roaches and Roombas was created for Global Game Jam and is an ode to New York City living. With the latest hi-tech vacuuming technology, you must race to clean as much of your living space as possible. But beware! It's not just trash that you need to collect... New York City locals are lurking.
My role included art direction, environmental storytelling, and lighting. The challenge for this game was time. We created the entire game over the course of a weekend. I created the environment, including all 3D modeling, in just ten hours. The game was so popular it was showcased in Epic Game's show booth at PlayNYC to promote high-quality game development in UE4. Rats, Roaches and Roombas is coming soon to Wonderville as a permanent installation.
Javier Olazabal (Art, Lighting)
Cat Schmitz (Narrative)
Chris Hertwig (Tech Art)
Kai Skye (Programmer)
10 hr time lapse
global game jam 2018
🏆 1st Place Prize for Best Game in Unreal Engine
Deadline was created for Global Game Jam and highlights the pressure of being a talented designer. It's your first day on the job as a professional ransom note designer. You're tasked with creating and transmitting ransom notes for masterminds who don't have the extra time to perfectly craft their criminal message. It's a busy season for them and you're here to help them out! Be quick though, because the deadlines are TIGHT.
My role included art direction, environmental storytelling, and lighting. The challenge for this game was time. We created the entire game over the course of a weekend. I created the environment, including all 3D modeling. This game was later showcased at a Playcrafting event where we presented our work and did Q&A.
Javier Olazabal (Art, Tech Art, Lighting)
Cat Schmitz (Puzzle Designer and Narrative)
Ryan Carper (Programmer)
Cedric Diaz (Sound)
I participated in an invite-only game jam where we made games for Facebook’s Instant Games platform. Our team’s game, Square, was a block-matching puzzle game with a zen aura.
Javier Olazabal (Art, Design)
Cat Schmitz (Programmer)
Cedric Diaz (Sound)
Jay Suong (Programmer)
Collection of student work from 2007 - 2010
all images © Javier Olazabal unless otherwise noted