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Alumni Q&A: Moonyoung Oh of Riot Games

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Academy of Art University alumnus and Riot Games Character Technical Artist Moonyoung Oh. Photo courtesy of Moonyoung Oh.

Meet Character Technical Artist Moonyoung Oh, an Academy of Art University alumnus, who is currently working at Riot Games.

Please introduce yourself.

My name is Moonyoung Oh. I’m a technical artist who is working at Riot Games in L.A. after graduat[ing from] Academy of Art University in Spring 2016. My major was 3-D animation and visual effects … [I learned] about 3-D arts with engineering languages at school.

What do you do for Riot Games?

For 3-D films, games, ads, and also so many media arts need technical support to create them. Technical artists support artist and create arts themselves to use technical tools. In 3-D arts, they have different types of technical artist too. I am a character technical artist; [a] rigger, who is set up character controls for animating characters. I create technical tools for modelers and animators to support them to make art more effectively and also what we want to make it.

Why did you choose to be a technical artist?

As I said, technical artists, especially riggers, support other … artists for huge projects. And also, technical artist[s] always work programming and arts together. This is really unique and exciting position.

I worked as [an] animator in group project before, [and] I always had to think about the technical limits that I couldn’t solve as an artist. In that time, I thought if someone [could] understand requests, which the artist needs clearly, and support them effectively, then [they could] work together to make grateful artworks. [For] this reason, I wanted to try [studying] programming and also, technically, set up pipelines. During this season, I’ve [received] lots of requests from other artists during collaborations and tried to support them. From this teamwork, I was interested this work and [had] aspirations about this awesome work. So I chose this job and am still learning and improving myself for our awesome team.

How did you get the job offer from Riot Games?

Riot Games is my dream company; [it’s where] I wanted to work and [was] my purpose [for studying] abroad in United States. [One of my] projects was Riot fan arts with my awesome friends at school. And luckily I got an interview with a Rioter [at the] graduation showcase. After that, I [had a] job interview with Riot and finally I got my first dream.

It seems like boys comics, but [I had a] solid purpose with passion for [a] specific dream and [a lot of] luck [is] the reason [why I work here].

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Academy of Art University alumnus and Riot Games Character Technical Artist Moonyoung Oh. Photo courtesy of Moonyoung Oh.

What was your favorite class or activity during your time at the Academy?

When I was student, [the Academy had the] StudioX class [for] 3-D animation and visual effects majors. This is great collaboration class, where we [could] make great films together. We [worked] together as professional artists … From this class, you guys can learn about how we can work together with huge responsibility from teamwork. You guys can’t forget when you watch the final [work] that you [helped create] and also your name [is included in] the credits after that film!

Lastly, what advice or tips would you like to share with current students?

Well, 95 percent of school life was [a] challenge,  because [there are] so many things that I do not know. Actually, when I challenged something, I failed a lot also. But from that failure, I can definitely say [that] I [won] more than [I lost]. Because we are students, we can learn new thing, can challenge [yourself] without los[ing] and [being free to fail]. … Just challenge [yourself] and fail freely for your development and for your future!