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Full name

Ben Hopper

Location

Greater Seattle Area

Biography

Native of South Buffalo, NY. Forever a Bills and Sabres fan. Can't help it. I have no choice in the matter.

Went to high school and college in Kentucky. Worked in newspaper production for a while there as a news clerk, paginator and columnist. I wrote the obituaries for a while. It wasn't as interesting as you'd think. You had to use a standard template, and they all read the same.

Came out to the Pacific Northwest in 2002 to study animation at the DigiPen Institute of Technology and have been working as an artist and animator ever since (all in video games so far).

Worked on lots of different projects and platforms on teams of all sizes. Was lead artist and animator on 2D mobile action games like "Spider-Man 2: The Hero Returns"​ and "Ratchet & Clank: Going Mobile." It's OK if you haven't played them.​

I spent most of my time at Snowblind Studios as a principal motion capture animator. I crunched on two canceled projects there and left before The Lord Of The Rings: War In The North shipped, but they were nice enough to credit me under "Additional Art & Animation" anyway.

At Signal Studios, I was an animator on "Toy Soldiers: Cold War" and credited as a Senior Animator on "Toy Soldiers: War Chest." I was Lead Animator on the action role-playing game "Ascend: Hand Of Kul," which originally had a much better name.

My last animation gig was at Wargaming Seattle, where I was the lone animator on what was supposed to be the next big Wargaming title. It was instead canceled and the whole studio was closed!

If I could have my way, I'd be doing pixel art and animation for Treasure's next big game, but it'll never happen. Treasure is gone, and I don't speak Japanese. (My niece and nephew do though!)

I guess I'll have to do my own pixel art and animation thing one of these days.

I have a webcomic called Smoked Salmon. There's a link for it below. It's been a little while since I've updated it because I'm a lazy good-for-nothin.

Experience

Senior Game Dev Specialist – Animation

SAIC Serious Games Lab

Seattle, WA · February 2019 – Present

Animator

Wargaming Seattle

Redmond, WA · March 2016 – August 2018

Responsible for creating realistic keyframe animations for human characters and military machines (Maya); using Wargaming’s proprietary tools to connect exported animations to in-game assets and ensure animation trees work properly; creating and editing hi-res playblasts for in-studio reviews.

Lead Animator

Pileated Pictures

Conway, MA · April 2015 – February 2016

Responsible for maintaining and improving animation pipeline; finalizing character rigs and creating mechanical and prop rigs; assigning tasks to animators and approving animations; writing scripts and design documents; creating Maya animatics for storyboards and previsualization; communicating and collaborating with other leads; setting up Unity prefabs; processing audio for character lip sync; assigning and closing out bugs in JIRA. (Worked remotely from Seattle)

Senior Animator

Signal Studios

Kirkland, WA · May 2010 – Feb 2015

Savage Lands (Signal Studios, Steam) – Animator/UI Artist
Toy Soldiers: War Chest (Ubisoft, Console/PC) – Senior Animator
Ascend: Hand Of Kul (Microsoft Studios, XBLA) – Lead Animator
Toy Soldiers: Cold War (Microsoft Game Studios, XBLA) – Animator

Artist/Animator

Snowblind Studios/WB Games

Bothell, WA · Jan 2007 – May 2010

The Lord Of The Rings: War In The North (WB Games, Console/PC) – Animator/Motion Capture
Death Tank (Snowblind Studios, XBLA) – Italian Localization/Testing
Animator and Motion Capture Lead on two canceled projects for Xbox 360/PS3.

Artist/Animator

Handheld Games

Mill Creek, WA · June 2004 – Dec 2006

That’s So Raven: Psychic On The Scene (Disney Interactive Studios, Nintendo DS) – Lead Character Artist/Animator
Phil Of The Future (Buena Vista Games, GBA) – Lead Character Artist/Animator
Ratchet & Clank: Going Mobile (Sony Pictures Mobile, Wireless) – Lead Artist/Animator
Spider-Man 2: The Hero Returns (Sony Pictures Mobile, Wireless) – Lead Artist/Animator

Art Intern

Nintendo Software Technology Corp

Redmond, WA · May 2003 – Aug 2003

1080 Avalanche (Nintendo, GameCube) – Special Thanks
Mario Vs. Donkey Kong (Nintendo, GBA) – Special Thanks

Education

Associates in Applied Arts in 3D Computer Animation

DigiPen Institute of Technology

Redmond, WA · Aug 2002 – May 2004

Founder and captain of DigiPen Dragons indoor soccer club
2003 Dean’s List

Bachelors in English

University of Kentucky

Lexington, KY · Aug 1996 – Dec 1998

Cartoonist and writer for The Kentucky Kernel
1998 Dean’s List

Associate in Arts

Henderson Community College

Henderson, KY · Aug 1994 – May 1996

Cartoonist and writer for The Hill
2017 Distinguished Alumni

Specialties

3D Animation, 2D Animation, Cartooning/Sequential Art

Skills

Maya, 3DS Max, Photoshop, ProMotion, Unity, Perforce

Elsewhere