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employee experience 3D character modeler

Our employee highlight of the week is Armen Pamokdjian, lead facial shape modeler and character modeler. He is sharing today his insights about his job and his experience at Stim Studio.

Armen has studied at Bellecour École, in Lyon. He always loved cinema and video games but he didn’t have a clear idea on which career he would pursue. He discovered facial modeling during his second year of studies and fell in love with this specialty. He quickly realized that to succeeded in this field, he needed to put in the work.

“There’s a lot of competition in this sector. To stand out, you need to work a lot to be the best at your craft. Your level of expertise reflects your hard work. It’s as simple as that.”

After graduating, Armen worked at Illumination MacGuff for a year and a half. There, he had the opportunity to work on Despicable Me 4 and Super Mario Bros.

“It was a very instructive experience because I was working with highly qualified supervisors. But at some point, I felt limited. As a junior, I knew it would take years before having real responsibilities and getting to work on the best assets of a movie.”

Therefore, Armen decided to join Stim Studio as a full-time employee in February 2022.

employee experience 3D character modeler

Armen is lead of his team and is currently working on the main characters of a feature animated film. Armen works on the characters facial topologies in order to create facial expressions. He is in charge of making suggestions regarding the facial topologies and of leading his fellow graphic artists.

“Most of the time, we work with storyboards, concept arts and references provided by the client to design and create the facial topologies of the character. We also create the facial rig, which is say the bone structure of the character’s face. The rigging stage is really what brings the character to life. At the moment, we work on a long-term project where we might have retakes during the animation stage as well.”

As a lead, Armen is the link between the graphic artists and his supervisor. For him it’s important to be open, patient and to be in tune with his colleagues.

“Everyone can bring constructive ideas. As a lead and as a character modeler, it’s important to listen to others in order to improve your craft. You need to know how to delegate, to be patient, to know the deadlines but also to know your artists. You need to be able to challenge yourself continuously. I love this position because I get to learn a lot.”

As a result, Armen has a lot of responsibilities. At Stim Studio, he has the opportunity to work on interesting and exciting animation projects.

“It’s a source of pride to deliver that level of quality while working for a small studio. Here, we get to work on feature animated films.”

Armen also praises the friendly atmosphere and the trusting management in place.

Félix, Thibaut and Jordan are very transparent when it comes to how they run the studio and their vision. Thibaut and Félix used to be my teachers and they went from being mentors to bosses. It’s great because we trust each other. All the artists are highly motivated and happy to work here. As employees, we are all committed to give our best and to play a part in the studio’s success. It’s very rewarding.”

Armen believes hard work is the key to success in this industry.

“I recommend the aspiring 3D artists and juniors to trust themselves. I think it’s important not to get paralyzed by the fear of failure. I don’t believe in talent, for me hard work is what matters. I believe that the only true talent is to try. That has been my motto ever since I’ve started my career.”