REALTIMERS: Robert Joosten, Lead Character TD

If there’s one thing we love more than VFX, it’s our team. In our new series, REALTIMERS, we are showcasing the people behind the pixels to see what makes them tick. 

This month it’s Robert, our Lead Character TD, who moved to Manchester to work at REALTIME and specialises in creating rigs for the team.

Name & job title:
Robert Joosten, Lead Character TD 

Where do you fit in? 
I set up the rigs for our games and episodic projects. This requires conversations with the modelling, animation, look-dev and CFX teams to make sure that everybody gets what they want, and I will then try navigating all that and pack it into the rig setups. I am also quite keen on tool development which help speed things up and forces consistency throughout all the projects. 

How did you get your start in the industry?
I was incredibly lucky to get an internship at an amazing company in Germany called Parasol Island. I met someone there who helped me to get my foot in the door at another company in Munich when it was time for my first “real” job. 

Your superpower? 
Problem-solving. When something is not right I go straight into fixing mode, in every aspect of my life. 

What inspires you on the day-to-day?
Ever since moving to Manchester from London, I have been exploring the outdoors a lot more which is easier to access. Hiking and visiting new places always keeps the mind and body healthy. 

My desert Island luxury is:
Sunscreen, I burn easily.

Your soundtrack while working:
Depends on my mood but usually a blend of eurotrash, country, and musical theatre. An eclectic mix!

If you could work with anyone, who? 
I would love to do some DIY with my parents. With a lengthy COVID gap where I didn’t get to see them much, it would be great to spend some quality time creating something together. 

If not this, then what?
Something in the machine learning space. 

I really like the variety of projects. All the different art styles and platforms we work on keeps the job interesting. Being a smaller studio, you get to work really closely with a core team and rely on each others strengths.

People would be surprised that… 
I’m Dutch. People can tell something is off by the accent but can never quite guess the country right. 

Advice you would give yourself if you were just starting out?
It’s kind of what happened to me by chance, but try and start out at a smaller studio if you can. This will expose you to a lot more elements of the pipeline which will come in handy when you start specializing, as it makes it easier to understand the needs of other departments.