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GDC Speaker Q&A: Noah Alzayer goes under the mask of Marvel's Spider-Man

At the 2019 Game Developers Conference, you can look forward to an array of talks from speakers across the video game industry. During the week, you'll hear from industry legends, niche experts, and amazing advocates, many of whom will want to learn about you and your work as much as you do theirs. 

At this year's Visual Arts track, Insomniac Games character TD Noah Alzayer will dive into the facial rigging of Marvel's Spider-Man showing off how the company incorporated third-party facial rigs (over 150 of them!) into the production pipeline of one of 2018's best-selling games. 

To introduce you to Alzayer before his talk, we reached out to her for a quick Q&A you can now read below! 

Would you please introduce yourself and talk about your role in game development?    
I'm Noah Alzayer, a Character TD at Insomniac Games where I worked on rigging for Marvel's Spider-Man, primarily on supporting any facial performance technical needs.    

Without spoiling it, what will you be talking about at GDC?
I'll be talking about how we navigated feedback and integration of almost 150 face rigs delivered from an external company and how we managed our little changes to those rigs for things that came up during production.    

What excites you most about the future of game development?
The increased fidelity that will be possible with things like 4D scanning as well as  how increasingly cheap scanning technology will change art pipelines and block-ins as things become more democratized.    

What's something about your specific field you want your colleagues to know more about?
Part of the reason I wanted to do this talk was that as more companies are springing up to specialize in things like facial rigging for the super high-fidelity projects, more work that used to be done in-house is increasingly being done outside of the studios by teams that aren't necessarily integrated and working off of the same project depot. That adds new challenges when it's for assets that are near the beginning of the pipeline like rigs rather than just animations or static models, and it feels like something that could eventually turn in to a strain on teams to constantly update things with new deliveries. So I will present our way we tried to streamline things, and possibly start a conversation on best practices among studios who rely on subcontracting for things like that.    

Tell us about your favorite project you worked on in the last year.
Well my last 3 years have been on Spider-Man, so I don't have much in the way of projects to choose from. But it does help that it was a very fun project where we created some work I'm very proud to have been a small part of realizing.

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