Interview with Habib Zargarpour

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  01 January 2004
Thanks for the link.

I am a massive fan of some of the shows Habib has worked on in the past at ILM - Perfect Storm, Podrace Sequence from SW:EP1.

He's an amazingly talented and clever guy. I knew he was at EA but I didn' t know where... now he's obviously been working on another hit in NFS:Underground (5 million+ units and counting!)

With the addition of guys of his calibre added to already great games teams, I'm looking forward to seeing what he is working on next!

Always be finishing.
My head hurts
  01 January 2004
It is somewhat surprising to find him working on games now instead of some of the limit-pushing features he was at the centre of. This guy's an innovator, and I'm just wondering how much of an opportunity he'll get for that working on games at EA. Don't get me wrong, EA is an exemplary studio that's always pushed out great stuff. This shouldn't be construed as something elitist either; I just think Habib could serve the (our?) world better doing bigger things.
  01 January 2004
At siggraph I asked him that question at the EA booth and his response was that he has more creative freedom doin games....its its quicker...
  01 January 2004
True. And EA has a reputation for working against the factory-like tendencies of large studios. I'm sure it comes down to the personal satisfaction of having the ability to make decisions rather than heedlessly following demands--and I'd be the first to sympathise with that--but Habib is capable of creativity beyond what game production requires, IMO. EA, like ILM, is a well-oiled machine, and often very little changes from one game to the next. That can be the case in feature-film effects, but not if you're at his level. It's not a coincidence that he was often chosen to create new means for a certain effect or specific scene.

I guess all I'm saying is that Habib could be put to better use .
  01 January 2004
Not necessarily because games provide their own sets of challenges. Sure movie VFX have a lot more money, complexity (technical, visual, etc.) thrown in, but other aspects of games can be challenges. Like doing real time dynamics or good AI in games which are not trivial. At a talk Habib gave at SIGGRAPH (2001 I believe, it was LA for sure) he was amazed how good some dynamics were in games (say some flight simulators). Sure they were crude compared to movie dynamics simulations but the fact that those games did it real time is the astonishing fact.

It's not like Habib was tired of ILM or needed the challenges and creativity in games altogether, but his family is back there in Canada. That weighed a lot on his decission when the good offer came.

Actually EA is very ambitious and scoops up VFX people. Former ILM members Dave Carson, Jay Riddle and Henry LaBounta (who was also at PDI) joined EA. I know at least Dave Carson was Art Director for the Kames Bond Nightfire game.
  01 January 2004
hehe, maybe he's on a working vacation... Take a couple of years off "working" on games...

When he sees how the game industry really is, he'll jump back to movies again.
  01 January 2006
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