One of the most important roles in the pre-production stage of games and films is that of the concept artist; the one who breathe life into a script, visualizes the ideas, and conveys style and meaning of the project. Feng began his career eight years ago, designing futuristic sets for Hollywood films. He then joined the gaming world, taking a position at Origin Systems, now Electronic Arts, in Austin, Texas. He was the sole concept designer, working on a successful series called Wing Commander.
After Origin, Feng became one of the original members to join the GT Interactive Austin studio. Here, he helped develop art assets and technologies that are still being used today.
Feng left Austin and returned to Los Angeles in 1999 as a key member of another start up studio: Liquid Entertainment. He was once again the sole concept designer, developing the over-all visuals for the game Battle Realms. His artwork for this game is highly recognized, and has been published in numerous books and magazines.
This exposure brought Feng into Blur Studio, designing for their feature film. However, his job responsibilities soon expanded outside of film production to include working with clients such as Landmark Entertainment, Disney, Sierra, MTV, the Discovery Channel, Bandai, and Universal. This work involved video game cinematics, television commercials, 3D rides, and music videos.
In mid 2002, Feng was invited to join the renowned art department at George Lucas’ Skywalker Ranch, to work on the feature film: Star Wars, Episode III. Feng worked closely with director George Lucas, presenting him with new artwork on a weekly basis for an entire year. He also worked with Industrial Light + Magic, providing the special FX studio with detail drawings and designs.
Returning from the Ranch, Feng took a position at NCsoft as a Creative Director. NCsoft is the world’s biggest and most successful developer of massive online games. Feng managed all the art assets for NCsoft’s studios, daily studio operations, and project developments. He also helped establish a new NCsoft studio in Los Angeles. He hired artists, helped the studio move into an office in Santa Monica, and aided in the design of NCsoft’s corporate identity for E3.
Feng returned to films in 2004, working with director James Cameron, whose work includes hit feature films such as the Titanic, Aliens, and the Terminator series. Feng worked in a small art department, hand picked by the director, designing sets and vehicles for his next sci-fi film.
Besides working in-house for other studios, Feng has also established himself as a successful freelance designer, under his own studio: Feng Zhu Design. Some of his clients include Electronic Arts, Epic Games, Warner Bros, 3D Realms, Film Roman, Monster Garage, Epic Games, Sony Games, Wacom, and Microsoft. Furthermore, Feng is currently developing his own line of toys, to be launched in 2005.
Last year, in association with the Gnomon Workshop, Feng produced the first ever industrial design training DVDs. The launch of these DVDs was extremely well received and sold world wide. Many schools are now using these DVDs as additional teaching material. This success has brought in other designers to help expand the DVD series, including futurist, Syd Mead.
In addition, Feng has been teaching industrial design courses for the past four years; at both Gnomon and the Art Center College of Design. His classes have brought interest to Hollywood, including director Michael Bay, who worked with Feng and his class to assist in the design of his next movie: The Island. Feng’s teaching experience has also attracted the attention of other schools and companies. He has spoken at many conventions across the world, from Asia, to Europe, to Canada.
Feng studied architecture at UC Berkeley and industrial design at the Art Center College of Design, Pasadena.
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