Featured Friday: Tucker Roche

Tucker is his name and 3D is his game. Stick around to have your mind blown.
  • Q: Where did you go to school?
  • Full Sail University in Orlando Florida
  • Q: When did you first realize that you wanted to work in animation?
  • I have always been creative and a maker. I wanted a career where I could earn a living doing what I enjoyed and was good at. I never thought I’d be working at a 2D animation studio but it turns out, 3D and 2D work well together. 
  • Q: Who is your biggest inspiration?
  • This is a little outdated, but Leonardo Da Vinci. I find it inspiring all he was able to accomplish and over such a broad range. Similarly, I have always been a generalist in my works and interests. I appreciate his style and attention to accuracy, developing new techniques and using knowledge from multiple mediums to create the best result. 
  • Q: What is your favorite animated movie/show?
  • Kung Fu Panda, I like the environments and art style.
  • Q: What would you say to those who are not getting hired by a studio or having trouble finding a job? 
  • When I graduated college, I thought I could find a job with the portfolio pieces I had created in school. This was not the case, and I found it extremely difficult getting any attention initially. Looking back I would recommend myself to do the following. Find a small studio I want to work at, look at the work created by their artists currently in the position you hope to have. Start to create some content of equal quality on your own, before you even start to apply to jobs. These people clearly bring value to their company, so if you can match their skill level, you too could get a position like this. The secret to creating great work is always time. It can be frustrating starting out because you have no concept of how much time it takes to create great work. You might spend 3 hours and wonder why your piece is not as good as your inspirational source yet. One of the reasons is because they put 120 hours into theirs, but you would never know this, because only the final product is seen. Of course there are many other factors, but this is a  big one. Also feel free to message these people on linked-in. Often they are happy to give great advice on how to improve your work and get a job doing what you love. 
  • Q: What are some stories of your path to art and animation? 
  • Forging Ideas for me, creates motivation and excitement. In my current occupation, this is creating 3D content for Netflix series. I am surrounded by people who possess great talent and passion. We are all amazed by one another and what we are able to create. Growing up with these same interests, I did not always feel appreciated for what I loved. I found it hard to have confidence liking and wanting to pursue a career in art. The world’s attitude towards my young self was that being an artist can not lead to a successful career. Artists are not meant to be taken seriously, these days. But for most, the world gets a lot bigger once you leave high school. I discovered how artists have shaped the world we live in. I found that there are bushels of wonderful opportunities to influence the future and build a career. Now I’m surrounded by many successful creative people, pursuing their dreams. My early path towards animation consisted of cultivating the confidence required to pursue my passion with limitless intention. 
  • Q: What’s it like working in Austin? And how is the creative community here?
  • Powerhouse is just outside the city which is great because I am able to dodge most of the traffic. Equally great, there is a lot of nature within reach, on the outskirts of downtown. It’s also extremely dog friendly, except for my neighbor. Austin is quite the creative community and there is always something going on. It’s definitely the place to be if you are a creative. 
  • Q: What is the best part about your job and working at Powerhouse?
  • It’s a lot of fun creating environments for Castlevania. I love that I am able to work on an environment from every stage of the process. Concepting, Modeling, Texturing, Lighting and Rendering. Each step is exciting, and it’s rewarding to see an idea slowly come to life. 
  • Q: What is your favorite Powerhouse Project that you’ve worked on?
  • I’ve had the most fun creating environments for Castlevania season 3. 
  • Q: Most challenging part of working at Powerhouse?
  • In season 3 I had to learn and experiment with some complicated rigging and simulation for a few insane scenes. These were mostly new skills for me.  
  • Q: Any cool little known facts about production (funny stories/cool animation tricks/etc)?
  • I often have to create large environments in a small amount of time. I’ve found the quickest way is to kitbash. Using concept art as reference, I will create a pinterest page consisting of elements that belong in that world. Ill then model and texture different windows, doors, moldings, pillars, walls, roofs and bash them together to create many unique buildings. Ill create different rocks and props and put it all together to create a large environment. Often there are custom elements in these environments, but kitbashing prevents me from having to make every element custom. 
  • Q: If you could be any anime character who would it be and why?
  • I’ve never watched much anime, but I did enjoy Naruto. I’d be Jiraiya. It would be cool to summon a very large toad. 
Breathe. This is only the first one.
Hot tip: Tucker knows how to use this in real life. You’ve been warned.
*insert siren noises here*
Hmmm… this looks familiar.
Aw man… was it over that fast. Let’s look at them all again.
About the Author
Hailing from "Parts Unknown" Virginia, Ryan scoured the United Stated searching for a place to call home. After a short stint in the "Entertainment Capital of the World" Ryan wandered into Austin with nothing but a Gameboy Color, his Star Wars Blu-Ray Collection, and too much hair product. Now a Production Coordinator at Powerhouse Animation, Ryan works all across the board on studio projects. A word of caution though, there are rumors that if you look in the mirror and say his name three times he will appear behind you and beg you to watch the Prequels with him.