By: Cabal, 29th March 2003
Chuck Carter worked at Westwood Studios as an artist.
Here is an interview conducted with him in March by Scott
"Cabal" Daniells. He worked on many of the C&C games,
including the cancelled Renegade 2 project, which was looking really
Chuck's site can be found at http://www.chuckcarter.com
. Make sure you visit it, since there are photos from the set of Yuri's
Revenge and also some models and movies from Renegade 2. I'll be posting
some of them on CnCWorld soon - but until then check out his site.
Cabal : Could you introduce yourself for
the people that don't know you?
My name is Chuck Carter - I formally worked at Westwood Studios as a
computer graphics supervisor and general all purpose artist and compositor. I
had the privilege to work on some of the C and C games - including, Tiberian
Sun, Tiberian Sun:Firestorm, Red Alert 2, Red Alert: Yuri's Revenge and the now
dead Renegade sequel where I designed and built most of the successful demo for
EA as the first proof of concept. Also back in ancient history, I was one of two
artists who worked on the original Myst
Cabal : What made you decide to become an artist when you
As far as becoming an artist - it was an easy way to meet chicks! You
know, the tortured artist thing was a real turn on in the early 80s. :)
No really - I've been drawing since I could hold a pencil then in the late 80s I
discovered the computer and my whole life changed. Prior to that I was working
as an illustrator and worked at a number of Newspapers doing everything from
maps and charts to editorial art, cartoons and caricatures and finally art
direction - this early experience lead to my being hired freelance in 1992 to do
some early computer graphics for National Geographic Magazine and Website.
Cabal : Did you enjoy working at Westwood?
Yeah - it was fun. Hectic at times dues to quick turnaround on cinematic
projects - but always a challenge. The people I worked with were really great
Cabal : What was your reaction to the news that Westwood
was closing? Did you feel that it was a mistake?
No - It was probably for the best. The thing I hated the most was that it
was the only game in Town in Las Vegas (Unless you work for the casino game
manufacturing industry) and a lot of good people were turned out into the
streets and are forced to seek work elsewhere. After EA came in a lot of the old
Westwood Culture was pretty much out the door, ending the "Westwood"
era. EA rightly considered Westwood a business that had some attractive
properties (like C and C) and in the end that's what they really wanted. Games
are big business now a days, for better or worse.
Cabal : What tools do you use for your
Lightwave, Maya, Aftereffects, Digital Fusion - Painter, Photoshop,
Illustrator - what ever gets the job done.
Cabal : What tips would you give somebody that wants to
have a job similar to yours?
Learn to draw - model like crazy - learn to texture and animate - look at
film and see how the FX are done. And above all - do original work - if you make
a reel or samples, show characters, environments and units - and include if
possible, mods you made in Unreal Edit or any number of game editors to show you
understand the production process - meaning getting your art into a playable
format. But you should include this with your work only if you think it stacks
up to work out there in the industry. There's lots of substandard work out there
- your stuff should stand out. Also, there are a number of schools out there so
find the one that suits you and go if you can afford it.
Cabal : If you could be any character from any game you
have worked on, who would it be and why?
Kane - because I always wanted to be bald and be like Joe Kucan's dad!
Cabal : What are you working on now?
I'm currently working at Threshold-Digital Entertainment as a visual
effects artist/digital matte painter in Santa Monica, CA.
Cabal : Do you have any comments for the
Nothing really except speak out to the makers of the games - with ideas
and improvements. Help the designers keep it fresh and relevant and keep on
playing and building the community. Your voices are heard by the designers...so
be loud and positive.
Thanks a lot for replying Chuck. Don't forget to check out his
site at http://www.chuckcarter.com