Laurent Dufresne is a new addition to Champlain’s faculty, and is teaching the Procedural Material Development course in Montreal this fall. In class, students learn how to use Substance 3D Designer to create high quality, tileable, and procedurally generated materials for games. In this interview, Laurent answers some questions about his day job, what led him to start teaching, and his thoughts on Montreal.
What is your day job?
As of a few months ago, I was Technical Artist at Don’t Nod Montreal on an unannounced project, previously I was Lead Technical Artist at Behaviour Interactive on Dead By Daylight. Most of my day is divided between making tools or resources for artists, helping resolve problems with the art pipeline – from visual bugs to performance issues – as well as planning future improvements or new features.
How did you get into the game industry?
I went to school for programming and realized I was way more into 3d art, so I changed to get a degree in 3d modeling, but the part of me that was in programming stayed around, so after graduating I tried to look for something where both sides could be used. After a few years doing architecture projects in VR I wanted to do something I was more passionate about and ended up moving from Toronto to Montreal to join Behaviour.
Have you taught college students before?
Not really, while in school I was a TA helping artists in the modeling and animation program with programming classes, and a lot of my job is teaching artists pipelines and tooling but never formally.
What made you interested in teaching?
I was approached by an old producer about the school she taught at looking for a procedural material teacher nearing the end of the summer, figured she knew me well enough that I should trust her and give it a try as it seemed like an interesting opportunity.
What is your favorite thing about Montreal?
Coming back to Montreal after 14 years around Toronto is a breath of fresh air. Comparatively it’s quite a lively city with people generally warm and welcoming, and pretty superb options for food.
Do you have any advice for students interested in studying in Montreal?
While Quebec is a very French province, don’t let this deter you. Montreal is a very diverse city and you can get around 99% of things in English, and if you do come, go get some fresh bagels!