Claude Dareau

Since graduating Claude works on VR projects for Oscar-winning visual effects studio, Framestore where his work has included one of Coca-Cola's Super Bowl campaigns.

MSc Computer Games Technology, 2000

Describe your journey since leaving Abertay.

I was lucky enough to get a job working on a PlayStation2 title when I left Abertay, which was super exciting because it was prior to the European and US launch of the PS2. I went to work for a company called Interactive Studios but it soon changed its name to Blitz Games. It wasn’t a conscious decision at the time but, as it turned out, I had picked one of the few studios that was actively investing in its own middleware. I spent the next 13 years there, starting in the game teams and eventually moving over towards the engine side of things. I ended up leading the R&D team, focusing mainly on graphics and animation. In 2013, I followed my wife to Hong Kong after she landed a great job. Hong Kong is not the centre of the universe for video games so I found myself writing a 3d rendering engine for broadcast TV graphics.

This offered me a great insight into the priorities and expertise of a closely related but very different industry. Moving to a completely different culture was also an amazing experience. It is an incredible learning experience to be dropped into a situation where you have to completely change how you get work done and how you interact with people for positive outcomes. I would definitely recommend it to everyone. While at Blitz Games, I had worked with Framestore on their Coca Cola campaign for the 2012 Super Bowl, and a chance conversation in 2015 ended up with me moving yet again, this time to Framestore and their new VR studio in New York.

 

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What does your current job involve?

I currently work as a Lead Developer for the VR studio at Framestore in New York. I am responsible for all the development work done in the studio, and have to ensure that projects are completed on time, and to the quality expected by an Oscar-winning visual effects studio. I still spend a good proportion of my time programming, but I also spend time with our designers and artists.

It is clear that the standard of teaching is consistently above average, and perhaps as important, the curriculum is more relevant than most.
Claude Dareau | Framestore VR Studio | Lead Developer

What impact did Abertay have on you? 

It seems like such a long time ago now, and the course was in its relative infancy. Apart from the teaching, being at Abertay gave me the opportunity to meet and work with people who had the same ambitions that I did. It helped me focus my mind on what I really wanted to do with my career, and I made some lifelong friendships at the same time. My main interaction with Abertay over the years has actually been reviewing and interviewing candidates for programming roles. From that perspective it is clear that the standard of teaching is consistently above average, and perhaps as important, the curriculum is more relevant than most.

What advice would you give your younger self?

Be confident about what you know you can do, but never stop identifying things that you can’t do. Also get a standing desk. 

 

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