Every year, Ubisoft Toronto holds its annual NEXT competition to showcase the talent of Ontario students and recent graduates.
Over 250 submissions entered the competition into the following categories: 3D art, animation, concept art, level design, programming, tech art, and user interface art.
On Wednesday, May 27th, Ubisoft announced the winners of the NEXT challenge, and on the list was Lebanese-born Mohamad Salameh!
Currently residing in Toronto, Mohamad won first place in the Technical Art category for his astounding 3D animation.
He entered the video game company’s 2019 competition for the same division but did not win. Without surrendering, he was able to improve his tech art skills and went back for it this year, and it all paid off.
Technical art is an emerging profession. Technical artists are the link between the artists and programmers working on a game. According to Mohamad, technical art is a combination of art, coding, and math.
“In a video game pipeline, we’re responsible for helping artists achieve the best graphics and at the same time optimizing the game so that it runs in real-time. In simpler terms, we make the game look good and make sure it’s playable,” he told The961
When he was still in Lebanon, he used to attend the Lebanese Game Developers’ events held at the Beirut Digital District. He was on the winning team of a game jam, which is a challenge to make a game in 48 hours.
Mohamad moved to Canada in 2018 to learn game development, but his journey started before when he began learning 3D modeling on his own through Youtube.
“All the information is out there. If someone is hungry enough to learn, they can find it. There’s no need for an expensive degree to show that you can do this job. All you need is a good portfolio of Artstation. This industry values meritocracy over nepotism, so you put in the work and you get the job,” he remarked.
Currently, he’s starting his position at Ubisoft as a Technical Artist intern.