Spotlight | Junior Technical Artist Jayleen Perez on her unique role within The Mill’s Experience Team

Community April 14, 2022
What is your role in the Experience Team?
I am a Junior Technical Artist with an emphasis in motion capture. I would consider my role to be a unique one due to it combining both performance and technical components. When I’m not performing, my time is spent learning how to operate and support the motion capture pipeline. I’m also working on my asset creation skillset using the traditional CG workflow.
What inspired you to go into the world of immersive experiences?
It was gaming that introduced me to the world of immersive experience. I’ve been invested in the art of storying telling through virtual characters for as long as I can remember. This led me to Violet, where I discovered the power of real-time characters and their social impact. I fell in love with the process of motion capture and its experimental applications in Unreal Engine. This project will always have a special place in my heart since it was my gateway into creative technology.
Talk us through your favorite projects you’ve been a part of and why?
That’s a hard question! A project that comes to mind is HBO Lovecraft ‘Sanctum’. When I was invited to choreograph and perform Janelle Monáe’s feature in the concert, I exploded with excitement. I enjoyed every moment studying Janelle’s movement and music with detail. I remember capturing the performance remotely in my bedroom during the peak of the pandemic and being completely mind blown to see it come to life through the format of a virtual concert in VR. Let’s just say whenever Janelle’s music pops up, I can’t help but dance with a smile on my face. For me, It’s one of the most positive markings of quarantine.
How do you approach a project?
A big part of how I approach a project comes down to understanding how performance and technology work together. An example of this would be the M&M’s project we are actively working on. Throughout my time at The Mill, I’ve become intimate with our real-time character pipeline which is always growing. Approaching performance through a technical lens deepens my connection to the character since I understand the parameters of the technology. I can apply this way of thinking from a technical perspective as well. Each element informs the other.
What has been inspiring you?
A huge chunk of inspiration comes from my coworkers. I can’t express how grateful I am to have teammates who are happy to share their knowledge. They genuinely want to see everyone do their best and are open to new challenges. Outside of the work environment, I’m really excited by Twitch. Real-time entertainment is growing fast and the creators that populate the platform are so creative. Circling back to Violet, this is how I became acquainted with the power of the platform and how creators integrate innovation. A lot of inspiration comes from lurking in game development streams, playing games and observing how studios push the limitations of fidelity and world-building.
What trends or latest innovations are exciting to you? 
I’m excited to learn more about Unreal Engine 5! On both a virtual production and gaming level. CD Projekt RED has confirmed that they have shifted to developing in UE5 for the ‘Witcher 4’ and ‘Kingdom Hearts 4’ is speculated to run in UE5 as well. It’s an exciting time for sure.

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