LESYA |Karmaplay


Oleksandra Bulatseva who prefers the nickname ‘Lesya’, was born in Ukraine. Lesya has worked on several shipping games in the past 15 years. These include The Sims (PC), Castaway Stories (PC), Overlord (PC, Xbox 360), Championship Boxing (Nintendo DS), Darkened Sky (PC) and BumperWars (Arcade). She is also now a guest lecturer at Karma Play Academy.  

Read below our interview with Oleksandra Bulatseva.  

What is your educational background? 

I successfully graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Kiev. The main focus of our studies was to master classical techniques of drawing, painting, human anatomy, perspective etc. I have also finished Maya and animation courses. 

Which was the very first game that you worked on? 

It was a third-person action-adventure videogame, Darkened Skye, which was released in 2002 in North America. 

What was your biggest challenge as a texture artist?  

My biggest challenge was from myself – to see how I can constantly improve my techniques to perform high quality work as a character and environment texture artist. 

Your CV mentions that you worked on The Sims? What did you do on that game?   

Yes, I was a part of the team working on The Sims. It was outsourcing project. We had to follow very strict specifications. I was responsible for creating the textures for the characters, clothes and props. 

What are the key skills that a good texture artist should master? 

First, you have to become familiar with Photoshop or Substance Painter. These are very essential for creating the textures and materials. Texturing skills in 3D software like 3DS Max or Maya will be a big plus. On top of that, it would be useful if you can get acquainted with sculpting software like ZBrush or 3DCoat. 

Being a traditional painter, you are able to paint the textures by hand. But most texture artists today use textures from existing libraries. Do you think the traditional texture painting skills are still important? 

Well, it is true nowadays texture artists use different software to generate textures, normal maps etc. But in order to be a good texture artist, it is critical to develop your artistic taste. In my opinion, drawing skills give you flexibility and freedom during the different stages of your creative process. In the ideal world, before starting to learn any 3D or 2D software, students should get some decent drawing skills, have some basic knowledge about anatomy, perspective and colour sense. 

You worked in Bangalore, India for a couple of years. What was your experience like? 

Working in India was a great opportunity for me. Firstly, I really appreciated the positive team atmosphere where team members shared the same goal of creating something great. It was also a way to discover a new culture.  

What are your goals for the future? 

I am still working in the video game industry as a texture artist and figuring out new ways to improve my skills. I am now settled in France with my family.