Episode 57 – Darryl Johnson

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Darryl Johnson is a 3D generalist working for studios in LA like Blur and Blizzard Cinematics, as well as previously in Detroit at various car commercial houses.

This episode is a fun filled episode covering everything from video games and getting started, to diving into a lot of bigger subjects to do with career, moving city’s and working at big studios.

Darryl’s Website

Darryl’s Vimeo



The Wedding Video!

Upcoming career intensive coming up with Allan


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  • Darryl is one of my favorite generalist. Have admired his work for quite some time.

    • amckay

      Distrakt, Yeah he’s a great guy, had a blast chatting about everything!

    • Darryl Johnson

      Thank you for saying that it means a lot.

  • Liran Biton

    That was a really awesome podcast! Thank you Allan for having Darryl in the show. And Thank you Darryl for sharing your wisdom!
    Quick Q tho – Darryl said when he started working for Blizzard he never used Maya before, is he coming from more MAX background? If so – is it possible to succeed in the industry without master both software’s?
    Thank you.

    • amckay

      Hi Liran, cool I will try to get Darryl to chime in too, but yes he came from a Max background. Blizzard in the past has been a 3ds max studio too, but in the more recent years they’re a bit of a mix of everything. You can absolutely succeed in one package, personally I think it’s best to master one package, but I do think it’s important to learn the other ones too, even if it’s just enough to say you know it a bit. It’s best to focus on one tool and really put your skills into it, it’s easy to learn others when needed. But when employers ask, it’s better to be at a point where you can comfortably say you know X or Y package a bit, and you’re comfortable learning it more if necessary. Rather than “I only know Z package” That’s my personal take on it. But I’ll get Darryl to chime in too. Thanks Liran!

    • Darryl Johnson

      Hi Liran, to answer your question I did come from a strong Max background. Like I said up until Blizzard I was able to obtain jobs with studios that also used Max. When Blizzard decided to bring me on it was also because of my other skills as a lighter and a compositor. We as artist all learn new software all the time, and it was not as difficult as I thought to apply what I know about lighting in another software. New software is something you can always learn and apply your skills with. While knowing multiple software is certainly a plus is it not always the main requirement in the hiring process.

      • Liran Biton

        Thank you so much for taking the time to answer my question Allan and Darryl!
        You both stand for the definition of pure awesomeness!!
        I’ll get back to work on my skills in MAX & Zbrush hopefully one day i’ll work for blizzard cinematic deep. One day 🙂

  • Dan Belleville

    It was great to hear Darryl speak again and get an introduction to you, Andy. Cool show. I’d take California for cold Detroit right about now. Brrrr….

    • Darryl Johnson

      Hey it gets cold here too.

  • Stefan Walsh

    This is one of my favorite podcasts so far.
    About 5-10 minutes into the interview when Darryl began talking about the TLPD in WoW. Absolutely amazing.
    Had to hold back a smile 😀

    Just listening to Darryl talking about Blizzard is amazing ! It’s my end goal. To actually get to work with the people that created the games that consumed my entire youth.

    Wonderful Podcast ! F*cking amazing !

    Regards from Cold Tiny Denmark (Seriously. It’s -10°C (16°F) right now)

  • It was cool to hear Smugglers Cove! I haven’t been there in awhile but really want to go back despite the pretty high prices. Fist time checking out Darryl’s work but I love what he has done so far and I cant wait to see what he does in the future.

    • amckay

      I liked that bar, at the time the bar staff were pretty pretentious but I loved going there – although the last time I went there there was a massive line going down the street so, so much for speakeasy but that was 2010 so I’ll definitely have to go back! There’s another bar around the corner called Absinthe I liked. I’m hoping to go back up to SF for a visit soon, fingers crossed!

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