About Me

About Me

I am Emil Dziewanowski, a Technical Artist with over a decade of professional experience in both AAA and independent projects.

Combining technical expertise with a love for sculpting and drawing, I bring a unique blend of skills to my work. Having a background in various engines, including in-house, Unreal, and Unity, I approach challenges with an engine-agnostic mindset. While a significant part of my focus is on optimization and tool creation, I enjoy working with systems featuring a distinctive visual aspect, such as lighting, VFX, and destruction.

Having garnered experience in the AAA industry over several years, I chose to pivot towards a consulting role. This transition allowed me to extend my services to startups, indies, and AA companies, embracing new challenges in my professional journey.

Shader Tweaks
LOD and HLOD
Asset Optimizations
Vertex Shader Destruction System
Houdini Assets
Vis-Dev Tools
Blueprint Prototyping
Viewcone Shader
Light Optimizations
Profiling
Asset Inspection
Optimizations Guides
Custom VFX Shaders
Floor Dissolve Prototype
Light and Visibility Optimizations
Renderdoc/Nsight Debugging
Unreal Recap

With a focus on the Unreal Engine, my consulting expertise spans all project stages, from prototypes to pre-launch polish, where I contribute to tasks like rapid-prototyping gameplay mechanics and guiding teams through optimization processes. My experience with the engine extends to various games, including realistic shooters such as Sniper Ghost Warrior franchise, isometric stealth games, and vibrant platformers like Path of Calydra.

I closely collaborate with the art department to bring their vision to life, whether by utilizing existing Unreal resources or developing specialized tools and shaders.

When assisting clients in optimizing performance, I take a comprehensive approach. I start by pinpointing issues using profiling, asset inspection and frame debugging tools. Then, I devise an optimization strategy for the team, covering tasks like LOD and HLOD creation, light optimization, and asset optimization. Occasionally, a more personalized solution is required, such as building a custom destruction system from scratch. In such cases, I prefer a more hands-on approach and build the prototypes myself.

Concept by
Alexander Dudar
Generated Interior
Evaluating Houdini
Material Tests
Megablock Floors
Concept by
Marthe Jonkers
Custom Normal Node
Cyberpunk 2020 Rulebook
Concept by
Ward Lindhout
Specialized Library
Houdini Asset GUI
Material JSON Database
Substance Designer Evaluation
Cables In-Game
Megablock Floorplan
Cyberpunk Recap

Before transitioning to consulting, I contributed to Cyberpunk 2077 during the preproduction stage. Joining the team to recreate the Cyberpunk world was thrilling, aligning with my passion for the Cyberpunk RPG and Deus Ex franchise. CD Projekt RED’s ambitious vision necessitated the development of new creation tools, with the tech art team focusing on evaluating asset creation pipelines in the early stages.

I worked with Substance Designer to make it meet projects specific needs, creating early material tests and establishing a custom node library. I also developed a prototype material database browser for efficient management of multilayer materials.

The core of my work revolved around procedural geometry generation in Houdini, with the Megablock massive interior as the primary candidate for this approach. Various methods were explored, including slicing the external mesh and populating created floors, as well as generating entire floors based on artist-created 2D plans. Addressing another crucial element of Cyberpunk aesthetics – wires and cables – I devised a system capable of producing physics-driven, tileable cable assets.

Light Optimizations
Refractive Glass Shader
Scene Optimizations
Novigrad
Moon Shader
White Frost Shader
Physically Correct DOF
Sail Cloth Shader
Interior Mapped Portal
Vertex-Lit Fog
Kaer Morhen Tree LOD
Light as Mask Shader Node
Megascope VFX
Translucent Ice Shader
VFX Optimization
Gore Shader
Window Interior Mapping
Witcher 3 Recap

During the development of The Witcher 3 at CD Projekt RED, I gained valuable experience in AAA game development. My interest in shader creation was not only accommodated but actively encouraged.

Collaborating closely with the VFX team, tasks ranged from creating shader editor nodes per their requests, optimizing existing shaders, to developing shaders from scratch—most notably White Frost, Megascope, gore, and depth of field postprocess for cutscenes.

Additionally, close collaboration with the environment department involved creating shaders for various needs like translucent glaciers, a phase-changing moon, and refractive glass. Some of these shaders underwent modification and repurposing, such as transforming the window interior mapping shader into a portal.

In the final stages of development, my focus shifted to optimization and bug fixing. I conducted thorough inspections of problematic areas, implementing optimizations such as simplifying lighting setups, creating custom LOD, and developing a vertex-lit particle shader.

P-3 Orion Cockpit
Vertex Blended Materials
Destruction Tools
CASA 295
Doblo High-Poly Model
Airbus A400
Rigging Tools
Panda High-Poly Model
Windows Texture Set
Airbus Military – Sevilla
Baked Texture Set
Buildings with Multilayer Shader
EF Typhoon Stick
Su 30 Low-Poly Model
Driving Simulator
ETC-PZL Recap

I studied at the Faculty of Power and Aeronautical Engineering with a keen interest in real-time graphics. Given my passion, I naturally gravitated towards a company specializing in simulator development. I was initially hired to write manuals for CASA 295. However, after an on-site training at Airbus/CASA facilities, it became apparent that my skills were better suited for the Visualization Department.

I started by modeling for various applications, including 3D printing and crew training illustration, with a focus on low-poly objects for real-time use. Realizing the benefits of game development techniques, I introduced a high-poly to low-poly pipeline and a more modular approach to assets and shaders along with a maxscript material manager. This not only improved visual quality but also cut development time by three times.

Simultaneously, I served as a liaison between the art and programming departments, leading to the development of a set of tools. These tools streamlined the asset preparation process for artists, reducing errors and enhancing efficiency. The toolkit encompassed bug trackers, vehicle rigging, and destruction tools.

Scanner Early Prototype
Procedural Mesh
Scanned Bust In-Engine
Texel Matching Decal
Scanning Turntable
GPU Voxelization
GPU Softbody
Gimbal Scanner Cut-Away
Model During Scanning
Visualization Tools
Pencil Study
Per-Texel Lighting
GPU Collision Calculation
Polymer Clay Bust
Thermography Postprocess
CPU 2D Physics
Custom Lattice Deformer
Personal Recap

In my personal projects, I explore solutions that often go beyond the scope of my professional work. Lately, I’ve been delving into custom physics, prototyping simple 2D cases on the CPU to explore different integration methods. Additionally, I’ve extended these experiments to the GPU using compute shaders, focusing on handling collisions with a large number of objects and soft bodies. I’ve also applied compute shaders to address other challenges, such as mesh voxelization or post-processing.

Drawing inspiration from the pixelated aesthetic of 90s shooters, I used geometry shaders to implement per-texel lighting with self-shadowing textures. I also a decal system that aligns pixelation of the decal with the underlying texture.

Exploring Arduino sparked the idea of integrating my traditional hobbies with game development. I engineered an Arduino-powered turntable and later developed a gimbal scanner, automating the photogrammetry workflow. This approach allowed the transformation of polymer clay sculptures and models into game assets.

Additionally, I develop tools for my projects, like Houdini mesh generators or the visualization tools I use for the illustrations in this blog.

Software & Skills

  • Unreal, Unity, REDengine, Godot
  • Houdini, Substance, Meshroom
  • 3dsMax, Blender, Photoshop, Premiere
  • C#, C++, HLSL, GLSL, Python, VEX, Blueprints
  • Nsight, RenderDoc

Contact

If you have any inquiries, questions, or believe that my skills could be valuable for your project, please do not hesitate to contact me via email or connect with me on LinkedIn. I am always open to exploring potential collaborations and discussing how I can contribute to your goals.