60 Industry Pros are Ready to Answer Student Questions

60 Industry Pros are Ready to Answer Student Questions
Photo by Kenny Eliason / Unsplash

We recently survey a few thousands students and one of the number one things they wanted was to be able to chat with pros. It makes total sense too, as it's all I ever wanted when I was starting out.

Getting access to pros is hard though, their time is limited and for most of them, the last thing they want to do in their spare time, is talk shop. The good news is, we know some absolutely incredible people and they have all offered to help.

Join us for a Chat

For those in the know, The Rookies has a small Discord Server with about 5,000 members. It's a relatively quiet place designed for members to be able to ask questions, share their work-in-progress, flex about recent achievements, and even listen to some tunes while working.

Who can I chat with?

Apart from chatting with all the members, the server has some pretty big names on it that are all genuinely wanting to help answer questions and give feedback. Here are just a few of their names.

Paul Mellender

Art Director
Paul Mellender (when referring to myself in third person) is an artist currently living in Boston. Enough third person. I work traditionally as a classical painter and occasional sculpter, likewise I work digitally, in CG, sometimes in medical R&D. I’ve done all kinds of work in video games, film, illustration, marketing, advertising and so on and so forth. I’m old so I’ve a lot. I teach on occasion, usually anatomy, drawing without models or reference, and creating digital humans. Recently, I have started teaching a course regarding the strange back streets of art from ancient lost techniques to new neurological discoveries.

Artwork by Paul Mellender

Christy Page

Lead Lighting Artist
A graduate of the Savannah College of Art and Design with nearly a decade of experience working on films like How To Train Your Dragon 2, Kung Fu Panda 3, Venom, and both Dreamworks Trolls movies.

Katrina Tung

Lead Surfacing Artist
Look-dev, Texture painting, grooming, Digital sculpting, UV unwrapping

James Brady

Art Lead - Art bully Productions
Game Industry Artist from Ireland. Art Lead at Art Bully Productions. Background includes Ghost Story Games, Techland, Virtuos, Rockstar Games along with freelancing on many AAA and indie titles. Past instructor at Pulse College and Think Tank Training Centre

Kieran Ogden-Brunell

FX Supervisor
Kieran is an Effects Supervisor and veteran FX TD. With over 15 years production experience,  Kieran started off in real-time archviz and games for the PSP, Playstation, Xbox, and Wii, before transitioning to his passion of VFX where he has completed work on close to 30 feature films, numerous game cinematics and titles, television commercials, and music videos. These include; numerous Marvel films, The X-Men franchise, Warcraft, Tomb Raider, and the yet to be released; Jungle Cruise, as well as Gears of War, Warhammer and Fallout: New Vegas.

Pablo Munoz Gomez

3D Artist - Founder of ZBrushGuides.com and 3DConceptArtist.com
I’m a 3D concept and character artist based in Melbourne. I run the ZBrushGuides.com and the 3DConceptArtist websites where I develop different types of training materials and resources to help digital artists improve their work.

Artwork by Pablo Munoz Gomez

Christina Mandia

Currently an Animator at Cinesite London, with a 12-year history in Film, TV and commercials working in Animation, Previs, Layout, Matchmove and more.

Rafael Gonzalez Quinones

VFX professional enjoying every step of the way creating feature films. I feel very fortunate that I get to make awesome characters run, jump and act for a living. I love CG animation for weaving together artistic expression and technical problem solving, resulting in an enjoyable way to make a living.

Jeryce Dianingana

3D Environment Artist
Jeryce Dianingana is a 3D Environment artist currently at Rocksteady Studio. Previously worked at Eidos-Montreal and Ubisoft Quebec on Assassin Creed : Odyssey. Participated in several Artstation Challenges where he won 2nd place for the Beyond Human and 3rd place for the Feudal Japan : The Shogunate. He blends his African heritage with his experience in 3D to create a perfect combination of his two passions in life.

Asad Manzoor

Virtual Production Art Director
Virtual Production Art Director | PIXOMONDO With a strong sense of anatomy, 2D/3D fundamentals, and light. I have been fortunate enough to put these skills into practice for both Film/TV, and Video Games. Currently wearing quite a few hats, with a balance between the technical and creative.

Clinton Crumpler

Studio Head | Creative Director
Clinton is a founder and creative director of the artist collective and studio, Dekogon Studios. Previously an artist at Microsoft Studio’s The Coalition, Bethesda’s Battlecry Studios, KIXEYE, Army Game Studio, Midwinter Entertainment and various other independent studios; Clinton’s primary focus is environment art, shader development, and art direction. Clinton has released multiple online video tutorials, educational articles, and web classes, both personally and in collaboration with CG Master Academy (CGMA) and Digital Tutors.

Artwork by Clinton Crumpler

Meinert Hansen

Senior Concept Artist and Illustrator
Meinert Hansen is a concept artist and illustrator who has worked in film, television, and games for over 27 years. His past credits include Arrival, Mirror Mirror, The Secret Adventures of Jules Verne, 300, Silent Hill, Batman: Arkham Origins, Splinter Cell: Conviction and Myst 4: Revelation. Meinert has over 10 years of teaching experience and has given popular workshops for professional artists, students and the general public.

Jasmin Habezai-Fekri

3D Environment Artist
Jasmin Habezai-Fekri is a 3D Environment Artist currently freelancing in the games industry and participating in the Sketchfab Master’s program. While attending university in Germany, she interned at Square Enix Montreal working on unannounced projects, created a tutorial series for Artstation Learning and participated in the Legend of King Arthur Artstation Challenge, where she earned first place in her category. She has a strong focus on colorful, stylized environments with hand-painted and PBR texture

Eddie Chew

Eddie Chew is the founder and primary educator at Griffin Animation Academy. He has a background in Media Arts from Curtin University and has been in the VFX / Animation industry for nearly 20 years. Eddie has worked on over 50 animated projects ranging from TV shows, Game Cinematics to Hollywood productions including Godzilla vs Kong, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug and The Battle of the Five Armies, Spiderman: Into the Spiderverse, Diablo 2: Resurrection, Halo Infinite and most recently the upcoming Transformers: Rise of the Beasts.

Naomi Baker

Senior Concept Artist
Naomi Baker is a Concept artist working in the game and film industry. Past clients and studios include Blur, Wizards of the Coast, and ArenaNet. She has a passion for action videogames and RPGs, old movies and music. Currently, she is a Senior Concept Artist at Sucker Punch Productions in Washington state.

Javier Perez

Lead Material Artist
With 10 years Experience, Javier is currently a senior material artist at PlayStation VASG. Throughout his career, He’s worked at studios such as Infinity Ward, Kojima Productions, and Sony Online Entertainment. In his spare time, He’s passionate about sharing his Substance Designer knowledge at various industry events including GDC and Gnomon.

... and many more.

To find out who the other pros are, you'll need to jump on the server!

Best Channels to Start a Conversation

Honestly, this is a huge opportunity. In terms of getting direct access to industry professionals, it doesn't get better than this. The key here is to get in and ask the right questions and share your work on the Discord Server right now.

Here is a breakdown of a few of the best channels to chat in:


Ask for technical and creative help with your projects


Share your work in progress project and get advice and feedback before you get too far down the track.


All questions to do with creating visual effects. Covers everything from modeling through to compositing.


All questions to do with creating 3D Animation. Covers everything from modeling through to compositing.


All questions to do with creating games. Covers everything from concept art, level design, all the way through to coding.

Tips for getting good feedback

The worst thing you can do right now is to upload a bunch of random images from projects and expect a helpful response.

  • Ask questions related to a genuine problem you are having right now with a project.
  • You could even fire up a conversation about how to find a job, or getting tips for your upcoming interview.
  • Even ask these pros how they got started in the industry! We all started at the beginning and got their different ways.
  • When sharing work, provide a little context, or better yet, link to your Rookies profile or a play-by-play project page.
  • Got a Rookie Portfolio? Why not ask a few pros to take a look and offer some advice.
  • If asking super technical questions, or requesting help debugging something, make sure to share as much information as possible. Include screengrabs where possible.
  • Don't be afraid to tag specific pros. If you crack open the sidebar menu, you can see the list of pros.

How do I join the Server?

Setting up Discord on your computer and joining The Rookies server is really easy. Just follow these steps below:

  • You will have the best experience if you download the Desktop application for Discord. You can grab it using this link.
  • Join The Rookies server using this link.
  • Once on the server, you will see a few channels, but most are locked. To unlock these you need to assign a role. To do this, click on the #-get-access channel. In here you will see all the different member levels ranging from Debut through to Pro. Click on the icon that best represents where you are now.
  • That's it! All channels will now be visible.
  • Introduce yourself in the #-introductions channel and have fun.

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