Who I Am
Hello! My name is Lee Scheinbeim, a game industry veteran of sixteen years. In the course of my career I have shipped seven titles and multiple DLC releases across three hardware generations, from the Playstation 3/Xbox 360 era all the way up to an upcoming sim ship release on PC and Xbox Series. I have participated in a multitude of roles during this time including Environment Art, Lighting and Technical Art. My primary focus has always been Technical Art, but having been in a variety of roles gives me my own unique cross- sectional view of game development.
Like most people in the games industry, I am passionate about games and excited to continue exploring how games can grow as a medium. In addition to games and working on my skills as an artist, I also enjoy photography with a particular interest in landscape, portraits and off camera lighting.
Work at Bioware
I joined Bioware in mid-2006, initially as a Technical Artist on the first game in the Dragon Age franchise, focusing on supporting the environment team. As production ramped up, I moved into the environment team where I stayed for the next six years. My various responsibilities over the years included creating tileset assets, making terrain exterior levels and constructing interior levels out of tilesets. In addition, I handled outsource asset management and integration, tool debugging and lighting. As I was one of the more technically oriented members of the art team, I spent time in a support role with technical issues and also interfaced with both the tools and graphic programming teams when necessary. My work on level layouts also had me working closely with the design team and I took several levels from whitebox all the way to final polish.
In the fall of 2011 the team began preproduction of Dragon Age: Inquisition. Whereas previous Dragon Age games were built entirely on Bioware’s in-house engine, for this project we moved to the Frostbite engine which was built by DICE. I spent the next year as one of the main points of contact for lighting tech, as well as learning various other systems as the entire team ramped up on the new tools. I worked to educate the rest of the art team including writing several pieces of documentation. I also did preliminary color palette and lighting work for some of the areas of the game.
Work at Airtight Games
I joined Airtight Games in October, 2012 as one of two Lighting Artists on the AAA title Murdered: Soul Suspect. I completed the initial lighting passes on most of the game’s levels. I then shifted focus to do final lighting on half of the levels as well as the corresponding in game cinematics. I also spent time working with the Art Director to help establish a distinctive visual language for the ethereal “ghost objects” that existed in the game world. In addition, I helped to establish distinct color palettes for both the “real” and “dusk” versions of the game world. Furthermore, I performed final visual tweaks and polish to the levels for which I was responsible including shader tweaking and color palette adjustments.
At the time I joined the project it was already in full production with most of the major technical questions already answered but when issues arose with lighting from both an environmental and cinematic perspective, I assisted various team members in debugging, diagnosing and solving problems. I worked closely with the environment art, visual effects, design, tech and animation teams. I also worked very closely with the other Lighting Artist as well as the Art Director to help create a consistent and solid lighting palette for the game.
Back to Bioware
In 2014, I returned to Bioware to assist with lighting the large amount of conversations and cinematic content in the game. Only four months before release most of this content was still not lit and I applied all the skills I had refined on my previous title to quickly run through hours of lighting work. This speed did not afford a large amount of time for iteration so I developed my own techniques and styling to get the job done on time. This work took me through big plot moments and showdowns with the Old Gods of Thedas to the much beloved romance scenes. Though only a short term contract, it was great to be able to leave one last impression on the world of Dragon Age.
After the conclusion of my contract lighting work, I joined the small independent studio of Harebrained Schemes. Here is where I went back to my roots as a technical artist. Despite having never written a single line of production code, I taught myself both HLSL and C# and grew into the role of the primary graphics expert at the studio while also still handling most of the lighting in conjunction with the art directors. Using Unity for the first time, on each title I pushed forward both my skill at managing rendering effects and shaders and the visuals our games were capable of achieving.
As the only technical artist with my skillset at the studio, I also was heavily involved with performance optimization and memory management of the art assets as well as helping the art team solve problems both visual and technical. In our latest release, I’ve managed a custom fork of Unity’s High Definition Render Pipeline, making huge modifications to reach our visual goals for the project. From the physically based inspired celshading of Necropolis to the gritty war torn Periphery of BattleTech to the grounded alternate 1930’s of the upcoming Lamplighter’s League I have been a main driving force of the studio’s abilities to hit our visual goals and performance targets.