I am the Studio Head of Striking Distance Studios Spain, and its Director of Creative Engineering. In this role, I took on multiple responsibilities including building a studio from the ground up, and leading the Technical Visuals of The Callisto Protocol. Most recently, I started to lead the entire engineering team in Striking Distance Studios.
Formerly, I was a Graphics R&D Technical Director at Activision Blizzard, where I contributed to Call Duty Ghosts, Advanced Warfare, Black Ops 3, Infinite Warfare, WW2, Black Ops 4, Modern Warfare and StarCraft 2. I have more than 16 years of game development experience.
- In 2012, I released the culmination of my PhD, the movie Separable Subsurface Scattering, which got 0.8 million views after showing unique practical real-time human rendering qualities that combined both technical and art direction skills. The impact of this work opened me the door to pioneer remote work for AAA videogame development for the gaming giant Activision, in a time where remote working was remarkably singular.
- In 2013, my work in Activision in digital humans resulted in the GDC talk Next Generation Character Rendering, which received 1.5 million views on YouTube. Five years after, this work influenced the rendering of digital humans of several AAA games and engines.
- Until 2019, I contributed to raise the bar of the Call of Duty visuals, successfully shipping seven titles of the franchise. Going to war every year with Call of Duty allowed to quickly advance my career by continuously finalizing the titles of one of the most impactful franchises of all time. During this time, I had significant roles in digital humans, post-processing, temporal upsampling and antialiasing, lighting, materials and low-level performance – always looking for the next leap on videogame graphics.
- Since then, I built a 14-people studio from the ground up with Striking Distance Studios, fostering a culture of innovation, determination, collaboration, trust and excellence. I directed the Technical Visuals of The Callisto Protocol in the pursue of photorealism, always trying to go beyond the boundaries of what the current generation of consoles (PS5, XSS/X) have been able to achieve so far. Our work in real-time photorealistic characters got nominated to the Outstanding Animated Character 2023 VES Award, competing side to side with offline renders from the film industry leading Weta FX. I recently presented my vision for The Callisto Protocol Technical Visuals in GDC 2023 and SIGGRAPH 2023.
I live by the motto: Do. Or do not. There is no try.
- “I remember when Jorge first visited us at our office in Maine, he was like a sponge soaking up every single piece of information and ersatz wisdom that we had about shipping games on consoles. He came equipped with one of the sharpest minds in graphics, making significant contributions to anti-aliasing techniques both before and during his tenure here. He was also a leader in the efforts to advance the state of the art in rendering for human characters, delivering amazing results with his work in subsurface scattering, but also working on other problems such as occlusion.
Jorge built strong relationships with not just the graphics engineering staff, but also with our technical artists and art directors, and he was a sought-after collaborator by our teams. His attention to detail was legendary, not just in aesthetics and artistic results, but also in understanding the minutiae of performance optimization at the lowest hardware levels.
Over time Jorge wasn’t just a coworker, but became a good friend. It’s been a pleasure to watch him build a team and become a leader.”
- “I met Jorge during one of the ATVI summits that the company hosted during GDC, I believe back in 2013. Always great to meet a fellow Spaniard making an impact in gaming. We clicked right away and that started a great friendship that continues to this day. Jorge was part of the Central Group that provided technical support across the entire Call of Duty Franchise, which I was part of as Multiplayer Art Director at Sledgehammer Games.
Besides a great collaboration over the years that helped tremendously raise the visual bar of the COD titles and bring the Radiant Engine to new rendering heights, Jorge and I had endless conversations about all things gaming. From creative, gameplay, the tech stack that could define the next wave in gaming, to the business side of making games. Jorge’s wreath of gaming knowledge (ask him about his insanely large collection of ‘vintage’ physical copies) is hard to find. We both love making games but for Jorge, games are a true passion that goes way beyond being a developer.”
- “I’ve known Jorge’s work for many years. Coming up as a Character Artist myself, Jorge’s work influenced and shaped how characters are rendered in videogames. I was delighted to work side-by-side at SDS for 4 years, and develop Callisto Protocol together.
What impressed me the most was his ability to not only drive the technological advancements we made, but also his Creative mind, pushing and challenging game design ideas, thinking about the game and project as a whole. His methological approach to solving problems is breathtaking and generates confidence on anyone around him.
Jorge has the ability to navigate very complicated situations and stay calm, present, delivering the highest quality possible on any given situation. From coming up with design solutions, tools, artistic touches, studio level problems, optimizations. You name it, with Jorge, the impossible becomes possible, no doubts.
Jorge is a gamer by heart and knows so much about videogames from all aspects. His passion for pushing the boundaries, from a creative and problem solving oriented mind is admirable and contagious. He also demonstrated amazing leadership skills, not only as a Director but also as a Studio head of the Spain office.”
See my LinkedIn Profile for the references.
That game made me realize the close relationship visuals and art have with emotions. This was further propelled after watching old school demos on my big brother’s Amiga A1000, who inspired me to develop skills and knowledge on the field, including creative thinking, ideation, creation and innovation. I love real-time photorealistic rendering, digital humans, art, visual effects and photography. Ultimately, my mission is to explore new mediums of creating emotion in videogames, by aspiring to break the barriers of current and future media, technology and hardware.
The academic roots in my career served me to develop the abilities to contribute to the entertainment industry in the form of conferences, books, and journals, including SIGGRAPH and GDC, the GPU Pro series, the Game Developer magazine, and the journal Transaction on Graphics. With a dual academic and industry background, I have been able to cultivate a simultaneously rigorous and pragmatic vision. I have been able to develop artistic abilities, judgment and aesthetic sense, which in conjunction with my positive attitude help me to pursue photorealism. Some of my early career graphics achievements include SMAA, GTAO, the “Separable Subsurface Scattering” technique, the techniques in “Next Generation Character Rendering”, and generally raising the bar for Call of Duty visuals with my Activision teammates. More recently, we presented “The Character Rendering Art of The Callisto Protocol” and “The Rendering of The Callisto Protocol”, which include a new take on characters and photorealism.
Being a very energetic and strong spirited person, I love challenges, gaming, working out in the gym and more than anything, I loved breaking in the street. It was my strongest passion for an entire decade, and I heavily invested on it until injuries made me stop. This sport not only improves your physical condition, but also teaches self-discipline and mental toughness, which now extensively serve me in my career.
My aim for the future is to learn as much as I can, and try to get the best out of myself. For those who wonder what IRYOKU () means, it’s the Japanese word that represents Force of Will. I chose it because it reminds me to put all of myself into everything I do. Metaphorically speaking, I’m always looking for the next mountain to climb.