Author Niko Mäkelä

Hi, my name is Niko Mäkelä.  I’m a 3D generalist and animator with passion for characters, game development and teaching.  I’m obsessed about getting to the core of things, exploring concepts and common techniques rather than the tools.

CGmascot Blog is my educational take on Computer Graphics with character, animation and game art focus.  I write about the things I’ve learned in hobbies or work(really they are the same thing).  I don’t claim to be the highest authority on anything but I do stick to subjects I know well.  Occasionally I may take a sidestep to a more personal ground(projects and such), but they usually connect well to blog topics.

Like many in this field, I am self taught.  Officially I have a BA from Cultural Anthropology and big pile of other mixed studies like Multimedia(BA equivalent).  Practical things I learned more in projects and by just practising than in any classroom.  Self-learning has become a habit and I wish to share it, too.

My main milestones as an artist/animator, at the time of writing(December 2012), are – a free to play MMORPG, Clash of Clans – a highly successful citybuilder/conquest-game, Hayday – a farming game, 2 little animated short movies, Ultima 6 Project – a freeware single-player role-playing game, plus visual effects for a few little films and 2 learning games. Currently I work at a game company Housemarque as a Lead Artist.

I live in Helsinki, Finland with my little family.


Feedback and contact

You can comment on any blog article.  I value feedback and any useful input.  You can also contact me in person here.

Releases, interviews and awards

Ultima 6 Project role-playing game, released July 5th 2010 for Mac and PC.  See info about my part., a free to play MMORPG that runs directly in a browser, released to Open Beta in spring 2011. Gunshine was closed in December 2012.

Clash of Clans, a free to play citybuilder/light tactical war game for iOs devices. Released 2012.

Hayday, a free to play farming game for iOs devices. Released 2012.

Intel’s Animate This! Digital Art Tutorial Challenge.  3 consecutive wins, spring 2010.

My interview at Digital Arts show on Intel’s online television, summer 2010.

My personal animation production Flight or Fight festival results.  Read story about film creation process here.

Official Selection Short Films Festival of Los AngelesOfficial Selection San Francisco Short Film Festival