Photo by Peter Babida

Photo by Peter Babida

akira3d is the virtual alter-ego of Eric Akira Iwasaki, a creative / technical artist with an insatiable desire to push the boundaries of real-time computer graphics. Though primarily self-taught, Eric has a USC film school nurtured eye for visual storytelling and decades of production proven expertise with a range of software applications including game industry staples Autodesk Maya and Adobe Photoshop. Working in the interactive entertainment industry since 1990, he has shipped titles spanning five generations of video game consoles with total worldwide sales far exceeding 40 million units.

 

While kenneled at Naughty Dog, Eric flourished as a "Jak" of all trades, mastering many while creating art, techniques, and tools key to the success of acclaimed hit video game franchises Crash Bandicoot (Sony PlayStation), Jak and Daxter (PS2), and Uncharted (PS3). He joined the team as their tenth employee and helped it grow into one of most respected and honored developers in the industry, reputed for delivering incredible visuals through industry leading tech and with increasingly cinematic flair. Uncharted 2: Among Thieves (PS3), his last credited title with the Dogs, became the studio's first to win D.I.C.E.'s coveted Game of the Year Award.

 

Eric has since helped launch Big Red Button Entertainment, a studio founded by his former Naughty Dog art director Bob Rafei. Over their first decade, BRB sold original IPs, shipped a console game, prototyped a number of geo-location based augmented realities, and developed immersive virtual experiences for head mounted displays powered by smartphones, PlayStation 4, and high-end PCs. The team has been remote since a week before "Safer at Home" was declared in 2020, a shift in work dynamic Eric quickly embraced and hopes will become permanent.

 

A photography / cinematography enthusiast for much of his life, Eric got his first Canon 35mm camera (a Sure Shot Ace) in the late 1980's and his first SLR (Rebel XS) in the early 1990's. He went digital with a previously owned 60D in 2003, used what he saved from that purchase to acquire his first "L" Series EF lenses, and never went back to shooting film (nor has he bothered scanning most of what he previously exposed). In 2008, Eric pre-ordered the 5D Mark II...the revolutionary union of full frame DSLR with HD video capture further cemented his investment in Canon glass. His current gear includes Canon's mirrorless R5, GoPro's HD Hero 7 Black Edition, and Samsung's Galaxy S21 5G.

 

Eric resides, runs, and works within the South Bay of Los Angeles, California, not far from where he was born and raised. He has been happily married since 1996 and a pawrent to furbabies (including a pair of Meezers since 2015). He primarily uses his photography skills to chronicle his adventures and share his many passions.

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