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Naughty Dog hires lead Assassin's Creed 3 animator

Jonathan Cooper now working on the next Uncharted game

Assassin's Creed 3 animation director Jonathan Cooper has revealed that he joined Naughty Dog in February.

Cooper, who also previously served as lead animator on Mass Effect 2, said in a recent blog post that he's now working on Uncharted 4.

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"I've long held Naughty Dog up as a titan in video game animation, ultimately being won over by their game-changing work on The Last of Us. It's no understatement to say, in my opinion, that that game has set a new standard for tone and characterisation in video games.

"This job is very different from what I've done in the last few years," Cooper added. "Animators are expected to build levels, code rudimentary scripts, and not only animate but direct and even star in the motion-capture - all autonomously with no production staff or meetings to speak of. It's quite a change from the rigid structure a multi-studio collaboration like Assassin's Creed requires, but after over a month here I am certain this project is going to be another milestone in game animation."

Little has been said about the next Uncharted game since Sony first teased the title with a trailer on the eve of PS4's North American release in November 2013.

Uncharted series director Amy Hennig and Uncharted PS4 game director Justin Richmond left Naughty Dog in early March, while The Last of Us lead artist Nate Wells and lead character artist Michael Knowland quit the studio the following month.

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