Steven Bender is an Animation Director, Cinematic Director and Writer for video games currently employed by Cloud Imperium Games and working on the Star Citizen franchise.

Working closely with Game and Level Designers, Steve also designs animation systems and state machines and, when the need arises, implements them through Engine-side tools. He has been heavily involved in the technical development and design of Engine-side systems as well, pushing the R&D to develop tools and systems that improve the animation process. In 2006-2007, Steve was the driving force behind using the CryEngine’s real-time rendering ability to live pre-vis the performance capture actors and cameras on the motion capture set, in real-time, in the actual game environment (complete with lighting, final models, fx, etc). He used this to eventually develop the backlog and design for Crytek’s initial foray into real-time film: Cinebox.

His past credits include:

  • Crysis, Crysis:Warhead and Crysis 2 as Animation, Motion Capture and Cinematic Director
  • Crysis 3 as the Animation, Cinematic, Motion Capture and Performance Capture Director and contributed heavily to the story as a Writer
  • Homefront 2 as an Animation Director, overseeing First-Person Animations, Co-Op and Scripted Events
  • RYSE: Son of Rome for the XBOX One as the Animation Director on the Cinematics-Scripted Events team

Steve also developed a unique way to Pre-Vis the behaviors of AI enemies which helped to clarify the expected design and visual results for the AI team on the Crysis franchise. He has been instrumental in improving the CryEngine’s Animation and Cinematic tools and pipelines since the early days of Crysis.

Steven has also worked an an Animator at Monolith (The Matrix Online), Tremor Entertainment (The Unseen), Mass Media (Pac Man Fever) and ImageBuilder Software (Arthur: Ready To Race, Tonka Digs and Rigs.

Steve’s Experience Includes: Cinematic Direction, Animation Direction, Performance Capture Direction (including Real-Time Pre-vis), Facial Animation Development, Engine Workflow and Tools Design, CryEngine Experience, 3D Animator (keyframe and motion capture) with 2D animation background, Artist and 3D Modeler in a variety of software packages, Project Management

IMDB Profile Page: Steven Bender


Nominee- VES Award – Outstanding Real-Time Visuals in a Videogame Nominee (Crysis 3)
Winner- VES Award – Outstanding Real-Time Visuals in a Videogame (Crysis: Warhead)- Team member
Nominee- VES Award- Outstanding Real-Time Visuals in a Videogame (Crysis)- Team member
Nominee- Golden Reel Award- Supervising ADR Editor- (Crysis)
Best of Ringling 1998- (Identity 9)
Best of Ringling 1996

Sci-Fi Channel’s “EXPOSURE” TV Series- (Identity 9)
Florida Film Festival 1998 – (Identity 9)
MIT’s LEONARDO Journal 1998 -(Identity 9)

Speaker- Animago 2013
Interview- 3DArtist ( – Crysis 3 Interview
Speaker – Quo Vadis 2013 “Technical Development of Cinematics in Crysis 3”
Speaker – iTECH08
Speaker – lichtblick4D’s “Meet & Greet 2008” -“Creating Animated Movies in Real-Time”
Speaker – eDIT 2008 – “Creating Animated Movies in Real-Time”
Speaker – lichtblick4D’s “Meet & Greet 2007”- “The Making of Crysis”
Speaker – IGDA Frankfurt Nov 2007 – “Character Animation Concepts in Games”
Speaker – eDIT 2007 -“The Making of Crysis”