Sunday, 15 March 2009

Week 24 - And so the curtains draw to a close

Well it has been an exciting year for me. A big thank you to my lecturers and fellow course mates who have helped me learn so much in such a short amount of time (this year feels like it really flew by… I can’t believe I’m going to be a 2nd Year soon). Despite the slow and rough start (lack of labs), I love the course and feel that I have grown and developed my skills, learnt to discipline myself a bit more (the Wednesday morning talks were extremely helpful, thanks Mike) and would like to further this even after the end of the teaching weeks.

What I would like to see more is more interaction between both tutor and students, and students among themselves. What happened to the “Game Art Speedpainting” that was so popular amongst the First Years last year? Doing fun group activities such as that will benefit us to learn faster and from each other. It would be great if our course can continue this activity next year.

People from game companies who come and give us lectures have all emphasized that the industry seeks artists with strong traditional skills. It’s great that we do life-drawing in pencil, charcoal and graphite, and I think it would be beneficial if a wider variety of traditional art was taught. Doubling traditional art teaching sounds good too.

Now that we are a bit more familiar with 3DStudio Max, I would love to start some group speedmodelling activities. This sounds fun.

I think blog tasking is an AWESOME idea! It's a great way to exercise our communication skills, and has really taught me some things I never knew about before... such as what exactly a game engine does and game technology.

So, these are just some thoughts and ideas after going through what we’ve done throughout the year.

On the whole, I have enjoyed the course very much. Not only have I learnt a great deal, but also I have met and befriended many amazing and like-minded people. 058

Week 22 - Game Developers Conference

I first heard about GDC (Game Developers Conference) when two friends on my course randomly bumped into me in the middle of town and said they’ve organised a trip to it and that I should definitely go to it. It seemed so out of the blue when she said it, but after some brief explanations, I thought it sounded like a pretty amazing event to attend. Plus I have always wanted to visit America and see what it’s like for myself so this would be a great chance to do so!

Browsing through their website, it seems like everything to do with games is going to be there, from studio managers to developers, from exhibitors to recruiters, and so on. Sounds like a gigantic gathering of a wide variety! I’d love to attend this and be part of such a great and important event. Working hard and improving at my 2D and 3D is good, but getting out there and hearing what everyone has to say would be extremely beneficial and open my eyes to many new things.

I think when the time gets closer, and if this group trip with my fellow course mates really goes ahead, I’d definitely think about it more and see which events I’d like to attend.

Saturday, 14 March 2009

Week 21 - Reflection

What do I want to get out of the three years at University?

The obvious answer to me is, “To possess the skills needed to find a good career after graduation.”

That, plus learning so many new exciting things at university. Doing a Game Art course has opened my eyes to 3D. About 2 years ago, I was very na├»ve (well, I know I still am, but I’ve learnt a lot since coming here) and didn’t really know what I wanted to do. I had a long list of things I enjoy doing and would think of going into them as a career, some of which are rather embarrassing (including… doing comics… argh). The thought of doing 3D never crossed my mind, even though I did enjoy looking at some cool 3D models on the Internet a lot.

But anyway. As I was saying, if I had not chosen to do this course, I would not have discovered how much I love 3D modelling. It’s something that I’d do not only for our university projects, but I enjoy just making random things in Max in my spare time as a hobby.
2D is another passion for me, it’s something that I naturally do in my spare time. Doing Chris’ university projects has helped me improve a lot, I find it a lot easier now to do observational drawing than before.

Going to university is greatly helping me grow and develop as an artist, allowing me to learn and socialize with those around me who have similar interests and goals. At the moment, my ambition is to be successful at what I do.

Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Week 20 - Creativity Part 2

This is a follow-up of one of my earlier posts here about what creativity is.

We discussed creativity in depth during one of our lectures, and I have learned that creativity can have many different meanings. The first things that spring to my mind when someone talks about creativity are new ideas and making them unique. But other ways to describe creativity, what it is and what comes out of it are decisions, problem solving, experimenting (trial and error), thinking and simulating.

From the video that I watched today during the lecture, it seems that children are the most creative ones and they are actually forced out of it because of our education system, rather than grow into it. I’ve never thought of it before, but when I was recently told that humans are born creative, I can’t help but agree with this. Children have such fascinating and creative imaginations. I remember reading a book once (can’t remember which one), where the narrator was going through a period of rough times but his child was able to make the situation seem a lot less bleak by fantasizing in his own little world and making use of it. If memory serves, one of the quotes in the book that described this was, “That’s the great thing about children. Put them in any situation and they will find a way to make the atmosphere a much better place.” or something along those lines.

After learning from the video we watched in class today, it’s sad thinking that children are not given a chance to expand and develop their creativity. Instead they’re made to do “key subjects” most of the time to replace the imaginative parts of their minds, which may not come in useful later in their lives and careers ever.

Sunday, 8 March 2009

Week 19 - Life changing or career building?

At first I thought that Liberal Arts meant any subject that was artistic, for example photography, sculpture, fashion, graphics design…

But upon doing some research, it turns out that “Liberal Arts” was just a posh term for any non-art related subject. This includes maths, chemistry, biology, physics, Latin, Greek, History, Geography, humanities and so on.

Liberal Arts, in my opinion, is useful, as everyone should learn a wide variety of general knowledge. This is why we have SATs, GCSEs and A-levels. A highly trained graduate artist with at least some form of liberal arts background would be a great applicant, however, it may not be humanly possible for this to happen. When it comes to three years of university, the subject studied by the student should be narrowed down to fit the career path they wish to take, therefore learning a specialized course such as Game Art would be appropriate since the industry is a very specialised field. From what I have heard from the Blitz and Rare visitors, they are looking for specialists with great portfolios that fit exactly what is written in the job description, therefore it is better to be exceptional at one particular subject rather than be mediocre in everything.