Monday, 4 April 2011

From Generalist to specialist?

As we know in most game companies around the world, employees are assigned to areas of specialty. You won’t find the world’s best character artists or Engine technicians producing concepts too often and vice versa. I’ll be talking in my next blog about creativity again… where I’ll be discussing that talent is learnt and not given from birth. My point being, from doing one thing over and over you get better at it. If you only make environments, your environments will improve and be better than someone who makes half as many. So the reason for specialists in the game industry is produce the best result possible without having too many cooks in the kitchen.

When starting this course (year and half ago) I thought I was going to be concept artist by the end of it. I’d come straight from doing Fine art A level where I spent most my time doing portraits. I had no experience with any 3d modelling programming or game engines. After sitting in a few lectures with Mr Powell I soon realised that it would near impossible to get a job as a 2d artist no matter how good I could become. So within the first couple of months I set about learning the 3d side of things. After a year of using the software I find myself as a very capable 3d modeller and all round artist in my opinion. In the recent group project I found myself taking interest in the technical side of game engines. I ended up creating a lot of stuff in Kismet creating Matinee’s and particle effects. I was also pleased to find that through my development I was able to now help and teach the people who have taught me so much over the last year on the course.

I find myself within a month of finishing my 2nd year on the course, and 18 odd months away from graduation. I still haven’t decided exactly what area I want to direct my energy towards. I’ll have one more stab a character modelling over the summer just to improve. However I do think I’ll aim to be an environment artist at the end of the course. I will continue to learn the Unreal engine as I go along as it’s something I actually enjoyed, and I wouldn’t mind taking a closer look at FX role in company. I try not to put too much pressure on myself in all aspects of life as I’m a firm believer if you put the work in, results will come. So far this has worked me. I’ll continue to work hard and learn what I can and let nature run its course. I feel that you can’t choose what you are; you evolve and develop into it. So by the time I’m writing this blog entry this time next year I will be a well-rounded artist that specialises in…… area of the business. Which I’m pretty sure will be environment art, but I never say never to anything.

Sorry to those who occasionally read this blog for my rambling and poor humour. Normal service will be resumed in due course I’m sure.

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