Thursday, 7 April 2011

Life Changing or Career Building?

On the course we occasionally get time to sit down and talk about ‘cool shit’ happening in the world and in the industry. The rest of the time we are doing projects or playing COD 2. Most people are always scouting the web looking for the next thing we can use to make our stuff look better. They well then show a few people who will spread the word. This only applies to the technical side of the course and the skills we will need when graduating.

Why teach people what the industry already know? Do people really think that an artist, however good they are with no technical ability will be hired over a slightly less talented artist who can make quality 3D models from the word go? Not only would they be gambling on the artist being able to pick the software and translate their talent into 3D work. They would also be losing money whilst training (investing) in them. I think it’s paramount to teach core skills in the industry. Without mine I would be nowhere.

However, the ability to know when something looks correct or not is not to be overlooked. You could have all the technical skill in the world but if you don’t keep your work within the briefing guidelines when it comes to style you will have to try again. The way for educators to get around this problem sounds simple. Just produce well rounded students who have a traditional art background and teach them the technical skills they need. If you think this is too easy to be true then you’re right. The students have to be committed to the course and willing to relearn everything they ever knew in order to improve.

From my own experience on the course, I think that it’s well rounded. We’re directed in a way where 3D is essential but so is 2D. It doesn’t matter who you are or what you area of interest is. Everyone does the same projects for both 2d and 3d so neither gets neglected. We get time to crit each other’s work face to face and also using the DMU Facebook page. We’re also encourage to take a look at the world around us and what’s happening in it as it’s full of inspiration. I have no experience of any other Game art course but from my interviews and reading about the course, I knew that this was the course to do if I wanted to get a job in industry.

There is no real answer though. Every company is looking for something different from graduates. If you meet their technical requirements you then must be able to work with them. If you’re hired and you piss everyone off, people will hear about it as it’s such a small community. If you mess up, there is guaranteed to be someone who is just as talented and willing to work with anyone to be involved in the industry.

The only thing educators can do is produce rounded students or direct them towards an area of specialty and hope for the best.

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