Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Life Changing or Career Building?

This course is the best thing that has ever happened to me. Since getting a place my artwork has improved at an incredible rate. My 3D modelling skills have gone from absolute zilch to moderately good in two years. I am so very proud to be part of it really, and I’m proud that I am still here, despite the mahusive cull of last year.

Even if I don’t pass this year, I have learnt one incredible lesson. Practise is the key. Whatever the tutor’s teach us, whatever the industry thinks it wants you to know.. if you show passion, dedication and promise, you will be employed. If you get turned down by the first lot of suckers, just keep at it, keep polishing those skills and eventually someone will spot it in your work.

I think the fundamentals of art and modelling are the most important aspects of the course to me. In order to find passion you must understand the thing you are studying. Once you are proficient enough in the basics of everything you can specialise on your own. If a student has found a love of concept art, for example, they will spend all of the time they are willing to give up on the skill. Which will turn them into a skilled artist. They won’t be able to reach this point if they haven't got a good grasp on the fundamentals of art!


In terms of being taught technical skills that are only relevant here and now, what on Earth is the point?! Surely by the time we graduate those skills will be halfway towards worthless. Our time would be better off being spent on how to understand colour theory or how to handle foreshortening! These are the skills that will be useful when the next software update comes out and you find your old technical knowledge dismissed as old news. True traditional art skills will never be worthless to employers. Time and time again I hear how important it is to make good visual decisions, these don’t come naturally and must be learnt through practise!

Now, don’t get me wrong. Having a good up to date knowledge of the technical skills that are being used right now will always useful, this is a game art course after all. The modelling part is extremely important, but it is also dynamic and ever changing. It seems like a waste of time constantly catching up with the new craze when the slightly older one is very similar. Especially if it still teaches you the necessary skills just with a different set of buttons! I think finding your way around a 3D space and getting used to the different processes you will be using in the industry is more important than being the big boy with the brand new toy.. Or big girl, for that matter.

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