Friday, 4 May 2012

End of year 1. Done.


That’s the sound of the first year going by, too quick for my liking. It really feels like it was just last month I was down at the canal sketching some terrible drawings, when in fact it was 7 months ago.

This year has gone so quickly, I feel like I haven’t really done anything, but then I look through all 3 of my sketchbooks and all my 3D work on my pc and realise i've done a lot, a ton, a stupid amount of work. But I know this isn’t enough, and if I carry on like this I know that ill probably see no future in the games industry as an artist. We was warned very early on by the tutors that as a group and an individual i wasn’t producing enough work, this was before the Christmas break. For a lot of people this “arse kicking” sunk in and they did something about it. While for me it didn’t sink in enough and I didn’t pick up the quantity of work I was doing that much. Only around 8 weeks ago did it hit me, and it hit me bloody hard, ive been given such an opportunity to do something with my life, by getting a job in something I love doing, and ive nearly (but hopefully not) ruined it. I was warned several times by the tutors but didnt really take any notice of it.... I wish I did. Because if I did, I wouldn’t be feeling like crap with the massive worry in my head that I might not get into the second year.

If any future first years are reading this I want you to take bit of advice from me so you wont end up in the crap situation I’m in - work hard, push yourself and listen to your tutors, give 3 years of hard work of your life and you’ll be sorted for the rest of it. 3 years is nothing. NOTHING.

Although I haven’t worked as hard as I would’ve liked, I feel like a have progress massively with drawing. Prior to this course ive never had any formal art education, the only drawing I used to do was the few odd doodles while on the phone, ive never put any serious amount of hours in any drawings. But because of this course and how its pushed me to do something I never really liked doing, I'm beginning to understand the fundamentals of what makes a drawing correct/good, and because of this I’m starting to enjoy drawing because I can (to a degree) get what’s in my head down on paper. Over the summer Im going to build on this so I can begin the second year with a stronger drawing ability.

Over Easter I redid several of my first drawings before the final submission, and its clear I have progressed at drawing, which does lifts up my spirits a tad, but I know there is still some ways to go. Below is the new and old drawing of the canal final, hopefully you can tell which one is the new one:

I came into the 3D side strong at the beginning of this course and I’m leaving even stronger. Even though I’ve been self teaching myself 3d for a good few years I have missed out some basic work flow techniques. But this course has taught me these fundamentals, and now I feel even more confident in my 3D ability.

Right, that’s enough of me talking about my downfalls, time to talk about the courses downfalls:

Visual Design.
  • More teaching on drawing techniques – I know this course is heavily focused on self study but sometimes I didn’t know where to go to find out the fundamentals of drawing. I've been pointed to the K drive with 100's of books on drawing, but where do I start, I felt out of my depth at times.
  • More feedback - I understand there is a lot of us, and one on one feedback is for all of us in pretty much impossible, but sometimes I don’t know if i'm going in the right direction. I was given an inadequate in my first assessment with no feedback to really work on, so I just kept on plodding along doing what I thought was right, which hasn’t worked out well for me. So maybe a bit more detailed feedback for the assessments would be doable instead of consent feedback for all students.

Game Production

  • Video tutorials – Although the written tutorials are great sometimes they can be hard to follow especially for people who are 100% new to the software. Learning from video tutorials I find much easier, and it should be easier to produce than written tutorials for heather too
  • Competitions – Even though I didn’t win I really enjoyed the texturing competition. Competitions and rivalry always pushes me to produce higher quality work. Maybe we could have a gallery of the top 3 pieces per project.

Critical Studies

  • More focus on the theory of games art – I found the first few lessons relatively boring and didn’t really see much of a connection with what was being taught and the course. But the last few lessons made much more sense to me. I enjoyed listening to what made characters/levels more appealing, and the point of art direction, because of these lectures I started to apply what was taught to my 3d/visual design work. Maybe these types of lectures pick up in year 2, but I wanted to learn more of it in the first year.

Well that’s me done for year 1. But I cant rest, gotta push myself over the summer so I can come into year 2 guns blazing. Maybe something like this: