Well it’s seems we’ve reached the end of the year. And OMG how fast did that go. It seems like 5 minutes ago I was having my mug shot taken on the first day of first year, and now I’m 2/3 of the way through the degree. *sigh* I’m assuming third year will go even quicker, especially if the international exchange all goes to plan.
In any case, I’ve come along leaps and bounds in a few areas this year which I guess is making transition from students/hobbyist in 3D and 2D to actual Game Artists. In 2D I’ve come to recognise that in terms of the course, Visual Design as a whole isn’t my forte. When it comes to Imagineering something and making it look realistic, I practically face plant the floor. But when it comes to imitating something that’s real, i.e.: life drawing or still life, my technical skill and colour theory have improved massively, which is probably stemmed from my love of drawing people and characters. This is probably one of the reasons why I was aiming down the character artist/3D path, over character design.
In 3D, it has become apparent that in terms of assets, my knowledge lies in my understanding of shape of and how I can relate that in topology, particularly with organic objects, again emphasising my character modelling skills. I have also understood much more this year how to involve edge loops with the overall shape and form in consideration of rigging and animation. Further, although it isn’t quite to the extent of my topology knowledge, my skills in unwrapping and texturing have improves massively, due to my better understanding of how different texture sheets work. I don’t know why but it’s almost as if over the summer, something clicked. In any case, one huge step for me was the beginning of learning how to add assets into an actual game engine through the group project. Making our assets come to life in a playable world is what being a 3D artist is all about. Although it’s not exactly what I want to go into, I can easily see how I felt the same way last year about 3D modelling, and with more practice, my understanding of UDK and how everything in that respect works, will improve, and bring about a new joy in exporting and level design.
Despite my reluctance to do anything for a sizable chunk of this year, I think I’ve done a bloody good job of avoiding the second year slump. Mike’s foreboding words at the start of the year in conjunction with several guest lecturers and the pressure to actually have something in a portfolio ready for an internship, had me working pretty much solid throughout the year. In contrast to last year however, This time last year I really didn’t want to be a 3D artist, I wanted to stick to the 2D side of things, which in all fairness is understandable, it was my comfort zone. But now looking at the broader picture, and my new love for character modelling, my goal now is to be a character artist, specifically a 3D modeller, but with me acquired knowledge of both, I can now take what I am best at from both aspects and make one impressive FMP. Lol. (so he says)