If things become a tad droll, you have been warned…
My names Jessica - please, feel free to call me Jess - and I’m currently a first year game art student at De Montfort University. Of course, its been a long hard trek to get there: knee deep in snow, and up hill both ways.
I’ve come armed with a foundation Art and Design diploma, which was preceded by a two year stint studying Animation - both traditional and three dimensional - in Saint Clair College, Canada. There, I gained a fundamental knowledge in 2D skills and basic 3D modelling and animation, as well as the some what strange and distorted sense of humour that you have to develop when dealing with Animators.
My Life pretty much revolves around my love of gaming, movies and cartoons. I can sit in front of a screen for hours, so long as what I’m watching or playing is captivating enough to hold my attention. As far as games go, I must guiltily admit an undying love for RPG’s, fantasy, and anything science-fiction. However, besides my art, I also enjoy writing - both silly little scripts, and short fiction pieces.
I suppose, really, I stumbled my way onto this course - half blind, and confused. I’d known for a while that I wanted to work on games - on bringing them to life, on realising a writers vision through art or movement. But, it wasn’t until I put serious consideration into it as a career choice that I found the multitude of art courses, specifically tailored for games.
Choosing De Montfort really wasn’t hard - it had everything I wanted, would teach me everything I needed, and the most important thing of all, when I met the upper years and the lecturers, I felt comfortable. And of course, that is something I’ll need if I’m ever going to achieve my goals.
My ideal job would be to become a character artist (One day, in the far future, hopefully a lead character artist, or even an art director). It’s something that I’ve been looking into since I started my animation course, four years ago, and I know that in order to achieve that position I’ll have to work hard, developing the skills I’ll need in the industry.
From the research that I’ve done, I know that I’ll have to have in depth understanding of anatomy - both human and otherwise - as well as extensive knowledge in expressions, bone structure, body language, and know how to convey a characters personality simply by the set of their jaw and the stance with which they hold themselves. I’ll also need to develop my colouring skills (a weak point of mine, as it stands) to be able to choose thematic and corresponding colours for the characters that I create.
Many of the job descriptions I’ve looked at ask for excellent concepting, modelling, texturing and lighting skills. It’s the last three that worry me most. I’ve had prior experience with 3D programs, and find it to be one of my weakest abilities. In order to over come it I’ve already planned out several side projects to complete along side my course work, so as to practise the skills that I’ll develop until they’re an ingrained reflex. I also found that the two main programs they ask employees to be fluent in are 3D Studio Max, and Maya, so in turn I shall endeavor to learn both these programs to the best of my capability.
Though it probably sounds excessive, I also wanted to learn scripting for 3D Studio Max, as well as take up a couple of language classes, to make myself a more desirable employee. Hopefully, somewhere while doing all that, I’ll retain (or possibly develop) a personality that will mesh well with the industry, and a sense of humour wouldn’t go amiss, I’m sure.
At the end of the day, this is my future - I’m not just playing games any more.