Monday, 5 November 2012

Contemplations and Aspirations

When I first started Year One of my Game Art course I was overwhelmed by the pile of work that kept growing larger week by week, eventually I got into a better frame of mind and kept on top of the amount of work, finishing it to a reasonably good standard. Initially I was really pleased with what I had created in my first few lessons of Game Production, especially my first texturing project - the wheelie bin. Now that I look back to my Game Production work, I feel that it is evident how much I learned and how my skills grew without really realising. I had a few setbacks where I recreated my Transit van and my Gladiator models as they were originally not up to standard, but I am glad I redid them as I can now see where I went wrong. 
I have now learnt to take my camera with me everywhere I go, just in case I see a nice texture or an interesting scene, and since scouring Leicester for wheelie bins and transit vans, I now see them everywhere, including video games!

In Visual Design I learnt to hone my drawing skills by being set new projects almost every week, which mainly made me learn to draw quicker, as I had already learnt about perspectives and life drawing in my foundation art course. I enjoyed going out to different places to draw, my favourite being the National Space Centre, as I have been interested in space since I was young. It was interesting to have a different scene to draw and also a good way to learn where places were in Leicester, as before this course I had never been to Leicester so didn't know where anything was, which is a scary part of being a first year! I think that the main thing that I learnt from my Visual Design lessons was to look at a landscape and to find the best place to “frame” it to draw pictures from, and to not be completely “precious” over all of my work.

The main thing that I enjoyed in Critical Studies was watching films in the afternoon, because we mainly watched psychological thrillers that I wouldn't have watched by myself (I generally don't like gory violent films). The films were really interesting and made you think so broadened your mind a bit more, so I was a bit disappointed when they got cancelled because the DVD player broke and no one could be bothered to bring a laptop in or anything. The rest of Critical Studies was to teach us about the history of games and to help us with our other work by giving us new ideas of things we could reference and base things from. I must admit that I didn't really enjoy Critical Studies as much as the other lessons because I am an art student, I always have been, and I will never enjoy writing. It has taken me a while to get round to writing this blog post actually, I would rather be drawing, sorry! However I don't think I will forget the things I have learnt from Critical Studies so I am glad that it is part of the course.
Ideally I would have liked to have written more blog posts over the summer holidays but I was quite busy making my summer project, swanning off to Germany with my friend from college, and making a Loki costume from scratch!
(My 21st birthday was shortly after the summer holidays, so I wanted to celebrate it in style, by having an Avengers party and going to Drayton Manor!) ^__^
But this year, as my birthday isn't as special I will concentrate more on my blog over the summer.
Here are a few images of my summer project:

I decided to make a Tudor style village featuring a few houses, two horses, a tavern and a house with a water wheel. Ideally if I had more time and a bigger triangle budget, I would have added a small market place with food stalls, and maybe some carts for the horses.

In conclusion the first year was quite challenging, I found that I was out of my comfort zone, I didn't know anyone, I found it difficult living away from home for the first time and having to live with some very inconsiderate people that I really disliked. The course itself was a bit nerve-wracking as well because there was so many new things to learn, scary new programs and feeling stressed about meeting the quality of work of my peers. However I enjoyed it, this is definitely what I want to do, and I got through each challenge I faced, so I can only grow stronger. Every day just gets me closer to my initial goal of being a part of the games industry, and when I look back to what I have achieved in just a year, I feel quite amazing!
I passed the first step, It's a new year, I have a new hair colour and I'm ready to learn, so bring it on! XD

A few things that I would like to achieve this year:

+Learn to doodle quick sketches for visual design concepts
+Be an absolute pro at 3DS Max
  - Get better at unwrapping/texturing 
  - I can bake cakes, but not textures, learn how to bake textures! 
  - Learn to export into UDK 
  - Create more realistic renders 
  - Learn about lighting and shaders
+More blog posts to express what I've learnt and to show off how amazing my work is!! (..haha ¬_¬ )
+Learn how to digitally paint correctly
+Actually do the correct amount of work on time without leaving it to the last minute
+Practice drawing more landscapes
+Push myself out of my comfort zone
  - Use different medias for drawing 
  - Practice different techniques
+Try and enjoy myself!

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