Second Year Review and My Future

So, my second year of my Game Art degree is almost over, and it's gone so fast, it's crazy. It doesn't feel five minutes since I came back after a long summer and back into the thick of it. My overall view of the second year is a good one, A lot better than the first year. I feel I've churned out some of my best work yet, and improved bucket loads. I've still got a lot more to learn before I would consider myself employable, but I'm getting there.

I started the second year having not really done any 3D work over the summer. This really didn't help me at the start. I'd done a lot of painting, and I really improved. This summer, however, I really want to focus a lot of time and effort on my 3D work, especially characters. I've already got a good idea on what I want to achieve in my final major project, and it's 90% character based. To this day I've only really completed three full characters. It's not the fact I've been lazy, but rather the fact that I've been so busy with other subjects I've not had much time to put into practice, as I feel it's extremely time consuming to get a character fully realized. Over the summer I plan to create at least three or four character, of various genders, ages and ethnicity's. 

I think not practicing any 3D over the summer set me back, but I soon got back into it. My love of 3D has grown dramatically. At the beginning of the first year, I could barley model a wheelie bin, now I can model full characters and complex assets. One of the biggest challenges of the second year in terms of 3D was the self portrait character. For me, it was extremely stressful. I consider my self a perfectionist, and If something snot right I have to fix it. The project didn't really have a big time span, as it was linked with two other projects. Time management was critical. I think my time management was good, but the fact I'd given myself a lot of work didn't go so well. I was extremely pleased with the outcome, but I need to get faster.

One of the highlights of the year was the group project. I was extremely apprehensive about this one at first, as it was the first time me and my peers had worked together to create a single outcome. It was very stressful at times, but I think the outcome was worth it in the end. I'll post some screenshots on here soon, of the entire level and the assets I created to populate it. I was with a very talented group of people, and I couldn't have wished for a better group to be honest. I would love to do it again, with the knowledge I have now. The project also allowed me to learn UDK [Unreal Development Kit]. It was tricky at first, but once I got the hang of it, it was really easy. It's a great piece of development software, and I'll be using it a lot in the third year, so the knowledge I have gained will help me tremendously.  

In terms of my 2D work, as I said, I think I've improved tremendously. I have tried to learn more about colour theory and light, in order to give my work that extra punch. I've also developed a way of working now which I can easily continue. I also have started to develop a style which people have recognised, which is very promising. I feel like I still have toned to learn, but given the large time I have off, I'll have no problem continuing to improve. I really want to go into 2D concept work after I graduate. I know it's an extremely competitive career path, but one I'm willing to sacrifice for. I think that's whats needed. Hard work, practice, perseverance, practice and some more practice should be a good start. I'm fed up of people telling me what I should and shouldn't be painting. I feel like as long as the painting is done well, with all art disciplines expected well, then the subject matter doesn't really matter. If I want to draw 'lame' and over used cliches, then so be it. It's the practice and self learning that will land me the dream job, not writing and complaining about it.

I don't know what will happen in the third year. I'm really excited though. I have big plans for myself, and I'm going to achieve them. Watch this space.

Thanks for reading :]

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