Sunday, 29 April 2012

Year Review

The time has finally come to end this year and a lot has been learned.
I've split this "Review" up into three pieces just because each class has had its
own impact on the course. so here comes:

Critical studies.

I have really enjoyed the critical studie classes. A lot of interesting discussions and/or information has been given and even though I already knew a lot of the things it's good to have them confirmed or build on top of.  A few things I found most interesting for example were the classes about interesting characters. It's been unfortunate that the DVD player didn't work and no one had the ability to bring in a: DVD player of their own, Laptop,Xbox,PS3 or anything that can play a DVD player ( god I'd say coffee machine's can even play them these days).
The choice of movies have been interesting though I think it was a bit of a shame there haven't been many real lectures beside Blitz, Mitch and the simulator one. I think it would be pretty valuable to get a 3D artist ( rather than only concept artist as the course really seems a bit too focused on this ! ) from the industry in and talk as well.

Visual Design.

Through the year I have struggled a lot with visual design. Even though I have drawn a lot of manga in the past it didn't help me at all due to the big difference in style. There was a lot to get used to and catch up on and even though I did really enjoy it with all the trouble going on in this year after Christmas it was hard to concentrate and get things done the way I wanted them to. During this year I have discovered that I really enjoy digital painting and painting with ink a lot. I'm definitely planning on keeping that up and improving these skills.  I enjoyed going out every week doing research making reference images and seeing more of Leicester/England. It has definitely broaden my knowledge and skills and taught me the most this year.

Game Production.

With the experience I've had with 3DS max I think the least I would have learned in these classes yet the improvements I've made have had the biggest impact. This means that some simple things like unwrapping, getting the normal maps to work properly ( rather than barely or sometimes messy) and a bit of improvement in texturing have all been small things compared to the big learning curve I've had before but yet have made a lot of impact on the quality of my work.  I've also learned to be a bit more neat with my work and not to accept projects as done too early as there's often small things to improve. These are things I think people learn over time and by trial and error ( when handing in work and then getting feedback) With 3D as my main interest I'm very glad to have made these improvements and kind of wonder how things will improve from now on.

I have really enjoyed this year. Making games is definitely something I want to do and that has been a dream of me for years and years. The communication could be improved a bit more, for example the Game production blackboard looks a bit messy and needs a bit of a guide to get through rather than a clear interface such as critical studies. For example:

- Assignments & tutorials
- How to hand in your work
- Other info

Rather than have big and different colored text all over the place and the link in small etc.

The feedback has also been a bit inconsistent ( some people ARE allowed to redo projects and others are strictly NOT allowed to redo things)

As someone who wants to become a 3D artist it also feels the course is leaning a bit too much towards concept artist however this might be just me. 
I have learned a lot this year and enjoyed it and am thankful for the patience the teachers have had .

Plans for this summer.

Last year I've made a prototype for an RPG/Hack and slash game in an engine. Because I'm not specialized in programming I was able to get some basic things working but the more advanced programming not. So was the player able to walk/run fight and there was even a simple AI controlled enemy. However I wanted a combo system in the game which I couldn't get to work for example and there were some more features I couldn't get to work.  Looking back on this I would like to pick this project up again. I know a few good programmers that might help out on the coding side while I focus on the graphics and maybe ask some other people to join me in this too. It would be a small scale community project with low expectations ( not expecting a triple a game) but a good portfolio piece.