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 Post subject: Re: Success Stories
PostPosted: Sat Mar 16, 2013 2:18 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jan 20, 2010 8:43 pm
Posts: 310
Location: UK
I've been at Creative Assembly a month now, so here's my success story:

How did you get your job in the games industry?
Big question, not sure where to start. Got good at modelling, uv unwrapping and texturing. Joined a few mod/indie teams and made guns and characters. Spent money on my "craft" (so PC upgrades, books, graphics tablet, etc). Learned ZBrush and retopo (Topogun) and got even better at characters. Eventually switched to environment art after struggling to even get a single interview as a character artist. Developed an even deeper understanding of normal maps (tangent basis, seams, etc). Made some cool environment art, started getting interviews and after about 5 I finally got my first job at CA.

What do you think tipped the balance and got you your 1st job?
Getting good is only half the battle. The other half is networking and preferably getting yourself recommended to a studio. One of the guys from an indie game team I worked with got a job at CA before me and then encouraged me to work on Alien-themed art. Then he recommended me and I got asked in for an interview without having to apply. So try to tailor your portfolio towards a specific "dream job", get to know people and persevere. And only show your best 1-5 pieces in your portfolio.

What was your standard of work? Do you have examples?

How long were you looking - did you get a job straight from Uni or did it take a while?
It took ages. Went from a hobby to "more serious" in about 2007-2008 time. In 2010 I was making high quality (ish) characters and in 2011 I stopped working part-time jobs and did some freelance. The last year was the worst, but you have to persevere. It's worth it!

Did you even go to Uni to get a games related degree?
Nope. There wasn't a wide variety of 3D courses back when I was at uni age (9 years ago) and I ended up doing a 2 year graphic design course which didn't help me whatsoever with respect to 3D/game art. I wouldn't recommend university because I can only imagine a 3 year course being behind what studios are currently doing (and it's absurdly expensive).

So to summarise:
1. Get good, learn as much as you can about the technical side of 3D as well as the artistic. Forums such as Polycount are invaluable (check out the wiki).
2. Network - join mod or indie teams, get to know people, take every opportunity to show off your work.
3. Tailor your portfolio. Ultimately you need work that's going to impress people. If you make an environment art scene, get it into a real-time game engine such as cryengine or UDK and make a video.

A word of warning about mod/indie teams:
Never join a team that wants you to sign an NDA. It just isn't worth it, even if they talk about (usually low) "pay". The whole point is you want to show off your work. 99% of these projects end up going nowhere, so don't stay on them for too long. Don't be afraid to quit a team and go solo to hone your portfolio - everyone I know who's got a job (including me) did this. But I'm not saying don't join them, they are a great way to learn, network and get teamwork experience - just don't stay on them for too long.


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 Post subject: Re: Success Stories
PostPosted: Sat Mar 16, 2013 2:54 pm 
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Joined: Wed Aug 10, 2011 12:55 am
Posts: 578
Location: Horsham, West Sussex - UK
Thanks for the update Rob. Nice one.

Modeller for Mila - Alex Harris

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