Another option? (graphics)

I've since come to realise that game testing probably isn't for me, and any attempts made in that direction are likely to prove fruitless. But i'm still set on this kind of field, my other option, and one I also love, is graphics. What I mean by this is 3D or 2D graphics for games etc, i'm sure you all know what I mean. [:)]

My problem HERE is that I am completely clueless as to the paths I should take to achieve this goal. I have no experience in this field, and I was wondering how I should go about getting some qualifications. I live in Adelaide, and I want to know if there's any particular courses I should take and where they are, I realise they've probably commenced for this year, but there's always next year. What I want to know is, how I go about getting the experience necessary and learning about the whole graphics and animation field, and what I may need to know beforehand. Such as, if I need to be able to draw, which could be a problem since I can't draw well, but I can construct. I'm more interested in 3D graphics, but if I need to be able to draw conceptual pictures beforehand, I may be screwed.

I know this probably sounds a bit misguided but this is another career path i'm dead set on. ANY help with this will be much appreciated, thanks in advance!

davidcoen's picture

well, a good path to start on is to get some paper, some soft pencils or charchole, and spend the next 2months drawing anything and everything till you pass out... being able to draw tend to help both 2d and 3d graphics....

davidcoen's picture

( eraser is not allowed while learning to draw, need to get use to roughing everything in lightly, then putting down heavyer lines to define form/ mass) and then again, standard disclaimers to following my advice, this is mearly what i think would work for me if i was in your posistion.

Kritter's picture

Well I never could draw that well. I'm not BAD at it, but i'm not exactly an artist when it comes to drawing things. I can do comics, Mechy type things and 3Dish drawings, but I can't do things like Anime art or anything along those lines. And i'm not terribly good at what I mentioned either, just OK. I can SPRITE well, I can make 3D models well (I used to have a 3D program once), but I just can't draw well.

Edit: Although, I suppose practice makes perfect...perhaps I should try drawing things?

Pantmonger's picture

Drawing is a skill, like any other. it can be learned.

Pantmonger

MoonUnit's picture

agreed pants, just keep drawing and maybe seek out advice on particular things (eg. whats the best way to go about drawing a car or whatever) from people who are more experienced then you :)

Kritter's picture

But is it NECESSARY though if you already have enough skills to be able to create 3D graphics? And my original question was if anyone knew where I should go to get 3D graphics experience.

bullet21's picture

Kritter me and u are in the same position.....kinda. I can't draw that well in 2D either but i am teching myself 3D...Slowly. I don't think you have to be Feng zhu to be a good 3D artist infact it probably ain't all that necessary, seeing as if u do 3D at a games company someone else does the concept art. Just get your self a learning edition of software and play around with it, do tutes, read books and ask for help here.

Pantmonger's picture

You dont need to know how to draw to be able to model in 3D, but it does make it simpler.

Pantmonger

J I Styles's picture

One thing I will say, is notice that the vast majority of positions advertised are for artists. Not simply modellers [;)]

Be suprised how many people running for positions just can't draw (and I'm not talking draw really well, I'm talking enough of a skill to put pencil to paper and show a basic idea). So I'd like to give the advice to anyone going down the artist path, stop learning the technical for a while, and learn some of the actual art side to your field. I kinda wish I'd been given that advice 3 or 4 years ago myself [:)]

Malus's picture

The guys/gals at work have to do textures, modelling and most animate as well so I think is pretty important to at least have a competant level of skill in illustration or sculpture.

I'm not saying you need to be a great artist (thats obvious Malus, you got a job[:P]) but you need a reasonable amount of knowledge of anatomy, perspective, lighting, colour theory, bla, bla and generally being decent at 2D means you have those skills to some degree.

With all the demo's you get to see working in game dev, you can almost certainly tell the ones who have some artistic skill because they (generally) blow the others away in terms of 3D skills, of course there are always exceptions.

JI: I actually wish I hand done more clay sculpting, that would have really helped my 3D along, that and life drawing.

Pants:

quote:

Drawing is a skill, like any other. it can be learned.

Totally off topic but this has always intrigued me, btw guys this is just my opinion and for reference I don't think I'm at all good enough to take on the title artist, I'm just a guy who draws stuff. [:)]

I think your statement is true to a degree, especially for the level you need for being a modeller.

I will say I think the difference between being someone who can draw and an artist is a combination of the time it takes to learn the skills, the collected knowledge of your chosen craft(s) and the emotions you manage to produce from the end product.

Most people over there lifetime could, if they put in the hours, become quite competant at art, maybe even great but the vast majority would still only be mediocre.

Not everone has that spark inside, I think some people are born with an artists mind, check out the kids that can paint masterpieces by the age of 8, you can't tell me we can all learn that. [:P]

Pants is going to come upstair and beat me now I know it. hehe

Makk's picture

http://www.learn-to-draw.com/
Thats a good place to start.
I think everyone can become highly skilled artists. I also believe that some are born with more talent then others. But that doesnt mean that you cant become as good as them, its just takes a bit more hard work and dedication.

Pantmonger's picture

My opinion on it is that the skills required to create great art can be learned.
The ability to be creative and original, that?s a different matter, and where that comes from is the nature vs nurture argument all over again.

If you have only the first you can become a competent working illustrator, but both combined with the addition of effort and you can be a master.

Pantmonger opinion thrown around loosely as always.

Kritter's picture

Well this discussion is all good and well, but you keep missing my first question.

bullet21's picture

Well for courses just buy the Vtac guide or go here : http://www.sumea.com.au/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=652

The vtac guide is like $9 at the news agent and it has all the courses that all the tafes and unis offer. Just find one close to U.

Malus's picture

I define artist as more than technique thats all.
So yes everyone can learn the techique but not everyone has a creative mind.

So can everyone be a competant illustrator, painter, sculpture etc...yes.
Can everyone become an artist...no.

Johnn's picture

hey Kritter, I'm not a 3D guy but I would suggest if you are looking at studying 3D in Adelaide that you go around to all the places that offer courses and collect info on each course offered.

I suspect that the list of places would comprise of Uni of SA, Tafe, Prides (if it is still in existance) and there might be a place called MAD Academy too (this is probably not comprehensive). I think that some of these places offer short courses too.

If you are not 100% sure of what focus you want to concerntrate on in your study (2D, 3D, animation, modelling, graphics, illustration etc) a short course may be a good idea to help with desicions later. Doing a short course will probably improve your chances of being accepted into some courses too (double bonus!!) and if you don't like the short course you do, at least you can cross that career focus off your list (tripe bonus !!!)

retort to Malus > I think everyone can become an artist, they might do really really shit art, but it is still art :)

Malus's picture

quote:


I think everyone can become an artist, they might do really really shit art, but it is still art :)

You do know thats a cop out "artists" came up with when they realised there was money in modern art lol. [:P]

1/2 a cow in a glass cube = art mmm oooookay.

oooh now you've made some enemies Malus.
Run the mimes, sidewalk performance artists and the I'm nude I'll rub myself on canvas artists are after you...ARGGGGHHHH....hehe. [:P]

Seriously I know art is subjective and personal but I believe the brilliance of someone who spends 4 years on his back painting a chapel til he goes partialy blind shouldn't be lumped in with someone who farts on a bottle and calls it "mans ode to oxygen" or am I just wrong?

smeg's picture

Don't know about the guy farting in a bottle comparison.. but there is certainly a gaping chasm between what makes an artist and what makes a good GAME artist.

To be a good game artist you need to adapt to set styles, work within technical restraints, understand almost all things technical AND have all that other stuff (colour theory, balance, a keen eye etc).

So lets clarify, are we talking artEEEst or artist?

cheers

Goldenchocobo's picture

your mum is an artEEEst[xx(]

Johnn's picture

hmmm fart art... that way better than my shit art!

*John Makes mental note about 'fart art' public art installation concept*

At the end of the day it probably doesn't matter what 'art' is. If whatever the focus of you attention provokes thought or emotion in you - that is what counts... isn't it?

This of course would make the half-cow potentially an important object(not necessary art) as it triggers thought and self-reflection about ones reactions to the said cow and consequently other issues that are related (eg mortality -being one reason that the cow is so unpopular).

DaMunkee's picture

quote:


Originally posted by Kritter

But is it NECESSARY though if you already have enough skills to be able to create 3D graphics? And my original question was if anyone knew where I should go to get 3D graphics experience.

It is not necessary to be a 2D Artist, but if you're not, you have to be a god! On Generals, we had 3 "artists" that had trouble drawing a stick figure! But take one look at every single effect in the game, and you can see that one of them's lack of drawing skill did not affect his bad ass effects skill! Of course, he also didn't go to an art school, but instead would spend every waking moment in front of his computer, modeling, animating, making effects... etc. (He wasn't a very good Texturer, but we let that slide :) ) His home made animations were on par with Blizzards cutscenes and he was just one guy!

So yeah, you don't need the drawing skills, but you do need SKILLZ :)

Me, well, I'll stick to my stick figures :)

Pantmonger's picture

quote:


oooh now you've made some enemies Malus.

Im on the like side of modern art myself, so into the arena Malus, time to fight. (combat music from star trek starts up)

Pantmonger

Malus's picture

ooh ooh I want to be spock. [:P]

smeg's picture

quote:


Originally posted by Goldenchocobo

your mum is an artEEEst[xx(]

no, YOUR MUM is an art333st!

I _so_ win.

Me109's picture

I'm of the opinion that anyone can draw etc.. except to say that you'll always meet someone who's much much better than you.. skill is one thing yes.. but talent goes a hell of alot further.. to say that you have to be an excellent artist is misrepresentation of the bigger picture.. productivity will go alot further so high levels of talent can go to waste if you are in something less than a concept artist position (traditional stuff). So you are better off refining what talent you have into a easily applied skill set! emphasise your strengths and maybe highlight you weaknesses. Learning as much as you can about drawing, illustration and other forms of applied art can only be a good thing and contribute to your skills as a programmer, modeller or animator.. if you can only draw stick figures, learn how to use it to complement your overall skill sets... etc.. anyhow I'm sure you know what I'm getting at...
cheers

matias's picture

ok, I seem to always catch an interesting topic, like a month after its stopped, I think I live in a time warp. But yeah, ok I like to think I'm not to bad of an artist(2d) and drawing, I one thing I want to know is do you need 3d skills to get anywhere in games? I'm trying to learn gmax and I did a semester in 3d at Uni, (admittedly on Raydream 3d, and I doubt its at industy standard)
But it'll be a while before I can consider myself competant, so am I screwed for a while? Or what, anyone in an artist position that doesn't do much 3d, speak up! please :( I live in hope.
matias

Morphine's picture

quote:


I believe the brilliance of someone who spends 4 years on his back painting a chapel til he goes partialy blind shouldn't be lumped in with someone who farts on a bottle and calls it "mans ode to oxygen" or am I just wrong?

Mmm .... Fart Jarr ..... I can see this being a brand new hit for small kids. They could have fights with a squeezable jar that makes fart sounds and smells bad! [:o)] I want one! [:D]

spageto's picture

Firstly, Kritter, if you want to get into the art side of game making, make learning to draw well your No.1 priority. The 2D and 3D animators/modellers I know (all of whom are working in TV, film and games) are good drawers. Even if you see yourself as a modeller rather than a concept artist, animator, etc, being able to draw is an important skill because in order to be able to model, you need to be able to visualise and transfer what you see in your mind, or what you see before you in some concept artist's 2D drawing, into a 3D model.

You are also wanting to enter an extremely competitive field where artistic skill is a big differentiator. For one thing, just to get interviewed, you have to have a folio of impressive artistic creations. If you haven't got, or haven't learned the skills to put together an extremely impressive body of work, you just won't get in the door.

Do some research on the Internet, in the phone book, and find out about some art classes offered in Adelaide. These are often run year round so you don't have to wait until next year. Also, to get into a tertiary art/graphics course you typically have to have a folio, so doing some art classes will help you to put this together. On the other hand, if you want to go straight into learning a 3D program, you can do the art classes on the side. I think there is an Adelaide Central School of Art that offers cheap classes (someone mentioned this on another forum).

Secondly, I agree that drawing is a skill that can be learned - to an extent. If you are not a "natural" you can still learn how to draw competently. BUT you will never be a great illustrator or artist. And increasingly you need to be great to get a job (even if you don't have to be great on the job!) Drawing is the same as singing. A lot of people can learn how to hold a tune, but if they don't have the range then they will never be great singers, no matter what. Let's not delude ourselves (like the deluded "singers" who try to get onto American Idol, Australian Idol, etc).

Unless you love drawing, and it is a natural gift, then I would think twice about trying to make a career out of it. On a practical level this is because there are so few jobs and so many others - who eat, sleep and breathe drawing and art - you will be competing aginst. But if you're reading this and thinking "I'll show you" then go for it: start drawing stuff TODAY, find and do those art classes, play around with a 3D program and make game art your 24 hour a day passion.