Four artists-animators have advice for students about getting into the game industry. GameCareerGuide.com has just posted a summary
of their tips, including their list of art schools that seem to graduate the most talented future game artists.
The advice comes from a panel discussion held during the Game Education Summit at Southern Methodist University in Dallas last month. The panlesists were Greg Punchatz of animation studio Janimation, Paul Jaquays of Ensemble Studios, Mark Grigsby of Infinity Ward, and Madad Ansari of Paradigm Entertainment, a THQ-owned studio.
One of the topics they spoke on was technology. Students and educators are often lead to assume that game art graduates should be schooled in a specific brand of industry-standard software -- so much so that students often fret about whether their school has licenses to particular packages. The panel couldn’t have disagreed more, as this excerpt shows:
“Ensemble Studios’ Jaquays proposed a different idea: teaching best practices rather than teaching software. ‘Best practices in using the tool is what should be taught. Workflow should be taught: how to take concept to production-quality model or production-quality animation and reproduce it a few times at least.’ The purpose of repeating the procedure, he added, would help students get a better idea of how it all works.
Punchatz, who liked Jaquays’ idea to teach best practices, mentioned that when it comes to hiring, Janimation prefers generalists over specialists. The company wants new hires to be familiar with a pipeline and to be able to anticipate what happens along the pipeline. For example, modelers need to know how their output will work as an
animated model. They need to anticipate how other team members will interact with the work they produce.
But even competent generalists should have one area where they excel. Said Jaquays, ‘Be really good at one thing, but be good at a few other things, too.’ Some examples of areas of specialization that he cited were designing UIs, texturing models, and rigging animations.”
The complete article
, "Artist Enterprise," which includes additional advice about preparing a portfolio for the game industry and which schools the panelists think turn out the most hireable graduates, is available on GameCareerGuide.com.