Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Back to school, for an afternoon.

Before I left the Netherlands for Crytek I had a part-time job at my old university. I was teaching an introduction class in game art and 3d modeling and a few weeks back I had the pleasure going back for an afternoon and talk about my new job and working on Crysis 3.

Although I had been in that classroom many times before both as a student and as a teacher it was the first time I was actually kind of nervous. It would be the first time in 1,5 years and in that time a lot has changed.

After catching up with former teachers/colleagues I stepped into a classroom that I, quite honestly, had never seen so full before. During that afternoon I did two talks, one about working on crysis 3 and one on getting the job and what I did leading up to that point. After an initial dry throat I had a lot of fun sharing my experiences with the people and giving them a little bit of insight in what went into making a game like Crysis 3. Most interesting part was the Q&A round at the end of the session which was a lot of fun to do. This is also the part where you notice how hungry people are for more information and how excited they are about making games.

It's amazing how much this excitement can also recharge your own energy and passion for your work. During a big production there will always be a moment where you move into an end phase and start to wrap things up. You fix bugs, create those last remaining LOD's, collision models and make sure everything runs smoothly. Although part of the job, it's not very creative or exciting work but it all needs to be done when the deadline hits. It is at this point that it's easy to lose sight of what makes your job so awesome.

I also mentioned the hunger for more information, and I get emails with the same question on a regular basis. Most people who are already working in the industry have probably found their sources. But whether you're a student looking for more or a working professional looking to learn something new or brush up on things, here's a list of sources that can be useful:

- The Gnomon Workshop offers a wide range of online training in digital and more traditional art.
- Digital-Tutors has a great selection of software training for movies, games & digital art
- Eat3D has a great selection of more game specific tutorials ranging from software training to getting started with various game engines.
- 3dmotive offers a range of training similar to Eat3D

- World Of Level Design is a great website by Alex Galuzin, filled with all kinds of useful articles and videos.

- Polycount probably one of the biggest and most active sites/forums focused on all things game art. A lot of information and inspiration can be found here. It's also a good place to share your progress, get feedback and interact with others.

If you are a working professional and have the opportunity to do a talk at a university/school think about doing it. Even if you consider the content of your potential talk to be "common knowledge" or "not really special". Keep in mind you're not doing the talk for peers at a GDC and that for students these things might be new & interesting (always check the level of the audience however). Or think about doing a Q&A session or portfolio review.

If you are a student and have the chance to attend a talk, go. Maybe think of some things you would like to ask. Even if the talk is not that informative, in a lot of cases it's at least going to be inspiring!

I will most likely pay another visit to my old university somewhere in the future. But for now I will keep this blog going and maybe actually make use of my youtube account.

Till next time,

1 comment:

  1. Hello Michel,

    When you came to the HAN last semester you were an inspiration for I think the most of us. This was the moment when we could see an old student who made it into the real gaming world.

    I also want to thank you for the resourses you are giving in this blog. I already found some of the websites, but not all.

    Good luck on your next projects and I hope to some more work of you in the future.

    Kay van den Heuvel (the one who is in the middle of the picture with has head)