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dimitri_gamer

Which is better, a good artist or someone who knows the latest package?

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Which is better, a good artist or someone who knows the latest package? I''m an aspiring game developer and from what I''ve heard, employers are looking more for an artist with traditional skills rather than knowledge with the latest 3D package. For anyone who knows, what would be your advice? Because, I have this feeling I should look into a low cost 3D modeler to practice. Hopefully when I finish school this year I can join "The Acadamy of Interactive Entertainment" in Canberra Australia. Well, what''s better?
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I think it answer is pretty obvious. Of course a good artist is always better than someone who (just) knows the latest package.

By just knowing how to do the latest and coolest tweaks in the latest package with SO many features, you''ll never get anywhere. Sure, by luck you may put something together that may look better than average. But without any artistic talent as a foundation you''ll stop there.

If you''re a good artist, but doesn''t "know the latest package" or a required tool that''s of course a problem. But to have skill and then learn a tool is way better than to know a tool, but lack skill.

For example, I would rather hire an illustrator without computer experience than someone with lots of tool knowledge but complete lack of artistic skills.
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So what user friendly program would you recomend I get started on? I''ve tryed out Corel Dream 3D which didn''t seem that great, but was easy to get into. I''ve also tried a demo of Extreme 3D which seemed way too hard. Now I''ve got a demo of TrueSpace 4 which I haven''t really touched that much but doesn''t look too bad.

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I''m not into 3D myself so I can''t help you with what specific package that is best for you.

However, as I wrote above, it''s more important that you develop your artistic skill rather than knowledge of a specific software. With great artistic skill in the back you''ll do great no matter what tool, than if you know one tool but lack skill.

So, just get started and improve your work - get experience. With experience you''ll notice that your work will improve. Look back and compare to work some months ago, and you''ll see that thoughts like "Oh, HOW could I do like that back then? I must have been xxxx..." comes to mind. That''s a sign that you get better and better...
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I totaly agree. Even when doing 3D art, you need to be able to at least draw 3D objects on paper. By practicing 3D drawing, you get a better sence of perspective, how objects SHOULD look, and you can more easily create concept art for what you make on the computer.

And I know what you mean about looking at your old art. I''ve been keeping all my sketch pads since I started drawing cartoon characters and when I look back at my first couple books (or even my last one for that mater) I really can''t believe that I use to actualy think any of it was good at all! They''re all distorted and lopsided etc. But I find it good to look back and see what I need to watch out for when I draw now. Make sure I''m not still making the same mistakes.

If you want my advise for a good 2D program, get Adobe''s PhotoDelux. It''s quite similar to Photoshop but a lot cheaper. It has layers like Photoshop but it''ll only allow 5 or 6. But I used it for a long time before Photoshop and it''s still a nice, small program. (some interesting affects too)

E:cb woof!
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Hi

We just did an interview with Jason Manley, portrait artist on Interplay''s upcoming RPG Icewind Dale: http://www.3dpalette.com/features/icewind/
A lot of the questions that were directed to him relate to your question, although with a bigger emphasis on getting into the game business. I''ve posted a snippet below:
-------------------------------
What is your best advice on getting into game design or being an artist for games? I have been doing graphic design for 6 years and I want to try something in the 3D realm. I know you have to be well versed in 3D studio max

Jason Manley: Well, the training you will need depends on the position you want to do. If you want to be a modeler, you have to understand form extremely well. Some drawing classes that stress light and form over expressiveness should get you started that way. If your drawing skills are very strong then you could get a copy of 3d max and or lightwave along with the tutorials available and plug through them on your own, At least to get started. If you want to do concept then you have no choice but to draw at least 4-8 hours per day concentrating on invention, drawing out of your head, and drawing and painting from life. I would imagine 40 pages of concept drawings and paintings that are extremely well thought out and show speed, confidence and skill will get you a job at a game company. (the star wars concept art book has excellent examples of this kind of stuff) If you want to do lighting and or textures then you absolutely must understand color theory, form, space, value, as well as the programs that are available as tools to do this type of work. I would say that a portfolio of traditional art could get you in the door at a company at least to get an internship (That''s what I did). They will train you from there..... I will say that this industry has extremely competitive artists as well as designers etc...and if you want to be a part of a group like that then you must work very hard and sacrifice a lot of things in order to be the best artist that you can be. You have to be able to learn on your own and by your own motivation and initiative. If you do so than believe me when I say that your portfolio will reflect that. That is some thing we look for .....passionate people whose work reflects their motivations. Animation is a whole different story...ask Pete about that.
--------------------

check out the rest of the interview for more. I hope it helps.
cheers
Dave

immigrant@3dpalette.com
www.3dpalette.com

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look into hash animation:master. it seems to be a complete package with a very low cost
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Earlier today I downloaded the freeware of truespace 1. Ive never used a 3d modeler before but after 2 hours of playing with it I made a really sweet x-wing fighter. I would definately recommend anything truespace.
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"Which is better..." is kind of a relative question?
There''s better artistically, and there''s better for getting a job.

I believe quite firmly that it''s better (from an artistic standpoint) to have a good art background and be able to draw well, have a good sense of color and layout and human anatomy, have great animation skills working in both 3D and traditional cel-based animation... etcetera. There are also a lot of Art Directors in the industry who will tell you that they value the same things.

However, when I was job hunting in the industry (about 2 yrs ago) I learned that it was better (from the job-hunting standpoint) to know the latest software package. Many Art Directors will say that they value the artistic quality, the industry experience, whatever. However, when it came down to it, they''re on a deadline and needed to staff up yesterday to ship a product, and would much rather hire someone fresh out of college who knew their specific 3D application than someone who had good art and animation skills and a proven track record.

So take that for what it''s worth. Not all companies are like that, and for the sake of your own artistic growth (as well as that of the industry) I urge you to develop your art skills. But if you really want a job, know your 3D app because an unfortunate lot of places aren''t going to want to spend the time to train you.

-mike
_______________________________________

-Michael Dashow
mdashow@REMOVE-THIS_blizzard.com
artist/animator/designer/whatever, Blizzard North
http://clients.wavi.com/walrus/
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That''s one good thing about art, you can photocopy a drawing and send it with your resume. When I was job hunting for a programming job, noone would hire me because I was self taught and had no referances. Didn''t matter that I''d been programming for over 10 year and knew over a dozen languages and worked on just as many different computer systems. When I did get a programming job, it was through my brother-in-law. Now I''m building up experiance.

Anyways, my point is... References are good too. Try to work for a smaller company first to get job experiance with a product. Then you can tell a better place: "I''ve worked for company X for over a year using product Y".

E:cb woof!
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