Portfolio Presentation Review

For the last part of this academic year, we were asked to produce a few blog posts to wrap up, the second being a review of our end of year portfolio presentation, this was a presentation of our best work throughout the year, the portfolio would count for 45% of our grade this year along with a Coding exam, Art essay, and a marking for our blog throughout the year all make up 100% of our grade, by the time of my portfolio presentation I already knew I had achieved a Distinction grade for my Art essay.

In my opinion the presentation went very well, however a few of the videos were difficult to play, making up a lot of the 20 minutes that I had to present, if I had time whilst preparing the presentation I would have made it ll one movie where I voiced over so that all videos worked and I would have had full confidence that I would not have worked over the given time. After presenting and rushing a bit at the end because of this I left the room and awaited my results, after a few minutes I went back in to be given amazing feedback, I got an overall easy distinction, apparently I would have gotten it with half the stuff on there, exceeding in each marked area, the only negative feedback I got was the timing which I fully understood, they said it wasn’t a problem for this but if were doing the same at Uni I may have been marked down for time management.

Shortly after it ended I asked for my blog and first of two coding test results, getting a distinction in both and finally completing the second coding test the Friday before last, getting the result for that this week which was also a distinction, overall achieving a distinction in all subjects and tests and a score of 220/220 for this year, thoroughly overjoyed with that and look forward to next year! I will be doing some hopefully game ready models over the summer so I will be keeping the blog updated.

Job Roles in the Industry

For the last part of this academic year, we were asked to produce a few blog posts to wrap up, the first one is a more in-depth version of a one made earlier this year (Industry Research: Games Companies here is that blog post encase you wish to look) . However, for this blog we were given a few pointers of what we needed to include.

  1. Job roles involved within the chosen industry – what each role is responsible for and what other job roles you’d work with.
  2. How I can get myself there – this could be by researching university courses and their links with industry or reading about how professionals got into that industry, having been to Animex this year at Teesside Uni I learnt a few things to specifically get the job role I’ d like, this I will specify later in the post.

Moving into the second year I am not fully sure about what I would like to specify in, however, the three things I do enjoy within the subject, Concept art, 3D modelling and animation work well together (I can concept the thing I model and then animate that myself), allowing me to do all of them next year to then decide. Currently I am leaning towards the role of an Environmental artist as I love the process of making assets, assembling a scene and lighting it, thinking about how the player will interact with the scene and possibly telling a story with environmental storytelling so I will attempt to focus this post on this job role. Answering the first part of what we needed to include ion this post, this job role could work with many other job roles and could take on many job roles depending on how big the company is so I will post the responsibilities of the role with each company I post to get a better picture.

Starting with the jobs closest to me that I aspire to get in the UK , note these are all AAA companies so I understand that this will be a bit further in the future but the dream is there!

Starting with Ubisoft:

Environment Artist at Ubisoft Reflections in Newcastle:

Job Purpose

Independently deliver the graphic content for the project and ensure that the integration of the work is in line with technical constraints and artistic direction.

Responsibilities

  • Assess and plan out the space, with consideration of narrative and visual storytelling, while documenting intentions;
  • Plan,estimate and prioritise time frames for the completion of day to day tasks and track progress using the designated tracking tools;
  • Create fully functional assets which can be shared across the project and respect the technical and artistic constraints;
  • Communicate and collaborate with key stakeholders to confirm task direction and consistency of work;
  • Ensure the technical and artistic quality of various artistic elements, make changes and address issues with team members whenever necessary;
  • Assist with optimisation and debugging to fix the issues raised by testers;
  • Fully realise a space with the assets available to tell an interesting and varied story;
  • Integrate the produced elements, objects and textures into the level;
  • Reference game design documents and develop an in-depth knowledge of the environments,
    objectives, atmospheres, story and style to create game levels;
  • Understand project tools and their functions, the project file classification system and the process to update engine data;
  • Understand best practices, production pipelines and workflows;
  • Support the Lead Environment Artist in any ad hoc tasks and duties.

 

Next up, Rockstar North:

For how I could get myself into a job at Rockstar North, I intend on going to the university of Abertay in Dundee, being the best Uni in Europe for games design and 12th in the world, Rockstar North tend to take talented graduating student from there since it’s so close. So let’s just keep putting in the extra time right?

Environment Artist at Rockstar North in Edinburgh:

We’d like to hear from the industry’s most talented environment artists!

Join our team to create next-generation worlds for some exciting upcoming projects! Strong modelling and texturing skills are not enough. Candidates must be able to create immersive, living, and fully-realized environments.

As an Environment Artist working at Rockstar North, you will be responsible for creating exciting and believable artwork, creating and texturing environment assets for the biggest and best open world environments in the industry. You will have previous experience of working on a large games production and be mindful of memory restrictions and design requirements.

We prize an ability to demonstrate individual design skills; including concept and creation of assets that are both original and yet still keep a look and feel of their specific real-world references.

Responsibilities

  • Model, texture and create collision in 3D for game environments.
  • Work closely with Programmers and other departments to ensure art assets are fully optimized for target platforms while minimizing any impact on artistic integrity of assets.
  • Participate in R&D of new techniques to implement into production pipeline.
  • Proactively seek feedback from Lead Artist, Producer and Creative Director.
  • Ensure that artistic style is consistent with defined visual style for the game.

 

Finally, Bethesda Game Studios, DC:

Finally, the dream job, an Environmental artists at Bethesda Game Studios, for research of how to try and get into this, I attended Animex this year at Teesside University, there I met Emil Pagliarulo, the Design Director at Bethesda Game Studios, after speaking to him for a while I came away knowing that I should make a portfolio with assets I have made that could be put in there games and then it’s highly admired if it’s actually put into their game engine also.

Sadly there are no specific job listings for an Environment Artist at Bethesda at the minute but hopefully the other two job requirements listed in this blog post will give you a general idea.

 

 

VFX Project: Part 3

VFX work 2.gif

This post will just be a general overview of what I have done so far instead of more of a in depth analysis of every step I did to make each scene. As you can see since the last post I have made several edits to the original footage, I have added rain on the window to the first scene with a more cloudy sky and several particle effects to make it look like it is raining in the distance, I then edited the footage to change the scene to Desert, then snowy mountain and rain forest matte paintings each originally being still images with their own effects. Finally layering some window effects on top of that to look like it’s behind glass, this I still think needs a bit of improvement but next up is to make a beach scene that I actually approve of and then to track the footage so that the paintings move with the window frame.

VFX Project: Part 2

VFX work 3.gif

Beginning my work on the footage I showed in my first blog about our VFX project, I took the starting scene where I sat in a light room, pretending to work on a green computer screen that was on the board, I started this by masking out the green on the screen in this footage and inserted a screenshot of my blog page there instead, I then duplicated the original layer on top of that and changed the colour of the green to black and upped the contrast to really bring out the reflection, then keyed out the black on the footage to leave only the white reflection on top of screenshot of my blog to really make it look like it was an actual screen.

Final touches were to key the position of the screenshot to follow the slight movement of the camera and to do a little colour correction to the scene to make it darker and fit the mood of what I wanted in the scene.

Game Design Analysis: Part 3 – Destroy All Humans!

Getting back into Chris’ lessons, he has given us the task to choose games familiar to us that we remember fondly and maybe even infuriated us because of gimmicky mechanics or poor design in places to make blog posts with these objectives:

  • How available hardware impacted design.
  • Intended audiences of the game.
  • Critique the game. Talk about the game design, visuals, mechanics and performance.

 

For my final game series I have chosen another inappropriate game series to receive at a young age, I have played every one of the Destroy All Humans games and have thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience, there have been a total of 4 games with 3 of them on Xbox and PlayStation and then one of them being exclusive to Wii.

  • Destroy All Humans!
  • Destroy All Humans 2.
  • Destroy All Humans Big Willy Unleashed.
  • Destroy All Humans Path Of The Furon.

 

Intended audiences for this game:

Unlike the other two games I’ve talked about, this one hasn’t been a PlayStation exclusive, as mentioned before this game was intended for people who had 3 of them on Xbox and PlayStation ( Destroy All Humans! , Destroy All Humans 2, Destroy All Humans Path Of The Furon.) and then one of them being on Wii ( Destroy All Humans Big Willy Unleashed.). The age rating for this game is a little less child friendly at a 16 or over because of it’s inappropriate humour and more violent content, so, this game would be great for any person above 16 that may have an interest in space or fictional shooters with inappropriate humour.

How software has effected this game:

Generally  there hasn’t been much of a of a difference between Destroy All Humans!  Destroy All Humans! 2 and Destroy All Humans Path of the Furon. Apart from the anomaly on the Wii: Destroy All Humans Big Willy Unleashed. This of which had taken advantage of the wii’s motion sensor controllers in many ways, using the knunchuck in one hand for general navigation through the level using its analogue stick and the controller in the other for aiming, they also used this controller to aim at certain parts of the screen to complete actions in quick time events. I’ve been a long time fan of the Destroy All Humans series and was very sad as a child to be playing Path of the Furon for them to break the fourth wall and tell us that there’ll be no more games made in the franchise, but there’s still a slight hope that one year it will be rebooted!

 

Game Design Analysis: Part 2 – Ratchet and Clank series

Getting back into Chris’ lessons, he has given us the task to choose games familiar to us that we remember fondly and maybe even infuriated us because of gimmicky mechanics or poor design in places to make blog posts with these objectives:

  • How available hardware impacted design.
  • Intended audiences of the game.
  • Critique the game. Talk about the game design, visuals, mechanics and performance.

 

My second series of choice is Ratchet and Clank, having been a strong lover of this game series from a very young age recently played the remake of the first game that was released for the PS4 3 times through, I thought it was a suitable title to talk about, there have been many, many Ratchet and Clank games, so here is the full list that I have found on the internet:

Ratchet and Clank.PNG

Intended audiences for this game:

Just like God of War, being a Playstation exclusive the intended audiences were obviously people who owned either a PS2, PS3, PS4 or one of the Playstation Portable (PSPs) , however, the age rating for this game is a lot more child friendly being a 12 since there is only mild violence, so, this game would be great for any teen or person above 12 that may have an interest in space or fictional shooters.

How available hardware effected the series:

Again, just like with God of War, since this series was a Playstation exclusive, on consoles that controllers were all similar and the game has always been 3D, there were no real big big changes when hardware changed, apart from an obvious graphical improvement as the series gotten older, making for more amazing Boss Battles and cut scenes especially in the new remake as snippets from the movie that was made had been dotted in as cut scenes, here is a comparison of the first game compared to it’s remake.

 

Image result for ratchet and clank 1

Image result for ratchet and clank ps4

 

Game Design:

Overall, as a game I think that Ratchet and Clank had pretty awesome mechanics and game design, it’s one of those games where I think the developers really thought about every gameplay aspect in depth, that’s in my opinion anyway, maybe that’s me being a bit biased because of how much this is a cherished childhood memory, one thing that looking back on on the original games is a bit awkward are the animations, they’re quite slow in my opinion and lack impact in certain areas.

Game Design Analysis: Part 1 – God of War Series

Getting back into Chris’ lessons, he has given us the task to choose games familiar to us that we remember fondly and maybe even infuriated us because of gimmicky mechanics or poor design in places to make blog posts with these objectives:

  • How available hardware impacted design.
  • Intended audiences of the game.
  • Critique the game. Talk about the game design, visuals, mechanics and performance.

For my first game series I chose one of my personal favorite game series, God of War, receiving this game as a young child for Christmas one year was amazing, I don’t know whether it was the best idea nor whether I understood everything that was going on but an awesome character crossed with some amazing fighting mechanics made me fall in love with this game instantly. There have been 6 games in this series with a new one upcoming with and added bundle of all five games sold separately :

  • God Of War
  • God Of War 2
  • God Of War 3
  • God Of War Ghost Of Sparta
  • God Of War Chains Of Olympus
  • God Of War Ascension
  • God Of War (4)

Image result for god of war series

Intended audiences for this game:

Being a Playstation exclusive the intended audiences were obviously people who owned either a PS2, PS3, PS4 or one of the Playstation Portable (PSPs) , also, the age rating for the game being 18’s or over because of how violent it was with added sexual scenes, but pushing past those things, anyone that may have an interest in Greek mythology or just general hack and slash violent games would have great joy in playing this game.

 

How available hardware effected the series:

Since this series was a Playstation exclusive, on consoles that controllers were all similar and the game has always been 3D, there were no real big big changes when hardware changed, apart from an obvious graphical improvement as the series gotten older, making for more amazing Boss Battles and cut scenes, Here is a comparison of the first God Of War compared to the upcoming God Of War (4).

 

Image result for god of war 1

Image result for god of war 4

 

Game Design:

Overall, when I think of a hack and slash game, my go to game is instantly God Of War, although, there were some things that really got me going when I played this, like the fixed cameras for example, jeez those things were my cause of death of Kratos and my controllers many times, what I mean by this is is there wasn’t a first person camera or over the shoulder, instead you would see your character from the side of a room or down a corridor and when you went into another room it would instantly snap and change your controls depending on where the character was in the room. HOWEVER, the gameplay demo shown at E3 last year of the new God Of War shows that they have changed this!

I personally am looking forward to E3 this year in hopes that more information is released on this game.