Saturday, 25 May 2013

Year 1 Review...

This year has gone stupidly fast. It does not feel like we’ve been here for a whole academic year already, not to mention our course is somewhat longer than everybody else’s. I mean, we had weeks left before hand in and my flat mates had already started moving out. I’m not ready for this year to end. I need more stuff to do, this year one of my main discoveries is that I’m terrible at doing nothing.

In fact, a lot has changed this year. If you met me this time a year ago, I would have been a very different person. I defiantly had a bad attitude to my work.  I will admit, at A level I definitely could have tried a hell of a lot harder.  I complain about the low mark I got, but looking back, I’m not surprised.  Since getting here I have found something that I actually care about, I’m being challenged, I can actually see myself improving, and it’s completely refreshing. I think my main issue with my A levels was that I had been doing exactly the same thing for the last 4-5 years. I never really left my comfort zone. I studied two art subjects, media studies and philosophy. To be honest I found philosophy the best as I was learning something new.

I mean it wasn’t until the last minute I decided to take the risk and go for this course I was intending on keeping on with the illustration and fine art path. I am so happy I decided against it. If I was doing illustration or fine art right now I don’t think I would have improved much. I certainly would have the same attitude towards it and right now I would probably be over the moon that I had finished.
The difference is; I chose game art. I am currently devastated that I have finished and I want more work to do. My routine has drastically changed this year, I was always accused of being lazy, lying in for ages, but simply I didn’t have something I wanted to get up for. I have become so much more self-motivated.  I’m now up bright and early every day and working until late, because I’m doing something that I love!  
So, how have I improved, and where the most. I guess for the majority of people on the course 3D is going to be where the most improvement lies. I mean, we arrive here all mostly all complete noobs, never having encountered 3D modelling before, and then are chucked straight in with no knowledge on the subject what so ever.

Well lets look back, where is my most atrocious 3D modelling crime to date?
Well this bin is somewhat shameful. I mean the render is hilarious for a start, although not as bad as some of my others with wonderful multi-coloured backgrounds. It wasn’t until after chatting to some third years that I got to grips with doing a decent render.  Looking back at the topology, well, blimey, I was still at that stage where I hadn’t understood that it was ok to have more than one object attached together, as opposed to having one single object.  Ngons galore! I guess as it was one of our very first projects it isn’t completely shameful as we were (and still are) on that huge learning curve.  

A project I was particularly proud of and feel shows a lot of development in my skill, was when we got to the Gladiator project. This was only the term after the wheelie bin, but I already felt much more comfortable with modelling. I had a good understanding of topology, I had moved on to more advanced processes like baking ambient occulsions, zsculpting and baking normal. Not to mention my renders improved drastically.  
When I started the course I didn’t think I would ever be able to make something like this.

I have also been working on my zsculpting, which has helped me practice my anatomy and technical skills in baking in max.  (High poly vs. Low poly bake)

For visual design I feel that I learnt the most in the first term. It was very helpful going back to basics and mastering them,  it has certainly helped me improve overall. I terms of my traditional work I have improved a decent amount, but in my digital work, I feel I have improved rather a lot.

Well this is the first piece of digital work I attempted before coming here in September…

I mean wow, like wow, what?? What is this?? This is true chamber of horrors material, please forgive me Mike. I swear I could at least draw the human figure better, changing from traditional media to digital is somewhat challenging. I think the idea was to learn to achieve tone; obviously this didn’t work so well.

Here are some of my recent pieces...

I feel that I have improved vastly. Life drawing has seriously helped me with my human anatomy, and doing the masters study and other exercises with Chris has helped me to get a better grasp of colour theory.

I have really enjoyed all aspects of the course so far, I’m very pleased that I decided to come here.  My main downfall has unfortunately been this blog. I’m a person that really struggles to get words down. Ask me about stuff in person and I can talk about things for ages. I have also never been someone to get into the habit of regularly writing diaries. My main aim for next year and summer is to get into the habit of this, start writing more about what I’m doing, what I think about it and more often. 
I will be better at blogging, I will be better at blogging, I will be better at blogging... 
I even considered doing video blogs as I am a much more confident speaker, especially after all the presentations we have done this year.  They have seriously boosted my confidence in talking in front of people about subjects that effect, are important or interest me.  I saw a drastic improvement from my first presentation to the final one (my mark also reflected this.)

Over all I feel I have had one of the most successful years in my academic career, I have learnt so much and my attitude to my work has changed drastically. I feel a lot more confident with what I want to do in life and how to go about achieving it. I love my course and all the amazing people I have met here.

Also, Adventure Time rules.