Jul 4, 2009
Happy 4th of July
I've been meaning to post these sketches from my Speed Sketching class this past quarter, but me being me, I procrastinated horribly in doing so :D. This is me practicing cars and architecture.
This week has been fantastic at 1st Playable. I finally got the opportunity to do some character design. I was given two assignments for the week: draw a pre-designed female character in a different pose, and redesign an existing male character to be friendlier and more attractive to little girls. Easier said than done. Creating these characters was quite the interesting challenge. The female character was easier than the male character because I had an existing design to work off of. With the female, I simply had to stay on model, but with the male character, I had to design a character that stylistically matched the other characters in the game. That was tough. I went through several revisions before I finally got the design to fit the style guide. Also, not only did I have to gain the artistic approve of the character designer and the art director for the game, but I also had to gain approval from the CEO and the Art Coordinator of 1st P, all of whom had strong opinions and input on the developing character design. It was frustrating at times having to completely redraw certain aspects of the character over an over again (at one point I had to completely change his hair and a outfit), but the end result was very rewarding. I received amazing feedback during the design process, and as a result I think I was able to create one of the most professional character designs I've ever created. Awesome feeling. Everyone was pleased with the end result including the project heads over at Ubisoft. Hooray!
However, just designing these characters wasn't the last step of the process. Right now I'm in the middle of the frustrating task of exporting the characters to get them ready for the game engine. This means I have to reduce each design to 16 bit color which for the male character worked fairly well. I still have to go back and tweak some colors and up some contrasts, but overall he's looking good. As for the female character, I might have to go back into the original design and redo a substantial portion of her color. The reduction looked horrendous. So this is what I'll be fixing on Monday.
This internship has been eye-opening in more ways than one. Not only do I value the real-world experience I'm getting in the entertainment industry, but I'm also valuing the real-world experience of real life. It's tough. I think there is a tremendous priority shift during the transition from college to the real world. In college we're so focused on building our portfolios, making connections, and trying to make our career dreams come true. But in the real-world, it's not so much about pursuing your goals so much as it is just simply trying to survive. Just in my experience these past three weeks, working 40 hours a week is difficult. There's little time left at the end of the day to work on personal work, and by the time 7:00 rolls around, all I really want to do is eat, piddle on facebook for a bit, and then go to bed, let alone sit in front of the computer and work MORE! I'm not saying that I'm ready to give up my dreams, I saying I'm still trying to figure out how I can balance work life, personal-work life, spiritual life and social life and still feel fulfilled in all those areas. I can imagine that building any type of portfolio after college is going to be a challenge especially considering that not every art project created at any given company is going to be appropriate when applying for another one. I'm glad I still have one more year at school. It's a second chance. I know what to expect and I can prepare for graduation more effectively now.
Another thing that I'm learning (and I promise this will be the end of my long update) is that there is more to life than just my career. I think it's easy in college to become excessively focused on dreams, goals, and aspirations, that we forget that our lives have meaning beyond our careers. Not that focusing on goals is a bad thing, but I know personally I've fallen into the false midset that if I work for Disney, Pixar, or Dreamworks that I'll finally be fulfilled, that I'll have validation as an artist and a human being. Yes this sounds completely rediculous, but I think it's a pride issue that everyone deals with, whether they care to admit it or not. I'm finally starting to steer away from that deception, and now I'm trying to discover how I can make my unique contribution and impression on the entertainment industry. Again does this mean I'm going to give up my dreams? No way! I'm becoming more interested in what God wants for my life, and not what I want for my life. Sure I hope that Disney or Pixar are included in those plans, but if not, that's ok. It's taken me a while to get to this point.
Anywho! Happy Independence Day everyone!