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Fiesta! Part II

Two days late, and I’m finally ready to post the rest of my experience at the first annual Redmond Digital Arts Festival.

I started out at 9am again, attending a Zbrush tutorial by the (please wait while the votes are tallied) unanimously talented Kenny Lammers, Technical Art Director at Microsoft Game Studios. He walked us through a program that allows you to sculpt 3D objects in real time, paint textures on them, and edge loop them to create a nice low-poly model that can be exported to Maya for rigging and animation.

He basically did everything I learned to do last quarter at LWTC only backwards. And more effectively. And COOLER. I giggled loudly (sorry, Kenny) several times during the presentation because it was just too exciting. I also got to enjoy a short walk and chat with new MSGS concept artist Collin Foran.

I should take this moment to let everyone know that every single person I got to interact with during the presentations and workshops were among the coolest and most interesting people I’ve met in Redmond. Definitely my kind of people. Which is another reason I need to get into the industry ASAP; to retain my sanity.

After the lunch break, I was back at Digipen for probably the best class I’ve gotten into for free. The title was “Game Art,” but the content was really more like “How to Format Character and Environment Design in the Game Industry.” I learned more about how concept artists work during those three hours than I have over the last two years of lurking on ConceptArt and reading ImagineFX.

Ironically, the key mantra to having a killer portfolio of concept art is “show your work.” Anyone who’s ever heard my loathing tirade against math homework is laughing right now. When I was young, I was a math whiz. It was incredibly hard for me to show the work because it seemed so obvious to me that writing it out was sort of like asking me to write out how to walk. Duh, you just do it.

Now I have to show my work again. The good news is that I’m excited about this prospect. I love to show my work when I’m drawing, egomaniac that I am. I just didn’t know that’s what they wanted.

So, as I get ready to hit the sack, I’ll leave you all with the five things that Ben Cammarano says are the most important things art directors are looking for in employees:

1. Be trustworthy. Nobody likes a liar or a cheat.
2. Be committed. It’s a tough job and they want to make sure you’ll be there rain or shine.
3. Be passionate. If you don’t love what you’re doing, then you won’t do your best.
4. Show you can finish a job. Quitters and lazyboys need not apply.
5. Be a team player. No one ever created, programmed, and distributed a successful game by themselves.

So if you’re trying to bust into the industry like I am, follow these simple directives.

That’s all.


One Response

  1. Good post, yo.

    Glad to see that things are progressing for y’all!

    So, we gonna be able to hang out this side of New Years?

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