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Entering The Game Industry

Hello everyone. before starting i wanted to apologize if this is a wrong section or anything since im not used to forums and stuff and also this is something that had to be said.

I’m a high school junior this year and it’s nearly time for me to start thinking about college and stuff and what to do with my life in general. Well I really love making games especially enviornment/props modeling and right now I’m basically lost. You know in this day and age you want to learn something (lets say modeling) you can search youtube and get thousands of videos of working with applications for beginners and even more videos of how to model boxes and barrels for games. I mean it’s funny that they have all these videos about barrels and not single one that goes above and beyond this thing. And this is the same for the premium subscriptions like digitaltutors well maybe not exactly the same but you get the idea. I didn’t want to mentions this but this is why we have all these young teenagers dreaming of making big scale RPGs single handed or with a couple of friends, thats because they all think making a game is as modeling boxes and nobody is there to enlighten them and lack of knowledge is what to be blamed here. not them.

I’ve spent the last 5 years learning these different applications with the available resources on the internet, I even took notes down and created my own workflows yet all I can do is to perfectly model a barrel or a wall or any simple objects and I feel like I’ve accomplished nothing. I mean as someone who is dedicating his life to environment modeling I’m still trying to find my way in modeling a simple medival house and believe it or not I always leave it unfinished NOT because of facing a problem or an error but because of simply not knowing what to do next I mean when I’m modeling I have to think about the textures, normals, etc. etc. and its really sad that NOT even one company out there is willing to produce decent training resources like videos (i don’t care about the price) that could cover more than the basics and can teach you stuff (like methods, workflows, situations) you can use in other projects.

There are a lot of talented artists in these forums and that’s why I’m posting this here, because I’m starting to worry about myself and want to know your insights on my situation here. Maybe I’m missing something here. I could really use an advice on this matter. It would really help me if I knew what steps you took to get here or whether you had training in an art school or you had friends whom you worked on projects with. How did you enter the industry? This do you first work as a freelancer or got hired at an studio? What resources did you used to become a professional? all these questions are really important and This is my last try before considering paying thousands of dollars to art schools so I’ll gladly take anything helpful.

Sorry, if it wasn’t relevant but i’m guessing a lot of people having this issue and nobody is stepping forward to tell, Therefore I think many will find this thread and it’s replies helpful.

Pretty much every artist gets hired because they have a great portfolio. Pick projects that are small, and use them to work up to a bigger project. Model something in your house, model different props until you can make a scene, model a scene to match a photo as closely as possible. Model just the front of a house, model stuff from concept art, if your dragging on a project, get your butt into gear or find another project. Set realistic deadlines for yourself, don’t worry if you don’t make them, but keep doing it.

ALSO DRAW! Bring a sketch pad, draw shapes you find interesting and then model them later.

Try to look at completed works and study how they were done some people who complete stuff show their processes. Also, there’s definitely tutorials out there that help with doing more than crates and barrels. The biggest advice I can give is to have good reference material–no good artist can do things from scratch without reference. Look at any behind the scenes stuff and they always do extensive reference.

As for drawing–you don’t need drawing as a 3D artist, it won’t hurt but you can be an amazing 3D artist who can’t draw very well.

First of all, I’ve got to commend you for being so pro-active. The fact that you have the desire to learn this stuff, on your own, and to ask questions, speaks volumes. There are a few things that come to mind here.

Find anything you can related to environments & props. Jump into your favorite game, like Skyrim, and find something in the game that makes you go, “that is amazing!” Take a few screen captures, jump out of the game, and reproduce it. Do this over-and-over again to build your skill and portfolio. If you’re feeling extra adventurous, expand on it in some way.

If something truly has you stuck, find a dedicated forum filled with artists, and ask them how you can get the same look/feel/etc. Ask many more questions… even the ‘stupid’ ones.

Show your work off where your fellow artists hang out. You want to engage with them as much as possible to get critiqued.

Find an independent developer who is looking for environmental / prop work. Offer to help!

You’re not doing anything wrong right now. Nobody wants to hire someone without evidence that they can do what they say they can do… so your best ally will be your portfolio. If you come close to graduating High School, and still don’t have the portfolio/confidence, find a great school. Spend even more time building up that portfolio, while being around similar people. After a year or so, hunt for an internship to get an even accelerated ‘real world’ experience.

Stay motivated and keep creating. You can totally do it.