During my time on this course I have undertaken many tasks which have allowed me to consider myself and my skills. Some examples of tasks where I thought about myself as a person were the introspective tasks in Unit 12. The Myers-Briggs test allowed me to consider some of my personality traits, in particular some strengths that were highlighted during this were traits such as being diplomatic and wanting work to be made to a high standard. The “Who am I?” task helped me evaluate myself in a less focused way than the Myers-Briggs test, I considered a wide variety of areas such as my education, hobbies and friendships. Some of the strengths and skills highlighted by my introspective work include the ability to work very hard on a project if I am passionate about it, and that I always try to work to a high standard. In terms of practical skills I am most skilled with 3D work such as modelling and animating. My ability to draw has steadily been improving over the recent months and is something I no longer consider a weakness.
Career wise I would like to work in a game studio, preferably in a job where I work with 3D models. To be more specific I would like to work as a 3D animator, working with 3D rigs to add movement to static models. To work in this role I would need to improve my 3D modelling, rigging and animating skills which I aim to do during my upcoming University course. Other important skills would be the ability to draw concept art, understand body anatomy and create textures as these skills would allow me fulfill more roles and perform my role more aptly. The main skills I need to improve currently are my drawing and texturing skills, I will improve these by practicing them in my spare time.
I would like to work in a game studio as a 3D animator, in order to achieve this job role I will need to meet certain requirements, I have displayed these below in this timeline which shows the most important steps between where I am now and where I want to be.
By achieving a merit or above this year I will be able to begin the 3D Games Art and Design course at the University of Hertfordshire where I hope to gain the skills necessary to become an animator. After the course I aim to get an entry level position related to 3D animation which will ideally lead me to my dream job.
When applying for University courses I required a Personal Statement, the purpose of this was to give the reader an idea of why I would be suitable for the course I was applying for. The statement is designed to be a relatively concise analysis of the writer’s relevant skills and experience. When writing the statement I repeatedly found myself having to trim the word count down as I was writing in too much detail. The Personal Statement can be read below.
“Throughout my life I have always had an interest in finding out what makes things tick. When this interest combined with my love of gaming, I naturally gravitated towards aspects of game creation such as sprite work and programming, which I practiced as a hobby. When 3D modelling caught my interest I enrolled on a one-year distance learning 3D Modelling and Animation course. I thoroughly enjoyed the process of modelling, rigging and animating characters in 3DS Max and realised that I would enjoy a career in this area. I decided to pursue my studies by taking a two-year games development course at College, which enabled me to improve my 3D skills whilst learning about other aspects of making games, and of the industry as a whole. I believe a University course will help me develop my skillset in a way which allows me to attain a role in games development. This feels like a natural progression and I believe that I would be an excellent fit for the course.
I am familiar with many programs relevant to games development and I am most proficient with 3DS Max. I first used this on the distance learning course and I have worked with it frequently over the last three years. While on this course I demonstrated my ability to work independently and my ability to set myself deadlines and meet them consistently. I enjoyed planning out my animations and then using my problem solving skills to bring my ideas to life with the software.
During my time at College I used Unreal Engine to develop an interactive 3D environment of a bunker for a game based in a war during Napoleonic times. I researched a large variety of topics to ensure that the project would be historically accurate, including sounds, furniture and decoration. Before modelling the environment in 3D, I used traditional drawing skills such as observational, one-point and two-point perspective to create concept drawings, and made a physical model of the room. This demonstrates my understanding of the creative workflow and my ability to work in a logical way to develop my ideas. This project also improved my ability to work well as part of a group and communicate with people of different roles to meet certain specifications and deadlines. Initially I felt that our group was disorganised, so I took it upon myself to give the project more direction. I helped others to complete their work and ensured everyone was working on relevant parts of the project. I also encouraged communication and tried to ensure that everyone voiced their opinions and that they were all confident with the progression of the project. This helped me to develop my interpersonal skills, and it also gave me a taste of what it might be like working in a professional environment where communication is crucial.
During my current course I have focused on taking actions which push me out of my comfort zone; generally these have been related to speaking in front of groups of people and improving my overall confidence in social situations. To do this I accepted any opportunities which would rely on me using these skills and as a result I have become more comfortable and confident in these situations. I believe this is important because in a games development role I will need to be able to communicate effectively with other roles no matter how familiar I am with them and I may also need to pitch ideas.
Outside of my studies I worked as a volunteer at the local Youth Employment Service office. My aim was to become acclimatised to a real working environment with people I didn’t know. I was given the responsibility of creating a booklet which advertised a variety of services in the style of the organisation. The outcome of my work was a professional document that demonstrated my attention to detail and was well-received by the management.
I am excited about the prospect of working in the games industry and I look forward to continuing my journey by building on my existing skills and knowledge at University.”
By creating this personal statement the Universities I applied for could get a good general sense of if I would be a suitable candidate, in the end out of the five courses I applied for, I received offers from all of them, largely due to my personal statement. For the courses that required interviews the personal statement acted as an introduction to who I was, which was followed up by the interview where they could ask me specific questions and see my work and get a sense of my level of skill.
There are a variety of traditional and nontraditional methods of progression which allow a person to progress in their career. The most straightforward method is to apply for the desired job if you are qualified, however you can also apply for an apprenticeship or an internship which will allow you to gain relevant experience. An apprenticeship is similar to a regular job in that you are paid for your work, you are also taught the skills you require while you are working. An internship is a short-term alternative which can be paid or unpaid, internships tend to lean more towards being educational rather than being training you for a specific position.
Here is an opening for the position “Technical Artist, Rigging” at Blizzard:
This is an example of the type of position which could be appropriate for me after my University course, during my course I would gain a much deeper understanding of rigging and animating across multiple programs. It is also possible that this type of position is something I work towards as a goal after working in an internship or apprenticeship where I would be able to assist in publishing a game. The requirements for this position all align with skills I am learning or that I will be learning soon, making this a good consideration for my future.
Some non-traditional methods of gaining employment generally revolve around bringing attention to myself via social media, networking or doing well in a competition. These types of methods involve getting into contact with the company via less formal means, such as talking with a friend who works at the company or reaching out to them on social media. These methods rely on building a good reputation and having a solid portfolio of work which is easy to access.
Here are some screenshots of some of my online work, these pieces were uploaded to a 3D model viewing site called Sketchfab. If I made a name for myself through success in a competition an employer would be able to look through my work without issue, and they could see the type of work I am capable of developing.
Parts 3 and 4
In order to demonstrate to both Universities and employers that I have an appropriate skill set I require an up-to-date portfolio of my work. I designed an online portfolio of my work for my University interviews and it helped me secure a place in each interview. Here is a link to the site:
I broke the site down into different sections based on the skills being demonstrated, when showing the University interviewers my portfolio I would talk them through the work and explain the pieces. To do this I needed to be fully aware of what pieces of work are on the site and where they are laid out. Another consideration when making a portfolio is to only show the best of your work, I believe I could possibly reduce the amount of work in my portfolio so that the average quality of work is higher.
Below is a CV, by having this I can give employers a summary of my skills, qualifications, experience and character. By conveying these to the employer in a succinct manner they can get a sense of if I would be appropriate for the job or not and potentially invite me to an interview.
One method of potentially securing a job is by contacting employers directly, an example of this would be a cold call letter. This is a formal letter with the purpose of putting yourself out there and letting employers know who you are and why you would be appropriate for the job role. This could be a follow up after being in touch with the company recently and may be a better way of securing a job than traditional methods. I have chosen to create a mock cold call letter in the format of an email.
As a way of preparing for future job interviews I had a mock job interview for the position of “Junior Researcher” for the show Click. To prepare for the interview I familiarised myself with the show and looked at what the vacancy suggested was desired by the company. I was nervous during the interview, but I felt that it went very well. My interviewer told me afterwards that he had no criticisms and that I would have the job if it were a real interview. I found this a good way of familiarising myself with the interview process and what to expect.