Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Codemasters Guest Lecture; Concept Artist Mitch Small

I'd firstly like to start the blog by thanking Mitch and his colleague for coming in, what a fantastic day! So, thank you! I found the day extremely informative on the available roles within Codemasters and the game industry, and on the role of concept artist in particular. I think most importantly for myself, I found the whole thing enlightening, after everything I've been through in recent years, its the first time in a long time that I've truly been excited about working in the games industry and I all of a sudden had a million and one ideas sweeping through my head about what I's like to do and who I'd like to work for, and what personal work I could be producing, and what improvements I could be making with my digital painting amongst other things.
I've always been massively into racing games, a passion I also have in real life, particularly motorcycle racing, MotoGP and the Isle Of Man TT. Codemasters are one of the big hitters when it comes to racing games, I'm absolutely in love with the Dirt series. I picked up Dirt 3 the day it come out which I never do these days, and obviously the main car in it is Ken Block's 650bhp Fiesta, its the one on the front box art! Awesome! Jesus, I even have a Ken Block t-shirt and Ken Block trainers in the same design as the car!

              Ken Blocks 650 hp Ford Fiesta Details ken block fiesta               

Race Driver; Grid was also another of Codemasters, this game was epic to say the least, now, I wont give you a game review, but lets just put it this way, Race Driver was my Gran Turismo substitute for a long, long time, it was that good! And they obviously acquired the Formula One license a few years ago. Codemasters would be an ideal company to work for, for me then, working on racing games would be a dream job for me. To be perfectly honest, I've had an idea based on the racing genre for my FMP for a long time now, which is mental I know. I wont elaborate on anything right now, but this idea has been stuck with me since studying on the course previously a few years ago, so, watch this space!
Back to Mitch’s lecture, I was able to take some comprehensive notes which I think will be very helpful. The practical part of the lecture was also very informative and a lot of fun at the same time. Mitch took us through a step by step process from an initial idea to a final delivery of a concept. I though the pipeline we followed was awesome and I can probably incorporate all of the techniques we used into my own work, Inc. mood boards, thumb nailing using pens/ markers for composition, 3D block out using 3DS Max and the use of Photoshop for painting, texturing and detailing. I most enjoyed putting my Copics to use to do the marker thumbnails, although they are quick and rough, they give a fantastic insight into the composition, lighting etc. of the final piece, and it is definitely a technique I am going to begin using.
One last thought on work, I have been very intrigued by the idea of conceptualising and I'm hoping to give a few a try to boost my portfolio, the more I can produce the better really. One final thank you to Mitch, one thing he said has stuck in my head, life has given me a few blows in recent years, and I honestly though I'd never make it back to uni, never mind get a good degree and a job in the industry which is hopefully still to come. But, during the lecture, Mitch said that we need to stop worrying that everything isn't coming at once, all coming together at the same time, he said that life throws plenty of chances at you, and that's really what I needed to hear right now, so, thank you again Mitch.


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