UAT is a very project based university. Every industry that our students go into involves some amount of collaboration or teambuilding. Getting to build collaboration skills before you leave university will give you a great advantage when you get to the industry. Throughout my time here at UAT I’ve had many classes that require me to be on projects. From this my skills have developed to be able to work in teams efficiently and even gain a lot of leadership skills. I’ve gained portfolio worthy pieces and projects to put on my resume. As a student who is about to graduate I appreciate the collaboration skills that I have gained and the projects that I have been a part of.
Since we are so heavily project based, I sometimes get asked, “Can I work on my own projects?”. My answer to this is yes! Just because we are a project based University doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to work on your own personal projects. In fact, we really encourage you to work on your own ideas and projects. You’d be surprised to find out that all if not a large majority of the projects that we are currently running in our Game Production Studio class are projects created by students. A student who has an idea for a project is encouraged to develop their idea that can possibly open up more opportunities for other students down the line. While having a whole bunch of group projects on your portfolio is good, sometimes having your own personal small project that you have completed really shows what you’ve learned and what your skill level is.
Student: Kathleen Norris
For this blog I wanted to highlight one of the classes that I am currently taking that is a great example of how UAT works with students to ensure that they have the collaborative skills they need while still being able to do solo work. This class is my Advanced Environment Creation class. To be sure you don’t get intimidated by the workload and what’s required for the class I’d like to remind you that this class is a 400 level class that Game Art and Animation students can expect to take on their last couple semesters. This means that students who take this class should know how to do everything in their field and have taken almost every Game Art class that the University offers to ensure that they know their skill level, pipeline, and can manage themselves for an entire 7 weeks. Now this class is an exception to the normal teaching styles that you may encounter here at UAT. Since we focus on Synchronic Learning, our classes will go into many different teaching styles. This class focuses on Student Discovery Learning, and Real World Situational Learning. Unlike most classes the professor for this class doesn’t teach anything, due to what I said earlier about the student being required to know almost everything about their degree, but they are there for critiquing and to help the student. In a sense this class is entirely dedicated to the student showing off all of what they’ve learned in the classes they’ve taken.
Student: Joshua Milano
This class is based around 2 projects that the student will do. The requirements for these projects are as follows: one project must be worked on in conjunction with one of the projects run in the Game Production Studio class, and the second project is a style match of your decision. The student has 7 weeks to work on the project and must go from concept to modeled, textured, and animated in the game engine. The first week is dedicated to preproduction, where the student can gray box or do concept art, create a style guide, an asset list, and create a document giving background as to what the student will be doing. The second week is dedicated to creating a milestone list, which is essentially a schedule of what the student will be doing each week. As you can see a lot of this class is entirely up to the student. From the description you can tell what I mean by the class incorporating both group projects and solo work.
Student: Zakari Kaszubowski
Now that we are half way through the semester we have already completed one of the projects. I personally chose to do my group project first by working with the game I am an art lead on, The Deadliest War. I’m not a big fan of how my level turned out because on time issues on my part but you can see some of these examples that are my fellow classmates work. I’m excited for this next half of the semester because I get to work on my personal project. I’ve been wanting to do something like this for a while now and I am happy I can do it for a class. For my personal project I am working on a single room that someone lives in. This room will have a bed, desk, bookshelf, and a lot of other small detailed objects in it. I am doing this is a Dota, WoW, and Kingdoms of Amalur style of art in which you can see below. It is a fantasy painted style that requires a lot of detail and time. I am planning on making it a fantasy styled scene to match the style. A simple bedroom scene with a desk that has a whole bunch of books and scrolls out.
This class is such a great example of how UAT puts its students in a real world scenario and really helps they show off what they’ve learned and what they can do. I love this class because I’m in my last semester and am getting quality portfolio pieces I can use to get a job with. I also love the fact that the professor is there every step of the way offering advice. The specific professor who runs this class, Professor Marquit, gives some of the best critique I’ve encountered. He is honest and sometimes blunt in telling you what’s wrong but then offers you advice on how to fix it as well as offers to meet with you if you need it to fix anything that he’s pointed out.
That’s all for today!