Education, traditional art or game art & design?

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  03 March 2013
Education, traditional art or game art & design?

Hi, My name's Chris and I'm looking at going into the games industry as an environment artist. I've been looking at SCAD's game art & design course, but I also live right down the road from the University of Alabama, which has a good bachelor of fine arts program. My technical skills and understanding relating to 3d art are pretty good at this point, and what I lack are traditional art skills. My question is this: is a degree focusing on games really that beneficial compared to a standard degree in fine arts and a good portfolio that's relevant to the games industry? I may be in a position to get a full ride to UA if I get my ACT high enough, so I could major in fine arts and minor in computer science or programming or something, and in the meantime continue to build my CG portfolio.

The pros to taking the UA route would be that it's close to home, I may not have to pay anything, and if I minor in computer science that would make me very marketable in the games industry and elsewhere, the cons would be lack of networking, and that I'd have to do a lot of leg work to connect what I would be learning to what I want to get a job at.

And the pro's and cons of going to SCAD or DIGIPEN would pretty much be the opposite, in that, the course work would better prepare me for the games industry, but it would be far from home and potentially very expensive.
  03 March 2013
A good fine arts education, combined with some basic comp-sci, lots of practicing on your own, and maybe ten thousand dollars worth of online classes from CGSociety, Gnomon, and the like will, in most regards, put you in just as good a place as a more expensive specialized school would. The biggest thing you miss out on is having a lot of friends with similar goals as you do; it's gonna take a lot of self-discipline to put in the hours it takes to get good at CG if all your friends are playing video games all day and partying all night.
  03 March 2013
You make a very good point, and it would certainly be awesome to go to a school and meet people who are into cg. Maybe it would be best to show you where I am in terms of skill level right now.

This is a low poly environment set I just finished this morning.
  03 March 2013
I also forgot to mention, the morning after I started this thread, I was randomly offered a job over facebook to work on a 2 dimensional iOS game probably making modular level elements, so that does change things a little bit. Of course, I would be much more happy if it were 3d. Even if I decide to go ahead with the project and come out with a shipped title under my belt, I still think I should get a BFA.
  03 March 2013
Hey man,

You might be surprised at how many connections you could make at Alabama. Definitely setup a visit if you haven't already. Most of the people I've worked with in the Midwest are Big10 grads, with a few AI grads mixed in.

  03 March 2013
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