Delaney King

Delaney King



New game students asking about what techniques they should look to mastering not necessarily taught in schools. Biiiiig question but I will give some pointers.

1. Trim sheets. Thankfully trim sheets have a growing number of tutorials appearing. 2. Decals. Decals allow you to put small details on large surfaces without needing large textures. This is often used for terrain, but they actually are extremely useful for everything.

3. Modular Kit building You are often taught to model scenery in big chunks or single models, but we actually make them from modular kits. The important thing here is learning to make snap together modules that work with the grid, are seamless and render quickly.

4. Packing textures Being able to take all your greyscale texture data and combine them into RGB channels. 5. Scene optimisation and organising Being able to go around a level, turning off collisions, shadow casting, grouping objects, switching up and down shadow map res...

...switching out LODs, setting oclusion bounds, backfacing and using volume triggers to turn on and off parts of a level. This "house keeping" skill seriously impresses, and anyone who can wade into a chuggy level and make it run smooth will gain respect.

6. Importing clean Master what all those little values on the import and export settings. Everything from textures imported with the right sRGB settings (noob mistake 1), to picking compression types. Take time to learn all the settings.

Sounds boring and technical, but it really is just a case of reading the help files and taking notes, then checking on what the dumb terms mean. 7. Lighting. You may never want to do lighting in a game, but learning how it works will allow you to make better everything else.

And by lighting I mean things like shadow casting, static objects, dynamic lights, shadow bake resolution, shadow UV coordinates, cascades and so on. Don't know what any of those words mean? Well... that's why you need to look at lighting :)

8. Organisation Naming conventions, version control, folder structures, moving asset paths, working folder structures, yaaaaaaaaaawn You absolutely must be on top of this stuff to work in games. You can't lose a file or break a link or stomp on existing work.

9. Life drawing Regardless of your discipline, life drawing will improve your art abilities. This is because it teaches you how to SEE like an artist. Animators, lighting artists, level builders... all benefit from gaining the skills you learn in life drawing classes.

10. Self promotion Its a huge market out there and you need to stand out. Skills like folio management, website set up, writing emails, writing cover letters, networking at events, hell, even learning a few jokes to break the ice. Know who is who, what is happening...

...and what they need. You and your career are part of your focus, and you will be amazed what opportunities can result from a conversation at a tram stop or a karaoke session at a CON. This is why when I hired students I always talked to their teachers and friends...

...I didn't want to hire assholes who would disrupt my team. So being known as being good to work with in really important.

Hope that helps you!

And if you just feel like treating me the price of a coffee whilst I am home sick and just shitposting:

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