ga me art stu­dents

Jenna Ruth is in term 11 out of 12 in the Games Track, with half a year to grad­u­a­tion. We chat­ted about her ex­pe­ri­ence so far

ImagineFX: Sci-fi & Fantasy Art magazine - - Gnomon’s Games Track -

Can you briefly tell us a bit about your back­ground?

I’m an LA na­tive who stud­ied fine arts in New York. I be­came in­ter­ested in 3D art af­ter school. I’ve been play­ing video games since 1994, so it was an awe­some dis­cov­ery to find out that mak­ing them was some­thing I could do.

What first at­tracted you to tak­ing the Games Track op­tion at Gno­mon?

The pos­si­bil­ity of be­ing able to tell sto­ries and cre­ate worlds. That sense of com­mu­ni­ca­tion and ex­plo­ration was some­thing that I loved about art, and felt very strongly about in some of my favourite games. I just be­gun my demo reel, so hope­fully I’ll be able to start post­ing lots of cool stuff on Art Sta­tion soon.

What’s it been like?

So far, it has been an in­cred­i­bly chal­leng­ing but also highly re­ward­ing ex­pe­ri­ence. There is so much to learn. It’s ex­cit­ing but also over­whelm­ing some­times. A big chal­lenge is just ad­just­ing to how dif­fer­ent the work­flow is from film. Nor­mal-map bak­ing is quite dif­fer­ent from any­thing else, and the pace of the pipe­line is quite dif­fer­ent.

There are sev­eral aspects that I was sur­prised to find fun. It’s im­mensely sat­is­fy­ing to throw a level block­out in-en­gine and get to run around in it im­me­di­ately. Also, tex­tur­ing has be­come in­cred­i­bly fun. The com­bi­na­tion of phys­i­cally based shad­ing and pro­jec­tion paint­ing pro­grams give you a solid start and re­ally help to make the process fluid.

What’s next for you?

I hon­estly can’t wait to get out there and make games. I would love to con­trib­ute to a pas­sion­ate team of peo­ple mak­ing a game that they care about. The pro­gramme is fairly in­ten­sive, so there isn’t much time for many out­side ac­tiv­i­ties. It’s in­cred­i­bly re­ward­ing though, so for those just start­ing, don’t get dis­cour­aged! So, I’m ex­cited to get to work on per­sonal projects with the ex­tra time I’ll have af­ter grad­u­at­ing.

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