De Montfort University, Leicester, Game Art Design.

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  1. #1
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    De Montfort University, Leicester, Game Art Design.

    Anyone here applying there, or were there, or are there?

    Im applying there next year, and I was wondering if anyone had any first hand experience.

    Cant wait for Avatar to come out!!
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  3. #2
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    Smile

    I've applied to De Montfort and Norwich, and I'm wondering the same thing as you! De Montfort looks like it has better facilities, but I still need to attend open days, I think thats the best thing to do to get come to a conclusion as to what one is right or better for us..

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    Yep, i'm there!

    Currently in my first year. I would highly recommend this course. We've just had skillset in assessing the course, and from the sounds of things it went well, if we get it, it will greatly increase the weighting of this course in the industry. Check out the link at the bottom for more information and note that under 'who is accredited?' there is only ONE art course. And that's in Scotland. I suggest you keep an eye on the link over the next few weeks to see if we get it. (It takes a few weeks for them to get back to us.)

    Besides, even if we don't the standard on this course is awesome, the work the 3rd years are currently producing is amazing. If you can catch an open day then do so, that's how i was sold ^.^

    I'd be happy to answer any questions you have =)

    http://www.skillset.org/games/accreditation/

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    I was on a visit last week, had a little chat with a tutor and some of the students, and their quality of work was certainly outstanding!
    Even though most of my work is art/illustration oriented, it sure would be nice to have that level of 3d knowledge under my belt.
    I'm guessing that you're doing art in the first year Dan, how do the classes work out usually? All I've seen is a tiny studio and the comp room, it would be nice to know if there is anything else to it (not saying there should be, I would be happy in a 2mx2m cubicle, haha)

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  6. #5
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    Yeah, i'm in the first year. The cool thing about this course, is that it's built around being a better artist. The visual design element is the core of why this is a good course. The 3D stuff only looks good because the work everyone puts into their 2D art. For instance, if you can't draw a face/don't understand facial anatomy then you mostly likely can't model one!

    I come from a fine art background, and literally choose this course for the 2D side alone, the 3D is just an added bonus.

    The studio you saw is the lecture studio. We have a seperate studio in a different building which is for life drawing. Life drawing runs throughout the second half of each year.

    The first term, up until christmas is spent out on location everyweek building up core observation skills focusing on areas such as perspective and rendering etc. It's designed to get people up to speed very quickly.

    It's amazing to see the progression of everyone since we all started.

    The comp room is know as 'the labs' and is where anyone who doesn't have access to 3ds Max (which is most people) get their 3D work done. It's quite handy having the 3rd years on hand to provide help.

    Hope that helps =)

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  7. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dannius™ View Post
    The cool thing about this course, is that it's built around being a better artist. The visual design element is the core of why this is a good course. The 3D stuff only looks good because the work everyone puts into their 2D art. For instance, if you can't draw a face/don't understand facial anatomy then you mostly likely can't model one!
    Exactly my thoughts! Every course brochure that ends with "...even if you can't draw!" makes me cringe. I'm having a hard time convincing people that my illustrations are not a matter of "talent" or "genetics", but research and practice...

    On the other hand, I'm still not sure about the portfolio. I got figure covered, but landscapes are a pain. Apparently we can't use reference photos, but should go outside instead, which, y' know, I'm not going to when I work digitally (which is listed in the requirements). It's a bit confusing, but I guess I will need to improvise with some extra layer of grey and gloom.

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    Quote Originally Posted by A-T View Post
    I'm having a hard time convincing people that my illustrations are not a matter of "talent" or "genetics", but research and practice...
    Couldn't agree more! I get non-artists (or just bad ones) say to me 'how did you do that!? i wish i had talent.' And i just want to say to them, 'if only you knew the amount of hours i studied anatomy and colour theory etc each day.'

    But alas, they still probably wouldn't grasp exactly what it takes to make what they simply view as a nice picture an actual reality.

    I wouldn't worry too much about environments. Certianly work on it, but that's what this course is here for =)

    In terms of digital landscapes, i would recommend the following. Photos arn't exactly banned or anything, it's just too many people literally copy photos.

    What i like to do, is pick a landscape, make a few thumbnail sketches getting perspective correct on location, then maybe do a value study and a quick watercolour for colour reference. Then lastly take some photos. Upon returning home, then, i do as much as i can without using a photo, for instance i usually scan in a thumbnail and do a black and white speed paint from my value study and then lastly use colour based on the watercolour study and the photo.

    It's a bit long winded, but i find it incredibly useful in terms of actually learning something and understanding the subject.

    I'm more of a character artist myself, but as the first term is all environment based i gradually developed the above process.

    Sounds to me like you have the right attitude for this sort of course, which as it turns out many current first years unfortunately don't, but then again they wont make it to the second year so it's their loss.

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    Thanks for the information on the course and some of its structure. But do you have any idea how De Montfort would compare with Norwich? Ther are both named as 'Game art and design'.

    Thanks.

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    Unhappy

    Hi!

    I'm spanish, living in spain, and applying to the DMU for the next year, and I have some questions... hehehe

    Dannius, do you know any spanish student there? it would be GREAT to me to talk with someone that has done all the stuff that i'm doing now to try to go there. If you know someone... PLEASE let me know, hehehe.

    Also I'm about to send the apply this week or maybe the next one... Do i have to send my portfolio too? or wait to them to reply? Should i include the reference letters also? or just write their names and contact and the DMU will contact them?
    For the portfolio... I have tons of originals in DIN-A3 and tons of digital stuff... Do I have to scan them and send all in a DVD or scan and print them in DIN-A4...? I really have no idea

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    Do they allow 3rd yr transfers?

    Reading this thread actually makes me want to cry lol.

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    so... i just made an apply for the game art design course in DMU. sent the portfolio and all the stuff.
    I'm a mature student and an international one (i'm from spain) so i'm very nervous in what can happen...

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  13. #12
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    Ah sorry i havn't posted on here for a while, been busy! Right to answer a few questions:

    @ Carlos-will - I can't comment too much on comparisons with Norwich, however i can confirm that we have been awarded accreditation by skillset. Which means this is the only non private art course in england to be industry approved! (I think there's another in scotland) This will greatly increase employablity from this degree. Also the 'design' part of the course title shouldn't be taken too seriously this, is an art course through and through.

    @ sandpenguin - I'm afraid i don't know any spanish students on the course, however there are alot of overseas students here. Unfortunately i'm not sure how the application process would differ for you. Best of luck with your application though!

    @ iwasupaboveit - I would imagine they don't allow 3rd year transfers but you never know, i suppose if your work was up to scratch and matched the work ethos of the course... How comes this thread makes you want to cry? lol

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    Course?

    Hi Dan,

    I have recently applied to the course at De Montfort, I only need to pass college and I should be there this september, it doesn't really tell you much on the DMU website, but I am wondering what stuff you do there?

    I mean at interview I didn't get to look around 'cause it was snowing when traveling and I was late (lol) I got to see some of the 3rd years work which was great but it was only 3D modeling which I am not much interested in, I like the drawing better but I've never done character design before lol I guess I just want to know what things you can do on the course? I mean how does it all work?

    Is it true that you work in groups on some projects and can specialize in different areas of them? Like modeling, 2D concept art etc... I mean is it like you can pick your own thing to do on the last year or something, I really want to know.

    And one last thing...Is it true you get to go to Arizona for a year if you want? Thats been bugging me cause it wasn't mentioned at interview. lol thanks!

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    Hey LewRevolution,

    Ok lets tackle 3d modelling first - personally i'm not a fan of 3d modelling but i love this course despite the hateful program that is 3ds max, pretty much everyone hates it to begin with (myself included) but now i feel competent enough in it to get by. I should stress that on this course you will 3d model ALOT however you will probably (and should) draw just as much if not even more. They kind of enhance each other, things i've modelled i now find even easier to draw.

    Group projects come into effect in the 2nd year and the point is of course to get used to working in a team and more people means a more complex outcome can be produced.

    When it comes to specializing, it's not an option in the sense of being able to choose only to do concept art or 3d modelling. This course attempts to develop an all round level of competence in 3d modelling and 2d drawing (also sculpture work)

    HOWEVER - Everyone has their unique attributes as artists and generally as time goes on you can kind of tell what people are most interested in and what they excel at. For instance you might in a group project have one person who loves drawing/modelling environments and one who loves drawing/modelling characters. So you've got your character and environment artist right there. Finally in the 3rd year, you set your own brief, producing conceptual artwork and 3d modelling an outcome.

    The best way to sum it up is that on this course you will do all aspects of what an artist could do on a game, even though when you get a job you'd probably only focus in one area. The aim is to broaden your options. The tutors generally just want you to be the best artist you can be so that you can do whatever you want when you graduate, personally i plan to try and go into the film industry.

    The Arizona thing, it's certainly mentioned in the course information, however we have not been offered it yet so i can't really comment. However it's a flexible course, quite a few 2nd years are in different countries atm doing internships and will be returning next year to complete their 3rd year.

    Hope that was helpful! I'm happy to answer any more questions =)

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  17. #15
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    OMG this is awesome.....Ive got my interview soon and hopefully ill see some of u guys in september......currently in ARt foun atm and ran in to Michael Powell on Wednesday...who told me to bring some work by end of week..but ye cant wait to start ....saw some work ...like Cameron from 3rd year.....

    DAn ..if ur still reading this...do we have to use 3ds max ?

    PS. i think i added or messaged some of u in deviantart...we should get a chat goin or somethin

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    Thanks Dan! Thats brilliant information, I guess I have a few more though.

    So is it that on your 2nd or 3rd year you'll all work together/in groups to create a playable game level? I guess if this is the case, you'll work closely with the programming students, but I'm not entirely sure lol. And that its mostly independent stuff in your 1st year like studies of life drawing and things?

    Oh and how does the course structure plan out through out the year? Like as in do you do different things every so often such as modeling for so long then maybe 2D work and get assessed at the end of it? And when are the computer labs open? Are they open like all day and you can go in when you want, like even on holidays? Finally (my last question) how does your timetable plan out? You know with like your lectures and things.

    Thanks!

    Last edited by LewRevolution; February 26th, 2010 at 02:00 PM.
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  19. #17
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    Ok here goes,

    @Saran09 - Yes we do unfortuantely have to use 3ds max. It's not so bad eventually, and the skills are transferable to other programs too. Oh and Cam's 3rd year work is AWESOME =)

    @LewRevolution - Year 1 and 2 visual design (2d) basically develops traditional art skills and works on fundamental art theory, with year 2 gradually going in the direction of digital painting and more conceptual work relating more specifically to industry work. In year 1, before christmas it's pretty much a fine art course (without the abstract nonsense) for the visual design module. Since christmas we have been doing some project related work, designing and producing concepts. This week i've actually made a sculpture of a head and shoulders which i was pretty happy with. Also after christmas there is life drawing every week.

    That's just the visual design part of the course, the other part of the course is the game production side (3d) every week we get a day in the labs where the tutor is available to provide tutorials and general help (failing that 3rd years are always around) The game production deadlines are longer than that of visual design and basically you just work your way up through projects from the beginning of the course getting more and more complex with deadlines varying from 2 weeks to a month. In year 1 you literally photograph things and model them, whereas year 2 requires some conceptual work to be produced to model things that don't exist. Also the group project appears in term 2 of year 2.

    It should be noted that game production and visual design run along side each other, in other words you will need to be working in 2d and 3d every day to meet the pretty short deadlines on this course.

    The 3rd year is an amalgamation of all your skills, and the visual design course becomes life drawing every week, and game production revolves around meeting industry briefs in term 1 and then the final major project takes over which is where you combine 2d and 3d to make a final in game asset/s (not 100% what final major is all about lol)

    There is no need to work with programmers, and it's not about making playable levels, it's just about the art . We use the unreal engine to check things work in engine, but it's pretty much it.

    Labs are open for most of the day, and at the end of term open later in the evening, they are also open for part or all of most holidays. As i don't personally use the labs, i don't really know the exact times!

    I can't speak for timetables of the 2nd and 3rd years, but i'm in mon, tues, weds and lectures tend to just fall into the general time alloted for each module.

    The most important thing to emphasize about this really is that if you want to succeed on this course, then you will have to be prepared to work ALOT. And from day 1 too. But as long as you have a passion for art and this course it shouldn't be a problem.

    There are just alot of first years each year who just don't commit and fall by the wayside. =(

    Hope that helps! =)

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  21. #18
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    Hi all, I'm new here, I have applied for this course and have been given a conditional place. I am just wondering about the amount of written work, from what I heard when I was down at the interview it seemed that there was not a major emphasis of this in the course.

    I am only asking this because I have been given a conditional place at Abertay in Scotland aswell and have been told that the course requires dissertations and has an emphasis on writen work.

    Thanx
    Alastair

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  22. #19
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    Hey guys) I wanna apply for the course next year as a overseas student, and i have some questions) Most of them were answered above, So i've got another one left:
    What about portfolio? What do i need to have in my portfolio? What do the tutors look for?

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  23. #20
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    Anyone starting this Sep?

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