Intern Role Profile - Game Art
Role Title: Environment Artist
University course: BA (Hons) Computer Animation Arts
Hi, I’m Laura. I’m an art intern at Rare Studios in the Midlands. I work in the environment department creating environment models and textures for video games.
My favourite aspects of my role
I love modelling and could spend every waking moment just doing that. But I also love our art reviews as those times are a moment for our team to get together and discuss everyone’s work individually and what we feel works and what doesn’t. I think most people find it difficult to have their peers critiquing their work but I love it as it helps me know what level I’m at and how to improve. Plus, everyone’s work receives critique to the same extent; we’re all part of the same team and nobody treats you like your work is less important or not up to the same standard just for being an intern.
WhatI have learnt
I had only ever made a few environment assets as I tend to focus more on character creation so a lot of what I’ve done at Rare has been new to me. Uving for environments has been new to me. There’s very little information online about best practices for this and how to go about laying out uvs so that you can get the largest amount of texture space with minimal seams and stretching. It’s the sort of thing you have to do for yourself because each asset is different and might have to be handled in a slightly different manner. One of my first tasks was making tileable textures and this highlighted some areas I hadn’t thought to consider before such as: how big of an area in game a given texture sheet would represent, the amount of detail and size of the detail in a given texture and how it looks in game. I’ve also had to learn new software and how to better manage my time in a studio setting.
I feel I’m often given the more interesting or challenging tasks on the environment team which is really cool as the more complicated or individual an asset is the more I learn from it (and the more enjoyable it is). I think everyone looking to apply for an internship scheme should bring with them a desire to be challenged and to get stuck into whatever task is assigned to them. I’ve also had opportunities to help contribute to the look of our game and my opinion is always valid. That’s one of the best things about being an intern at Rare, you’re not treated any differently to colleagues who have been working in the industry for years!
Application hints and tips
I would say if you’re applying for an art role then I wouldn’t worry about making a show reel specifically for it unless animation or vfx were in the role description. I think that having an online portfolio of work is much more accessible for managers at the studios to look through and just makes the process easier for them. In my case, even the work-in-progress images I had on my website were taken into consideration as they were deemed to show potential. If you’re applying for a role involving texturing and modelling and you have traditional paintings then I would include those too as that shows whether or not you have an eye for colour and composition which are important skills for texture artists to have. You might even be given the chance to create your own concepts so demonstrating a variety of skills is important. During the interviews, I would say be yourself but the best version of yourself. I think I come across really well in interviews because I make sure to really consider my answers to questions but I’m also not afraid to say when I’m not sure (i.e. I don’t just make things up). Being friendly is a must because if you get to the stage where your potential manager is interviewing you then they want to know if you’re going to fit into the studio culture and do well collaborating with others.