How do you manage to find time to keep up to date with modeling techniques, new programs, etc?
This was a question from Game Artist Forums – since the technology is constantly changing, and software is always evolving, how do you stay up to date?
Just reading various sites on the net can keep you to date with new games and their engines, tools and other other tech, and hanging around forums (such as Polycount) will keep you fairly up to date with what is new out there. Looking at other peoples posted artwork will point you towards techniques that may not always be new, but perhaps cover something you’ve never considered.
As for actually sitting down and learning new techniques, or trying to put into practice something that you have spotted online, I occasionally do this at home, but to be honest a lot of this happens at work. When we got Zbrush at work a few years ago we all just sat down and played with it – looked at tutorials on the net and simply got tore in. We learned off one another, someone would ask “Does anyone know a good way to this?”. More often than not my home learning is down to seeing interesting art on the internet.
You don’t need to know a package inside out to use it – I don’t know Maya these days, I’ve never used XSI, but if I got a job where I had to use either of those packages I’d probably be up and running within a few days. The only major difference is the interface, the rest is pretty much the same from package to package. When we got a trial of Mudbox, we were creating things in minutes because we knew Zbrush.
Learning on the job is something that just happens as a matter of fact.
Now, if you are making (for example) Playstation 2 or Nintendo DS assets day to day, then you most likely wont be learning highpoly sculpting and DirectX shaders on the job, and you’ll have to put in the effort to learn it outside your normal daily tasks – though you can easily hack away 30 minutes over a lunchbreak.
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