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As part of our Computing T Level, students touch upon a wide range of areas, including software, before specialising in their second year. One of the biggest game companies in the world is Ubisoft, who are known for their work on series such as Assassins Creed, Rainbow Six, Just Dance and Rayman. As our students are interested in this area, we hosted one of Ubisoft's Lead Environment Artists, Henry Kelly, for a talk to these students about how he got into the industry and what the industry are looking for in new talent. Joining us for this talk were also some students from our Art and Design and Music pathways, who were eager to learn about the opportunities they could go into.
Henry started out in the industry by learning how to make 3D Models and building up his portfolio throughout the years, so that the industry could clearly see what sort of work he was capable of. Throughout his career, Henry has continued to develop his skills and through this, is now a Lead Environment Artist at Ubisoft, which is a role with a lot of responsibility. Henry's advice to our students was that you should never stop learning and that they should continue to improve their skills throughout their time with us at college and time spent in the industry.
Henry's talk started with a video of the different franchises that Ubisoft have worked on, to show the range of what it is that they do. He then went into detail about the different types of artists that there currently are in the industry, from Environment Artists and Character Artists to Weapon Artists, and explained how each role is so important as they have to focus on not only the detail, but also the story and how realistic this would be for the player. As an example, on development of Zombie Army 4 during his time at Rebellion (another Game Studio), the team had to think about how weapons would match the timescale of the Second World War for a more grounded game - even with the added element of Zombies! He also touched upon how for our Music students that the roles available in the game industry would be just as varied for those in Computing or Art, working on different aspects from character dialogue, sound effects to soundtrack and score.
Students also learnt during this talk that one of the ways the game industry look for new artists is through the online portfolio site ArtStation. By uploading your work on the site, you can ensure that you have an up to date online portfolio which any employer or company can see in case they are interested in your potential. Henry showed us some examples of his first initial designs that were on there and how he has changed these/improved these over the years. This was of particular interest to our Art students, who can use this platform as they continue to build and grow their portfolios as well over their 2 years with us.
Ubisoft Lead Environment Artist Henry (L) with Computing Lecturer David (R)
Thanks very much to Henry for taking some of his time to come and speak to our students and inspire them about the games industry. We hope to continue working with him in the future!