Faculty and Industry Experts Create Artists out of Game Art and Design Students

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    Aug 27, 2013
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Faculty and Industry Experts Create Artists out of Game Art and Design Students Photo by Jason White

The highly competitive industry of game development requires artists to be creative and original. Competition starts before vying for the job position, when prospective students enrol for a gaming design program. At Centennial College, successful students will be enrolled in Game Art and Design (6422), because they first have to be carefully screened for their skills and abilities. The program, previously known as Game Design & Development, instils the fundamentals of art and design while incorporating advancements in the trends and technology in the video game industry.

In addition to common college requirements for enrolling in postsecondary programs, applicants need to submit a portfolio, containing a minimum of 10 recent pieces. A creative portfolio can include life drawings, sketches, paintings, and digitally-produced artwork. The successful candidates will learn how to apply art fundamentals which will be the foundation of advanced courses like Digital Painting and Compositing. They will be trained on design programs like 3DS Max, Unreal Editor, Photoshop, Final Cut Pro and Sound; however, their focus remains on designing, so the coding requirements for the playable game levels can be completed in collaboration with the game programming students from Centennial College’s School of Engineering Technology and Applied Sciences (SETAS). Furthermore, the schools game design in Canada program consists of history and theory classes, teaching creative storytelling and insights on the gaming industry, in order for students to create game characters and environment that have appeal.

Centennial’s intensive courses are joined by industry professionals as professors, giving students more value for their classroom-based education. Industry insights and connections gained through the Game Art and Design faculty provide students with real-life examples and learn current industry trends. Students also get mingle with industry professionals during Centennial-hosted events and trips to see experts in panel discussions.

At the end of the program, students partake in mandatory field placements after completing a demo reel and achieving a cumulative GPA of at least 60% at the end of the third semester. While Centennial will help by providing potential placement opportunities, it is a student’s responsibility to apply to jobs and successfully gain employment. Similar to college admissions, students will provide the companies their demo reel. They will engage in hands-on experience and increased industry exposure during their months of training at their placements.

Due to the popularity of the program and the demands of the gaming industry, preference will be given to prospective students with traditional life drawing skills and those capable of manipulating graphics applications. This game design program at Centennial College model route accepts students in the fall with continuous studies of four semesters at Centennial’s Centre for Creative Communications campus, followed by a field placement. The program is rewarding as it offers the training and skill-sharpening tools needed for a career in the gaming industry. Game Art and Design graduates can apply their abilities in various professions including character animators, level designers, and game concept artists.

Author's Profile

The author here writes about the Game Design Program in Toronto offered by Centennial College. He further gives an overview of the entire course, the industry specific dynamics and the holistic approach taken up by the college.

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