I’m still working my way through the list of Magic: The Gathering creature tokens. This time it’s back to White with the Soldier token.
I’ve worked as a game industry artist for getting on ten years now (note to 16-year-old-self: WIN) and I frequently get the same question from relatives of non-industry kids who want to get into the business.
What should I study if I want to get a job as game artist? This question comes up at the dentist’s office more frequently than you’d think.
The short answer is: study art and, to a lesser extent, math. Study drawing first, then sculpture, then painting. Get at least a B in an art history class so you’ll have an inkling of how to evaluate your own work. Have a decent grasp of geometry and dabble at least a bit in C++ (or at least Python) so you know what the programmers are talking about.
Worry about learning software later.
But if there’s one sub-subject I’ve found incredibly useful over my career, it’s the study of armor. I can’t count the number of times I’ve had to create a suit of armor for a job. Or just a helmet. Or a dwarf rocking a hauberk. Or a Marine from 2125 with her ballistic combat gear.
If you’re a fantasy nerd you’ll probably absorb a fair amount of knowledge by osmosis, but be careful about learning from fantasy art. An awful lot of non-functional armor has been rendered by artists who haven’t hit the books.
Years ago before I retired from combat with the Society For Creative Anachronism (I kept losing dental work from being whacked in the helmet with rattan cudgels), I spent weeks building a lorica segmentada out of sole leather and 3/4″ copper pound rivets.
Wearing, tweaking, wearing, tweaking, and then fighting in that armor taught me volumes about pinch points, flexibility, and ventilation.
I wrestled with this model for a while, going back and forth between what’s historically accurate and what’s cool, all the while hindered by what’s possible with the current generation of 3D printers. I put in a fair amount of detail that I can’t print yet, especially in the skirt.
And of course I’m limited by the 3D printing overhang rule, so the pose is fairly static. And that sword is crazy large but that’s about the smallest it can get and still print reliably.
Unfortunately it’ll be a while until consumer-level 3d printing technology catches up with modeling and scanning software. I’m looking to create miniatures that are at least of the quality one can get from a large-scale foundry like Games Workshop. The resolution’s almost adequate on the Replicator 1, but the lack of ability to print overhangs is a huge limiting factor.
The Form1, and up-and-comers B9Creator and mUVe are looking like serious contenders for my next upgrade, since they appear to have a higher resolution and their prints are mostly unfettered by gravity.