What is a Bachelor’s Degree in Game Art?

While some people may consider it impractical, a bachelor’s degree in game art is actually a good degree to get. If you’re interested in art and video games, you’ll get marketable skills from a school that specializes in video game design. Although the job market for animators and artists is not expected to grow very quickly over the next decade, there will be jobs available for people with the skills to do them.

What You’ll Study

A video game design degree is a four-year bachelor’s degree with a concentration in 3-D animation, writing or programming. As an artist, you’ll be choosing the animation degree, so you’ll be getting essentially the same fine arts degree as an illustrator or painter but with a focus on 3-D animation software such as 3DStudio Max and Maya. You’ll learn how to draw portraits by studying anatomy and proportion, and you’ll take courses on sculpture and other fundamental artistic skills. These classes will be mixed with computer-related courses throughout the first two or three years of your degree.

The process of animating video game characters has changed a lot over the years, and today’s animators need to have a strong understanding of computers and a lot of efficiency when it comes to workflow and character design, according to Gamasutra. The software you use will make your work highly efficient, but you also must consider how hard your computer has to work to render your artwork. Animation software is very processor-intensive, so it’s important to reduce the processor’s burden as much as possible when working as part of a team.

Becoming a Professional

During your education, you’ll work as a team member on student projects that teach you the video game design process from start to finish. Just like in the professional world, you’ll be in charge of one part of the design pipeline so that the team works efficiently and quickly. The design pipeline is sort of like an assembly line because it allows all the members of the team to focus on one small part of the job. For example, as an artist, you may be in charge of modeling, skinning, rigging, materials or animation.

Modeling is the process of sculpting the virtual clay into a character using a pen tablet as well as the various tools included with the software. When modeling is finished, you’ll have a colorless character model with the ideal mesh topology for animation. Skinning is the process of applying textures to the model so that it looks lifelike and believable. Rigging involves applying an armature to the model so that the animator can create animation loops by positioning the bones or joints of the armature using keyframes.

Job Outlook

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, multimedia artists and animators earned an above-average median salary of $63,630 in 2014. The market for this profession is supposed to grow by six percent over the next 10 years, which is about average for all occupations in the economy. These figures include people who work as artists and animators for television and movies as well as video games although the field is competitive for all related industries.

Related Resource: ADA Programming Language

Video game animation is a challenging job that gives you a chance to earn a big paycheck using your creativity. If you work hard, you could be involved in a project that revolutionizes the industry. Whether you have natural artistic ability or just a lot of interest and determination, a bachelor’s degree in game art will be a big benefit.