My Tuesday starts at 9:00a.m., sometimes earlier if I have homework
that needs to be done. At about 10:00a.m., I make the hour and a half
commute to the Bay Area where I attend the Art Institute of California
in San Francisco (AiCA-SF).
have two classes on Tuesday. My first is Storyboarding, and my second
is Lighting and Texturing. Both classes are delivered in four hour
I get to school knowing I still have to apply my textures to the
homework from the previous week before class starts. That kind of stuff
happens when you don’t have the programs at home. Luckily, the school
has all of the programs more or less readily accessible to its students
at all times.
of the classes us students take at AiCA are designed to tie directly
into the industry of our choice. Storyboarding, which is best described
as similar to making comics from scripts, is all about prepping what
will be on screen and making it visual for the team before modeling,
animation, and other steps take place. That way we can figure out all
of the problems, camera-wise, before weeks have been spent on a scene
my Lighting and Texturing class is designed to teach us how to make the
levels and characters light up and become hued. Since normal models are
simply a dull grey, texturing is the process through which all your
favorite characters really get life. The cool mix of blue, purple, and
black on Cloud's pants? That's texturing. Lighting the scenes is, as
can be guessed, making elements of a scene visible. We learn about the
theatrical aspects of lights and the gameplay aspects, like which
things should be lighted in certain ways to keep the player on the
Art Institute of California-SF
Storyboarding starts. Today’s Storyboarding class is about pitches. The
assignment is a pitch for a 30 second commercial for any product we
choose. I am going to be pitching a commercial for DC’s upcoming comic,
During our break I play some of the new Syphon Filter
for PSP, finally justifying my purchase of a PSP. After most of the
class has gone I go up and present my pitch, focusing on the recent
five page preview that was put online.
goes over very well, with the critiques consisting of, “That’s good.
Now get to work on the boards.” That’s this week’s homework: get all
the storyboards from the pitch done. Twenty-five or so boards.
my pitch out of the way I head across the street to the main building.
AiCA-SF has three buildings all centering around the U.N. Plaza. I head
into the computer lab that my next class takes place in and I start
applying my textures to the teacher-provided models. The scene is an
alley with a dumpster and trash can.
I made the textures while at home, but didn’t have the right version of Photoshop to get them applicable for texturing.
I have my scene all nice, finished, and tucked away. Right at the start
of my next class we turn in the homework and settled in for a lecture
on making glass and other reflective surfaces.
This teacher is actually an employee of Secret Level
which has recently been bought by Sega. Every teacher at Ai has
actually been a part of their respective industry. The man responsible
for the Army Men franchise (Keith Bullen) was my Game Design teacher.
matter what the class, there has always been one thing constantly told
to us. Make contacts! That’s one of the things every teacher stresses
to us students, and the teacher has just mentioned that again.
learning about glass, we go over Toon Shading, more commonly known as
Cel Shading. After going over this we have two options, to make our own
cartoony character to Cel Shade, or use his own model of Zim from Invader Zim. I choose to make my own Green Lantern.
For the next hour I work on modeling the character in Maya.
Smith's Inspired Green Lantern
I pack all of my stuff up and get ready to leave. Once I get home, I
have 3D Camera Techniques homework to get finished. More storyboarding.
I finally get to bed a little after midnight.