For this week I’ve had a look at what is actually required of an environment artist. While I have previously had my idea of what I need to know I took the chance to look into what employers want. After much reading of old and current job adverts for environment artists (ignoring senior environment artist jobs) I have come up with a general list of what employers want, but there are slight variations between jobs.  Here’s my list:

  • Strong traditional artistic skills
  • Expert level Max and/or Maya skills
  • Strong Photoshop skills
  • A knowledge of Z-brush and/or Mudbox
  • Knowledge of game engines an advantage (Unreal is widely used)
  • High and low polygon modelling
  • Texturing and surface shading skills
  • Lighting (understanding and application)
  • Understanding of composition
  • Ability to work in a team
  • Ability to follow art direction
  • Ability to work in different art styles
  • Ability to adapt
  • Excellent communication and organizational skills

Companies can be specific about software skills, but some accept knowledge of an equivalent package. It is a good idea to have a look at any program I can be expected to know. Right now I believe I have the skills, but so does many others. The problem isn’t difficult requirements (unless you count all the jobs which require previous experience), but all the competition. A simple glance at what other Derby students are doing and have done is enough to make me slightly nervous about my own abilities. Comparing myself to others always makes me feel a bit self-conscious. I need to work hard this year to build up my skills for a chance to enter the industry. I’ll be keeping an eye on the following job sites: