We caught up with our former computing student Jacob Stokes to discuss what he has been up to since studying at Calderdale College. Jacob is now studying for a BA in Game Design at Teesside University.
Q. Tell us a bit about what you’ve been up to since leaving the College:
A. Since leaving college, I’ve been studying Computer Games Art at Teesside University in Middlesbrough and am currently in my second year of the course. Over the past two years I’ve been learning tools and techniques used in the games industry with software such as Maya, ZBrush, the Substance Suite and the use of Unreal Engine 4 for creating games. I’m now currently the lead artist on a large group project at University, having to work with design and animation teams to implement game-ready art assets in a production environment, with the end product hopefully being shown to an industry panel!
Q. What was your ambition for your career when you first started at the College? Did you have a specific career path in mind?
A. I’ve had an interest in concept and 3D art since I was in secondary school, so I knew I wanted to work in games long before I even arrived at College. However, it was while I was at college that I learnt of Games Art as its own pathway and I knew it was what I wanted to do.
Q. How did Calderdale College help you get to where you are now?
A. While I was already interested in 3D art before I got to college, I’d never actually tried getting into it myself. It was thanks to the College’s resources and help that I was able to get started using Blender, a free and open-source 3D modelling program, that eventually gave me the base knowledge and skillset that would allow me to get into University.
Q. Tell us about your favourite moment at Calderdale College:
A. I don’t have any one particular moment to speak of, but being able to arrive at College just as the doors were opening and use their PCs to practice graphics and 3D modelling for an hour or more before classes start was easily one of my favourite parts of College.
Q. Has your course influenced your career?
A. The skills I learnt with 3D modelling have been the most directly useful skills on my course, but several other modules I did have been helpful. I’d have never expected my project planning module to be all that useful for me, but now I’m leading an art team for University, it’s been incredibly helpful to know how to plan properly!
Q. What do you hope to do next? What are your plans for the future?
A. I’ve currently signed up for ExpoTalent, an event hosted by Teesside University in which second year students are able to present their work to industry professionals, in the hope of being able to present some of the work I’ve made for my course to developers currently working in the games industry. For third year, I have another large group project to work on in the first semester, followed by my final year art project after Christmas.
Following from University, I’m hoping to be able to secure a job in the games industry as a 3D generalist, modelling and texturing in a games production pipeline.
Q. Any additional information you would like to share?
A. I host my work on my portfolio at https://www.artstation.com/stokesjd
I have some really cool stuff I’m working on for University, personal projects and one or two mods that I’m really excited to be able to show off in the future!