Consider this a follow-up to the last post I wrote about university life, after that I’ll try to avoid the subject on the blog for as long as possible. I still felt friction with other team members this week about how I’m doing my work. I’m currently tasked with rigging and skinning an enemy character. This involves creating a skeleton for a 3D mesh, binding said skeleton to the mesh, and then painting the skin weights in order to determine the influence of certain weights on certain joints. This is an important part of the process of 3D animation and it’s not particularly easy. Not only that, but the last time I did any of this mesh skinning as part of my course was March or April of last year. So it has been a struggle for me and I do get pretty demoralized and generally sick and tired of people getting on my case when I don’t meet their expectations. Granted, they really need me to be done with it. One day I went to do some work in the studio at the university, mainly for the sake of being there, but I also spoke with two of the lecturers. One of them told me something very interesting about my job.
He told me that my job is one of the trickiest things you can do as a game designer, and that few people in the games industry actually like to do it (I’m guessing one of our lecturers is one of the few who are happy to do it, though he is good at it). But he also tells me that if I keep at it, there’s a chance that I might become a valued asset in the games industry because few people like doing rigging and skinning. Suddenly I felt like there was an opportunity to work towards a personal advantage for me. If I could get good at this whole rigging and skinning thing, survive the third year, and do my fourth year for the Masters degree, I could earn a lot of respect, open many doors to various opportunities, and have the opportunity to run amok and seize what I wish for in the industry. That made me feel a lot better about what I’m doing, and it’s given me a lot of ambition.