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    I've been looking at game art/design courses for a while now, all of which involve digital modelling and animation. The courses look amazing, but I have no experience with the software they use.
    Do they teach you animation and modelling processes from scratch? It's my ambition to get into games design, particularly concept art, but I'm really worried about being behind everyone else due to a lack of experience
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    I did Graphic design at Uni and they did teach us the basics of Flash for my course but if I am honest I don't think I learnt anything at uni most of all learning is done on your own. I wouldn't worry about your lack of experience but to get ahead it would be good if you could buy some books on the programmes you will be using and watch some tutorials online to teach yourself. Just doing that will put you on par or even above everybody else on your course and you will also be less worried when you start as you will know what to expect.
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    Game Design has little to do with art work - the game designers are the people who design the playing part of the game, not the artwork. The artwork is made by games artists, so if you want to get into that field, yes it would be advantageous to learn some of the software before applying (although some courses will not require this). If your traditional art skills are exemplary then it probably won't be an issue, but I would advise doing to so to find out whether you actually have any talent in the area and actually enjoy making the art. There are an awful lot of gamers who think they would like to create games art, and a degree is a very expensive way to find out that it's actually a very complex area to learn and requires enormous amounts of dedication if it is to lead to a career. You can download software like 3DSMax or Maya for free from http://students.autodesk.com/ and you can download the UDK game engine from http://www.unrealengine.com/udk/downloads/

    Most courses would teach animation and modelling processes from scratch; it would be odd not to, so that all the cohort have a base level of known skills before moving onto more complex techniques. If you want to be a concept artist you will need astoundingly good traditional/digital art skills. It's the hardest position to get entry to in the Games Industry, and it's the role that contains the smallest number of jobs. You would be better advised to learn 3D Environment work, study concept art as well and then get a job as a junior environment / prop artist and then work your way up to concept artist internally.

    Good luck
 
 
 
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