Environment Art Challenge # 2!

Mini Duo

Description

Welcome to GSO’s second environment art challenge! In this environment challenge we’ll be focusing on making a mini environment! The theme is “Mini Duo”. The goal is to model, texture, and light a mini environment (diorama) with a partner. Your team will focus on creating a render that accentuates the mood and personality of this holiday’s biggest game.

Fallout 76

Or

Battlefield V

You’ll be required to create all content and not use any third party marketplace assets.
 

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Challenge

Find a partner and decide on which game and ‘moment’ you want to convey in your diorama. Your responsibilities include modeling, texturing, and lighting an image that best capture the game.

Rules

If you don’t stick to the rules, your entry will be disqualified:

  • Do not use any environment art, meshes, or textures from the marketplace; only create your own assets.

  • You are allowed to use any real-time render programs of your choice for the final render: Unity, Unreal, Marmoset, etc.

  • You’re free to use either static lighting, dynamic lighting, or a combination of the two

Judging Criteria

All entries will be reviewed by GSO’s environment scholars. Your entry will be judged on the following:

  • Mood, atmosphere, storytelling, and personality

  • Technical achievement (textures and clean modeling topology)

  • Artistic quality (composition, aesthetic, art direction)

  • Quality of lighting

Deliverables

  • 1 screenshot of your entry showing final polished lighting; choose only the BEST screenshot to submit, it should have good composition! Final high quality screenshot must be 1920x1080 in JPG format

 

GSO Newsletter #6

New GSO TV Episode 6


Lighting Challenge # 2 is coming to an end!

 Students have been hard at work for the July's 2nd Lighting Art Challenge. Head over to the Discord channel and take a look at the caliber of students' work. Help with feed back and push for the one's you like the best as the challenge is concluding its exciting run in a few days! A winner will be announced next week with the prize being the game of their choice!

Students have been hard at work for the July's 2nd Lighting Art Challenge. Head over to the Discord channel and take a look at the caliber of students' work. Help with feed back and push for the one's you like the best as the challenge is concluding its exciting run in a few days! A winner will be announced next week with the prize being the game of their choice!


Environment Art Challenge #2

Not to be out shined by the lighting students, the environment Discord channel will soon be quite active for August. The 2nd challenge for environment art will be happening all throughout the month and student's will be teaming up as partners to tackle a mini-environment either in the Fallout76 world or the Battlefield V world. More rules and details will follow on email and the blog on August 1st!

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Game Night!

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Students have been organizing in the Discord #events channel for game nights. The first one took place on Saturday morning 7/28 10 AM PST and was a success. Get involved and dropped in that channel to be a part of the next raid! 


Patreon Goals!

Patreon is our main resource to keep the school going and free! It is a extra curricular activity for students to get critique and career guidance from AAA professionals. Think of it as a personal trainer for your game dev ambitions! So this week, we organized and made our GSO's future and goals more transparent. Checking it now will display what our next steps are and what type of courses will unlock when we reach our next goal.

We are focusing on providing first courses for all our planned curriculum in our next 5 levels. So that we can provide a small taste to our students interested in all parts of game development of the type of quality the Scholars at GSO hold ourselves accountable for. So if you are thinking of becoming a member and contribute to what the Scholars vision of quality free game dev education looks like...

GSO Newsletter #5


Patreon Updates

Look forward this week for new updates on milestones and goals for the future of GSO. We are constantly evolving our platform to improve and these are some of the ways to help with transparency. 


GSO Live Upcoming Sessions

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Lighting Challenge # 2

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Be sure to visit our DIscord channel and check out the participant in the second Lighting Challenge. A lot of hard working students are at work and are constantly improving. It's never too late to participate yourself!

GSO Newsletter #4

Our Artstation Page is Up!

Every semester students would submit their homework to advance to upper courses. The students that pass will be forever immortalized in our art station page among the best students that have been part of the GSO community. Check it out now and hopefully this acts like a motivator for all students out there!


GSO Lighting Challenge #02
A Hero’s Call

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Description

Welcome to GSO’s second lighting art challenge! In this lighting challenge we’ll be focusing on character lighting! The theme is “a hero’s call”. The goal is to light a hero, focusing on creating a render that accentuates the mood and personality of your character within a single moment in time. You’ll be required to use only characters from Epic Games’ free content recently released from the Paragon universe. All of this content is available from the Unreal Marketplace, which can be accessed for free from the Unreal Launcher app or the online marketplace located here: https://www.unrealengine.com/marketplace/assets?lang=&q=paragon. Simply choose one of these characters and have fun creating a beautifully lit scene in Unreal Engine 4!

 

Challenge

So here’s the deal- you’ve been brought on as a cinematic lighting artist for a game character, and you’ll be responsible for all of the lighting and final look of the character and scene. Your responsibilities include cinematic lighting, look development, and final polish.

 

Rules

If you don’t stick to the rules, your entry will be disqualified:

  • Do not create any new environment art, meshes, or textures; only use what is provided within Paragon asset packs: https://www.unrealengine.com/marketplace/assets?lang=&q=paragon

  • Do not add new textures to materials (textures related to lighting are ok, such as those used with light functions, IES profiles, etc.)

  • You are allowed to adjust and tweak materials, as well as create new materials (that use textures originating from Paragon assets)

  • You’re free to use either static lighting, dynamic lighting, or a combination of the two

Judging Criteria

All entries will be reviewed by GSO’s lighting scholars. Your entry will be judged on the following:

  • Mood, atmosphere, storytelling, and personality

  • Technical achievement (did you use clever tricks to achieve a goal or manipulate final rendering?)

  • Artistic quality (composition, aesthetic, art direction)

  • Quality of cinematic lighting (i.e. no rendering artifacts, clean shadows, great control of exposure, tone mapping, depth of field, etc.)

Responsibilities of the Cinematic Lighting Artist

  • Use lighting to set a mood, or even tell a story- make the viewer feel something on first read of your render

  • You are free to edit or manipulate vista elements in the background, if you see fit

  • You’re a cinematic lighting artist, so make sure that your lighting setup is of the highest quality

  • Make use of the following:

    • Post processing

    • Tone mapping

    • Color grading

    • Volumetric/atmospheric lighting

    • Camera exposure

    • Depth of field

Deliverables

  • 1 screenshot of your entry showing final polished lighting; choose only the BEST screenshot to submit, it should have good composition! Final high quality screenshot must be 1920x1080 in JPG format

FAQ

  1. Can I use static or dynamic lighting?
    You can use any lighting method you’d like.

  2. Can I change or add my own skybox and vista elements into the environment?
    Yes, many times lighting artists are responsible for skyboxes, due to their effect on overall lighting. Ony use environment assets from Epic Games free content available via the launcher. Do not use third party or purchased assets; also do not create your own custom content.

  3. Can I submit several different lighting setups, like a warm version, a cool version, etc.?
    No, you are only allowed to submit one entry for the challenge, so choose your best lighting pass!

  4. I know how to work with VFX- can I add VFX to add to the cinematic quality of my render?
    Absolutely! Although not required, if you want to add VFX to make your render have some extra quality, go for it!

  5. Do I have to target performance- for example making sure the scene in UE4 runs at 60FPS?
    Since this is a cinematic lighting exercise, the assumption is that this work would be used for pre-rendered cinematic videos for cutscenes, intros, marketing videos, etc.- therefore you should focus on visual fidelity and quality, don’t worry about performance on this one and have fun!

  6. What if I have questions about the challenge that aren’t answered here?
    Feel free to ask any questions in our Discord channel! https://discordapp.com/invite/BzU5Fq2

GSO Newsletter #3

Student Highlights: Ian McDonell

An Environment Artist that has been with GSO since the beginning. He's an inspiring student that have been able to absorb and perform at a level of excellence. Check out some of his work on Artstation!


GSO Live Schedule for the Week!

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Always a perfect time to become a member. If you are thinking or curious about becoming a member for July, then please click to sign up now. Otherwise your sessions won't begin until August. 


Free Recorded Sessions Streaming Live this Week!


The Lighting Critique Session with Thomas Wright will be streaming live on our FacebookTwitter, and Youtube. Be sure to follow us on your preferred social network for that and other weekly goodies. 


New Game Dev Unchained Podcast Episode with God of War Character Artist!

Give this a listen during your commute :)

GSO Newsletter #2

Another week has gone by and the responses have been positive from the community. The purpose of these weekly newsletters are to celebrate student's successes and highlight new Scholars that are lending their talents to Game School Online!

First off, if you haven't already, please watch GSOTV Episode 2 where we talk to the team of GSO Workshop and Shawn Booth's first week at Avalanche Studios


Student Highlight

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Also this week we want to highlight one of our top students who is always improving, Praveen. Here is a sample of some of his work and to see more check out his Artstation!


GSO Live Schedule (Members Only)

Great sessions with Scholars this week. These are industry professionals here to assist you and accelerate your learning. Most notable are critique lighting sessions with our new Scholar, Thomas Wright, who use to work at Epic and Naughty Dog as their senior lighting artist. It's never too late to become a member and enjoy this valuable opportunity. 

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New Scholar (Weapon/Vehicle Artist)

Sean Marino is our new Scholar who is currently at Riot as their Senior 3D Artist. He use to also work on the Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare series and created many of their weapons and vehicles. Check out some of his work below. 

GSO Monday Newsletter 6/11

Introducing GSO TV Weekly Episodes on Fridays @8AM PST! For GSO weekly news and updates join us live anywhere on our social channels to watch live.


If you can't join us live for our GSO Weekly News Updates, the recording will be view able on all our social channels. Of course, everything we cover on Monday will be shared with you with our Monday's Newsletter completed with links and photos for your weekly consumption. 


GSO Live Schedule

Members are meeting with industry professionals Scholars all month for personalized training. Here's what the schedule is looking for this week. All live and recording can be view able on our Patreon. To look at the schedule and potential free live sessions, check it out here at our GSO Live Page.

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New Scholars!

  Josh Powers has an extensive resume and currently works for Quixel. he will help with Weapon/Vehicle students to achieve major success! Check out his amazing work  here !

Josh Powers has an extensive resume and currently works for Quixel. he will help with Weapon/Vehicle students to achieve major success! Check out his amazing work here!

  Thomnas Wright is our new Scholar and has worked at Epic and Naughty Dog on amazing franchises like Fortnite and the Uncharted Franchise. Check out his past work  here .

Thomnas Wright is our new Scholar and has worked at Epic and Naughty Dog on amazing franchises like Fortnite and the Uncharted Franchise. Check out his past work here.


If you want to talk to our Scholars and have a expedited personal training to reach your goals become a Member!


GSO Workshop


A great school isn't without great students. So today, we want to share what a group of self-motivated students can produce within a month. To give a backstory, the Unreal Curriculum is currently waiting to be unlocked and the Crash Course is the first course to be available in GSO. The goal for the Unreal Curriculum is to combine all the disciplines together to create a game with all the students and scholars together. While that is in waiting...determined students have gotten together and have taken a first bold step towards realizing spirit of GSO! Below are screenshots and videos of what the students of GSO Workshop was able to bring together. 


Student Success Stories!

Shawn Booth is starting his first game industry job at Avalanche Studios. Always the persistent and disciplined modeled student, Shawn has always pushed himself and others within Discord to achieve success. So we all all really proud that he was able to land his Lighting Artist role as a professional and we wish him continuing climb to greatness!

Be sure to check out his work or hit him up on Discord at booth!

GSO Internship Program!

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Today, we are proud to announce the beginning of something really special, the GSO Internship Program. This is a newly added benefit of becoming a  Pro Member. A team of pro member students will be accepted into our internship program to work on real client projects and have a chance to put professional pieces in their portfolio at no extra cost! On top of still being able to meet with your Scholar for private lectures, students accepted in this program will be working with Scholars to tackle on big client work and be part of a live simulated game studio.

Game School Online has always been built to connect AAA industry professionals with students worldwide for best-in-class education. So that students can be prepared to enter the work force armed with the skills necessary to succeed in the industry with no student debt. Now with the GSO Internship Program we are one step closer to supplying our students with their first job with major clients. 

If you are as excited as we are of the potential of this then first become a pro member and Direct Message @bpham on Discord for more details. Good Luck!

Game School Online™ Announces Winter Enrollment Open Through December

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Los Angeles, CA - December 2017

Free Winter Term Enrollment!

Free Winter Enrollment:

Game School Online™, the first and only free online game development school of its kind, has opened enrollment for the winter term, which begins in January of 2018. GSO™ currently offers curricula in environment art and lighting for games, focusing specifically on Unreal Engine 4. GSO™ will be adding two new courses for the winter term, “Advanced Lighting Concepts with Unreal Engine 4” and “Advanced Hard Surface Modeling.”

Free Workshop!

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December Free Workshop:

In addition to winter enrollment, GSO™ will have a free online workshop, “Animating For Games and Movies”, with Veara Suon, Senior Animator at Double Negative. Veara has worked in the AAA games industry, working on franchises like Destiny and Bioshock. Veara also works in the film industry, having worked for famed studios like Weta, ILM, and Sony, contributing to films like Pacific Rim 2, Spiderman, and Avengers. In this month’s free GSO™ workshop, Veara will be discussing topics such as:

  • Sharing techniques on how he animates for games and film

  • Advice on how students can get a job in games or film

  • Advice on how working professionals can switch from games to film, and vice versa

  • Job relocation

The workshop will last for an hour, with allocated time for Q & A from the audience. The workshop will take place on December 14 at 8pm PST. As usual, our monthly workshops are absolutely free and anyone is welcomed to join us. To RSVP, please visit our Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/events/139461393377301/?active_tab=about


Scholars Available For Mentoring!

Scholar Lineup:

Scholars are our mentors, working industry professionals currently working on your favorite games and franchises- here to help you learn to be a professional game dev, with one on one live private sessions. Our current lineup of scholars includes:

 


We believe that education should be free for everyone! Come join us at Game School Online™ and see what the future of game development education looks like today! For more information about Game School Online™, available courses, scholars, and events, please visit http://gameschoolonline.com/


Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/gameschoolonline/

Twitter: @GSOscholar

Discord: https://discordapp.com/invite/BzU5Fq2

Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/gameschoolonline

About Game School Online™ (GSO™)

Game School Online™ is the first ever, completely free game development training program. GSO™ was founded by veteran developers working in the AAA games and entertainment industries. Featuring courses authored by working industry professionals, students are able to learn production techniques and workflows used to ship some of the biggest IPs and AAA franchises. Industry pros known as “scholars”, work with students providing private live sessions to help you become “industry” ready. All courses are available for free, no trials or demos- it’s completely free for anyone that wants to learn how to become a skilled game developer. For more information, please visit our website: http://gameschoolonline.com/

Game School Online™ and GSO™ are registered trademarks Game School Online, LLC. All other brand names, product names or trademarks belong to their respective holders.

 

Contact

Game School Online, LLC.

info@gameschoolonline.com

GSO Workshop 12/14 @ 8PM PST!

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Want to learn how to become an animator?

Veara Suon (http://bit.ly/2jNkGLB) is currently a Sr. Animator at Double Negative. He has worked in both the movie industry and game industry on the biggest recognized properties. He has been at Weta, ILM, Sony, and Digital Domain working on movies like the Avengers, Pacific Rim 2, Spiderman: Homecoming, and Captain America: Civil War. Before transitioning to the movie industry he was at Bungie working Desitiny and at 2K shipping Bioshock 2. This workshop will be about:

Animating in Games and Movies
1) Techniques working in movies and games
2) Student advice to getting into games or games
3) Advice to professionals transitioning into movies or games
4) Relocating to where the jobs are
5) Q & A


Upcoming Scholar Sessions this Week!

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Awesome Student Progress!

Be sure to participate and join us in Discord to see awesome student progress! This journey is only easier with friends!

GSO Environment Art Challenge #01

Racing in Space

DEADLINE is DECEMBER 31st, 2017 @ 11:30 PM PST

 

Description

Welcome to GSO’s first ever Environment art challenge! This art challenge is all about Hard Surface Art. We are looking for the baddest Vehicle in the galaxy! The theme of this challenge is “Post Apocalyptic.” You will be required to do a high poly render with good lighting and simple materials applied.

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Challenge

So we are looking for the best bike that will destroy the competition. Will your vehicle be built for speed, power, or handling? You decide! There are no poly limit and you can use any renders for your final shots.

 

Rules

If you don’t stick to the rules, your entry will be disqualified:

  • Do not use any environment or meshes that isn’t yours

  • You’re free to use any renderers to get your final shot

Judging Criteria

All entries will be reviewed by Brandon Pham, GSO’s resident environment instructor. Your entry will be judged on the following:

  • Mood, storytelling, and personality

  • Artistic achievement

  • Quality of final render

Deliverable

  • 2 screenshots of your entry showing final space vehicle; choose only the two BEST screenshots to submit, they should have good composition! Final high quality screenshots must be 1920x1080

  • Submit all work in the #homework tab under the Environment Channel in Discord. Pin your post for review!

FAQ

  1. Can I use any 3d Program?
    You can use any program or combination of programs to make your project.

  2. Can I use existing concept art?
    No, this must be your own creation. You can be ‘inspired’ by existing work but we are looking at creativity here as one of the judging points.

  3. Can I submit several entries?
    No, since time is limited put your best effort into one p

  4. What if I have questions about the challenge that aren’t answered here?
    Feel free to ask any questions in our Discord channel!

GSO Lighting Challenge #01

Living In Space

DEADLINE is DECEMBER 31st, 2017 @ 11:30 PM PST

Description

Welcome to GSO’s first ever lighting art challenge! This art challenge is all about lighting- simply take an environment and complete a lighting pass on it!. Because lighting artists focus on lighting and rendering, you should not spend time creating new environment art, instead the goal is for participants to take a scene that already exists and relight it yourself from scratch. The theme is “living in space”. You’ll be required to use an environment available for free from the Unreal Launcher, the “SciFi Bunk” environment by Liam Tart.

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Challenge

So here’s the deal- you’ve been brought on as a lighting artist for a game level, and you’ll be responsible for all of the lighting and final look of the environment. Your responsibilities include lighting, optimization, look development, and final polish.

 

Rules

If you don’t stick to the rules, your entry will be disqualified:

  • Do not create any environment art or meshes, only use what is provided in the project

  • Do not add new textures to materials on static meshes (textures related to lighting are ok, such as those used with light functions, IES profiles, etc.)

  • You are allowed to change the albedo value and hue of materials on static meshes, but you’re not allowed to change anything else (i.e. you can make a dark wall lighter to help with bounce lighting, but you cannot change the actual texture, normal map, decal, etc.)

  • You’re free to use either static lighting, dynamic lighting, or a combination of the two

Judging Criteria

All entries will be reviewed by Leo Gonzalez, GSO’s resident lighting instructor. Your entry will be judged on the following:

  • Mood, atmosphere, storytelling, and personality

  • Technical achievement (did you use clever tricks to achieve a goal or manipulate final rendering?)

  • Artistic achievement

  • Quality of shadows, baked lighting, post processing, etc.

  • Impact of lighting on performance

Responsibilities of the Lighting Artist

  • Use lighting to set a mood, or even tell a story- make the viewer feel something on first read of your scene

  • You are allowed to edit or even add a new skybox in any way you see fit

  • You are free to edit or manipulate vista elements in the background, if you see fit

  • You’re a games lighting artist, so make sure that your lighting setup is performant- use profiling tools and performance view modes to keep lighting performance in check!

  • Post processing

  • Tone mapping

  • Color grading

  • Environment fog

Deliverables

  • 2 screenshots of your entry showing final polished lighting; choose only the two BEST screenshots to submit, they should have good composition! Final high quality screenshots must be 1920x1080

  • Breakdown screenshots from the Unreal Editor viewport, of the following viewmodes:
    (all breakdown screenshots should be of the same camera position and angle)

    • Lighting Only

    • Detail Lighting

    • Light Complexity

    • Lightmap Density

    • Stationary Light Overlap

    • Submit all work in the #homework tab under the Lighting Channel in Discord. Pin your post for review!

FAQ

  1. Can I use static or dynamic lighting?
    You can use any lighting method you’d like.

  2. Can I change or add my own skybox and vista elements into the environment?
    Yes, many times lighting artists are responsible for skyboxes, due to their effect on overall lighting.

  3. Can I submit several different lighting setups, like a warm version, a cool version, etc.?
    No, you are only allowed to submit one entry for the challenge, so choose your best lighting pass!

  4. What if I have questions about the challenge that aren’t answered here?
    Feel free to ask any questions in our Discord channel!

Winter Registration 2018 Begins!

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Open Enrollment Starts Now

ATTENTION NEW STUDENTS!

The wait is over, the first batch of enrollment is now available for (LT_001, EA_101, and UE_101). This is the first window open and will remain open for the week. So do not hesitate and sign up now with your friends! 

It's important to note that these are the beginner courses that all students have to take to advance to other courses. 

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Advancing Students...


Students who have taken the beginning courses and are looking to advance to LT_101, LT_102, EA_102, EA_103 should know the rules by now. Only students that are approved by Scholars can either move forward or asked to repeat courses.

Submissions should be made in the #homework channel in the respective disciplines (environment, lighting, and unreal) and pinned by the student for Scholar review. An email will be sent out on January 7th to notify students that will be advancing or asked to repeat the beginner courses.

What should be pinned? Students should pin all homework assignment images or final renders to qualify. Deadline to submit has to be made before January 1st to qualify for the Winter Semester.


UPCOMING SCHOLAR SESSIONS THIS WEEK


By becoming a member or pro member you will have regular access to Scholar sessions for the month as well as access to all the Episodes in the GSO Vault. These are the upcoming sessions for the week.

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Reserve a Scholar Now!

Need advice? Like a personal coach of some kind to help you with your work and accelerate your learning? How bout from industry professionals that has worked on the biggest franchises and huge companies like Naughty Dog, Sledgehammer Games, Epic Games, 343 Industries, Bungie, and Monolith Games? If that's the case, check out our growing list of Scholars who are mentoring students right now!