Mesh recently interviewed Alex Haynes a Games Art and Design student about her time at Murdoch and the type of industry work she has been doing whilst studying.
What have you been studying at Murdoch?
I’m currently in my final semester studying Games Art and Design. I began with a double major in Graphic Design, before later deciding to specialise further in 3D Art and Animation.
Can you tell us about how gained entry into university?
I always loved art and working on creative projects, but I had poor grades in high school and the ATAR pathway wasn’t an option for me. After graduating I worked for a few years as a drawing teacher.
It took me a while to realise working in film or games could be a possibility in the future and was something I really wanted to do. I didn’t know how to start until I met the Murdoch academics at a Supanova drawing competition, and they encouraged me to enter the course through the portfolio pathway.
I remember bringing in printed-out photos of my artwork, because at the time I didn’t know how to put a portfolio together. I’m so grateful they took a chance on me, and I’ve considered it an opportunity that I didn’t want to waste.
You have been working in the industry while studying. Can you tell us about the type of work you have been doing?
I’m fortunate to have had multiple opportunities for industry work experience while studying. Most recently I’ve started a work as a 3D animator for Binary Space, a games company based here in Perth. I’m working on ‘Land of Hope and Gorey’, a point and click zombie adventure game. I’m excited about the project and really enjoying working with the team.
Aside from that, I’m currently interning at Siamese, a post-production VFX house, where I’ve been doing concept art, 3D modelling, and some character rigging.
In the past I worked at Sentient Computing, a company providing 3D visualization and simulation to the mining and resource industries. While I was there, I worked on 3D modelling and animation for virtual reality games and created motion graphics videos.
You studied overseas while also studying at Murdoch. Can you tell us about your experience?
I spent a semester studying abroad in Austria, which was incredible. I lived in the city centre, and on free days I would hike in the mountains or explore the city and nearby villages.
I was able to study the majority of my subjects over there from the Masters Degree in Multimedia Art, which included subjects in CG art, rendering, texturing, rigging, animation and VFX. The experience has been so beneficial professionally – I’ve learned and been able to apply concepts that I wouldn’t have understood otherwise.
What has been your favourite unit in the course and why?
My favourite unit was GAD365 Advanced Animation. The class assignment was to make an animated short in the style of a video game trailer. It was a great experience working with a team, combining ideas to make something better than it could have been individually. I was fortunate to be in a group that worked really well together.
Simon Allen is also a great teacher, and his experience with animation was incredibly beneficial. His lectures and demonstrations were compelling, and they made it so much easier to understand how to create appealing animations.
What was the most challenging aspect of the course?
I think the most difficult part for me was deciding whether to specialise, or what to specialise in. The problem was that I liked so many different disciplines and I couldn’t choose just one.
I realised companies I wanted to apply for were looking for a reel that showcased a particular area, and I just didn’t have enough good examples of my work to show in one discipline.
It was a difficult decision but I’m glad I branched out and tried everything first before choosing the one I like the most.
What are your plans for the future?
I’m really enjoying my current work and internship, and I’m looking forward to seeing the projects through to completion.
I’d like to eventually spend some time working over east, or overseas, but I’m open to whatever happens in the future. At the moment there’s no specific place I dream of working, I’ll just be happy to be contributing to a fun project with a great team.
I’m excited to see the games industry grow in Perth and If I do leave for a while, I’d definitely return to work here in the future.