Andrew Collins is currently the Art Director at Battlecry Studios and a veteran of the video game industry having worked on such iconic titles as Star Wars: The Old Republic, Star Wars Galaxies and Heavy Metal: F.A.K.K.2.

Andrew has almost 20 years of experience working at many levels in the games industry. He joined Sony Online Entertainment in 2000, and as a committed fan of MMO's it was a dream come true when he began work on Star War Galaxies. He soon became a Senior 3D Artist and helped to launch the original title and three expansion packs. 

After six years and a promotion with Sony, he was offered the opportunity to lead a new MMO with the newly created Bioware Austin. It was not until he joined the company that he learned he was destined to help create yet another Star Wars MMO: Star Wars: The Old Republic. A game which turned out to be one of the biggest games ever produced and one of the biggest challenges of his career. In 2012, Andrew joined Battlecry in Austin, Texas.

He has been working with CGWorkshops for over three years.  His latest course starts September 7, so plenty of time to join

© 2015 ZeniMax Media Inc. BATTLECRY, BattleCry Studios, Bethesda, Bethesda Softworks

Where are you from? 
I’m originally from Belleville Illinois, where I spent most of my youth. After college I moved briefly to San Francisco, but went to Dallas when a job opportunity arose and within a few years ended up in Austin where I live today. 

© 2015 ZeniMax Media Inc. BATTLECRY, BattleCry Studios, Bethesda, Bethesda Softworks

What are some of the projects you have worked on/ clients or studios you’ve worked with? 
I’ve worked with a startup studio called Mobeus Designs way back from 95-97. Since then I’ve worked on Ionstorm’s Daikatana, Ritual Entertainment’s FAKK2, an unreleased title from Retrostudios, Star Wars Galaxies from Sony Online Entertainment, Star Wars the Old Republic from Bioware, and currently Battlecry for Bethesda Studios.

© 2015 ZeniMax Media Inc. BATTLECRY, BattleCry Studios, Bethesda, Bethesda Softworks

What’s the most indispensable tool in your creative arsenal?
Creative problem solving has been indispensable, and I want to give credit to my degree in Graphic Design from the University of Illinois. This helps a lot when coming up with artistic ideas and direction, and how to follow through with those ideas once they are translated into a technical game environment. It even helps with managing responsibilities and resources as you look toward a long term production goal. 

© 2015 ZeniMax Media Inc. BATTLECRY, BattleCry Studios, Bethesda, Bethesda Softworks

When not creating world beating art, what do you like to do? What are you currently reading, listening to or looking at to fuel your work?
Well, moving from environment lead to Art Director was a big step for me. I have been spending a lot of my “free” time reading, researching, sketching, and refining my traditional art skills. I’ve been doing a lot more with understanding film production design, and everything from architectural design to various lighting techniques. I sketch almost every day, and currently reading through a Bridgeman book I picked up for figure drawing.

© 2015 ZeniMax Media Inc. BATTLECRY, BattleCry Studios, Bethesda, Bethesda Softworks

What is one secret technical tip that you can give us?
Never stop learning. The games industry over the last 20 years has changed radically, and multiple times. How we do things seem to change completely every 5 years, and it’s likely to just keep changing faster and faster. I probably have another 20 years to go, and it is very challenging to keep up with everything.

© 2015 ZeniMax Media Inc. BATTLECRY, BattleCry Studios, Bethesda, Bethesda Softworks

What do you cover in your CGWorkshop?
I cover the basics of creating a game asset. It’s more than just a simple tutorial class. I try to explain why you would do things a certain way and how it can affect the final outcome. We model a crate from concept to in-game asset, but the course isn’t about making a crate. It’s about understanding the process used to create the crate and to prime the students in game production. It’s to give them a launching point hopefully to ask even more questions which can lead them to a productive career in game art! The testimonials of previous students have spoken very highly of my process, even with students who aren’t complete beginners.


What do you most hope that people will get from your class?
A strong foundation in understanding process. A sneak peek into what it means to create assets or enter the game art industry, and a platform to grow from. Usually when looking at a brand new career goal or path, people usually ask: Where do I begin? For game art… this is where you should begin.


What would be your number one advice to other artists?
Never stop learning! I think I already said that. Focus. Find out what you like doing and focus on it. Don’t spread your learning too wide, rather learn a specific focus and master it. Learn something well enough to teach it. Become the best at what you want to do. Not to discourage learning other areas… definitely try them all. You might stumble on something you like even better. But once something clicks, hit it hard.



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