Why do you study Computer Graphics?
– I played a lot of games as a child. My mother therefore took me to meet her old classmate who at the time worked for DICE on the game Battlefield 2. He told my eleven-year-old self that there were actually jobs in the gaming industry. That is when I first opened my eyes to the entertainment industry and the opportunity to turn his hobby into a career. 13 years later, I am studying at Luleå University of Technology and doing an internship at a 3D studio that would give eleven-year-old Fabian butterflies in the stomach.
What is the most fun with this programme?
– One of the funniest and biggest advantages for me has been that like-minded people who strive for the same goal have gathered under one roof, and that you can really delve into "nerdy" things together with your classmates. Some of my funniest memories come from the collaborations that take place once per semester when several classes are merged to create a film or game together. It is also very fun to have access to the latest and sharpest technology in both the game and the film industry.
What is the most challenging?
– The 3D industry is growing so fast and that is absolutely fantastic. But it also means that the competition is getting tougher and tougher. Something you have to actively work with is not to compare yourself too much with all the other incredible artists around the world. Turn it around instead and see them as motivation and inspiration rather than competitors. One day they can be your colleagues!
What is it like to study at Luleå University of Technology?
– If you are used to a larger city, it can be a change to study in Skellefteå. But I can guarantee that the trip and the people you meet make everything worthwhile. A big bonus is that this programme has been around for a long time and hence good reputation in the industry. Luleå University of Technology has alumni at the world's absolutely coolest 3D companies, that motivates me! In addition, the university as a whole gives me a really calm atmosphere so that I can focus on my goals. All students in the programme also receive a personal workstation equipped with the latest hardware and software.
What do students do in their spare time, what is student life like?
– Even though campus is smaller in Skellefteå than Luleå, there are definitely student activities and parties! My feeling is that those who choose to get involved in student life in Skellefteå get a slightly cozier and more familiar experience because almost everyone knows each other. Skellefteå also has a very good assortment of fine restaurants and cozy bars, especially down by the river!
What do you want to do after graduation?
– My dream is to work with cinematics for games. But the little boy inside me also feels that he wants to have the chance to include his name in the subtitles of one of the films that inspired and motivated me to become a 3D artist, such as Transformers, Star Wars and The Lord of the Rings. Should I, against all odds, get a call from Peter Jackson, I will soon be on the first flight to New Zealand!
Do you have any advice for those who want to study Computer Graphics?
– I could have given a whole TEDX presentation with tips, common pitfalls and other things that are good to know! Find people who inspire you and contact them. Join forums aimed at 3D, Discord groups, be active on digital platforms such as Artstation, reach out to former students from your school that you look up to, join Linkedin and dare to contact companies and recruiters. People in the industry are extremely positive about helping so do not underestimate asking people for advice and feedback. Another piece of advice is to do a lot of research around games and the film industry so you know what will be required of you. Both the industry and the courses that await you can be tough. But if you want to follow your dreams and create games and movies, then I definitely think you should apply. You will not regret it!
Fabian Zackrisson is studying Visual Design, a programme that preceded the Bachelor Programme in Computer Graphics for Game and film.