Throughout his career, Chad Kendall has bridged the gap between the roles of traditional and 3D art. After graduating from the University of Central Florida with a painting degree, he found himself drawn to the emerging world of 3D via his brother Shawn Kendall, who was working in the Digital Media program at Full Sail. Chad joined the Full Sail staff in 1998 as a Lab Instructor in the Digital Media’s Virtual Reality course, and has since played an important part in launching the Computer Animation and Game Art degree programs.
In his current position as Game Art Program Manager, Chad helps to steer the course of a program that is constantly evolving to match the needs of the industry. “Our goal is to graduate people who are trained as generalists, but can also specialize in a certain area,” he says. “That’s definitely what the industry is calling for these days.”
“There’s not a ton of history on game art. It feels like it’s been around for a long time, but in the grand scheme, it hasn’t,” he continues. “”So we’re constantly making changes to make sure what we teach is consistent with what’s being done in the industry and is fitting its needs.”
Outside of Full Sail, Chad has kept busy on both sides of the artistic spectrum. He has worked on several graphics demos through his production company Immediate Mode Interactive (which recently joined forces with local gaming studio ZeeGee Games), is working on a music-based independent game called Retrograde, and continues to create more traditional art, some of which he showcases at chadkendall.net.
“Traditional art skills will always help you in this industry, because they never change,” Chad says. “It’s the foundation, and as we see newer digital tools come along, they tend to be focused more traditionally. When I started in this industry, it was very engineer-based, but it’s become much more artist-friendly.”
Find out more about Game Art happenings by following Chad on Twitter.