Insider's Guide - UT-HUB

Insider's Guide - UT-HUB

Aspiring environment artist and final year student, Chuse Fuentes, shares his experience studying at UT-HUB.

Whether you’re already at school, looking to find a new school or even considering moving overseas to study, nothing beats hearing from the students themselves! We speak to Chuse Fuentes about the ins and outs of studying at UT-HUB in Zaragoza, Spain.

The Rookies - UT-HUB
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The Specifics

What’s the name of your school?

I'm student at UT-HUB in Zaragoza, Spain

What's the name of the neighbourhood?

The school's in the ACTUR neighbourhood on Zaragoza.

Closest train station or public transport option?

It is in a well-connected area, there are several bus stops and there is a stop for the city's tram line. Although I almost always go by bike.

How long have you been at UT-HUB?

I have completed three years of education, with the first year being in the online model due to my work commitments, and the subsequent two years attending school in person. This is my final year of studies.

Why did you choose to study here?

After completing my academic year, my plans for an internship were thwarted by the pandemic. Unsure of what to do next, I chanced upon an advertisement for UT-HUB in the local newspaper. Feeling like I needed more training and despite it being a new school in the city, I signed up anyway. Looking back, I'm glad to say that it was the right decision.

What is your greatest takeaway from your studies so far?

I've made great progress overall, particularly with lighting and managing Unreal Engine.

What was the latest design or tech challenge you have faced?

My project inspired by the art of Darksiders Genesis is my most ambitious yet. Next, I plan to establish a solid foundation in Houdini or create another environment project featuring some vegetation.

What advice do you have for students thinking of studying for your degree?

If you're enthusiastic about creating art for video games, your school should have a good atmosphere and offer plenty of content to allow you to focus on one or several things. This will provide you with a strong foundation in various skills.

Are you entering the Rookie Awards 2023?

I have decided to participate in the Rookie Awards, because I wanted to showcase the knowledge I have gained at UT-HUB alongside other amazing artists. I've learned to light stylised scenes, organise my time better, plan projects more efficiently, and streamline my workflow.

The Scene

The first thing you see when you walk outside your school?

The first thing I see when I leave is the gym where I go with my classmates. In front of the school is the Gran Casa shopping centre, one of the largest in the city.

Tell us a bit about the Neighbourhood. What is there to see and do?

Actur is a contemporary neighbourhood with a shopping centre containing numerous shops and a cinema. The city aquarium, which features an adorable otter, is also located in the area. Additionally, there's a delightful cafeteria named “Dulces recuerdos", near the school that serves delicious crepes!

A mandatory stop for anyone new to your city:

Zaragoza has a rich cultural heritage. I recommend visiting the Aljaferia, which is a Mudejar palace. Additionally, visit the Basilica del Pilar in the city centre where you can find many shops and beautiful buildings.

Photo by Emilio Sánchez

Your school is great, but you wouldn't mind a bit less:

Subjects! The inclusion of subjects in the curriculum could be improved by either making them more specific to particular grades or completely removing them. This is because the subject of art encompasses a wide range of topics. However, it cannot be denied that including these topics can offer valuable insights into other areas or stages of production.

The unofficial uniform of your school is:

Each student has their own style, but many wear UT-HUB t-shirts. This year's shirts are comfortable and perfect for hitting the gym after class.

What clubs or extra-curricular events are offered at your school?

On special occasions like Christmas, an event was held where students and teachers could play video games together. They also hold open events, such as gaming days and free training sessions.

How would you describe the school community?

At the start of our first promotion, we were alone. In the second year, more students joined us and now there is a great atmosphere. However, not all of us know each other due to different schedules. Luckily, this year we have started to meet!

A massive night out for students at your school is likely to be:

The parties in Zaragoza are great. In my promotion year, very few people joined us, but we still made a fantastic team. Whenever we go out, we have a blast!

The Superlatives

You won’t find a better place to eat than at:

I recommend “Dulces recuerdos” and “A flama”, a great vegan bar-restaurant located next to the centre.

One thing you’d never change about your school is:

What I wouldn't change is the price. Compared to other private schools, it's a steal! If you manage tasks and information well, you can greatly benefit from it.

But one thing you wouldn’t mind seeing changed is:

Being a new centre, we have given feedback over the past three years. All of our promises have been fulfilled except for having our own vending machine on our floor, which is currently managed by the building. Now that we are upstairs and know where it is located and I wouldn't change anything!

Someone gives you $1M to pimp out your school. You use it to:

The school computers are powerful, but our ambitious projects can be costly to render. We have a chroma room that could use some improvement. I propose using the money to create a render farm and upgrade the screen room for virtual production.

Chuse is an environment and prop artist. Whose passion lies in creating immersive worlds for video games that players can get lost in. From sprawling landscapes to intricate details on individual objects, he strives to create a cohesive and believable world that adds depth to the gaming experience.

He believes that as an artist, it's important to keep learning and growing with each project. That's why Chuse always looks for ways to challenge himself creatively while staying up-to-date with the latest industry trends and techniques.

You can find more of Chuse's work on The Rookies, Twitter, Instagram and ArtStation.