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StevieB
07-24-2007, 08:38 PM
I'm faced with a decision that will alter my life for the better or for the worse, and that is should I do 3d art/animation for a living?

If you don't know if its possible could you try to hook me up with someone that does? My problem is 3d art is so much fun for me, and it would be AWESOME if I could do it as a reliable and stable job, but the thing is it comes across to me as a dream job, something that everyone wants and nobody has save the favored few. So I need to hear from someone thats been there and succeded and see if I believe that I can pull it off.

Of course any personall guidance ANYone would be well appreciated . But I would also greatly appreciate it if whoever was reading this would send it on to someone who knows what its like...
I can't change my decision after I make it because I'm planning on going to college and majoring in this general area if I think its more then feasable.

Please send your replies to [email protected] or here.

Thanks for reading this letter, this decision could make or break me and I feel a little like I would be stepping out on a branch (my hopes) and then finding out it was actaully a twig before it breaks and I fall to the ground, into a dumpster which will become my life :thumbsdow (now theres working the metaphor) :D .

Please somebody :twak: (knock) some sense into me before I make a bad mistake that could ruin my life...

voriax
07-24-2007, 09:12 PM
Dude, unless you're on the brink of death, you can do more than one college degree. From the sound of it, you're a young fella. It's, what, 4 years tops? It may sound like a long time, but it really isn't. So if you start doing a 3d animation/design course and it doesn't look like you're getting anywhere, then dump it and move on to your second choice.

It's hard to give any guidance on whether we think you could make it without seeing what you've done, or knowing anything about your background. You'd have to ask yourself whether you can do it as a job. Whether you think you have the ability to be a good 3d artist. Do you have an eye for design and animation? Do you live and breathe 3d, or do you just see it as a hobby?

Of course it's feasible to make it your career, as the visual effects world is always getting bigger and bigger, but it's true that not everyone can get into it. However there are varying degrees to what you're talking about. Some of us do visual effects on movies. Others do product visualisation. Others do Architectural visualisation. Others do TV commercials. There's a wide range of professions that stem from "3d".

Don't make the mistake of believing that being an animator or 3d designer is an easy job, or a "dream job". It's hard work and long hours, like most other jobs. I tell people I design toys for a living, and the first thing they say is "wow! that sounds like so much fun!" .. but while it is fun at times, it's also long, tiring and sometimes very tedious work.

StevieB
07-24-2007, 09:16 PM
Yeah I see what you mean, and were it not for work and my job and my 10th grade of school coming up, and my parents not wanting me to spend so much time on the computer, I would be breathing 3d right now! But it still doesn't solve my problem, I have no connections, I don't know anyone who does it, and I'm not sure if I should trust it.

JamesCurtis
07-24-2007, 09:21 PM
I've been a 3D freelance artist for the better part of 18 years now, and its been an up and down thing for me business wise. The area you live in may also determine what you do and how much you can make doing it. I like the work, but yes, it's not always fun. Sometimes things get quite tedious. I really do spend a lot of hours doing the work too. You might even have to take a side job of some sort to get through the rough times!

StevieB
07-24-2007, 09:24 PM
There we go, thats the kind of stuff I need to know... Thanks!
I'll move wherever I have to go to get a job but namely I will go anywhere but where I live (Texas). haha, its not very sceneric down here, but I would be dedicated.

I love 3d art and I believe that I always will, no matter what thing I'm doing I never seem to get bored, its always just very fun for me. Hey James, do you have an example of some of the stuff you've done? Maybe a webpage?

SplineGod
07-24-2007, 09:29 PM
If youre entering your 10th grade I wouldnt worry about it. You have a long time to learn 3d. You shouldnt be worrying about connections all that much at the moment. Focus on getting an education. The more you know about things in general the better 3d artist youll be.

Chris S. (Fez)
07-24-2007, 09:45 PM
10th grade? You should be worried about getting girls and good marks. Not necessarily in that order either. Work as hard as you play and the rest will hopefully follow.

Steamthrower
07-24-2007, 10:06 PM
Also, Steve, you could major in Art and minor in, say, Graphic Design, which would give you a skill set not totally limited to 3D.

But being only 15 or so, I'd say that the 3 years you have until college is plenty of time to become proficient.

Here is when you think 3D:

1. You look at an object and see it in wireframe mode.

2. You see a lot of fog rising up from the river and you think ''Wow, God must have a darn big computer to render all those hypervoxels''.

j__
07-25-2007, 12:29 AM
[...] should I do 3d art/animation for a living?

Well the harsh side of me would say sure if you want to be trapped in a pointless plodding blue collar craft industry that is little if anything to do with 'art'.

But I would also greatly appreciate it if whoever was reading this would send it on to someone who knows what its like...

Think politics; "Showbiz for ugly people", but with less purpose or intelligence and about as detached from reality.

Stooch
07-25-2007, 12:50 AM
if you love what you do. you will succeed. your success is directly proportional to your dedication. its not a glamorous job and its not always fun, but you will definitely put your mind to good use. id much rather exercise my brain muscle rather then doing manual labor. so 3D ftw. starting to learn when you are young will give you a huge advantage in the future too. (by that i mean traditional art not 3D, if you come to work or school with a strong traditional artistic skillset then you are much better off than only technical knowledge.) technical knowledge can be learned by anyone, artistic sense and timing and color and design... thats what separates the boys from the men.

Boris Goreta
07-25-2007, 01:24 AM
Well, I wen't to work to Zimbabwe, Africa to gain experience points. (I live in Europe) I was there for three months working on an animated short for very little money but I didn't care because it was a dream job and the guys there were great to work with. Everybody said I was crazy since there is dictatorship in Zimbabwe but I really, really wanted it. Africa was great too, it was soooo different from anything else. And contrary to what US officially thinks of Zimbabwe it was friendly, friendly, friendly. So, if you want to gain big bucks and make your living out of it I suggest you start the same way. Yeah, the money is bad at the beginning but the experience you gain is priceless. Give your best, you won't be working for the money at the start but for yourself.

Oh, and what got me that job is a cute 5 second animation of a pig character. It wasn't the pig they were after but the style of animation. You never know what will get you the job so in the meantime practice, practice, practice and build your demo reel targeted at the type of job you're after.

Cheers !

kopperdrake
07-25-2007, 02:52 AM
Hi Stevie :)

Yes it's possible - and at your time in life it's not so much the contacts you need, just get yourself to the nearest college/university that runs a 3D course.

I'm not sure how old 10th grade is, but I know when I was 14 we had to choose our major subjects until we left school. I went with as many art/design subjects as possible - fine art/graphic communication/craft, design & technology - a good grounding in the various arts is a good basis so I was to find out - 3D wasn't around at the time :)

From there I chose maths, physics and graphical communication until I was 18 - again, a mix of technical and art, though I never knew I'd end up doing 3d as it didn't exist as a mainstream career then!

Then on to an intense and pure art and design diploma for a year - that was the most important for me as an individual. We covered textiles, ceramics, fine art, print, graphics, photography and best of all, 3D. Though again, the 3D was hands-on 3D making physical objects - sculptural, installation art, automotons - literally anything you wanted to. It was only then that I realised I was best at 3D.

Then it was on to uni where I did product (industrial) design for 3 years and then a couple more years just for the hell of it. In 94 I finally fell off the educational conveyor belt and landed slap in the lap of Lightwave 3.5 - perfect! A piece of software that was 3D, had a mix of technical and art, and I could run it on my Amiga. I haven't looked back since and have been making a living with it as my core piece of software for 13 years. I've designed and visualised illustrations for pretty much any medium you'd care to throw at me, animations creep in too, worked in computer games doign characters and FX, but the most fulfilling aspect of 3D is that once you know it there are no limits to where you can apply it. In those 13 years, only the three years in games were as an employed person, the rest have either been in a partnership, or as now, running my own dinghy (ship would be too grandiose a word). For me this is the way I want my life.

I guess my long-winded story is trying to say that if you love doing it now, just keep pushing at it. As people have pointed out, it's never an easy option - any art/design-based career is never an easy option for the masses - and you do have to have a certain level of competence and flair for art and design to stand a chance of succeeding. Saying that, the head of fine art at my school when I was 18 refused to write a letter to the art and design college to recommend me as he 'honestly didn't think I had it in me' to become an artist or designer. Looking back I can see where he was coming from, but luckily my Graphical Communication teacher saw something and wrote the letter for me. That's why I say the general art and design diploma I did was the most important - it really did open my eyes to the basics of art and design - I could literally feel the doors open in my head to a different way of thinking, cheesy though it may sound. The art teacher could see it was undeveloped before that course, the graphics guy must have seen glimmers of it.

I've no idea how the system works over there - but if you can major in 3D and take side courses in the more arty subjects to develop your sense of colour and composition, then I'd say go for it. Be prepared for highs and lows. It may turn out that you're not cut out for it in the long run, but always play to your strengths. I knew guys who were great at product conceptualisation - they ended up becoming concept designers. Some of the guys were the opposite - great technically but not so great aesthetically - one in particular is reasonably high up in military protective equipment design for the UK - where products look, well, green or beige.

The beauty of 3D is that it has so many facets these days. I know some guys that are great modelers but not so great texturers, some guys that can light a scene beautifully but hate modelling. Most animators I know (ex Disney guys for the main) just animate - they really don't want to model. Occasionally you get the annoying guy who can do it all - but we still love him nonetheless ;) The main thing is to do it, have fun and see where you fall at the end of the conveyor belt. If you end up half decent in a particular aspect of 3D, and you're an easy person to get on with and fit into a team (and I can't emphasise that part enough) then the chances are good you'll get work. you might have to move around to get it, but it's out there.

StevieB
07-25-2007, 06:29 AM
hm... thank you for all your input, I now know what I can expect. I suck at drawing - I'm great at 3d, and I'm one of the most layed back and easy people to get along with you will ever know (although maybe not the most decisive). I'm a hard worker, and I have the grades to prove it, but if I would really have to major in everything art I coudn't see that happening so well since I'm not good at putting the stuff on the paper.

And I can see how after doing art so long you would open up to a different way of thinking.

In any case thanks for sharing your thoughts and experiences!

iconoclasty
07-25-2007, 07:39 AM
were it not for work and my job and my 10th grade of school coming up, and my parents not wanting me to spend so much time on the computer
School, work, and girls are all valid, necessary distractions from 3d.
Parents are not. If they can't tell the difference between practicing your LW and surfing for p0rn, then they aren't supporting your progress to a career.
I don't mean to judge your parents harshly (seeing as I've never met them) but if they are actually limiting your time educating yourself because you're "spending too much time on a computer" then that's an obstacle you have to overcome quickly.

StevieB
07-25-2007, 08:26 AM
Yes iconoclastly, I'm not the type of kid that goes surfing for bad stuff and crap like that and they know that, but my parents, especially my mom thinks I'm just spending hours a day 'playing' Lightwave (haha how sad) though I've tried to explain it to her. I can see where they are coming from but the thing is if I want to live in their house and use their computer then I have to obey their rules... there isn't another way around it. What I try to do is draw designs to model in Blender and/or Lightwave when she takes me off of it.

rqe3bc
07-25-2007, 09:35 AM
Yes, you have to obey their rules, but what you can do is put what you are doing into a context that your parents can see and understand.

Relate what you are doing with 3D with something relevant to your school work - a 3D animation of something in science, or a 3D scene of something in literature - use your imagination and show your parents what you can do with the skills you are learning.

If you can make the connection between 3D work and something practical in the "real world", it might help get rid of the notion that what you are doing is "playing".

Good luck and keep working!

iconoclasty
07-25-2007, 09:36 AM
Give me your parents' phone number. I'll straighten them out.

**the previous statement was in jest. Please in no way communicate any personal contact information.**

CMT
07-25-2007, 10:02 AM
I read somewhere that the video gaming business is approx a 12.5 billion dollar industry now - and still growing. A solid figure in monetary value which your parents might understand. Show them how movies/ tv ads etc.. are all growing areas which use 3D artists more and more. It's one of the fastest growing disciplines in the media.

JGary
07-25-2007, 10:12 AM
Yes, you have to obey their rules, but what you can do is put what you are doing into a context that your parents can see and understand.

Relate what you are doing with 3D with something relevant to your school work - a 3D animation of something in science, or a 3D scene of something in literature - use your imagination and show your parents what you can do with the skills you are learning.

If you can make the connection between 3D work and something practical in the "real world", it might help get rid of the notion that what you are doing is "playing".

Good luck and keep working!

I agree, this is a good plan of attack.

I had a similar situation back in my high school days (late 80's). I drew a lot throughout my childhood and kept up the interest into high school. When picking out a major for college, I decided on art, but my parents tried to steer me towards a 'more normal' career path. Back then, 3d in movies and games was just getting started (Jurassic Park hit around '91) and it was harder to see how being a artist could be financially rewarding. So, I understand that my parents were just trying to do what they thought was best for me, but as others have already stated, there's now plenty of lucrative job paths in the field of 3d graphics that should show your parents that the time you spend on the computer learning LW is not necessarily 'playing'.

ChrisW
07-25-2007, 11:31 AM
I know some folks that don't have the fine art ability to render with traditional medium but think visually. 3D software provided them the tool to make their abstract concepts virtually concrete. IOW, just 'cuz you can't draw doesn't mean that you can create stunning visuals.

Work hard and have fun.

redlum
07-25-2007, 11:51 AM
I remember a time when my parents had me tested because the teacher thought I was too distracted to do my homework. "he's always drawing pictures" was the complaint. After many hours of testing and talking to a child psychologist he told my parents I was an artist. They thought about that for a moment and said, yes but why is he so distracted? Puberty, was the answer. I guess everybody found out that I was normal. Fast forward to now, I have a masters degree in Art & Visual Technology and work in 2D, 3D and interface design. It's a steady job with great pay, great boss and great benefits. Personally I think you're on the right path.

Steamthrower
07-25-2007, 12:36 PM
I actually see Steve's parents' reasoning. I'm sure all of you have seen those fat 12-year-old kids camped out in front of their plasma screen doing 6-hour stretches of Halo. While you're young, if you stare at a screen too much, you'll never stop when you get older and your life will be meaningless.

Steve, I have a suggestion. Why don't you model something & enter it in a contest. The more money you make now will be, um, leverage.

StevieB
07-25-2007, 04:52 PM
LOL - hahahahahahahaha.

Okay first off I would just like to say that I'm actaully preety skinny because I have a high metabolism (I'm 16 and wiegh about 118).

rqwbec - I have already started creating something for school that I can use 'hopefully' in a presentation for something (because its new in school and inventive, the teacher won't be expecting it.

Also Redlum I appreciate very much this perpective of the other side of 3d graphics creation as well! Its awesome that you have a steady job and I might want to talk to you more about it later if you woudn't mind to much.

Also Indigo I will search for some but do you know any sites offhand that would be good and trustworthy for me to enter the contest in?

voriax
07-25-2007, 06:09 PM
CGTalk is probably the number 1 place to find CG competitions. Some of them pay, some of them don't. I think you have to be pretty hardcore to win the paid ones. But, it's free to sign up and free to enter the comps, and because you can post your work-in-progress images, people can offer you suggestions on how to improve your work.

http://forums.cgsociety.org/

Try the "Mini Challenges" section.

StevieB
07-25-2007, 06:11 PM
Hm... thanks for the link. Will I still be able to win money even though I will have the student edition. That was my first thought, followed by well unless they want to sell my image or buy it from me I can do it.

Mr Rid
07-25-2007, 08:45 PM
When it comes to the creative fields, I am a big advocate of not going to school for it. If you have a passion for it, then you are driven enough to teach yourself, and do enough inspired work to get hired from a demo reel. School will not give you talent, vision, passion- you eitehr have this on your own or you dont. For instance, every major filmmaker has the same advice to young filmmakers starting out- 'dont listen to us or anyone else, go beg, borrow (try not to steal) a camera and just start shooting. Learn from your own mistakes and develop your own style.'

Some people seem to need the structure of being directed by a curriculum and teachers. I am definitely not one of those people. I recall that all of the best digital artists Ive worked with were self-taught. Those who had schooling were certainly no better off in any respect, but may be paying off college loans with their first CG jobs.

For way less than the cost of college, you can buy yourself a killer workstation, renderfarm and all the apps you need to start reading some tutorials and teaching yourself. I was finding side jobs in CG after only 2 months of teaching myself LW. Between flying logo jobs and doing my own ideas, in less than a year I had an impressive enough demo reel to get hired fulltime. You get a few pro projects under your belt then you can apply elsewhere if you want. When it comes to hiring, a strong demo reel trumps all degrees or 'who you know.' Is really all there is to it.

Steamthrower
07-25-2007, 08:51 PM
Mr. Rid, I'll have to say that I agree with every single thing you said.

College can cost anything from $20,000 to $100,000. Think what kind of a studio you could have for, say, $50,000!

Steve, if you're really interested in learning LW, you might take a look at the Kurv training tutorials (some examples come with v9.0).

Nicolas Jordan
07-25-2007, 09:46 PM
I also agree with Mr Rid that you don't have to go to school to help you get a job in 3D. After already having used Softimage a bit and Lightwave lots I took a 1 year course on 3D Animation & Video Game Design using Maya and Virtools back in 2001 @ New Media Campus. The course was pretty much just an introduction to 3D and Maya. I have barely touched Maya since. To some up my experience I was introduced to a 3D application wich I no longer use and I truly believe my time and money could have been spent better learning 3D on my own. Most 3D courses will only touch on a bit of everything and only cover the basics. But that's life you live and learn. :D

j__
07-25-2007, 11:21 PM
I know some folks that don't have the fine art ability to render with traditional medium but think visually. 3D software provided them the tool to make their abstract concepts virtually concrete. IOW, just 'cuz you can't draw doesn't mean that you can create stunning visuals

It depends on what your idea of 'stunning visuals' are, but who can't draw at all, and is actually great in 3d, particularly for things like character work ? Answer: nobody.

Steve, this thread..., you saw what happened to that guy ODDity here, and I don't know oDDity but I suspect one of the reasons he became like that was because ultimately there was nowhere else for him to go.

I suspect most of the people here, saying 'listen to me son, I've made it' have 'made it' in the sense that someone selling insurance has 'made it', or the car mechanic has 'made it', and they are lucky there is currently still that service industry to support them before that gets completely sucked away to China and India just like their manufacturing jobs.

At a time when this world around us is falling to pieces, if you want a vegetative life staring at a glowing screen with little Star Wars figures on top of it where rendering glowing cubes is your religion and then saying 'look at me I've made it', then you've found the right job path.

Personally, I would treat it as it deserves; with skepticism and what is telling is that many people in this thread, actually see the 3d bit itself as a kind of romantic 'escape', and they are telling you it's like Dead Poets' Society, and your stodgy old parents don't understand.

Well guess what ? For them, it is, which just about demonstrates the level of this, and demonstrates that what I am actually saying is true, and what they are saying is false, but remains true in their eyes.

But that said, just carry on with working with Blender in your own time by all means, but I wouldn't feel inclined to make it your life, because for 99.9% of people there isn't anything more clever at the end of it than a dreary, inward-looking, incestuous blue-collar industry dominated by plodding technicians and drippy pale retentive types, wary not to think above their station, and who are about as much to do with anything truly creative as a potato.

j

AbnRanger
07-26-2007, 12:31 AM
The CG industry, currently, is quite unique among most other occupations. You won't become a physician, accountant, lawyer, etc. by self-training. However, as Mr. Rid stated, you can...with enough passion and discipline, educate yourself in this broad field with the vast array of training tools available to you. It's actually a considerable advantage, compared to other career fields.

So, you can express to your parents that, although you understand that you need to step away from the PC once in a while, the more time you spend training yourself now...at a very early age, the less money they'll be spending putting you through college!!! That'll get their attention real quick :D If you are proficient in 3D, for example, and can demonstrate it to the faculty, you can "Test Out" of the fundamental classes. I approached my professor, who taught Photoshop, showed them some of the work I had done previously, and was allowed to take just the advanced course. That's time and money saved!

While I agree with Mr. Rid...even with a 2 yr head start, you will probably want to go college IF you can fund most of it through Pell Grants and State Grants, etc. There are many things that you will learn in school that you probably would not have otherwise. Plus, if a studio has 2 different reels that are both impressive, and one has a degree...guess who gets the job?

But if the options are 1) learning on your own and 2) Formal Education with tens of thousands of dollars in student loan debt...well, he makes a good point.

Another viable option that's on the table is: You could serve in the Military for a term...which would pay for all of your college after you complete your term (there are Visual Communications Specialties available:
http://www.goarmy.com/JobCatList.do?redirect=true
http://www.goarmy.com/JobDetail.do?id=10
...where you are training on the job...and you're essentially Administrative Support...not in a Combat Arms position).
Also, if you are in a technical specialty, it truly is like a regular day job, except you are in uniform. You're not out in the field all the time like I was (in Airborne Infantry).

Therefore you can take college classes at night...which actually help you obtain serious "Promotion Points" by the way...and when your term is completed, you can transfer all those credits to the college of your choice, and essentially be ready to "finish up" your degree by taking the career-specific classes. I'm not trying to steer you in this direction, but nevertheless, it's certainly a viable option...so that neither you, nor your parents are straddled with thousands of dollars of debt. You would have served your country in the process, and have certain benefits for the rest of your life (like VA medical care, if needed...or VA housing loans, etc).
Another benefit is that, since you are provided free room and board, you could wisely take a precentage of your monthly salary, and invest in some mutual funds (this way, not only are you SAVING, but also EARNING dividends). By the time you are out, you have a decent little nest egg to live on while finishing up school and such.

One day, during lunch, I was talking to a friend of mine who also was a "Short-Timer," and I asked him if he finished his taxes already. He said, "No, I have to file for Capital Gains taxes." He explained that, instead of spending all of his money on an expensive new car and partying, that he just bought a nice, reliable, used car; and put a chunk of his income in two different mutual funds...so he wouldn't have to live on Peanut Butter and crackers when he got out. Wish I had been that wise :foreheads

AbnRanger
07-26-2007, 12:43 AM
[i]...Personally, I would treat it as it deserves; with skepticism and what is telling is that many people in this thread, actually see the 3d bit itself as a kind of romantic 'escape', and they are telling you it's like Dead Poets' Society, and your stodgy old parents don't understand.

Well guess what ? For them, it is, which just about demonstrates the level of this, and demonstrates that what I am actually saying is true, and what they are saying is false, but remains true in their eyes.

But that said, just carry on with working with Blender in your own time by all means, but I wouldn't feel inclined to make it your life, because for 99.9% of people there isn't anything more clever at the end of it than a dreary, inward-looking, incestuous blue-collar industry dominated by plodding technicians and drippy pale retentive types, wary not to think above their station, and who are about as much to do with anything truly creative as a potato.

jOkaaaaay? :screwy:....and your point is?

Seeing that a very large percentage of the population begrudgingly plods off to work each day, JUST TO PAY THE BILLS...doing what you love and getting a pretty decent salary for it is....wrong? Is that what you're saying?

ShawnStovall
07-26-2007, 01:35 AM
I see your point because I'm also going into the 10th grade and am finding it very hard to communicate to my parents that what I'm doing is constructive, while 3D isn't my primary field of interest now(Programming instead) I am still considering taking 3D graphics as one of my minors in college. I find the best way to explain it to my parents is by telling them all the possibilities for making money there are for people in my field, and secondly showing them the process so they don't think, "His mind is going numb with all that computer garbage. I find by doing this I get less hassle from my parents and more respect from them too for having such noble goals at a young age. I hope everything works out for you.:thumbsup:

kopperdrake
07-26-2007, 08:15 AM
College can cost anything from $20,000 to $100,000. Think what kind of a studio you could have for, say, $50,000!

Ah - that's where you guys get it bad :/ My education cost me zilch - in fact they actually paid you a low living allowance to go! Over here, if you're canny, you use the education system to get access to the equipment and essentially paid time to learn. I think only 2 out of the 30 guys on our product design course actually design products. I know at least 3 of us who ended up doing 3D modelling/animation as a spin-off after using the software there for three years ;)

If I were to have to pay those kinds of figures I would seriously rethink the process! If you're not too hot on the fine art side then as I said, concentrate on the bits you do enjoy :) I know plenty of modellers who can't draw for toffee. As long as you know what makes a good image then 3D allows some of us to overcome the hand-eye coordination issue. If you find you're not too hot at knowing what makes a good image then concentrate on modelling. It's rare to find a decent detail modeller! 3D is so huge there's a strong chance that there's at least one area you'll be good in - but you have the main thing and that's passion :thumbsup:

kopperdrake
07-26-2007, 08:52 AM
LOL j___ - truly a devil's advocate if ever there was one.

Sure we could all have chosen more useful occupations than making pictures in 3D, but that's surely for another thread :)

The guy just asked people if there are jobs out there in 3D, which there are. If your view is based on real life, which I sincerely hope it isn't, then you must have landed at some truly lame studios. I worked at a reasonably lame studio and yet there were some great artists there - and if you weren't a great artist it was inspiring to work with them.

But no - none of us saved the world - in that you're right :)

StevieB
07-26-2007, 09:23 AM
Well well well, this thread has gotten a little longer then I had hoped for overnight!
First off I would be doing 3d art as a living because:
1) Its art, if you are not used to that kind of thinking then thats cool, but it doesn't change the fact.
2) Its fun (for me at least), and who doesn't want to go and be able to work (almost play) for money and be in an enviornment where the people around you have the same intrests.
3) Its just as good as going and counting people money and telling them where they should put it, save for the fact that at the end of both lives you've got a boring accountant who has nothing to show for it but money, and a 3d artist who has seen the good, the bad, and yet feels content because of the fact that he got to spend his life doing what he loved.
4) I'm christian, and I believe that if you believe that God died on the cross for your sins and you have asked for forgivness (and that might sound lame with that short description) you go to heaven. At the end of your life, unless you've been an evangilist or a missionary, or have done something that furthurs God's kindom. Then ultimatly your life's work was pointless anyways.
5) Almost every single job nowadays includes computers. Heck my mom specialized in Communications and ended up spending her 6 or 7 hours of work a day on the computer answering emails for a company called women of faith.
6) Who would rather do something they dislike and get paid better as opposed to something they love and get paid enough.
I realise that some might take the first choice but I would pity them at the end of their life.

StevieB
07-26-2007, 09:28 AM
...ANYways thank you for all your replies, its awesome that a decision that means so much to me and yet has no effect on you would get so many replies with helpful guidance and thoughts.
Haha, in the end this leaves me with a lot more to go on, but still undecided.
About college, I think my parents would more likely shun me if I didn't do it. And besides - save for the money I'm taking out to get the student edition of Lightwave (195) I'm saving 90% and tithing 10% so if I work as many hours as possible now, and during college I should be able to get by without an ounce of debt (my oldest bro did it anyways).

Hipcheck
07-26-2007, 01:29 PM
StevieB - you are wise beyond your years my friend.

CMT
07-26-2007, 02:40 PM
1) Its art, if you are not used to that kind of thinking then thats cool, but it doesn't change the fact.
2) Its fun (for me at least), and who doesn't want to go and be able to work (almost play) for money and be in an enviornment where the people around you have the same intrests.
3) Its just as good as going and counting people money and telling them where they should put it, save for the fact that at the end of both lives you've got a boring accountant who has nothing to show for it but money, and a 3d artist who has seen the good, the bad, and yet feels content because of the fact that he got to spend his life doing what he loved.
4) I'm christian, and I believe that if you believe that God died on the cross for your sins and you have asked for forgivness (and that might sound lame with that short description) you go to heaven. At the end of your life, unless you've been an evangilist or a missionary, or have done something that furthurs God's kindom. Then ultimatly your life's work was pointless anyways.
5) Almost every single job nowadays includes computers. Heck my mom specialized in Communications and ended up spending her 6 or 7 hours of work a day on the computer answering emails for a company called women of faith.
6) Who would rather do something they dislike and get paid better as opposed to something they love and get paid enough.
I realise that some might take the first choice but I would pity them at the end of their life.


1) You're right it is art. But just to clarify most 3D jobs aren't creative in nature. They are production art positions. The concept artists usually do the designing. And I count myself lucky to be able to do both. But there's plenty who are content with being a production artist and there's nothing wrong with that.

4) & 6) I'm Christian, too. I'm not an evangelist or missionary or anything like that. But I don't think my life's work is pointless. Nor anyone elses life who may not be spreading the word every second. God's work isn't just spreading His word. It's also about helping the world to continue and exist and doing some good. The stay-at-home moms, the servers living off tips trying to save enough to send their kids to college. Not everyone is lucky enough to do what they love. But I don't pity them. They work hard and earn their respect. They probably don't want pity anyway - just a raise...

And there are some who enjoy being accountants/bankers/investors because that is what they are good at. We may not understand why they enjoy it, but their professions are just as valid as a 3D artist.

As for those who say you can teach yourself and not go to school for 3D, I will say yes that's true for the most part because it's more technical in nature (save for digital sculpting like in ZB or MB). But if you want a conceptual/creative 3d designing job or digital sculpture, then absolutely you should go.

School may not give you talent, or vision. But there's no substitute for learning the fundamentals and theories of design/form than from a college level education where the professors have the knowledge and experience to guide you.

You could perhaps go to the library, find what you are looking for and learn most of it yourself, but it would most certainly be at a much slower pace, because you wouldn't have the knowledge of what your own cirriculum should be. Just as not everyone can be a good teacher, not everyone can teach themselves. Those artists who have taught themselves a creative discipline - and do it well- they are rare. I've come across a few myself, but not many.

j__
07-26-2007, 03:38 PM
Look around you Steve, how autistic these people are, how decadent, how blind and naive they sound in their darkness, how addicted and distracted to their bobbles and trinkets they are allowed to play with as the real world crumbles around them to dust.

Imagine how ridiculous it would sound if I put 'HB Pencil Made in China' in my name instead of 'Z Brush (er)'

What do you think they know about art ?

It sounds to me they know more about their bobbles and trinkets and for them that is the 'art'. Who pays them to produce this 'art' and why ? Do they really think they are working in art ? Are we dealing with a collection of artists, or more a meeting of Star Trek enthusiasts ?

Do they really believe with all their wooden heart as they sit in their beige cubicle that their life is any more meaningful than the gray accountant fumbling with his figures, or the oil-stained car mechanic with his spanners, or barbershop boy cutting the locks of the fat gentleman ?

Certainly it isn't more useful.

I don't know about you, but I'm not convinced any one of these people in this thread knows anything about art. Furthermore, I'm not convinced any one of these people will ever know anything about art. Further still, I'm not convinced any one of these people are capable of knowing anything about art.

No, that's not quite correct. Excuse me. I'm quite satisfied that's the case. What do you think Steve ?

j

djlithium
07-26-2007, 03:46 PM
Yeah I see what you mean, and were it not for work and my job and my 10th grade of school coming up, and my parents not wanting me to spend so much time on the computer, I would be breathing 3d right now! But it still doesn't solve my problem, I have no connections, I don't know anyone who does it, and I'm not sure if I should trust it.

Hey! You know us :)
You might not think it but there is some pretty heavy hitting talent on this board and in this thread. You have Larry of course who really needs no introduction, and then there are guys like Mike Stetson, Tim D. (Aurora) and others including myself.

For those of you out there who have been looking for Cesar Montero lately, he's now working with me at Digi-guys at Ealing Studios here in London on www.wardevil.com. I nearly freaked out when I found he was in Vancouver the exact same time I was trying to hire him for Battlestar Season III and I somehow missed him due to an email screw up by his ISP! We really could have used him on season III thats for sure but now he is here, working and doing it in another country for decent money, so give 3D a shot for sure. Don't hesitate, but if you figure out its not for you, don't hesitate to walk away from it either. But the point is you never know where it might lead you.
No more than 10 years ago I was screwing around doing visuals with LW and PVR card at local raves in alberta and now I have a lot of credits for features and TV under my belt and might eventually consider thinking about turning it into a career :P

HAH!
If you can, pick up a copy of this months HDRI 3D magazine where I talk with Mike Rizzuto (sorry for the spelling mike) on BSG and advice to people who want to get into it at any level.

Kat/djlithium

AbnRanger
07-26-2007, 03:51 PM
Look around you Steve, how autistic these people are, how decadent, how blind and naive they sound in their darkness, how addicted and distracted to their bobbles and trinkets they are allowed to play with as the real world crumbles around them to dust.

Imagine how ridiculous it would sound if I put 'HB Pencil Made in China' in my name instead of 'Z Brush (er)'

What do you think they know about art ?

It sounds to me they know more about their bobbles and trinkets and for them that is the 'art'. Who pays them to produce this 'art' and why ? Do they really think they are working in art ? Are we dealing with a collection of artists, or more a meeting of Star Trek enthusiasts ?

Do they really believe with all their wooden heart as they sit in their beige cubicle that their life is any more meaningful than the gray accountant fumbling with his figures, or the oil-stained car mechanic with his spanners, or barbershop boy cutting the locks of the fat gentleman ?
Straight out of the Twilight Zone, aren't you J? :screwy:

StevieB
07-26-2007, 04:43 PM
Lol, seriously though j__, your starting to sound a little doomsday'ish' so I would appreciate it if you would refrain from posting stuff thats attacking people on a personall level. Oh and I just noticed - that was either a joke you were posting or you might have something wrong with you because the title was devil's advocate... sadly it was almost fitting (sounded a tad demented and a little odd, while still attacking people).

CMT I completly agree with you on all those points. I would mainly go to college because I would think that although your demo reels would show a lot about how good you are, and although most classes will just teach you the basics, I think it would still help when applying for the job.

Once again I would like to thank everyone for giving me even more feedback to go off of.

And thanks for you nice comment Hipcheck! Lol, I try to stay outside of my schools 'groups' and their way of thinking and luckily I was raised in a very cool Christian family. One of the best parts was God gave me a little more knowlege then some of the other people at my school. In any case he gave me 2 clear depictions. I had my oldest brother who was always taking the ap classes and getting b's or so on them and ended up with a succesful career as an accountant (which he loves ;) ) and then I had my oldER brother who decided that he wanted to be 'in' with the crowd and did some things that got him kicked out of the house... Anyways I learned from both of them about what TO do and what NOT to do.
In any case this gave me a much higher sense of perspective on high school and middle school and I tried to stay away from the kids that would influence me in a bad way (which ended up being kinda sad since I stopped hanging out with my previous 2 best freinds).

kopperdrake
07-26-2007, 05:16 PM
:thumbsup: Good luck whichever way you go StevieB

And good luck to you too j__ :)

calilifestyle
07-26-2007, 05:23 PM
StevieB

Just tell them (family) your going to be an engineering/drafter, should work find away to show them the amount of work needed to be done on a pc may help. If the offer cad at school has the teachers talk to them.

StevieB
07-26-2007, 05:27 PM
My problem isn't so much with my parents. I told them that I'm considering it and they didn't seem to mind.
They are just a little adament about me not spending hours on the computer everyday with a program where I create objects I can't use (although I can). They will eventually see that I am being semi-productive, actaully I understand where they are coming from.

AbnRanger
07-26-2007, 05:39 PM
Show them some of the demo videos on LW's mainpage here, to give them a better idea about the industry

bobakabob
07-26-2007, 06:24 PM
Steve,

If you're focused, motivated and hard working you'll get there. Just be sure you're not in love with the idea of being a CG artist and genuinely feel the drive to be creative. Identify your weaknesses. You mentioned drawing - how about complementing your technical knowledge of Lightwave with life drawing classes? You could develop a craft for character design and become more employable.

J- may sound cynical but IMO he's right to point out the production line aspect of much CG. Ask yourself if you'd truly enjoy realising a client's instructions in a 'factory' environment. Not all CG work is as glamorous as Hollywood. Would you rise to the challenge of finding technical workarounds on a toothpaste commercial working late and living on pizza or would you be dying inside? Successful games artists make all kinds of sacrifices. Professionals I know see it as a passion if not religion. It's important to be commited and meet the needs of your client who may put you under all kinds of pressure.

Good luck - bottom line is go for something which really interests you. :thumbsup:

kjl
07-26-2007, 07:28 PM
It depends on what your idea of 'stunning visuals' are, but who can't draw at all, and is actually great in 3d, particularly for things like character work ? Answer: nobody.


Heh, as much as I don't agree with the tone of your posts, I actually kind of agree with this, at some level. The number of people who are good at character work but bad at sculpting is not tiny, because not everybody gets a chance to sculpt with clay all the time and so have not picked up the technical skills to manipulate clay, but I know of almost nobody in professional CG (modeling, rigging, animation, shading, lighting, etc.) that can't draw. We all picked up the technical skills of applying pencil to paper while doodling in class, so it really all comes down to whether you have an eye and good aesthetics. You could do as bobakabob mentioned and take some drawing classes. You may discover that you are in fact just bad at the medium of pencil on paper, or you may discover that you weren't as good in 3D as you thought. (I don't mean it as an insult, but there is always, always, always room for improvement. As I write this, a bunch of character modelers down the hall just left work 5 minutes ago to go to a non-work related sculpting session).

That being said, StevieB, the CG industry is not as bad as some make it out to be, and certainly not as good. Doing "CG art" is not really what you'll be doing, at least not in the sense of imagining something awesome and making it - if you end up working on movies or something you will be working on what may be a work of art, but unless you are very lucky or really put a number of years in, you will not be working artistically (the artistic choices will be made by somebody else). And if it is a Michael Bay film, it won't be a work of art either ;) . It can still be very fun - I've been working on films for over a decade now, and even in the beginning when I was just doing mostly technical stuff, the sense of satisfaction of seeing my work on the big screen was pretty hard to beat. Now that I have been working a while and I see my own actual artistic choices up on screen it is even better. I exaggerate a little - even in the beginning you make artistic choices - you are trying to match your work to a pastel or concept art or a clay sculpt of an idea that the DP or character designer was using to convey an idea, so you are artistically trying to convey the same thing they were doing in a different medium, but your job ultimately is to make them happy, not to make something that you think looks great. If those two things are one and the same then work is extra rewarding.

But be realistic about it - working in CG for movies is glamorous, which means there are lots and lots of people who want to do it. To get in the industry you actually need to be good - really good. Whether that means you have the best artistic eye in the world, or you don't so you made yourself useful by being pretty artistic but also really good at linear algebra and programming doesn't matter - either are fine, but you need to be better than most everybody else who does this.

And I wholeheartedly disagree with the advice not to go to college - don't know if that was said in jest or not. First of all, college is fun; there are friends, girls, beer, sports. Second, it is helpful for learning all the intangible stuff that you don't know you need. Like, how to take direction, work on multiple-person projects, related disciplines (painting, sculpture, cinematography, photography, math, computer science, even mechanical physics, optics, etc.). All those things will make you way, way more attractive to an employer than a guy who makes really great models at home.

StevieB
07-26-2007, 07:48 PM
Yeah, I'm with you on the college part, and I realise that I wont be creating the stuff that I want. But 3d modeling is just fun for me period, no matter what I'm trying to create, I can reuse it, erase without messy marks, animate it, change the shading, exc... all at will. And if my employer wants me to make a mop I will still be having a bit of fun learning and knowing that I can use it later (although thinking about it there is probably a law that prevents that or something).

Mr Rid
07-26-2007, 07:55 PM
And I wholeheartedly disagree with the advice not to go to college - don't know if that was said in jest or not. First of all, college is fun; there are friends, girls, beer, sports.
All of which certainly help you as a CG artist. Left out 'massive loan debt' BTW.


Second, it is helpful for learning all the intangible stuff that you don't know you need. Like, how to take direction, work on multiple-person projects, related disciplines (painting, sculpture, cinematography, photography, math, computer science, even mechanical physics, optics, etc.). All those things will make you way, way more attractive to an employer than a guy who makes really great models at home.

But not if the guy making really great models from home has a more impressive demo reel than you. If you feel like you want to go to college, and can afford the cost and time, then by all means go. But I know enough self-taught individuals without any degrees who can run creative rings around other people I know who have film and art degrees.

An interesting clip of world reknowned expert in creativity & inspiration in education, Sir Ken Robinson, "Do schools kill creativity?"
http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/view/id/66
Google-
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-4964296663335083307
He is a college professsor and auther of The Arts in Schools: Principles, Practice and Provision (which discuses the place of the arts in the schools' curricula) and Out of Our Minds: Learning to be Creative (which, according to Arts Professional, "focuses on the widening gulf between academic institution teachings and the feelings, emotions and imagination that drive us as humans").

Stooch
07-26-2007, 08:19 PM
I thought so too. i went to school. i had plenty of drive vision and passio and felt that largely my money was wasted when i was in school (scad)

in retrospect, i have learned alot there without realizing it. not just 3D but overall i am a better person. higher education really does mean something in this world. I feel that it was worth it now that i look back. I have met lot of great people, made great friends and have a lot of connections in the industry. that last bit has already made my money back and then some. when it comes down to it. you are what you put into it. going to school and not applying yourself will be a waste of money. but going to school and applying yourself fully, will only make you better. plus it was alot of fun and i often think back with fondness.



When it comes to the creative fields, I am a big advocate of not going to school for it. If you have a passion for it, then you are driven enough to teach yourself, and do enough inspired work to get hired from a demo reel. School will not give you talent, vision, passion- you eitehr have this on your own or you dont. For instance, every major filmmaker has the same advice to young filmmakers starting out- 'dont listen to us or anyone else, go beg, borrow (try not to steal) a camera and just start shooting. Learn from your own mistakes and develop your own style.'

Some people seem to need the structure of being directed by a curriculum and teachers. I am definitely not one of those people. I recall that all of the best digital artists Ive worked with were self-taught. Those who had schooling were certainly no better off in any respect, but may be paying off college loans with their first CG jobs.

For way less than the cost of college, you can buy yourself a killer workstation, renderfarm and all the apps you need to start reading some tutorials and teaching yourself. I was finding side jobs in CG after only 2 months of teaching myself LW. Between flying logo jobs and doing my own ideas, in less than a year I had an impressive enough demo reel to get hired fulltime. You get a few pro projects under your belt then you can apply elsewhere if you want. When it comes to hiring, a strong demo reel trumps all degrees or 'who you know.' Is really all there is to it.

Stooch
07-26-2007, 08:27 PM
just one more thing to add.

i came into school with years of 3d experience. since i started doing it at the age of 12. higher education means a lot more to me than learning a 3D program and its a shame if thats all people expect out of it. it is a time to apply yourself and broaden your experiences and outlook on everything around you. this in itself can greatly enrich you as a person and add more fodder for creativity. basically, if you can afford it. do it. dont let money dictate your personal growth if you have a choice otherwise. that and it was a hell of a time.

CMT
07-26-2007, 09:06 PM
You can recognize the good profs at a school just by asking around. The good ones won't stifle creativity, but nurture it. And I'm sure other college professors realize that there are some professors which stifle creativity.

I was lucky enough to have one such prof. And I took every possible class from him and some independant studies as well. Money well spent.

There must be something to this schooling thing, otherwise we wouldn't have entire schools dedicated to the visual arts.... :rolleyes:

Captain Obvious
07-26-2007, 10:48 PM
I didn't even finish high school!

Stooch
07-26-2007, 11:44 PM
oh yeah? I failed kindergarten

j__
07-27-2007, 12:11 AM
Steve, you're probably right on both counts, but indeed don't take it too seriously, I'm only teasing them and no one is actually attacking anyone personally.

I am what you would actually call a critic of it as an industry, that is true, and i have about as much time for it as watching paint dry.... And all industries have to be able to accept a scrutiny and criticism and an opposing view.

You should indeed follow what you want to do in life and what makes you happy and that's absolutely the right thing to do.

And I'm pleased you are a good sounding young Christian fellow in America, I wish there were more decent and upright young people like you.

Again, really I'm just playing Devil's advocate, but as an industry if you like, personally, it's something I have great difficulty taking seriously or putting on any kind of a pedestal above, say the accountant. It's about the same level as far as I see it, perhaps below.

I dunno...It's like watching ants crawling feverishly over a sugary solution, and you look at it and you think ok that makes sense to the ants as it's all they know, but ultimately all you come away with thinking is well I'm glad I'm not an ant.

j

Captain Obvious
07-27-2007, 12:45 AM
oh yeah? I failed kindergarten
I never even went to kindergarten!




And I'm pleased you are a good sounding young Christian fellow in America, I wish there were more decent and upright young people like you.
So you don't like me, then? :(

AbnRanger
07-27-2007, 12:48 AM
I never even went to kindergarten!




So you don't like me, then? :(Why should he, Hooky boy? :D

StevieB
07-27-2007, 06:33 AM
Lol, well thanks for clearing that up a little better j__, I tried not to attack you like everybody was doing to oDDity and it looks like that was the smart thing to do after all :D. I thought by the way you were talking it was either that you were trying to be funny or you were from a different culture and thats how you talked there (i.e. you were being harsh) and your previous post lead me to believe it was the latter.

And thanks for your comments about college, I was completly expecting to have to go there for a lot of reasons. However I can also see how some professors in college could kill your creativity in a sense because all that some college professors do is teach it to you the way everybody else has had it taught to them and after 4 years of that your thinking the same way.

j__
07-27-2007, 09:38 AM
Well I don't talk like that in real life lol, I was trying to make a kind of flowery yesteryear prose of out it, and ham up the point. There is a real element of harsh there, but it's directed at thinking, rather than any person.

But I am from a different culture, and in my culture all this sugary syrup of this called 'industry', where the goal is just participation in the feeding among fellow ants, is totally alien to me. And I don't take that as a disability on my part, I'm very proud of that.

Also on the bit you said about Doomsday you mentioned: all I'm saying is that there are issues in this world that do need our attention as well, and you as a Christian would know that the world can be made a better place, not a worse one if people strive for that.

j

Matt Buxton
07-27-2007, 09:46 AM
Im actually on a computer games art and design course in norwich England we have people come as far as Canada to attend, the ages of the blokes on the course are very varied we do life class, business studies, as well as 3d suite work, i use it to help me build a larger portfolio as im only working DS and PS2 games at the mo! Oh and YOU SET YOUR OWN BRIEF in year 2. its a very hands off approach.

its an awesome course check it out NSAD.ac

redlum
07-27-2007, 10:27 AM
As much as I admire the success of some of you on this thread, I must say that I don't 100% agree with the "not going to college" part. A degree is what it is, an open door. In more cases, a way to expand your thinking, etc. My undergrad degree was in video, but by the time I graduated technology changed and people were click a mouse instead of rolling tape. I ended up working for $60 a week, then got a raise to $6 an hour. Not a great way to start. After a year of that I decided to go back to school. By this time they had installed a computer lab and with a little help from the resident geek I was able to search for classes, etc. This was back in 1996 and the internet looked terrible. Web sites were very ugly. I was looking for a masters program in video, but what I found was the internet. I realized that if I could learn how to make web sites or do something related to computers and art I could finally make a good living. That was the plan anyway. So I changed my search and found a program at George Mason University (http://www.avt.gmu.edu/).

http://www.avt.gmu.edu/

I applied and didn't get in, but they have this thing called extended studies at GMU. You can sign up for 5 credits a semester and apply it toward a degree. So I picked up and moved in to the dorm and did Photoshop for one semester. I treated it like a full time job. After the second assignment I was dubbed the "curve buster" by my instructor. I also re-applied to grad school and on Christmas eve received a letter of acceptance in the MFA program.

Three years later I graduated but in the process learned how to use Lightwave, Maya, Photoshop and Illustrator, Dreamweaver and Flash. I also met some great people and the instruction was really top notch. My relationship with the school and classmates has remained to this day.

Yes, I could have used the money to buy a killer rendering farm and work station. In fact right before I applied to GMU I received a flyer in the mail from Alia advertising an SGI 02 with Power Animator installed. It seemed like a great deal but I had never used a computer before. After the first year at GMU I had learned how to use Mac, Windows NT and Unix. I seem to have a high aptitude for computers but before grad school never had the opportunity to find out.

The whole experience has changed my life for the better. It's great to work as an artist and make a decent living. My boss is great and I look forward to going to work every day. He's even sending me to Siggraph (http://www.siggraph.org/s2007/) this year. And to top things off, he has offered to help me pay off my school bill. You can't beat that with a stick. Even a low poly stick. :)

My web site (http://homepage.mac.com/dmazanec/)

kjl
07-27-2007, 10:38 AM
But I am from a different culture, and in my culture all this sugary syrup of this called 'industry', where the goal is just participation in the feeding among fellow ants, is totally alien to me. And I don't take that as a disability on my part, I'm very proud of that.

Well, it's not for everybody. But feature films and TV shows and the like: some people really enjoy creating things like that, and that kind of project is simply not possible for somebody to do independently. One guy, no matter how creative, fast, and talented, simply can't go into his basement and crank out even a short like For The Birds or whatever. There definitely is a great feeling in collaborating with other very talented people - you may be the best modeler in the world, but your model will definitely benefit from you listening to a great character designer, having a talented texture guy, great animators animating under the direction of a good storytelling director, and lighters working under a very good director of photography. And all their work will benefit from the model that you modeled as well.

I definitely disagree that the "industry" is just a bunch of feeding ants. I'm sure it can be sometimes, depending on where you work and what you work on. But I definitely view it as a chance to work together to make something great. One person, no matter how industrious, can't make the Golden Gate Bridge, or The Incredibles.

That being said, there's nothing wrong with wanting to work independently and make singular visions of art, either. One man did, in fact, paint the Mona Lisa.

kjl
07-27-2007, 10:58 AM
But not if the guy making really great models from home has a more impressive demo reel than you.

I disagree.


If you feel like you want to go to college, and can afford the cost and time, then by all means go. But I know enough self-taught individuals without any degrees who can run creative rings around other people I know who have film and art degrees.

I also know a few self-taught individuals without related degrees who are very, very good. They are rare, but very, very good.


An interesting clip of world reknowned expert in creativity & inspiration in education, Sir Ken Robinson, "Do schools kill creativity?"

That's an interesting talk, and I actually agree with most of it. I was one of those kids that couldn't stop fidgeting and drew all the time instead of listening to history class or whatever. I also agree with what he says at around 13:30, roughly paraphrased: "creativity comes about through the interaction of different disciplinary ways of thinking about things." I've actually believed that for a number of years, and I think getting experience of a wide range of disciplines is something that is much easier to do in college.

Obviously it's not about what degrees you get, or even necessarily what classes you take, but the people that surround you in a diverse campus environment. You may sit at home and really get amazing at making amazing models, but I simply don't believe independently studying books or watching great movies is a very effective way of picking up good composition, good layout, subtle use of color, and everything else. In college, you will, for sure, run into somebody who inspires your aesthetic sense through drawings, effective editing, painting, etc., and you'll be able to get good feedback on your strengths and weaknesses. You'll make friends with somebody that drags you along to see that artsy foreign film that turns out to have great cinematography instead of seeing Blade Runner again :P, And you're not really going to pick up linear algebra at home, are you?

But it's all about what you try to do in college. If you go there and simply get all your required classes done with good grades so your transcript looks good, obviously you don't get any of those benefits.

adamredwoods
07-27-2007, 11:37 AM
I would also like to add the medical field as one that is also hiring 3D professionals. I was at an agency that did commercials and educational pieces, as well as the traditional MOA animations. I am an ex-hiring producer from that field and hired quite a few individuals-- about a third were freelancers from another state that worked remotely.

Three things I looked for when hiring people:
1. Good portfolio. Clear, to the point, good work.
2. Good eye for creativity. Multi-discipline helps.
3. Past projects, to show ability to work through a project's beginning, middle, and end.

I didn't look for specific degrees (unless they had a degree in biology). Rather just if you had any ol' education or not. Two-year degrees I accepted, but I did not hire high-school level.

I highly recommend getting a degree. They teach structure and process. Great for #3 above.

Take classes in design if you can't draw. great for #2. Otherwise, take art classes.

Show something relavant to the job you are applying for. Will help for #1. Medical, show a medical 3D rendering. If a TV commercial, show a short (5-second) spot. If an animator, show camera-work or dynamics, not just character animation.

Be brave and show your work to other professionals. Get feedback and learn to take criticism. Don't be offended, otherwise, you will never improve. (And there are people who have this problem.)

It's not luck getting your foot in the door. It's perceverence and patience.

//Adam

j__
07-27-2007, 11:53 AM
I definitely disagree that the "industry" is just a bunch of feeding ants. I'm sure it can be sometimes, depending on where you work and what you work on. But I definitely view it as a chance to work together to make something great. One person, no matter how industrious, can't make the Golden Gate Bridge, or The Incredibles.

They are great to you in the sense that a pizza is 'great' to you, and they are 'great' to you in the sense that sharing a pizza is great for you. You don't really care much about the pizza or understand why it exits, or who's recipe it is as long as you are part of eating it, and perhaps admiring the particular quality and aspects of the cheese or anchovies on it. And that's absolutely fine.

More appropriately, you could be working in a restaurant kitchen with part of the of the team of skilled chefs. That's just great if 1) you believe working in a restaurant and the craft of cooking is a great thing to begin with, 2) you are in some sort of dizzy stupefied awe about the process of making food, and 3) you are more or less in some sort of dizzy stupefied awe about the particular food they are making, which, by the sounds of it, probably more comes down to the fact that they are making food at all.

And that's fine and I agree, so we are back to the ants, the syrup and so on. I suspect the ants aren't particularly aware of why they are crawling all over the syrup to begin with either, or even that they are, other that it's kinda 'neato' and they think it's something they should be doing. So yes I agree.

kjl
07-27-2007, 12:38 PM
They are great to you in the sense that a pizza is 'great' to you, and they are 'great' to you in the sense that sharing a pizza is great for you. You don't really care much about the pizza or understand why it exits, or who's recipe it is as long as you are part of eating it, and perhaps admiring the particular quality and aspects of the cheese or anchovies on it. And that's absolutely fine.

More appropriately, you could be working in a restaurant kitchen with part of the of the team of skilled chefs. That's just great if 1) you believe working in a restaurant and the craft of cooking is a great thing to begin with, 2) you are in some sort of dizzy stupefied awe about the process of making food, and 3) you are more or less in some sort of dizzy stupefied awe about the particular food they are making, which, by the sounds of it, probably more comes down to the fact that they are making food at all.

Well, I guess we just have to disagree. But I don't think one needs to be a master of something to appreciate it. One does not need to be able to compose as well as Beethoven to be able to judge subjectively that Beethoven is better than Haydn, and even enumerate the reasons why.

I know a ton about lighting, but my director of photography is significantly better than me, but that does not imply that am wallowing in ignorance, basking in her greatness, blindly matching my lighting pixel by pixel to her pastels. We are both bringing something to the table.

I believe your kitchen analogy is flawed. I feel it is more like I am a very good pastry chef, making very good desserts. I can't just make "the best dessert ever," - I have to make "the best dessert in the context of the overall meal," so I am constrained in a way that a guy making CG models at home is not, but I do bring expertise and artistry to the meal. Overall, the meal is made better by my dessert, and while I may not be able to recreate the incredible osso bucco that the other chef is making, I can taste that it is good, and appreciate that it is also contributing to the quality of the dinner.

j__
07-27-2007, 02:02 PM
Overall, the meal is made better by my dessert, and while I may not be able to recreate the incredible osso bucco that the other chef is making, I can taste that it is good, and appreciate that it is also contributing to the quality of the dinner.

Yes, you are a fan of the meal to begin with, that's why you're there. You're not in disagreement with it, or have any strong view about it, you just want to be around it and part of it, and for you, some small degree of participation in it is the ultimate goal.

The meal, its recipe, its taste and so on, are correct and complete and satisfying no matter what they are.

Even if it were a banquet of cold tripe and brawn being served you would be quite delighted to be participating in it, because in the wider picture, it all tastes just deliciously the same to you.

CMT
07-27-2007, 02:21 PM
OK. So what? I like to cook. Give me any recipe and I'll make it for you. I like to cook certain meals more than others, but I'll make anything for you. I'm totally happy with that. Is that a particularly wrong way to feel?

This whole food analogy thing is making me hungry BTW.

But here's another analogy. Might be valid, might not. But I like telling it nonetheless:

Why do I climb this mountain? Is it because everyone else is, or because I really like mountains, or maybe because someone told me to? Or maybe, just maybe.... I like climbing this mountain.... just because I like to climb mountains! So freakin' what!?

Now excuse me while I jump off one....

kjl
07-27-2007, 02:57 PM
Yes, you are a fan of the meal to begin with, that's why you're there. You're not in disagreement with it, or have any strong view about it, you just want to be around it and part of it, and for you, some small degree of participation in it is the ultimate goal.

The meal, its recipe, its taste and so on, are correct and complete and satisfying no matter what they are.

Well, if you are talking about me in particular, I can tell you that is simply not true. I'm not sure what kind of hypothetical person you are talking about who is deliriously happy to be working on any sort of large project - I can't think of anybody who would be equally happy working on a giant robot model for a crappy TV show or for the Incredibles. I have worked on movies I have disliked before, and on lighting where I disagree with the art direction, but I did it anyways; that's part of being professional. but it is far more satisfying to work on things that I think are great, something which has happened quite a number of times.


Even if it were a banquet of cold tripe and brawn being served you would be quite delighted to be participating in it, because in the wider picture, it all tastes just deliciously the same to you.

Again, that is simply not the case among anybody with any sort of aesthetic sense. As I mentioned before, one does not need to be a master of something to judge its merits. I can know how to cook desserts but not steak, but have a palate sensitive enough to know that this steak is better than that cold, slimy tripe. If my great dessert was always being served with tripe, I'd find a different restaurant to work at.


If you are really only doing only CG purely as an artist (ie only working on your own projects), you are almost certainly doing it as a hobby. Nobody is going to buy a print of your giant robot or orc warrior or naked elf chick in an art gallery. So what are you doing to make a living? You might as well be working on films with other talented people, and then go home and make art in your spare time if you haven't gotten to express yourself enough at work.

j__
07-28-2007, 12:50 AM
Well, if you are talking about me in particular, I can tell you that is simply not true. I'm not sure what kind of hypothetical person you are talking about who is deliriously happy to be working on any sort of large project - I can't think of anybody who would be equally happy working on a giant robot model for a crappy TV show or for the Incredibles.

I've certainly worked with people like this before Ken, no it's not their 'fault' or something, but my feeling on balance, is based on that. Of course it couldn't possibly describe everyone or nor is it realistically intended to, but I would say, on balance there is something of a perception of that in that area which isn't altogether unjustified.

Again, that is simply not the case among anybody with any sort of aesthetic sense.

Well, it's interesting, because I would say a significant proportion of people involved in either games, particularly games actually, and film and tv are not necessarily so discerning as yourself. And to be fair, you could say there are different reasons for that, but in my experience I certainly wasn't aware of a deep or decisive discontentment to be working on what I would strongly consider crud, even when there were those opportunities to switch people around between projects.

There is a considerable subjective component at the end of day about what is 'great' for different people anyway, but I do feel, although I've probably expressed it wildly here at times like a complete fruitcake, there is much to criticize about that industry too that is quite justified and there is no doubt about that at all in my mind. Otherwise no one would do anything else and you wouldn't have a component of people who don't work in it like an office job and do a lot of stuff outsourced, or for their own clients etc.

As for the art, very funny, Touché Ken. Well you know people take their chances, but actually I would imagine they probably have other careers anyway, so it's no big thang. Maybe they do a bit of freelance here and there as well.

Actually, I came across this interview on a Mac radio site, about this guy 'Chinny' who promotes Soft|Image, he's a bit of a ... character if you ask me, but anyway it's funny he said how 3d was addictive for people, and I think it's true, I think a lot of people do get very addicted...and again I don't know if that's always in a positive sense... and actually there's no need to be, if you don't want to make it your life or full time career in a big studio, you are under no obligation to whatsoever.

later,

j

Mr Rid
07-28-2007, 03:04 AM
just one more thing to add.

i came into school with years of 3d experience. since i started doing it at the age of 12. higher education means a lot more to me than learning a 3D program and its a shame if thats all people expect out of it. it is a time to apply yourself and broaden your experiences and outlook on everything around you. this in itself can greatly enrich you as a person and add more fodder for creativity. basically, if you can afford it. do it. dont let money dictate your personal growth if you have a choice otherwise. that and it was a hell of a time.

Am sure. This may come as a surprise but you can make connections, drink beer, travel, have girlfriends and interesting life experiences all without having to go to college. And you're not 'locked in' creatively, financially, etc. Some people feel that they benefit from the structure. But if you find yourself driven, able to focus and be productive on your own, why wait four years and go in debt? Just start doing what you want right now, buy the gear, learn for yourself and start earning a living as soon as you can assemble a decent demo/portfolio. It is up to you instead of someone else.

Since 15, I was shooting stupid little homemade movies in the garage and around the neighborhood, trying to remake Star Wars with dogs or something. Then out of high school, when I finally took actual video production classes at a school with a swank studio facility, I found that I already knew more than the teachers about any technique, as they were asking me how I did stuff. I had learned more by fartin around with home video gear on my own-shooting, editing, dubbing, FXing- than I would have ever gotten out of school. Friends who went for a film degree rarely touched actual cameras.

Then of course when I was first learning 3D, there were no courses for it anyway. Thats the beauty of desktop tech. You can do it all yourself.

StevieB
07-28-2007, 08:33 AM
Sorry, I don't have time to read your posts till I get home from work at 5. Had a lot of hours at work yesterday.

StevieB
07-28-2007, 09:08 AM
Qoute: Why do I climb this mountain? Is it because everyone else is, or because I really like mountains, or maybe because someone told me to? Or maybe, just maybe.... I like climbing this mountain.... just because I like to climb mountains! So freakin' what!? Now exuse me while I go jump off of it.

HAHAHA, flipping awesome! Great analogy man, in any case I'm inclined to agree with this perpective (concerning me at least), I can't exactly understand the whole food analogy thing but in my experience 3d art is fun. Its what drawing is to some people, I can't draw, but I can model fairly well. In any case I would want to participate in this work area because it is what intrests me, and it intrests me because its fun for me.

Not sure if that really tied in with what you were talking about above but I hope so!
I'll try to examine it more when I get home from work.

iconoclasty
07-28-2007, 09:45 AM
have girlfriends and interesting life experiences

I don't think girlfriends are compatable with Lightwave. At least I haven't had much luck getting the two to work out together.
Maybe in version 10 they'll fix that conflict. It's probably just the hub.

StevieB
07-28-2007, 07:19 PM
Lol nice! I would have to agree with your thoughts.
Haha, anyways I greatly appreciate everyones posts on this topic. It has helped me more fully understand what is required of me for this career which is what I set out to learn in the first place.
When I am closer to this decision, I will once more post for advice and hopefully get the same amount of helpful feedback that I have this time.

Thank you everyone for your help!
Steven

Sarford
07-30-2007, 05:13 AM
If you have the time and money, do some courses on drawing, painting or (clay)sculpting. It may help you developing your drawing skills and you'll meet other people who have the same attitude (kind of). You can talk with them about your work etc. And its fun to do.
Besides, I don't know how things go in the states, but here in Holland, when you want to apply for art college, you have to show what you've done so far and having done a few of those courses can give you quite a headstart.

Mr Rid
07-30-2007, 06:02 AM
I don't think girlfriends are compatable with Lightwave. At least I haven't had much luck getting the two to work out together.
Maybe in version 10 they'll fix that conflict. It's probably just the hub.

The amount of Gigabutt storage may have something to do with it. Also, how big your hard disk is does matter. But to first initiate a secure SSL connection, scoop those damn action figures off the top of your monitor.

CMT
07-30-2007, 07:25 AM
I don't think girlfriends are compatable with Lightwave. At least I haven't had much luck getting the two to work out together.
Maybe in version 10 they'll fix that conflict. It's probably just the hub.

Look for one that's "backwards compatible" :)

mrpapabeis
08-07-2007, 05:48 PM
StevieB,

Get a copy of "Understanding Comics", by Scott McCloud. It's in comic book format. No really, get a copy of "Understanding Comics", by Scott McCloud.

GP

StevieB
08-07-2007, 08:24 PM
???

Steamthrower
08-08-2007, 06:23 AM
???

I have to echo Steve's question marks.

codyburke610
08-14-2007, 01:19 PM
Little late but I just had to post a comment in here.

Stevie, you sound exactly like me. I as well am going into my tenth year of highschool, just turned 15, and am very skinny for my age.

When I was in elementary school my friends and I would always go skatboarding around town, with my camera filming everything we landed. In my sixth grade year I got Adobe Premiere for Christmas. This was a dream come true becuase from their own end I started editing all are skating tricks and making movies out of them. Ask I got into 7th and 8th Grade I became very well rounded with Adobe Premiere and knew that I wanted to do this as
a career.

During my first year if highschool (ninth grade) I was able to go to vo-tech for a class called "The Academy for Video and Media Arts". It was a three year program that consisted of:
Year One: TV Production
Year Two: Video Editing
Year Three: 3D Animation using Lightwave 3D

My first day at the art school was awesome. Macs everywhere! My teacher called me aside to ask me a few questions. When he asked me how old I was I said "14" and he said that Iw as the youngest student to ever be in his class. At this time I still was not introduced to Lightwave until one day when I came into class and I seem him working on rigging an alien on his Mac. I asked what program it was and when we will be able to use. He said Lightwave and not for another 2 years but I just couldn't wait that long so I saved up enough money to buy the academic version of v9, and I am so glad I did. After having Lightwave for about 8 months now I knew that being a professional 3D animtor/modeler is what a wanted as a career. I created a short scene and shot it to my teacher and he said I was already ahead of what his students in the 3rd year class were creating. He couldn't belive I learned so quickly.

As far as going to college is, I am definatly going, and I feel that you should too, if you have the potential and dream of becoming a 3D Artist then why not pursue it and back it up with a degree behind you. I went to vist a college this summer called "The Art Institute of Philadelphia", where I was offically pronounced the youngest kid there by one of the school directors. I really enjoyed the school, and checked out a few majors "3D Animation" and "Visual Effects and Motion Graphics".

I was really into that school but not enough yet. I then came across the Dave School. A visual effects and animations school located in Orlando. I researched it a lot, and sicne it was not an accredited school I would not be able to get a college degree. But for me it is what school will be able to help you find the best job, and I feel that the Dave School would do its best rather than any other college.

It is now my dream to go to the Dave School when I graduate Highschool and Ic an't wait. Since tuition is 30k a year I am already saving up now, and looking for a job, but its hard being only 15.

As far as parents go not letting you stare at the computer screen, why don't you try to buy a fairly decent pc? Thats what I did. I got a pretty good dell for only about 600 dollars. That way I don't need to always keep hogging up our family computer.

During school I am full on concentrated on everything and try not let anything get in my way of studying. The better grades you have the better college you will get into. Thats why I try not to even associate with girls, becuase I know they will just distract me. I then graduated ninth grade while being on the Honor Roll of Distinction with straight A's.

Ask yourself this question Stevie. "What are my favorite movies?" If most of them consist of having animation or visual effects in it then you'll know that this is something your heart is set to do, becuase those are the movies that interest you the most.

Anyway, Good Luck to you in the future and I hope you make the right decisions. It's cool talking to someone in the same grade as you about stuff like this. None of my other friends care about 3D.
-Cody-

Mr Rid
08-14-2007, 06:27 PM
...Ask I got into 7th and 8th Grade I became very well rounded with Adobe Premiere ...

During my first year if highschool (ninth grade) I was able to go to ... a three year program that consisted of:
Year One: TV Production
Year Two: Video Editing
Year Three: 3D Animation using Lightwave 3D

After having Lightwave for about 8 months now I knew that being a professional 3D animtor/modeler is what a wanted as a career. ...

As far as going to college is, I am definatly going, and I feel that you should too, if you have the potential and dream of becoming a 3D Artist then why not pursue it and back it up with a degree behind you.

Because it sounds like you practically already are a 3D artist. Why squander 30k/year and years of your life? You have such a head jump on things, you may be able to put a demo together that would get you hired right out of high school. For about 15k you can setup a 64bit workstation, and edit station, a 6-pig render farm (10 procs total), and all the apps you need to turn out visual FX and animation. Maybe take a year after school and build one up. Why wait? You definitely sound like the self-motivated type that doesnt need school.



...The better grades you have the better college you will get into. Thats why I try not to even associate with girls, becuase I know they will just distract me.

Yeah doan let them rascally women lure you into gettin all domestified.

Because it sounds like you may already be a 3D artist. Why squander tens of thousands and four years of your life. You have such a head jump on things, you may be able to put a demo togther that would get you hired right out of high school. Why wait?

I didnt graduate high school, and was getting CG jobs after only 4 months of self-taught LW. And just look at me now.
49310

StevieB
08-14-2007, 06:44 PM
UGH I So didn't want to see that! Lol, anyways I appreciate the feedback as much as ever.

Lol, I've never had a girlfriend in my life (and before you get suspicious no I'm not gay and yes there have been girls that wanted to go out with me - like a hindu one who I refuesed because of our religions) so I totally respect where you are coming from. Best of luck to you as well!

Mr Rid
08-14-2007, 11:31 PM
Might also consider Gnomon. I dont know much about it otehr than a friend got a lot out of it. He did this short (among others) by himself over a 5 month period while a student. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L-GAZ2_3ors

We hired him immediately for a freelance music video project after seeing only this student film. Right after that he started directing FX-driven music videos.

SplineGod
08-15-2007, 12:08 AM
Because it sounds like you practically already are a 3D artist. Why squander 30k/year and years of your life? You have such a head jump on things, you may be able to put a demo together that would get you hired right out of high school. For about 15k you can setup a 64bit workstation, and edit station, a 6-pig render farm (10 procs total), and all the apps you need to turn out visual FX and animation. Maybe take a year after school and build one up. Why wait? You definitely sound like the self-motivated type that doesnt need school.


I have to agree with Dave on this one. Ive been in this business for years and not once have I ever seen a situation where someone wanted to see a degree from a school. A demo reel and personal references count for far more in this business then graduating from a school. EDUCATION is important, not where you get it from. I dont think that spending 30k PLUS the cost of living ie. going into massive debt is a great way to start a career especially when you wont get paid anymore then a high school dropout with a good demo reel.

Ive seen many places that like to hire recent graduates simply because they can hire them cheap with the excuse that theyve just finished school. Too many students make it worse on themselves by putting student work on demo reels that they did in class. Its the same stuff on everyone elses reel from the school. Its better to get something unique on a reel and avoid the stigma of student IMO when looking for work.

Mr Rid
08-15-2007, 02:10 AM
A demo reel and personal references count for far more in this business then graduating from a school.
...
Ive seen many places that like to hire recent graduates simply because they can hire them cheap with the excuse that theyve just finished school.

Yup. When I hire or consult with those hiring, we only consider demos- I never read resumes or anything in the envelope. If it looked good, I knew who I wanted to work with, then I found out their name and where they came from. A PhD in Hyper Voxels is meaningless if the demo is lame. Fresh degrees spell 'cheaper to hire.'

StevieB
08-15-2007, 07:46 AM
That was a very... interesting video that you posted. Cool, although I didn't really get the storyline though. In any case I don't think that he is checking this forum on a regular basis anyways but you post a good point as a hirer'er' yourself. Hearing it from those who actaully do the hiring is different...

Steamthrower
08-15-2007, 08:02 AM
I have had college graduates ask to work for me. And I have had non-college graduates ask to work for me. I don't give a flip about whether they have a degree or not.

I turned the college graduate down. He had nothing to show. That's how it is.

SplineGod
08-15-2007, 09:39 AM
Ive also been in the position over the years to have to look at resumes and demo reels. I used to get these 'walk on water' resumes that were quite impressive until I saw the demo reel.

Hiring practices in 'Holllywood' many times are a bit different then the way its done in the 'real world'. Basically someone looks at your resume and sees that you have a degree or certificate. Youre called into an interview where you dress to impress. That degree or paper only tells the employer that you maybe stuck it out in school long enough to make it thru but actually tells them nothing about your true abilities. References may help but we always put down references that are those who will give us the best report.

My experience in the animation industry is that few rely on hiring based on the resume or whether or not you have a degree or certificate. Its always the demo reel and references from co-workers or former co-workers. Employers in this business know that co-workers are only going to refer people whom they know and trust. Even someone with superior talent but who doesnt work well with others probably wont get referred as quickly as a less talented team player.

Many places tend to hire internally as its easier to take someone who knows how the studio works but needs only a bit of training and polish.
Most of the time salaries tend to be much more negociable as well. Its easier to get a recent grad cheaper then someone else because they employer can use all kinds of arguements to get them down to a rock bottom salary. They know that recent grads are hungry for that job and are probably bad at negociating.

These days personal references and contacts are becoming more important then a demo reel because its hard for someone to wade thru a lot of bad reels to find the one or two gems. Another reason is because of people ripping off footage from the internet or exaggerating their role on some shots.

This typically means that you start into the business saddled with large school debt with zero advantage over someone else with no credentials and a good demo reel.

So saving up your money or avoiding girls may sound noble, going into massive debt to gain little to no advantage isnt smart. Getting an education and developing your skills is important. Theres just a lot of alternative ways to do it as Dave pointed out. I know a lot of 3d artists who take various courses to expand or hone their talents. Most pay to learn from successful pros with years of experience and in many cases are still working professionally. Thats one of the nice things about working out in this area. :)

Twisted_Pixel
08-15-2007, 10:23 AM
This thread has some really good and useful information.
Hopefully it will continue to grow.

Would be interesting to see feedback from other people who have been in the position of hiring before. I can guess the situation is probably the same as has been mentioned, but different scenarios would add to the views too.

SplineGod
08-15-2007, 02:27 PM
One thing to remember is once you get away from LA or into other countries or cities your mileage may vary. :)

wacom
08-19-2007, 04:38 AM
Excel at the parts of 3D and art you "love" but NEVER forget the importance of friends, meeting people, and that dirty word "connections/networking".

Gross...but needed they are!

You wouldn't believe the amount of money people will pay you for 3D work if you're willing to do it for more than just block busters, sci-fi TV etc. Keep an open mind in that sense! There are a lot of places that want 3D work...but think that its only for commercials and film...so out of their range...but I think a lot of places like design firms etc. will begin to have more 3D specialists on board or heavily contracted. Best part about these jobs is they often have VERY little bias towards the software you use. They often could care less and don't care to understand it- a pixel is a pixel is a pixel...

Oh...and it never hurts to come at it from a different angle...with specific art or technical training (industrial design, graphic design, programing, set design etc.).

StevieB
08-19-2007, 09:04 AM
Lol, I think how I'm going to go about it is this - at age 17 I'll have compliled my best works and will have made them into a demo video (hopefully a few actaully) and post them around the web and see what happens. If I get a lot of people who want me to work for them, I will consider not doing college.

Mr Rid
08-19-2007, 01:55 PM
Lol, I think how I'm going to go about it is this - at age 17 I'll have compliled my best works and will have made them into a demo video (hopefully a few actaully) and post them around the web and see what happens. If I get a lot of people who want me to work for them, I will consider not doing college.

I think you should show your demo to other animators first and be ready for tough love. Look for job postings like on VFXpro and send out a lot of DVDs. Most places prefer a DVD to web.

With my first polished CG demo reel, I took six months to fine tune it, then sent over 50 of them out to every place I could find an address for. It only takes one 'yes.' This was in '97 when houses were actually pickier and looking for degrees which was just stupid. A few years later they realized anyone can be a great asset no matter what their background and that self-taughts could particularly think outside the box. I remember that some woman from Rhythm and Hues called to ask if I had a degree in physics... 'does making a bong out of a pickle jar count?' ;D

wacom
08-19-2007, 04:09 PM
Lol, I think how I'm going to go about it is this - at age 17 I'll have compliled my best works and will have made them into a demo video (hopefully a few actaully) and post them around the web and see what happens. If I get a lot of people who want me to work for them, I will consider not doing college.


Try to do a larger set of things too. Get a few friends together who are interested in the same things and make a short that gets funded by a grant. These things look good, show responsibility, show an ability to work with others on a deadline, and help keep you from becoming a modeling slave etc.

I'm not so sure about most 3D schools...I don't think its right to go to a place where everyone is "the same" as it's even less like the real world than normal college. I'd suggest a regular good art degree in a school that is flexible (aka they want you to take painting classes AND love it when you do 3D) over a 3D puppy mill maker unless you want to be nothing more than a worker bee.

I think most people are better off learning from their own experience and from "real" projects vs. what they learn in some 3D trade school that costs an arm and an leg.

You could buy every major 3D program AND most of the training software and books for them and still save money over somewhere like the AI! Honestly- take time and think about it!

For my last job they could have cared less if I even got past the 3rd grade as long as I spoke and wrote English at a 6th grade level and produced the pixels they needed. No question of software package or previous experience was asked. Then again I can't say it enough- knowing people is important!

Mr Rid
08-19-2007, 10:39 PM
Then again I can't say it enough- knowing people is important!

Everyone harps on this point, but I have seen that a kickass demo will open doors over anything about where you came from or who you know. Have seen enough artists with prestigious resumes, and contacts but with lame or misleading demos, so they were not kept long on the payroll as were uberanimators from nowhere.

SplineGod
08-19-2007, 11:02 PM
Thats very true. Generally nobody will recommend you if theres the slightest chance that your work or demeanor will not reflect favorably upon their recommendation. Nobody will recommend you no matter how many people you know if your work isnt up to snuff or youre a talented guy with a bad attitude.
I tend to recommend others I know if they do good work, they are team players and are willing to return the favor someday. :)

Brandonisrad
08-20-2007, 07:16 PM
Hey stevie. anyway, don't your highschool have a program for careers that you can get into? When I was in highschool, I took up animation for 2 semesters at DaleJ just to test it out. I liked it so I went on to college for it, I was going to be a surgen to follow in my moms footsteps trust me "Animation is way more fun and relaxed!". I think you will like it, you seem to have alot of passion for it same as I did. All you are lacking is confidence in yourself becoming a great artist. BTW, my professor "Mr. Klingler aka sasquash " worked for disney he worked on "lion king, Thumbelina, little mermaid, Ant bully and lots more" so when you go to college most likely your professor will have had some experience in the field and will answer all your questions.:)