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View Full Version : VFX Carrer - Start from scratch at 21 - too late?


VFXLover
08-24-2012, 03:03 PM
Hello everyone, my name is Filipe Vaz, i am from Portugal and i just graduated from economy here at college. The thing is i'm not actually satisfied at all with what i'm doing and i'm thinking since i'm 21 to change to something i really love which is Visual Effects. I never thought of VFX as a career but the other day i was watching TV and I saw this documentary on VFX and i got so excited with that, so i decided maybe i could make my life out of that.
I already know from my research that there are different roles in making Visual Effects but i loved to hear about modeling, effects td's and compositors...

NOW.. for the bad side of the question, i never touched a 3D software before, my programming skills are really basic and my drawing skills are the same as a 5 years old kid.

My question for all you guys: Is 21 too late to start from scratch and still get good enough to have a career in this field. I dream to work in companies like Digital Domain, Double Negative, etc... But i see people at my age are already working in the industry so i want your opinion. Is it too late for me?

Hope you can point me in the right direction, i really love VFX and i would too see my name on a movie's credits someday as part of the VFX team...

Thanks you all.

Dalevl
08-29-2012, 06:39 AM
It's not to late, all it takes is the drive and passion to learn VFX to get started. The average age of my classmates was around 25 when I went through school but we had much older students with us that were in their late thirties/ early forties. Most of us had never touched a 3D Software before coming to the school, and not everyone was a talented artist or programer. Most of the skills you will need are built up during your studies and then continue to hone after you are out in the industry. There are many free resources online you can use to start learning about 3D softwares and the various skills needed for the different roles you will find in the industry.

If you are interested in doing effects, then you might want to start to play around with Houdini. There is a free version that you can download on their site and they host free tutorials on how to use it for modeling, lighting, animating, and of course VFX. The Area has big selection of content for Maya, Max, Mudbox and other programs from the Autodesk family. There are much more resources easily available now then there were a few years back that you can teach yourself the basics for free or with a small investment, this forum alone leads you to some great resources.

Here are a couple site you should look into:

http://www.digitaltutors.com/
http://www.sidefx.com/
http://www.the-area.com/
http://wiki.polycount.com/
http://www.nukepedia.com/
http://www.creativecrash.com/
http://www.zbrushcentral.com/

VFXLover
08-29-2012, 11:00 PM
Oh thanks a lot, i really got some hope from you right now... But, let's be honest, starting from the beggining at this age, and counting on my need to learn how to draw and programming too, do i have a chance of working in a big company like those i mentioned first or it's going to be a shot in the dark... Because there is so much to learn, and i have so little amount of time to do so...
I am in a desperate mode now.. :P

Please help... :)

M1KES
09-13-2012, 05:40 PM
Do not worry about your age... in this industry its not your age that counts but your portfolio. If you really do enjoy it.. then go for it! You might not start off with a job at those big companies.. but keep building up your portefolio and you might end up there one day. I am also from Portugal and am 27 years old... although i already have 3D experience and art classes.. i am gonna go do a vfx course in canada next year. Its never too late to learn.
You are actually very young.. dont worry about it being too late.

HobblesLake
09-17-2012, 07:58 AM
It's been done before! And even later on in life too. One of my instructors graduated from school when he was 30.

The only thing you might not like, is working for people younger than you. I know my instructor hated that!

leigh
09-17-2012, 11:51 AM
No you're not too old. Stop worrying about things that don't matter.

Rexonox
09-25-2012, 10:28 PM
haha man you're 21 years old, you won't realize it now but you have no idea how young 21 really is. It really doesn't matter man when you've started, all that matters is that you start period. I just read a news article the other day of a 60 yr old man who was always chubby and decided it was better late then never, so he started dieting and working out and now the guy has a six pack. Did I mention he was 60 years old?

Look I was in the same boat as you, I have another post in this forum talking about a new school called CG Spectrum. I was just browsing randomly and saw your post. CG Spectrum is JUST launching a new VFX program (http://www.cgspectrum.com/program%20-%20vfx) and for 50% off, and they will be launching a modelling program very soon as well. I'm enrolled in the animation program (you can check out my instructor on the video on the websites homepage).

I'm really a behind the scenes guy who just gets on forums to see what people are talking about. This is one of the first times in my life that I feel the need to post. These guys are honestly amazing and they really really give a damn about you and I swear the knowledge they pour into your head is phenomenal. I've just finished the first semester at the animation program and I feel like I'm a thousand years ahead of where I used to be before I started (i actually laugh at the old me and how clueless i really was).

Anyways man, give it a look, and send them an email and they'll hook up a online meeting and you can talk to them and get a sense of everything. I highly recommend it.

artzolio
09-29-2012, 07:36 AM
My question for all you guys: Is 21 too late to start from scratch and still get good enough to have a career in this field. I dream to work in companies like Digital Domain, Double Negative, etc... But i see people at my age are already working in the industry so i want your opinion. Is it too late for me?
Thanks you all.

Filipe:

It is never late to follow your dreams. When I graduated from Computer Science (at 22) I realized that I wanted to work with computer graphics. I wanted to be an artist! I wanted to work for big companies such as Digital Domain, Pixar, DreamWorks Animation, ILM. On my graduation trip in 2004 a friend asked me "Where do you see yourself in 5 years?". I told him "I see myself working for DreamWorks, I like their movies". Of course, most people would tell me "you are an engineer, what are you doing with colors? Are you doing little cute stuff?" It took me a lot of study, practice, and smaller jobs, but in 2008 in the day of my birthday, I started working at DreamWorks. Yes, dreams are possible. Not people tell me "what are you doing with code? You are an artist". You are what you want to be.

As many of the people above mention: developing your portfolio is key. When I started, there was so much information that I didn't know what to learn first. I immersed myself into everything and anything day and night. In about a year I was able to create my first portfolio. Sharing your work is key. It takes a lot of work, but it is possible. I guess its is never late to find happiness.

Cesar Montero - artzolio.com

mrcain
09-30-2012, 01:01 AM
No you're not too old. Stop worrying about things that don't matter.

My sentiments exactly. There is always a danger with the need for reassurance, if you want to do something, don't create unnecessary obstacles.

artzolio
10-02-2012, 09:41 AM
My question for all you guys: Is 21 too late to start from scratch and still get good enough to have a career in this field. I dream to work in companies like Digital Domain, Double Negative, etc... But i see people at my age are already working in the industry so i want your opinion. Is it too late for me?

.

Filipe:

It is never late to follow your dreams. When I graduated from Computer Science (at 22) I realized that I wanted to work with computer graphics. I wanted to be an artist! I wanted to work for big companies such as Digital Domain, Pixar, DreamWorks Animation, ILM. On my graduation trip in 2004 a friend asked me "Where do you see yourself in 5 years?". I told him "I see myself working for DreamWorks, I like their movies". Of course, most people would tell me "you are an engineer, what are you doing with colors? Are you doing little cute stuff?" It took me a lot of study, practice, and smaller jobs, but in 2008 in the day of my birthday, I started working at DreamWorks. Yes, dreams are possible. Now people tell me "what are you doing with code? You are an artist". You are what you want to be.

As many of the people above mention: developing your portfolio is key. When I started, there was so much information that I didn't know what to learn first. I immersed myself into everything and anything day and night. In about a year I was able to create my first portfolio. Sharing your work is key. It takes a lot of work, but it is possible. I guess its is never late to find happiness.

PS: Leigh (user above) saw my early beginnings. =') :arteest:
Cesar Montero -artzolio.com

chewbacca007
10-03-2012, 06:27 PM
I second Rexonox's comments. It's never too late. CG Spectrum is awesome.

http://www.cgspectrum.com/program%20-%20vfx

-=Chris

peanutbk
10-04-2012, 04:25 PM
I just started my course in 3D Animation & Modeling 6 months ago and I am 20 years old, the only prior experience that I had was 2 semesters of Fine Arts. It's a lot of information to take in at first, but in the end it is definitely worth if it's really what you want to do!

drewmccarroll
10-21-2012, 05:55 AM
Dude, Its not too late at all. I'm 24 and pretty much doing the same thing. I'm shooting for the having a reel go enough to get me into the Dreamworks Outreach Program by the time I graduate. Which is next June.

narvs
11-05-2012, 11:33 AM
Well.. let me tell you that I am 25 (26 later this month) and I'm also from Portugal, I've gotten my Master's degree in architecture in 2010 and I'm feeling kind of disappointed with my chances of having a career in architecture since the market it's fully saturated and construction business is coming way down.

I'm not the only one in this position and there are many like me. Tired of being asked for experience with no chance of getting any, and years working in crappy jobs to get some money together so i could get a better opportunity... I just got tired, i quit my job last week and finally decided to invest everything i have in cgi industry.

I don't care about my past, I feel grateful for the artistic background my degree gave me and for introducing me to this fantastic world of VR and 3d (in which i developed my Master's thesis theme) and my commitment is to in a period of 1 to 2 years have assembled a great portfolio that can allow me to aspire to greater dreams.

My advice for you man is to not get caught in worthless and small obstacles, focus in the bigger ones and do everything to overcome them. It will make you stronger! Age it's never and obstacle and you will find that out really soon!

I just had to post this after reading some inspiring stories in this thread!

Never give up on your dreams.

alonga
12-05-2012, 07:22 PM
Because English is not very good so watch online tutorials often don't understand cause learning is very difficult have no good way

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