PDA

View Full Version : Blender to break in to CG Professionally


ChadForeman
06-04-2008, 09:36 PM
Hi everyone. Thanks for reading. Here's a dilema that I am facing as a wannabee 3D artist, 34 year-old, non-traditional college student (2 more years to go) studying Graphic design.

A school near me offers intro to 3D animation using Blender (courses which I can apply to the school I currently attend).

Another school, where I would have to pack up and move to, teaches Maya. I want to make the most out of my college experience and at the end be able to walk away with a demo reel that's good enough to get a job at a 3D studio.

It seems like knowing Maya is a pre-rec for getting in to an animation studio (remember, I'm a novice here, only judging by what I've read and heard)

Is there anybody out there who knows of the potential of landing a job in the CG industry with only experience in Blender?

Boone
06-04-2008, 10:02 PM
If your aim is to get into the CG industry then Maya is the correct choice as its the industry standard. However, I would aim to simply learn "3D" with Blender at this time. The only problem you will have after your education is using different software but what you learn about 3D in general will be transferable.

I'll be honest, I've gone from Real3D, TrueSpace, Cinema4D, Maya, Max to Silo and I can say everytime its been a pain getting used to each of them in turn. However, after a week or so of sheer persistance I start to settle in with new software. You just have to make the effort to adapt I'm afraid...

But for the moment and should the price be right get education with Blender. You get to mix in with some like minded souls and a teacher who will guide you through the whole process.

ChadForeman
06-04-2008, 10:20 PM
Thank you Boone for your input. That's very kind of you to take the time to reply.

Like many of the other noobies on here, I am seeking the best path towards a career in the CG field. It's a tough debate. I could spend the next 2 years learning Blender and making a cool demo reel. As you said, that's a good way to learn "3D." But would I make better use of my time to spend those 2 years learning Maya to make my really sweet demo reel?

The advantage (I think at least) to the second path being that I would already be experienced in the industry-standard Maya. The advantage to the first path being less effort in moving now and more effort learning to change over software later on. But if you mentioned about a week's worth of dilligent effort, that might be a better path.

Hmmmmm. The debate continues.

Joat
06-05-2008, 12:39 AM
Unless you are exceptionally talented and really motivated I'd argue you will reach a level where it makes a difference wether your reel is made with Blender or Maya in two years. The differences on the output are getting subtler (is that an english word?) by the moment. Then again, the upside of Blender would be to have a free software you can make a honest living if you wish, without investing megabucks on software alone. The obvious downside is that you'd have to learn Maya if you apply to a studio where they use it.

Are you planning to purchase a license of Maya if you start to learn it? If so, remember that there is always a catch when dealing with commercial software. Unless you have thousands to spend on it, you either buy an entry level version or a student version. Entry level package lacks features you need to make all the cool stuff and student version you can't use to anything commercial. Both are serious disadvantages if you are building a career. When you start to get good, there will be commercial projects within your reach. And if you can take them, they make an excellent addendum to your showcase when applying for that dream job.

In my opinion it's quite irrelevant to think about moving or not. The bigger question would be if you are truly willing to invest on learning 3D. If your answer is yes, then think if you got the vision and artistic capabilities to become a master of the craft. If the answer is still yes, take the Maya school. If you are uncertain, take the Blender route. It's cheaper to get started with and can still get you there.

I should know. I would not have 3D as part of my arsenal if there haven't been Blender. But now I have made a significant part of my income using it. I'm still nowhere near to even dream of applying to some big studio. And I think I never will be. But the quality I'm able to produce is more than satisfactory for my customers.

And I get to do 3D, which is cool.

TylerAZambori
06-05-2008, 01:59 AM
Unless you are exceptionally talented and really motivated I'd argue you will reach a level where it makes a difference wether your reel is made with Blender or Maya in two years. The differences on the output are getting subtler (is that an english word?) by the moment. Then again, the upside of Blender would be to have a free software you can make a honest living if you wish, without investing megabucks on software alone. The obvious downside is that you'd have to learn Maya if you apply to a studio where they use it.

Are you planning to purchase a license of Maya if you start to learn it? If so, remember that there is always a catch when dealing with commercial software. Unless you have thousands to spend on it, you either buy an entry level version or a student version. Entry level package lacks features you need to make all the cool stuff and student version you can't use to anything commercial. Both are serious disadvantages if you are building a career. When you start to get good, there will be commercial projects within your reach. And if you can take them, they make an excellent addendum to your showcase when applying for that dream job.

In my opinion it's quite irrelevant to think about moving or not. The bigger question would be if you are truly willing to invest on learning 3D. If your answer is yes, then think if you got the vision and artistic capabilities to become a master of the craft. If the answer is still yes, take the Maya school. If you are uncertain, take the Blender route. It's cheaper to get started with and can still get you there.

I should know. I would not have 3D as part of my arsenal if there haven't been Blender. But now I have made a significant part of my income using it. I'm still nowhere near to even dream of applying to some big studio. And I think I never will be. But the quality I'm able to produce is more than satisfactory for my customers.

And I get to do 3D, which is cool.

well that's pretty good, isn;t it, that you get to support yourself and use the software you like, right?

ChadForeman
06-05-2008, 02:27 AM
Unless you are exceptionally talented and really motivated I'd argue you will reach a level where it makes a difference wether your reel is made with Blender or Maya in two years. The differences on the output are getting subtler (is that an english word?) by the moment. Then again, the upside of Blender would be to have a free software you can make a honest living if you wish, without investing megabucks on software alone. The obvious downside is that you'd have to learn Maya if you apply to a studio where they use it.

Are you planning to purchase a license of Maya if you start to learn it? If so, remember that there is always a catch when dealing with commercial software. Unless you have thousands to spend on it, you either buy an entry level version or a student version. Entry level package lacks features you need to make all the cool stuff and student version you can't use to anything commercial. Both are serious disadvantages if you are building a career. When you start to get good, there will be commercial projects within your reach. And if you can take them, they make an excellent addendum to your showcase when applying for that dream job.

In my opinion it's quite irrelevant to think about moving or not. The bigger question would be if you are truly willing to invest on learning 3D. If your answer is yes, then think if you got the vision and artistic capabilities to become a master of the craft. If the answer is still yes, take the Maya school. If you are uncertain, take the Blender route. It's cheaper to get started with and can still get you there.

I should know. I would not have 3D as part of my arsenal if there haven't been Blender. But now I have made a significant part of my income using it. I'm still nowhere near to even dream of applying to some big studio. And I think I never will be. But the quality I'm able to produce is more than satisfactory for my customers.

And I get to do 3D, which is cool.

Hi Joat.

Thank you so much for your extended, detailed response. I really appreciate it. I see you do quite a bit of work in Blender. Your portfolio speaks volumes for the software. You do very good work. That is extra cool that you are able to do 3D work and get paid using Blender.

Subtler is an English word (good job) but even if it wasn't, it's still kind of cool to make up variations of words. We do it all the time and it's fun.

I am really curious as to who your customers are? Do you just do freelance for yourself? How do your customers find you? You must be in a location where people would be looking for your services.

I consider myself to be fairly talented and artistic, but I will agree with you that the software I use to make my demo reel would probably not make the biggest difference in its outcome. My biggest concern on which to use is when I make my resume to include with my reel and send in to studios. The thought of being able to put 'trained in Maya' would seem to be very advantageous, versus Blender, since as many have said that Maya is the industry standard.

That being said, I am a full-time college student and therefore qualify to purchase the student version of the software. I feel that license should be enough to get me a good start on the program and well enough to make that reel.

The moving issue is a lot bigger than I can convey on the forums. It would take 3 threads to explain the complexity of this issue. I purchased a small house in a really unique, hip, cool mountain town that is in the center of the commercial white water rafting industry of West Virginia and some of the best kayaking in the country.

However, it is also surrounded by coal mines which are mostly dried up. So the economy here is rather depressed compared to the rest of the US. Basically, there's not much here other than a really cool town in the white water world.

Since the last response from Boone, I have been mowing the lawn, contemplating these decisions.

The issue is not the dedication towards learning to master the craft of 3D. I have been contemplating that career since 2004 and slowly moving in that direction with school and stuff. I know that is what I want to do. I am a pretty full-go person so if I do something, it's all the way. I feel confident enough in my abilities to proceed in learning the art of 3D, knowing that I can and will be successful.

Another option is to finish my bachelors degree at West Virginia Tech while working on my portfolio to get accepted to Gnomon. If I can do this, then it's all good to learn Blender at Tech and State because Gnomon looks so super sweet. No guarantees I'll ever get accepted but I am a pretty driven person.

On the flip-side is moving to Portsmouth, Ohio for Shawnee State, where they teach Maya. I am willing to put in the hard work in the off hours. In that case it's possible that I could get in with a studio after the 2 years at Shawnee, versus 2 years at Tech and then 2 more years at Gnomon. Although, Gnomon just looks so sweet.

If anybody is reading this far, thanks. I am just trying to work things out "on paper" but any suggestions or input are always appreciated.

Boone
06-05-2008, 11:53 AM
I had came up with a rather long winded reply to your newest post but I shall just get to the point.

Example: Jeff Lew. Years back he said that he uses Maya for professional work but Animation/Master(or whatever it is) for his personal work such as his Killer Bean films.

Example: Timothy Albee. Will most likely use XSI in a professional studio but for Kaze Ghost Warrior he used Lightwave.

Example: Me!:thumbsup: I use Maya for programming and character rigging(though I have never worked in the industry) but for personal works in the past I have always used TrueSpace.

You will find that many professionals will tell you that what they use at work is different than what they use at home. For you, it could be Maya(professional) and Blender(personal). And dont think for a minute that will have to be a master in both packages: The professional one only needs you to have skills in a certain area, whereas the personal package you will be a "Jack of all trades, master of none".

For example, if I want to do a personal project(such as an animated short or demo reel) it would be done in TrueSpace(well, I'm most likely going to convert to either Blender or Lightwave soon) but if I want a job in the industry then I will use Maya(or possibly Max) and not bother with anything else but character rigging and programming.

So yes, finish your education and learn Blender and then two years down the line get Maya and concentrate on banging out a demo reel.

ChadForeman
06-05-2008, 12:51 PM
Interesting. Very interesting.

Thank you Boone just for thinking of "the long-winded reply." I do appreciate you taking the time to respond to a wannabee like myself.

I woke up bright and early this morning and hopped on to the Blender. It's summer break from school and I can get work done this afternoon. I was too excited to start learning a 3D package.

I figure I might as well just start with what I have, which is Blender. Love open source. Besides, I've seen some pretty impressive art made with Blender. So, here goes.

2 hours in... I'm having fun! Of course, the hard stuff hasn't started yet.

Boone are you working on any kind of 3D right now? Also, I see you are a programmer. Do you just do freelance or what? I like the tag-line "sir-rigs-a-lot."

Also I find it encouraging to see that you may be switching to Blender.

sebastian-koenig
06-05-2008, 01:31 PM
@chad: i'd say: good decision! blender is free AND powerful. it will take months, if not years to fully master 3D completely in any 3d-progamm (well, at least speaking of own experience...). and once you have mastered the whole concept of meshes, edge-loops, key-frames, shading, rendering, compositing etc. it's almost only a matter of GUI and familiarization to switch between apps. and looking at blender's development pace and the upcoming changes it will probably be possible to integrate the "big" renderers like v-ray etc. in blender, or even blender will have it's own (fake)GI-renderer.
and with blender getting more powerful and more popular, chances are good that i will be used in more and more studios.
so it's a win-win situation!

make sure to drop in at www.blenderartists.org/forum (http://www.blenderartists.org/forum) !
if you are using firefox, this may be interesting:
http://blendernewbies.communitytoolbars.com/
some tutorials:
http://glenmoyes.com/blender/video_tutorials/
http://www.geneome.net/index.php/tutorials/blender-tutorials/

good luck and have fun with blender!

TylerAZambori
06-05-2008, 02:03 PM
I had came up with a rather long winded reply to your newest post but I shall just get to the point.

Example: Jeff Lew. Years back he said that he uses Maya for professional work but Animation/Master(or whatever it is) for his personal work such as his Killer Bean films.

Example: Timothy Albee. Will most likely use XSI in a professional studio but for Kaze Ghost Warrior he used Lightwave.

Example: Me!:thumbsup: I use Maya for programming and character rigging(though I have never worked in the industry) but for personal works in the past I have always used TrueSpace.

You will find that many professionals will tell you that what they use at work is different than what they use at home. For you, it could be Maya(professional) and Blender(personal). And dont think for a minute that will have to be a master in both packages: The professional one only needs you to have skills in a certain area, whereas the personal package you will be a "Jack of all trades, master of none".

For example, if I want to do a personal project(such as an animated short or demo reel) it would be done in TrueSpace(well, I'm most likely going to convert to either Blender or Lightwave soon) but if I want a job in the industry then I will use Maya(or possibly Max) and not bother with anything else but character rigging and programming.

So yes, finish your education and learn Blender and then two years down the line get Maya and concentrate on banging out a demo reel.

Boone, what made you decide to transition from truespace to blender or LW?

I have it, and the users make it seem s very enticing for what it can do, but then
the question is, it might be simple and easy, but what about quality....most of the
work I've seen done with it isn't that good. There's this one Venezualan guy
who does good work with it, but that's all I've seen.

To the OP: you could get the learning edition of maya and learn that on your own
after you learn the fundamentals with Blender. That's one possibility.

ChadForeman
06-05-2008, 03:24 PM
@chad: i'd say: good decision! blender is free AND powerful. it will take months, if not years to fully master 3D completely in any 3d-progamm (well, at least speaking of own experience...). and once you have mastered the whole concept of meshes, edge-loops, key-frames, shading, rendering, compositing etc. it's almost only a matter of GUI and familiarization to switch between apps. and looking at blender's development pace and the upcoming changes it will probably be possible to integrate the "big" renderers like v-ray etc. in blender, or even blender will have it's own (fake)GI-renderer.
and with blender getting more powerful and more popular, chances are good that i will be used in more and more studios.
so it's a win-win situation!

make sure to drop in at www.blenderartists.org/forum (http://www.blenderartists.org/forum) !
if you are using firefox, this may be interesting:
http://blendernewbies.communitytoolbars.com/
some tutorials:
http://glenmoyes.com/blender/video_tutorials/
http://www.geneome.net/index.php/tutorials/blender-tutorials/

good luck and have fun with blender!

Hi Sebastian.

Thank you for the response and positive encouragement. It goes a very long way.

I think the parts you mention about learning 3D concepts... "concept of meshes, edge-loops, key-frames, shading, rendering, compositing etc" makes a whole ton of sense. Especially when you mention that it's really just a matter of switching between the different apps and learning the interface as being the main differences between Maya or Max or any of the others.

Those words are very encouraging, and motivating too.

Thank you for the links as well. One thing that's cool is the community of support available online and all of the web sites with tutorials and education.

ChadForeman
06-05-2008, 03:42 PM
To the OP: you could get the learning edition of maya and learn that on your own
after you learn the fundamentals with Blender. That's one possibility.

Thank you.

I did download the Maya learner edition as well. That has been a consideration too.

The main reason for my decision between one of the other is that as a student, there is a school near me that teaches Blender. The one further away teaches Maya. If I stuck with the school closer to me then it would be more advantageous to learn Blender to give me a bit of a head start with classes.

I like the idea of learning the fundamentals with one and then transferring them to the other. I love learning new software, especially if it is graphically oriented. Oh wait, I mean only if it's graphically oriented. :cool:

Boone
06-05-2008, 03:47 PM
TrueSpace in my opinion is the app I could most compare to 3dsMax. Indeed, I have always been impressed with its file support and the numerous options. If you are a beginner then I would whole heartedly recommend you buy it as your first application. The only thing that disappoints me with TrueSpace is its stability issues. But for the price its very powerful and a good introduction to 3D if you then wish to jump over to 3dsMax.

However, in the low-to-mid price range Bender and Lightwave have a great advantage over all others - network rendering! Blender is free, so you can install it on as many machines as you like and Lightwave - god bless - comes with 999 render nodes. Also, both of those packages seem to work well enough with many platforms.

Joat
06-05-2008, 04:07 PM
I am really curious as to who your customers are? Do you just do freelance for yourself? How do your customers find you? You must be in a location where people would be looking for your services.

I run a small (2 person) advertising agency located in the middle of Finnish countryside. The nearest village is 10 kilometers away, and the community's population including the village and surrounding countryside is about 3000. Our company has mostly local customer base. We moved in here 2 years ago, and knew no-one from here when we did. Usually our customers come to us by word of mouth from our older customers.

It is still quite easy to sell 3D graphics even in here. Our customers usually want us to design and implement a corporate identity or enhance the old one they have. They also need packaging and demonstrations of products they are starting to manufacture. All this can utilize 3D graphics. It actually complements 2D design quite well. I often produce graphical elements in Blender only to be implemented in a 2D design as enhancements in some form. The client's seem to be loving it.

As 3D work one could argue it's quite dull. When compared to working in Pixar or Lucasfilm or Weta and doing the latest blockbuster it propably is too. But I think I have more control over what I do and when I do it than most any of them. AND I can justify my time spent with Blender as honing my skills to produce more and better stuff, also for my customers.

If I would have had to buy a software package worth thousands, I would have had to manage without 3D. It's as simple as that in these conditions. It simply would not have been a viable investment, no matter how I would have looked at it.

By the way, my gallery has been sadly neglected for a couple of years. In order to rectify that I added 2 new images. Just stuff I have done, nothing overly fancy. But at least a bit more recent.

Boone
06-05-2008, 04:19 PM
Re: ChadForeman.

Well, at the moment I'm still learning - currently studying Java and Software development. You see I have this mad scheme to write my own 3D software but dont let that worry you...:)

I do help a friend(who is also my mentor when it comes to 3dsMax and I owe them a great deal) who sometimes gets behind on their sleep(its not an easy business) but only just to do simple modelling and texturing. I'm not a mug or anything but giving up the odd hour helping a friend instead of watching Coronation Street is always worth the effort - if you could even call it an effort...

You see this is the thing - if you attend an evening class that introduces Blender you never know who you are going to meet or what to expect. Good networking never hurts and helping out when you have nothing else better to do is usually a good thing.

As for "Sir-Rig-a-lot" - its now old! But a couple of years back I went all out to learn character rigging with Maya and what with watching Monty Python and the Holy Grail at the time it just popped in there!

At the moment I'm holding down a fulltime job, two computing courses and somehow trying to find time for myself! Saying that, I sit the exam for one of those courses on the 18th of this month and so I will finally have time to focus on my own projects once again. I've thought about either a short film, another game or just going all out and writing my own character rigging and animation program...or maybe landing myself a girlfriend!:scream:

everlite
06-05-2008, 09:42 PM
Hi Chad,

I've been through this process myself so I'd like to add in a few words if i may :)

So let me get to the heart of this, you want to get from A to B, A) been where you are now and B) been a professional CG artist getting paid to do cool work ?? So i'll reply with that perpective in mind.

To begin with software is pretty much the last thing on the list you'll need to worry about before you get to that magical B place :) Don't get me wrong, still very important but i feel a few things needs to be addressed first.

First thing to remember is that programs in general, especially 3d programs are simply tools in the same way a pencil is to an artist, learning to draw a character is one thing, bringing it to life is a whole different ball game. So with that in mind the first thing you need to assess is your creative/artistic ability, without that you aint going to get very far im afraid :) I've known 3d artists with exceptional portfolios go into a 3d role never actually used a 3d program, simply getting the job based on their creative ability, of course they get trained in house.

Next, what sector do you wish to get into? Film, game, architectual, product vis, etc (lots) this choice will influence many discisions in the future. Then when you make that choice, what area do you wish to specialise in, modeller, texture painter, rigger, lighting, environment artist etc .. again lots of sub areas to think about :) so it might be worth thinking about what it is that you find appealing about this career choice, focus your thoughts on which aspect you enjoy the most.

Next - school. Hmmm well ... i have negative thoughts about various schools in general, personaly in my experience they use up valuable time and neglect to teach you something that simply cant be tought in a school, the working environment of a commercial studio. They lack the dynamic pace you get when you have a client breathing over your head feeling the sweat dripping of his brow!! haha :) also in my personal experience, the tutors were always 5 steps behind whats happening in the commerical environment, and its equally frustrating when the tutor begins to ask YOU how you did this and that ..hmm, again speaking from personal experience. If i was you, save the cash on expensive school fees and shell out for lots of gnomon DVDs :) they're the best you can get and you can study at your own pace. Though considering your in school at the mo, continue with, take as much as you can and push to get that reel done asap. Consider talking with a few TV companies, FX houses, editing studios (or whatever you have close by related) and see if you get some in house work for say one day a week, this will really help with getting inhouse experience and building contacts in the industry.

Continued ...

everlite
06-05-2008, 09:43 PM
(Continued)

So on to software, again this depends on the sector you wish to get into, For architectural work study 3ds max, for games .. well its slowly shifting between max and maya. For film most studios go with Maya, mainly due to its flexability in various areas for rendering etc .. regarding streight modelling tools, i'd say Max, the tools in Maya are a little dated in areas. Softimage is a nice piece of kit, though less common than maya. Now i know im going to get my arss kicked for saying this, but when it comes to commerical work, in a serious studio stay away from Truespace :) Truespace has never been seriously used in a professional environment, its tried and failed for years. To be honest back in 1999 truespace was the first piece of software i ever used (pariod) in fact i had that before i had a computer, i saw this free little program and then went out and purchased a PC a few weeks later :) so i love truespace for the fond memories i have, but in the real world it just dont make the bench im afraid. Blender - well, blenders a tricky one. Because of its ethos and nature blender will never rival programs such as maya and softimage for capability, and to be honest i dont think it needs to. Blenders a great foundation for any 3d artist and i feel the general approach to modelling in blender can take you up to other programs such as maya etc, the method of editing a mesh is very similar between blender and the rest, the more important thing you need to investigate is good topology, ie using quads, adding edge loops in the right areas etc .. when it comes to making your way into the industry sticking blender (alone) on your CV wont go down very well, because they need to know use can get up to speed with the programs they use (ie maya) but in general i think many 3d artists/directors know blender and respect the artists who use it, so adding it to the list with a second program may give you an edge, even if its just a good topic for conversation :) That said, if you'e thinking of going freelance and doing work directly for a client, then blender could very well be a good choice for commerical work too. A side note on the above, Blender is a VERY capable program for doing commecial work, dont get me wrong on that point :) but it just wont ever see the inside of a major VFX company, at least not for sometime until a studio decides to build itself from the ground up with blender at it heart (which IS already happening - so promising future for blender) I have strong hopes for blender and actively try to use it commercially, but the world we lives in favors alternatives for the moment.

Regarding the expense, yeh its an expensive career choice, cant say much more than that :)

Finally its worth noting that it doesn't always come down to what you know, again from experience i've found its more a case of who you know, i've worked in places knowing little about the programs used or techniques and picking them up on the job, usually just knowing someone who works there. Also just doing a little contract work here and there freelance you soon end up with a network of contacts. So yeh i guess the final choice been do you want to work in a full time contract or do you prefer freelance? personally i've tried fulltime roles and it soon became clear i was unhappy with this, freelance was the way for me, far more flexiblity and freedom, however dont be fooled into thinking less work :) when working freelance you require a greater sense of descipline, especially with the financial side, and be prepared to work 20 hour shifts :) but the variety of work is far more enjoyable. Its also worth noting that most of the big VFX houses tend to have a core staff and hire in lots of freelancers per project.

Regarding your location, worry not :) it simply aint a problem these days, i've done a few commecial projects from home (very remote area in yorkshire) game art can be done from home, i do most small contract jobs from home, ie print work etc .. however when it comes to film they usually prefer you to work in house for security reasons, though most studios are very helpful in finding hotels and studios to set you up in for the duration.

Well, hope i didn't bore you to death with that, as someone who's been from A to B i try to give the best and most honest advice i can. hope i could help in some way :)

Best of luck,
David.

Joat
06-05-2008, 10:29 PM
(Continued)Because of its ethos and nature blender will never rival programs such as maya and softimage for capability, and to be honest i dont think it needs to.

I beg to differ here...

Anyway, I've read Everlite's posts on various subjects for a long time now, and I deeply respect his professionalism. These two posts were full of good insight as well and the man obviously knows what he's talking about.

Sill, on that one point, I beg to differ.

I think we are only months away of Blender gaining some serious ground as a tool in professional studios. The reasoning behind my statement is that altough it is not widely accepted yet it is showing potential so much it simply cannot be ignored anymore. It will propably first be a matter of including it into existing pipeline to do something (fluids or fur, for example). Think mudbox, modo, silo or zbrush for example. They have found their way to pipelines too. After it has became a part of the arsenal for something it does, it will start to find other uses too, since it does have a fairly comprehensive featureset. And once that happens, the open source nature of the program comes in handy. All the source code is there, so it can be customed to companys production needs.

That's my 2 cents for this.

Everlite's point of the importance of good mesh topology is an excellent one. And currently there is no n-gons in Blender, so you pretty much have to deal with tri's and quads. =)

everlite
06-05-2008, 11:29 PM
As not to dilute this topic i've opened a new thread:

http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?p=5192955#post5192955

Dave.

ChadForeman
06-05-2008, 11:32 PM
Hi Chad,

first thing you need to assess is your creative/artistic ability, ...... 3d artists with exceptional portfolios go into a 3d role never actually used a 3d program, simply getting the job based on their creative ability, of course they get trained in house.

Next, what sector do you wish to get into? Film, game, architectual, product vis, etc (lots) this choice will influence many discisions in the future. Then when you make that choice, what area do you wish to specialise in, modeller, texture painter, rigger, lighting, environment artist etc ..

Next - school. Hmmm well ... schools in general they use up valuable time and neglect to teach you something that simply cant be tought in a school, the working environment of a commercial studio.......

......expensive school fees and shell out for lots of gnomon DVDs :) they're the best you can get and you can study at your own pace. Though considering your in school at the mo, continue with, take as much as you can and push to get that reel done asap. Consider talking with a few TV companies, FX houses, editing studios (or whatever you have close by related) and see if you get some in house work for say one day a week, this will really help with getting inhouse experience and building contacts in the industry.

Continued ...

David,

I can't thank you enough for taking the time to share your valuable knowledge and experience with me. I really appreciate it.

As far as the creative/artistic ability, I think that is my strong point. I have always been pretty good in those areas but in 1992, when I finished high school I was a little scared I would never be able to work in that field so I became a raft guide and a video kayaker and sort of got lost there for 10 years.

So here I am with the opportunity to return to school(2 years down, 2 to go). It's mostly paid for with grants and scholarships so I don't really feel like I am wasting money. However, I will agree that sometimes I really feel like I am burning valuable time on some seriously boring and unimportant classes. Regardless, it will be a degree I will always have no matter what. I am halfway there so I might as well finish. I am just trying to channel that experience in a direction that can get me started on CG.

I have been talking with a representative from Gnomon about being admitted in to their program. He told me my work is promising but not quite competitive to be admitted. I took that as a big compliment and motivation to work on my 2D traditional art. I've been meaning to order the videos he recommended. Just too busy with graphic design and web design projects right now (Need money for bills and food)

Meanwhile I just love using Photoshop and Illustrator, so I am just kind of fired up to learn some new graphics software. I think that an interest in the software as well as the organic art puts me in the right frameset for a career in CG.

Today (my first day of Blender tutorials) I got the inspiration of using Blender to develop 3D graphics for advertising or web work...

What would I like to do? Movies, movies, movies. I have always been a big movie fan and love the magic of the big screen. To apply my art to that field would be extremely rewarding.

Sometimes I think I would like to do architecture because I have always been fascinated by architecture. Game art sounds cool too. I'm a little out of the loop on the gamers these days. The only system I've ever owned was an Atari and spent most of my quarters in the arcades back in the mid-80's. Regardless, I'm super creative and can come up with unique ideas, worlds and levels so I could fit in there.

As far as whether I'd like to do modeling, rigging, texture, lighting or animation.... I really have no idea. I don't have any experience in any of the above so I couldn't make an informed decision. If I were to guess without any knowledge, I would say, probably modeling or texture.

Between freelance and big studio, I have to say the idea of working in a big studio with other artists sounds appealing to me right now, just to be with others like me. I have been doing freelance design out of the house and sometimes it's a little lonely, but sometimes it really rocks. I would be pretty stoked if freelance work worked for me but we'll see.

So this post tells you, if nothing else, that my plan is pretty broad and my intentions are somewhat vague. I just want to let my creative juices generate some financial resources.

-Chad

everlite
06-05-2008, 11:58 PM
Yeh, i was stuck in the design and web routine for a long time, still am to an extent, haha :) it tends to pay far better than film work in general. As someone who's been in that exact position all i can say is use whatever free time you have to developing your 3d skills. Basically i might take on some design work for two weeks knowing that it will see me through four weeks, with two weeks free to do development (3d) work.

Yep, seeing your work on the screen for the first time is a very cool thing, i never lose that feeling ;) and to be honest, like i said above, film work usually aint that great pay, especially to begin with, so you need to think about this when making that choice. Though depending on your skill it can pay very well. Its a good idea to always do a little design work in between to keep things running.

Freelance does have its pros and cons, and for sure it can be very lonely, especially on tight deadlines. I love working in house when i can (freelance/contract) its so much better been able to bounce ideas around with people, and problems tend to get solved much quicker, also its good to see daylight :)

Regarding architecture, i too love architecture however i've worked for the biggest architectural company on the planet and trust me architectural work aint fun :) its VERY boring, though to be honest thats a very personal/biased opinion :) For me there was no creative freedom which confirmed by love and desire to work in film instead.

Work on the modelling for now i think. Watch MANY DVDs, and there's lots. Its very easy to get up to speed these days. Just do a search on various forums, i know there's LOTs for blender kicking around.

Dave.

everlite
06-06-2008, 12:00 AM
Post up examples of your illustrative work, im sure we can give you some positive direction :)

Dave.

ChadForeman
06-06-2008, 12:53 PM
I run a small (2 person) advertising agency located in the middle of Finnish countryside. The nearest village is 10 kilometers away, and the community's population including the village and surrounding countryside is about 3000. Our company has mostly local customer base. We moved in here 2 years ago, and knew no-one from here when we did. Usually our customers come to us by word of mouth from our older customers.

It is still quite easy to sell 3D graphics even in here. Our customers usually want us to design and implement a corporate identity or enhance the old one they have. They also need packaging and demonstrations of products they are starting to manufacture. All this can utilize 3D graphics. It actually complements 2D design quite well. I often produce graphical elements in Blender only to be implemented in a 2D design as enhancements in some form. The client's seem to be loving it.

That is really cool. It sounds like you live in a beautiful place. That is really great that you have been able to break in to a market in a small place. Implementing 3D graphics in to a 2D environment (advertising/websites) was on my mind as well with my recent interest in 3D. For that reason, it doesn't seem like it would be too hard to learn to make some rather simple graphics that would offer that realistic, 3D look. Good to know the clients are loving it. That is a big boost for Blender.

As 3D work one could argue it's quite dull. When compared to working in Pixar or Lucasfilm or Weta and doing the latest blockbuster it propably is too. But I think I have more control over what I do and when I do it than most any of them. AND I can justify my time spent with Blender as honing my skills to produce more and better stuff, also for my customers.

If I would have had to buy a software package worth thousands, I would have had to manage without 3D. It's as simple as that in these conditions. It simply would not have been a viable investment, no matter how I would have looked at it.

That is a big boost for Blender.

By the way, my gallery has been sadly neglected for a couple of years. In order to rectify that I added 2 new images. Just stuff I have done, nothing overly fancy. But at least a bit more recent.

Looking forward to seeing your new work.

ChadForeman
06-06-2008, 01:11 PM
Yeh, i was stuck in the design and web routine for a long time, still am to an extent, haha :) it tends to pay far better than film work in general. As someone who's been in that exact position all i can say is use whatever free time you have to developing your 3d skills. Basically i might take on some design work for two weeks knowing that it will see me through four weeks, with two weeks free to do development (3d) work.

I think having a diverse set of skills, 2D design/advertisement/web would be advantageous. That's a good plan with the 4 week/2 week design/3d cycle. I am planning on using my free time to start learning 3d as much as I can.

Yep, seeing your work on the screen for the first time is a very cool thing, i never lose that feeling ;) and to be honest, like i said above, film work usually aint that great pay, especially to begin with, so you need to think about this when making that choice. Though depending on your skill it can pay very well. Its a good idea to always do a little design work in between to keep things running.

That is amazing. I think it would be worth the pay cut for the experience. There will always be design work that needs doing.

Freelance does have its pros and cons, and for sure it can be very lonely, especially on tight deadlines. I love working in house when i can (freelance/contract) its so much better been able to bounce ideas around with people, and problems tend to get solved much quicker, also its good to see daylight :)

Regarding architecture, i too love architecture however i've worked for the biggest architectural company on the planet and trust me architectural work aint fun :) its VERY boring, though to be honest thats a very personal/biased opinion :) For me there was no creative freedom which confirmed by love and desire to work in film instead.

I can see how architecture could get boring from time to time. However, it's probably really good experience for your 3d skills. I think that is something I would like to try (maybe before I get accepted to Gnomon, summer job type thing) until I get borerd, but gain some experience.

Work on the modelling for now i think. Watch MANY DVDs, and there's lots. Its very easy to get up to speed these days. Just do a search on various forums, i know there's LOTs for blender kicking around.

Dave.

Sounds like a plan. I was watching some Blender videos yesterday. There is a massive support community surrounding Blender. Although, part of me just wants to go straight to Maya and order Gnomon DVDs and just learn that way. Then I'd be in step with getting accepted to Gnomon because I'd have begun learning their technique.

ChadForeman
06-06-2008, 01:15 PM
Post up examples of your illustrative work, im sure we can give you some positive direction :)

Dave.

Me? Oh shucks, I'm flattered you would ask.

By the way, I saw your portfolio. That is some very impressive work. Fallen Beauty is so cool. I love that style. The church by the beach is another really cool one. I love your style.

I will get to posting some work here real soon. I gotta head to school for a transcript review and talk with my advisor.

I do have some stuff up at my website: http://www.3wavestudio.com

It's time for an update though.

I am looking forward to your critique. I know I have much work to do and I am really looking forward to honing my skills.

dpetty43
06-06-2008, 04:51 PM
Use both while going to school. You can buy Maya and get Blender for free thus you would be able to learn on both.

Boone
06-06-2008, 05:50 PM
God help the audience should I ever recognise my efforts on the big screen!:D

"OMG! I DID THAT! ME! ME! ME! HAS ANY OF YOU EVER DONE ANYTHING AS IMPORTANT? NOOOOOOOOO, OF COURSE NOT! ME! ME! ME!":bounce:

LetterRip
06-13-2008, 11:13 PM
The schools will almost certainly differ in two critical aspects

1) The quality and knowledge of the instructors

2) The industry contacts that the instructors have

The first is important in that it will determine how much and what they can teach you, the second is important in that if you are talented they can probably get you placed with a studio, whereas a instructor without good contacts you will be on your own with every other wanna be 3d professional.

I'd search cgtalk for information on both schools and I'd talk with/email instructors from both schools and try and get information on their backgrounds, and ask to see demo reels of some of their recent graduates.

LetterRip

ChadForeman
06-14-2008, 12:07 AM
Hi Tom.

I agree with both of your evaluation criteria. This has been quite an issue for some time and I have spent much time in debate.

After all of this evaluation I have decided to just finish my bachelors degree here at WVU Tech. Yeah, I know it's a school nobody's heard of and doesn't mean squat in the cg world or the design world for that matter. Our instructors have no contacts and I do more design work in my spare time than I do for class.

However, that school's tuition is very affordable and my pell grant and state grants cover most of the tuition. Plus I own a house nearby.

So the plan is to finish my undergrad with the intent of going to Gnomon. Then I will have my degree and then move on to the Gnomon experience. I am working on getting accepted and honing my portfolio towards admision.

Blikkie
06-15-2008, 07:45 AM
I don't mean to be negativistic, but I would like to point out one point of concern you might want to consider before diving head-first into a very expensive course at Gnomon. Of course I might be wrong (since I work in a completely different sector), but I suspect that, even if you manage to finish Gnomon with flying colours, you might still have quite a hard time finding a Junior position in a big VFX shop, just because you're 38 by then.

This won't even be because they're ageist bastards, but there will be some very simple processes at work:

The advantages of younger people in junior positions is that they are much more mallable. Someone who is 38 years old has so much more life experience, and because of that much stronger principles that are not easily relinquished.
Esp. for junior managers and leads, it might be quite hard to lead someone who is ten years their senior.
Of course I might be wrong, but I, as a 26 year old, recently conducted my first an interview myself, and I did notice that age was a matter of concern, mostly on a subliminal level.

Now don't abandom all hope, but I think you might be far better of, and make a far better investment if you do finish your degree, keep on having fun using Blender, and become active in your local web 2.0, arts, or advertising creative scene, have drinks with those people, show off work with them as it goes at those places, and they will grow to like you and appreciate what you do, and then they might very well lend you a gig, a job, or a partnership to make something bigger. I suspect that in this area your return of investment will me much better, since everybody wants to work in film, so, as a result, the wages at the studios can be kept relatively low.

One word of warning: say no to all the kids who have programmed a computer game and just need someone to create all their artwork for free ;-)

ChadForeman
06-15-2008, 01:43 PM
Hi Blikkie.

Thank you for taking the time to reply. I really appreciate your feedback. I don't mind if you feel negativistic, I appreciate all angles of perspective and guidance.

You make some very valid points in your response and I really value those views because they might not be exactly what I want to hear. That makes those views even more important to consider.

That's a very interesting point about my age. I never considered those factors. I think you'd be right about things on the subliminal level. However, that would be more applicable to other 38 year-olds. The reason is because I have some wild personality. Young-at-heart is more than a cliche, more than an adjective... it's a way of life. I'm a charmer and I just can't help it. People like me and I like people. We just get along and they want me to work in their work place because I bring a positive, fun-loving vibe to the atmosphere. (ha ha, that's just my hyper-positive attitude at work but I'm a believer).

The way I see it, there are so many learning resources available on the internet, that I have plenty to do in my spare time as I finish my degree and Gnomon will still be there in a year and a half and I can think about it then.

Your post couldn't be timed much more appropriately. I have been doing much sole-searching on this issue and have (as usual) chosen the path of least resistance. I have decided to stay at Tech (since the education is cheaper and I can get college credit for learning Blender) and continue to learn and have fun with Blender in my own time.

The biggest reason for these decisions is cost. That's right, the bottom line. The idea of selling my house, my biggest asset, and moving is way too overwhelming at this point.

If I may quote Sir Mic Jagger (I thought he got knighted but I might be wrong) "You can't always get what you want......but if you try some time, you just might find you get what you need!"

Blikkie
06-15-2008, 02:19 PM
I suspect that that bottom line is that for most big studio jobs will be that you are required to move there, because you will be required to work face to face because that works so much more effectively (and you will be working with files that are a) too big to move trough a measly DSL line and b) are in some degree top-secret and are not allowed to go beyond the intranet (once again: I work in IT/media and not CG, but I think that common sense will prevail anywhere).

If you are really adventurous and you have nothing to leave behind, going out there to pursue a dream can be great, but personally I would have to think twice before giving up stability and friendships (or at least being nearby old friends) in order to chase a dream.

ChadForeman
06-15-2008, 03:34 PM
Yes, those are all valid points to consider. All are very true. I do understand that to work in big studios it is important to be there. That is one thing I would really like to experience, to be working in the studios with other talented artists, feeding off of their different inspirations. No surprise about the large file size transfers and top secret security factor.


The Netherlands must be a pretty cool place to live. Did you study at Opleidingsinstituut ITC? (Just a guess from a Google Earth search.)

That's interesting that you work mainly in IT/media, not CG. What brings you to these forums?

As far as the bold move in pursuit of a dream, I have no hesitations there. That is how I ended up in the state of West Virginia. (most people outside of the states aren't really familiar with this state because it is so small, heck there are even some Americans who don't realized you are talking about a state that is separate from Virginia, even though they separated over 100 years ago during the American civil war)

I left Ohio, the neighboring state to the North-West of West Virginia (it's nestled right under Lake Erie, the Southernmost Great Lake. You might be familiar with the Great Lakes, those 5 massive, land-locked bodies of water which separate the US from Canada) 10 years ago in pursuit of a dream to be a white water raft guide, so if I need to move again, I'll be up for the adventure. For now, I'm OK chilling in the cool town where I live.

Today in the US is Father's Day. Do you celebrate "Father's Day" today in the Netherlands?

Blikkie
06-15-2008, 08:57 PM
I do happen to agree that the Netherlands are a cool place to live. Never heard of the opleidingsinstituut you mentioned. I studied mechanical engineering at the University of Twente, but did not finish sadly enough. During that time I started to get a healthy interest in both open source software and CAD/design etc. etc. and for some reason I really really like CGtalk (even though the traffic on the blender forum is quite low, but the overal quality of art on this site is quite unparalled).

As life continued I dropped out of uni, did some VBA for autocad work for an engineering company, worked for one year (outsourced) in some support jobs that weren't fancy, but the employer was nice, and after that got a job at Joost (http://www.joost.com) through a friend of mine where I'm very much happy where I am right now :-)

I must admit I've hardly played around with blender in recent history, but am working to learning some Python in my sparse free time :-)

There is father's day here, but personally I think it's a load of commercial crap, like most sensible people, and ignore it for just that reason.

TylerAZambori
06-15-2008, 08:59 PM
Hi Blikkie.

Thank you for taking the time to reply. I really appreciate your feedback. I don't mind if you feel negativistic, I appreciate all angles of perspective and guidance.

You make some very valid points in your response and I really value those views because they might not be exactly what I want to hear. That makes those views even more important to consider.

That's a very interesting point about my age. I never considered those factors. I think you'd be right about things on the subliminal level. However, that would be more applicable to other 38 year-olds. The reason is because I have some wild personality. Young-at-heart is more than a cliche, more than an adjective... it's a way of life. I'm a charmer and I just can't help it. People like me and I like people. We just get along and they want me to work in their work place because I bring a positive, fun-loving vibe to the atmosphere. (ha ha, that's just my hyper-positive attitude at work but I'm a believer).

The way I see it, there are so many learning resources available on the internet, that I have plenty to do in my spare time as I finish my degree and Gnomon will still be there in a year and a half and I can think about it then.

Your post couldn't be timed much more appropriately. I have been doing much sole-searching on this issue and have (as usual) chosen the path of least resistance. I have decided to stay at Tech (since the education is cheaper and I can get college credit for learning Blender) and continue to learn and have fun with Blender in my own time.

The biggest reason for these decisions is cost. That's right, the bottom line. The idea of selling my house, my biggest asset, and moving is way too overwhelming at this point.

If I may quote Sir Mic Jagger (I thought he got knighted but I might be wrong) "You can't always get what you want......but if you try some time, you just might find you get what you need!"

hi Chad,

If I were you, I would not necessarily take this advice coming from a 26 year old.
Why? Who stands to benefeit from it? 26 year old people do, and yes blikkie it is
very ageist. If blikkie was 38 or older I might take it more seriously. It is extremely
common for people in any field to try to keep new people out of it, so never take
what people say at face value - find out for yourself.

Besides, you could also make a great short film, take it to festivals, get it
financed, and then hire blikkie and other 26 year olds who will then not feel
quite so superior in having the "asset" of youth, but will instead consider
themselves lucky to be working on *your* project!

LetterRip
06-15-2008, 09:28 PM
I doubt that Bilkies advice is machivellian. His concern about age and perception is reasonable, although I doubt that he (nor I) know whether it is correct.

LetterRip

Blikkie
06-15-2008, 09:59 PM
Hey Tyler, I didn't mean to sound too harsh, and I don't mean to put him off out of ageism or fear for competition (since I work in a different field and don't even dare dream of making art professionally, maybe of writing software, but the course of life isn't really flowing along that path right now).

I think that in the end the only thing that counts is the pursuit of happiness, and partially because of my own history, I have become quite sceptical of the use of Big Institutions of Learning. Of course the industry contacts that you'd get at a prestigious institute like Gnomon are valuable, but it's by no means a sure bet, and you'll have only some 30-35 years (depending on health, family situation, desire to retire) to earn that back, and earn a pension.

From what I have heard from a friend who has worked in film, working at film is way not as glamorous as it seems, and I assume it's the same for film CGI. I suspect that there is just as much (or even more) fun to be had, by being independent, and making your own way, through entering competitions, or by working in advertising, architectural visualisation or whatever suits you, with whatever tool that is needed for the job at that time, and if chad were to make it big, I would be happy to work for him if I'd have the skills that are needed.

I might call it ageism, I might call it something else, but so far I've always seen a preference for hiring managers you hire young people for junior jobs. Partially because young people are more tolerant to putting up with a shitty job for a low wage, and learn from it what it takes to move on. Older people can't afford that patience to slowly grow to get what they're due. They have a family to feed, a mortgage to pay, a pension to build up if they have any plans for retirement before their 70's. Of course life experience has a lot of value, but at some point people who are older are implicitly expected to be able to perform a senior level job, and not an entry level one.

Please take anything I say with a huge grain of salt (there is a reason why I did mention that I was only 26), but I think that some scepticism is healthy every once in a while.

TylerAZambori
06-15-2008, 10:09 PM
I doubt that Bilkies advice is machivellian. His concern about age and perception is reasonable, although I doubt that he (nor I) know whether it is correct.

LetterRip

the thing is, he thinks it is correct, even though neither he nor you really know,
and he's convincing chad that it is correct. Hence my advice to chad to find it
out for himself.

If his concern is reasonable, that means it is correct. If it is not correct,
then it is not reasonable.

TylerAZambori
06-15-2008, 10:14 PM
Hey Tyler, I didn't mean to sound too harsh, and I don't mean to put him off out of ageism or fear for competition (since I work in a different field and don't even dare dream of making art professionally, maybe of writing software, but the course of life isn't really flowing along that path right now).

I think that in the end the only thing that counts is the pursuit of happiness, and partially because of my own history, I have become quite sceptical of the use of Big Institutions of Learning. Of course the industry contacts that you'd get at a prestigious institute like Gnomon are valuable, but it's by no means a sure bet, and you'll have only some 30-35 years (depending on health, family situation, desire to retire) to earn that back, and earn a pension.

From what I have heard from a friend who has worked in film, working at film is way not as glamorous as it seems, and I assume it's the same for film CGI. I suspect that there is just as much (or even more) fun to be had, by being independent, and making your own way, through entering competitions, or by working in advertising, architectural visualisation or whatever suits you, with whatever tool that is needed for the job at that time, and if chad were to make it big, I would be happy to work for him if I'd have the skills that are needed.

I might call it ageism, I might call it something else, but so far I've always seen a preference for hiring managers you hire young people for junior jobs. Partially because young people are more tolerant to putting up with a shitty job for a low wage, and learn from it what it takes to move on. Older people can't afford that patience to slowly grow to get what they're due. They have a family to feed, a mortgage to pay, a pension to build up if they have any plans for retirement before their 70's. Of course life experience has a lot of value, but at some point people who are older are implicitly expected to be able to perform a senior level job, and not an entry level onePlease take anything I say with a huge grain of salt (there is a reason why I did mention that I was only 26), but I think that some scepticism is healthy every once in a while.

Not all "older people" have a family to feed or a mortgage to pay, not all women will
get married and quit, not all people with college degrees will quit because they are
"overqualified," and not everyone wants to be stuck in the same career all their
lives. In fact, most people change careers at one point or other. If your scenario
were true, nobody could ever do this. In fact, if nobody could ever manage to change
careers, that would be pretty bad for business. It would be as bad for business
as a caste system that pre-determines what kind of work you are allowed to do.
peopel would be stuck in jobs they don't like for their whole lives, and how would
that help productivity? It would not help it.

Try thinking outside of categories! It's good for your art.

ThugNMe
06-16-2008, 05:23 AM
I read all 3 pages and it was a great read, I learned alot. Thanx Guys.

Boone
06-16-2008, 02:27 PM
The age issue can be overcome by making good friends in the industry. Its certainly not just your age and education that gets your foot in the door.

Good connections with people in the business will lead to that first gig. Events are a good start and so are forum meet-ups. As people become more familar with you they are then more likely to take the time out to see what work you have done.

The advantage of being older is that you are more likely to be more mature than the youngsters(though there are exceptions to that rule!). Some professionals will not go to meet-ups if they think its going to be a "playground" and you have to remember that these are the guys who will get you in somewhere. Obviously if you are an old granddad who served with Her Majesties Forces in India then sure its pissing in the wind to break into a new career but if your work is good and you're up for some hard graft then age isnt that much of a problem - only if you are trying out for X-Factor.

ChadForeman
06-16-2008, 03:31 PM
Bilkies "knowledge" about the "age factor" sounds like it's coming from a 26 year-old: Old enough to have been out on their own for a few years and "figured it out."

It takes a few more years to learn that not only do I not have it "figure out" but that "figuring it out" takes the fun out of "trying to figure it out."

I used to think quite like that when I was 18-28 or so (and oh how 'old' those 30-somethings looked. "They were past their prime. Over. Move over old man, here comes the next generation") When I was at Ft. Leanord Wood for Army basic training I remember there was a 33 year-old in our company. I remember thinking "what is that old man doing here? He must have failed at his career and had to go back to square 1."

When I (and many people I know) was 18-27ish or so I thought that a person chose one profession, got married, got a mortgage, had kids, built a retirement and pension and then retired. That's what many people believe after they've "left the nest."

Fortunately we live in a world where everything and anything is possible. If you are like me and you believe in abundance, there's so much to do and so much fun to be had that it will take a lifetime to get it all done.

You see Bilkie, time flies when you are having fun and let me just say, I've had HEAPS of FUN!

As a highly-experienced "outside-the-box" thinker, I have made many opportunities for myself by keeping an open mind and exploring the "what if" potential. In my 10 years as a video kayaker and raft guide I was able to experience some extensive travel to different rivers in remote destinations. Traveling is an experience that broadens your perspective and gives you knowledge that can't be learnt in a classroom setting.

It wasn't until I was kayaking in New Zealand in 2003-04 that I was exposed to CG and 3D computer art after watching "Return of the King" at the theatre where it premiered in Wellington NZ, near Peter Jackson's studios.

To me, my life isn't pre-planned in to blocks or chunks (adolescence, education, work, family, retire). My life is a winding, twisting, path that is unfeld before me. Before I was a video kayaker I was a raft guide, before raft guiding a bartender, before that a life guard... When I was a life guard I didn't know I was going to become a raft guide until I found it on the path. While video kayaking I found web design and CG on the path.

After I become a Visual Effects Artist I will be discovered by a really eccentric director and will be in some cool movies, then maybe I will have a talk show that is broadcast through the newest media. Then after that perhaps I'll be a motivational speaker, then an author, cartoon artist...

The age issue can be overcome by making good friends in the industry. Its certainly not just your age and education that gets your foot in the door.

Good connections with people in the business will lead to that first gig. Events are a good start and so are forum meet-ups. As people become more familar with you they are then more likely to take the time out to see what work you have done.

The advantage of being older is that you are more likely to be more mature than the youngsters(though there are exceptions to that rule!). Some professionals will not go to meet-ups if they think its going to be a "playground" and you have to remember that these are the guys who will get you in somewhere. Obviously if you are an old granddad who served with Her Majesties Forces in India then sure its pissing in the wind to break into a new career but if your work is good and you're up for some hard graft then age isnt that much of a problem - only if you are trying out for X-Factor.

"Good connections with people in the business will lead to that first gig" Sometimes it's us "older people" who understand that.

ChadForeman
06-16-2008, 03:34 PM
I read all 3 pages and it was a great read, I learned alot. Thanx Guys.

Hey Thug, are you in Charleston West Virginia or South Carolina?

Blikkie
06-16-2008, 04:14 PM
Ofcourse I'm well aware that in the 2.0 world many things are different, careers are more flexible, retirements are overrated and social networking paramount.

I hope to see great things from you in the years to come. I never meant to sound demeaning, but what I intended to convey is that in the field where I am working the conventional approach of going to school, and building up form that, has lost part of it's value.

In the end, what I did was projecting my personal views and experiences on someone I know very little about, and made opinions sound like factual statements, which was wrong.

ChadForeman
06-16-2008, 04:52 PM
No worries bro. It's all good.

Sometimes it's easy to get the wrong impression from words on a screen without the facial expressions, and non-verbal communication we get from a real conversation. True intentions can sometimes be distorted.


"...conventional approach of going to school"

I think you are right about that. Think about this: Sunday morning I spent 3 hours on a Blender tutorial and had to force myself to quit. Teachers at a University simply must maintain a slower pace because of the structure of classes. It would have taken an entire week to cover the same material, if not longer depending on the speed of the other classmates.

In English class this semester we spent 2 weeks talking about how to properly compose a resume (or CV for the Europeans) when just a week prior to that chapter I just googled "resume format" and chose one that I really liked. It only took a few minutes.


"I hope to see great things from you in the years to come." Thank you. I appreciate that very much. Nice of you to say.

It's a wild world out there. I think we're only beginning to see the concept of a "global community." Can you imagine the concept of Web 3.0?

Joat
06-17-2008, 10:52 PM
There hasn't even been web 2.0. It's all marketing hype. Sticking some "community building blocks" or adding RSS feed in your web-pages doesn't equal to something that can be called 2.0.

Just my opinion, tho. =)

And as it comes to brawe new world where formal education has lost part of it's meaning. At least here in Finland it's us 30 somethings that pretty much started the whole thing.

I myself have had my share of fun and grief making my own set of rules when it comes to what I can an can not do without proper education. =)

If you love it and have talent to do it, do it. You will learn. Education can help on learning, but it doesn't take education to become something. It takes talent and true dedication. And those can't be taught.

ChadForeman
06-18-2008, 02:43 AM
Hey Joat.

Education can help on learning, but it doesn't take education to become something. It takes talent and true dedication. And those can't be taught.

Yes I agree on that one completely. Talent and true dedication. Those are the keys to success, however one may define it. Some of the most ambitious entrepeneurs that I know are college drop-outs.


I myself have had my share of fun and grief making my own set of rules when it comes to what I can an can not do without proper education.

Does that mean you did not go to a university?

For myself I view college as a personal accomplishment more than anything else, a mark of achievement in my life. Some of my classes I learned a lot, a lot that I may or may not have learned on my own. But I have learned the same amount, maybe more on my own. I still believe it is a path that I am following where clues, hints and treasures will be found along the way. College just happens to lie in my path right now.

To each their own.

This past weekend I spent a ridiculous amount of time researching Blender. I am in love with that program. At first I was a little scared of the interface but after watching some great introduction tutorials and viewing galleries of work made with Blender, I am fired up!

I can't stop watching tutorials and reading BlenderArt Magazine. There are limitless resources available to learn the software. I just can't wait to start working on my own projects but I am digging the tutorials. I started my first sub-surface modeling tutorial of a head. How fun and interesting. I can't wait to learn sculpting.

So where does watching totorials and reading online information lie in our definition of receiving an education? Somebody who took the time to care enough to make a tutorial and share it with the world with no monetary gain for themselves, has taught me something by sharing a successful strategy for introducing new software. They have educated me, but I went out and searched it on my own......perhaps this is the true spirit of the concept of Web 2.0!

As far as Web 2.0 I don't think it's completely marketing hype. I think it's a one-word, two-number description of a widespread progression of integrating database-driven web sites and web applications that have grown extensively in richness and complexity compared to the static, nested-table-laden, Front Page-generated sites of the 90's. (what a mouthful of buzzwords.)

So what are you working on these days? Got any cool marketing projects that integrate some Blender 3D? I really think that is a very cool and interesting avenue of approach and a great way to incorporate 3D into design. I might follow that path a bit over here in the States.

Joat
06-18-2008, 08:40 AM
Allow me to elaborate my view on why I think web 2.0 is just a buzzword. It was not a step, more a natural progression from those static, frontpage generated sites to database driven applications.

2.0 is a buzzword because it suggests a whole new technology. Something that makes a website outdated because it is not built on the 2.0 technology. Having been there doing web from 1997 onwards, I have witnessed enough web development to know those building blocks that are jointly called 2.0 nowadays have been there when most of the sites of today were being built using 1.0 tecnology. RSS is not that new and communities have existed in the net long before www-based web has. Ajax and all the other clever interface stuff is just another manifestation of this natural progression. So are the web-standards.

There is no 2.0 technology. Just html 4.01 and xhtml 1.1 =)

Still, by combining these different technologies comes the innovation. And it's the innovation that counts. Not the index number in a buzzword. I am a firm believer of picking the right tools for the purpose when building a corporate site (or a community site for that matter).

As I now run a really small company and do all our web design and implementation myself, it is simply not feasible to reach out for big clients with complex and highly customized needs. There have been a time when I have worked on quite big projects as a part of large production team. I miss those times, and yet I don't miss them at the same time. I wouldn't trade back, tho.

I have an education, altough not at university level. But I have always been good to use the times I have been studying by pursuing other goals as well. Back in the day when I was studying fine arts, I used almost all the time I possibly could to learn music. Later, when working in the music business, I used that and my art school background as a stepstone to land a job in web / multimedia design.

I was referring to this type of "interest surfing" in my previous post. I have always had a clear vision on what I want to do with my life. This vision has, of course, changed quite drastically on more than one occation. While each shift of interest has always made absolute sense to me, it certainly has helped my parents to gain some gray hair and sleepless nights. The world they grew up was one where education was everything., the higher degree the better.

I kinda went with the flow, and much to their surprise I managed to get where I wanted, and a lot sooner than I would have, had I studied myself a degree.

3D came to my life as a sideproduct to web / corporate design work. When I discuss with my clients about their needs, I tend to offer them something I want to do to them. And if I really want to do it, I might give them a deal that's hard to resist. =) Expesially when I was starting with 3D I had a clear view that it's better to get paid too little to do 3D projects than not to have time to do them at all.

Right now I don't have any 3D projects going on. There is 3 different database driven websites in the making, all of them big projects in our company's scale.

Keeps me busy, and brings food to the table. When I get these done, I try to find some time to familiarize myself with 2.46 and a new texturing software called 3D-coat, which I just bought.

Looking forward to it.

ChadForeman
06-19-2008, 12:21 PM
Hey Joat.

Yesterday I wrote this really long, intricate, clever response to your post and wouldn't you know it, the server was busy when I went to post and it disappeared. So I am putting this one on a sticky note first and copy/paste. It's not nearly as good as the one I wrote yesterday but oh well, what can you do?

As far as Web 2.0 being a bunch of marketing hype, I see your point. You make a very valid statement and yes, essentially you are correct. However, I think the term is just a 1-word, 2-number way of encompassing everything you have stated. It's just an easy way to file all of that progression under one simple, easy-to-type umbrella.

What about all those people who were never really exposed to the web. Nowadays it's super prevalent. Everybody is at least aware of the internet now and almost all of them use it.

Besides, what about the buzz-word factor. It seems in the digital media world, people love buzz words! Sometimes

My introduction to web design didn't arrive until 2004 so my experience is quite a bit narrower than yours.

I think your life's path is very similar to mine. Are you the first-born child in your family (with siblings)?

I'm looking forward to reading about 3d-coat. That will be interesting to see what it does.

specs2
06-19-2008, 12:30 PM
to be honest, when i applied for a job, after graduating, the biggest problem seemed to be the package, i've learned to use. c4d was at that time, only slowly becoming an industry standard and most jobs required either max or maya as a package, you have learned. it didn't matter, that i might be able to adapt to the new software, they just dumbed me.
so my recommendation is to go with the school, that offers classes for the professional software, since most companies don't seem to offer the time to get used to the different software.

leigh
06-19-2008, 01:27 PM
Is there anybody out there who knows of the potential of landing a job in the CG industry with only experience in Blender?

I haven't read the entire thread, just skimmed over most of it, so excuse me if I end up repeating anything here, but I wanted to add my two cents.

While I wouldn't go so far as to say that having a reel done in Blender will somehow prevent you from finding a job, it is safe to say that knowing Maya will make you more attractive to employers in the film industry.

Look, at the end of the day it's true that first and foremost it's your skills that impress an employer. However, consider this: if two people apply for the same job, and they both have the same skill level, but the one is already experienced in the software that the studio uses, and the other isn't, who do you think the studio is more likely to employ? It's a wiser decision to go with the person who can jump right into production without the need for any cross-application training. This is simply a fact. And people can argue all day about software and what they think is going to be big in the future, but right now, the fact of the matter is that Maya is the most widely used application in the film industry. Period.

Regarding animation eduction, this is a really tricky area. To be brutally honest, I'd say that if you're studying animation, then unless you go to a good school with a good reputation, you're likely to be wasting your money, which would be better spent doing something like foundation art (which more and more studios are wanting in their employees). Unfortunately there are a lot of really poor quality animation courses being offered at schools, especially now with animation becoming an increasingly popular and desirable career - lots of schools are jumping on the bandwagon by offering half-arsed courses taught by people with very little experience or skill in this area. So be careful if you decide to go with an animation course. Frankly, I'd recommend doing traditional art at college, unless you go somewhere like VFS, or Sheridan, or Animation Mentor, or one of the other schools with a solid reputation for providing a good quality eduction in animation.

Right, and with that I'd better end off and get back to work. I hope this post isn't a superfluous repetition of anything already posted.

Joat
06-20-2008, 02:56 AM
Whoa! This thread is attracting some serious people.

Leigh is, of course right on the issue of software. As is specs2. If you are on the same level as the other applicant, they'd propably choose the one who already uses the software they're using.

Then again, learning a new package is not that big a deal when you get the fundamental concepts of 3D sorted. I have a friend who went to work in VFX in London. He was a lifelong Max / AfterEffects user with no experience in Maya. He got selected and studied Maya about a month at his spare time. He has been working with Maya about a year now. Instead of AfterEffects they use Shake (I think), and he had to learn that too. There is lots to learn despite the 3D software in bigger production houses. They have their own pipelines, own way of data management, appropriate software for various different things etc.

In general, CG is like web. It requires constant learning and adapting to new things.The more one does it, the easier it is.

There will be time to learn whatever package you need. The best thing now is to learn one, and learn the basics of 3D at the same time.

And Chad, I do agree on industry's love of buzzwords. And actually, web 2.0 is kind of catchy. I have also gained a lot of customers by explaining these things to them in a way they can understand them. Web 2.0 is a very confusing term for someone who is not aware of these things.

"The world is moving on to web 2.0. Are you?".

Scares them to think their existing site is becoming unaccessible.

See where I'm going?

Edit: To answer the question, yes, I'm a firstborn with one younger sibling. A sister, who is two years younger.

ChadForeman
06-20-2008, 01:55 PM
Hi Specs2.

Thank you for offering your perspective and advice I really appreciate you taking the time to reply.

Leigh,

I don't blame you for skimming and skipping over many of the posts. This thread has many responses. And I am grateful to all that have read some or even all of the posts and very appreciative of the people who have taken a little time out of their day to offer some friendly advice to a wannabe. I have learned so much.

"While I wouldn't go so far as to say that having a reel done in Blender will somehow prevent you from finding a job, it is safe to say that knowing Maya will make you more attractive to employers in the film industry."

That was the biggest pull-factor towards going to Shawnee, the school that teaches Maya. However after a visit to the school and an informal meeting with the teacher of that program, I sort of felt like their program might be falling under this category:

"Unfortunately there are a lot of really poor quality animation courses being offered at schools, especially now with animation becoming an increasingly popular and desirable career - lots of schools are jumping on the bandwagon by offering half-arsed courses taught by people with very little experience or skill in this area."

While the professor had a masters degree in animation, the fact that he hadn't heard of Gnomon or even CG Talk led me to believe that his experience was mostly from the classroom (which isn't bad but might not be worth me selling my house and moving to a whole other location)

He told me that the first semester was mostly spent covering the first 200 pages of the book "Introduction to Maya 2008" which is a book that I ordered online.

Essentially I would be moving away from all of my friends, a great town which was recently named "the coolest small town" (which it really is) a sweet house that I own and would have to sell, and move 2 hours away, just to get the words "Computer Animation" on my diploma when I could learn the same thing watching endless amounts of tutorials on my computer at home in the evenings...

"Frankly, I'd recommend doing traditional art at college,"

It's funny to think that back in 1993 when I was looking at going to college I wanted to study art but was afraid of not finding any work. How could I make it as an oil painter? Who buys art? I was so young and my perspective was so narrow and out of focus. To see a recommendation to study traditional art 15 years later is so ironic, it's just dreamy.

And no, your post isn't a "superfluous (nice, big word by the way) repetition" it kind of summed up little bits and pieces of advice from many different people, which is a really cool thing about this forum.

Joat, my man!

You've been with me the whole time. How nice of you to walk with me through this thread and continue to offer your take on people's contributions. I thank you for your time and considerate input.

"learning a new package is not that big a deal when you get the fundamental concepts of 3D sorted."

See, now that makes quite a bit of sense to me. I have no intention of putting forth the effort and energy required to get a job in a production studio or animation house without being thoroughly competent in Maya, simply because:

"It's a wiser decision to go with the person who can jump right into production without the need for any cross-application training. This is simply a fact. And people can argue all day about software and what they think is going to be big in the future, but right now, the fact of the matter is that Maya is the most widely used application in the film industry. Period."


"In general, CG is like web. It requires constant learning and adapting to new things.The more one does it, the easier it is."

That is one of the coolest things about web/media/CG! It is possible that the concept of "retiring" would disappear. We are in this line of work because we love it. Unless that love goes away, why would you stop doing what you love?

Back to Web 2.0:

"I have also gained a lot of customers by explaining these things to them in a way they can understand them."

I had actually stated the same thing in that post that got lost a couple of days ago. See, Joat, I had a feeling you have an alternate perspective on the Web 2.0. I just had to pull it out of you. "The world is moving on to web 2.0. Are you?" Now That is a good tag line!

So it seems there are two perspectives on Web 2.0. The truth which remains understood between industry professionals, and the marketing hype which remains a creative and useful (without being false) way to get some more work.

First-born son with a sister two years younger. I thought I recognized the traits. Maybe those people who study birth orders are not so far off. I have a sister two years younger. I wonder if she shares similar traits to your sister? Although I do have a sister one year younger as well.

By the way, last night I watched some seriously intense Blender videos on YouTube about fluid and particles. You may have seen this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WruTNnF6Ztg

How cool is that?

TylerAZambori
06-21-2008, 07:09 PM
I haven't read the entire thread, just skimmed over most of it, so excuse me if I end up repeating anything here, but I wanted to add my two cents.

While I wouldn't go so far as to say that having a reel done in Blender will somehow prevent you from finding a job, it is safe to say that knowing Maya will make you more attractive to employers in the film industry.

Look, at the end of the day it's true that first and foremost it's your skills that impress an employer. However, consider this: if two people apply for the same job, and they both have the same skill level, but the one is already experienced in the software that the studio uses, and the other isn't, who do you think the studio is more likely to employ? It's a wiser decision to go with the person who can jump right into production without the need for any cross-application training. This is simply a fact. And people can argue all day about software and what they think is going to be big in the future, but right now, the fact of the matter is that Maya is the most widely used application in the film industry. Period.

I'm deciding to go with software that makes me happy, rather than what the industry
likes best. I must be weird, but I like it that way.

everlite
06-21-2008, 07:42 PM
I'm deciding to go with software that makes me happy


Well that depends on your position, if you work in the industry then you dont get a choice :)


rather than what the industry
likes best.



its not so much what the industry "like", it's simply one of the most verstile and powerful 3d programs on the market, and when it comes to getting the job done on time, high end VFX houses use the low risk option as the primary solution.

Dave.

Blikkie
06-21-2008, 08:14 PM
Also, those big studio tools have been adapted to work in all the big studio workflow, and at least some production houses, but I guess all majors, have made a serious investment in house-written extensions and plugins.

Last but not least, the value of those programs is partially that all good and experienced artists already work in them. It's much cheaper to require newcomers to adapt (and to keep spending money on Autodesk and others), than it is too have the "big shots" spend time training to start to use Blender. Those issues are an important matter, even if all features were on par.

Blender is still a great tool for independent artists and (mostly smaller) studios, but if you want to make it into one of the big ones, it's probably wise to listen to the experience of someone like Leigh.

Since Chad is studying right now, he will probably qualify for an educational license of Maya. Does any one know of how much value it is to learn 3d independently, and make a really impressive demo reel in Maya in order to pitch himself?

joeedh
06-21-2008, 09:22 PM
Just skimmed over this thread, so hope this makes sense.

From what I've seen in demo reels, it's definitely possible to make high-quality reels with any good software (including blender), though it depends on the specialization. Knowing maya is a plus for employment (from what I hear, anyway) but that doesn't mean you have to know it right away or do everything in it. Personally my plan is to learn maya when I get within shouting distance of making a real professional demo reel. For one thing, I won't have to deal with the limitations of the PLE version while doing serious projects :)

Joe

Boone
06-21-2008, 10:29 PM
Since Chad is studying right now, he will probably qualify for an educational license of Maya. Does any one know of how much value it is to learn 3d independently, and make a really impressive demo reel in Maya in order to pitch himself?



Well, I would say it depends on the individual. If you have enough knowledge of the pipeline and what you are aiming for then its pretty much hitting the books, vid-tuts etc and hard graft.

For some people they need a starting point and someone to point them in the right direction. Some real education before independant learning is the best choice for those in this situation. They may find that once they get the hang of it they find the education slow and holding them back, or they may feel the complete opposite and find it gives them a chance to build upon their foundation of knowledge gained so far.

Independant learning is hard work, but it is an option and rewarding in its own right. The value I found in teaching myself was that I discovered that animation and programming must be in my genes. Whether I recieve education or not, I will continue with both until I'm six-feet-under.

Leigh is absolutely correct about Maya: It is the industry standard. Years ago I learned rigging and programming in Maya for that exact reason. I was very comfortable with TrueSpace at the time, but got laughed at for using it(for good reason:I was using a very VERY outdated version) so I switched to the most professional choice. It was nice being able to dismiss the disbelivers(mostly Max and XSI users!) by saying "I go with the industry standard. Full stop."

The funny thing is I found learning rigging in Maya quite straight forward just by using the PLE, a few books and the Maya forum here, but when it came to applying my coding skills I discovered I needed some education in how to design & develop code. So thats the main reason I'm not working in the industry yet. I do not intend to become a professor in programming but I feel that some education in this area is required before going for a Maya job.

For my Maya rigging skills I can just present my demo-reel, but the programming side requires some assurance that I am reliable.

But anyway, its getting late and I'm sure you get the picture...:surprised

ChadForeman
06-22-2008, 01:56 AM
Wow. This is great. Thanks again everyone for the continued responses. It's nice to see Boone and Everlite stopping back in to add some of their experience to the thread. That's always appreciated.

The great thing about these forums is that I've been able to formulate a vision or intention of what I want to learn and where I want to go. The interesting part is that vision was formed, not from one person's response, but a conglomerate idea of many people's ideas and suggestions.

Does any one know of how much value it is to learn 3d independently, and make a really impressive demo reel in Maya in order to pitch himself?

Now that was the question I had on my mind.

Let's say I want to specialize in modeling and perhaps texture art, for starters. So I use my student discount to pick up a copy of Maya (I have to admit, the watermarks in the PLE are very annoying) Finish my degree at Tech in Graphic Design (which has not much to do with Animation, other than some art, design and Photoshop and Illustrator) and spend my evenings watching/doing tutorials and learning from Gnomon videos and some books.

I wonder if people have been able to crack into "The Industry" that way? I'm sure they'd have to be pretty good. I am confident in my talent, creativity and artistic abilities.


I'm deciding to go with software that makes me happy, rather than what the industry
likes best. I must be weird, but I like it that way.

I'm quite the opposite here (excpet for the being weird part). I want to learn what the industry likes best. That is because I want to learn the skills to pay the bills.

On the other hand, some days Hollywood seems so far away from the rugged Appalachians and the cool mountain towns of West Virginia. Deciding whether to make the intrepid journey to "go for it" can sometimes make me wonder if the grass out there is as green as I think it might be. In which case, sticking with Blender makes a lot of sense so that, like Joat, I could offer some 3D models in design, illustration and web delivery.

In the end I think it resorts to what, I think it was Joat but it might have been Boone or even somebody else way back when said, that it might be best to stick with Blender until I learn and understand the concepts of 3D modeling, rigging and animation. Then just make the interfacial switch to Maya.

everlite
06-22-2008, 11:54 AM
Chad it's pretty simple, hard work pays off, what you put in is what you get out, the book stops there.

I wonder if people have been able to crack into "The Industry" that way?

I'm completely self taught, i've worked my way up from record stores and the job cue (whip out the violin) :) to seeing my work on the biggest screen in europe been watched by 10.000 people! You have two kinds of people; those who sit around "role Playing" and fantasing about it and those who simply make it happen. What's the best approach in making it happen? ...

hard graft and making contacts.

Always remember that guy sat next to you, the pale guy, twitching like a leaf, who pretty much sacrificed the best part of his life working 24/7 developing his skills, when you're in that room waiting for an interview, can you beat him? .. sounds extreme, but the reality is competition is very high when it comes to any kind of art form ... work hard now, play later ;)

When you're in school do whatever you can to get a few days into a studio, most schools will facilitate a few days per week for "job experience" (or whatever you choose to call it) make this your priority. above all the degrees, qualifications etc, from experience this is the most valuable thing you will do. Even if you dont have a clue what you're doing, you'll be exposed to a real world production environment with first hand experience. Be honest, show a genuine interest and never over sell yourself.


make me wonder if the grass out there is as green as I think it might be.


No, grass is grass, it never changes .. well except "hollywood", where it kinda goes yellow'e brown.

Be prepared to uproot, life in VFX/CG is very nomadic. Remember the pale twitching guy again?? well he's fully packed with his kettle, compass, wacom and dell 300 waving goodbye to his kodak house in the hills. :)

If you want to learn Maya for production, forget pretty pictures for yourself, if its a great peice of work that demostrates key skills then water marks will make little difference to a good art director.

For future reference, save all work in progress, employers, art directors etc like to see under the hood more than the end result. Take a look at other demo reels from fellow artists, get an idea of what's expected and what you should be aiming for. (oh and mines a bad example of that) :)

And you can still use blender, with a few simple tools you can start modelling anything, try something simple like a utility, a watch, a pen ..

so time to start now :)

Dave.

ChadForeman
06-23-2008, 01:39 PM
Dave.

Thanks again for taking the time to offer some very well-taken advice

That post was very inspiring. I like the comparison to the skinny, pale kid sitting next to me twitching. It helps knowing there are successful, self-taught artists working in the industry.

You've made it very clear and simple. I just need to spend my spare time modeling, modeling, modeling, mixed with some traditional art time as well, to work on my 2D portfolio. I think I'd still like to go to Gnomon. Until then, there's plenty to do.

Nomadic lifestyle: There was a time, not so long ago, when I was a full-time video kayaker and a snowboard instructor. For 10 years I never lived in the same place for more than 6 months. It was a very nomadic time period. Sometimes I miss those days, sometimes I enjoy my roots. However, my beautiful kodak (although it small and a little rugged) house in the mountains is not located in the proper place for CG. So I suppose moving is inevitable. I think I'll just put it off another year until I get my Bachelor's Degree.

FreakyDude
06-23-2008, 02:22 PM
why would that not be a proper place for cg? Bad or slow internet connection maybe? It's the digital era after all...

leigh
06-23-2008, 02:26 PM
I wonder if people have been able to crack into "The Industry" that way? I'm sure they'd have to be pretty good.

Considering how new CG college courses are, relatively speaking, it's probably accurate to say that the vast majority of senior artists in the field today are either self-taught, or have qualifications in slightly different areas (such as traditional/fine arts, or more technical fields).

I'm currently in my ninth year of doing CG for a living (half of which has been in film), and I consider myself largely self-taught - I studied graphic design, and before that I studied fine arts, but neither of these courses involved much in the way of 3D. I had to work very hard to develop my 3D skillset on my own.
I am in this field because I wanted to be in it, and decided that's what I would do, not because of any pieces of paper with a school's name on it. If you've got the right skills and the right attitude, there is nothing stopping you.

ChadForeman
06-24-2008, 05:06 AM
Hi Leigh.

Thank you for posting and offering your experienced perspective. You have a very impressive resume. I appreciate you taking the time to say a few words. I have enjoyed reading "So You Want To Be a 3D Artist" and re-read it just before this post. That's very nice of you to take the time spent to write a very long, descriptive article aimed at helping the wannabees like myself.

Also I enjoyed reading your Photoshop Tips and Tricks, especially learning about creating the seamless textures. That was really cool. I am looking forward to reading "texturing for dummies."

It's too bad you are bored posting your work on the portfolio. There are many people, including myself, who would really enjoy looking at it. I'd like to see some of your stuff from "Sin City." That was a very cool movie and I have been a big fan of Terrantino since I saw Reservoir Dogs in the theater in 1991.


If you've got the right skills and the right attitude, there is nothing stopping you.

That's what I firmly believe. See it, Be it.

CGTalk Moderation
06-24-2008, 05:06 AM
This thread has been automatically closed as it remained inactive for 12 months. If you wish to continue the discussion, please create a new thread in the appropriate forum.