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BilbyD
10-20-2009, 05:45 AM
Update:

Here's a couple of other questions for you guys in the know (i know some of them might've been answered in other threads):

Is the level of schooling (for 4-yr programs) in the US worth working and saving up years to attend? I know ateliers are an option, but you also need deep pockets for them.

I've come to believe that production artists are usually quite limited in terms of creative freedom, and it seems like concept artists are only limited to their imagination. So how much freedom do you really have, as a production artist, and how much freedom do concept artists usually have?

I know this next question is frowned upon by a lot of people, but how much money do production artists, concept artists and/or animators make?
And just to be straight up about it, i'm definately not in it for the money, but when the decision comes this close, anything will help close the book on it.

How hard is it to transition from film to games and vice-versa?


A lot of questions :eek: i know. But yea, it'd be immensely helpful, if anyone could answer any one of those questions. Thanks in advance, you guys are awesome. :thumbsup:


Original Post:

Okay, here goes.

I'm at a crossroads in life right now. I'm certain I want to do some form of CG, but I don't exactly know what, and I don't know what options to take (or what options I really have for that matter). I was hoping some of you could help me, or shine some light on your own life changing decisions, in terms of choosing your line of work, regrets, your route of learning whether self-study or school (or both), etc.

A little about me:
I'm still young, turning 21. Born and living in Australia. Finishing a diploma in digital media that Iíve studied for the past 2 years. Still in doubt as to what i should do and where i should go. Work and save up for a decent art college over in the states? or study locally? or self-study?
If I study over in the states the hefty fees for esteemed art colleges and living expenses that are required, Iíd need to work roughly 3-4 years to save up enough. Is it really worth it?

The following is pretty mundane to read through, so if you're a busy person then you can skip the long dribble and read the summary below that. Any help is very much appreciated.

My dilemma:

The concept artist in me:
I love concept art, the whole concept of concept art has really inspired me to want to be one, and i really do hope to end up being one some day. But I know realistically it's a tough aspect of the industry, the competition from what Iíve gathered is quite fierce (in terms of talent and skill). I've been drawing my whole life, but not seriously drawing, serious as in those 8 hours a day people. I know my ability to draw and digitally paint is below mediocre at best. Is it worth investing some years to get to where I want to get, despite the fact I know I don't have any real talent and despite the fact it's a tough industry and Iím happy to take another route. I know I don't enjoy theory so much (but I don't mind it), and degrees don't mean much to me, I don't have much formal training in a traditional sense though, is college the route to take, or should I self teach and practice. If college, then should I work for a couple of years and save up for a decent art college in the states (conceptart.org atelier?), or go locally and cut out the work for years bit?

Visual effects, games, technical artist, and the likes:
I think Iím more adept in this area. I'm quite technical as some of my classmates have told me. I wouldn't mind going down this road at all, I know it's a broad field, but most visual effects and 3D courses are broad also. But honestly, it's to put bread on the table, i would really hope to end up as a concept artist in the long run. So is visual effects (and etc.) for me? Should I do vfx and study traditional and concept art on the side? should I work (for a couple of years) and save up for a decent college in the states (gnomon, vfs, scad, lost boys, etc.)? or should I study vfx locally and save having to spend a few years working to save up? So many questions.

The animation bone:
I've gained quite an interest in animation recently. I've bought a couple of animation and drawing books to rummage through. I know animation is also a tough industry, but Iím not so discourage at going down this route as it is something that can really be taught from the ground up much more easily. But it's still early for me to decide to want to do animation for the rest of my life, but if I do, then Iíd be most inclined to do 3D animation. So the questions are should I still give it a shot? Should i practice traditional animation first? Should I go to an art college and decide from there? Should I do go and do animationmentor(.com) (something Iíd love to eventually do if I was to be an animator).

The summary:
1. Concept art - i love it the most but also least talented in it and need to put bread on the table.
a) study in a local art college
b) work for a few years and save up for a decent international art college (self study in between working)
c) pure self-study in concept art

2. VFX - I enjoy doing it and find that Iím quite adept at it.
a) do a local VFX course (includes some animation) and focus on concept art on the side
b) go to a local art college to focus on concept art and do vfx on the side
c) work for a few years and save up for a decent international vfx college (self study in between working)
d) pure self-study in vfx

3. Animation - very interested in it recently. Know little about it. It is something I wouldn't mind doing for a long time. Confident in my ability to animate well one day.
a) do a local VFX course (includes some animation)
b) go to a local art college to focus on concept art and forget about both animation and vfx
c) local art college + animation/vfx on the side
d) work + international animation/film college
e) self-study, animationmentor.com and books.

4. Fail life


Those are the options Iím faced with. I know it's really something i should decide for myself, but i hope you guys could help shed some light about it. Any of your own experiences and how you tackled them would also be appreciated.

leigh
10-21-2009, 05:49 PM
I know it's really something i should decide for myself

I think this is the reason you haven't had any replies to your thread yet. This is your life, and these are your decisions to make. You have to do what you want to do. And even if that means a hell of a lot of hard work ahead, then that's what it takes.

JesseDavis
10-21-2009, 06:53 PM
3e

there that was easy

JookBoxer
10-21-2009, 06:53 PM
Some western philosophy would say, "where you are weak you should seek to be stronger." Then some eastern philosophy (mostly common to Japan) says, "where you are strong you should seek to be stronger".

Making choices is a hard part of life. Some would rather not choose because it throws the accountability on ones own shoulders. But the very act of allowing others to choose for you still makes you accountable.

if you chase two rabbits both will escape

Kanga
10-22-2009, 02:45 AM
If you are thinking about messing around in 3d, do just that. Relax, take it easy and do it for free :) Check out the link in my siggy. I put some things in there that might help you.

Good luck man.
Cheers

RockstarKate
10-22-2009, 05:07 AM
21? Waaaaayyyy too young to worry so much about the direction your life will take! Just keep learning and living and loving and you'll figure it out :) Do what you love and you will love what you do.
If you can't decide, don't! Keep pursuing everything you can until you find something that makes you passionate enough to focus. Or never find that and be a generalist. Or run away and join the circus! You have plenty of time to try more than one thing.

BilbyD
10-22-2009, 07:34 AM
Thanks for the reply everyone.

Yea i think i'm asking too much of myself, to decide the course of my life in one go, and while still young.

I feel a lot more at ease now, about trying everything.

If any of you have experiences you can share, i'd love to hear them.

burndeezle
10-22-2009, 08:04 AM
Maybe I'm thinking about your inquiry a little differently...I don't believe you're asking too much of yourself. I like the fact that you are trying to think strategically and come up with a plan. You obviously put quite a bit of thought into what you wrote. I commend you for seeking information and knowledge.

BilbyD
10-23-2009, 07:00 PM
Haha, yea, i spent a while typing it up. I don't think i'd have it in me to read through it all if i saw a post as long.

Here's a couple of other questions for you guys in the know (i know some of them might've been answered in other threads):

Is the level of schooling (for 4-yr programs) in the US worth working and saving up years to attend? I know ateliers are an option, but you also need deep pockets for them.

I've come to believe that production artists are usually quite limited in terms of creative freedom, and it seems like concept artists are only limited to their imagination. So how much freedom do you really have, as a production artist, and how much freedom do concept artists usually have?

I know this next question is frowned upon by a lot of people, but how much money do production artists, concept artists and/or animators make?
And just to be straight up about it, i'm definately not in it for the money, but when the decision comes this close, anything will help close the book on it.

How hard is it to transition from film to games and vice-versa?


A lot of questions :eek: i know. But yea, it'd be immensely helpful, if anyone could answer any one of those questions. Thanks in advance, you guys are awesome. :thumbsup:

Jettatore
10-28-2009, 02:54 PM
"Is the level of schooling (for 4-yr programs) in the US worth working and saving up years to attend?"

No. Absolutely not.

And as a side note, it likely won't help you after graduation that you'll likely be going straight back home, if that was part of your idea, as US work Visa's are scarce right about now, and entirely impossible for recent graduates to obtain. Either way, I don't recommend art school in any country unless your on full scholarship, it's a big waste of money for the vast majority that do so and unlike other industries, it is not a requirement in this field. How about taking an art class or two, preferably cheap ones, a local college? Introduction to figure drawing would be great, then you just find a figure drawing workshop in your city where you can sit and draw live models for $10 a night. A lot cheaper than full time school and if your dedicated probably a lot more rewarding and instructional as well.

"but how much money do production artists, concept artists and/or animators make?"

Salaries are currently at an all time low. This is the only link I can find at the moment, you could try digging around at Gamasutra, they usually have salary statistics that are semi-recent but this should do for now.

http://www.payscale.com/research/US/Job=Animator,_3D/Salary

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