View Full Version : Shake artist? 3d Artist?

09 September 2004, 04:54 PM
I am a recent graduate, and i am really trying hard not to make this come under the 'how can i get a job' post catagory

But I was recently told i only just missed out on a shake artist job in London. I was suprised to hear i had been so close because i have no experiance, and secondly I always assumed i would be a 3D artist, I never had any ambition to become a compositor, i simply learnt it as a way to finish off work to a higeher standard.

I am now torn between putting all my efforts into improving my compositing skills as I now see this as maybe an even more viable and enjoyable alternative to 3D work.

But on the other hand, I have spent the last 3 years learning about the 3d industry, I now feel a little lost.

The first thing that worries me is I don't quite know what would be expected of me as a shake artist.

I have also been absorbing advice on 3d showreels, for what seems like an eternatiy, i have tried to make a spiecialised compositing showreel for my site. But i am really unsure as to how this looks, sometimes i think it just looks patronising.

The worst thing of all is, I don't know..... how much i know.

Any advice would be useful, i am just thinking out loud here....

09 September 2004, 05:11 PM
I know how you feel man! Same sh*t, different country...

How good do you have to be to get a good job in compositing? What level of professionalism do you have to have? Are you good enough? And if not, when will you be? Who can teach you some techniques. Sometimes it seems obvious, but most of the times you get the door in your face ( making me one ugly f*cker already ). What do compositing studios look for and who wants to give newly graduated people a chance to learn, grow and become equally good (or better) ? Someone gave them a chance didn't they?

To work in 3D/compositing you have to have experience, experience comes from working in the industry, who want people that have experience, and so on 'till the end of times. Seems like they want to protect their own jobs by eliminating possible competition, but who will follow in their footsteps?

Now there's some stuff to think about.

CHEERS mate, don't let them get you down. After all, they'll need you to pay for their pensionfunds... :p

09 September 2004, 12:01 PM
thanks Brötje, Maybe I should narrow down my question come to think of it, I just wonder what would be a the kind of thing that would be put on my desk on a first day, for, lets say an all cg tv series. What would one person (not a junior) be expected to complete in a day or week.

I ask this in the Shake forum instead of the general discussions or general compositing forum because I am interested in Shake artists views specificly. I am not worried about my artistic skills, but more the basic technical know the kind of thing that isn't covered in tutorials or manuals.

09 September 2004, 09:10 PM
hey ant, i liked your reel & i can see how you could be sized up for a comp position.

if you are lucky enough to get into a big studio straight off you'll most likely being doing roto paint work for matte creation & rig removal. otherwise, if you end up at a smaller fx house, you may just get thrown in the deep end & be asked to take shots from start to finish. (compositing on an all cg tv series is rarely in depth & some places even have automatic scripts to combine the layers. as a result most of the compositors are responsible for lighting as well...)

i wouldn't worry too much about the technical side of things, comp packeages like shake are fairly intuitive & anyone employing you will just be looking for your eye & desire to learn. if you do want a good place to start though, you should check out ron brinkmann's 'the art & science of compositing'.

good luck in your choice! just remember smaller studios will give you the chance to do both 2d & 3d so dont feel like everything you've learned is going to go to waste!

09 September 2004, 02:34 AM

Its really hard to get a gauge on how 'good' you are or what level your skills are at without anyone around to compare with. I have had a really unrealistic experience in the industry so far. Until I started where I am now I hardly ever worked with many 'good' people. I was able to do nearly all of the tasks required of me without breaking a sweat. Now I am surrounded by some of the most mind blowing talent, I feel totally outclassed by everyone...

If someone was considering you for a job then, dude, you were able to do it. Your site shows good skills. You gotta have some faith your abilities and also of the abilities of the people hiring you.

How good do you have to be ? This is really a killer question. For a long time I tried to get work in certain places with no joy. I was sure it was because my work wasn't good enough or whatever. Now i am getting better jobs than I used to get rejected for and it is often based on networking and word of mouth !!!

I have a really hard time coming up with an accurate picture of where I fit into the skill level even after 5 years in the industry.

>What would one person (not a junior) be expected to complete in a day or week.

Really depends on the quality and standard of the palce you are working at. No one excpects an artist to be hell on wheels as soon as they start a new job, unless they are being hired on that basis. If you were working in a small place there could be asked to take a shot through to completion in a short period of time but you will have supervision and feedback. Larger companies tend to have more specific work quotas bu these are generally pretty reasonable. One of the best things about working in a team is being able to ask questions of more senior staff regaurdless of what level you are.

>I am not worried about my artistic skills, but more the basic technical know the kind of >thing that isn't covered in tutorials or manuals

You shouldn't stress about that sort of thing. I have worked with a lot of people more senior than me who had massive gaps in their technical knowledge. It is more about those core skills and the ability to meticulously refine your shots. Technical questions can always be solved easily. Unless you are being hired as a TD of Senior Compositor no one is expecting you to have a really broad technical knowledge. They are looking for a good worker who can complete the tasks they are given on time !

09 September 2004, 07:58 PM
Hi ant-

I a new guy around here, and also around compositing world, too.
I' exactly just like you a 5-6 mounths ago.
I just graduated and looking for work, did't know what to look for.
I'm spend most of my time learn 3ds max for a coupple of years, then I realize that my country(Thialand) mostly used MAYA in almost every TV commercial/ vfx house. I completly lost. The only possible alternative was to get in the company where they only do 3D for interior design.

I was sad.

The good thing is, I learn After Effect, too (just to finished up 3D work) and one day I got a big chance to work as a freelance in one of the biggest TV company in Thailand. Work for about a week. Mostly composite 3D elements. (They did a movie reel). Then I get hire by the same company few months later. I'm start working as compositor on company's cartoon series about 6 months. Now, I'm composite movie, using Shake. At first I don't even know what it is? so the company arrange a 5 days Shake course. That's how long I actualy learned Shake from pros or anyone.
It's 3 months now after I took the course.and I can say that right now I the lead compositor.

Shake is not hard to understand, but it may hard to master. I start to learn more and more. unlike my other co-worker. They tend to stick only to After Effect and not willing to learn Shake(which my company try to switch to).

I think company looking for someone who willing to learn and work hard and work smart rather than who lazy and not willing to learn.
So I guest you should be Ok no matter what job you try to get. as long as you willing to learn and willing to work on every job they give you and use that to prove that you're valuable to their's company.

Now I almost completly free from job(Company movie're still in pre- production stage). I just sit in front of my mac and learn using shake from manual and apple' shake book, while other compositer still have to work on company's TV series.
My boos told me that, She not gonna give me any time comsuming work now, so that I can spend most of my time learn as much as I can about Shake.

09 September 2004, 10:02 PM
Sounds like you're in a fantastic situation there! Although if you do get the chance, it's so valuable to be able to learn from people who've been doing it for years....Good luck with the project when it gets going!

09 September 2004, 11:20 PM
Thats a great story. Congratulations !

I am always very happy and a little jealous when I hear about people's meteoric rise to sucess!

What's the industry like in Thailand ?

Is their much opportunity for shake compositors ?

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