So, I want to finally step up and start preparing myself to get a job specifically as a Lighting TD/shader guru but I seem to find both extremes...SO much info that I don't where to start (packages, scripting languages, all kinds of lighting models) and so little (a place where all the TD's hang out so I can get a gauge on what to learn from the gurus..besides here at CG talk of course :) ).
Anyway, here's what I have gathered over the course of some months on what path and info I would need to get into the field. Is what I present below overkill and there is an more focused way? Should I just focus on one 3D package and scripting language?
Any help would be greatly appreciated..
Since I worked in Maya and now XSI I focus on those packages:
Learn how to program/script ---> Python (fundementals of programming)
Learn shell scripting --> Linux
Learn 3D Math/Linear Algebra ("3D Math Primer for Graphics and Game Development")
Start scripting for Maya --> (MEL)
C++ and learning the Maya and XSI API's
Lighting and Shading (building portfolio pieces)
Mental Ray (XSI/Maya) --> Gnomon DVD's
Renderman (using XSIMan/free Renderman-like renderer..Renderman for Maya = too much $$$)
Intregration with real life elements
Learn Adobe After Effects or Digital Fusion --> Create portfolio pieces with live elements
Digital Photography (for lighting/comp study)
Digital Painting pieces (for color theory, creating mood)
I see that all of these things can take a lifetime to achieve but I'm willing to put in my dues to get where I need to be..
Thanks for reading :)