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Old 11-09-2011, 10:34 PM   #46
SciFibrow
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Peter Blight
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Quote:
Originally Posted by soulburn3d
Desire to work on a particular film certainly factors in, and I'd say this goes for any company, it's always important to communicate the desire to work on a particular project, after all, supervisors want their team to be excited about the work they're doing, and sups aren't mind readers, so let them know how you feel.

That said, as a professional, there will be times where you need to work on something that doesn't interest you as much, and you need to be able to do the job. Of course, if you find yourself ONLY doing work you don't like, then it's important to speak up or move on, but it's also important to spread the more dull work around so that no one person gets all the cool or all the boring work.
- Neil


Thanks. It sounds like a good way to keep people stimulated. Even scifi fans can get burnt out from too many spaceships sometimes . The less interesting subject matter can be viewed as exercises in honing one's skills anyway. My mum only paints flowers but I managed to get her to draw scifi once. It was an Armoured Cyclone from Robotech... needless to say my jaw was on the floor for that one.
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Old 11-09-2011, 11:52 PM   #47
ArtOfSoulburn
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Neil Blevins
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bandolin
My first exposure to Neil's work was a tut he did about SSS. I have since been following his exploits since then (online at least). I thought I read somewhere he was a Pointe-Claire resident at one point, which is where I'm from. It would be fun to know that a 3D celebrity once lived in my neighborhood.


Hey Curtis, yup, I grew up in Pointe Claire alright, lived there for 23 years before moving to the states. Glad to see someone from my hometown here

Quote:
Originally Posted by xdugefs
Just was thinking about Neil Blevins when entering cgtalk, and... he is on the front page! Thank you for all you did for cgtalk and cg-world. You are one of those people who inspire through years.


Thanks Alexander, glad you've enjoyed my work over the years.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SciFibrow
Thanks. It sounds like a good way to keep people stimulated. Even scifi fans can get burnt out from too many spaceships sometimes .


Hehe. Never too many spaceships. But it's good to sometimes explore an area that at first may not seem terribly interesting, because you could learn something you can then apply later on to your favorite theme. I did after school art classes growing up, and my teacher always made us paint a leaf/flower/mushroom as the first exercise of the year every fall. Not my favorite subject, but it gave me an appreciation for nature, which I can incorporate into my artwork. It's only a few brushstrokes to convert a mushroom into a strange plant monster

Quote:
Originally Posted by SciFibrow
The less interesting subject matter can be viewed as exercises in honing one's skills anyway.


That's true. One time I had to quadrify a whole bunch of geometric letters so they'd subdivide smoothly. Boring job, but man I got good at the necessary keyboard shortcuts, which I still use today. Now if my job was always doing that, I'm not interested, but as a short term gig I learned some things, and was able to help the team out, and the team is important in a collaborative environment such as film production.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SciFibrow
My mum only paints flowers but I managed to get her to draw scifi once. It was an Armoured Cyclone from Robotech... needless to say my jaw was on the floor for that one.


Haha! That's awesome.

- Neil
 
Old 11-10-2011, 03:46 AM   #48
SciFibrow
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Peter Blight
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Quote:
Originally Posted by soulburn3d
Haha! That's awesome.

- Neil


I repaid the favour by drawing "Flowerbrow" a rose. One of my rare lapses in scifi...
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Old 11-11-2011, 12:59 AM   #49
ScratchARTS
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Philipp Kratzer
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specialists vs. generalists

Hey Neil,

First of all thx for taking the time to share your thoughts and advice with us!

On one of your posts in this thread you mentioned you are trying to balance your work between being artistic on the one hand and being technical on the other. That's a generalist's aproach in my eyes. But you also mentioned that in larger companies/studios, everything gets more and more split in different tasks and teams (= team of specialists).

So it seems to me that if you plan to work for such a bigger studio some time, you need to have some kind of profession in one of these mentioned areas. The problem I notice is: if you are a generalist (like me), you'll probably never reach the expected level expertise needed to work for such a company because your knowlege is vast and broad, but you are missing the "peak",..the one thing you absolutely dominate. My profession I guess is versatility. I'm trying to balance my artistic skills with my technical background (electronics and informatics/programming) to make use of both both worlds as good as possible rather than focusing on just the one or the other side.

So my questions are:
Is there still room for generalists in the highend industry/studios?
For which department/job is such a skillset most benificial?
Do you have any suggestion for me which way I could go with my broad skillset or for which task it is most suited for? I thought about learning Houdini going for FX lately because it is combining artistic and technical skills in a very creative way.

Thx for your advice in advance and keep up your cool and inspiring way of creating art!

best regards
Philipp Kratzer
---------------------------------------
Portfolio: www.scratch-arts.net

Last edited by ScratchARTS : 11-11-2011 at 01:06 AM.
 
Old 11-11-2011, 04:21 AM   #50
ArtOfSoulburn
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Neil Blevins
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Hey Philipp,

So the Generalist vs Specialist issue is a complex one, mostly because the word Generalist means different things to different people. On top of that, every company is very different in terms of their pipeline and the type of people they want/need, and that also changes over time. So it's tough to answer a broad question like "Is there a place for generalists at large companies", because it depends on what a generalist is, and which company, and when you decide to apply.

For example, lets say you want to get into texturing. You can go to one company, and they'll say they are most interested in finding people who can paint traditionally, and then they can be taught the computer on the job. Then you go to another company, and they use almost all procedurals for their texturing, and their in-house software is all text based, so they're looking for more programmery type people who have a decent artistic eye. Then another company is also procedural based, but they use a GUI, so if you're used to texturing in something like maya's hypershade, then you're potentially qualified for the job. So that's the same job, but done in very different ways, and looking for very different types of people with very different sorts of skills.

So the best thing to do is be specific, ask people at any company you're interested in applying to specifics about the job, what sort of pipeline they have, what sort of people they look for, and then re-ask people every few years. And ask several people, because even multiple projects in the same company may use different approaches and so be looking for different sorts of people.

As far as specialist vs generalist, even someone who has skills in a lot of areas do tend to have their preferences. That old adage: "Jack Of All Trades, master of none", I disagree with that notion. Most generalists tend to be "Master of one, and decent at 2-3 others". Even people who chose to specialize may still have generalist skills, it's just their other skills may not be work related. So it's entirely possible to be a generalist and a specialist at the same time. Think of it like University, you get a major in something, and then also a minor.

As far as your situation goes, I'd recommend try lots of different things, find out what you like doing the most (even if that's 2 or 3 things), then concentrate on those while still keeping a close eye on a few things you also like but may be less passionate about. Then try and find a job that matches your skills and preferences. If you can't find a large company that matches your skills, then don't worry about it, not everyone needs to work for a large company, there are lots of smaller companies out there doing super cool work that you may prefer.

Anyways, not sure if that answers your questions, I may just be babbling. But hopefully something in there is helpful and applicable to your situation. First, do what you love, and then find a way to make a living at it, whether you're good at a single task, good at many, whether you're more artistic, more technical, or an even blend of both. There is a job out there for your skillset, all you have to do is find it.

- Neil
 
Old 11-11-2011, 09:31 PM   #51
ScratchARTS
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Wow! Of course it is helpfull! Thanks alot for this detailed answer!!
I guess I'm just making up my mind to much at the moment.

Quote:
There is a job out there for your skillset, all you have to do is find it.

You're right! I'm going to pick up your suggestion and start rightaway!

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Last edited by ScratchARTS : 11-11-2011 at 09:40 PM.
 
Old 11-12-2011, 12:04 AM   #52
caracol
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Carol Cornils
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Hello Neil, I知 so new over here and I already had some of the greatest opportunities to learn from the best! And by reading through this forum, I couldn稚 miss the chance to ask something about your experience.
You mentioned that there is the chance a company might be interested in finding traditional artists and train them.. So... Do you think it痴 something usual?
It seems that I知 living something alike. I mean, I知 scared about not learning fast enough.. or that they change their mind to soon.
So, can you say something about the timings of such process?

Anyway, I知 already so happy because everyone is so nice in this media, and I知 having fun creating things that I never thought I could do!
 
Old 11-12-2011, 01:37 PM   #53
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Hey this has been great,

Everyone, Neil has been really great to jump online and be available over the past week.

While I am sure there are further questions out there, I'll draw a close to the official Meet the Artist session for this article. Thank you so much Neil for all your great answers and insights and thanks also to the people in at Pixar for the images and permissions.

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Old 11-12-2011, 05:44 PM   #54
ArtOfSoulburn
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Neil Blevins
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Thanks Paul, and thanks everyone for participating, I had a great time! It's always so nice to see such a strong cg community, you guys all rock!

And while I've been a bit absent this past year, I look forward to being a little more active in the coming year in both art, script and tutorial.

Cheers!

- Neil

PS: Looks like this was my 4000th post to cgtalk. Guess this is an appropriate thread for the milestone.
 
Old 11-17-2011, 01:46 PM   #55
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Thanks Neil, for all you did for the community. And a personal thank you, as your work and our contact on good old compuserve back in the 90s encourage me to start a career in the CG business. I was impressed what you can archive in CG...You work has always been inspiring and a pleasure to look at!

Keep doing what you do Neil!!!
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Old 11-24-2011, 06:09 PM   #56
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Hi Neil!! A bit late, hope you can read this.

Some years ago your tutorials made a huge difference in the way I approach 3D and art in general. So it was like life-changing. I even found my first 3D job thanks to all I learned from you.

Thanks so much for being so open and share all your knowledge and even tools with all of us.

Cheers!!

Chris

PS: Your music taste is perfect, haha
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Old 11-28-2011, 03:05 PM   #57
MatheusMaia
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Hello Neil!

I'm a Beginner in CG and a little time ago I met you in your WebSite. I loved your tutorials and mainly your Art .
I see here how important you are.
So, I have just one question:

- is it important an artist develop an own style? What do you think about it?
 
Old 12-15-2011, 12:32 PM   #58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by soulburn3d
Although I still keep soulburn3d.com for my email, since it's a bit redundant being neil at neilblevins.com

Now that you can change ".com" to ".whatever you like" have you considered going for the incredibly redundant "NeilBlevins@NeilBlevins.NeilBlevins"

also apparently the curious face is considered suspicious
 
Old 12-16-2011, 07:04 PM   #59
ArtOfSoulburn
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Neil Blevins
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Looks like a few last minute questions came through, sorry I missed them until now!

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkusB
Thanks Neil, for all you did for the community. And a personal thank you, as your work and our contact on good old compuserve back in the 90s encourage me to start a career in the CG business. I was impressed what you can archive in CG...You work has always been inspiring and a pleasure to look at!

Keep doing what you do Neil!!!


Thanks Markus, I remember you from compuserve, seems like a lifetime ago.

Quote:
Originally Posted by XianPalintir
Some years ago your tutorials made a huge difference in the way I approach 3D and art in general. So it was like life-changing. I even found my first 3D job thanks to all I learned from you.

Thanks so much for being so open and share all your knowledge and even tools with all of us.

Cheers!!

Chris

PS: Your music taste is perfect, haha


Glad my tutorials have helped you out! And glad you dig my musical taste

Quote:
Originally Posted by MatheusMaia
I'm a Beginner in CG and a little time ago I met you in your WebSite. I loved your tutorials and mainly your Art .
I see here how important you are.
So, I have just one question:

- is it important an artist develop an own style? What do you think about it?


As an "artist", in the fine art sense of the word, I think having your own style is very important. Hell, I think it's important just in general to have your own style, so you can leave something unique to the world after you pass on. That doesn't mean of course that that style won't change, morph, improve, etc over time. Always good for your work to evolve.

As a production artist though, it's important to be able to make artistic calls using a number of styles, since working on projects that only line up with your personal style isn't a good way to put food on the table. Plus, working in other styles will teach you things that you can then fold into your own work, it will make your own unique style even stronger.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bmfukushima
Now that you can change ".com" to ".whatever you like" have you considered going for the incredibly redundant "NeilBlevins@NeilBlevins.NeilBlevins"


Hehe. Actually, I already got hit with that problem long ago, I still send my email through my soulburn3d domain name, because I felt that sending mail to neil at neilblevins.com just seemed kinda silly So no, that email address just has way too much neil to it

- Neil
 
Old 12-19-2011, 10:29 PM   #60
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thanks for anwser!
so, I have more one question
What the sensation when you see your job in movies? I think is surreal, right?
 
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