CG work besides Film, VGs, Ads and ArchVis?

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  09 September 2012
CG work besides Film, VGs, Ads and ArchVis?

Lately it seems like getting work in CG can be a bit tricky. I'm curious about what other work could be out there so I'm writing this to find out more about what avenues there are for 3d software outside of film, games and commercials. The obvious ones are Architecture, landscaping and mechanical engineering which all seem to require AutoCAD skills (and likely a related degree as well). Others I've heard of include medicine, military simulations, 3d printing and forensics but it's hard to get any decent information on these. Is there anyone out there who knows more about these areas and the skills they need or maybe even works in them?

Thanks
 
  09 September 2012
If you were willing to learn CAD then it opens up another avenue of opportunties. I got my first CAD job with no relevant qualifications, I just learnt how to use it at home and and how to model in 3D; after 6 months in my first job I began using 3DS Max at work . And five years later I'm working for a different company, have a reliable income and the amount of CG work that I'm doing is steadily increasing.

It's not all fun and games though - I studied construction/civil engineering for 3 years part time. Quite hard when computer graphics is your passion!
 
  09 September 2012
First a degree in Engineering is nothing to laugh at.

My advice, use it.


EXPAND YOU SKILLS NET

What I am going next to say is going to be a bitter pill for a LOT OF PEOPLE.
You need to diversify your skills portfolio.

If you have not done so Take some courses at your local art league (These courses tend to be under $300.00 and only last a few weeks)for
  • Graphic Design
  • Typography
  • Layout
  • Color Theory.
And yes...
  • Illustration
As a CG artists you are require for you be constantly learning.
Now you need to be a true generalist. You need now to have multiple reels.
From Modeling, Animation and now you need one in Motion and Broadcast Graphics.
Also you need to have a variety of skillets shown in your portfolios.
Illustration, Graphic Design, Modeling
What you aim to do is to have an artist portfolio that reflects that whoever hires you will get a lot of BANG for their buck.

You have to be the nightmare of a traditional Graphic Designer.
Think about it, you can learn his skills with time.
But it will be REALLY hard for him to pick up YOUR skill-sets.

NETWORK
If have not done it, join your local SIGGRAPH.
Hell go to MEETUP (or hell Craigslist) and look for local computer graphics clubs in your area.

If you want to do CG in particular segment you need to learn the markets.
For Scientific animation, Medical animation & Legal animation I would read the journals and magazines these communities reads. And check the local organizations that caters to these communities, for example check with your local bar association, and get to know them better.

Good luck
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  09 September 2012
I see a good amount of opportunity in the NY/NJ area for medical illustration and animation using 3DS Max, Maya, etc. Being a generalist and having a good eye for color and lighting is helpful as far as that type of work goes. There's also opportunity for product or automotive viz. You'll need a great eye, photo-realistic lighting, shading and some modeling skills. Photography background never hurts either. There are plenty of places for this type of work where you don't need to know CAD. Some of the product places might want you to know Rhino (I've seen this in some recent ads for the NYC area). I've also seen some want ads lately for tradeshow booth design or pop in-store display design and rendering/viz. A few of these places want CAD, but not all of them.
 
  09 September 2012
In other industrys people tend to have a degree or related skill set that goes with the field. People doing mechanical engineering will of picked up CAD at University. The CAD is not the focus its just a tool to use.
3d printing as a future industry looks highly interesting maybe your focus should be in product design and then use your 3d skills to push your designs !.

b

Last edited by mr Bob : 09 September 2012 at 09:33 PM.
 
  09 September 2012
The point I was trying to make with CAD was that you can get a job on that alone, especially if you can model in 3D. The engineering learning came after for me, and so did the realisation that CG was my passion.

Drafters often do a lot of the detailed design once you've got a bit of industry experience.
 
  09 September 2012
you don't need a degree to do medical animation, but you'll be competing with people that not only have a bachelor's in animation or biology, but also people with masters in medical animation specifically who have spent years doing dissections and learning anatomy on top of their CG skills.
 
  09 September 2012
Originally Posted by sentry66: you don't need a degree to do medical animation, but you'll be competing with people that not only have a bachelor's in animation or biology, but also people with masters in medical animation specifically who have spent years doing dissections and learning anatomy on top of their CG skills.


Interesting.. I had no idea there were degrees devoted specifically to medical animation. Does noone get work in that area without a degree like this (or a medical degree)?

Does anyone work in additive manufacturing? Is it all AutoCAD work?

I would love to hear about any others out there who work in other fields also (medicine and forensics especially.. or anything else I might not have thought of in my first post)
 
  09 September 2012
Originally Posted by RobertoOrtiz: First a degree in Engineering is nothing to laugh at.
What you aim to do is to have an artist portfolio that reflects that whoever hires you will get a lot of BANG for their buck.

You have to be the nightmare of a traditional Graphic Designer.
Think about it, you can learn his skills with time.
But it will be REALLY hard for him to pick up YOUR skill-sets.

Good luck



Some Gold here, this is the key point that I have always tried to imagine would give me the edge over my peers and market myself that way...
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  09 September 2012
My brother works in automotive engineering and is pretty badass at all that CAD stuff. Although most of them DO have a degree in engineering or some background the job doesn't really require a huge amount of engineering knowledge. If your really good at CAD you can step in but some engineering stuff on your CV will help a lot.

Also there is a ton of work in it. Its also completely different to artistic 3D modelling. I cant even get my head round it and have a degree in Digital 3D Design. Its that different. Its also amazing how easy certain things are that are nigh on impossible with poly modelling. Like perfect curved cuts on curved surfaces.
 
  09 September 2012
Litigation animation and forensic animation usually get tied together. You don't have to be an engineer, but it helps to think like one. Also, the stakes are very high so its not for everyone. If you are not creating the work to put someone in jail or prevent someone from going to jail, you are working to help someone win millions of dollars or save millions of dollars in exposure. Essentially that means all your work receives the critique from hell (from the opposing counsel). If you cut corners, cheat, assume or make anything up, its likely to get thrown out or worse, used against your client. The good news is if you are one of the best (never loose and are a rock in depositions and cross exams), people trust you and you are not easily replaceable. Also, people know they get what they pay for, so you are not fighting bidding wars. You become more of a low end product or a high end product. Sort of like cars. All cars get you from point A to point B, just some are better and some have a helluva lot more style. I've been at it since 1996 and have done really well. I am in a position to lead amd train others to be the best and looks like if things stay good it will be my end game as well.

The final products produced don't have to be broadcast quality, movie perfect or even worthy of CG Society exposure. Most of my stuff would seem tame around here. However, its worth a ton to my clients. The topend players are reliable and have impecable results. Of course, keeping the quality a the highest level of your best competitor helps to separate from the pack as well.

Last edited by XLNT-3d : 09 September 2012 at 10:02 PM.
 
  09 September 2012
Product development and visualization. If you are not a designer then mostly the visualization part. I did 2 weeks of CAD. I admire people who can keep it up. I ran screaming back to the safety of zbrush and max.

Edit: I forgot to mention, a huge disadvantage to product dev is NDA. Means you cant show your work. If you are amazing and have too much work you can charge fees for NDA depending on the period of secrecy.
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Last edited by Kanga : 09 September 2012 at 11:49 AM.
 
  09 September 2012
In How to Build a Dinosaur they go into the process of finding fossils and how much they could find out about it based on their findings.

They'd use cg such as muscle simulation on a dinosaur model to find out the most likely way it stood, walked, ran and so on. Also, for dinos where they had only found a part of the whole skeleton, they have artists/illustrators who use the scientific data and fill the gaps with artistic interpretation to make dinosaur concepts which are then sculpted into models for museum exhibitions. Don't know how much work there is in that field though.
 
  09 September 2012
Originally Posted by Kanga: I did 2 weeks of CAD. I admire people who can keep it up. I ran screaming back to the safety of zbrush and max.


If you want to do artist-friendly CAD, with a nice interface, then there is always Moment Of Inspiration (MOI):

http://moi3d.com/

Many things you would model in SolidWorks, Rhino or other hardcore CAD packages can be achieved a lot easier using Moi once you've mastered it (takes 1 - 2 weeks max.)

You may still need to go into a CAD package like SolidWorks/Rhino to finish the design (e.g. precise measurements of parts to 1/10th of a mm and so forth).

But you won't have to use hardcore CAD software in the early and more experimental stages of 3D design (design exploration, rapid virtual prototyping, creating variations on an existing design, et cetera).

Last edited by DePaint : 09 September 2012 at 02:56 PM.
 
  09 September 2012
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