Advice for an entry level 3D artist at a company...?

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Old 01 January 2013   #1
Advice for an entry level 3D artist at a company...?

Hey all -

I've been studying Maya on and off for about 5 years now, but have dedicated a lot more time to it the past 6 months. I have a portfolio website with about 5 pieces or so and am currently working on more. I have a few friends in the post-production industry and I possibly have the opportunity to meet with their companies 3D departments. I personally have been in post-production as an editor for years and have taken the last couple years off for personal reasons. I plan to move into 3D as editing does not do much for me anymore and my interests have shifted.

My main question - what do companies expect from a 3D artist first starting out? Do they expect me to know Maya front and back? I'm definitely still learning and have a long way to go, but I consider myself an intermediate user. There's still things that I see people do in modeling that I had no idea about. Same for all other aspects of the program. Some things, even basic, that I must have over-looked or simply forgotten at some point. I guess I'm just worried about the expectations that will be upon me. I'm also not the fastest yet as I'm still learning.

Help ease my mind! Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

 
Old 01 January 2013   #2
Simply saying 3D is very, very broad. It covers a vast amount of ground and their requirement vary a lot. It's easier to think about it when you break 3D down into different area of focus. Companies look for different things in a modeler's reel versus a lighting reel. Generally speaking, unless you're going for a technical position, knowledge of software is not as important as your skill as an artist and your port folio need to show that.

Last edited by Panupat : 01 January 2013 at 06:15 AM.
 
Old 01 January 2013   #3
Many mention what they are looking for on their sites or in ads to very specific details sometimes. As mentioned you are aiming very broadly with just 3d though an easy way to see what you need to attain is to look through your competitions reels. Look for modeling reels, lighting reels, texture reels, animation reels, or whatever field your most interested in. There are probably thousands of professional reels out there that give a clear idea of the quality in work the industry expects as a whole.
 
Old 01 January 2013   #4
Put simply: They expect you to be able to perform a task. For example, if they're hiring you to model cars, then you should know what you need to know to model cars at their quality level. That make sense?
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Old 01 January 2013   #5
Originally Posted by Panupat: Generally speaking, unless you're going for a technical position, knowledge of software is not as important as your skill as an artist and your port folio need to show that.



Im sorry, sorry to go off topic, but i need to answer this... i simply dont understand how people STILL say this when it comes to finding work.

Yes, of course talent is the most important thing in the broad picture, much more so than software choice. But when it comes to finding work, of course its important. You think Framestore will hire you if all you know is Blender? Think again.

Im not going to get into which software is best to learn for which industry, but to anyone looking for work, or just starting out, i say: Pick wisely.

To the OP. Companies dont expect you to know the software inside and out. But as in anything in life, the more you know the better for you. I would imagine they would like you to be a fast learner, be adaptable, be able to work in a team and deal with clients

I have not worked in film, but have been working, doing 3d for tv commercials for 10 years (and been doing 3d since 1994) and i STILL cant model anything more than a cube and have never rigged or animated any sort of character in almost 20 years. So dont worry if there are things you cant do. Play to your strengths.
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Old 01 January 2013   #6
Originally Posted by thethule: Im sorry, sorry to go off topic, but i need to answer this... i simply dont understand how people STILL say this when it comes to finding work.


That's probably because people like me share our stories about how we got into the industry. Some gigs are "hop in, do your work, hop out." Other gigs are: "We're breaking new ground, here, and we need people that understand the goal, we can deal with the technical bits along the way."

You're right that knowing the software that companies use helps a great great deal, but the actual skill in getting most industry jobs done isn't about which button to push.
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Old 01 January 2013   #7
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