What are some of the other career choices for CG artists other than VFX/Games?

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  02 February 2013
Software development is one of the obvious fields, especially new platforms like the ipad are interesting. I recently downloaded an app called Touchanimator and while it's sucks in many ways, you can see the potential of touch based platforms for animation if it was done right.

There are many fields 3D artist can take on these days, most of them mentioned here. I guess jewelery design is another one. Also with the adoption of 3D printers, you one day might end up working in an industry you never thought you would.
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  02 February 2013
Originally Posted by leigh: TV commercial work is very, very stressful. I did about four years in television VFX work, mostly in commercials, at the start of my career and I almost quit the industry because I burned out so badly. You never have enough time to get anything done to the standard you want, and you tend to work long hours.

It's a viable option yes, but only if you're really, really good at handling stress and overtime.


Well, this is a gross generalization.

I work on commercials and sure, there are times it get a bit crazy but I think the last time I had to do overtime was on the BBC Olympics trailer, about 8 or 9 months ago. It's been a nice solid constant 40 hrs a week since then whilst friends in film are doing 6 day weeks on crunch time. It just depends on the jobs and directors you get. Heh, I actually wouldn't mind a bit of overtime to fatten the pay packet! (...and it's not through a lack of work here at Passion, we're stacked at the minute )

In answer to the original question there's an increased interest in realtime animation for advertising for stuff like this, getting characters out there so people can interact with them.
 
  02 February 2013
For the defense industry related work, if you don't already have a security clearance then it's difficult to get very far in the hiring process. On the bright side, if you have ever served in the military you get to go to the front of the line for those positions.
 
  02 February 2013
Originally Posted by WesComan: Well, this is a gross generalization.

I work on commercials and sure, there are times it get a bit crazy but I think the last time I had to do overtime was on the BBC Olympics trailer, about 8 or 9 months ago. It's been a nice solid constant 40 hrs a week since then whilst friends in film are doing 6 day weeks on crunch time. It just depends on the jobs and directors you get. Heh, I actually wouldn't mind a bit of overtime to fatten the pay packet! (...and it's not through a lack of work here at Passion, we're stacked at the minute )


Well you seem to be the only person I've ever met who works reasonable hours in commercials. Like I said, I did four years in that field and working until 2am was the norm, most days during a job. That's why I got out of it and went into film instead (where I've never, ever worked that late, and in fact could probably count on my two hands the number of times I've put in a few extra hours in the entire 8-9 years I've been working in film). I have a lot of friends working in commercial studios around London and they also seem to spend their lives at work.

So I don't really think it's a generalisation. I think you're just the odd one out
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  02 February 2013
Originally Posted by leigh: Well you seem to be the only person I've ever met who works reasonable hours in commercials. Like I said, I did four years in that field and working until 2am was the norm, most days during a job. That's why I got out of it and went into film instead (where I've never, ever worked that late, and in fact could probably count on my two hands the number of times I've put in a few extra hours in the entire 8-9 years I've been working in film). I have a lot of friends working in commercial studios around London and they also seem to spend their lives at work.

So I don't really think it's a generalisation. I think you're just the odd one out


Really depends on where you are, and what you do. Those further in the pipeline tend to get stuck with the worst hours. (Sorry lighters and compers...) I've only ever worked till 2 AM once actually.

But the hours are longer than film, no argument there. I just think it's possible to balance life and work in ads, you just have to know how to say no, and leave on time. A lot of freelancers feel like they need to work long hours to stay competitive, but you really don't.

You do need to get used to not having time to polish your work, and sure you should be able to handle stress. But it's not horrible, I actually enjoy the work. Like I said, it differs drastically depending on where you are, who the client is, and who is running the job. (Honestly I hear the worst stories from folks in games)
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  02 February 2013
Originally Posted by leigh: Well you seem to be the only person I've ever met who works reasonable hours in commercials. Like I said, I did four years in that field and working until 2am was the norm, most days during a job. That's why I got out of it and went into film instead (where I've never, ever worked that late, and in fact could probably count on my two hands the number of times I've put in a few extra hours in the entire 8-9 years I've been working in film). I have a lot of friends working in commercial studios around London and they also seem to spend their lives at work.

So I don't really think it's a generalisation. I think you're just the odd one out


well i think working on commercials (postprod) matured a little bit over the last decade, most companies i've worked for, respected the artists life , of course when you have 10-20 final deadlines a year, you're going to have more often at least some crunchtime, but its not like games is now which it used to be, when it was fresh, virgin and so exciting .

i think that age and experience makes a big difference when it comes to the stress level in commercials. veterans know pretty well what a client wants to achieve with their product, so the list of changes is getting (feeled) shorter and shorter.
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  02 February 2013
Real Estate agencies, real estate developers and architectural renderings to create virtual tours.

I also once saw a pretty cool interactive sequence created for the Montreal Tourism board:
http://www.tourisme-montreal.org/MontrealTV

so that puts travel on the list....
 
  02 February 2013
Originally Posted by WesComan: Well, this is a gross generalization.

I work on commercials and sure, there are times it get a bit crazy but I think the last time I had to do overtime was on the BBC Olympics trailer, about 8 or 9 months ago. It's been a nice solid constant 40 hrs a week since then whilst friends in film are doing 6 day weeks on crunch time. It just depends on the jobs and directors you get. Heh, I actually wouldn't mind a bit of overtime to fatten the pay packet! (...and it's not through a lack of work here at Passion, we're stacked at the minute )

In answer to the original question there's an increased interest in realtime animation for advertising for stuff like this, getting characters out there so people can interact with them.


agree with this

In my experience (while on for a few years freelancing around London so far - I havn't done many crazy lates. A few weekends here and there but paid at full day rate at the very east, and the odd week where I worked to say 8 - 9 ish but nothing that got me all that upset.

Naturally some studios are worse than others, some p[rojects are tougher than others. Ive probably just been lucky *shrug*.

The main problem is that unless your one of those sorta perma-lancers that stays at just one or 2 studios most of the time you have the natural problem of finding regular work - which i find to be the most stressful part of it all
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  02 February 2013
Forensic and litigation animation has been good to me for about 16 years. We seem to be trending into risk management and training as well. Work has to be scientifically sound and accurate, but not film or broadcast quality. No fame or glory, just better overall security and positioning. Based on our engineering analysis and risk management in the maritime and aviation industries, we are finding that preventative training (scenario analysis) would be far more beneficial than reactionary (minimizing financial losses due to fatalities and litigation)

Plaintiffs hire to increase odds of winning and increasing settlements. Defense hires to minimize financial exposure or to dismiss case altogether.

I've worked the typical hours as others with the occasional all nighters. Never got overtime pay, but got plenty of flexibility, bonus pay, profit sharing, stock options and ownership shares at one company I worked at. I was told early in my career and found out for myself, the ROI in the engineering field is much higher than the entertainment field as well as less cut throat. Can be fun too. We use laser scanning, mocap, visual fx software, 3d, game engines and just about anything else to visualize crashes (planes, trains, ships/watercraft and automobiles), shootings, malpractice, work place accidents, fires, product failures and patent infringement.

Check with litigation consulting firms and forensic engineering companies. Lawyers usually don't hire independents unless you understand the litigation process and have experience surviving depositions/trials (10x more brutal than your toughest portfolio review) as well as creating work that doesn't get excluded from evidence.

What about the info commercial market? I always see animations and visual effects for products.

Last edited by XLNT-3d : 02 February 2013 at 05:09 AM.
 
  02 February 2013
I've been in the defense industry for ~10yrs now, it has come a long ways but will always be a generation behind games. I've worked for 2 military sim companies now and for both of them we have/had around 8 artists and 20-40 engineers.

The pay and benefits are good, you may work late up to 10 days in a year (most years I've never had to work any over time) and it's been very stable for me. Both companies I've worked for have had layoffs, but only once was the art team ever effected (since the team is so small to begin with).

You do not need security clearance before working in this industry, as each company you work for has to apply and pay for the clearance whenever your first project requiring it comes up (you could work at a certain company and never need it even).

If you want in this industry, make friends that are already in it. It's pretty small and when an opportunity does open up, it usually doesn't stay open for long. The work is rarely pretty (remember, about a generation behind games) and never up to your personal standards, but customers will still like it anyways.

Learn OpenFlight, VBS2 and CryEngine3. You will need to be a generalist and know Max, Photoshop etc... Have some good looking textured models of Humvee's and soldiers in your portfolio. Large "detailed" terrains (8k x 8k - 50k x 50k) would also be a plus.

Orlando is kind of the hotspot for this kind of work. Cost of living is cheap, no state income tax and beaches are less than an hour away for the Atlantic or the Gulf... it's not a bad place to live.
 
  02 February 2013
Originally Posted by leigh: Well you seem to be the only person I've ever met who works reasonable hours in commercials...So I don't really think it's a generalisation. I think you're just the odd one out


Just to throw in my anecdotal two cents, up until recently I also worked in commercials (not super bowl level ads or anything) and I rarely worked more than 40 hr. a week as well.
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  02 February 2013
Originally Posted by TheWraith:

Orlando is kind of the hotspot for this kind of work. Cost of living is cheap, no state income tax and beaches are less than an hour away for the Atlantic or the Gulf... it's not a bad place to live.


Seems to be big in Virginia and Maryland as well. Being a generation behind isn't a bad thing. It actually takes a bit of pressure off. Much easier to have happy clients. Again, the ROI in the field of engineering yields greater returns.
 
  02 February 2013
Originally Posted by Daniel-B: Just to throw in my anecdotal two cents, up until recently I also worked in commercials (not super bowl level ads or anything) and I rarely worked more than 40 hr. a week as well.


Excellent project and time management seem to be a major factor in that. Probably why it may seem abnormal to many. The excellent project and time management part isn't as widespread as it should be.

I my field, working hours typically were under control. When we started working insane hours, it was usually when the client opened the checkbook and the budget was out the window. It usually meant a big fat bonus check (no overtime, just profit sharing), so we didn't have problems working a 24-32 hour run when called upon.

Last edited by XLNT-3d : 02 February 2013 at 03:35 PM.
 
  02 February 2013
Originally Posted by leigh: Well you seem to be the only person I've ever met who works reasonable hours in commercials. Like I said, I did four years in that field and working until 2am was the norm, most days during a job. That's why I got out of it and went into film instead (where I've never, ever worked that late, and in fact could probably count on my two hands the number of times I've put in a few extra hours in the entire 8-9 years I've been working in film). I have a lot of friends working in commercial studios around London and they also seem to spend their lives at work.

So I don't really think it's a generalisation. I think you're just the odd one out
might be more to do with working with a client directly VS working with an Agency.

If you're working directly with a client it tends to be a lot more painless and with a better timeline.
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  02 February 2013
It appears that creating media for books might be something worth looking into...

http://www.framestore.com/news/crea...partment-coming
 
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