Is too late to start a career as 3d modeler being self-taught in the industry?

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  02 February 2013
Is too late to start a career as 3d modeler being self-taught in the industry?

Hi to everybody, I'm a 30 yo spanish guy living in spain, I started modelling when I was 16 until 23. My strongest point has always been character creation and what I liked the most, I worked for a year doing architecture using 3dsmax, after that for personal reasons I had to look for another job and I didn't continue on.

Now I'm reconsidering seriously to get back to the 3d world to pursue a career that was always what I wanted to do but lots of questions pop up in mind, is there still the possibility to get in the industry just being self-taught like in the past and basically not having work experience? Do still companies hire people that can prove that they can do the work even though they have no former experience working as a 3d modeler in the industry?

How is the market in the present time? Is it difficult to find a job in europe as a 3d modeler? For me is clear I have to move because and I want to move.

I'm using 3dsmax and zbrush for modelling, I can compete concerning the high-end modelling standards, but I need to work hard to get up to date and prepare a kickass demoreel.

Should I specialize in a particular area to stand out or go for "do it all approach"?


Thanks in advance.
 
  02 February 2013
Welcome to the forum. There are a couple of recent threads by others asking the same question. Scroll down the page and you will see them.
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  02 February 2013
I'm not an expert and I'm in similar position as you are. Here's my opinion.

First of all, this decision is yours alone and anything we say are just opinions and views. You must make the choice by weight up what the situation is like in your own life.

Being self taught or educated is not what's important, it's what you can do and know. What they seek is what you can do for them, artistic talent and if your level matches theirs. Also it doesn't matter what education you have, as long as you can do the work required. In the case of a character modeller, most studios need you to be able to model anatomy(most important). Digital Sculpting and modelling models that can be animated(knowing you edge flow so that you can have the character bend in specific areas for example).

In terms of having experience, it would be good, as the studio will know that you have worked in a similar environment and you should know what is expected of you, and it is advantageous. However what's the most important thing is you reel, I have said this many times on this forum and it's a phase I will always remember from my teacher, is "your reel is your passport into the industry". Although people who have experience with really good reels are top of the list but if you have a decent reel you will at least be on the list as well.

In terms of the market currently in Europe, I leave that to someone with more info but I would list the studios you want to apply to and check if they have vaccancies would be a good approach and try to network with some you know or get to know, who's in the industry. As for getting a job as a modeler, I would say it's one of the more harder jobs to get compared to the other departments. I say this because modelling is a job that most artists can do and go for, in my opinion the first skill all people doing 3D will have learned. Positions such as lighting, rigging, shader writing, scripting/coding are skills that studios want more of because not everyone can do them, although more are starting to learn about them.

Depending on who you are applying for, normally it's specialise for Film/Movie VFX studios and can be more general in Commercials. Only show skills you are good at, and even though commerical studios can be more general, still try to keep it focused on what you want to do and not because you can do it (you can always have things you can do on a separate reel from your main, and you can show the studio at a later date like in an interview or while you work for them). If it's modelling your aiming for, try to show organic and hard surface modelling, real life models such as a real person or animals (no aliens or monsters or robots with certain exception, to keep it short, demonstrate that it's from a concept and make believable, and it has to be really great), show you edge flow or topology with wireframes. You can light and texture, render your models, as it shows them off better but your main aim is to have good models.

Another point is make you reel and post it on the forum or online for it get critiqued. Then you will know if it's good and what needs to be done for you to get a chance to get into the industry.
 
  02 February 2013
3d Models + Spain reminds me of REM Infographica back in the day (1998ish?) All the Reyes plugins and DeEspona models. Loved those models and plugins back then.
 
  02 February 2013
I think be prepared to start from the beginning, it might seem unobtainable but it really isn't. Consistency of effort is key. Having already made a stab at it in the past this has to change if you are to make it in this field.

Set yourself a long tearm plan and evaluate your progress as you move towards it in regular intervals. 30, 35 makes little difference. At this point your past the i'm young give me a break thing, you need to deliver and follow through with a mature, serious career change. I'm 28 and in the same position.
 
  02 February 2013
Originally Posted by KenkuBCN:
How is the market in the present time? Is it difficult to find a job in europe as a 3d modeler? For me is clear I have to move because and I want to move.

I'm using 3dsmax and zbrush for modelling, I can compete concerning the high-end modelling standards, but I need to work hard to get up to date and prepare a kickass demoreel.

Should I specialize in a particular area to stand out or go for "do it all approach"?


Thanks in advance.


I would really look at your skills and do a self assessment of them. One of the most successful modellers I know was a sculptor prior to learning 3d. He was able to just have a few photo's of his subject matter to produce stunning models in 3d. Do you think you have that sort of ability ? . In this day and age you need to be above average.

b
 
  02 February 2013
Originally Posted by mr Bob: I would really look at your skills and do a self assessment of them. One of the most successful modellers I know was a sculptor prior to learning 3d. He was able to just have a few photo's of his subject matter to produce stunning models in 3d. Do you think you have that sort of ability ? . In this day and age you need to be above average.

b


+1

It's certainly possible to do what you want to do, but it's going to be a lot of work if you want to be competitive in the job market.
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  02 February 2013
Originally Posted by mr Bob: I would really look at your skills and do a self assessment of them. One of the most successful modellers I know was a sculptor prior to learning 3d. He was able to just have a few photo's of his subject matter to produce stunning models in 3d. Do you think you have that sort of ability ? . In this day and age you need to be above average.

b


One of the best modelers I know jumped out of airplanes, then blew stuff up. He was in artillary. He's modeled tons of props in the biggest blockbusters. He's been doing since 1997 and now looking at retiring in Hawaii and starting a fishing business. Heck, a bunch of us that started back then are looking at new careers. For most of us the 3d thing was our second or third career anyway.

Last edited by XLNT-3d : 02 February 2013 at 03:30 AM.
 
  02 February 2013
Originally Posted by XLNT-3d: ...He's been doing since 1997 and now looking at retiring in Hawaii and starting a fishing business....


Does he need someone to open a margarita bar next door? cause that's what I want my last job to be...
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  02 February 2013
Everytime I read a thread like this I'm wondering, why do people really call it "the industry"? The field of 3D-graphics and -animation is hardly a single industry in my opinion... you can work in several different fields (feature film work, industrial visualization, CAD engineering, ...), each with completely different levels of payment, exposure of your work, demand, etc. and also requirements for you to work there!

Or is it just me? You wouldn't say a novelist, a journalist, an accountant or a teacher all work in the same industry, just because they all put words/numbers to paper?

Just curious what people think...

Last edited by Laserschwert : 02 February 2013 at 09:39 AM.
 
  02 February 2013
Originally Posted by XLNT-3d: 3d Models + Spain reminds me of REM Infographica back in the day (1998ish?) All the Reyes plugins and DeEspona models. Loved those models and plugins back then.


Those were AWESOME plugins.

OP, its never too late to do anything with your life (well, within reason)
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  02 February 2013
Originally Posted by XLNT-3d: One of the best modelers I know jumped out of airplanes, then blew stuff up. He was in artillary. He's modeled tons of props in the biggest blockbusters. He's been doing since 1997 and now looking at retiring in Hawaii and starting a fishing business. Heck, a bunch of us that started back then are looking at new careers. For most of us the 3d thing was our second or third career anyway.


Holy shyte! I've been doing it since before that! I can't believe it has been that long. It's been almost 20 years in the real industry. If you count small stuff for local cable stations, back in the day, almost 25 years! (We're talking Video Toaster if you know what I mean)

I'm happy to say I am pretty much out. Wouldn't say I am retired yet, and definitely don't have a magarita bar, though my wife would love we open a hotpot restaurant somewhere, but I have definitely escaped that hustle and stress of games and film for greener pastures.
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  02 February 2013
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