Cross Training, How Much Is Best?

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  03 March 2013
Cross Training, How Much Is Best?

We all work in fields that continually tie into others and have varying workloads that can come from a specialized perspective to more of a generalists. After a few months of digging into formal education to refine my skills across the board I have heard a bit of a clash in thought/advice on specializing or generalizing. Some have told me to specialize early because it gives job security and a competitive edge while others say the industry is flaky so it's better to have more talents to showcase and compete.

I have always thoroughly enjoyed learning every bit of interesting content I can and hope my mind can soak each drop of content effectively. Right now my courses are all mostly general as far as studying production workflows and some traditional art skill which I have seen emphasized as a key foundation for all artists. I am even taking a basic cinematography course that has really opened my mind and provided me with much insight to apply to animations in the future (this was greatly unexpected for me).

So with all that said and shared, what are your thoughts on studying and improving your own skills or for application to the industry? We only have so much free time in our lives so is it better to commit it to improving already specialized skills or branching out into adjacent fields?
 
  03 March 2013
Develop and nourish your skills based on what you enjoy and find you have aptitude for, and restrict based on what you find you learn the fastest, best if adjacent things.

Some people find they are only really good at, or can only enjoy, one very specific thing, and will only branch out much later in their career, or never, some start wide and do well in more than one field, and end up specialising through how their career pans out.

SOME degree of specialization is necessary to work at a certain level these days, be it quality or size or both, but it's not true that only super-specialization will take you to the vertex of any given speciality, IME quite the opposite. Just don't go too scattershot, whatever couple or triplets of disciplines will round out your skills and demo reel you enjoy the most, go for.
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  03 March 2013
for some reason, when i read the title.. my mind read it as "crossfit training"... to my surprise, it has nothing to do with exercise.
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  03 March 2013
Originally Posted by ThE_JacO: Develop and nourish your skills based on what you enjoy and find you have aptitude for, and restrict based on what you find you learn the fastest, best if adjacent things.


That's seems to be quite sound advice though it seems regardless if someone enjoys the parts of a pipeline right next to the focus they have chosen they should have some knowledge of who is handing them content and who it is getting passed to.
 
  03 March 2013
I guess it depends on the studio you're in and the role they hire you for. Lighting was what I always wanted to do, but because of my technical skill, I was hired into my current studio as a TD. I've gained a lot of skills from my job and am specializing more and more in the programming/scripting area.

Now here is the bad part - I still want to do lighting and I feel I'm growing more and more distance from what I really want to do : / I don't have anything to show in terms of lighting at all.
 
  03 March 2013
Originally Posted by tswalk: for some reason, when i read the title.. my mind read it as "crossfit training"... to my surprise, it has nothing to do with exercise.


haha thought the same!
 
  03 March 2013
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