Tips for working on a good enough portfolio to make a living in modeling / animation?

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  05 May 2013
Tips for working on a good enough portfolio to make a living in modeling / animation?

I have been working with maya / zbrush / 3dcoat / afterfx for more than a few years but I have never really realized I want to do it for a living since most of my normal day job is sucking the life out of me.

I can go through variations of 2d concepts and then sculpt the best one, retopologize texture rig animate and render. I also have environment & dynamics / particles / vfx skill.

My main problem is that I have been working and learning with more cartoon style animation and nothing impressive that I think showing in a portfolio would land me any type of job.

I really wish I could turn this skillset Ive worked on for so long into a career.

How can I figure out what I should concentrate on making over the next year that would impress someone enough to either hire me or get me freelancing projects?
  05 May 2013
man just do what you like the most for now and forget about impressing anyone, if you really like it you wouldn't feel it was a wasted time because you enjoyed it and you will eventually become super good at it and find your way.
Ebal Studios
  05 May 2013
The tone of your post comes from a place of quantity over quality. I can do X amt of things and know X amt of software. The key really lies in focus. It's a competitive industry but rewarding STILL despite all the stuff you hear out there.

For me to hire you, I just need 1 really damn good render or one really good piece of animation. Best thing to do is pick a topic you're interested in and start there. If you're thinking of becoming a modeler/texture artist, nail the weight, the design, strong silhouettes, strong poses, and polish the presentation. There are plenty of pros on this list to ask.

Knowing other stuff definitely helps, but the key is really focus, focus, and focus.

Meng Yang Lu
3D Generalist
  05 May 2013
Just keep doing what you enjoy, practice and share with everyone because you get more critiques and better known. I used to keep everything to myself that I did and eventually another animator woke up a bit, got me online and networking hah. My first inquiry for my skill was unexpected because I am far from the standards I want to reach, they were a small indie company looking for some low cost online commuted animation work. CG Society is a great way to get into networking and personal improvement all for free, lots of high quality critiques and once people start noticing your work awards, showcasing and even appearance in books like Expose can happen. Everyone starts somewhere, just a question of whether you want to keep running to where you want to be or fall off track to go elsewhere.

I wouldn't say to place all your chips in the field yet though, myself and many others rely on other sources of income to stay afloat. Ideally I would love to do CG/animation related work for a living instead of small jobs here and there. Another awesome bit of inspiration for you and useful info can be found on this podcast:

They bring up interesting topics like being just an awesome person to work with could land you jobs before your skills are even top of the line. If you have the right personality and other creatives like working with you things could go right as planned.
  05 May 2013
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