Newbie asks advice about environmental modelling.

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  11 November 2013
Newbie asks advice about environmental modelling.

Hi everyone.
I have spent the last year looking at video tutorials on the net.
I have tried to do different aspects of computer graphics.
Now, I have chosen what I would do.
I have discarded the various software programs that I can't learn and sectors where I struggle to learn.
I would like to dedicate myself to modeling, and mostly I would become an environmental artist for the film.
Here are my doubts and my questions (I premise that I have a subscription to an online training video site):
1) I have to concentrate to 100% in modelling and create a showreel where I show only modeling? Or I must also learn texturing and rigging to increase my chances of get a job?
2) same with the characters, I have to concentrate to 100% in hard surfaces or study also the videos tutorial about character?
3) I read that in London know Maya is the key, I gotta keep at 100% with Maya or should I take a look at ZBrush for hard surfaces?
4) I don't want to unleash a war of software since it is against the rules, but I wonder if it is better to have in my luggage to find work, softwares like Mubbox and ZBrush or softwares type Vue and Terragen?
Thanks to all.
  11 November 2013
In the film world, an environment artist is generally a matte painter with 3D skills - this is different to what you appear to be expecting. Are you sure it's environmental work that you want to do, considering this?
  11 November 2013
Hi Leigh,
I apologize for the wrong term.
I meant 3d environment modeller.
  11 November 2013
There isn't really such a role though. Or, at least, if it does exist in some shops, it's definitely not very common.

In most studios, modellers are simply modellers; while most large studios will have one or two modellers particularly skilled at creature work who are then tasked with handling more complex hero character work, the rest of the modellers are expected to be able to model anything they're given, whether it's digi doubles, vehicles, environments, creatures, etc.
  11 November 2013
As far as I know there's the Evironment TD for the VFX industry, like Leigh has said it's a matte painting artist with modeling and other 3D skills.

Environment TD job description-

However I believe the position the OP is refering to is the Environment Artist in the games industry.

Environment Artist job description-

For the games position, you will definitely need to know digital sculpting because they rely heavily on displacements on low poly geometry, espcially for environments. I'm no expert but I pretty sure you will have to know how to bake out maps too, as everything is real time. You will probably need to know how to use a game engine, even if you don't, it's kind of a good idea since it's games.
  11 November 2013
The OP says he wants to work in film though... ;-)
  11 November 2013
This is a bold suggestion for the OP, but if you really enjoy strict environmental modeling maybe consider architecture or interior design? Or just arch viz/interior viz.
  11 November 2013
I think video games would offer the most environmental modeling opportunity in line with the OP's stated interests, outside of the requisite film part.

Or by film, you focused on cg animation, "cartoony" style environments.
  11 November 2013
I have worked at studios where Environment TD was more in line with the game industry - more modeling, texturing and shading than matte painting.

Back when I was a modeler, there were definitely modelers who specialized in environments, although they also were excellent all-round modelers.

Some vfx supervisors prefer fully lit and shaded environments over 3d matte paintings.
  11 November 2013
It's a small field, but all the feature animation studios I've looked at have dedicated environment modelers and/or combined environment modeling and texturing positions.

Still, as a general rule I'd say that for film you have to be able to model both environments and characters, while for games, you need to be able to both model and texture environments (plus possibly lighting, depending on the studio).

Last edited by Meloncov : 11 November 2013 at 10:20 AM.
  11 November 2013
First of all, thanks to all those who have dedicated their time to respond to me.
I am in confusion and English is not even my native language.
I would like to specialize me in modeling, because it is the area that I understand better.
I think that the modelers will divide into a hard surface and organic modeling.
Now, you tell me that the Modeler has to do everything!

So, back to my questions and my doubts:
In my bag I have to be able to model everything, so in addition to maya I have realized that I am obliged to learn sculpting software, it isn't?

But I have to dedicate all my time to modeling and sculpture or should I also look at texturing and maybe even rigging?

And about creating ecosystems software type Vue and Terragen or World Machine, are they required in the field of modelling?

Thank you all.
  11 November 2013
I work in animation films and at my company I work as a sets&props senior artist, so I deal with anything that is not a character which is mostly vehicles,scene objects and environments
We have a dedicated character modelling department.

I only have to model because all the uv mapping and shading is done at the shading department where there is also a separate character shading department and a sets&props shading department.

Working this way we are quite fast but I know that it is not the usual pipeline for modelling.

As for what to learn I would suggest learning traditional modelling and also sculpture with zbrush or mudbox.
You should know how to uv map and how to texture even if you are not asked to do it.
Working on some characters on your spare time is also higly recommended.

hope it helps
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  11 November 2013
Environmental Modeling

Hi there,

I'm a senior modeler at Luma Pictures. This is what I understand from all the modelers I've met over the years:

The Ideal Modeler can adapt to any task that's given. Texturing / Modeling/ Uving/ and matte painting is usually a package deal. I've done hundreds of tasks throughout my career dealing with Full CG modeling/ Paint overs using photoshop, Zbrush sculpting, and Detailed Texturing projects. Matte Painting also involves basic Lighting knowledge. We use Maya/Arnold here at Luma.

THAT SAID, I don't often model characters or creatures, I specialize in Hard Surface/Environmental (sets) and props. Mechanical and manufactured models just interest me more. So there IS a place for someone that is just not into "creature work."

Just have well rounded skills in Texturing/ Modeling/ Matte Painting and a strong reel.
  11 November 2013
Thank you all for your kind answers.
Thanks to KOKE and Industrial, you have clarified to me my doubts.
I focus myself in Maya and ZBrush, modeling both organically and hard surfaces.
And not studying Vue for now.
  11 November 2013
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