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Old 07-28-2010, 10:10 PM   #1
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A formula to live by, all while picking your brains..

So earlier, I made this post but for some reason I had timed out, and lost it all. So, back to square one I go!

I've been a lurker around these parts for quite some time, and very seldom (If at all) post on the forums since I mostly just observe. However, as I've been getting older (Holy cow, almost 29 now!) I've stopped and asked myself a very important question "Are you where you want to be now?" and in short, that answer is "No."

Over the many years, I've done many things in life, be it enlist into the US Army or attend Penn State University for Kinesiology, however no matter how much I think I am finally content and happy with life I still go back to the same fascination and interest of mine, which is VFX.

All my life, I like to stick close to the following formula for most things I pursue, however like any formula if you are missing one step, then the entire process is null and useless. This formula is as follows and breaks down like this....

Fascination -> Inspiration -> Direction -> Application -> Investment = Reality

Fascination. We all know that before every dream becomes reality, it all starts with a fascination or keen interest in a certain subject or matter. In this case, the fascination would be the VFX industry.

Inspiration. Inspiration stems from the plethora of sources around and outside of yourself. So many talented people walk the world in this field, and it truely is nice to have things you look at that make you say to yourself "This is what I want to accomplish and do for the rest of my life."

Direction. In order to achieve any of your pre-set goals, such as making it in the VFX field, one must have direction. Direction consists of not only what you personally want to accomplish, but also consists of the aid from others in which direction is best to go for what you want to accomplish, and how to go about doing it.

Application. Now that we have the direction we need, and the will to learn and 120% interest in what we want in life, the only thing left to do is apply ourselves. Now that we have the direction, this is the next step forward we can take in the path.

Investment. Practice, practice, practice....Everyone knows that in order to ascend above those who float to get by, you need to practice not only the fundamentals, but also the ever changing aspects of the growing technology. Investing your time wisely, and smart is the key to reaching the end goal of Reality.

Reality. Clearly the end result of following things to a tee. Reality is what you shoot for, hope for, dream for. And without any of the other above steps or skipping around, one hardly achieves reality.

Now, with the mini-novel out of the way, this is where my own questions come into play.

My main issue right now, is the Direction aspect. I know I have the fascination, and the inspiration. I know I want to mostly focus on the 3D side of things, more specifically Cinematic/Trailers/ Cut Scenes, but also stay in touch with the basics like Life Drawing/Paint/Sculpting and so forth.

However as it stands, I don't have the direction I need in how to pursue things further past the above.

So with that in mind, which direction may be best for someone with not much prior experience whatsoever?

Gnomon Yearly Membership? Not only is this beneficial financially, since alot of DVDs are 50 bucks (10 DVDs and it's already $500), but it is a great library of resources to use for a lifetime.

Online Tutorials? There are TONS of free tutorials around the internet, as we all know. So is that yet another good direction to follow?

Software? What sort of software should I be looking to acquire and practice/learn. The obvious ones are Photoshop, 3DS Max, Maya, and zBrush, however there are others out there that I'm not sure if they are worth the time or not, when something else better may exist out there. So what software should I be looking for, that is utilized the most often in the industry?

Hardware wise, I'm not worried about since I'm computer literate so building one is not an issue, and getting a WACOM Tablet as well obviously.

In the end, right now I'm mainly looking for some direction and possibly what may be best for myself to follow down. I've thought about the "College" path, and it isn't worth it to me one ounce, since in the end your work speaks for itself, not the piece of paper you walk in with.

Any help is greatly appreciated, along with criticism or possible public lynching if the case may be :P

Replies, PMs work the best here. So again, thanks for the time and hopefully you are still awake after reading this all!
Old 07-28-2010, 10:10 PM   #2
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