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Old 03-11-2011, 03:47 AM   #1
Taiman89
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Delan Tai
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Advice for a college senior interested in CG

Hey guys,

Im currently an undergraduate senior studying physics and film at UC Berkeley, and I've realized over the past year that I'd like to pursue VFX and CG as a career. Unfortunately I didn't start learning actual marketable skills until this past semester--I'm now taking a course on Maya and trying to focus on the particle effects for our animation, and learning python as well. My question is in regards to finding a job and the required demo reel:

I'd really like to get any kind of job at a VFX company (even technical assistant or production assistant) so that I can start learning more in the field while improving my own CG abilities, but all of my possible reel footage is live action work from a background in filmmaking. I've done 3 years of nanotech research, but that wasn't really simulations related. With a degree in physics but no FX reel (just film stuff), is it possible to get an entry level job at a VFX company?? I don't have a CS major's background in programming, but I do have experience with Python (currently learning), MatLab, and LabView.

I'm in the application process now, but I haven't really gotten any responses. Perhaps would it just be best to get any sort of job over the next year and focus on making a good FX reel to reapply with in the next recruiting season? I'd really rather not waste a year, but it seems like its pretty competitive right now to get any sort of job, and I guess I could consider grad school, but I was really hoping on getting some industry experience first to see which direction to go in grad school. Thanks very much for your time!
 
Old 03-12-2011, 02:25 AM   #2
Meloncov
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Kevin Baker
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I'm going to preface this by saying that almost all the information I know about getting jobs in the CG industry come from the artistic side of things. However, I think it very unlikely you'll get a job without some sort of reel. I'd suggest getting some tutorial videos, books, and learn the basics of some particle fx system. With a background in physics and some comp sci, I imagine you'll learn quickly.
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Old 03-14-2011, 05:47 PM   #3
Taiman89
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Ok, thanks for your advice. I will indeed do that!
 
Old 03-16-2011, 09:28 PM   #4
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Another thing that occurred to me- some of the bigger studios have talent development programs for people coming out of school, and if you're academic records are significantly impressive you might be able to get into one of those even without any visual effects experience.

Once you know the basics, it might also be a good idea to get involved in a student project with students from CCA, AAU, or one of the other local schools. There are a lot of really brilliant film makers who don't have the technical expertise for particle effects and the like, and it can be very useful to have experience working on a film rather than just making effects that don't have to serve any narrative purpose.
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Old 03-16-2011, 09:28 PM   #5
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