Independent Study - The Year from Hell

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Old 07 July 2011   #16
Decency - 20, turning 21 in october.

As for the sleep point, perhaps you're right. I'll reassess that, definitely.
Old 07 July 2011   #17
I'm not sure if this was mentioned in your last thread, but the main benefit I found, of going to a CG school, is the fact that you've got other students that you can work with and feed off of.

You should try and find other people in your same situation, or at a similar skill level, to work on group projects with. Go into the CG challenge forums. Pick a random group. Start a challenge. With other people pushing you to hold up your end of the deal, you're less likely to lose motivation and fail.

Pick something with a clear goal and don't stop until you've learned as much as you can from it and created something you're proud to show.

Also, keep in mind that most of the people in this industry or on this forum didn't have the luxury of digital tutors or nice tutorial videos... they had to dive in and just get it done. You've got a lot of great training material that you can view.

Old 07 July 2011   #18
I know. In my downtime at work here I've been really exploring the wealth of knowledge on the DT website, and it's phenomenal. I really have no excuse but myself now, and that's an excuse I don't intend to use again. It's balls to the walls from here on out.
Old 07 July 2011   #19
Quote: I was talking with a friend of mine last night about work ethic, and he mentioned something he heard about Jerry Seinfeld doing; He had a calander, and would X the days that he wrote. As the 'chain' of Xs increased, it became a game to keep that chain going (which makes a lot of sense, I read an article in Wired recently about the power of feedback loops, and this was a classic example).

That's the coolest damn thing I've read all day. Love me some Seinfeld, but it's interesting to me because I'm a *really* streaky worker. When I'm on a roll, I'm on a roll, but if I miss a day or two it's hard for me to build the momentum again.

I also tend to get intimidated at a certain part of a project when my expertise wears thin. I'm a pretty good modeler and sculptor, but I'm kinda rubbish when it comes to lighting, texturing, and rendering. Can't tell you how many models and scenes I've got lying around untextured because I chicken out. I don't know if this sort of thing is an issue for you or not, but my piece of advice is to finish projects! Best way to improve is to look at a finished project and figure out what you can improve next time around.

Anyway, I've been at the self-taught thing for about a year now also, and as you know life has a habit of getting in the way. Digital tutors is great and I'm sure it'll keep you occupied for awhile, but if you haven't already heard of Eat3D, I recommend you check it out. Some of their material has been priceless for me (ZBrush Hard Surface Techniques, for example).

If you ever want to chat with someone who's in a similar boat, I'm actually the staff writer for's 3D page, and I've got a big empty forum dying for some activity.
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Old 07 July 2011   #20
Just did some drawing and got about an hour in on tutorials. I just started the Modelling phase of the Introduction to Maya 2011, I'll post where I'm at along with my sketchbook pages with it as well. Mark one X on that grand calendar.
Old 07 July 2011   #21
The link to your blog is still broken, it should be this: and as for sleeping, you should read this:
Old 07 July 2011   #22
Morning, gentlemen, proud to say I did not slack last night! Got through a sketch of my hand, though I think I could do a whole mess better on it if I have another go at it tonight.

I've butted right up against the in-software Maya training from the Intro to Maya 2011 course on DT, so tonight I'll be working through as many of those lessons as I can before the Sandman comes for me.

In the meantime, I'm at work sneaking tutorials for InDesign (some good nuggets here) and Illustrator (which I have been meaning to learn for work for far too long).

Cheers, Gents
Old 07 July 2011   #23
I just had a fascinating discussion with a good friend of mine about Mastery of a skill. He told me of this book called Outliers, and a concept it put across - the 10,000 hour rule.

Obviously, there are probably Outliers to this rule (herp), but it basicly states that after 10,000 hours practicing a skill, one could be considered a master of that skill. I ran some number crunching, that's 3 years, at least nine hours a day working at it.

Sounds about right to me.

That being said, 3D is going to be a very long haul for me, but I think that for the first time, in a very very long time, I look at that seemingly unatainable goal and I see myself getting there, someday.

Having a blast with this medium. I imagine that the more I learn about it, the more fun it'll get, too. Really want to thank you guys for your support and advice, despite my slackedness the year prior. Means a lot to a college drop out;

so, Thanks.
Old 07 July 2011   #24
The 10,000 hour rule has always been interesting to me... actually I've always kinda wanted to get a bunch of people together and make a blog network called 10,000 hours or something, and have people document their 10,000 hour quest for mastery. Would be neat to see how many people could actually be considered masterful after 10,000 hours of work--I imagine a good majority (that's a lot of hours...).

Tumblr would actually be a pretty good medium for that something like that.
My Portfolio:

I write about CG for Come say hi!

Last edited by Jussslic : 07 July 2011 at 05:49 PM.
Old 07 July 2011   #25
Hi There

Hey TheMumm, After reading your posts I wanna let you know that your are not alone on this,

I am about your age, turning 20 in a few weeks and I share many of your qualities, I cant quite say I am a college dropout, as I come from a low income family and never was really able to afford it (until now,) I will be starting college at Utah Valley University in the Digital Media:Emph Animation and Gaming Program which is a 4 year bachelor program this fall.

I do admit I am not very strong in my drawing capabilities which has caused a great level of distress for me to a certain degree. I cant say im not "creative" as I have worked with all kinds of digital graphic programs like flash/photoshop/etc, Whether or not you want to say that counts as "Artistic" or not is beyond me. I just stink at drawing OR I am just very critical of my drawings and turn them away. It something I hope I can improve on during my education.

But well, I wanna say your not alone in treading this CG filled ocean. I'm still very new to it all, (and very intimidated to a certain point too) and I want to say thanks for helping reinforce that I am not completely alone in all of this.

Back to drawing *scribble scribble*
Old 07 July 2011   #26
I'm a little late to chime in here, but anyway... I think your biggest problem has nothing to do with your art skills or anything like that. You simply lack discipline and focus. And there's no need to be ashamed about that, as it's perfectly normal at your age to be distracted by a billion things.

Now, I don't know anything about you as a person or your current life, apart from what you've said, but one of the biggest contributors to ongoing distraction is a lack of routine in your life. Little things like getting up in the morning and going to bed at night at the same time every day, all build up to create a routine that can train you to focus when you need to focus. Don't distract yourself with blogs and books that tell you that you need to work for 10,000 hours and all that kind of crap - just sit down, pick up your pencil and paper or fire up whatever app you're using to make some art, and just work. The only way to get good at anything is really just to work hard at it. There are no additional "secrets" to getting good at stuff, despite all the claims made by silly books. All these books that throw figures and whatnot at you are just additional distractions that serve as procrastination that gets in the way of just getting shit done.
Old 07 July 2011   #27
Another thing you could try is searching high and low for internships anywhere near you, doing anything remotely related to CG. You may be thinking "Oh, I'm not good enough, I don't have any job skills," but I know there exists small places that may not be able to afford "real" interns who would be willing to let someone who was eager to learn come in and help out around the office in exchange for some mentoring (this sort of non-paid agreement is perfectly legal btw as long as you don't do work a normal employee would do.) Networking and learning from people with more skill than you are really, really important parts of this industry so the sooner you can start (and start ANYWHERE), the better.

Also, if a community college near you offers any art, programming, digital media or 3D classes, these can be excellent ways to learn on a budget. I went to a private 4 year art school and to date the best drawing professor I had was at community college, so you might be shocked by what they have to offer. I think the class cost me like $100 to take and was worth every penny. This might give you some of the structure and motivation you need to succeed, as well as an opportunity for consistent peer feedback which is worth a lot.

Once you've above a certain age you can file FAFSA without your parents information and the amount you get from Pell and government loans may very well cover a program at a state university if you can find one that interests you. You would also be shocked at the relative ease with which one can get artistic scholarships to some of the private art schools - taking cheap community college classes then transferring over with an artistic based scholarship can actually bring these pricier schools back onto the same level as state schools. There are definitely options for class based training on any budget and there are some people that just have to have that structure to learn (I know I'm one of them.)
Old 07 July 2011   #28
Leigh - Thanks for the advice; I know it's mostly 'do-ing', and my inability to actually Go Do is something that I'm working on now. Every day I spend more and more time working in the software or at the drawing board, so that's good. I'm immersing myself in my work, both my Art/3D studies and my Graphic Design at the office, so I'm getting there. I've been weaning myself off of frivolous things like video games (proud to say I played a grand total of 2 hours of those this last week) and their ilk. If I have 10 minutes to burn before I gotta leave for work, I watch animations now.

Almaghest - Thanks for that info. The age that I've heard tossed around is 24 to not have to file parental information, so that's an option that I'll think about in the coming years. In the meantime, my parents have kindly offered to pay for a class at a College near where I work (Schoolcraft College), and they have a pretty snazzy VFX program there (though they are Max-based, I'm already ankle-deep in Maya). I'm going to look at some of their courses in the next couple of days when I can get a few minutes with my parents to sit down with them and talk to them about it.

In the meantime, My Dad teaches History of Animation at the above-mentioned school, so I might be able to have him teach me the class at home, and test out of it at college. Not sure how kosher that is, but, knowledge is knowledge!

And, to give you guys an update on where I am, I've been working with Polygon primitives, extrusions of said primitives, CV curves (and revolving around them) as well as some NURBS modelling. The question is now, should I be migrating this thread to another forum on here to keep it concise? I don't want to hijack my own thread and turn it into something inappropriate for this forum.

Old 07 July 2011   #29
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