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Old 05-28-2013, 04:57 AM   #1
Eucalyptus
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Dave Ladner
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Compositing as a Career

Hey guys,

I had a quick question for any Compositors out there that at one point had other ideas of where their career path might take them. To make my question more clear: I'm currently an FX Artist, with about 1 year's experience. I'm trying to move up in the company I currently work for but am finding there aren't a lot of FX opportunities. I live in Vancouver, BC.

I've recently been considering learning compositing with Nuke a lot better and trying to pursue that line of work instead of just FX work. I know it helps to be well-rounded, but Compositors seem to have a lot easier time finding work here. Obviously I want to be happy in what I'm doing, but a (relatively) consistent paycheck would make me happy sometimes too.

My question is: If you were at once into something besides Compositing - be it Animation, Modeling, FX or anything else - and have since moved to Compositing as your main career path... Do you find it enjoyable?

I really like working in a "3D" environment, so FX felt great to me. Does Compositing still have a "3D" feel to it on the job, even though it is typically working in a 2D sense?

I don't expect you to tell me what to do with my life obviously, but any insight on a switch you may have made and your experience with Compositing vs. a more 3D Focused position would be great to hear.

Thanks and appreciate and responses and opinions.
Dave
 
Old 05-28-2013, 10:53 AM   #2
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michael vorberg
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i've not any production experience in 3d or fx stuff, but played with and looked always at this stuff, so here my 2 cents:

what i really like in compositing is the near instant feedback! you can see your result in seconds. i dont have to wait for hours of simulation or baking or rendering.

then theres the problem solving stuff, in comp you have always to solve the problems of everything: footage, cg stuff, story, ... (i know the 3d guys have there own problems to solve, but for my impression there are always more in the comp area). thats a part of creativity, how to solve all this stuff

in comp you have a little more freedom to be a creativ artist, then just a worker. you can always stick something here and there to make the shot better

bad part of being a comper? you are the last on the line, means the most pressure is on your shoulder. 3d rendering takes longer? needs to be rerendered? ohh, wait the deadline stays the same, so please stay until the rendering is finished and then start you work.
the plate has changed? okay, wait until the new footage arives, the matchmove is done, the simulation and rerendering of all the cg elements is finished and then start again.

whats also very frustrating is the "pixelf*ck" of some supervisors. "we lost a single hair up in the left corner of this background character. can you bring it back?" these changes do not improved the image or the overall feel of the shot, but are very common.
 
Old 05-29-2013, 12:42 AM   #3
scrawford
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You can find a place that will morph to you a bit I think.

If you go to a smaller studio especially after a while you will probably be hopping into 3d to make fx for yourself or a pass or something.

Its nice to be a generalist/compositor i think, and I find theres lots of styles at studios where you can have different responsibilities in different areas depending on how much you can take on.
 
Old 05-30-2013, 06:45 PM   #4
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Christopher Halder
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It's definitely a plus to be a generalist in 3D (you don't have to be amazing at it) and a Compositor.
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Old 06-20-2013, 01:56 AM   #5
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Rick vd S
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A generalists approach would not harm a good artist. My experience working in a production pipeline is that being a compositor, as apposed to FX or Lighting, is personally more fulfilling and seems to give me more creative control. Lighting and FX is in our pipeline definitely more technical, as we are working with fixed light and FX rigs.

So I enjoy being a compositor, but only relying on one skill might limit your options in the future.
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Old 06-20-2013, 01:56 AM   #6
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