The Path to EnLightenment?

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  02 February 2006
The Path to EnLightenment?

My first love in CG has always been lighting and shading but it seems that the way I am going with my career I will always be "off" the path (I have been an environment artist in the gaming field for 7 years). I've done lighting on/off in this field but still nothing compared to what's out there which I feel is way more relevant.

So, I want to finally step up and start preparing myself to get a job specifically as a Lighting TD/shader guru but I seem to find both extremes...SO much info that I don't where to start (packages, scripting languages, all kinds of lighting models) and so little (a place where all the TD's hang out so I can get a gauge on what to learn from the gurus..besides here at CG talk of course ).

Anyway, here's what I have gathered over the course of some months on what path and info I would need to get into the field. Is what I present below overkill and there is an more focused way? Should I just focus on one 3D package and scripting language?

Any help would be greatly appreciated..

Since I worked in Maya and now XSI I focus on those packages:



Learn how to program/script ---> Python (fundementals of programming)
Learn shell scripting --> Linux
Learn 3D Math/Linear Algebra ("3D Math Primer for Graphics and Game Development")
Start scripting in XSI --> Python or Javascript
Start scripting for Maya --> (MEL)
C++ and learning the Maya and XSI API's
Cg scripting


Lighting and Shading (building portfolio pieces)

Mental Ray (XSI/Maya) --> Gnomon DVD's
Renderman (using XSIMan/free Renderman-like renderer..Renderman for Maya = too much $$$)


Intregration with real life elements

Learn Adobe After Effects or Digital Fusion --> Create portfolio pieces with live elements


Artistic Side

Digital Photography (for lighting/comp study)
Digital Painting pieces (for color theory, creating mood)

I see that all of these things can take a lifetime to achieve but I'm willing to put in my dues to get where I need to be..

Thanks for reading

  02 February 2006

Or should I just hanker down to an a specifc app and not overthink any of this?

  02 February 2006

"..Paging Mr.Birn.. paging Mr.Birn"
  02 February 2006
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