Don't you feel cg 3d is too demanding?


Don’t you feel cg 3d is too demanding? You need constantly to learn new programs, and perfect your skills. It takes so much time and efforts. Do you feel it pays off?


You sounded like you asked “do you think CG is too interesting and unlikely to make your job into a stale, adrift, lulling euthanasia of the brain?” AFAIC :slight_smile:

No, if anything I find the average person in most CGI related fields hasn’t gone a fraction of the length they should have had towards mastering the fundamentals or the tools of their craft.

New softwares hardly ever take more than a handful of days and some determination to learn if you understand what you’re doing at a more intimate level than the UI instead of going through cookbook recipes of what buttons to click in what order, and I thoroughly enjoy occasionally picking a new one up when they toss their speciality on its head.


Nah. But then I don’t have that pressure either.

Back when I was intent on getting a jerb at Pixar (lol), I learned lots of software. But it seemed like no matter what software I tried (demos, trials, PLEs!) or bought (Silo, 3DCoat, zBrush!), I only improved in the technical aspect of the craft (edge loops, walk cycles, uv-unwrap!). As an artist, I didn’t improve at all.

Eventually I realized that I should be drawing. I enrolled in a life-drawing course at school and drew more at home. I think I improved after that but lately I’ve kinda fallen out of it again (another story).

I think the lesson may be to not worry about the software. Just draw. Jaco’s right, you can learn a program any day. Don’t sweat it.


Ah, good answers. Looks like I just got tired. :slight_smile: You couldn’t be more right.


The feeling of being overwhelmed happens to mostly everybody after long enough.

For some people it’s being genuinely tired of standards and status quo being upset, and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with it, for others it might be the sense that moving on to something else instead of further on you leave one thing for another with a sense of missed accomplishment.

That’s why fundamentals and technologies are a better approach than techniques, you don’t risk the latter, very little withers away when you move on or sideways.

At the end of the day it’s a state of mind IMO, for some temporary, for some longer term. There is nothing wrong with it, plenty people have quit the industry on those grounds and are happier for it (just as many not so much though :wink: ).

Make sure it’s not just a phase or the need to refocus and change how you learn rather than resisting the learning itself before you decide based on that feeling though.


For me? Yes. I don’t know if I should do this in a public forum, since my name is on the sidebar, and Fable Fox is my ‘professional name/handle’.

After too much things happened in life, including my father death on 24th Feb this year, and it put a lot of perspective.

Irony is that I once read a story about Douglas Prasher in Popular Science, but I can’t remember was it before or after the death of my dad.

I guess it is easy for the layman or ‘rah rah self help movement’ to say "you didn’t work hard enough!’ and “anybody can be successful”.

But this lead me to read something about Brain Waste.

Although wiki mention brain waste in migration content, some categorized it as ‘not having opportunity to be what they actually capable of becoming’.

The question is, when do you actually finally say ‘enough is enough’ and try to focus on ‘life’ instead of ‘success’. Time is limited.

There is an article on Yahoo recently:

Looking back and looking forward, due to circumstances and other reasons, I think for me personally, enough is enough. Its fun to dream, but reality is another.

Looking at how experts and old hand being treated (including at Disney), and other articles mentioning the state of the industry, it going to stay as a hobby. I don’t know if I’m still sad the the loss of my dad (over here you actually carry your father body into the grave, being one of the son). But after awhile, I realized that the world have changed.

It just changed.


I somewhat agree that the constant need to keep up can go on only for so long. After a while all the latest tricks and tech updates are cool to know about but not to actually learn and study. The brain can take only so much auxiliary information. I mean, if it has no direct impact on my work the information is only adjacent and I may discard it.

In a perfect world I would love to know EVERYTHING that is going on in the world, not only CGI wise.


I think the technical stuff takes a big back seat to the skill and talent it takes to make work that is marketable. Making what people like or will buy is made more difficult by the amount and quality of available art on the web. We are seeing a definite shift from an employee to a freelance situation where design and sales skills are becoming more important it seems.

I agree with the rest of the posters here who say with a bit of determination most technical cg skills can be learned fairly quickly. Making attractive commercially interesting work is way more difficult.


You’ve just described the exact reasons I still enjoy doing CG :smiley:

Granted, there are times where it can feel as though there are a never ending stream of programs/plug-ins to learn and this can be a dishearteningly technical process. Personally, I find that as long as that learning that new tool or technique is driven by an end goal - i.e. making an existing task faster, removing a work-around, gaining more control or allowing you to do something previously impossible. Then it makes the whole process much more rewarding.

Of course, knowing that a new tool or technique is going to be useful only comes from experience and also from accepting your own limitations. I’m sure everyone here has invested time learning a program or process that ultimately frustrated them and it can also be worryingly easy to confuse picking up another new program with progress.

Fortunately, this isn’t a phenomenon unique to CG, there are photographers who cannot stop buying lenses and light meters, musicians with houses filled with multiple instruments they don’t play, people with shelves of books they never read…etc. We all do it to some extent, the important thing is to ensure it’s complimenting your passion, not replacing it.

This reply is far too serious for Monday morning. Here is a dog in a box


Techniques can take only days, the “technical stuff” can take years to get just the hang of at what would be considered a decent level by those with a clue, but incidentally makes you a lot more marketable than being able to produce prettyness, not to mention the skills a fair bit more portable to completely different environments and ventures.

So lets not diminish the value of technical know how, hei? :wink:


Ah so, I didnt explain myself very well I think. If you make a distinction between technicians and generalists then the technical content for a generalist takes a lot less time to master than producing effective content. I am not saying you can be a render tech in a few days. The OP is not a technician and asks the question in that light.

Also let us not confuse expressive, attractive, efficient, marketable content creation with a demeaning term like prettiness :slight_smile: I think technicians are also concerned with making products that are more than pretty also.

This reply is far too serious for Monday morning. Here is a dog in a box

QFA, don’t wrap it I will wear it straight away.


I never use 10% of my total skills on real jobs. They all ask for a different part. The only time I use my full skill set is for my own projects. And honestly, if I didn’t do my own projects, I’d never push myself at all. Well, I’d also have left this crazy industry long ago. Easier ways to make a better living, but I love it and would be doing it for myself anyway. So why not make some money.

On a side note, the people that hire us rarely know what we actually do. If you don’t know one small aspect , like say, I don’t do character rigging…well, how can you be an expert? Because I know the other 90% pretty damn well and you don’t need it for this project haha. Its the strange mentality of people with the purse strings.


I came to the conclusion that 3D apps today are perceived as too demanding because our expectations are far more than they were 10 years ago. And those of clients too.

UV mapping, high detail modelling, texturing (and to some degree character animation) is dead simple today if you are doing 3d for more than half a decade. The problem is still with photoreal rendering and advanced dynamic effects where the trial&error process is still there.

So if one ecpects to make his own photoreal shortfilm in a couple of months rather than in a couple of years, yes it’s still a very demanding proccess.


I agree that common knowledge of how CG actually works is quite lacking, we see it everyday when newcomers jump on the forum and the first post is “I want to make a film/game today how do I do that?” With technological progress I think the main change for me would be looking at focusing on pipeline portions closely related to my interest (animation). Maybe a few versions back it was easier to master or pick up all aspects though now I think it is more realistic to focus on one trait and pick up the linking aspects in the food chain as well.

Given all this I still think 3d is demanding in the sense that it takes a hefty bit of spirit to stay active and driven in the field if you don’t truly love it or have that passion of interest. For me I don’t mind it all whether it is current changes of software or all the news of negative muck in our fields. It’s the only aspect of my life that has kept me intrigued and in awe even though all the practice, play and experimenting has taken away the smoke and mirrors of how it’s all made I still am more amazed each day with what artists accomplish using the tools.


I’ve never worked in another industry, so I really have no point of reference to know if CG is any more demanding than any other industry. I think the potential to spread yourself too thin is easier than most other industries. I’m a generalist, so I try to absorb as much as I can. Modeling, lighting, animation, compositing, etc - then you get into the specialty apps for painting, sim, etc. In the last month or two I’ve started learning Realflow and Thinking Particles, and while at times I’ve felt overwhelmed, the breakthroughs (and paychecks) I have are rewarding enough to keep me going. There are a lot of conditions that contribute to stress or success, but I would guess that CG isn’t any more demanding than any other industry as long as you’re clear on expectations and goals.


I think the new tools and possibilities coming up are what makes this field so interesting.

On the other hand yes it can be demanding. I barely have time to look into new tools as my job keeps me so damn busy (which is good I guess). I’m trying to dedicate as much of my spare time as possible to look into new stuff but the life outside vfx eats up a good portion of that too.

I basically have to wait for the time between jobs to bring me up to date.
Of course you see new stuff during the job but not s much as I am wishing to.



How can you say you truly love it? Would you do it if you’d have an unlimited financial backing? I thought I loved it (liked it?), but I can’t really say. I just can say for sure it’s a pretty nice job, but it’s a lot about money and being “not disgusting”. Working in a shop or many service jobs is quite harder and has zero fun.
It’s just your passion may not pay as well, or you simply may not be up to time if you’re old enough to change jobs. It comes to a question if you really do what you want, but how can you tell what you really like, if you’re not a professional in many fields, which is not realistic to expect.
It’s one thing modeling cubes on weekends, and another being a professional. A professional enjoyment is quite another thing, as most of people know. Is enjoyment really important to being professional? Should you love you job or simply be fine with it?
I’m just curious, do other people, who find cg enjoyable, enjoy other life activities and hobbies to the same extent? because it’s the case with me. I can enjoy many things as well, and I can’t say for sure cg is really what I’d sell my soul for. While being 20 it seems a bit different than now. But yeah, it’s still a great job no question about it, if to compare to others.


When I start focusing too much on CG, then yes. It’s very easy to get caught up in the thinking that you have to learn every new technique, or style, or software, etc… There is a never-ending journey of learning out there for you if you want, and speaking personally, it can cause you a lot of stress/anxiety.

On the other hand, I’ve learned that if you separate you’re job from your life, there’s a lot less stress. Treat the CG world as just your JOB. Leave work at work and when you leave the studio, don’t think about it. It sounds like you may be starting to get burned out.


If you can’t say yes to this, then why do it? Seriously, there are so many less stressful and demanding ways to make the same level of income.
For me its YES . I wish I could no longer do other peoples works and ideas. If you can’t sa yes to it, this sort of work will burn you to a crisp.


I certainly would be occupying my time with 3d work, especially if money wasn’t an issue. It’s just one of those things in my life that I can spend hours doing without realizing it (in a good sense).