Hah. Try to be a programmer these days, especially in WebDev. A project that takes a couple of months to finish is already outdated before it’s even released - and I am NOT exaggerating. On the other hand, I strongly believe humans are curious by nature and possess an inherent desire and capacity for learning new things, so if you enjoy what you do then you’ll always want to continue learning new things about it and it will never feel like work for you or tire you out.
Of course, there are times when for one reason or another you feel exhausted and even in doubt, but everybody has these moments, no matter their profession. Just take a break, and if you still have these doubts afterwards, maybe the reason lies elsewhere - sometimes the working environment or the kind of projects you work on can make you hate the job you used to love and feel like it’s too demanding and not worth pursuing - but then it’s probably time to change the workplace, not the profession.
My problem isn’t so much with the 3D or any of that, its the subject matter knowledge that is difficult to keep up with. I have to learn so much on how things work/operate. Some days I feel like I am an engineer or architect.
This. To take another example, my dentist probably graduated more than 30 years ago, and personally speaking I’m quite glad that he’s kept up on current trends and is not still using the tools and technologies he learned back then. You can probably say the same thing about any profession.
CG is what I like to call an interdisciplinary art. You have to be a painter, sculptor, engineer, doctor, photographer, actor, fashion designer, and so on. It does demand a lot from you. However, the good thing is that you don’t have to learn it all overnight. Learning CG is an incremental process. You get better with each new work. Whether or not it’s all worth it really depends on how much you love it and how much effort you’re willing to put into getting good. Like any art, you have your high and low points. However, like any art, CG is something that can bring you immense pride and a sense of accomplishment. You won’t necessarily get rich, but that’s not why you got into CG anyway, right?
Well, let me add another factor to this that maybe some of you guys (or gals) can relate to.
I’m wondering, out of all the people that love it and can keep up with learning new software, outside of work, have kids and a family to deal with?
For myself, I’d love to have a job where I could sit at a computer and learn Mari or Houdini at a professional level. But at this moment I don’t. When I have to go home to just a girlfriend at this point, without kids, I barely have enough time to push myself with the tools and programs I already know. Let alone learn new software.
To the OP, I definitely understand your point when something happens and everything in your life is put into perspective.
I worked as a texturer, then modeler, then a bit of viz (for a year), and now another cg job. I never, ever, felt “this is mine”. That’s why I never can stop, now I think maybe it’s lighting which will make me feel this is what I need.
Just phoned an art teacher, for 50$ I can attend twice a week drawing classes yay. Hopefully it adds some fun to sitting with the monitor.
I always enjoyed music. I mean, I still play half an hour\hour a day the piano, and I have 86% of musical hearing accuracy (which means I can identify musical excerpts amongst similar with slight differences. 90% is something incredible). I can easily play by ear. I also enjoy singing, and some other stuff of artistic kind. It all makes my soul sing. I never feel anything like this doing cg. But hell, who doesn’t enjoy those activities?
As Leigh thinks anyone can become as good as her, I somehow doubt it. When I compared myself to other people singing, I was surprised how bad people can be. I didn’t realize what I have is a gift.
Some people think life is “all equal”, like people experiencing the same amount of happiness etc. It’s true some people think so. Isn’t it outrageous? It’s simple so much not true. Life is very unfair in this regard. I’d think if many people could live another lives for a week, they’d be totally devastated how shitty their life is. I’m always thinking about such things, and many people say it’s strange. “Don’t think about the past, don’t compare to others”. I always seek for alternative way.
Though, I must admit, many people are not happy with their lives, if not most, for this or another reason. When looking at them from the side, it’s obvious many are gifted, but not in areas they’re into. For example I have a colleague, who is constantly into some kind of pyramid, some kind of hierarchy for no apparent reason. First I though it’s about money, but then I saw it’s not. It’s just some kind of power pushes him into this, his will to “conform” to the hierarchy. And if in his life there isn’t, he will find it, whatever shit it will be. Be it church, or financial pyramid, or bitcoins. This will never stop.
I still kinda regret i wasn’t given to music school and feel grumpy to my parents about it. Now I hit my 30’s and it comes to my mind. But then I think, how hard it will be for me to become a musician making money with it. Or do I really want making money with it, whereas I can make it with cg.
How many jobs are enjoyable? To me I felt there are activities, which are closer to our “primitive” being, which can give us more feeling of accomplishment. I can’t imagine someone sitting in the bank saying “do you want to open the deposite” all day feeling happy about it, or “welcome to costco i love you”. Many jobs are like this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z8zNsUTWsOc
I spent 10 years in cg already. I can only say mainly positive things about it though. The job itself is good mainly, or it’s I’ve been lucky having such clients and studios. It’s all what you compare it to. So, for those starting I’d say go for it. You can choose between working on-site and freelance, or you can start your own IP developing. Another thing in Ukraine I never say anyone got rich working for someone else. You always get the same fixed $. So you can be this or that, but good luck getting rich. i don’t know how it’s in London or other centers (I hope it’s better), but not being able to buy yourself a flat in 5 years is a bad sign (well, you actually can in Ukraine, but that’s it about it for 5 years, if that’s the only thing you’re saving up. Though it’s more to d with Ukraine than cg). So, I’m judging from my perspective living in a poor country. But, if to compare to other “visual” jobs (illustration, web-illustration, etc), it’s far more rewarding for me personally, anf generally pays better. So the choice was easy.
The problem I see being “successful” doesn’t mean being happy. I can call myself successful in 3d, for what it’s worth. Everything I did paid off. When you push your thing, then like a miracle you find your place in the market, like it have been waiting for you. I would really encourage any aspiring artist to continue therefore, especially if you have some artistic or technical background.
It’s just when I discovered other things in life, it keeps me thinking if it’s the only way and the best way to live? Especially i like eating cakes all day and watching tv.
To me it definitely helped and does after working in a bit different areas. I even can’t imagine how I could work without multiarea knowledge. And such companies like Crytek don’t hire a single-tasked person any longer. A certain trend…
Definitely I’d say to anyone starting, get a solid, a very solid education! Spend 5 years drawing and developing your creative vision, it’s a huge investment, which can make you rich developing your own products, and not just making something for companies. I regret I can’t make a solid concept design, I need to learn heaps to make it. If only I’d know how valuable it may be. You can learn anything in 3d, but you will be still a “interpreter”, not a creator. A bad concept design always was my main problem.
For a current commercial work (not my short), I use 8 programs for my pipeline. It’s kinda weird and fun at the same time. I just realize I couldn’t make it without years of experience, my head would simply blow. And, I still don’t know rigging and animation, which is really needed for a proper understanding. So I’m nowhere near expert, just a starting one.
That’s interesting, how can you be clear on expectations? When you start, you really see in in another light, and I’m sure it’s for most people. Doubtfully people think “I will be that guy sitting in a shady office all day getting checks to pay for my family”. People see it as dreams of creating worlds, experience, emotions. But it winds off I think. Isn’t it? Though for many people it would be a sheer success. I can’t really say, if it’s a good thing or bad, or what you should expect from cg.
Indeed if you’re working for several months, it becomes almost automatic (hopefully happens soon). But for example I’m thinking about taking drawing classes, how it counts to the job? Is it a part of it or not? Though I hear you, definitely working full-time and learning cg-tools is hard. I’ve been through this when being 20-22, and it’s ineffective, and you barely sleep. Bad choice.
Like what for example?
But it’s not 3d, it’s a concept part.
Definitely programmers have a much more demanding state, from what I’ve seen. That’s why they were getting 3-weeks holidays 2 times a year, not once a year.
The positive thing about cg is when you’re after 50, i will keep you young by that you get lots of new information. Definitely a great job for retirement, if it ever happens to cg guys (I think it isn’t). It’s so different to being thrown away by 55, saying good-bye and “starting a new life”. People of that age and any other are in no way outsiders any longer, but the same equal competitors, which is fantastic thing of our time.
God’s forbid kids in Ukraine. But nature goes on. I just hate this idea here. I’m quite repelled by the idea of having a family in Ukraine, as I went through sheer poverty in my childhood, having both brother and sister. I wouldn’t want it to anyone. And yes, women steal so much time, especially if you let them.
Actually, I like the constant change (isn’t that an oxymoron?) in this job, because it gives me a good excuse to try and learn new stuff all the time. Though when I think about it, I got into programming as a kid to make demos and games for my friends and I’m not sure how I ended up developing applications and websites 20 years later… In fact, just as mister3d, I’m at a crossroads of sorts right now, too, thinking about switching careers… I just might check for myself how much OpenGL changed over the last 15 years, the math I guess stayed more or less the same, and I do miss the opportunity at my current job to use Python. You certainly have the more interesting job of us two, I always wanted to become some sort of a graphics programmer professionally (and look what I ended up doing :p).
This happens in just about any trade, that feeling of being tired of it all. I live it presently in IT and I lived it previously when I was working in ship building…
It’s mostly due to the fact that we live in a competition based society. We all compete against one an other and so, we must keep on improving if we don’t want to end up in the ditch. Competition isn’t bad per se, since most innovations comes from it. But when it is taken to extreme it does have an impact on our live. I may be a dreamer, but I would like for once, if we could as a society, try a more cooperative way of doing things.
PS: I’m a total noob when it comes to 3D modelling and arts, so I don’t really know the reality that you all live in. But like I said, it’s a universal thing.
+1 I am a web developer myself, and if you thought 3d changes quickly: think again! CG evolves at a leisurely pace, and that is why I enjoy working and keeping up in it. Compared to web dev which can be overwhelming at times - and I teach that stuff!
I can definitely say I’ve had enough. It’s been a long time, likely since the arrival of Vue 6 Infinite on the market (maybe around 2006 or 2007), that I have seen anything that excited me enough to want to get into it. Why? I think part of the reason is my purpose for getting into it. I wanted to make my own shows or cartoons. For that purpose I feel it is too demanding. Also I have seen the future.
The future is that programs like iClone or MovieStorm, or some new comer to the market, are going to look as good as Unreal 4, CryEngine 3 or Capcom’s upcoming Deep Down demo. There will be an endless stream of content, models, textures, sets, environments, in the sub $10 USD range, and a lot will be free. They will be at variable levels of quality, but there will be plenty of high quality stuff for these engines. There will be no end of motion libraries. Someone who wants to create their show will be able to truly focus on being a director or storyteller, and never have to think about modeling, texturing and the like. It will be like showing up on set or location and only concerning yourself with directing your actors etc. I can see this coming and I feel it is so close. It makes spending hours modeling, texturing or setting up advanced rigs feel like a waste of time to me. (some sculpting can still be fun at times though) I don’t recall ever in my life enjoying modeling. I got good at it because I needed models to animate in my shows. I never enjoyed texturing. I got good at it because the characters in my shows wouldn’t look good without it. I also got good at it because I used these skills in very high paying jobs.
Nope. Wouldn’t touch a 3D program if I had a bottomless bank account. There are plenty of artists far better than me out there. Why not pay them to make stuff for me? Now I would spend my time drawing, painting, doing 2D animation, making music, shooting video of the amazing places I go, editing them together with voiceover and music, and many other things I enjoy. I would not, I think, open a 3D program though. (until the tools like I mention come to exist)
Nevermind. My long comment’s not worth the even longer resulting argument. I’ll let your site speak for itself and let people draw their own conclusions. Personally, I pity the artist who blames the paintbrush or the process.
teruchan, I so much agree with you. I feel that this generation (next 5 years) is the last pie slice character modelers can enjoy until we get automated tools for their creation. We are already approaching this limit, when finite game libraries can be created. Based on screen resolution, we can go with what looks good 1080p.
Surely, there will be job, but less and less. Look at marvelous designer - now much more people can make good-looking clothes. Look at Ddo - now much more people can make textures faster than it would take a seasoned professional. Character animators are not used for big game project, mocap is everywhere. Whatever you call it, there will be 10 times less jobs I think. It’s all just a beginning, and the market will be eaten by automation just like web did, when today anyone can create a website for nothing.
It will happen gradually, in 10 years I think, but it will never stop. So yes, enjoy our heydays, until the graphics is the king. Soon it won’t. Just look at upcoming games, and some of them already look quite realistic and good luck surprising the viewer. Of course, there will be another frostbit generation, another UE5, but diminishing returns will start appearing.
People just don’t realize how much are are dependent on delivering graphics. The competition will be severe.
I think it’s more like a glass half full/empty argument, yes technology and development is making it easier to make CG and other related content, a slightly similar development has happened in photography where previously it was expensive and primitive to take pics using film so you had to have money to invest in it and an actual understanding of what you were doing. Now anyone and everyone shoots and many assume they are great photographers, there are still plenty professionals out there even though this shift has happened because core skills and techniques allow them to stand out and remain valuable commodities.
There was a similar discussion to this on another website and one poster mentioned how 3d scanning would wipe out modelers and mocap would do the same for animators. I feel they can be a great aid though there will still need to be cleanup for both and they are limited to the physical world. The largest part of our shifts in technology as costs that keeps me going is independence, more indie productions, crowd funding and artists producing high quality content on terms the dictate.
Automation? Are you kidding me? If you’re happy with your visuals being made IKEA style then that’s fine. However, the end product of automation will be homogenization, which will in turn be the death of individuality. I’ve been doing graphics longer than some people here have even been alive. What you’re suggesting won’t come to pass & certainly not in 10 years.
It’s a double-sided coin. It will be both easier, but more people will be able making it. Have you seen Ddo? Or have you tried sculpting clothes and then making them in marvelous designer? That’s a big difference.
What’s wrong with the dream of an easy button? Sure its fun to poke at the noobs who don’t realize you actually have to work at this, but don’t we all get excited when something comes along that actually saves real time?
Quoted for 100% agreement. The people who predict the future will be fully automated always over simplify the situation. If software evolves to allow any user to create whatever they want it will essentially be no different to handing someone a blank piece of paper and a pencil and saying ‘draw’. If you’re suggesting that the software will take care of the decision making, then everything created with it will be constrained by the same limitations and look the same.
Fabric in the real world has cloth dynamics, it doesn’t mean everyone can design clothes
Yeah I think the elements are going to become ultimately flexible but the genius of arranging and manipulating them will always stay the same.
Also people are quick to label animation mocap and be done with it. Using mocap is not as easy as you think it is. Last night when I saw the beginning of the Blur Elder Scrolls cinematic I saw first class animation and acting and am pretty sure there was a good deal of motion capture but I saw nothing automatic at all.
Most industries move from creating content being a challenge to the smallest granule, to making the process easier, to then shift towards platforms and procedural or librarised content providing for the bulk of the menial work.
What that does is it tends to enable millions more, not take the work away from the few truly talented that already exist.
The web didn’t put good designers out of business, not even when we became free of text editing every single tidbit and yet have complex websites like wordpress provides. It gave many more the ability to market their work done on that platform, and the chaff and the grains are still visibly far apart.
Unity and UE didn’t suddenly put every programmer out of a job, it just allowed many to focus on things and technologies nobody had the time to do before.
XFrog and terragen didn’t put matte painters out of a job, it enabled them to produce work faster for a growing, insatiable market.
Those with skills and vision will still assemble a better movie with three cubes than joblo will do with makepixarnow, and real craftmen will still, always, be required for the million unique things you can’t proceduralize efficiently.
I’ve heard the death of this or that discipline for every department for years, at every technological turn now. I still have to see any of them based on creativity perish, or even diminish, and even the more trivial or menial ones, which turn shots around at ten times the speed, are required to do hundred times the shots of before, effectily making it still an upward curve.
DSLRs and Vimeo popularized and made accessible quality movie making and distribution, a marginal minority only though turned out to be anything more than a wanker, and did anything half decent directing and shooting.
Technology only suppresses menial jobs (when it doesn’t outright multiply the request because they are not so damn expensive anymore), it never, not once, historically did anything for the skillful and the resourceful but give them more opportunities and freedom.