I think that it might be more fair to say that they’re just different, apples vs oranges. As a CG artist, you might not have to worry gunshots, IEDs or black lung, but that doesn’t mean that you’re as carefree as a security guard at a pillow factory. It’s been discussed here many times, but CG artists often have to worry about long term health issues. You might find somebody who only works a 40 hour week, but you might as easily find somebody who works 2x that. Coming from a family of cops and military servicemen, all I can say is that a coronary will kill you just as surely as a .44 would. I’ve had many family members happily retire after 30 years on the job (police/usaf). I’ve also had more than a few friends barely make it 8-10 years in the industry before burning out. Individual results may vary.
And being a policeman isn’t as much of a short straw as being born in the wrong country and being recruited in the army at 11 to die at 12 in a firefight, for no pay, with no indemnity corresponded to your family (or what’s left of it from the last village butchering).
Sure, It might be good to remind ourselves occasionally that we’re more or less debating a “first world problem”, and be grateful to anything between God and quantum physics (depending on inclination), and consequently try to squelch one’s sense of self-entitlement a bit.
It doesn’t have a lot to do with this forum or the topic at hand, does it?
CG isn’t demanding.
Anything is as demanding as you make it offset by the pleasure you get from doing it.
If you find CG generally too demanding and not pleasurable then you have become a slave to your income = bad news in ANY line of work.
As a generalist, I do get frustrated by the amount of work I miss out on because I chose to learn Software A instead of Software B. If I know Maya, they want Max. If I know V-Ray, they want Arnold. Know Mudbox? Too bad, we need ZBrush. Getting a job is frequently like a lottery, and I’m hoping that my numbers come up.
To increase my odds, I spend my free time studying new programs and doing tutorials when I’d really rather be working on some personal projects to take advantage of the skills I already have. Sometimes I feel that I’m damned either way.
I love CG, but if I could change one thing, it would slightly more standardized tools.
Agreed, which is why i always laugh when people on this forum keep repeating that software choice is not important, when it is extremely important. As long as you want to get work…
If i hear one more person say “its not the tools, its artist…”, im going to track them down and kick em in the shins
Really? What a load of nonsense.
If you are making intermediate work then there is no doubt you are gonna have to plug into other peoples pipelines… so you need to find customers that use similar methods to you.
Then again, how hard is it to just learn enough of other software so you can make deliverables in their preferred format, despite making the asset initially in your preferred tools?
This to me speaks volumes about you. It tells me you absolutely love what you do and do it for the sheer joy of doing it. I know a woodworker who is a Master Craftsman. He’s nearly 70 and does wood inlays that you’d think were done by someone in the Rainaisance or at least hundreds of years ago, but he does them in his shop. Every piece he produces is worth hundreds of dollars, if not into the thousands and at least half of it he gives away simply because he loves what he does… Based on what you said here, you’re a young version of the same character…
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 believe you made a mistake in disclosing that. Assuming, of course, that this is a client and not an employer, he has no business knowing what your skillset is. What you don’t know, you an hire out. I’m sure you can find any number of people willing to rig your figure for a little coin.
It’s true that most people have no clue. I had a guy come up to me asked me to make him a fish because he wanted a photoreal logo for his new aquarium business. When he described the job, I gave him a price, he called me a greedy cheat, so I gave him Pixar’s phone number and told him to call them. Another lady saw me working (I set up daily in my favourite coffee shop) and told me “Oh Yeah, I do photoshop too…” It’s absolutely amazing how clueless people are about 3D CGI.
I don’t know an industry with more layers of skills than this one, with the exception of the Medical Field… I’ve certainly never experienced one. And I know of no industry at all where a huge percentage of successful craftsmen (and that’s what all of you are: YOU ARE CRAFTSMEN) are self taught.
For my part, I dream of having my own little studio with a couple of other guys and maybe running a render small render farm on the side. CGI was described to me by my engineer father in 1969 when I was six years old. It was still theoretical and it would take over a decade before we saw anything suggesting what we have now, but since then, this is what I imagined to be the purpose of a computer. Now I’m 50 and I get to play with it and make a little coin with it… My skillset doesn’t come anywhere near most of you guys, but at least I get to be in this world…
Not disagreeing with you at all. However, Ptex and OpenSubDiv are going to go a long way toward making this less of a problem. I really loved what Neil Blevins had to say on the topic:
I agree with all your points Wancow, I hope you get to live the dream. With the destabilization of the big hollywood houses, I think more small boutiques and partnerships between small groups will become the norm. We have to get actually computing power and software out of the office and more on a cloud system we can all share. Thats the future.
Approach the software as nothing more than a pencil. A pencil with more parts. The premise remains the same. Break it down to its fundamentals and you can learn it quite easily. If you know what you want out of it, the quicker you’ll focus on what to focus on.
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