Is our Work Frivalous??


Do u ever think that what we do is frivolous and unimportant for the most part?
Sure CG is used in many important aspects of life, but its, by far, mostly used for entertainment.
do people working in this field ever wonder if all their time learning, researching and creating could be spent on something more worthy? i love this work, but i do sometimes feel uneasy about it. Anyone else share this guilt?



I don’t share this feeling because I can’t imagine myselft doing anything else. hum. ok, I can imagine but I can easily figure out that I’d not be happy with it. I’m not sure about the correct translation but Nietzsche once said that the Philosphy and the Art are paths for the like that grows… think about it



art and entertainment are absolutely needed in any society. i bet you would think it was pretty important if someone told you you could never listen to music or view a painting etc… again.


People pay money for 3D/2D, and Animation skills, so no, it’s not a waste of time. Plus, I believe that nothing is a waste of time if you enjoy doing it.


Yes. Well, mine is. Can’t very well speak for you people.

I think the thing with Big Important pieces of Art is that either you 'em in you or you don’t. And also that either you have it in you to get one out, or not.


A lot of people in CG have aspirations as storytellers; they want to eventually write/direct their own CG films. I think being a storyteller is far more fulfilling than just being a CG guy.


unfortunately, we cant all have something we create have the same effect as duchamp’s readymades. id rather be doing something i enjoy than something i dont that is important.


I agree with you, besides that I’d say that most content, however entertaining, is completely mind numbing. I can’t think of a single excuse for the shallow stuff I see around and what I’ve done. :wink:

On the other hadn it would be even worse to not have such stuff around, I mean enteretainment. So for that matter I applaud it all again.

But taking into consideration the amount of influence a movie or painting have on a mind and what choices people might make consequencially. I think there’s a gross lack of respect for life. About 50% of cg is not something you learn or grow from. But the other 50% is fine, and lastly to be clear, I’m as guilty as anyone else. ANd to defend that I’d say that I do not find myself in the position to preech, only learn ;).


You think that maybe nothing is worthy… but what if everything is worthy? what would be worst?

honestly, there’s not much sense in trying to find sense in everything, you’ll end up finding that you’ll never have that answer, so it’s a big fat waste of time thinking about it! The deal is: you have to believe and not question it.

and, @ the moment, art is nearly the only thing I REALLY believe


Depends how you define frivolous. Compared to Mother Theresa or a neurosurgeon or the President, almost everybody else’s jobs and interests look frivolous. And compared to guys who try to break the world record in eating boiled eggs, or those who beg or steal for a living, our work looks downright saintly. You just can’t think like that, go around comparing who’s got the most ‘important’ job. It’s not a contest. We all do what we were put here to do.


I guess it raises the question, is frivolous a bad thing? I would hate to live in a world were everything was dead serious. I think I’d go mad if I could have some easy relief from working 5 days a week 8 hours a day. Frivolous may be needed, so perhaps it is frivolous and thats why we need it??

(phew, so many frivilous’ in one post, I have no idea how to spell it either!!)



its an odd question , i know. (and btw i spelt frivolous wrong aswell! :sad: )

but i cant shake the feeling sometimes. CG takes a lot of effort, research and training and i often think what if i applied this time and effort into something other than creating a character for another 2bob FPS game? the feeling dosnt last long and i do love working in CG but i think is loving what you do a good enough justification for doing it??


CG is a medium of art; of course our time is worth it. Was all the time that photographers put into testing out different chemicals to invent better forms of photography worth it? I think so. Same goes for the creation of better filming techniques.

Now look at movies like LOTR, the power of movies has been extended immensely due to CG and these are essentially million dollar budget art pieces


I’ve thought about this too over the last few years, a lot of times I feel like I’m wasting my time working on projects that just promote violence and make kids want to stay home and play games instead of doing their homework or whatever (well, that was me when I was a kid so who can judge :). But in the last few years I started asking this question more, I guess it has a lot to do with growing up and trying to put perspective on your life. Ultimately I want to feel like I had a positive effect on other people after I’ve left, but a lot of people are very content to just make a living for themselves, and let other people figure out their own problems. There’s nothing wrong with that, but if you fall into the first category then I guess you need to start thinking about how you can make a difference if that’s what’s important to you.

I think everything has two sides, you can make really positive games, movies or effects (think pixar) or you can go the other way, and make something that could have a negative effect on people. So you definitely have a choice to not work for a company who does work that you don’t agree with. Also, if you are very successful and have the opportunity, you could create a company with a positive vision that makes the kind of content that you know will be a good role model and encouarge people to do the right thing.

Finally if that just isn’t doing it for you, why not spend some of your freetime doing some community service and contribute that way? There are many non-profit organizations that could use someone with our skillset, you could help design a website or contribute in a positive way. It could help balance out these feelings and you could still keep your vfx job :slight_smile:

Anyways, I’m glad other people are thinking along these lines also! :slight_smile:


A good question I find myself asking myself all the time is do I think I’m doing the right thing with my time. Besides the usual no of-course not, in that way I am at least truelly honest. Because it is quite easy to give into more basic ideas and let the real deal slip by, the human aspect for instance is very often neglected. Money before everything else and what not. :curious:

Just a crued example of course. But within the context here, I found myself wondering for instance whether or not I really want to put my creativity in service of something else, either an idea or a person. Becasue that could mean doshonesty to myself or drowning my own creativity, yaddah-yaddah, but it’s how I tick anyway.


I think it is always good to questions the things we do. Because the point of asking a question is to get a answer. If you do not ask these questions you end up living a half-life. Knowing one’s true self leads to a more fulfilling life.


I’ve never really worried about whether my work is important or not. What concerns me is that I’m happy to be doing what I’m doing. There are many many worthwhile experiances in this world that wont change anything. I’m gonna go get some ice cream now. . .


i love art and painting and i don’t think i can do something else for my future…but i have to admit that in general there are more important things in life than studying art…like studying science, philosophy or religion…but it all depends on how far u go into something…i do art because i love what i do but there’s always a feeling that i want to make something more important…i think it’s when someone’s work affect other people in a good way that art can be really usefull and not a waste of time…it can be seen as important as anything else because it benefits others and made more people happy…for me i want to reach that point when my art affect others and not just make me happy…i think it’s also a reason for losing motivation sometimes…when u see ur art not going anywhere but we still do it because we love what we do…so i don’t think it’s a waste of time to work on something u like if at the end this will benefit others in a good way…so again, it all depends on how far u want to go into something


Isn’t our life frivalous?

I’m pretty easily pleased with my work… If it will get people (or me for that matter) to think or feel in a way they may not have without it… I’m happy…

I think the question of ‘why?’ often stumps artists and boxes them in too much.

Most of what I do, I do for myself, for growth, for expression or evolution… So each time I spend hundreds of hours on a project I can justify it to myself just like that. Mission accomplished. I hope to be able to reach a wider audience with my work over the years and I’m refining and developing messages for that exact purpose as I go along…

I think if we are striving to share, striving to better ourselves or just plain making pretty things that make people go ‘ooooohh’ then it’s justifiable… Frivalous maybe… But still justifiable nonetheless;)


It seems that the underlying question in the original post, assuming that you classify your CG work as art (maybe some people don’t?), is “What is the role of art in society?

I see art as playing a very important role. It serves to make other people more aware of their world - it raises questions and points out the not so obvious, or maybe the obvious but understated. It brings us closer together with other people in a shared experience. Emotions are such a powerful aspect of our lives that it’s foolish to ignore them or stick them on the backburner, and art can bring out some mighty strong emotions. Art calls for change, and, even if no one listens, stubbornly persists. It brings hope, happiness, anger, awe, and beauty… I don’t think we could really live without it.

That’s the ideal, I guess. I’m not trying to suggest that becoming an artist means you can change the world and all that jazz, because realistically very few people in history ever accomplish that. But I think trying to reach people, to stretch out and touch them somehow, is an extremely worthwhile goal.

Every occupation has its role… science is certainly important, but understand that it is limited like everything else. Science cannot solve every problem… it can help five-year old children with terminal illnesses, but so can a movie like Monster’s Inc or a video game. It is easy to see entertainment as frivolous, but where would we be without it? We are not machines that can survive on just basic biological sustenance… our emotions need nourishment as well, from the time we’re born until the time we die.

I see art as providing some of that nourishment - at least, some kinds of art. In the end it is your decision as an artist to decide what kind of art you wish to make… substantive and stimulating or vapid and meaningless… and, of course, it is also up to you to define those terms as you see fit. But lest you get too creative in your rationalization, the closest thing I see to a standard is simply “common human experience” - and that is why I agree with Lunatique that storytelling is so fulfilling.