Rhonedog - 1000th post!!!!!


Forgive the long post, but its my 1000th one!

Well, here I am at number 1000. My short time here has seen many ups and downs, I hope some of the new up-and-coming artists out there can pull some inspiration from this thread, and any of you old guys may nod your head if you see some similarities in your career path as well.

After graduating VFS in 1999, I lucked out and got sub-contracted to work on the intro to a video game. My first job paid a little over $1 an hour. The experience was great even if I got shafted in the paycheck. Students: when you hear stories about ‘paying there dues to break into the industry’, we have all had to do it. After spending a summer sending out my student reels and stockpiling all the “Thanks but no thanks” postcards the local studios, I took a break and travelled Europe for 3 months. (Sneakily funded by a student loan over-payment that I am still paying on :thumbsup:.

My first ever realization that I made the right choice to do CG was one day on my travels. I was backpacking around one of the smallest towns you’ll ever not hear of in North Wales when I walked by a store. On a big screen TV I saw something very familiar… I didn’t realize what it was for a good 10 seconds or so then it hit me…

It was the game I had worked on 4 months earlier.

MY game!

My shots!

I only hope every person that has ever wanted to be a CG animator gets to experience that feeling I had. Heh, as I type this I still get goosebumps thinking about it. I went into the store and gabbed with the clerk for a bit. He was a nice guy, but was probably humoring this crazy over-excited Canadian kid. A few months after I get home from my trip I get a large tube in the mail. I open it, and there is the full sized game poster from the store manager…! (Some relatives went to the store after I left for home to give him my address.) How cool is that?

The first thing I did when I got back was get deep into Maya… Version 2. For me, it was like learning from scratch. If Softimage 3.8 was an angry canine, Maya was a schitzoprenic Grizzly bear with a love for PCP. It took me ages to get comfortable with the program, and it had so many features that I had never dreamed about (Can you say Set Driven Key?!?!). Salty the seal still haunts my darkest nightmares.

Fast forward to May 2003. I had a few jobs, but all were contracts that seemed to end as fast as they started. In a 2003 demo reel mail out, I sent one tape to a small company in New York. I almost didnt send the tape due to the high postage… (At this point, every dollar my unemployed-self had really REALLY mattered.) I had spoken with the main animator a few times over email, and they had me do some animation tests. In the end they gave me a chance and had me on a few short but EXTREMLY cool projects. They even put my name forward and got me an interview where I was flown down to San Fransisco. (I didnt get the job in the end, but hey… Thats good treatment!)

2 best things I have ever done for my CG career: Joined CgTalk and not skimped on New York postage :wink:

So now here I am. Posting in the Maya forums trying to help a few of the new guys get thier footing, and posting in the main forums trying to create Haiku that will keep martial artist tea-drinkers amused.

And to celebrate my 1000th posting, I have emailed the mods to change my username to my REAL name.

Mike Rhone… formerly Rhonedog!

Sorry for the long post, hopefully it was worth the read…!


hey thats a really cool story, !!! Joining to cgtalk is also one of the best things ive done, good luck in your life and never give up!!! Im still a student, my journey has just begun!!! jajaj


may I be the first to say congrats on your 1000th post. Its nice to get into the 4 digits especially since your posts are helpful and not useless jiber-jaber

hummm kind of like this post is. :smiley:

well once again congrats

edit: damn you beat me to the first response


hey mike,
i remember you were one of the first guys i met here on cgtalk and that helped me get started in maya , and now a year and some months later i am still around and hungry to break into this industry , i hope i can one day experience that same feeling you speak of !
congrats for the 1000th post and may your career take you to even bigger places. hope to see you teaching the maya class later.



Hey, what was that company in New York? I think I know, but I want to make sure. :slight_smile:


Mike, congrats, and all that, and that new york company you mention also helped me in more ways then I can say…you to actually…

I would just like to add Mike is an AMAZING asset to the community, he shares his knowledge and is kind/funny/sexy(j/k) everything you want in a forum browser.

huzzah for the rhone dog…er the artist formerlly known as rhone dog.



floyd…you know… oh how you know.


Thanks guys…! :blush: I try not to post too much junk hehe.

Hey Floyd, I didn’t know if it would be in good form to mention the studio name or not, but for everyone here, the New York studio was of course Icepond studios. Floyd here was the guy nice enough to test me and pull me on board, as well as Tom Bisogno. By far the most fun stuff I’ve ever gotten to work on!

Hopefully one day I’ll be able to buy you that beer I promised you!



And of course Mr. Ian Joyner. Has to be the fastest guy to ever learn 3d in the buisness. Schools would shut down if students could learn as much as he did out of the blue and on his own.

Thanks again guys…!


really a very nice story, definately worth the read :thumbsup:


Congratulations Mike.
Nice story too. :thumbsup:


Only 1,000? :slight_smile:





^hehe look who’s talking mr. 3,266…:wink:


Congrats on your 1000th post, and a nice story to boot. There should be a thread specifically for the trials and triubulations of a CG artist. It’s not always the easy path.

Yeah, working for Floyd sucks! It’s crappy pay and there’s no benefits. :smiley: I’m kidding. I have to thank Floyd for helping me with my reel that landed my job here at Omation. That alone is worth more than any paycheck. Anyway, I’m always amazed at how close-knit this industry is, and I found it funny that Icepond was mentioned. :smiley:




ntmonkey: I had no idea you were buddies with Floyd and Icepond. It is crazy scary how close knit this industry really is. As for a trials and tribulations thread, there have definately been a few more worth mentioning, but I wanted to keep my biography smaller than a novel. I’ll give CG this, it chews up more people than any other career out there.

Bent: Ya, i pretty much am. :stuck_out_tongue: But I hide it welll :wink:

CIM: If people really did RTFM, my post count would be closer to 200 right now :wink:

Thanks again!



I think that title belongs to game developers :confused: i guess its the entertainment industry in all …


Lol, congrats Rhone.

How’s Bardel treating you?



Heh… thats a tricky one to answer. Right now the whole crew has ‘time off’. (Bardel works on contract. So everyone was let go for the summer.) I am confident I’ll be back there in the early fall for a the project that (should) be coming up… touch wood :wink: For the mean time I am taking some time off, doing some of my own stuff and am working on my tan :wink:


Yeah, once you’re in, you’re like 2 people away from anyone that’s done any significant amount of time in the CG industry. Just keep your cool and do a good job and it’s like one big happy family. :slight_smile: