FORUM PRIMER: The Unofficial Truth about The Industry


It very useful for me ,thank you very much~
many thanks!:applause:


Thanks for posting the faq! Though I do have a question. I noticed that on most of these online job postings, not just this site, they are all asking for people with at least 1 years experience. I have not seen one entry level position posted since I’ve been on this site. What’s the deal? Where does one get a list or find a database of companies to submit reels to? I apologize if these were covered already.


Deffinetly an eye opener, thanks man.


Nice one!

I’m gonna have to copy-paste this for my own use and reference later.

Excellent work and thanks for sharing.



What are people looking for in a candidate? We don’t care where you went, how long you went there, if you were top or bottom of your class. Show us you can do it by showing us a great demo reel and portfolio. Follow that up with a great humble attitude that shows a willingness to learn and the ability to take direction. Then, show up everyday, on time, and do the best you can until it’s time to go home. Show us that you are resourceful and can find answers to problems on your own before asking those around you. Show us you how bad you really want it, and above all, show us the passion, and remind us of how we felt when we were first looking for a job, were filled with energy, and didn’t know what was going on. That’s what everyone really wants in a candidate, entry level or not.

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Fairy Cakes Delivered


I agree with every thing here except which software, the point made only holds true if you are in the feature film industry in LA, if you are in Games then Max is still number one and I’m sure will stay that way for some time. In certain areas of the world other 3D apps hold the majority, so students should do their homework and sort out where in the world they want to be working and in what area of the industry. Feature film is only a small portion of the over all market, there is lots of work in TV, Broadcast, Visualization, Arch Vis, Games and even medical or military.

After teaching 3D in the industry for about 12 years and working in it for 14 in just about every area there is I find that students get into it with a very narrow view of what it is they could be doing. Many change their tune once they see all the possibilities.


Mr. Harkins,
I am a high school teacher of 3D animation. The advice you give here is incredible. Would mind if I pass on your words of wisdom to my students? I will definitely site you in my discussions.
Thank you
Melanie Snyder


Welcome here to cgtalk Luv!

As an instructor I wish more professional teachers would take the time to research this subject like you are obviously doing. Don’t forget to hop on over to the Education section: Courses and Schools. I am sure you can help out with observations from the other side of things.

Cheerio Chris


THank you very much, you incourage me and rerendering my dreams.

Meaning of rerendering meaning i want to work for my self producing games (XNA engine from Xbox 360 using c# language) and animation(Trying to build my fantasy to reality - i see a bolt on a ground, and in my eyes i see ships flying around it. Light lighting up as civilizzation in it__im wierd i know :P). I was always affraid that the whole 3d artist thing was to be good with tool. Meaning like my current job i work at, my boss gets really pissed when it takes me more then 30 min on a project, from concept to final production file. But i am working in printing enviroment.

We manage produce same works that takes team to produce :stuck_out_tongue: im proud that i am able to handle it.

Some times information as this FAQ makes a huge difference in people life and encouragement :stuck_out_tongue: Thank you again.


You can also check what Blizzard suggest how to get hired. Here is link to Blizzard basic tips “How to Get a Job at Blizzard Entertainment”

I think then Blizzard give tips then they are really valueable information.


Hey i see a lot of people talking of college and degrees

How about being able to validate acquired knowledge? If you really know the stuff, then you should be able to pass the exams.

but of course, you would not be paying the enormous amount of money demanded for the education, so it’s no i guess


This actually helped me a lot! Interesting information you putted there, thanks for that. I live in Belgium thou :slight_smile:


I understand that college or university is very important to introduce the students to the difficulty of their future carreers, but what if i can’t afford college or university, wouldn’t work experience count?


Agree to u

special thx the article for the newbies like me


Hi there everyone!

This seems to be a good place for people to come to for advice on their career, myself included.

Basically, I’ve finished my first year at university in the UK, and I’m currently applying for jobs around the country (not fussed where). I’m looking for a job as at university I’m finding it, well basic. I mean some parts are great, like my Anatomy and Physiology lectures, but all the others are simply software based, like learning Max, Maya Photoshop Etc, with no artistic background; meaning I’m not learning anything that I can’t teach myself, which is kind of my dilemma. I looked at other universities in similar subject areas; I’m finding the same sorts of problems.

I think of myself as being ‘OK’ at 3D I don’t think I’m terrible, but I’ve don’t some good work for commercial clients (British standards in the UK being one), and all my fist year work was awarded Firsts (>70%) with a 90% in my Anatomy and Physiology, and 86% in motion capture (highest grade in the year, out of 160 students).

I have the beginnings of a showreel at:

I’m still working on my showreel at the moment (the current piece with compositing 3d onto filmed footage with boujou and max; although not your simple ‘character on a desk video’).

The sorts of jobs I’m applying to at the moment are runners and junior 3D; I have no problem slogging my heart out for a few years as a runner if it’ll help me get somewhere.

If anyone could give me advice, opinion, or rate my employability at the moment, it would be beyond appreciated!

Many thanks, Richard.


Be content to walk before you try to run. At this point (“first year at University”), the place that you should be looking hardest is … at the University!

I remember it well: my first job at the University computer-center (this was, BTW, many years before the Apple-][ or the IBM PC existed… never mind) consisted of tearing paper off the line-printer and shoving it through a particular slot. I did not mind: I was inside, and that is exactly where I wanted to be. I parleyed that into four years of work as a student, followed by three years as a salaried staff member at the University.

More than any technical skills you may (or may not…) have, you need to be able to clearly demonstrate that you are a professional at whatever-it-is that you do. You can always learn something new, and on-the-job you always will (if you want to). Tools and techniques are constantly advancing. But one rule-of-thumb is, literally, biblical: “Those who are faithful with little, will be faithful with much.” So, get out there and be faithful and professional in whatever you do. Word gets around fast that you are reliable and dependable, that you don’t ask questions when you don’t need to but do ask questions when you do need to, and that you truly care about the quality of your work (but without losing sight of a deadline).

“If anyone praises you, let it not be you yourself who does it.”


Wow. That is really good information. I worked in this industry for years and I know it has changed considerably in that time. For example, in my day, there was no going to University for this stuff. It didn’t exist! People were still in the “Stop messing around with that CG garbage and get a real job!” phase.

Now Education in this field itself has become a huge industry. Schools are everywhere. Stores and websites and software vendors all over the place are offering training materials, to help students learn this stuff, me included. And it has grown so far outside limited Western shores to become an international phenomenon. I think there will have to come a point where there will be more students than jobs, right? Or will there be more content to match the demand?


Thanks. That was interesting to read. I guess I need to work on my reel


Seems like good advice… BUT… rather than killing yourself to get a job paying $12 to $20 an hour… if you have developed some talent then you should consider freelancing too at first as this is more and more becoming a viable option and there are places online where you can find work and probably get that much or more


Interesting read. I’ll keep that in mind for future reference.