3d CG as profession

I just read a thread which encouraged me to write this one.
I am 17 years old (getting 18 in february) , and I will be out of school in 1 and a half year.
Though I am using blender just since 5 days (thats because I didnt had a computer for a veeeeeery long time) I am very interested in it. I have always been, though I didnt had a pc. I am fascinated by the opportunities, and (already) by the results I had achieved so far. I always wanted to make something like that my profession, and now my question is:
What do I have to study to do so? What ways can I choose and what would you recommend me? (I recently saw the movie Shrek and I would really like to do something similar, though I fear that doing something like that will alway stay a dream) What can I earn? Do you think I am too late for it?
Please give me as much advice as possible, I can really need it.

I live in Germany, but my english is pretty good, so that will probably be a minor border for me.


A movie like Shrek in Blender would be nearly impossible compared to Maya and those other high end programs. But you could always grab the source code and code in needed features or ones you could and submit the scripts to the Blender foundation. That is if you know python.

  1. dont dream, learn
  2. this is the blender general thread, your question is off-topic
  3. shrek was done by 1000 colaborators and other tools (or more or less, but anyway)
  4. read the doc and get going, download a couple of video-tuts
  5. learn how to use blender first, then maybe maya, XSI, etc.
  6. decide if you are capable of learning it, become good at it… :expressionless:
  7. read, read, read…learn,learn,learn…practice,practice,practice
  8. visit www.blendpolis.org , the german blender comunity, so missunderstandings are deleted
    9.learning by doing…do it
  9. 18 years old…abitur? u can start to study medien-gestaltung or whatever “studiengang” there is at your local uni, or might consider looking for the best “film-fach-hochschule” there is in germany…get information on the matter.
  10. dont waste your time reading this post :wink:

Also, a little reality-check… :smiley:

Hundreds of thousands (at least) of kids just like you “Saw Shrek,” and now either dream of doing the same thing with their own computers, or at least of going to work for DreamWorks and the other guys. (Hint: it’s always those same firms!)

CG-animator wannabees are the 21st century’s version of the “hopeful Hollywood starlet.” Lots of good-looks and talent, no experience, and no clue. Twenty bezillion people all wasting their time competing for the same twenty jobs.

The actual world of CG animation is very broad with all kinds of possible projects. Within your own home town, whereever that is, you can find something. It might be working for a lawyer or an ad-agency. It might well consist of doing what seems to be an insignificant part of a much larger, collaborative project that no one will ever buy a $6 movie-ticket to see. You might never, in your entire lifetime, work for Jeffrey Katzenberg, Peter Jackson, or George Lucas! But you can always find enjoyable, fulfilling work.

Swallow a triple-dose of humility, be prepared to work as part of a team, and find “anywhere but DreamWorks” to send your resume, and you will have instantly distinguished yourself from hundreds of thousands of starlets. Demonstrate an understanding of what your potential employer actually needs, and show how you can fill that need, and you’re suddenly fairly unique.

And you’ll get paid, by someone for something, soon enough. Not because you have incredibly unique talent, but because you packaged, marketed, and sold yourself well.

Thomas J. Watson (founder of IBM) liked to use the analogy of two shoe salesmen who were dispatched to South America to explore possibilities there. Each one wired back…



Salesmanship, pure and simple. Everyone thinks the world owes them a job. Question is, “do you have an effing clue what problems I actually face, and what I need to buy, and do you sell it?” Yes, job searching is a sales process: your services are the product. Results go to the resourceful and prepared.

I will be the last to tell you that it’s hard to reach CG stardom… But it’s not easy …

My advice to you is to (like said earlier), learn in your own time and go to some kind of art-academy wich also teaches the CG subject. Here in Holland they are going to open a new BA study for 3D animation. I don’t know alot about this study but maybe in Germany they’re doing it too …

In any way, if you are serious I would also advice you to somehow get your hands on a commercial app in order to start of in the right direction immediately… I hear there are some options wich are not too expensive, but take into account that if your really actually end up making a living from CG, you’ll probably end up using MAX, MAYA or one of the few other apps wich come close.