Is 3d animation a good career choice?

I am 14 years old. I have been doing some research on blender lately, and it seems like something I would want to do. But can I become successful? In the future I am going to need to support a family, and I don’t know if this career will keep one maintained properly. I want to make plenty of money, not to sound greedy or anything, I don’t know if I should just make blender my hobby or career or both.
Sorry if this is posted in the wrong forum, but this is the closest category I could find to the said question.

“3d animation” is a rather broad term… I would suggest thinking about what exactly you want to do before asking anyone about it.

Any career you choose is probably going to have more than its fair share of people fighting eachother for the same limited number of ‘opportunities.’ Perhaps take up martial arts as your hobby :wink:

Hi! I was in the same spot as you, at the same age. Yes, there is an industry for it, there are animation jobs out there. As far as my life advice to you (coming from a pro 3D modeler): I would DEFINITELY keep your dream job in mind, we only have one life, might as well do what we want to do, right? :). So what I did, I kept 3D as a hobby till I could make good money off of it. In the mean time, I worked towards a backup, more stable job. So I have a financial safety net encase it took me a while to get into the industry. For my backup job, I chose graphic design (much bigger industry). This way I will have a stable income, plus the information learned here complimented my 3D stuff. Plus if I have a gap in my 3D work, then I do some graphic design.

So, the lesson here is study as hard as you can,
pick a “plan B” aka a backup job that is close to your dream job, so they both compliment each other with information.
When you are able to make enough money through your hobby to support your self, drop the “Plan B” job and go full time with animation.

Keep in mind, I’ve only gone pro for a year, so I am still new at it :slight_smile:

Thanks for the encouragement! I am just beginning to work on some models now.

Well, I am not exactly sure what I exactly want to do… but I figure if I master blender there will be plenty of opportunities.

As the saying goes, “do what you love, and the money will follow.” (Well, maybe.™) The point is, you need to enjoy it and to find it rewarding … (whatever “it” is) … in order to willingly do the sometimes grueling and tedious work that’s required to do “it” well.

Blender is a professional-grade 3D program that is an excellent tool because it incorporates, in one free(!) package, nearly all of the tools and techniques that you are likely to use. Plus, it has support for the entire “soup to nuts” process of animated-film production. (That’s huge …) Study it well, and be sure to poke-around in all the hidden nooks and crannies.

Challenge yourself, not only to make models, but to subsequently use them in “a little something.” That will show you how to make better, i.e. “more usable,” models. The most-engaging thing about this technology is that you basically can do “anything that you can dream-up” with it, start to finish. At zero financial cost.

but, if you seriously challenge yourself with a complete project, however small it (should(!)) be, you will also expose yourself to the other important requirement: “Somehow, you have to get the damned thing done!” Which means: “In the proverbial ‘can,’ shrink-wrapped, and, by gawd, shipped!” :yes: (So that you can, of course, move on to the next project … you did say you wanted to do this for a living, right …?)

Will you wind up using Blender in a pro shop? Hard to say: for obvious reasons. When a shop develops a predictable workflow that is based on any tool (Blender or otherwise), they don’t change anything if they can possibly help it. You really can’t change the decisions that a pro-shop makes, nor should you try. But this much certainly can be said: if you teach yourself well, then the techniques that may be used in any other 3D tool will be, “the same, just altogether different.” If you have mastered “what to do,” and if you also understand how the work that you do will eventually fit into the total production, then it’s fairly easy to adapt to another “how.” (“Ooh! A wrench! Yeah, I can figure out how to drive a nail with that!”) :wink:

Ok! Thanks for the lengthy reply, I appreciate it. I am getting to know blender.

prioritize yourself,whether making “lots of money” or “doing what you like”.if it is making money, identify which jobs give that scale of money(maybe finance,business,management related jobs),and work(very hard) for it .if it is what you like to do,give 3d a year and see how fast you progress and decide.

And, folks … “this technology is changing f-a-s-t.” Who knows, really, what the roles and career-choices will be in a few years? In my own particular sideline of software engineering and project-management, new tools and techniques pop up every year and they just as quickly start making a big influence on what gets done and how.

I don’t think that you can go into any career without the certain expectation that you will not always be doing the same thing in the same way … even maybe a couple years from now. “The only Constant is Change.”

But, you know, I still love what I do for a living and I particularly enjoy the smile that I get from people (who sign my checks) when I have genuinely helped them … and i know that I have. I also like the fact that, while the work tends to be more or less the same outcome pursued in more or less the same way, it is never the same!

There are plenty of ways to “earn a living.” Make a choice that pleases you now, and expect that “(several) someday(s),” you will make another, perhaps very-different choice. Learn how to “land four paws down.” And, at least a few times in your life, “flip in mid-air, just for the hell of it.” :slight_smile:

Yes, I am very worried that I won’t be needed because of the evolving technology. Is it possible to stay on top of all the new advancements?

If I were you I would focus on learning to animate, be the best animator you can be BUT also learn secondary skills and peripheral skills as well, focus on those just as much for the time being. I don’t know if I would be where I am today if I had only learned and focused on one thing. I don’t do animation(I’m working my way up to jr and eventually senior compositor) but it’s important to be a bit of a generalist, just for the employment opportunities alone as well as bettering yourself as an artist. And who knows, one of those skills may take you down a different path. The downside to this is becoming a ‘jack of all trades, master of none’ which isn’t a bad thing necessarily, just make sure to keep focus on your original goal of animation of whatever it might be. When you’re ready take that leap and only work animation gigs.

You’re only 14 though and if you’re anything like a lot of people you might pick up a program for a few months or a year and then do something completely different like say engineering, office management or banker who knows :slight_smile:

If you really are serious about this 14 is a great age to get started. Personally I got into video and film making at the age of 16-ish and a few very short years later I was working in the industry with seasoned video professionals. So just put in work and perhaps a few years down the line you’ll be ready too.

I say you just do something different, I mean when you want to do an animated film, you got to do something different, a niche.

What I’ve been doing now is I compose music, unique music that people never or barely heard of.

Here’s my take on it:
Find a career that will never go obselete, because then you are assured of a job in 20 years - when you have a young family.

Myself I study engineering and do Blender as a hobby. There has been a need of engineers since 2000BC when they built the pyramids, and there will be a need for engineers in 3000 years when we colonize another galaxy. In my opinion it’s a stable job until the singularity happens.
Other ‘pretty stable’ jobs that will be around for at least several hundered years are:

  • Accountants
  • Car mechanics
  • Engineers of all kinds
  • Doctors
  • Construction workers

Now, the arts-type ones. They’re hard. Musicians have been around since forever, but in todays world of digital audio, demand for live performance is dropping. Painters? They’re still going strong, though generally underappreciated (=poor) during their life. 3D modellers? In my opinion it’s averagely stable. 3D models are likely to see increased demand through the 3d printing era, and the CG imagery era. But be warned, it is a job very dependant on the technology of the time. In 10 years when there’s a breakthrough, your job could well become nearly obselete.

So don’t only consider the market now, consider it in the future.

Thanks everybody! I appreciate all your help. I hope you can see some of my work soon.

Young man this is something I have wondered about quite often given the addictive nature of Blender. Yes, the addictive nature of Blender I say. :slight_smile: And, by the way this forum is full of successful people who were once young Blenderheads.

That being said please make your school work the number one priority. You didn’t mention if your school has a in depth graphics art program. My guess would be it doesn’t. Since well paying jobs in art are few and far between. But, if by chance it does then by all means follow your interest. With enough other courses where college would still be a option. You are young so don’t be burning any bridges believe me. Keeping all the options open right now is the key.

This forum is also full of engineers, candle stick makers, and others who are now Blender hobbyist. Individuals who raised a family in other fields besides graphics. Along with you have to suspect 36 year old Blenderheads living in Moms basement. And, yes it takes lot of money to raise a family. Keep that in mind when sitting in a Algebra II class. Just keep all options open young man. At your age it’s all about keeping all options alive.

Every trade has its trade manuals,periodicals, magazines, forums and such. Is it ever possible to keep on top of all advancements, Well a little that depends on how you define on-top and all. In General if you keep up with the reading in your field you will remain up to date

One word on being a specialist in any field, Be a generalist as well, This will let you talk to the people who give you the rig and model to animate in a language they understand, And it will let you understand what the people who depend on your product need from you. You are an animator. Yes, The director may have more chops about the cinematography choices of camera position and scene lay out and the like. And you may well be in a position to be micro-managed by a director, But if you know some of the directors role, You will better understand the language needed to talk to them.

Myself, I am retired, my degree was in electronics engineering, I spent most of my time as a technician working in the field of avionics, I can talk to a Pilot and a Senator and a General. Each of them would have very different concerns and needs, And knowing a little of their needs goes a long way in relating to them in terms they would understand.

The last paragraph of your comment nicely sums up the one single most-important quality that you must have in any business: the ability to communicate with people, and to fulfill their needs “in terms that they understand.” Pilot … Senator … General … avionics needs them all, and interacts with them all, but does so in different ways. If you can become a generalist that can bridge such an enormous gap, in whatever field, you will never be short of work … nor will you be locked into any particular niche or field. Your job, also, will never cease to be interesting.

Tis true, it is best to have experience in, for example, concept art even if you’re a character artist. It allows you to bring the work presented to you together much better than someone who had no prior experience in another field- thus increasing hireability. However (at least what I’ve been told in the game industry) employers are looking for people who excel in one area, not who are alright in all of them. So while it is very important to have a firm understanding of all tasks, (particularly if you want to survive in an indie setting) it is most important to specialize.