is 3d modeling a good career?


(chrome) #1

Hi i was wondering how good of a career is 3d modeling or working in the field of CGI in general like movies and game developing and if so how hard of a field is it to get in to? what kind of life style is it what kind of money do you make and what kind of places do you have to live and is it a satisfying life???


(nico) #2

I think ‘satisfying life’ is hard to measure.

Apart from the money, LOTR has cost many relationships and families. So even IF you are one the few who take part in professional film or game creation, this doesn’t mean anything.

Burger flipping can be satisfying, creating visual effects for the next Peter Jackson film can be hell. And vice versa. (My 2 cents)


(z3r0 d) #3

you need skills to get in [a contact in the industry doesn’t hurt]

you’ll probably be paid less than programmers

you might want to see what things get out sourced

… if you’re concerned about the money you are probably looking at the wrong industry to go into [at least, you shouldn’t be an artist]. If you like to model and make good stuff then you will have a lot better luck than wanting to makes lots of money doing something easy…


(bmax) #4

Sure, but it’s very competitive, check out cgtalk.com’s forums, some of that stuff is remarkable art, and the people who make it are sometimes unemployed or freelancing with little or moderate success. It all depends if you really want to commit yourself to CG. It takes a lot of hard work and perseverence, and you need to know people in the business to have a chance to get in. Otherwise, it might be difficult to become noticed, although forums like cgtalk.com can help a lot. Major studios and production firms read cgtalk.com regularly, which I have seen on numerous occasions.


(chrome) #5

well first let me say ty to you guys for posting

Apart from the money, LOTR has cost many relationships and families. So even IF you are one the few who take part in professional film or game creation, this doesn’t mean anything.

hmm i have herd this before as of now i havent even finished high school so i dont really have a wife kids or a girl frind for that matter :frowning: but that is somthing i haddent thout of that cgi is a vary time consuming and i could see having to put in alot of late hours.

you need skills to get in [a contact in the industry doesn’t hurt]

you’ll probably be paid less than programmers

you might want to see what things get out sourced

… if you’re concerned about the money you are probably looking at the wrong industry to go into [at least, you shouldn’t be an artist]. If you like to model and make good stuff then you will have a lot better luck than wanting to makes lots of money doing something easy…

well i am not really worried about the money i truely love to to 3d modeling i just wonted to make sure i could support a famly a desent car and maybe a boat not you no living out of a cardboard box drinking wine out of a papper bag and what do you mean you might want to see what things get out sourced?

Sure, but it’s very competitive, check out cgtalk.com’s forums, some of that stuff is remarkable art, and the people who make it are sometimes unemployed or freelancing with little or moderate success. It all depends if you really want to commit yourself to CG. It takes a lot of hard work and perseverence, and you need to know people in the business to have a chance to get in. Otherwise, it might be difficult to become noticed, although forums like cgtalk.com can help a lot. Major studios and production firms read cgtalk.com regularly, which I have seen on numerous occasions.
well first let me say i dunno anybody in the movie world and if you dont no anybody is it that hard to get in to the market??? also does this job req alot of moving around or do you just stay in one place or does it depend on what company you work for?


(bmax) #6

That all depends on where you get your job. If your working in the feature film industry, chances are you’ll be moving around with the crew a bit. However, if you work from home, you’ll only have to move (yourself) to get another beer out of the fridge. If you don’t know anybody in the industry, it’s nothing to be worried about. At least not yet. I assume you’re still pretty young and still have a few years to go, so go to SIGGRAPH if you can, talk to the people at Weta or the Gnomon Workshop. You might even be able to show them some of your work. If you can produce stuff that is truly original, they may very well get interested in you. By then, your chances of getting in will probably be pretty good.


(chrome) #7

That all depends on where you get your job. If your working in the feature film industry, chances are you’ll be moving around with the crew a bit. However, if you work from home, you’ll only have to move (yourself) to get another beer out of the fridge.
no worries about that i will get a cooler :smiley:
If you don’t know anybody in the industry, it’s nothing to be worried about. At least not yet. I assume you’re still pretty young and still have a few years to go, so go to SIGGRAPH if you can, talk to the people at Weta or the Gnomon Workshop. You might even be able to show them some of your work. If you can produce stuff that is truly original, they may very well get interested in you. By then, your chances of getting in will probably be pretty good.
well if by young you mean 16 your dead on. now just looked over siggraphs website breflie and still could not figure out what thay are are thay like a collage or what?. i did check out gnomon and thats a pritty sweet web site could see working with them being pritty cool :smiley: havent made it to weta yet. also is my current blender skills even useabel in the real 3d world or sould i be learning another platform?


(WhiteBoy) #8

The more applications you’re familiar with, the better off you’ll be. Get to know everything you can, because chances are that unless you start your own studio using Blender, you’ll be using either in-house or commercial software.


(lirmont) #9

I think you should be asking yourself a different question. Like, “Is art something I enjoy?” No matter what career you choose, if you don’t enjoy it, you’ve got a long, boring life ahead of you. Now, obviously, if you are just a 3d modeler, you’ll have jobs few and far between. You have one skill. That’s a very short resume. Consider that being a CG artist is a multi-faceted job. Modeling 3d objects falls into that category, but so does texturing and compositing. Higher than all that is meeting the demands of your client, getting what they want to see on to paper. Very few artists are able to work for themselves successfully, but, if you view your job as an opportunity to experience or try different things, I think you’d be on the right track. In the meantime, practice. If you don’t like it, you don’t like it. Imagine either that frustration or that ecstacy for a good 30+ years. I’m no artist, but I do have a relative that is. Watching him paint something, you can easily see why he’s an artist: it isn’t a job to him.

Cheers,
–lir


(Dittohead) #10

Alltaken gave me some awesome advice I’m still working on “implementing” today:

Go for a more traditional art (assuming of course that art is your passion, if it’s not go find out what it is): Graphic Design, Industrial Design, Illustration etc., rather than something that will evolve to a totally different “art” or be obsolete in 10 years.

This was expanded on by a photographer I’ve had the blessing of being able to work with and he told me to study art history at me leisure through books and museums. To understand technique and composition but also the history.

Web design, 3d modeling/animation etc. is a very fluid concept at the moment. The technology we use now will change very quickly. I can think of several major shifts modeling tools alone in the last 4 years. Studying something that will change so rapidly is an utter waste of time. By the time you graduate, what you learned 4 years ago is obsolete.

Just my $0.02 USD.


(chrome) #11

“Is art something I enjoy?”
yes i love doing all aspects of cgi even the things other people find boring in cgi i still dont mind doing them i have spent many many many hours doing cgi and still cant keep up with half the people on the forums but i am contueing to work tword somthing as good as what thay can do :smiley: and yes i didnt wont to end up with a mind numbing job that affter 10 years you feel like jumping off a building i dont beleave that i will ever lose interst in cgi but even if i do i will more then likely go to a difrent art form such as painting or line drawings i have always loved art type stuff but i wonder is that just do to my age and does everybody injoy it at 16 or am i just odd :o

Alltaken gave me some awesome advice I’m still working on “implementing” today:

Go for a more traditional art (assuming of course that art is your passion, if it’s not go find out what it is): Graphic Design, Industrial Design, Illustration etc., rather than something that will evolve to a totally different “art” or be obsolete in 10 years.

This was expanded on by a photographer I’ve had the blessing of being able to work with and he told me to study art history at me leisure through books and museums. To understand technique and composition but also the history.

Web design, 3d modeling/animation etc. is a very fluid concept at the moment. The technology we use now will change very quickly. I can think of several major shifts modeling tools alone in the last 4 years. Studying something that will change so rapidly is an utter waste of time. By the time you graduate, what you learned 4 years ago is obsolete.

Just my $0.02 USD.

that is some great advise, i have been trying to branch out in my skill set to incude drawing but that seems to no come vary easy to me (of corse neather did CGI) i have relized how to see the right shapes and shades and things but i cant make my hand draw what my eyes see even if i can model it out in 3d i still cant get the hand to draw it i had considerd taking some drawing class’s at a local collage but not sure about that. and as for the ways modern art changes my famly has had a computer store for the last 7 years i have seen technoligy change alot since then so i am well aware of the changeing beat of the life of a techie i just wonder how i am spose to deside whats a good job in the real world if i havent tryed it that is y i have been cracking in so many hours in to cgi couse i would like to have some skills before i go in to life head first


(0ptikz) #12

That has to be the worst advice ever. Even a moderately intelligent person can easily keep up with the changes in technology.


(JoOngle) #13

Not entirely untrue, but too biased - yes :slight_smile:

Here’s some real world advice:

  1. As someone suggested Alltaken said: Get an traditional art-education,
    that stuff will NEVER be out of date -ever! No matter what application
    you end up using in the future…your traditional drawing (or even sculpting)
    skills will help you out. The reason for this is that it helps you pay attention
    to the things in the real world you want to “copy/mock-up” and it
    teaches you to “think-in-3d” on a “2d-surface”. Very VERY usefull stuff!

  2. It’s quite true that the application you use isn’t THAT important, what
    IS important however…is your dedication to it…whatever application that
    may be, just as long as you can use it to create what you want! If you
    try too many applications at the same time when you’re new to this 3d stuff
    you’ll take longer time to learn it…and it will probably end up confusing
    you as the keys are different everywhere. Start by getting a SOLID foundation
    of knowledge in your initial learning process…Blender will do just fine!
    Anything you learned in Blender - such as Box-modelling, edgeloop-skills
    LSCM mapping & bones (which nearly every 3d app. on the planet have
    by now) you will be able to transfer to another 3d-application in the
    future if your new job require so…Re-training to another package usually
    takes 14 days if you work hard. Learning 3D …no matter what application
    WILL take many years!

  3. Work extra hard on no.1 :slight_smile:

Take care,
JoOngle


(tedi) #14

eh: get yourself a guitar and a whole bunch of zappa records.

and cross your finger blender will still be free in 4 yr :stuck_out_tongue:
(if it becomes too good, autodesk will buy it)


(bmax) #15

I’m sure Ton won’t have second thoughts on selling Blender, being the scrooge that he is… %|


(Metsys) #16

I 100% agree with getting an art education. Quite honestly, I think you are useless as a CG artist without it. I’ve only drawn doodles until I took an art class (a college level one). Drawing is something that you can learn. It really is a techical ability, but can be applied to everything, and doesn’t go away with technological advances.

Also, don’t forget that there are more jobs as a “modeler” than just in movies. Graphic design, product design, engineering, architectural design, motion design, etc. There really is a lot that you can do with that skill, and there is good money in it. Find what you like doing, and then apply or learn whatever skills that will help.

And don’t forget that you’ll change your mind about what you want to do with your life as time goes on. When I was 13, I wanted to be a cartoonist, at 16 a composer, at 21 a graphic designer, and now at 23 a writer/video game producer. It’s also worth mentioning that I spent a LOT of time and money building those talents, assuming that I was going to do that for a living for certain.

Is changing your mind okay? Absolutely. There isn’t a skill that I learned throughout my entire life that hasn’t helped in my current field of study or work. Has my knowledge of music helped me in my motion design work as a graphic designer? Very much so. Does my artistic, musical, and writing ability help in my current video game projects? Yes!

The point is that I love all those things, and it’s taken me some time to find something I want to do for the rest of my life, that just happens to utilize all those skills.

Even your field of study may not matter too much. Only 10% of people actually get a job in their field of study. So, it’s important to learn how to learn. Most people have had to change their careers and learn new trads all over again about 3 times during their life. It’s important to be versatile.

And as a side note, it only kinda matters what 3D software you use. The only time when a company will force you to know their software is if they are in the middle of the project, they need help, and they can’t spend the time to train someone in their workflow. The thing that realy matters is your portfolio. It won’t matter how well you know Maya in and out if your portfolio isn’t good.


(chrome) #17

Not entirely untrue, but too biased - yes

Here’s some real world advice:

  1. As someone suggested Alltaken said: Get an traditional art-education,
    that stuff will NEVER be out of date -ever! No matter what application
    you end up using in the future…your traditional drawing (or even sculpting)
    skills will help you out. The reason for this is that it helps you pay attention
    to the things in the real world you want to “copy/mock-up” and it
    teaches you to “think-in-3d” on a “2d-surface”. Very VERY usefull stuff!

  2. It’s quite true that the application you use isn’t THAT important, what
    IS important however…is your dedication to it…whatever application that
    may be, just as long as you can use it to create what you want! If you
    try too many applications at the same time when you’re new to this 3d stuff
    you’ll take longer time to learn it…and it will probably end up confusing
    you as the keys are different everywhere. Start by getting a SOLID foundation
    of knowledge in your initial learning process…Blender will do just fine!
    Anything you learned in Blender - such as Box-modelling, edgeloop-skills
    LSCM mapping & bones (which nearly every 3d app. on the planet have
    by now) you will be able to transfer to another 3d-application in the
    future if your new job require so…Re-training to another package usually
    takes 14 days if you work hard. Learning 3D …no matter what application
    WILL take many years!

  3. Work extra hard on no.1

well i have been trying to learn how to draw sicne it seems like a great skill to have and one i have always wonted and i have a book drawing from the right side of the brain and i understand that there is a diffrent way of looking at objects so th at you see the lines more then what the object is and i can do that but i just cant get my hands to draw the nice lines like i wont thay seem to go haywire win i draw :S

eh: get yourself a guitar and a whole bunch of zappa records.

and cross your finger blender will still be free in 4 yr
(if it becomes too good, autodesk will buy it)

i got 3 guitars on hand at all time :smiley:

I’m sure Ton won’t have second thoughts on selling Blender, being the scrooge that he is…
well atleast we go blender free wile it last and if it does become closed agin we still have all the source code :slight_smile:

I 100% agree with getting an art education. Quite honestly, I think you are useless as a CG artist without it. I’ve only drawn doodles until I took an art class (a college level one). Drawing is something that you can learn. It really is a techical ability, but can be applied to everything, and doesn’t go away with technological advances.

Also, don’t forget that there are more jobs as a “modeler” than just in movies. Graphic design, product design, engineering, architectural design, motion design, etc. There really is a lot that you can do with that skill, and there is good money in it. Find what you like doing, and then apply or learn whatever skills that will help.

And don’t forget that you’ll change your mind about what you want to do with your life as time goes on. When I was 13, I wanted to be a cartoonist, at 16 a composer, at 21 a graphic designer, and now at 23 a writer/video game producer. It’s also worth mentioning that I spent a LOT of time and money building those talents, assuming that I was going to do that for a living for certain.

Is changing your mind okay? Absolutely. There isn’t a skill that I learned throughout my entire life that hasn’t helped in my current field of study or work. Has my knowledge of music helped me in my motion design work as a graphic designer? Very much so. Does my artistic, musical, and writing ability help in my current video game projects? Yes!

The point is that I love all those things, and it’s taken me some time to find something I want to do for the rest of my life, that just happens to utilize all those skills.

Even your field of study may not matter too much. Only 10% of people actually get a job in their field of study. So, it’s important to learn how to learn. Most people have had to change their careers and learn new trads all over again about 3 times during their life. It’s important to be versatile.

And as a side note, it only kinda matters what 3D software you use. The only time when a company will force you to know their software is if they are in the middle of the project, they need help, and they can’t spend the time to train someone in their workflow. The thing that realy matters is your portfolio. It won’t matter how well you know Maya in and out if your portfolio isn’t good.

well i really have been wonting to go to some art class’s but my dad thinks at a collage level there going to have nude posers :o so that didnt go over to big with him so i have had to sudel for a book and just practice practice. i to have also bounce around alot on what i would like to do for a job started working with computers at age 8 first wonted to be a web designer and learnd how to do that still a helpfull skill for picking up some quick cash win i am broke also wonted to code c++ but that just wasent me to much logic. and as for arcitech design and stuff that is not what i got in to 3d for i got in to 3d becouse i love to make things that nobody has ever thout of or creathers people have never seen before :smiley:


(bmax) #18

I hope you didn’t take what I said seriously! :o Ton is a very respectable man, and very generous at that. He’d NEVER sell Blender. Unless it’d buy him another mansion of course… :wink:


(Metsys) #19

Yes, most colleges do. You could just do like me and go to one of the BYUs :). They wear leotards, so you still get the anatomical detail that you need. One solution, even though it seems wierd, is to practice drawing people in bathing suits.

Also, basic drawing classes, which is what I was refering to, doesn’t have nude models. That course is called Figure Drawing, and is for second year students. A basic drawing course teaches much of the same things that the book that you have does. So, you are on the right track. Just keep practicing.


(PolygoneUK) #20

I’d just like to add as a UK resident that only just this year (couple months to be exact), I discovered quite painfully that the past two years of Games tech studies and 3D animation meant nothing.

Why did it mean nothing?

Because every University I approached with a view to undertaking a degree in Computer Arts, wanted a solid portfolio and strong history of Traditional Art :frowning:

Despite making sure a life-drawing class was included on my last course, it was not enough.

So my advice is this:

Don’t waste time on games courses, ignore anything below Degree level that is 3D-related. It’s useless.

Get yourselves onto an art course even at a foundation basic level and find your way forwards through those doors instead. If you can draw, most Unis will snap you up over ANY decent 3D modeller or texturer.

I just wanted to share this because I truly would hate for anyone to be where I am now. Two years educated, merit awards etc… and now unemployed without any hope of University entry without an art background. (And I can’t even draw too well.)

Good luck all you wannabe 3D folks, we’ll all need it eventually. %|