Production studios and arbitrarily chosen 3D packages..

Hey guys,

I’m trying to get into a production studio in my area to do motion graphics and maybe 3D as my skills develop (I know Blender very well for modeling and texturing and material creation but I still need to learn compositing and match moving, if I’m to continue with this). Anyway, I don’t want to get into too many specifics as to the who’s and what’s but there’s a particular studio in which I have great interest. On their site they have a project page for a piece they did that I like quite a bit and there’s also a “Case Study” area describing how the project was built. I’m already drawing this story out longer than is necessary, but I found the portfolio of the guy responsible for the piece’s 3D elements (it was also at this time I realized the illustration and 3D work was farmed out, which I found a bit odd for such a multi-faceted, large studio). So I e-mailed this guy and he took a look at my portfolio and he seemed to have at least been indifferent about it, who’s to say, but the first sentence he wrote was (and I’m paraphrasing here), “… learn After Effects and Cinema 4D, nobody uses Motion or Blender.” Aside from me, I suppose. Obviously he meant the industry as a whole, or something, I don’t know. That part didn’t sound too well-thought-out.

What I’m asking you guys is a couple of things: is there a lot of weight to this sentiment, of there being “one” piece of software to know? I wish I’d known before I started learning Blender. And the second concern brings me to my second question: is there some kind of crib sheet for using Cinema 4D, translating shortcuts and workflows in some manner? I’ve messed with Cinema 4D a bit and it’s a little disheartening to think it’s about as intimidating as learning Blender was and I’d really rather skip all of that if possible.

I don’t know, maybe Blender is more a hobbyist’s software but there’s so much demonstrated capability in its community that aside from a far superior rendering engine (as far as non-photo-related imagery) and negligibly faster render times, I think the real reason to use Cinema 4D is because everybody else is, and maybe this is just coming from some misplaced desire to rebel, but that doesn’t seem like a good enough reason.

Software is chosen by the studio, and because of the power and tech support behind programs like Maya studios tend to use those programs more often. Don’t worry, there are plenty of studios that use Blender, but most of those are the small studios that can afford to play around a bit - more often than not large studios don’t have as much wiggle-room, as they’re goals are more profit-oriented than the smaller ones.

tell the dumbass nobody uses Cinema 4D either. He should learn Maya or 3DSMax.

learn After Effects and Cinema 4D, nobody uses Motion or Blender.

And where I work nobody uses After Effects or Cinema 4D. He sounds a little bias imo.

actually that’s not entirely true. Cinema 4D is really popular in the “new media design” industry.

@TheRiddler: My advice is if you’re not what this guy is looking for technically, then look elsewhere. He’ll find someone to fill that position and it would be so much better for you in the long run if you found a job where you were using programs you’re already comfortable with. At the very least I’d recommend adding Maya to your repertoire. Good luck!

in any case: what matters is that most of the 3D modelling, texturing, lighting and other skills you learned in Blender are imediately useful in any other 3D package. Different interfaces, different keypresses and somewhat different workflow, but the skillset is pretty much the same.

Honestly, if I was hiring and your portfolio demonstrated good modeling, lighting, composition, and animation then I really would not be concerned with what package you used. Its worth it to take someone like that and spend a few weeks getting them up to speed on any new software. If you learned package A well enough to create a good portfolio I am confident that you would pickup on package B just fine.

This is the truth of the matter. Of course, if you had experience in Maya, CD4 or what ever they were using, that would be a bonus, but the truth of the matter is, if you can create outstanding 3d content and have proven that to be the case, then any studio would hire you then train you up in the software they use. It happens all the time.

Literally there are so many options these days that it would be nearly impossible for someone to be experienced in the use of every package out there. So just be proficient in what you do, a 3d content creator, and the studios will help with the rest.

If you are starting up your own studio and have a lack of funds, then blender is the way to go. I got into Softimage when they had the foundation version, and upgraded to the essential version when the chance arose, but I do almost everything in blender still as it is more comfortable for me on some things. You never know what the economic climate will bring to your studio so it be best to be open about your options.:wink: Anyway, that guy didn’t know what he was saying. Plenty of studios use blender.

as blendr08 pointed out cinema4d is quite popular in motion graphics industry,
as a mater of fact after effects + cinema 4d is considered THE killer combination in motion graphics. :slight_smile:

This is completely true. We use Maya and Max for Visual Effects and our design department uses Cinema4d exclusively.


The only reason that this is the killer combo for Design is that first of all C4D is Mac/PC compatible (most design departments still use Macs) and it’s very easy to output camera data from C4D to AE.

So if you’re going into design/ motion graphics you’d be doing yourself a favour to learn C4D. If on the other hand you’re work is project based (no need to pass project files between artists) then Blender can do this same thing, and many other things much better and faster in my opinion… I’ve tried many times to get used to C4D but everything is point and click or buried in menus.

Here’s a link to the a video tutorial for Paulo Ciccone’s script that exports camera data to AE: (not yet 2.5 compatible the last time I checked)

Here’s another script that does something similar

regardless of what you do, if you understand the theory behind 3d all that knowledge will transfer easily to another package.

edit: Here’s the latest script by Atom that works in 2.5

I know thanks and appreciation are bandied about like crazy over the internet but seriously, thanks guys. That really gave me perspective and it was something I was honestly pretty bummed about. Though I can model well, in my opinion, I don’t have any motion graphics using 3D in my portfolio, really. Can anybody suggest some simple projects that might be a good start? I’m talking 3D for motion graphics and compositing (ie not character modeling and humanoid rigging).

grsaaynoel and ecaspersen: Where do you guys work, out of curiosity? If you’d rather send me a private message that’s cool. - Motion Graphics Inspiration Gallery.

Just out of curiosity, where is your portfolio? Can you show it to us?

There is no reason to learn only one. In this game it is best to at least be familiar with all packages. You would not be wasting your time learning blender, as your skills/techniques will mostly transfer to another app if needed. In my case, I started in 3dsmax and explored other apps. My first two jobs involved Max among other programs, in my second job I started learning blender and brought that into my pipeline for projects that could be done faster in it. The thing that will get you a job is your portfolio. I was pissed when I graduated college and not one potential employer even looked at my degree. 4 years down the tubes! The only real benefit is it will give you leverage for better entry pay.