question about career with blender

I have a diploma in graphic design but have done little with the design part of it. I want to head into the 3d part of it and was wondering a couple things. I have used 3d max, bryce, carrara, poser and now blender. What exactly is holding blender from being just as good if not better than say 3d max(if any at all)? I want to start my own 3d design company including models, animation and realtime. Ive been using bryce, carrara and poser lately because of the shared interfaces and such and ease of use, but im really getting to like blender and the interface. Unbiasedly, do you guys recommend me using blender professionaly? Basically im trying to tie down to one program and then get started on learning all there is about the prog and getting busy doing it professionally. Do i nned a prog like 3d max to make the most out of 3d or is blender just as good if not better. Sidenote: I made a model in blender using the box method then subsurfing. Then I exported as .obj and imported into bryce 3d, but the model came in not subsurfed, just the box type model. Any idea why. Sorry for the long post, please help. Thanks

last question is the eaisiest: onj export does not takt subsurf in to consideration. if you want your high-res mesh, convert the subsurf into a mesh (Alt+C) and export then.

running a business is different. and knowing some type of software is essential for doing 3D :wink: . WHAT software, is fully up to you. much more important than software are your skills, as that is what you actually earn money with. noone will pay you for just being a 3dsmax expert if you have no clue abt. graphic design (which i aasume is of course not the case).

if you really have a design company, you’ll probably need acouple of programs which you’ll use parallel or in combination. bender can be one of them, of course.

I would not advise you to “start a company” with a diploma in your hand and the ink barely dry. I suggest that you find a good company to work for, for about five years or so. There are a lot of things they cannot teach you in University.

You obviously did get a well-rounded exposure to the major-player software packages. But you haven’t yet gotten exposure to the game of business, of doing stuff for money with persnickety paying-customers. (And you yourself, when you buy something worth thousands of dollars, will find yourself just as “persnickety.”) It’s hard to keep food in your mouth that way: needlessly hard.

Mark my words: :o you need to be struggling to learn right now, not struggling (literally…) to eat. You may never have experienced hunger yet in your life. Now is not a good time to start.

Look over the packages that you’ve learned, and compare them. When you start a new project, you’ll have a choice of tools and there will basically be three deciding factors: - If the customer or the project has an existing base of work built in a particular package, or expresses a product-specific preference, then you should not only use that tool, but if possible get a copy of that specific version. The existing work the customer already has, is an investment worth tens of thousands of dollars already-spent. A specification of what tool to use, may have very sound reasoning not known to you. Or it may simply be a personal bias from “the one who signs the checks.” :smiley: - If you have no pre-conditions for the project, then the tool that you own, or the tool that fits the budget best, or the tool you’re most familiar with, will be a good choice. - Always be exploring new tools. Each tool is oriented toward specific tasks, more or less, and you won’t make profits by putting square pegs in any round holes.

You got some good replies allready.

I’ve had lots of experiences working alone and for companies… hence I’ve seen lots of workmethods and also worked with alot of different ppl and different apps.

If someone would ask me now what I’d use in order to work as an independent designer (or company) I’d say that I wouldn’t go with blender.

The reasons are obvious… If you want to make a living, you need to go with the flow. Meaning that you need to integrate as much as possible with the rest… and the rest doesn’t use blender at the moment. To be safe I would probably end up using max or maya or some app like cinema 4d (the least…)

About the import thing… I don’t kow for sure, what I can tell you is that I’ve had a long hassle trying to import just a few splines out of a vector program into blender… It took me all day and still I had to find a workaround, first going through wings3D and then from wings into blender.
And still… it wasn’t what I expected…

You can imagine that this is ridiculous if it would’ve been a commerical project wich I was working on …


I’d agree that you should never, ever, “buck the flow.” If Blender isn’t the product de jour, don’t be the one to evangelize for it. Every single existing file they have is worth thousands of dollars.

But if Blender is a newcomer, don’t exclude it.

thanks for the replies. I understand what you guys say about starting a business, but im thinking more about freelance. I support a family of 4 on a warehouse income, so i wont be leaving that anytime soon. What i really want to know is how blender stacks up against the big boys. What is it lacking or what is it not lacking. I want to settle in on a 3d prog. Just looking for opinions. Thanks

The thing that is holding Blender back is in character animation rendering capabilities. It can’t do some of the really snazzy stuff that you might see in Monsters Inc. (fur calculations, etc.) However, Blender allows you to create good CG in less time to model and render than it would in other programs. One particular design firm in town will be using Blender for enviromental design. Aside from it’s non-existant price tag and how quickly it can render previews for their clients, it was the right choice.

As far as using Blender professionally, it is a possibility. Those guys did it. Blender was the job for them, but if they had to do something else, they might use a different program. In the same way I use Jeskola Buzz Tracker for composing electronica and Cake Walk Home Studio for more of the accoustical stuff, it just depends on the job. I know what each program is capable of.

Pinning yourself to an application based on what other people have said probably isn’t the best thing to do. Blender is great for something things but in some areas, as does all applications, it can fall short. Learn as many programs as you can, know what they are good at, and you’ll naturally use your favorite.

If you want to get in a carrer in any kind of design (2D, 3D, animation), you have two options before you even think about starting your own firm: Freelance, or Firm. You can either work for yourself or work for someone else. Firms are great in that you’ll have a steady income, you’ll work for someone who is better than you (that is REALLY important), and you could work on a veritety of projects, even 3D stuff.

It’s all based on what your job needs. If you are going to do something for someone that needs the project to be in Maya, then you may need to get Maya.

Play it by ear. Use tons of programs. You’ll pick the one you like. And if for any reason you think you need to switch, you can pick of that program with no problem.

I too an trying to get into freelance 3d/web design. I am bascially self taught on everything I know about computers and networking. I just get an interest in something then read everything I can about it on the web or in a book.

I am presently working for a non-profit at the network manager and all around general computer guy. But being in my mid 40s I can see the writing on the wall( i.e. there is no where to go in this organization, the money sucks and I work best when I can work for myself or at least work with people that challenge me.)

Presently I cannot afford the high end 3d programs like Maya, Lightwave or 3DSMAX.Both in terms of the money they cost and becasue my home computer is too old to run them. That is the other reason I have for doing freelance work. #1) To get experiance #2) To be able to afford better hardware that can run better software.

I will keep and eye on this thread for any tips I can pick up.

just download the free versions of all the tools out there
and start to play…

blender started as a profesional in-house tool for doing video-sequenzes.
if you want to do that, then blender is your tool. but it can be used for a lot of stuff, even animation, but its far behind other animation tools when it comes to character animation.

it all depends on what you want to do and where you plan to go.

normally one speciallizes in modeling, texturing, rigging/character set-up (facial expressions, etc.) , lighting/rendering to find a gap somewhere to fit in and get a contract in the gaming/movie/tv industry…where ever…

just start with blender, try out all the free learning/experiment versions. you ll see, that once you learned blender you start with an different approach, knowing what can be done in blender, knowing 3d terms so ll the docs for the new software wont sound like chinese.

as I said, it depends on you and in which direction you want to go…

but beware! seems like everybody wants to go there too and the adds in the paper are full with web-designer, graphic-designer,3d-animator, info-graphist, looking for jobs. competition is growing

on CGTalk this very topic is postd like once a week and in short the answer is:

its not what you know, but WHO you know to get jobs.

and yeah…a good portfolio is a must, maybe a demo-reel of some short animations…well you ar the creator so show off with your skills, a good web-page with costum templates might help too…just might…
good luck

yes and no. the “problem” is that many ppl make some courses for a week or two, or grab software with a questionable license, play around and think they are designers after they find out what the effects menu does. these ppl don’t succeed. even if they do some kind of job, in most cases it has to be redone. i’ve been asked at least five times during the last two years to redesing, remake, or make it from scratch because other “artists” with no experience at all screwed it up.

of course everyone has to start somewhere, and it’s always low level. but many ppl under-esimate the work, and over-estimate their skills. the most difficult part is to find the right balance, to know what is a challange and what is suicide. this is the only way to learn and grow.

you don’t neccesarily need diplomas or degrees. talent and the ability to work hard are worth more than a degree. if you find different ways to teach yourself the “important” things, perfect.

having a self employed business running is a mixture of your talent, social, financial and working skills. being alone is hardest. to develop your skills it’s best to work for a company first, so that you learn about the less creative, but absolutely neccesary work that has to be done, too. if you think that being a graphic designer is simply being creative - wrong. you have at least to make some efforts to have new customers, make sure you pay your taxes, social insurance, and establish a basic infrastructure for the financial part (sending invoices etc…). you’ll have to know abt. pre-press, printing, specific requirements of the media you’re publishing for. …it’s just hundrets of things that you will learn over a period of some years.

so form me, too, good luck, you’ll know what is right :slight_smile:

P.S.: if you catch yourself spending more time over the drawing tablet than in discos, it’s agood sign.