The 3D Industry and Careers

I’m just interested if anyone would like to comment on the state of the industry in general, are most 3d animators/graphic designers free lancers? contractors?

Is the market saturated?

What careers does the 3d Modelling/Animation umbrella actually entail?

Would/could you use a package like Blender to redesign and implement User interfaces? I suppose you could, I see potential markets there.

I’m fairly new to 3D Graphics and animation, for me its been a learn the theory first kind of introduction where my Computer Science lecturers notes and tests were on the mathematical theory and algorithms for anything graphics, bump maps, Ray tracing, Bezier curves, lighting techniques like blinn-phong. I’ve since become a Blender Hobbyist/addict trying video tutorials and slowly increasing my Blender skillset.

Here in New Zealand, the 3D industry is kind of swamped, and it’s very hard to get in anywhere without the “who came first, chicken or egg” years of industry experience. Freelancing is the way to go if you want the kind of background to get accepted elsewhere, but then you still face the same issues trying to get freelancing contracts; you have to basically approach poor musicians (for example) and offer to animate an album for zero budget, at your risk not theirs just to have some kind of a portfolio.

To apply for a position, you need to put together a DVD reel showing no more than two and a half minutes and contact details. Post these around to the TV advertising agencies, studios etc, and see if anyone has something you can help with. It can be very frustrating because often they have many such applicants or there simply isn’t the seasonal demand for new projects.

There are some good animation schools, and I’d recommend Media Design School in Auckland for professional tutoring in 3D. It’s very tough there but the tutors do know their stuff. They would teach in Maya though are mildly aware of Blender, although they would be quick to point out that Blender is not an industry recognised tool in this country… a belief which seems to perpetuate itself.

I actually “like” Maya as this what what they trained my in and I can see various shortcomings of both packages since I use both. My beef against Maya is that in New Zealand the unspoken trend is that “of course” you all pirate Maya to do all your work until you land a proper job to afford it. I disagree here, with personal ethics against piracy… but it’s me this puts at a disadvantage given that it’s them who have all the job opportunities.

I’m considering starting New Zealands first OpenSource studio, pretty much because of the frustration… but that’s a lot to swallow. You don’t get the owner of the garage fixing the cars, and it’s the hands on modeling and animation I want to be doing, not the project management, hiring of staff, commisioning or pricing of work etc.

@Lancer - best of luck with your project. It’s quite a niche market you have there, and with the tons of free meshes out there, there are obviously many folks who have money, but no time for these kinds of jobs.

If you want to get into 3d - freelancing is probably the best, and animation is probably a good skill to have too.

Ah thanks for that reply Lancer, I’m a New Zealander too, chch Canterbury Computer Science Student, but I also work for Jade software in Regression and usability testing.

I recently revamped the company logo in Blender as a small project for our wiki.

Check out animation mentor’s state of the industry report for an idea of the worldwide scene.

They say Blender is not an industry standard in New Zealand. That is probably the fact, they don’t say anything about the quality of Blender, which surely they cant measure.

Cheers for the link, Having a geezer now, interesting that the industries set to grow on average 6.6% until 2012 with a turnover of 2.2 Million.