What are the areas I should know to work with CGI

What are the areas that I must know to work with CGI, what are the programs that I must know, to be successful in this area

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It’s a really broad field, you can be a technical artist and then it would be good to know some programming , maths etc… But these probably won’t help you if you want to be a concept artist where you first need good drawing skills and a broad visual library.

The first question is what you like to do with CGI ? : modeling, animating, a bit of everything …
What kind of projects you’d like to work on : video games, VFX, cartoony animations …

And from that it would be simpler to answer your questions…

If these questions are a bit fuzzy, then do some tutorials, try a bit of everything, and eventually you’ll have a clearer idea of what suit you the best.

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First you need to get a very basic idea of how things work. As for example following beginner tutorials, will allow you to learn placing some objects in a scene, going to edit mode and move vertices, creating materials with textures, moving lights in place.

Then at this basic level you would be able to implement a dozen of projects. By reusing the same techniques again and again. Having work done with consistency is the most important aspect for a newcomer. Trying too much will make you confused, trying to do things the wrong way it will make the entire learning discouraging and unpleasant. The key is to stay on track.

For the first year (or 6 months if you prefer) try to stay on the beginner level doing basic stuff and do only what you know to do.

Once you hit this level and you feel that you own it. It will be time to step up at one more advanced level. You will start adding a touch of personal preferences into your next level of learning depending on your tastes. As for example vehicles? cars? interior architecture? The possibilities to choose are limitless.

But once you pick something, you begin another period of intense learning, you repeat the process again.

More or less to be successful depends on a personal drive and the knowledge of the technical side of things. I can’t say for example for you to study ‘fashion’ because this is mostly useful to character artists who need to dress their characters.

But the trick is that as gradually you find your own niche you gradually becomre more focused and specialized in it.

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The question surely should be. What is it you want to do with CGI ?

CGI is a set of tools and technologies for making things. Not an aim and goal in itself.

Why do you want to work with CGI technologies ? What is it you want to make using it ? Or what area is it that you want to specilise in that uses some form of CGI. These days it’s almost everything that will use CGI methods from manufacture to entertainment media and scientific analysis and visualisation. Even more traditional arts and crafts are now moving into using CGI and digital 3D modeling and design as part of the process.

So it’s really a case of thinking what direction do you want to go in. What industry or artistic or academic area do you want to be working in or creating for. Then if that involves some form of working with CGI. What sort of programs and digital skills would you will need to work in that particular field.

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Always also bear in mind that, in any “shop” of any size, you are probably going to be a specialist, not a generalist. This is not only because there is so much to understand, but also because the general production “pipeline” is a production line. There are, initially, a great many repetitive tasks that need to be worked-on in parallel, getting things ready. Then, the process of assembling a finished work … “yes, just one scene out of hundreds” … is also carried out in stages, from one “milestone” to the next to the next. CG is a tremendous expression of team work. There are literally thousands of details which must be attended to and managed, even in a “small” project. That’s why the movie-credits go on forever, once you get to the “CG” section.