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I recently graduated from University with a STEM degree. I've been going through the motions to end up here, and now I think I don't really want to spend my life working in science. I've always asked myself what I want to do, and I've realized that the only "work" I've actually enjoyed creating was a Source Filmmaker animation I made a while ago. I also really appreciate animated movies, how they look and move. The idea of being a 3D animator appeals to me in a way no other career does right now.

Am I a retard for wanting to turn my back on my previous education for a new path? I've been trying to learn Maya so I can try to make some stuff to see how I like it before I commit any significant amount of time and resources. How much education do 3D studios usually require, if at all?
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I'm in the same position you are.
I'm starting my PhD in a month. I decided that I'll go with stability and work in the sciences and just do 3D for fun on the side, and if anything takes off on the 3D side, I'll leave the sciences. The professional 3D world is hard. You get shit pay, worked to the bone, and you'll be constantly moving around to whatever studio picks you up for a year. My 30 or 40 something 3D teacher is a well-respected environment artist, and he still lives meekly. He comes in with shirts that have holes in them.

3D studios usually care more about what you can do as opposed to what degree you got. If you have a badass portfolio and you pass whatever test they have for you (Usually modelling some test object), then they will care more about that then what formal education you got.
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>>530747
>My 30 or 40 something 3D teacher is a well-respected environment artist, and he still lives meekly. He comes in with shirts that have holes in them.
>mfw working towards environment artist
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>>530747
>if anything takes off on the 3D side, I'll leave the sciences.
Do you mean like someone finding your work and offering to hire you? How often does this happen?
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>>530752
No, I don't mean like that. From my 3D teacher's experience, you do not get "discovered". There's too many people who make 3D art, and many of them are amazing. If you landed a job, it's because you pursued it actively. There's so many talented, starving artists out there that studios don't even have to actively advertise their open positions.

I meant if the project I've been working on becomes a youtube hit. Once you start getting views and subscribers, it isn't hard to keep them. I learned to do everything from modelling, rigging, animating, sound design, post work, etc. So it's a 1-man show. I'd be fine with a meek salary if I was doing what I loved; working on my own series.
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>>530736
>graduated from University with a STEM degree. I've been going through the motions

Why are you repeating yourslf
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>>530736

> I hate science as a career and I'd rather pit my skills against an ever growing herd of self-taught pirate NEETs who all expect to get jobs in the video game industry within a year or two

Stay employable and learn in your spare time. You'll find out whether you really like Skill Grinding: The MMORPG enough to ditch a career path for it.
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>>530754
>if the project I've been working on becomes a youtube hit.

Nooo.

Youtube pays shit now for animators, if that's what you're trying to do.
It's nearly impossible to make a living off of youtube by doing animation, unless you're REALLY popular.
I'm not telling you to fuck off and give up, because it's a cool experience regardless to make content and watch your subscriber count go up, but keep in mind that it is no longer a viable source of living income.

While not specifically 3d, the guys on sleepycast, which are some of the most popular animators on youtube, have talked extensively about this stuff already.
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>>530819
I listen to sleepycast as well. Love their shit.
I am also the anon you replied to.

I plan on finishing my PhD and then deciding then what I want to do. If my animation is going well enough that after 5 years of chugging away with it I can make a meek living, I'll do that for a little bit. Or even better-- say Rooster Teeth or something picks me up and hosts my project so I'm making a salary so long as I keep pumping out content. Or a few episodes or a season in, and the world decides that they really like my stuff, I could just open a patreon too. That's a hella reliable source of income if you've got the fanbase. If animating fails and I can't live off of it, then I just go back to science and get paid well. It's not like PhDs ever go away.
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>>530736
you don't need to get another degree, keep doing what you're doing until/if you get good enough. It'd be stupid to quit your day job but all power to you to see if you like animation more. Try out various disciplines within 3D but once you get a sense of things, I suggest you focus in one 1-2 skillsets because you'll have limited time. One thing I'd suggest looking into is TD work - rigging, effects simulations, tool building, etc - this stuff tends to be in higher demand and more stable (because of lower supply) versus something like environment art which everybody wants to do, it's a way for you to meld the CG world and your past experience (and therefore you might pick it up faster as well). also, your degree might actually hold a bit of weight in a TD role whereas in a pure art role it will be mostly irrelevant.

if you're into animation, which is mainly what I do, my suggestion is to get ok at drawing and check out 2D animation material as the same principles apply. understand the principles very well and then study a lot from life / ref material. then its just a matter of comparing your work vs. the professionals repeatedly and studying the difference.
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>>530819
What episode of sleepycast do they talk about the viability of living off of youtube money ?
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>>530900
I'm unsure of the specific episode.
I know it was somewhere in Season 1, but here's ricepirate (Mick)'s youtube video about the topic.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T8rxi9xvb_o

Zach did an AMA a while ago on reddit that answered this as well.

https://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/4fekyw/im_youtube_animator_psychicpebbles_cocreator_of/d286ac5
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>>530736
I have a law degree but decided I wanted to be a 3rd artist. You might fail but at least you'll be happy



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