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Make a living?
Posted: 20 February 2013 09:51 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
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celmar - 20 February 2013 06:32 AM

hmm, don’t misunderstand me… I just answer to the question: “how to go into the pro area, and is it possible to make a living from 3d”... it seems to me that the most asked characteristic is the ability to draw…

Yes, from various things I’ve seen in art houses, Drawing is a fundamental skill many expect, even if there is limited expectation of drawing in the position to be filled. There are multiple long and involved reasons for this but I’ll keep it short. One, drawing teaches certain skills in the way of thinking, proportion, dimension, etc… that the people involved have a measuring stick to work from, a known quantity. Two, there is a language that artists use to communicate, and drawing is part of this language so it facilitates communication. Three, the pencil/paper interface is an extremely efficient one if one has mastered it, hard to match for quick jotting of ideas in the computer space currently. All of these are temporal and therefore will probably drop in significance over time, however drawing will always in the foreseeable future perform some function in basic learning of art imo, even if it eventually moves to a computerized version for many. Some of the functions drawing provides will probably be Incorporated into other tools as they evolve but this will take time, not just for the interfaces but for the people involved who are grounded in a particular paradigm. Change like that usually doesn’t happen in a given generation, it usually takes succeeding generations to move to new paradigms as they don’t have quite as much invested in the old one.

None of this matters as much if one is an independent artist as the final product, and the cost to get there are really all that matter for commercial viability if one isn’t trying to work within a team, particularly if one isn’t trying to join a commercial house of artists.

From what I’ve seen, it appears that a rise in independents (in any field) is often precipitated by such a fundamental shift in paradigms that make it extremely efficient to do things different then traditional methods to the point that the independents can unseat to some extent the natural stronghold the ‘old guard’ have on a given field.

On a related but side note, there is always some loss when moving to new paradigms. Some historians have suggested that human memory (and some related skills) actually declined after the invention of writing since memory dropped in significance as people were able to transfer knowledge through the written medium. There are skills one learns doing mathematics manually instead of using a calculator. Over time calculators went from being banned to being required however.

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Posted: 20 February 2013 10:03 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
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celmar - 20 February 2013 08:36 AM

bigh, I’m not sure to understand, (my English is, mmm , very very poor…)
  if you mean that beeing able to draw isn’t a totally always secure position, and artistic level isn’t also an always rags ro rich story, I agree, of course… all art history is claimed that…

I could be wrong, but what I took that to mean is that he has had that as a strong base of skills from which to draw from when creating his art.

No pun intended :p

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Posted: 20 February 2013 01:41 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
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Wow. A whole lot of fancy, high sounding stuff that I think basically misses the point.

What we’re talking about is doing art and making a living at it. When you make a living at 3D, or any other art, you are doing something FOR OTHERS. You are producing stuff that others want to look at. Very simple.

And for others to want to look at what you produce, you have to speak their language and know how to tell them a story or make them feel a certain way or react a certain way. And beyond just knowing a bunch of rules, if you’re going to be really good, you need to also have an inherent ability to generate awesome stuff that REALLY serves the purpose of evoking certain things in an audience. It’s called TALENT. An natural ability to put things together in just the right way to make a huge impact. Nobody can teach you that.

That’s why Pixar does so well, they have TALENT. That’s why Disney does so well. They know how to strike a chord in audiences and speak their language and make them feel really good and tell them stories they want to hear. That’s why great advertising firms do well, they know how to make their audiences want a product. And on and on.

Few people can do that. Very few. You can have every skill, know how to operate every piece of software on the planet, but fail miserably at telling a story or evoking emotions in your audience.

But a concept like that is very difficult for most hobbyists to comprehend. Many hobbyists, including many here, don’t think in terms of others with what they produce, they do it for their own satisfaction. They have absolutely no concept of what it takes to evoke certain emotions in an audience, or tell a story that will have impact. Nor do they even care about any of that. 

That’s one reason why it is so difficult for the average hobbyist who downloads some free software and calls himself an artist to actually cross that bridge to becoming a great, or even good, commercial artist.

But nobody wants to hear that, so I’m sure I’ll get trounced once again.

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Posted: 20 February 2013 02:07 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
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Some valid points. I agree making what one is producing relevant to the audience is key to producing something that is marketable. Van Gogh’s work was not relevant to his audience, thus his lack of marketability. His vision was one that wasn’t appreciated till a later audience who could appreciate it came along, by then.. he was dead. So yes, there is a difference between creating something and making a living at it there for starters. As for nobody being able to teach one that, I have to disagree on that. The real issue often is that the thing that draws someone to art is often not in line with what makes something relevant market wise. Without specifically dealing with those issues, one probably won’t succeed in the marketplace.

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Posted: 20 February 2013 02:07 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
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Gedd - 20 February 2013 09:51 AM

Three, the pencil/paper interface is an extremely efficient one if one has mastered it, hard to match for quick jotting of ideas in the computer space currently. All of these are temporal and therefore will probably drop in significance over time, however drawing will always in the foreseeable future perform some function in basic learning of art imo, even if it eventually moves to a computerized version for many. Some of the functions drawing provides will probably be Incorporated into other tools as they evolve but this will take time, not just for the interfaces but for the people involved who are grounded in a particular paradigm. Change like that usually doesn’t happen in a given generation, it usually takes succeeding generations to move to new paradigms as they don’t have quite as much invested in the old one.

Dude, Check This Out!!!!
Select whatever you want to watch later… but for now, pick “The Daily Dose” playlist from the right side of the page and watch some of these! This is Project Dogwaffle! We sell it at Daz3d Right HERE! and some of those videos are taken using the $5 software on the Daz page! I know this has very little to do with the OP, except that it totally expands the horizon to what can be done. One of the developers is an avid Carrara user.  I find it amazing how well a person can oil paint right on the computer with this. The more Dialy Doses you watch, the more you discover about what can be done with it. The other developer does really nice hand-drawn comics - even animated cartoons, as you’ll see if you watch a few of them.
I just pulled out my nearly unused Wacom Graphics tablet today to make sure I could still find it - so I have it when my new software arrives! (waiting on some cash!)

Several local television stations around here are looking for people talented in the field of 3d digital graphics and animation. Also web page studios. Miles from here (but thousands of miles closer than a few years ago) there are satellite studios of major game companies hiring as well. Look slightly in another direction and you can find work for advertising agencies. Of course I’m not an expert in the field, so please, take my words for the nothing that they’re worth. wink

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Posted: 20 February 2013 02:22 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]
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Or you can use the free MyPaint, if you’re a sketcher with a tablet but not yet ready to invest in something like DogWaffle.  (I mostly use the GIMP, but something like one of these really is better if you like to oil paint or pencil sketch on the computer.)  There are ways in which a tablet stylus is infinitely more versatile than a pencil even if it doesn’t have the traditional feel.  True, pencils are much cheaper, but a decent tablet is easier to get and cheaper than ever before, and a beautiful picture doesn’t have to be ruined by eraser smudges because you were feeling your way toward a concept (we’ve all done that at some point, surely).

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Posted: 20 February 2013 02:26 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]
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SickleYield - 20 February 2013 02:22 PM

Or you can use the free MyPaint, if you’re a sketcher with a tablet but not yet ready to invest in something like DogWaffle.  (I mostly use the GIMP, but something like one of these really is better if you like to oil paint or pencil sketch on the computer.)  There are ways in which a tablet stylus is infinitely more versatile than a pencil even if it doesn’t have the traditional feel.  True, pencils are much cheaper, but a decent tablet is easier to get and cheaper than ever before, and a beautiful picture doesn’t have to be ruined by eraser smudges because you were feeling your way toward a concept (we’ve all done that at some point, surely).

That’s one thing that I find quite unique in any of the Dogwaffles - you can do eraser smudges with the stylus eraser! SickleYield, thanks for the link!
I like Gimp too.

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Posted: 20 February 2013 04:24 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]
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celmar - 20 February 2013 08:36 AM

bigh, I’m not sure to understand, (my English is, mmm , very very poor…)
  if you mean that beeing able to draw isn’t a totally always secure position, and artistic level isn’t also an always rags ro rich story, I agree, of course… all art history is claimed that…

if you want to see what I do ( don’t have 25 years before ) - first page has link to two videos -

http://www.daz3d.com/forums/viewthread/212/

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Posted: 20 February 2013 04:29 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]
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He does awesome stuff huh! I like his thread in the animations forum, too! Frickin’ great artist!

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Posted: 20 February 2013 04:47 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]
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A perfect example…

For anyone who has followed this forum for any amount of time, answer this question:

How often have there been threads where the folks here have discussed how best to design their images/animations to have a maximum impact on viewers? Or how to convey a particular feeling or emotion? Or how best to tell a story?

Answer: NEVER

On the other hand, how many times have there been discussions of software? Usually a “my software is better than your software”, like one that’s going on right now. Or a “how do I make this happen with software”?

Answer: Every freakin’ day.

Most hobbyists like to play with software, plain and simple. So if any hobbyist is truly considering getting paid for their work, they need to have a complete change in mindset if they are to succeed.

And that doesn’t mean spending hours and days finding that perfect GI setting so you can produce what looks like a photograph of a kitchen table. Because in the real world, show that to an average person and they’ll say “Great. A photo of a kitchen table. So what?”, and toss it on the floor.

Instead, as Celmar suggests, learn how to communicate beautiful concepts to viewers with the simplest and most elegant brushstrokes.

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Posted: 20 February 2013 05:38 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]
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JoeMamma2000 - 20 February 2013 04:47 PM

A perfect example…

Good point. Most questions asked are software related. While it is very important for us to share our experiences with “how we achieve as particular effect” and “how to use a specific tool” etc., It would certainly be refreshing to stumble upon some “Emotion and Movements of Art” discussions. It seems that when such subjects are brought up, as rare as that is, they quickly turn to the use of software.
I’ve been involved in some such discussions which are mostly lost to deleted PM discussions. I get a lot of personal messages here, and my friends and I discuss everything under the sun - even stuff that may seem to others to have no point whatsoever other than to have a conversation. Thank goodness most people are patient - as I have plenty going on away from the digital universe. I’m really active here right now, but I’ll often times just drop off the face of the internet for months.

Art is heavily embedded into the family I grew up with. I’ve made it very open to my children - who I’ve adopted - but they certainly are not bitten with the same bug as I have been. My baby Sister conducts group classes teaching folks how to use the left side of their brain for art. She is amazingly effective at teaching people who have apparently no talent at all, to being able to paint a decent portrait of their spouse or pet, a still life, etc., We all sing and play some sort of instrument - and we are all artists. It’s like… built in.

Such a childhood certainly gives a person an advantage towards looking for a career in art, I’d imagine, compared to those who would need to learn concept of art as an adult. But humans all have a fascinating ability to switch modes - if the ambition is there - with extreme success. But such situations are rare as people often follow patterns of what others around them are doing. I grew up in the middle of a forested wildlife preserve - away from society - so I have a more difficult time in the pace of a big city.

Ooops. Off on a tangent again. Do I hit submit or back? Oh well, here goes…

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Posted: 20 February 2013 05:49 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 27 ]
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Dartanbeck - 20 February 2013 05:38 PM

It would certainly be refreshing to stumble upon some “Emotion and Movements of Art” discussions. It seems that when such subjects are brought up, as rare as that is, they quickly turn to the use of software….

You won’t see those discussions. Guaranteed. Well, unless someone decides they want to prove me wrong and starts one…

People here don’t care about that stuff. They just don’t. Not a bad thing, just the way it is. And there’s no need for anyone to try to prove they’re NOT that way if indeed they are. Accept it and move on.

I’ve tried 345,463 times in this forum to steer discussions away from “how do I do this with software” and towards using artistic skills and learning instead of dragging and dropping, but all I’ve ever gotten was anger. It’s just not what people are interested in.

Typically those discussions end up with something like “Well I/he/she thinks it’s awesome, and that’s all that matters”. Not real conducive to discussing how your work affects viewers.

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Posted: 20 February 2013 07:13 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 28 ]
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Seems like many here just care about how soon DAZ will do whatever they want them to do with Carrara.

For the original poster, getting into the VFX/CG/Animation biz is getting as bad as getting into radio which has been my main livelihood since 1972. Radio is imploding right now with the big companies letting more and more people go and slashing salaries. They grew too big and incurred billions in debt for all the consolidation that went on since 1996 (not all companies but a couple of the big ones) and the advertising revenue isn’t big enough to save them. The biggest overhead at radio stations is people. Sounds like it’s almost the same at the VFX companies. Rhythm & Hues filed for bankruptcy and cut loose a ton of folks who won’t be getting a last check as well. And they are up for Oscars!!

This podcast explains things about the biz many don’t know. Joe, throw in your two cents here, but you already setup the groundwork for this earlier in the thread. This is an interview with Scott Ross who “had a hand” in ILM and Digital Domain.

http://www.fxguide.com/fxpodcasts/checking_in_with_scott_ross/

Sounds like if you want to make any money in the CG biz, you better create some IP - Intellectual Property - something you can copyright and trademark and own. So best to learn how not to treat this as a hobby and do what Joe suggests.

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Posted: 21 February 2013 01:27 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 29 ]
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Can I jump in and ask what if I love making 3D models, I make renders non stop almost everyday take time off every now and then I find this fun, how hard would it be to make 7200 a year selling renders and models? What would be the best way to go about doing it, and yes I skimmed through reading some things, but I have been wanting to ask this for a while, I figure I should just ask here instead of somewhere else. Also do you think it would possible to make more then that a year. Sorry for bugging anyone oh oh

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Posted: 21 February 2013 01:37 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 30 ]
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The_Grimreaper - 21 February 2013 01:27 PM

Can I jump in and ask what if I love making 3D models, I make renders non stop almost everyday take time off every now and then I find this fun, how hard would it be to make 7200 a year selling renders and models? What would be the best way to go about doing it, and yes I skimmed through reading some things, but I have been wanting to ask this for a while, I figure I should just ask here instead of somewhere else. Also do you think it would possible to make more then that a year. Sorry for bugging anyone oh oh

Easier with models than renders.  Rendering you’re competing with every artist out there who does the same, and only the top 5 or 10% will make a living at it.  Selling models you instead have those people as customers, since some of them don’t model.  This is not advice you need if you’re already in joelgecko and mattymanx’s league, of course. wink


If you want to sell your models, you need to choose a platform (plain objs, fbx files for Maya, DS props, poser props, carrara, etc.) and find out what you need to do as workup for that platform.  It’s a little different for each one, and there are people who do more than one (such as VanishingPoint over at Rendo).  Once you’ve chosen a platform and gotten proficient at workup for it, start offering to markets and see if your work sells and what feedback you get. 


Your renders are still very important because they are what sells your mesh product, and the better those renders are in the chosen platform, the more product you will sell.

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