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Question about 3d art as a profession

Posted: May 11, 2011
I've been doing some research on different schools and courses that offer a variety of 3d animation programs, and one thing that keeps popping up in my mind is: is this necessary?

What I mean is, when it comes time to look for a job in the 3d world, are the companies hiring artists going to care weather or not you have a degree in the field, or is it something that your body of work does the talking for you?

Like.. lets say that artist A went to school and got a bachelors degree in 3d animation, made a couple good short films in school and is applying for a job. Meanwhile artist B spent that same 4 years animating his fingers off on dozens of projects. Generally speaking, both animators are at the same skill level, except one has a degree, and the other has more experience. Which one is the more desirable candidate?
Posted: May 11, 2011
Well... It depends. But generally I think that in this profession skills are important as much as experience. I think that experience is most important in animation where there is much troubleshooting and optimisation. You have to resolve software problems which sometimes have no sense, find a way to shorten render time for all those frames and achieve great results with less work. That's just things you cannot learn. You have to experience it Smile Sometimes I feel it's like a big research. Finding solutions to do something easier way than other animators do gives much satisfaction Smile
I don't know if this is straight answer for your question but that's just what I think.
Posted: May 11, 2011
no, I think thats a pretty good answer. I started doing some 3d stuff a few weeks back, and turns out I like it. I'm thinking about going to school for it, but the problem is that I dont know if I really want to do it as a profession, or if I would rather do it on my own time, working on my own projects. I think going to school necessitates that I pursue it as a career, and I think that might get in the way of my animating goals.

I looked at a few course syllabus's for 3d art, and honestly, I wasn't impressed. maybe it was the schools I was looking at, but it looked like it would be 2 years before I even opened up a 3d program. and seeing some of the work from previous students, I just wasn't that impressed (which at my skill level, I'm not hard to impress). Meanwhile I've seen some independent film makers and animators doing some pretty amazing things, and a lot of them will tell you that they didn't go to school for what they are doing, they just picked it up one day and read the manual. Their creativity did the rest.

anyway, that's my rant.
Posted: May 12, 2011
I recently graduated from a 4 year school. There were some ups and downs while attending, but overall I am pleased with what I have learned. The biggest thing I learned which I find to be really important is working in a team, game or cinematic. Though not in the industry yet I find that all the things I learned traditional to digital was very important, I don't think I could of done it solo. Not sure that helps you but just sharing.
Posted: May 13, 2011
I think that experience is the most important animation where many troubleshooting and optimization. You have to solve software problems, and sometimes meaningless, find a way to reduce the rendering time for all of these frames to achieve significant results with less work.
Posted: May 13, 2011
In this industry a paper is of little importance than talent/skill.Most of people who to expensive animation schools their go there to gain skills not the name degree.To answer your question,I will give an example of two people one with a degree and other with nothing and then pixar gives them a project and it happens that the guy with no papers was far better than a degree guy who will pixar pick?.Animation is all about talent and skill.Hope you get my point.
Posted: May 22, 2011
I agree with what is being said here as well. I think most industries that involve creativity rely more on people's skills then there actual experience. Experience is something that anyone can gain over time. I would say if your work is exceptional, then it will do the talking for you. If it's just average, and your applying for a general position. It might depend more on a degree and how versatile your skills are for the position needed. But on the other hand if your really talented, then school will do nothing but help your skills. I totally understand your feeling though, Sometimes when you do something for a career you find out the passion wasn't really in your career, it was in your creativity and its really the expression that you enjoy and not just doing any kind of work in that field. So Good Luck with your decision and most importantly enjoy what you do.
Posted: July 23, 2011
I think everyone came to a consensus: the quality of your work supersedes formal education.

That said, consider pursuing a degree that is versatile, yet loosely related to your interest in animation. For example, if you had an IT degree and was proficient in animation, you could supplement your projects with valuable troubleshooting skills.

Consider that many people in the 3D design business don't have degrees that relate to their job, rather, their passion and willingness to learn it on their own time gave them the ability to produce quality work.
Posted: August 06, 2011
In 3d industries it doesn't really matter whether you got a degree or not. if you are good enough you will get hired. if you suck you won't get it even if you got a phd in computer graphics.. If I were you, I would just start your own 3d business right away. there are so many ways to earn money with 3d models. if you want to make some money with your personal 3d work. try these sites below.

turbosquid or cgworld
Posted: August 09, 2011
Good and excellent post! Thanks for sharing.
Posted: October 17, 2011
My classmate, with the formation of a programmer (not being those:)) is now a very successful artist in 2D and 3D graphics. He was just always fascinated by this much. Although, once the diploma is not hurt, but only help for a job.
Posted: November 11, 2011
It all depends in the person, I graduated couple years ago and I have my degree. I did 1 internship and worked in 2 studios and none of em ask me for my degree. I think in school you would learn faster just because is not the same to learn alone than to have lot of ppl that can help you, however a reel that said "student reel" and a reel that said "personal work" is the same in a company eyes if the skill level is the same, they both have experience in a way, but if this experience come from a good studio instead of years of practice then the chances increase. At the end you would need work experience to continue this as a career anyways. bottom line is you dont need school if you can compare and pull of the same thing a good profecional can.
Posted: December 04, 2011
I agree school is only for those who can't learn on their own. In my honest opinion it is a waste of money because I am a self taught learner.