Getting yourself out of a rut

polycounter lvl 6
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aajohnny polycounter lvl 6
Hey,
Well the past week or two I have been in a big rut. I seem to just drop modelling projects once I see another concept I want, and it continues into a ongoing cycle. I try really hard to model complex shapes but I have problems doing so, and I look to model other things. I love modelling and video games and this is what I want to do, but I don't know how to get out of this rut, and why I am in this rut. Is this normal? and is there any advice on this situation?

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  • PixelMasher
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    PixelMasher polycounter lvl 8
    This is completley normal. It happens to me all the time and is the main reason I dont do much personal work at home after a day at work. My solution to it is to just stop forcing myself to do art for a bit, take a break from it for a week or 2 and just do other stuff, go outside, learn something else like photography/writing or go out to the pub with my buds.

    I find if I am always feeling like I have to constantly be doing 3d stuff I get super burnt out and exactly how you describe your situation, no focus and get discouraged easily. Just take some time off and enjoy life man then when you feel truely inspired go back at it.
  • Ferg
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    Ferg polycounter lvl 11
    it's essential to take breaks, some of my favorite pieces have happened after I took a week or two off making art of any kind
  • crazyfingers
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    crazyfingers polycounter lvl 7
    What do you want to do? Stop thinking of what you should want to do. Find your muse and get to it.
  • ZacD
  • frosty
    Just mix it up and check out other artists work and diversify in your mind. Admire other stuff without being stressed by it or matching up to their quality.
  • Jeff Parrott
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    Jeff Parrott polycounter lvl 12
    You're not an art machine (unless you actually are then I'm sorry your a robot) so don't get down for being human. It's natural to have a flow to things. Instead of fighting it and making bad art and not enjoying it, take a break. Watch movies, play games, paint, draw, and surf polycount is usually what I do when I get in a rut. I take a couple days or a week or two and end up finding something that really gets me interested. Maybe it's a game, movie, or some other Artist's new pimp. Either way the batteries tend to get recharged fast.

    Now if the recharging process takes weeks and months then you might be in the wrong field or have something else going on entirely.

    I would just recommend you ride it out for a bit and see where it takes you.
  • DeeKei
    Yeah, once my battery is low, I charge it up and play some FIFA 11. MAn, thats hte only thing ive been playing lately D: "Cant wait for FIFA 12"
  • System
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    System admin
    Listen to this:

    http://5by5.tv/b2w

    Great advice on how to get yourself into making stuff again. Be warned though, they frequently say that if you repeatedly find yourself in these ruts, then it may just be that game art is not for you. It might seem like it's what you want to do but is it really what 'you want' to do.

    Don't answer that. Just listen to a few episodes of that podcast and I'm sure you'll figure it out.
  • Rick_D
  • Alberto Rdrgz
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    Alberto Rdrgz polycounter lvl 7
    Yeah dood, I'm going thru this right now but it's all about how much a person can take of the same thing. Nothing to do with how much you love, that specific thing. The best thing for me is (like it's been mentioned) to get away. have a drink, a smoke, go for a walk, hang out with friends, try to forget about the current project, try to clear your head. Most thoughts linger in your head and become brain chatter, so getting away will clear that stuff. I think that most of the time it happens cuz it becomes visually fatiguing.

    also, when modeling play some relaxing music so that you can zone off and won't have to be thinking about other subjects but modeling.
  • Lazerus Reborn
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    Lazerus Reborn polycounter lvl 8
    Shit creak anit it :S

    I started a large project with a single focus to get out my rut. It's worked at anyrate.
  • haikai
    Even though it's personal work, you have to approach it as professional work. You stick with it through thick and thin and see it to the end because that's what you would be paid to do on the job. More of your gratification will come at the end when you have a finished piece rather than while you're making it. At least that's how it is for me.

    And having finished work is going to look better to employers than a series of wip models. That should be incentive enough, right? :)
  • GarageBay9
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    GarageBay9 polycounter lvl 7
    also, when modeling play some relaxing music so that you can zone off and won't have to be thinking about other subjects but modeling.

    I would recommend experimenting with lots more than just smooth jazz or other "zone out" music. Everybody that works with music seems to have their own music that clicks with them - I've worked with a guy that had a 200-disc blues collection he'd cruise to, one guy that always seemed to have AC/DC cranked up, and one crazy bastard that loved him some bagpipe music.

    I have about 50 hours of balls-to-the-wall movie scores that I listen to; I usually pick a movie and listen to the score end to end (The expanded score for Avatar is nice because it goes a full freaking FIVE HOURS, great for getting a big chunk of work done. :D). All four Pirates movies, Avatar, 13th Warrior, Hellboy, Hunt for Red October, Transformers, The Peacemaker, Gladiator, dozens of others (my collection is something like 10 gigs)... the common thread in all of them is that they aren't very quiet or calm, and there's plenty of action in the music. I find I seem to get the best and most done with that kind of music going. I've tried lots of different stuff on Pandora radio, tried some stuff my co-workers were listening to, tried some electronica and trace / techno mixes on youtube... wasn't my thing.

    Ask your local band director if soundtrack is right for you. :poly121:
  • Will Faucher
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    Will Faucher polycounter lvl 7
    I agree with soundtracks. They're the ONLY thing that gets me going when I'm at work. My friend keeps sending me trance and techno, but it just isn't my thing at all. Gladiator, Braveheart, The last samurai, The Lord of the Rings, October Sky, Avatar, Pirates, all of which have an incredible soundtrack to listen to.

    Oh, and go buy the "Two Steps from Hell" album if you like soundtracks. MOST EPIC album. EVER. Just listen to this:

    [ame]
  • GarageBay9
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    GarageBay9 polycounter lvl 7
    @Prophecies - I like! I'll need to look into that one.

    Here's some of the expanded score from Avatar. The released CD was ~45 minutes and left out all the best parts. Horner's full score was FIVE HOURS (including alternates) and had some of the best cues like the Floating Mountains and Quaritch Down... tell me this doesn't get your blood pumping (give it a second or two to get past the pickup cue):

    [ame]


    One other thing I should probably bring up is that our own industry has produced some damn fine music. Look into Jeremy Soule's scores for Total Annihilation, Morrowind, Oblivion, Prey, and especially the two (true) Dungeon Siege games, Michael Giaccino's scores for the early Medal of Honor series and then for Call of Duty, and the soundtracks from Homeworld and the first Deus Ex. There's a LOT of great game music out there... it's just a little harder to find. Here's the overture from Prey - this is a symphonic version that's slightly different than what was released with the game:

    [ame]
  • Alberto Rdrgz
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    Alberto Rdrgz polycounter lvl 7
    GarageBay9 wrote: »
    I would recommend experimenting with lots more than just smooth jazz or other "zone out" music. Everybody that works with music seems to have their own music that clicks with them - I've worked with a guy that had a 200-disc blues collection he'd cruise to, one guy that always seemed to have AC/DC cranked up, and one crazy bastard that loved him some bagpipe music.

    I have about 50 hours of balls-to-the-wall movie scores that I listen to; I usually pick a movie and listen to the score end to end (The expanded score for Avatar is nice because it goes a full freaking FIVE HOURS, great for getting a big chunk of work done. :D). All four Pirates movies, Avatar, 13th Warrior, Hellboy, Hunt for Red October, Transformers, The Peacemaker, Gladiator, dozens of others (my collection is something like 10 gigs)... the common thread in all of them is that they aren't very quiet or calm, and there's plenty of action in the music. I find I seem to get the best and most done with that kind of music going. I've tried lots of different stuff on Pandora radio, tried some stuff my co-workers were listening to, tried some electronica and trace / techno mixes on youtube... wasn't my thing.

    Ask your local band director if soundtrack is right for you. :poly121:

    yeah that's kinda what i meant... metal can be relaxing to some people. lol
  • Mcejn
    For some reason, playing games tends to help get me going.

    Besides reading polycount and zbrushcentral of course :)
  • nordahl154
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    nordahl154 polycounter lvl 7
    yeah that's kinda what i meant... metal can be relaxing to some people. lol

    I don't really find metal to be very relaxing, rather empowering and something that gets me pumped up to do whatever I need to do. However, I have fallen asleep to Slayer a few times... :poly124:

    On topic: most of my lethargy comes from the sinking feeling that I can't get something accomplished because of my lack of knowledge. Usually a tutorial video or some research gets me back up on my feet, and maybe after I take a week break and play some TF2 or guitar. Any hobby works! I find a good way to stay mentally healthy and motivated is to be physically/socially active.
  • Bibendum
  • eld
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    eld polycounter lvl 11
    Prophecies wrote: »
    Oh, and go buy the "Two Steps from Hell" album if you like soundtracks. MOST EPIC album. EVER. Just listen to this:

    Truly, super-motivational,


    [ame]
  • Mark Dygert
    What I find helps me get out of a funk is to think I'm a worthless human being with zero creative talent and that I can't do anything right. If you start to feel better you just pile it on until you feel a lot worse.

    But seriously like Ferg said you probably need to do something else for a while and come back after a break. That something else should probably be something physical and not sedentary.
  • System
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    System admin
    TeeJay wrote: »
    Listen to this:

    http://5by5.tv/b2w

    Great advice on how to get yourself into making stuff again. Be warned though, they frequently say that if you repeatedly find yourself in these ruts, then it may just be that game art is not for you. It might seem like it's what you want to do but is it really what 'you want' to do.

    Don't answer that. Just listen to a few episodes of that podcast and I'm sure you'll figure it out.

    I'm gonna quote this again. Just been re-listening to it myself and there's some really great stuff in there.

    One section I really like is where they talk about how you don't need motivation to do other stuff, so you shouldn't need it to do work if you enjoy it;

    You enjoy playing games right? You enjoy listening to music, taking a shower, whatever, yet you don't ever find yourself thinking 'man I really cannot find the motivation to play this video game', or 'taking a shower is really not working for me right now', so finding the motivation to do a job you enjoy should be no different.

    Merlin Mann says it far better than me, check it out :)
  • aajohnny
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    aajohnny polycounter lvl 6
    Thanks guys, i have to take a break, I need a game to play... none are keeping me hooked haha.
  • tharle
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    tharle polycounter lvl 6
    i usually find burn out times to be a good time to invest in some training dvds and just sit back and watch for a bit and learn some new tricks. by the time they're finished i'm enthusiastic again about trying out the cool new stuff i've learnt.
  • imyj
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    imyj polycounter lvl 6
    When you start a project, tell people around you that you're going to be working on something (Even just your friends and family). You're more likely to follow a project through if people know about it. They'll ask you how it's going, and you'll be able to show some progress no matter how little it has changed since they last saw it.

    If you find you keep losing interest in projects after doing that a few times then I'd consider taking a break ;P
  • aajohnny
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    aajohnny polycounter lvl 6
    Thats a good idea :D
  • crazyfingers
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    crazyfingers polycounter lvl 7
    aajohnny wrote: »
    Thanks guys, i have to take a break, I need a game to play... none are keeping me hooked haha.

    Terraria
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