What problems do new 3d artists from India face while applying for jobs.

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seigearts triangle
Hello,
A bit about myself :
Though I am an engineering student I started learning general 3d art as an hobby....i did look into both technical and artistic aspects and found myself indulging in 3d character art mostly ( love it).....so I have decided to learn it seriously and pursue it further down the line........

Coming back to topic.....in an youtube interview video by flippednormals ( interview with a recruiter )......they spoke about how hard it is for indian nationals and people from many such countries other than Usa and Canada to get jobs in these countries due to visa issues.

Is this true?.......some points i would like to hear on from you guys would be-
Discrimination against indian nationals (if any)
Hardships we could face. ( Finding jobs or socially )
If you know any indian artists around you.

I plan to learn character art + environment art for next 2 years, then get a job in my country ( hopefully) for experience, then apply for jobs in studios that match my tastes ( semi-realistic to realistic fantasy style -- kinda like blizzard)........Does this sound real?

 I am aware of the facts that indian artists are selling themselves kinda too short as freelancers as well as on jobs in India.
Nevertheless I cant see myself working in same place for my entire life and that too with not much competition to improve myself.
People seem to worry more about money then actually working to get soemething done in my current environment.

Thank for reading.....would appreciate a feedback

Replies

  • Udjani
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    Udjani polycounter lvl 2
    Maybe just raw 3d art is not your best bet, a lot of 3d tasks are being outsourced to india and china so there would not bee much need for them to fly someone from one of those country with that skill because they want good artist there too. Maybe if you would go more towards a design concept you would stand a chance.

    (Not pro here), but i have been reading and hearing a lot about this subject, and they all seems to be saying the same thing. Repetitive task > outsourcing and automation. 

  • seigearts
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    seigearts triangle
    @EarthQuake Thank you for the eye opener.......

    Though I still believe i will be going after artistic aspect while learning designing skills along the way.......
    I will thrive to become as good as those artstation portfolios you mentioned. I know it will be near to impossible but still, I'll give it my all.

    As for the visa i don't think i can afford the time or the money to waste on pursuing a art degrees here in India, considering the fact that there are literally zero good universities or any CG related institutions( no offense ) and, studying abroad would be way too expensive (I would rather buy a CGMA subscription or something).
    Nevertheless I will be joining a 1 year game art course to surround  myself with like minded people and create a social network and, let my work and experience do the talking.
  • EarthQuake
    seigearts said:
    @EarthQuake Thank you for the eye opener.......

    Though I still believe i will be going after artistic aspect while learning designing skills along the way.......
    I will thrive to become as good as those artstation portfolios you mentioned. I know it will be near to impossible but still, I'll give it my all.

    As for the visa i don't think i can afford the time or the money to waste on pursuing a art degrees here in India, considering the fact that there are literally zero good universities or any CG related institutions( no offense ) and, studying abroad would be way too expensive (I would rather buy a CGMA subscription or something).
    Nevertheless I will be joining a 1 year game art course to surround  myself with like minded people and create a social network and, let my work and experience do the talking.
    You could consider a traditional art degree rather than a game art specific degree in that case. A traditional art background will likely suit you better in the long term anyway. Most game art specific courses do not really prepare you for a career as an artist, they just show you where the buttons are in the software and make sure you know the bare minimum of technique - something you can easily learn on your own.

    Again, if you're looking to get a visa in the US (or any European country) having a relevant degree may be a necessity. You say you don't have time, but the alternative is working 8-12 years before you would qualify, and that's assuming you can get work locally without education (I don't know how difficult that is).

    If you want to work freelance and stay in India, a degree is (likely) not so important, but then you're going to be competing against low paid Indian outsourcers and it may be difficult for you to make a name for yourself that way. It comes back to producing world class art - if you can do that, you can promote yourself on ArtStation, social media, etc, and likely secure contracts and get some work experience.

    It's a difficult route either way, but if you stick with it and grind it can be done.
  • PixelMasher
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    PixelMasher insane polycounter
    There are a couple routes you could go here.

    I agree with @EarthQuake , if you want a hope of getting a US/Canada visa, then an actual degree is going to be essential. it might be annoying and seem like a waste of 4 years if you feel you can teach yourself online, but them's be the breaks. I am a big fan of knowing the rules of the matrix and playing within it and leveraging it to your own advantage. The hard truth is if you want to leave India to work abroad, a degree is going to be a major part of the equation. does it suck and seem unfair compared to other countries? absolutely, but the sooner you move past that and just get started on it, the better.

    If you can do a degree in something related to art or digital business etc you are going to be making yourself more valueable, and in your spare time go hard on the game art side of things, it will probably take you 4 years to get good enough to break into the industry anyways. it took me 6. 

    Option 2 would be to just study online resources and spend a majority of your free time making game art, highly focused and get your skills to a level (again, probably at least 2-4 years of hard work) to an employable level and then get a job at a studio in India, here is a massive list of them, so it's not like there isn't opportunity in your home country. will it pay as well as working in the states? nope, but I would imagine given the lower cost of living in India, you would be able to do something you enjoy and live a decent lifestyle. and as you get more experience it can help open doors to international work, or more freelance opportunity for yourself on the side.

    as for your plan, I would say focus on either characters or environments, not both. trying to get good at both as someone with little experience will only slow you down and leave you unskilled at both. figure out which one you enjoy and then get focused and pump out work like crazy, and your skillset should improve with each project. 

    If you want to increase your chances of freelancing or getting some form of online income, I would say you need to learn a bit about building an audience and social media marketing for artists. Bare minimum you need to have an artstation and instagram, and spend time building those with high quality content, documenting your progress and journey as an artist. having a high level of visibility online only creates more opportunity for yourself. I would say something like 20% of your time learning could be focused on that stuff, and the other 80% should be spent making as much art as you can. You have to become an amazing artist, but if no one knows about you or they don't see your art, it will be hard to get work.

    Whichever route you take, it is going to be hard, but I can tell you from experience I have worked with people from India, egypt, lybia, syria, africa etc in studios in montreal and vancouver. people from countries where the odds can seem stacked against them, and they accomplished their goals, so it can become a reality. If one person did it, chances are another can. The most important part is to just get started and know you are signing yourself up for a multi-year journey. 
  • seigearts
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    seigearts triangle
    @PixelMasher @EarthQuake Thank you very much for going out of your ways to write these detailed comments.....really appreciate it.

    Route#1 seems to be the better option after a bit of research, guess I will join a masters degree programme for fine arts or design (1 year to go)  and use that time to improve myself as an artist as well as a person.......will somehow bear the fact of being a 25 year old by the time i graduate.

    About environment and character art.......seems like I am more inclined towards 3d character art....I was just keeping myself open to other options in the start to find out what piques my interests.

    Thanks again, hope i will be growing alongside this great community over the upcoming years.
  • EarthQuake
    seigearts said:
    @PixelMasher @EarthQuake Thank you very much for going out of your ways to write these detailed comments.....really appreciate it.

    Route#1 seems to be the better option after a bit of research, guess I will join a masters degree programme for fine arts or design (1 year to go)  and use that time to improve myself as an artist as well as a person.......will somehow bear the fact of being a 25 year old by the time i graduate.

    About environment and character art.......seems like I am more inclined towards 3d character art....I was just keeping myself open to other options in the start to find out what piques my interests.

    Thanks again, hope i will be growing alongside this great community over the upcoming years.
    If you want to focus on character art, getting a traditional art degree would be a very good idea. Life drawing, painting, anatomy, sculpture, these are the things that will really help you get good at character art. It's possible to start from scratch and jump into zbrush and get good eventually, but having that traditional background will make it a lot easier & make you a much more well rounded artists.

    One word of caution for character art though. Character art positions tend to have extremely high levels of competition. There are rarely entry level character art positions, so it's reasonable to expect that you'll need an above average, professional-level portfolio before you get your first job doing character art. If you think about it, games usually have a limited amount of character models. These assets usually make up less than 10% of the game, while the environment / prop artists and level designers construct the other 90%. Character artists are generally viewed as the "rockstars" of the team. Everyone wants to do characters, but there is only so much work to go around, and most studios have established character artists already. It's the toughest art position to break into. That's not to say it's impossible, you just have to be ready to go at it and give 200% effort to get there.

    With environment/prop art, getting an entry level position is usually easier. There is more work to be done and generally a wider range of importance to the work, which means some of the less important assets can be given to junior artists.

    Going towards tech art is something to think about as well. Good technical artists are in high demand and limited supply, so it's easier to stand out in this field.
  • seigearts
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    seigearts triangle
    seigearts said:
    @PixelMasher @EarthQuake Thank you very much for going out of your ways to write these detailed comments.....really appreciate it.

    Route#1 seems to be the better option after a bit of research, guess I will join a masters degree programme for fine arts or design (1 year to go)  and use that time to improve myself as an artist as well as a person.......will somehow bear the fact of being a 25 year old by the time i graduate.

    About environment and character art.......seems like I am more inclined towards 3d character art....I was just keeping myself open to other options in the start to find out what piques my interests.

    Thanks again, hope i will be growing alongside this great community over the upcoming years.
    If you want to focus on character art, getting a traditional art degree would be a very good idea. Life drawing, painting, anatomy, sculpture, these are the things that will really help you get good at character art. It's possible to start from scratch and jump into zbrush and get good eventually, but having that traditional background will make it a lot easier & make you a much more well rounded artists.

    One word of caution for character art though. Character art positions tend to have extremely high levels of competition. There are rarely entry level character art positions, so it's reasonable to expect that you'll need an above average, professional-level portfolio before you get your first job doing character art. If you think about it, games usually have a limited amount of character models. These assets usually make up less than 10% of the game, while the environment / prop artists and level designers construct the other 90%. Character artists are generally viewed as the "rockstars" of the team. Everyone wants to do characters, but there is only so much work to go around, and most studios have established character artists already. It's the toughest art position to break into. That's not to say it's impossible, you just have to be ready to go at it and give 200% effort to get there.

    With environment/prop art, getting an entry level position is usually easier. There is more work to be done and generally a wider range of importance to the work, which means some of the less important assets can be given to junior artists.

    Going towards tech art is something to think about as well. Good technical artists are in high demand and limited supply, so it's easier to stand out in this field.
    Sorry for the late reply.....was having a hard time finding the degree program that i can go for.
    For now i have decided on a BVA degree program(4Y).......it is kind of a mix up of traditional art and 3d
    art fundamentals / life drawing / environment / sculpting / hard surface modeling are some of the subjects covered
    and they provide a internship at the last semester.
    fee is kind of on the high side though.
    After seeing some of the student work from this college,even though I myself know next to nothing right now,
    they do not come anywhere near professional level artists work seen on artstation. (no insult or intended)
    will attach some images just in case.
    so i'll be gauging my work quality comparing it to those on artstation or polycount.

    The thing with good traditional art courses here is.....they simply do not exist......not without breaking your pocket hard at least. So they won't help either.
    art schools are kinda looked down upon here (or rather art in general)....no wonder as we produce a major portion of engineer population.

    Do you think that internship might help with breaking through as a character artist?
    I read some posts where people were talking about first breaking in as a environment or prop artist then 
    getting into character art eventually.

    work from students of AID Bangalore as seen on their website.

  • NikhilR
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    NikhilR greentooth
       I was from India, you really ought to consider your options with getting permanent residence in the west before you do a program and depend on a company to hire you.

      While this site does tend to stress on the importance of a portfolio in getting work, there are several factors that influence that from the hiring market to even arrangements game companies have with the government/local game dev schools for grants that influence their hiring processes.

      For example in Ontario, Canada the grant arrangement forces a game company to hiring from local talent prioritising visible minorities, so when you become a permanent resident you may have a better shot at securing a work opportunity than otherwise.

      Also companies can prioritise hiring from local schools, they also poach talent from other companies so who you know does matter.

      However as an artist you should still keep pushing your skill for yourself. 

      Largely speaking regardless of how much you want to get a dream job/studio the working conditions in video games really does leave a lot to be desired especially compared to IT (fair comparison given the investment and revenues)

      Like the game industry is more preunion entertainment industry think hollywood/disney 2D animation prior to unionisation so there are a lot of problems with regards to longevity, overtime, sycophancy, favoriitism, politics, sexual harassment .etc.

      The IT industry isn't unionised, but for some reason their practices/compensation/longevity are better. Not sure why this is.


    One word of caution for character art though. Character art positions tend to have extremely high levels of competition. There are rarely entry level character art positions, so it's reasonable to expect that you'll need an above average, professional-level portfolio before you get your first job doing character art. If you think about it, games usually have a limited amount of character models. These assets usually make up less than 10% of the game, while the environment / prop artists and level designers construct the other 90%. Character artists are generally viewed as the "rockstars" of the team. Everyone wants to do characters, but there is only so much work to go around, and most studios have established character artists already. It's the toughest art position to break into. That's not to say it's impossible, you just have to be ready to go at it and give 200% effort to get there.


    In my experience, usually there is a character team with the character work divided among people, not all of them good at every aspect of the pipeline.  

    So you can be a "character artist" and work on a characters boots for the rest of your career and still call yourself a character artist professionally.

    Its only in freelance that I've had to do every single aspect of the pipeline, true some companies may have like 4 character artists working the whole year making every single character in the game and I hope they are well compensated and not being burned the hell out, but honestly it really comes down to management.

    One thing I know is a lot of the character art pipeline is outsourced, which is why there is less work to go around, but they're probably looking at what's best for the companies budget, not what's best for the internal teams. Like the amount spent on actual game development pales in comparison to the sheer amount spent on marketing a game.

    And in many cases there is a horrible disconnect between what is actually needed and what they think they want, and how they advertise what they think they need.
    My last interview I was told I didn't get the position since I didn't have enough experience for an internship even though there was no such requirement mentioned in the job listing.
     It gives the impression that they wanted a very skilled artist at a low price point and screams unprofessionalism which is startling for a major AAA company.

    The top tier rockstar, ninja, samurai seems like a delusion to me, atleast comparing across the board. Like true there are some really skilled artists and most of the them are freelancers because their companies just wouldn't give them the responsibility/compensation that made the experience worth it and their talent and drive needs more opportunity that they could only provide for themselves.

    But by and large, like at the company I interviewed, if you look at their character art team, to say that they were all rockstars when they joined is just silly. So many of them don't know how to use game engines, many of them have sculpts in their portfolios and that's it. 
    It makes very little sense unless you recognise that perhaps there were other factors that had very little to do with the art that got them the job and whether the company actually knows what the hell its doing.

    A good example of a company self destructing because of this approach is the whole situation with Mass Effect Andromeda. 
    Like we tell the artists here to be top tier, but the whole game looks like it was made by students even though many of the artists were apparently top tier professionals. 
    And I don't just mean the weird animations, there are a lot of problems with the modelling side as well because of which the animations look so funky.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7KWkao73HuU&t=812s

    Its great to do what you're passionate about but important to do something about situations like this which happen primarily because of how companies budget for games and when profit is the driver.

    In that light I also recommend looking at opportunities in the east, like Japan etc. Their working philosophy is different from the american dog eat dog capitalist mindset, so maybe that might be a better fit.

    You did say you were an engineering student, how far along in the program are you? Could you share more details about the BVA degree program you're thinking of pursuing? Like the internship they provide at the end.
    The student work is fair in some aspects, though could be a good deal better, I can say you're going to have to do a lot of self study while in the program.

    The degree may help with getting a visa, though honestly I would not count on a company relocating you simply because your work is good.
    Now if you say got into a local branch of a multinational (like join Ubisoft pune) and then they relocated you for a short time thats another matter. 
    I mean once you're in the west there are other ways of securing permanent resident status.
      
  • seigearts
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    seigearts triangle
    NikhilR said:
       I was from India, you really ought to consider your options with getting permanent residence in the west before you do a program and depend on a company to hire you.

      While this site does tend to stress on the importance of a portfolio in getting work, there are several factors that influence that from the hiring market to even arrangements game companies have with the government/local game dev schools for grants that influence their hiring processes.

      For example in Ontario, Canada the grant arrangement forces a game company to hiring from local talent prioritising visible minorities, so when you become a permanent resident you may have a better shot at securing a work opportunity than otherwise.

      Also companies can prioritise hiring from local schools, they also poach talent from other companies so who you know does matter.

      However as an artist you should still keep pushing your skill for yourself. 

      Largely speaking regardless of how much you want to get a dream job/studio the working conditions in video games really does leave a lot to be desired especially compared to IT (fair comparison given the investment and revenues)

      Like the game industry is more preunion entertainment industry think hollywood/disney 2D animation prior to unionisation so there are a lot of problems with regards to longevity, overtime, sycophancy, favoriitism, politics, sexual harassment .etc.

      The IT industry isn't unionised, but for some reason their practices/compensation/longevity are better. Not sure why this is.


    One word of caution for character art though. Character art positions tend to have extremely high levels of competition. There are rarely entry level character art positions, so it's reasonable to expect that you'll need an above average, professional-level portfolio before you get your first job doing character art. If you think about it, games usually have a limited amount of character models. These assets usually make up less than 10% of the game, while the environment / prop artists and level designers construct the other 90%. Character artists are generally viewed as the "rockstars" of the team. Everyone wants to do characters, but there is only so much work to go around, and most studios have established character artists already. It's the toughest art position to break into. That's not to say it's impossible, you just have to be ready to go at it and give 200% effort to get there.


    In my experience, usually there is a character team with the character work divided among people, not all of them good at every aspect of the pipeline.  

    So you can be a "character artist" and work on a characters boots for the rest of your career and still call yourself a character artist professionally.

    Its only in freelance that I've had to do every single aspect of the pipeline, true some companies may have like 4 character artists working the whole year making every single character in the game and I hope they are well compensated and not being burned the hell out, but honestly it really comes down to management.

    One thing I know is a lot of the character art pipeline is outsourced, which is why there is less work to go around, but they're probably looking at what's best for the companies budget, not what's best for the internal teams. Like the amount spent on actual game development pales in comparison to the sheer amount spent on marketing a game.

    And in many cases there is a horrible disconnect between what is actually needed and what they think they want, and how they advertise what they think they need.
    My last interview I was told I didn't get the position since I didn't have enough experience for an internship even though there was no such requirement mentioned in the job listing.
     It gives the impression that they wanted a very skilled artist at a low price point and screams unprofessionalism which is startling for a major AAA company.

    The top tier rockstar, ninja, samurai seems like a delusion to me, atleast comparing across the board. Like true there are some really skilled artists and most of the them are freelancers because their companies just wouldn't give them the responsibility/compensation that made the experience worth it and their talent and drive needs more opportunity that they could only provide for themselves.

    But by and large, like at the company I interviewed, if you look at their character art team, to say that they were all rockstars when they joined is just silly. So many of them don't know how to use game engines, many of them have sculpts in their portfolios and that's it. 
    It makes very little sense unless you recognise that perhaps there were other factors that had very little to do with the art that got them the job and whether the company actually knows what the hell its doing.

    A good example of a company self destructing because of this approach is the whole situation with Mass Effect Andromeda. 
    Like we tell the artists here to be top tier, but the whole game looks like it was made by students even though many of the artists were apparently top tier professionals. 
    And I don't just mean the weird animations, there are a lot of problems with the modelling side as well because of which the animations look so funky.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7KWkao73HuU&t=812s

    Its great to do what you're passionate about but important to do something about situations like this which happen primarily because of how companies budget for games and when profit is the driver.

    In that light I also recommend looking at opportunities in the east, like Japan etc. Their working philosophy is different from the american dog eat dog capitalist mindset, so maybe that might be a better fit.

    You did say you were an engineering student, how far along in the program are you? Could you share more details about the BVA degree program you're thinking of pursuing? Like the internship they provide at the end.
    The student work is fair in some aspects, though could be a good deal better, I can say you're going to have to do a lot of self study while in the program.

    The degree may help with getting a visa, though honestly I would not count on a company relocating you simply because your work is good.
    Now if you say got into a local branch of a multinational (like join Ubisoft pune) and then they relocated you for a short time that's another matter. 
    I mean once you're in the west there are other ways of securing permanent resident status.
      
    I still have 1 year left to complete my engineering degree program.
    Though i am not seeing that as a fall back plan. 
    I wanna do something with 3d art + business side of things eventually.

    Rockstar, Technicolor, Xentrix Studios, MPC, Dhruva Interactive, Sumo Digital
    are some of the companies they help with internships and placements at......
    I don't know about other country's systems but here in India, even internship are supposed to be earned
    just like placements (same with the IT sector).

    I do not intend to apply in other countries right out of the school...as getting a character artist job would be a challenge in itself

    about getting a job in east....for that learning a whole different language will be on the shopping list as well i guess (just tin case), 1 hour a day for next five years should pretty much do it.(improve English and the other language )
    Heard work ethics in japan are quite tiresome......right now i can  barely invest 8-10 hours a day to learning stuff,
    maybe because i am learning anatomy?

    thanks for sharing your exp.

  • EarthQuake
    Yeah that looks like pretty typical student work.

    I think the one thing that is really important to keep in mind is that, again, a 3D art course will teach you where the buttons are in the software but won't really teach you to be an artist. If you're gonna do a course, expect that you'll need to double up your time outside of class learning on your own and getting better if you want to be at an industry standard level when you graduate. A lot of people float through these courses and then are surprised that their work isn't good enough to cut it, then need to spend a couple more years working on their portfolio before they are good enough.
  • seigearts
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    seigearts triangle
    Yeah that looks like pretty typical student work.

    I think the one thing that is really important to keep in mind is that, again, a 3D art course will teach you where the buttons are in the software but won't really teach you to be an artist. If you're gonna do a course, expect that you'll need to double up your time outside of class learning on your own and getting better if you want to be at an industry standard level when you graduate. A lot of people float through these courses and then are surprised that their work isn't good enough to cut it, then need to spend a couple more years working on their portfolio before they are good enough.
    Thanks for the advice......will keep that in mind.
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