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Am I an expert?

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Lukes3D triangle

Alot of job descriptions list that they are looking for "experts", which if you know anything about 3D, is alot to ask for.

It seems like in order to get any job in 3D you have to be comfortable with calling yourself an expert. Even jobs with intermediate or average pay sometimes list experts or "superstars" for 22-40 an hour.

Here is my Demo Reel



I like to call myself a 3D Generalist, that's expert enough to get most jobs done. If I don't know the answer to something, I will look it up online until I do.


  • YairMorr
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    YairMorr polygon

    Hi @Lukes3D, expert does not mean generalist. An expert is someone who has lots of experience and can deliver high end results. A generalist, in my opinion, is someone who has a wide understanding in lots of different areas, but is not necessarily experienced in all of them.

    Looking up answers online is something everyone does. Experts are expected to have lots of answers already because they have already ran into lots of issues in the past.

    As for your main question - in my opinion you are not yet an expert. This is of course my opinion only, and should be considered accordingly. I'm not sure if the work in your reel is professional or work created for your portfolio either. It looks like the latter, because there's no mention of studios or any breakdown at all. So if you don't show any professional experience, you're not an expert.

    Of course this doesn't mean you can't be one - with proper training, experience and hard work.

  • Vexod14
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    Vexod14 polycounter

    I'm not sure if that could be misunderstood, but having the stamp of a studio on a render, doesn't make the render professional or good, nor it proves you're an expert. This for multiple reasons (quality standards of said studio, who contributed in addition to you...etc), but my point here is that you can still make professional work on your own time, without the "studio" validation, and be an expert because you've faced then solved multiple problems to achieve your own goals. Well, that's just my two cents on this ^^

  • Joopson
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    Joopson quad damage

    Expert is one of those meaningless buzzwords; it's a shifting goalpost too, because it goes along with that old saying, "The more you know, the more you realize you don't know"— at the same time, I think "expert" is just used as a stand-in for "Do you know what you're doing, and do you have the skillset to do the job in question?". And I think that's a far more answerable question.

    That said, I think your work looks good, but I'm not truthfully sure how to evaluate a generalist! I'm not sure what skills are expected professionally for such jobs, etc.

    I'd say you seem like your expertise has enough breadth, but not yet enough depth. It might do you good to focus on leveling up a specific skill, then moving onto another, etc, so you aren't spreading yourself too thin. For instance, rigging, or character/creature animation, or dynamics. Really look at what differentiates your work from the work you see in animated films, or special effects, etc.

    But then, it also depends what you're aiming for, job wise.

  • Fl0tto

    Yes start calling yourself an expert even if you wouldn't consider yourself one. There's nothing that it takes to be an expert other than a minimum level of (subjective) quality in your work.

    You just need to learn to sell yourself.

    Maybe that's just me but saying "If I don't know the answer to something, I will look it up online until I do." is IMO already deducting from your percieved expertise (or competence) just because of the wording.

  • Lukes3D
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    Lukes3D triangle

    I believe finding the answer to something is a skill in itself. It's especially important for freelancers since they usually have to work alone.

    Sometimes in order to find the solution, you have to look up answers that is not directly related to your problem. If none exist, then create a post on a forum/reddit that explains what you are trying to do. You may only get 1 or 2 replies from volunteers before they stop responding, so hopefully you've done a well enough job.

  • Fl0tto

    I completely agree, i specifically meant the way you worded it. "look something up online" doesn't make it sound like a skill. Compare that to something like "If i ever don't know the answer to sth i have the skills to research it until i do"

    Maybe that's totally subjective but with recruiters the image you present of yourself by painting a picture with words is usually worth more than the actual content of what you're saying.

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