Alright, long time lurker, first time poster so here goes:
First, a bit of context. So I have been doing this 3D thing for almost three years. I was 25 at the time, had just finished my master's degree in a totally different field and decided that if I wanted to realize my dream, that was it. This whole 3D madness started with my background in level design for old-school shooters. I wanted to take it to the next level and I always wanted to do 3D, especially environment stuff. I have no traditional art skills aside from a basic understanding of perspective. I think I am pretty decent, even if I feel more like a human printer than an artist. I even got hired as an Enviro Artist a few months ago.
Here is my folio https://www.artstation.com/fenesoctavian
But the UE5 demo came out and being really paranoid I immediately thought that the days of me being in the field are numbered and that all the really hard work I put into this would be for nothing in the end. Why hire an artist to make all those objects for you when you can just scan them? After all, a big chunk of the objects you see in games are from reality. You know, gas pumps, washing machines, cars and so on. I even read in an article that for Call of Duty:MW they scanned a whole tank! How am I supposed to compete with scanning a tank?! So not only far faster but also far better looking that what 95% of artists can do. I'm pretty good at copying objects from reality and concept art but I can't create my own stuff yet because I don't have traditional art skills. You might say that a lot of these objects are boring but I actually like working on small little objects that will comprise a bigger whole and I don't like the thought of being replace by a computer, no matter how good the results are.
You might say that stuff that doesn't exist will still need to be modeled and that is true. I don't think you can make a game like Doom Eternal with photogrammetry (or can you?). But I worry that because a lot of jobs will be done by photogrammetry, there will be a lot of competition for the remaining ones and I while I think I'm pretty decent, I'm just an intermediate 3D artist with no traditional art skills. I do want to learn these skills but they take years upon years to learn and I am exhausted after work so I don't know what to do in that regard. I'm not in high school or college anymore when I had all the time in the world.
What do you think, do I have a future in this long-term? Will game-ready models still be a thing?
Sorry for the long-winded ramble but this is really affecting me.