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Recent 3D Art Graduate - Career Advice/Guidance Wanted

Hey everyone, it's been like a year since I posted. I’ll try to keep the introduction short. I am sorry for the long read below, just a scared young adult. Title explains the current situation. 3 months out of a university with a Bachelors in Computer Game Design in the states. Struggling to find employment, job applications are starting to get in the 40+ range.

As a recent graduate things are daunting. I am sure many others feel and have felt this way and it's not necessarily unique. Though one thing is, I feel my years at university didn’t prepare me for borderline anything real world as I had thought they would. I wasn’t really taught any industry standard tools such as Maya, Substance or Zbrush or any techniques really. In addition the program was not really funded or prepared for the game industry either. Almost all of my peers who came from the same program share the sentiment with me which validates to me that it was not a solo/out of ordinary experience.

We were taught the absolute basics of 3DS Max and I mean so tip of the iceberg we actually weren’t even taught how to render out things in our scene, only textured in photoshop, only learned how to biped rig, hell, I didn’t even know what the sculpting to retopo pipeline was until I was a senior, and it wasn’t ever taught there I learned it outside of university. Essentially I wasn’t taught enough to use it in a very professional capacity. Seeing how poor quality the program actually was and how very little up to date tutorials there were on the internet for 3DS Max, this made me abandon the software my junior year and I forced myself to learn blender which I don’t regret. Ever since then the quality of my work has objectively gone up and I’ve actually grown to love blender as a 3D program, but I know even now my artwork is still not good enough and not game industry standard. And I feel that blender isn’t really accepted in the industry either.

I practice everyday to get better, but to get to the point of the post I wanted to ask some questions and just see if anybody who's been in these shoes could provide any guidance. 

I feel I am fighting an uphill battle when it comes to trying to secure a job within this career path as It feels like I am so behind my peers. I have been so scared of job security that I started branching out into things like 3D arch viz and other forms of 3D modeling in hopes of securing a job but I think my true passion lies within the creation of game assets like characters.

  1.  Is having a variety of work (Character/prop/environment) seen as a strength or as a weakness because someone spreads themselves too thin and doesn’t have a major focus? I’m confused by this cause I get varying responses, I’m afraid of pigeon-holing myself but also need to know if I need to pick one sub section of 3D and just do that type of work for the best chance of work.
  2. If the answer to 1 is “yes pick a single sub section focus” then from an objective standpoint would characters be the hardest sub category of 3D? I like it a lot but I am nowhere near my peers I feel. I believe this because it's probably one of the more competitive categories and requires additional technical knowledge (anatomy, re-topo/rigging) to really excel? I could always transition later in a career, for now I’m really looking for a foot in the door. I think Arc Viz is actually quite fun and more niche. I just can't seem to find any postings for it. So I would love some insight here.
  3. Should I learn software like Maya and Zbrush instead of worrying about working in blender? I’ve recently had the fortune to be able to use both, just today I got access to maya which kinda influenced this post. I see maya on almost every posting and I know it is a very common tool in industry. I’m much more comfortable in blender and think I could make better work for my portfolio currently but I’m wondering if these would give me more opportunity if instead I tried to self teach.

If I write anymore I doubt people would read it, so I’ll try and just leave this here. I know that as an artist I will grow as the years go on. I have a lot of learning to do and will continue to do so throughout my life. I hope this doesn't come across as just jaded complaining, despite the negative tone of this, I am quite hopeful. I love 3D, it's challenging and makes me happy. I want to excel in this field and hope that will resonate with someone. I appreciate anyone who took the time to read this and would appreciate any guidance people have to offer. Thank you

If anyone cares my portfolio will be : https://www.artstation.com/sethusher

Currently shooting for an internship with riot so there is some league stuff coming in, it's a longshot but I won’t know unless I try.


  • carvuliero
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    carvuliero quad damage

    Tools are not that important what you do with them is so if you like blender keep using it it .My suggestion is to learn basics of the other program in case anyone ask for different file format you can easily prepare a scene

    That's kind of normal for first portfolio straight out of uni to have bunch of unrelated stuff bunch together and yes focus portfolio will give you better chances but that doesn't mean that you can't find job with what you have as its not that bad maybe only barbarian is

    Let me guess you hit all the big studios got rejected and now what ? try some local small studio or architect if you like artviz see what they have to say

  • poopipe
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    poopipe veteran polycounter

    1:. Concentrate on one thing.

    2: there are less character artists and the entry bar is higher compared to env/prop art. It's more work but if you really like doing it the other areas probably won't make you happy

    3: doesn't really matter what you use if you make good stuff

  • chien
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    chien polycounter lvl 11

    don't care what anyone mention and network even if after graduate, be ready to forget any previous stuffs because things always changing, sorry my english bad

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