Maya 2020 fundamentals - modelling the real world
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# 1 30-11-2005 , 03:48 PM
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 121

Careers in 3D Animation (Modeling) (Need Input)

Hey guys, I have as of late, been in conflict with my parents regarding eventually obtaining an education and career in the field of graphics/3D design. Evidently, I have a great interest in this, but my parents have a few issues. Firstly, and most importantly, due to the religion that I am in, it would be very iffy for me to be working on extremely violent video games (yes, it may sound weird to you, but oh well). They say, because of this, it would be very hard to find a career in designing games because most games are violent, and even if you worked for a team that designed sports games for example, they could always change their focus to other games. I can see that this would be true to some extent, but is it at all possible, or even easy, to obtain a job in games or movies that doesn't deal with very violent subject themes (and I'm not talking about creating explosions and such, I'm talking about creating like chainsaws that are going to massacre people and such)? Secondly, they say that the pay and job stability for these careers is not good. Is there any truth to this. Take into consideration that I don't really care if I work in the field of movies or games, but I really want to do graphic design such as what I am learning now in Maya for a career. Are there any other careers that deal with this kind of design as well?

All of your comments will be extremely appreciated, as my parents are currently really against the idea, and I'm not going to be able to afford college by myself.

Thanks so much in advance user added image

# 2 12-12-2005 , 07:45 PM
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 121
Wow. No responses. I figured that maybe one person would help me out.

Even if you could point me to a website with the information, that would be greatly appreciated.

# 3 12-12-2005 , 08:45 PM


i think although there r lots of violent games out there, theres plently of none violent stuff u can use maya for like nintendo games and pixar films and childrens tv thoose r just examples i can think off there must be plenty of other stuff .

games dont kill people users do




# 4 12-12-2005 , 09:21 PM
mtmckinley's Avatar
The Maya Mountain
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 8,245
I imagine it depends on what you deem as unnacceptable violence. Obviously, there's gory horror games (ala Resident Evil or Silent Hill) that are probably on the list, but there's also a game like... Call of Duty, a World War II game. It's not very gory at all. You don't see blood flying everywhere or arms being blown off like in Saving Private Ryan. But there is a lot of shooting people. Then there's also games like Warcraft... small armies battling it out. Very little blood, but lots of little guys whacking at each other with swords.

Then, you have Mario, Zelda, etc.... these are games considered very child-friendly, but really violence is there... stomping on Koopas or, in the case of Zelda's Link, using a sword and little bombs as weapons.

So, where would you say your threshold is?

And you're right, there is no controlling what kind of project a studio may switch to after they complete one. My studio has gone from an action RPG to a space combat RTS to an action music game to an action humor game. Nothing too extreme, in my opinion. If it's purely the horror games, the GTA types, the war games that you want to avoid, then I think you should have plenty of opportunities. But if even the violence of Zelda is too much, you might have to limit yourself to studios focused on edutainment titles and the like!

As for stability, it's true that the game industry is volatile. But, the longer you stay in it, the better chances you have, I believe, of staying in it due to your growing experience. I've personally been very fortunate to still be working at my first job in the industry after nearly 3 years. It is a rarity in this business for someone to stay at the same studio for over 5 years. But in reality, I'd say this is more due to the fact that most studios like to make sequals to their successful products and people decide to leave for new opportunities because they don't want to make what they see as the same game *again!*

I'm personally also a spiritual fella, and I know where you're coming from. However I'm able to see a distinction between real violence and the cartoon violence seen in video games and even films, so I don't personally have a lot of problems working on violent material, within reason. The main area where *I* draw the line is pornography in games. I remember being very glad when my studio turned down an opportunity to make a strip poker game! lol user added image

# 5 12-12-2005 , 09:28 PM
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 121
Wow, great response, mtmckinley. I am not completely against action and some violent games, but Halo 2 and Battlefield 2 is about the extent to those type of games that I would play. No Doom or FEAR for me user added image However, even though I don't necessarily mind playing Halo 2, doesn't mean I would be as comfortable making it, as weird as that sounds. Legend of Zelda, that game I consider quite tame, and would love to eventually make games like that. There is no real direct line that I have drawn, but anything that takes the violence to an extreme is definitely a no-go for me.

As for stability, you say that it is a rarity for one to stay at one studio for more than 5 years. You made some reference to this, but is the reason for not staying at a studio for more than 5 years a personal choice, or usually a choice of the studio itself? Also, is it easy to find another job once you have left a certain studio? Finally, don't some modellers or game industry people stay with studios longer than 5 years? Like, for example, if a certain studio makes a successful game such as Doom, wouldn't many of the people that were on the team stick around for sequels?

Thanks again for the response user added image

# 6 13-12-2005 , 12:58 AM
mtmckinley's Avatar
The Maya Mountain
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Seattle, WA
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I actually think you'd find the process of making a game a little seperated from the actual game itself. Especially in larger teams.

The reasons anyone would leave a company at any time can be very varied and have lots of factors involved based on the person and the company in question. As I mentioned, I'm still at the first company I got hired at, so what I say here is mostly from hearsay or what-have-you.

-Lay offs. Being laid off is different from being fired. It means the company is forced to cut its costs, which means getting rid of people that they wouldn't necessarily want to. This happens fairly often at large and small studios alike. The only thing you can really do in these kinds of situations is just try your hardest to make yourself so important to the team, they can't afford to lose you. My company has actually gone through 3 lay off periods in the last 3 years I've been working here, and so far (knock on wood) I'm still here! user added image

-Being purchased. If your studio is suddenly bought out by another one, any number of things could happen, depending on what the new boss wants. One of the most common things that happens when a studio is purchased is whatever project they were working on, pretty much automatically gets cancelled. That can be pretty disapointing, as I have found out a couple times now. And it may cause someone to leave for that reason or even cause lay offs.

-Money. This is probably the most common reason someone would leave a company by their own decision. They aren't satisfied with their current salary and manage to land a job with a higher one somewhere else.

-Boredom. This is what I mentioned earlier. I could imagine myself getting very bored making World War II games if that's all my studio ever made. After making yet another Brothers In Arms game, making another tank or a Nazi soldier again... Yeah, I could see looking for new opportunities in that situation, even if it means leaving what could be considered a "sure thing."

And of course, if you suck and do a bad job... you could get fired. lol user added image

All I can say is make sure you look at what games a studio has made in the past when you consider applying to them, as more than likely, they'll make similar titles in the future.

# 7 13-12-2005 , 02:36 AM
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Just to add to the good advice Mike has alread given...

There are studios out there that do not make what most would consider "violent" games. Obviously, Nintendo's internal development teams don't do a lot of extreme bloody violence (Mario, Pokemon, Zelda, etc.). Microsoft has studios that work more on fantasy based games as well as racing games. And, of course, there are studios working on sports titles, flight sims, and other not-so-gory games.

One such studio is the one I work at, Amaze Entertainment. We focus primarily on licensed titles that usually hit a Teen ESRB rating or below. That pretty much means zero blood and gore is involved, and any violence that exists is of a very cartoony and stylized nature (think Disney and Dreamworks animation).

Keep in mind that the game industry is not all about Doom and Quake and Halo and GTA. Do a search on Gamasutra, and you'll find a range of studios offering work in different genres of games.

Danny Ngan
Animator | Amaze Entertainment
my website | my blog | my job
# 8 13-12-2005 , 09:31 AM
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hmmm...I never liked games like Doom...I dont enjoy dark side movies and games, for me its not an art.
Walk around with guns and killing all around-looks so empty and primitive.

Work hard and one day you can get to DreamWorks Animations or day.

I think you can use CG more then just in games and movies.

You can create comercials, presentations, some shors for TV houses, arhitecture, medicine research...

Good luck, I hope your parents will find understanding for your ambition as I am also sure they only wish the very best for takes some tome to realise that.

Model some digital flowers and give them to your!

# 9 13-12-2005 , 03:13 PM
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Join Date: May 2004
Location: Denmark
Posts: 816
Just curious, which religion are you a part of, if you don't mind me asking?

Liter is French for 'Gimme some ****ing cola before I break vous ****ing lips!"
# 10 13-12-2005 , 07:50 PM
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Join Date: May 2003
Location: Ventura California
Posts: 966
And if not the game’s there is always Film.

Last edited by R-Tillery; 14-12-2005 at 03:01 PM.
# 11 14-12-2005 , 02:49 PM
Alan's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: London, UK
Posts: 2,800
Film is probably worse though.. for example I was working on Doom and that was very gory and AVP which wasn't but did have some blood etc.

It really depends on which studio you get into. I got into FS on a 4 month contract and now here I am 2 1/2 years later in a full time staff position. the money is good and I have a permanent job... but then I also know people that have been laid off and fired etc. It really depends on how good you are and the current industry climate. It's fair to say thought that after you've got a few years experience (3 being the magic number) you can flit around from studio to studio should you wish and you *shouldn't* ever be short of work simply because you can go where the work is (does that makes sense?!)

I'm rambling so I'll be quiet now...

user added image

Technical Director - Framestore

Currently working on: Your Highness

# 12 18-12-2005 , 01:07 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 187


I can see were ye coming from but i think mtmckinley had it pretty much covered in his post, i think you just need to draw the line, im a christian and i mean i wouldnt play games such as doom etc cos of gore but also cos i dont like holding a gun with no torch thats just crazy. But games like bf2 n call of duty i dont have ay moral objection to.
My parents are also like yours but more in the sense they dont see a future in the amation industry, but i would love to do something like that and have applied to 3 universty courses in 3D design.
Ive only just started on Maya and am a bit of a noob, for my first project im goin through that free tutorial of the puppy and loving it, just bout to convert into polys, but previously ive done all graphic design and art, as i currently take this at A level.
Im going to convert ad use 3D design for a project i am doing at my art course, and im goin to make a range of little army frogs and hopefully anmate them.
I think maby another option you have is to just do an art course, u'd be suprised how many directions you can take with one, and 3D design is definatly art so you could major in 3D design, the only downside being you teachers wouldnt know what to teach you.
However ive never used maya before and with the help of this site and the forums you can pick up and learn so much, and im finding it so rewarding, when you see yer art work coming together its so fun.
Btw some amazing work on this site guys, well done everyone who makes those amazing pieces of art, some of you baffle me, how the hell do you make something on a PC look some real. You guys have some real style sense aswell the composition etc are all superb.
Thx for your time hope this helped + i just wonted to say hello so everyone.

# 13 18-12-2005 , 02:04 PM
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 121
Hey, thanks for all of your responses guys. Sorry I haven't responded to the thread in a while. I am a Christian, to whoever asked that question (I can't remember), so yea, a lot of violent games are no go's for me.

Film would be a cool industry to work in, I loved the behind the scenes info on the Star Wars DVD showing how 3D designers created Mustafar, but one has to be really superb at his work to get into that field, doesnt he?

About studios such as ones that make only sports games or games in similar nature to those that the Nintendo in-game studios creates, those would probably be the kind of studios that I would like to get into, but of course there's location and availability of positions to think of.

Alas, I have to head out now, but I look forward to anyone who can respond further, and thank everyone for all of the great info you've posted so far.

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