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 What has happened to all the Singapore CG Artists? 
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Joined: Fri Dec 28, 2007 11:51 am
Posts: 305
Post What has happened to all the Singapore CG Artists?
It has been a while since we have a long discussion thread here. So hopefully this one will everyone thinking and contributing.

I am wondering what has happened to all the Singapore CG Artists. Even the freshgrads. As and when a job is posted, employer complained that no local applies. They have more foreign applicants than the locals. Every year, tonnes of graduates coming out from the poly learning 3d. Where are they? In the army? Decided to give up and do something else? Since the reel is horrible and can't find job, just continue to study and do another degree? Or what?

Even in this forum. I see less and less people contributing. Where is everyone?

Happy Chinese New Year everyone. :P


Thu Feb 03, 2011 10:11 pm
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Joined: Mon Sep 06, 2010 11:07 am
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Post Re: What has happened to all the Singapore CG Artists?
Just to let a bit of cat out of the bag.... in one poly in the east, the worst 2 performing diploma (in terms of first choice JAE) are 3D related options.

I felt it had became a fad. Gone are the days where people are passionate about 3D. The reality of hard work, long hours and not fantastic pay has discourage a lot of wannabes. Not to mention, most Singaporeans are not artistically incline. Even so, most artistic people are not the most hardworking people in the world.


Thu Feb 03, 2011 11:17 pm
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Joined: Fri Dec 28, 2007 11:51 am
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Post Re: What has happened to all the Singapore CG Artists?
Thank you so much for sharing. It is a good start to keep the track going. Hope more will contribute.

I agree with you. When we first started this forum 12 years ago, many talents at that time don't even know what their future maybe. And yet they persist to this very day. Some of them are doing well overseas if not holding high positions in the major companies here. At that time, there were no course subsidy or 3d courses. Many are resourceful and went to learn things on their own.

Yet now with so much resource available. We are going backwards as a community. Sign.

When I was in Korea and Japan, I have been inspired by their hardwork and spirit which make them who they are today. They are hungry for success. Hungry for work.

What is happening here? So much money has been spent in poly to train these people. Are we training the right people who seriously want to do this as a profession?


Thu Feb 03, 2011 11:39 pm
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Joined: Wed Jan 02, 2008 11:45 am
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Post Re: What has happened to all the Singapore CG Artists?
My hunch is that some of the poly students who came in may do so because:

1. "hey, 3d sounds like a cool subject (as compare to engineering and business studies)", so they jump in the bandwagon, expecting some fun, i suppose.

2. they can afford to delay going for NS by 3 years. of course, this applies to the males.

if you are a current poly student here, feel free to correct me. the above mentioned is largely based on personal opinion and experiences. I do have several friends who are serious about doing 3d, even in their poly days.

IMO, the CG boom is perhaps in its dying stage, locally. With the popularity of alternate career paths like banking and finance, the search for better and higher paying jobs and maybe, peer pressure, added together, people are less inclined to join the CG industry once they realize it will not promise them a secure future.

anyway, i also notice there have not been any character animation works posted on the forum for the last few months. would be good to see such updates coming back, esp from those still in training. it wasn't like this 2 years back.

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Fri Feb 04, 2011 12:33 am
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Joined: Thu Jan 03, 2008 11:43 am
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Post Re: What has happened to all the Singapore CG Artists?
I would not say that the CG industry's "boom" stage in the local context is a bad thing. Rather, it is stabilizing and maturing. True, recent news has seen some reports prefer to focus on the negative, but they somehow neglect to mention the positives. I.e. One recent article mentioned than Big Comm, the local company previously in charge of the Dinosaur Train series with Jim Henson productions, had closed down. Yet it somehow forgot to mention that for quite some time now, another local studio, Sparky, had took over and have not only finished season one but are working on season two.

I agree to a certain extent the boom is at its end stage. HOWEVER, as in any industry, the initial boom is marked by an explosion of growth which the industry would not be able to support in the long run. What comes after? Those who have done business studies or marketing will know however that the stage following the boom is a period of self adjustment and stabilization as the industry reaches its mature stage, Case in point, it is marked by the weaker companies dropping out and the remaining hopefully growing in strength (through consolidation, mergers, or simply absorbing the still valuable resources from those companies that have stopped).

Of course, the point above does not address the human factor in the equation: the current mindset of the would be and existing cg artists here and now. Its a long journey towards being a seasoned cg artist. With factors like rising costs and inflation, they are often pressured (even if not by themselves, but by their families) to consider alternative career path that offer a faster road to financial stability. Ours is an industry that little no allowance for BSing about one's abilities or depending only on paper qualifications. But our parents brought up on such beliefs and stories about how random so-and-so's son/daughter are doing so well in some other commercial industry are finding it hard to accept that ours is a road differently traveled.

I'm sure these are familiar to some of you guys. i.e. "does your company have profit sharing", "what is its P&L and is the company giving you any shares in it", "any chance of being made partner", "how is the financial reports looking", "since you know all the general basic skills, can you set up tour own full fledged production house, can pull in 1 or 2 random friends and cousins to help". etc. The list goes on infinitely.

Passion vs Pressure. Which is stronger? Those with understanding families are really lucky to have them.

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Last edited by zhanzhao on Fri Feb 04, 2011 10:19 am, edited 2 times in total.

Fri Feb 04, 2011 9:28 am
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Post Re: What has happened to all the Singapore CG Artists?
I'm not too sure why there's lesser local applicants for the jobs posted around. But I second that the industry here is getting more matured. More & more foreign companies coming in does help to bring up the overall standard & pay package in the local industry, that's really good news; if you compare that to what we have 6-7 years ago. The company I'm at employ local poly & other art school interns for 3D & compositing stuffs all year round. From what I notice, most of the interns working there are passionate about what they pursue & are still willing to put in the extra long hours learning & doing what they love.

Personally, I'm relieve to hear that there aren't as much CG artists filling up jobs around ^^ Wouldn't that meant there's lesser hungry artists idling around waiting for a job compared to few years ago? Good CG Artists now have more choices to decide where to work & I believe that'll have a positive effect on the value of the artists here as well. It's always good to hear when job supply is more than demand rather than the other way round :)

Cheers & continue working on your reels!

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Fri Feb 04, 2011 10:08 am
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Joined: Sat Mar 20, 2010 6:59 pm
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Post Re: What has happened to all the Singapore CG Artists?
hi,
i love cg and i doing it everyday.still got a lot to learn.but one thing for sure.no one can force a horse to drink.let the horse go to drink itself.that is my opinion.with tons of opportunities for young guys and gals to choose in this new nanotechnology economy,cg industry in singapore will see a big drop in local artists.but on the other hand,there will a big surge in number of artists from developing countries such as vietnam,india,china because of high unemployment and poverty.these people(graduate or non graduate) will struggle like crazy to fill up the unwanted jobs left by these ambitious locals.then when there is abundant cg artists in developing countries,our local and foreign studios will probably shift to these developing countries to tap on them and local artists will land in big trouble.

like what others in the post said,one need to be very committed to work long hours in cg industry with lesser pay and bonus compared to work in oil company,banking and finance sector.there will be a very big peer pressure,especially from family."hei,you see..ah kong son is doing well in shell,got 8 months bonus,fat hong bao and etc...how much your studio gave you? "

"wah!! so less ah.i see you glue your eye on the monitor day and night still no bouns ah? wah lau so terrible.better find other job lah.life is short you know."

long hour job means complains from loved one especially girl friend and boy friend.
in these expensive city like singapore,these problems are common in every families believe it or not.everybody is racing to get better job and fat pay which offer less pressure and working hours.this is SINGAPORE DREAM.


Fri Feb 04, 2011 12:18 pm
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Joined: Wed Jan 02, 2008 10:39 pm
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Post Re: What has happened to all the Singapore CG Artists?
Hi,
This is my opinion and I hope I don’t get shot at.

Well firstly, students and fresh grads are not aware of the existence of this forum. Despite posting jobs availability on this forum, they are not reading it. I’m quite surprise that some of my staffs who are local doesn’t know of it existence too. Most of them saw jobs availability thru company websites, jobs portals, newspaper advert, email and kopitiam talks with friends. Unfortunately some lecturers who knew of this forum doesn’t help to spread the words too. Sad? But this is the reality. Perhaps creating awareness that such forum exist is a stepping stone. How? For a start shout loudly to people in your room that we have a local CG Forum. Apparently, more foreigners who are hungry for a job would do their research online for a job and found this forum with available jobs. So who loose out?

The site address Ordix.com as the main page will confuse newcomers to search the forum page. I understand that this forum is given for free by Ordix administrator after the previous domain was shut down due to lack of financial aid. I’m glad the domain owner of Ordix step up and to help keep the forum alive. Kudos to them. Isn’t it time for the forum to move forward and have its own domain name? CG is moving forward in Singapore and people in US and Europe etc are hearing about us but hard to reach our forum. It helps with foreign companies to Google for Singapore forum too. I understand it is expensive to run a domain but probably we can ask for sponsorship from big players (Autodesk, Apple, HP, Dell etc) which also run some advertisement on the site for them. MDA could help up with this but of coz if it run by MDA, then everyone have to watch what they are talking. Big Brother is watching! Just a suggestion.

Salary of artists play a big part in attracting artists. I do admit that this industry doesn’t pay artists like those working in banks with huge chunk of bonuses and Bling Bling platinum credit cards. Blaming on the companies for not offering much? I do agree and disagree on this matter. Its not cheap to run a studio just look at rental, electricity, software, table, chairs, high end pc, servers etc and trust me its not cheap. Its not easy to secure a project, just look at US small to mid level studio as more is shutting down as they can’t handle with cost of running and not able to secure projects coz other studio tender a project at a lower cost. If studio pay artists too much and no jobs are secured, I’m sure the studio will shut down faster then expected. More people will loose their jobs and artists will suffer coz lack of studio to work in. Please remember that Lucasfilm, Double Negative, Ubisofts etc are here to cut production cost and NOT adding up!

Fresh grads should just accept what available and not be so fussy with it. It’s a stepping stone for them into the industry and work hard to demand a bigger salary in future. Some artists comes equip with their Degree certificate and apply for work without showreel. Well done! Seen before such thing happened. Some asking for $2500-$3000 for a fresh grad with Degree cert but once you see their showreel, that 2 mins clip will last like a lifetime of Freddy Nightmare movies. A bit of advice to fresh grads, be humble and just take up what is offered to you. Work hard and I’m sure your boss will reward you. If he doesn’t just head to another studio coz you have that working experiences with you which is valuable asset to other companies.

I seen some of my colleagues leaving to other industry (IT & Banks which paying double salary and confirm fat ass bonuses) which I got to admit it is painful too see. Hard choice for them to make as some have family on their own to feed, cars and house. They have passion but have no choice because companies can’t offer them what he/she expected. What can we do to retain them? Nothing but just hope in future they would join back this little industry.

I agree with Archblood that some students join 3D as cool but have no passion. Just for sake of the certificate to show their grandma, grandpa, mummy, daddy, uncle, aunty till their grand children that they have a cert. Some student who are keen on learning 3D can’t get in coz cut off point not enough to get it and end up paying loads of money to go private schools to do CG. I think MOE got to look into this matter. Beside that, seem like the lecturers in some school are not passionate enough to pass the knowledge to the students. Schools employing wrong people to teach despite the students pay them loads for school fees. Some don’t have industry experiences and know very little about it but just because they have Degree from thermometer, Master of the universe cert or a PHD Doctor cert in CG they would be employed. In the end who suffers? The passionate students!

Well I hope I don’t offend anyone but this is what I have experience or opinion. I know some of you may take it hard with my little “essay” but hey lets have a friendly chit-chat shall we. :)

Happy New Year!


Fri Feb 04, 2011 12:53 pm
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Joined: Sat Mar 20, 2010 6:59 pm
Posts: 102
Post Re: What has happened to all the Singapore CG Artists?
hi trek_17,
strongly agree with you.


Fri Feb 04, 2011 1:19 pm
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Joined: Sat Mar 20, 2010 6:59 pm
Posts: 102
Post Re: What has happened to all the Singapore CG Artists?
hi guys and gals,
check this out : http://www.cgarena.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=5321


Fri Feb 04, 2011 4:22 pm
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