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 Q&A about CG in the future 
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Joined: Fri Feb 04, 2011 6:00 pm
Posts: 4
Post Q&A about CG in the future
Hi everyone! I'm new to this forum, hope everyone had a good happy Chinese New Year.

I'm having NS now, going to finish my service on mid-June this year. I have a Diploma in Digital Media in Singapore Polytechnic, going to apply for school of Arts, Design & Media (ADM) at NTU this year

Here's a background about me & feelings about the process of doing CG. It's going be long but hope you will take some time to read it.

Since young, I like to think of rough ideas that have possibilities to become potential ideas for fantasy art or concept. I end up choose this Diploma is more because of interest and wants to feel and enjoy of experience the process of making such fantastic art or 3D animation. As i go through this Diploma, i end up having doubts whether I can continue pursue in this and turn it into a career. The cause of the doubts were mainly due to my weak skills, be it in drawing, creativity, using of Maya software or others. I was willing to work hard but if I met problems that takes a lot of time or hard to understand, I gave up and only learn new skills that i can understand, thus limit to what I can do to make my ideas visually real.

There are times where I thought that this might not be where I should continue staying as I failed to get the seat last year and in-confidence of my skills. I thought of alternatives like going to Computer Science or Accounting. However, I did not experience programming, maths or accounting in my Poly days, thus become huge disadvantage if I go for these degree, unless I go for extreme mile to catch up on basics which is not easy for me. I end up become confused on whether should I stay in this line or just change it and study a degree for stable job.

While having my NS, I realized that I could have put in even more effort in the problems that I had faced in order to get the solutions. The bad part about is I need more time & effort to overcome problems than others. However, i have the willingness to work hard, though it was not intense enough in the past. Even if the process is long and difficult, but I still willing to go through it, and not get bored in drawing or making a 3D character, I guess I have the passion but just don't have the right learning attitude.

I hope I can enter ADM to further refine my skills, if not I end up not firm of what to do while waiting for next year. Thought of just self-refine and get part-time working in this industry for experience if possible, but still it is not easy.

(1) I have read a few topics or heard views from people who worked in this line before, about being not easy in CG industry. There will be low starting pays with a lot of working hours, chances of switching jobs often, intense competition between people who wants to get this job, high demand of fast and quality works.
Are the working hours and the pay really that bad even if I'm not good in spending $ and just want a simple & normal lifestyle in future?

Will a change of better learning attitude allow me to be preserve in this line?

(2) In terms of area of focus, for now I prefer drawing then using software to do 3D but I might change due to only because my current skills in using the software are quite weak. I understand that I have to learn everything through this degree, even though that there will be topics that I am weak at.
If I were to get a job, is there possibilities that I can focus on the area that I'm good at and how?

Please comment on my views if I might be wrong and answer my questions.

Sun Feb 06, 2011 1:27 pm

Joined: Sat Dec 29, 2007 1:44 pm
Posts: 1113
Location: Singapore
Post Re: Q&A about CG in the future

When I read your post, I am concerned that you have no clear sense of directions. You ended up going in circles. Taking a degree does not solve the problem.

Working hard but working blindly is 2 different things.

First, you need to sit down to ask yourself, is there any area of specialisation in the CG field, really excites you. If it does, no matter how hard or how difficult it is, you will not give up easily. Others will find it difficult. You should find it a pleasure. If you don't feel that way, that is not your love.
Many people thinks they are passionate over certain field. But the truth is that it is just a temporary interest.

As for field of specialisation, you need to understand what kind of job role is available. And hence what kind of skill is needed. Learn with an objective in mind. Not everyone is good at everything. If you have found your love, you will be surprised how well you do. Don't do something because others think is good for you. Do something you love and you will excel.

There is an interesting discussion going on. Might help you in a way or two.

As for long hours and low pay. Depending on where you ended up. If you skill is at acceptable level. Then you should be commanding the same pay as other faculty in your poly. What I will suggest is be focus in mastering a skill. Be very very very good. Don't get distracted by all these factors for now. If you are good. Money will come. Look at Old Chang Kee. If you have passionate, it gives you the energy to overcome hardship. Even making curry puff is a career and helps you make money. If you scare of everything, even before you go to the battlefield, you lose half of the battle.

If you want, I can invite you to our office for a chat and I can show you around. You can ask me any questions you want.

At this moment, I feel that you are a bit lost. You need inspiration and motivation. When you have time, listen to this. Take your time. Listen through. See if it changes your life. It does for me. :D

David Kwok
Singapore Animators Connection

Sun Feb 06, 2011 7:37 pm

Joined: Fri Feb 04, 2011 6:00 pm
Posts: 4
Post Re: Q&A about CG in the future

Thanks for replying!

I most probably be free to reply on weekends only but when I'm free, I will take some time to think through while reading your views, before having a firm picture of what I really want.

Sun Feb 06, 2011 8:18 pm

Joined: Sat Dec 29, 2007 1:44 pm
Posts: 1113
Location: Singapore
Post Re: Q&A about CG in the future
I am heading to US this weekend. Will be back on the 20th Feb. We can meet after if you want.

Mon Feb 07, 2011 1:04 am

Joined: Thu Mar 05, 2009 3:03 pm
Posts: 12
Post Re: Q&A about CG in the future
I agree with David.
Softwares is not an issue, what matters most is what you are able to do.

Becoming a person who knows every software out there issnt as good as someone who is superb at only one thing.

Either be very good at what you are doing, or love what you will be doing

Tue Feb 08, 2011 1:00 am

Joined: Fri Feb 04, 2011 6:00 pm
Posts: 4
Post Re: Q&A about CG in the future
Thanks for the reply in this topic.

From Feb to April, my mind was occupied by the tough tasks that I was going through while I am having my NS. At the same time, I was busy preparing the application for NTU and Digipen, and enjoy my weekends from the tough times. Finally, I am just less than a month away to ORD, nothing much for me to do when I'm in camp. I have rest for quite long already, need to start ways to enrich myself and more planning on my future.

Few days ago, I just received bad news that I was not accepted for NTU, for the second time. Now my only hope was Digipen. Even if I am able to get accepted to Digipen, I can't be entirely happy due to its costly tuition fee. That makes me feel in-confidence again on whether am I able to become extremely good if I am able take up this program successfully, felt like a risk to me. However, I will never know if I have tried and improve myself by working even harder.

I am taking up an enrichment course on figure drawing at NAFA, which is going to start on June. It is highly recommended by my ex-poly lecturer. I had thoughts on how to revise my-self on the 3D side but the short courses of it are limited and pretty expensive to me. I might just borrow tutorial books and cd from library and try to revise on my own.

My main interest is still on 3D animation, just not very confirm in the area that I want to specialize in. However, after a tour and an interview at Digipen, I felt that I can explore it further while I am studying for the program, and learn more about my strength and weakness at the same time. The program makes me feel like a fresh start to create 3D animation, but more of a serious and industrial standards.

I hope I can get into the September intake, if not I have to work part-time job till the next intake which is January.

Sat May 14, 2011 4:37 pm

Joined: Sat Jul 26, 2008 10:49 am
Posts: 268
Post Re: Q&A about CG in the future
It sure sounds to me that your attitude is not right.

Don't keep thinking you are working hard, know what you are working towards. Be organise. CG can become quite complicated in an instant.

Not getting into any school might be a blessing in disguise, and learning CG need not always be expensive. David's studio does have courses which are cheap and well worth the time by any standard. That's if you love to question, and learns faster in a class environment.

If you have the discipline and is highly motivated, I would suggest you learn online. It's free, the wealth and depth of information, tutorial, walk-through is enough to get you to an advance level in most cg stuff.

As for things that you find hard to understand, use the forums. Ask questions, join CG forums like this one, Cgtalk, Zbrushcentral... etc.

If you need practise, join those a model a day club, or an hour a day type.

But ultimately, if you gave up easily, or lack the passion, do yourself a favour and find where your interest lies.

Sun May 15, 2011 4:05 am

Joined: Fri Feb 04, 2011 6:00 pm
Posts: 4
Post Re: Q&A about CG in the future
Thanks for the reply.

Currently, under the 3D animation, I had interest in character modelling and animating of characters. I'm still not firm of my decision unless I am more exposed to them.

For Digipen, even though it is costly, I felt the standards there are good and worth to go for the degree and modules in the program. However, if I am able to go for other choices which are cheap and provides me enough skills to work for the industrial standard, I will rather take up the courses/diploma than the degree at Digipen. The short programs at CG Protege were over already at the moment but I will try to ask information for upcoming one if there is.

I prefer to learn in class environment, it motivate me to seek answers from lecturers and enable me to practice on my own after knowing the answers. I find it harder to learn mainly from the internet.

I was inspired and motivated by watching 3D movies in cinema or my computer, which leads me to choose this Diploma which teaches me the process of creating 3D animation. After going through it, I realize that the process was not easy, moreover when I am working with peers that are less hardworking to me. However, I find joy in the process of building up my character and animating it. I thought I was hardworking, but actually I could have been become even better by being more organized. My mind in the past was more about wanting to be part of the creation of 3D animation, had not thought of working in the future and specialize in the area that I have interest in.

Turning it from interest to a serious career in this line leads me idle for very long, due to the lost of touch of the skills for a long time, doubting of my capability and the potential in this line. However, I felt that I should not give up on something that I have joy with. I aim to be part of a production of a film that inspire the audience well.

Sun May 15, 2011 3:30 pm
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