Do they sell "Potion of Art Job +1" stocking stuffers?
December 17, 2008 2:52 PM   Subscribe

GiftFilter: What can I give my brother-in-law for Christmas that will help improve his chances of getting a 3D art job?

He has a bachelor's in physics and a bachelor's in animation/3D design; he's looking for work in texturing and modeling, primarily, rather than character design or animation. He does Maya 8.5, Photoshop CS3, Illustrator CS3, ZBrush 3, Boujou and probably some other stuff. Can you recommend a book or something else (a membership?) we can give him that would help him improve his chances of getting a job? Whether it's just a book that you feel is a must-have for any modeler, or a book on the industry, or a subscription to something that helps with networking, or a check for more classes in something, or whatever ... I'm really open to suggestions (preferably stuff that's under $150, but I'll take anything into consideration).

He's been doing freelance work and such since he graduated, but it's not easy to find anything full-time to apply for. Most job listings are for game companies, and most of those require multiple years of experience and shipped titles. He's interested in any kind of work, though, and is not one of those guys who's fixated on the videogame industry. I figure I shouldn't post his resume here, but I can MeMail you a link to his resume if you'd rather look for holes in order to suggest something. Please let me know if I forgot some important information. Thank you!
posted by wintersweet to Media & Arts (11 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Does he have his own easy-to-read-and-navigate-yet-awesome-to-look-at website featuring his work? If not, I suggest hiring a programmer to help him develop one or redesign his current one. I have one friend that says she did meh on an interview but was told that her website (that also had her resume on it) got her the job.
posted by spec80 at 3:02 PM on December 17, 2008

A fancy leather folio that he can put prints of his work in to show prospective employers?
posted by Effigy2000 at 3:11 PM on December 17, 2008

spec80, he has a website with a demo reel, a Flash portfolio, and a PDF resume. Awesome to look at? Not sure about that. The main page is pretty basic HTML, and to be brutally honest (I have a bit of a design background), the Flash portfolio is not very polished-looking to me. I don't know if it's possible to hire someone to work with him to improve it so that he comes out of it with something he can say he had a hand in, but that would be kind of neat. I can imagine most people would run screaming from such a project, though, haha.

Effigy2000, good thought, but he has yet to ever have personal contact with a prospective employer! It's all online or "mail in a DVD" at the most.
posted by wintersweet at 3:13 PM on December 17, 2008

"good thought, but he has yet to ever have personal contact with a prospective employer! It's all online or "mail in a DVD" at the most."
posted by wintersweet at 9:13 AM on December 18

But he's bound to meet one eventually, right? And what better way to sell his work than a nice display folio? As an added bonus, actually having a nice folio of work to show people might drive his desire to get a job in the field (moreso) plus it's something he can take along to art shows etc to show people who might be interested.
posted by Effigy2000 at 3:22 PM on December 17, 2008

Effigy: VFX and game house resume submissions almost always require a DVD or QuickTime reel with a shot breakdown. A paper portfolio rarely gets exercised, unless you're at a trade show. (In other words, wintersweet, don't worry-- online and DVD submission is pretty normal, and not indicative of employers giving him the brush-off.)

Considered an fxphd gift certificate? It's $330, but they have a directed curriculum to help artists learn new stuff, advance their skills on old stuff, and turn out improved reel pieces under professional guidance. (Note: I've not used them myself-- I work in VFX, but lean towards technical and data-related wrangling, when I'm not painting stuff off scanned plates.)

Similarly, Pixel Corps is vastly less structured, but offers training material, challenges to keep the skillset up, and forums. $50 for three months, assuming he's not already a member (if he is, $150 to extend it for three months). Pixel Corps was a bigger thing when I was still in school, 2005-2006ish, but may still be worthwhile.

I broke in primarily because I knew people who knew I wouldn't break shit if I got called in to do a very simple, very tedious task. Your brother may well have to start doing some very simple, very tedious task-- both the guy who sits next to me and Mr. F started out doing runs, just driving the company truck from place to place across the LA metro picking shit up and dropping stuff off. Mr. F's been doing his thing for 12 years now, and the guy next to me is well on his way to an artist career.
posted by fairytale of los angeles at 3:37 PM on December 17, 2008

wintersweet, where's your brother-in-law based?
posted by roger ackroyd at 4:59 PM on December 17, 2008

You can buy him XML portfolio - easy to setup and requires minimal input from him.
You can also print his portfolio in a nice hardcover book from Blurb or a similar service.
Or you can buy him subscription to a good 3d magazine.
You can also help him with his freelancing and buy him membership on a freelancing site such as Guru etc.
posted by leigh1 at 5:32 PM on December 17, 2008

thanks, fairytale!

roger ackroyd, sorry for the delay -- he's in San Diego.

leigh1 -- I was actually considering the same magazine, but he is doing TA work at a digital art school and has access to their library. Good to know I was on the right track. Will check out Guru.

Thanks for the answers; I'll check in tomorrow!
posted by wintersweet at 9:47 PM on December 17, 2008

If he doesn't have a touch screen laptop or Wacom tablet, you could consider that. It lets him use a pen instead of a mouse which some people feel gives them more control.
posted by CoralAmber at 9:26 AM on December 18, 2008

CoralAmber, he must have used one at school, but I have no idea if he prefers one or not. I'll have to ask him.
posted by wintersweet at 3:22 PM on December 18, 2008

Sorry I didn't update! We had traveling issues. He actually vetoed most of the suggestions for various reasons (doesn't want a tablet till he can get a Cintiq, doesn't want any more classes right now, already tried most of the other options). However, he did take some of the advice I got through MeMail (thank you!) and hopefully that's improved his chances. Thanks a lot! I'm saving all of the suggestions in case they'll be doable later on, anyway.
posted by wintersweet at 5:19 PM on January 1, 2009

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