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Author Topic: Character modeler profile questions  (Read 4312 times)
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« on: October 13, 2009, 05:08:20 PM »


I'm about to graduate from a visual arts university y Guadalajara, Mexico, and right now I´m doing my "Thesis" about cartoon character modeling. And I need a veteran to answer a few questions:

Is it neccesary to have a professional degree to work in the big industry as a character modeler?
Do I have to know how to draw to be a good character modeler?
What does a character modeling reel need to be good?
What software do I have to know?

plz help Cheesy
Mark Benard
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« Reply #1 on: October 14, 2009, 01:25:57 AM »

Hi Nosko11,

Welcome to the Forum!

Q:  Is it neccesary to have a professional degree to work in the big industry as a character modeler?

A:  No.  A potential employer's main priorities in your assessment will be A/ portfolio (your skills) and B/ your personal character. (What will you be like to work with.)  That said, possessing a relevent Degree can aid in Work Permit related issues if you plan to work abroad and don't have a few years of relevant work experience yet.

Q:  Do I have to know how to draw to be a good character modeler?

A:  No.  But it sure doesn't hurt!

Q:  What does a character modeling reel need to be good?

A:  By "good" you mean to function well for getting you that career you're looking for?  If so, then you really need to research the companies you plan to work for.  A sucessful applicant will demonstrate a skill that is relevant to the needs of the position.  A big point that I try to hammer home with my students is Industry Relevance.  If "cartoon character modeling" is your focus than make sure you stay on track with that goal.  Research current popular styles within that market segment and FOCUS on becoming confident, efficient and consistent within that genre.  Realize that your product will become part of a larger pipeline and make sure it will interact well with the other stages of production.  (ie. Will it Texture, Deform and Render effectively?)

Q:  What software do I have to know?

A:  As many as possible!?  Unfortunately there are many...  Maya, XSI, Max, Modo, Mudbox, ZBrush...  The most important thing to remember is to focus on developing your MODELING skills FIRST.  It's a common mistake to put too much weight on software.  Employers are NOT impressed by how many software packages you have been trained in.  They only care if you can produce the work they require quickly and efficiently.  Maya is a very popular program for Film and Television.  If possible, it would be a great place to start.  AFTER you have generated a solid portfolio then you could start exploring alternative tools so that you can broaden your job opportunities.  The first 3D package you learn is always the most difficult.  After that it only gets easier.

Good luck!


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