I am a pro... a pro-crastinator… but what I want to be, is a pro-fessional. A professional 3D artist in the game (or possibly film) industry that is. Hi, my name is Robin Brockötter and this will be my first blog post here on Project Discovery.
Whereas Titus is fully committed to share his experience as a professional concept artist, my angle is slightly different. I want to write about my struggles when it comes to trying to get back into the industry. I had a first little taste of the game industry while I was doing the same Game Design course as my co-writer and for a little bit after that. But since then my life took quite a surprising turn and now it's 4 years later and I really do still have that itch that I desperately want to scratch. This first post is about all the things that are keeping me from doing just that.
Don’t feel bad for me though, my life/career has been really quite fun up until now and I’ve already had some great opportunities that I am really grateful for, it’s just not exactly in line with what I actually want to end up doing. And that is collaborating with fellow game designers to work on games that people love and enjoy!
So, where to begin.. right now, I’m sitting in an office, writing this post during my lunch break at a great company that taught me a lot about 3D printing, managing a team, working efficiently and a lot about the startup life in general. But the role that I am in, is not where I want to be. This is why my articles will mainly be focused around my journey trying to shift to a career in the game/film industry.
MY VICIOUS CIRCLE
I work a full 40 hours a week, I have a social life (which basically means I spend my spare time gaming with friends and where I go on the occasional date), I spend some time working on 3D projects and to my regret a lot of time is spend, procrastinating. I realize that in order to get a good starting job in the industry, my portfolio needs to be top notch. But it’s not that easy for me to fully commit to working on my 3D projects after coming home already having spent my entire day working behind the PC which is quite mentally tiring. So usually, I just wanna relax and spend my free time watching Twitch.tv and playing Overwatch with friends and go through the same thing the very next day. Sound familiar? Oh, and if you were looking for a solution here, sorry.. I'll share it as soon as I have found it ;) But it's been two years now, don't get your hopes up.
Let's move on.
MY FIRST OBSTACLE
Besides being stuck in a vicious circle, I have a couple more obstacles that I'll have to overcome. My current portfolio is up on Artstation and to me it feels it’s pretty alright. The models I have up there, I like, but most of them feel.. unfinished. And that’s because, they are. I have a tendency of jumping into a 3D sculpt 100% and I can keep this up for 8 hours straight (during the weekend) and possibly another 8 hours spread over the next few days, but then, I run out of gas/motivation. The sculpt is there, about 60-70% finished, it looks pretty nifty but then I reach a point where I struggle to make the work better. This is around the time where I would have to bring it to the next level and jump into all the small details of the sculpt, or… texturing.. People that have the patience to really sit down and carefully texture a 3D model spread out over multiple texture maps really have my respect!
This is also around the time where I usually get a flash of inspiration… I see someone else’s work and my brain just triggers, “Wow, this piece is so awesome, I bet, if I start tonight, I can make something in this style of a character no-one has thought of before! I’d better get started right now”! So, I abandon my current project and I go back to the ZSphere and start on a new armature.. I think I currently have about 30 sculpts on my hard-drive that are somewhere between 50 and 80% completed..
If someone has an answer for this one, or has a trick to get a hang of doing great texture work in a short amount of time, I’m all ears!
But, on the bright side, at least I know what my problem is right? They say, knowing the problem is like having 80% of the solution? Well, my current strategy is to simply work on projects that I know I can finish.. Maybe this time, I don’t go for a hyper-realistic likeness of a well known character in a big black furry cloak that very recently came back to life.. (sorry if I spoiled it for anyone, but come on, it's been 2 weeks!!)
I should really re-watch last weeks GoT, it was 7 AM, I might have missed something seeing as I was still half asleep..
MY SECOND OBSTACLE
My second obstacle is the ever crushing doubt, “I’m not good enough.. yet..”, “My portfolio isn’t finished.. yet..”.
"When should I send these guys from... [INSERT ANY POSSIBLE NAME FROM ANY GAME STUDIO ON THE PLANET] an e-mail? But what if they reject me..? That would suck.. but who knows, they might like my stuff..? Could I already send my portfolio out? I really should have a newer demoreel first.. But if I’m going to make a new reel, I should really have some newer work.. I should probably start a new project.."
Please tell me I’m not the only one who thinks like this... And oh.. I should watch Lord of the Rings again! And definitely not the Hobbit! God.. how bad was the Hobbit..
Anyway, this is my starting point, the following posts will be all about the things I have run into and hopefully, eventual success!