I'm currently a programmer, at least professionally. I code in roughly 6
languages at "master level" (industry term, though I haven't considered
myself a master of anything since Pascal), for multiple OS's, and have been
the primary person responsible for much of my employer's innovation (some
heavy duty automation and large scale control for the biggest webhoster in
the US... hehe). I've proven myself in my current field, and have proven
that I can do practically any damn thing that comes my way... a plus on a
resume for any job, I'd assume.
However, while I enjoy programming, I enjoy modeling and animation even
more. I've been toying with 3d Studio since version 3 for dos (on my old
386 w/ an added math coprocessor specifically for 3ds), and have done a
little contract work. I'm not sure how I compare to many experts, but I've
already seen that I can surpass quite a few professionals (if you don't
count movie studios, I'd say I'm pretty damned good). I'm working on a
portfolio (cdrom and dvd versions), as well as some animation projects of my
own to show what I'm capable of. No education on the matter, but quite a
bit of experience (a little over a decade now, I think). I've also got a
few plugins of my own that handle things like gravity, landscaping,
character animation, and a few industrial motion simulators.
Here's my question. As someone with no real credentials, but (what I hope
is) an impressive demonstration on-demand, where would I go to find
companies looking to hire? I can find coding jobs in seconds after
looking, but I've only seen one or two animation or even modeling jobs, and
both were for * programs I'd never even heard of. 3d Studio is the
most commonly used app I hear, so where do the companies that use it go to
find people? And more importantly, if you can visually demonstrate that you
know what you're doing and have been doing it for years, how much will that
help in light of no formal training? (in programming that would be worth
solid gold compared to any degree, but what about in animation?)
And for that matter, honestly, what capabilities should I be able to show
before I've earned the right to even say I'm good enough to go pro? Other
than just plain artistic talent and a good eye, what sort of benchmark is
there to seperate the men from the boys? For instance, I'm a little
inexperienced with nurbs, but I can cook up a wicked MaxScript to do just
about anything I want.
And please, no flames... I know the job market sucks like a hoover right
now, and I know there's a lot of competition in this market. I'm willing to
move (Houston is not the best place for this sort of thing), and I'm willing
to take a less than standard pay rate (I make about 32k right now, far under
market value for what I do, but I can afford to go a little lower if need
be). I'd love to move onto a track that would lead to special effects or
even better, but I'll do industrial animation or even corporate logos if
that's where I'd have to start.
"With the basest of companions have I walked the streets of Houston."
St Augustine... sorta.