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Reinfarcements

Questions about making it as a 3D Animator

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Hey guys, completely new here and fresh out of school. I got a general Associate's Degree and a Certificate in Game Design under my belt, just finishing the latter 2 weeks ago. About 3 and a half years of schooling all together.

During that time it became clear to me I wanted to be a 3D Animator working on video games. The 3D animation class I took did not focus on video game animation specifically, it focused on the fundamentals of 3D animation and exporting the finished animations as videos with some post-production as well. The transition from normal 3D animation into 3D animation for video games is where most of my questions come from.

In school, I learned everything I know on Cinema 4D. I know most employers are probably going to have a different program in their studio, so my question here is, will they expect me to know my way around their program of choice or will they give me time to learn this new program once hired and on site?

Next question is about the technical differences between regular 3D animation and video game animation. Again when it comes to animation I only have education in creating regular 3D animations, and very limited knowledge on getting them to work in a game. I know many developers use "skeletons" or "rigs" for their characters, which I believe are used to create animations that can be used by any models of the same type (humanoid rig, dog rig, alien rig, ect.). My question here is, am I expected to know how to create skeletons and rig a character before being hired, or is this something they will teach me/give me time to learn once I've been hired? 

Finally, I would like to ask if there are any "industry standard" programs I should be familiarizing myself with, since I really only have experience with Cinema 4D? I am ready to start creating a portfolio / demo reel that I could send to employers, and am wondering if there is a certain program that I should create these demo animations in that would appeal to more employers? And should these demo animations be created in a specific format? (example being skeleton/rig animations, or could they simply be any type of quality animations I want to create?)

Any additional advice about making the transition from regular 3D Animator into video game 3D Animator would be much appreciated. I know this is a lot of questions to be asking, and I apologize if some of it is self explanatory or general knowledge. Thanks for your time.

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13 minutes ago, Reinfarcements said:

Hey guys, completely new here and fresh out of school. I got a general Associate's Degree and a Certificate in Game Design under my belt, just finishing the latter 2 weeks ago. About 3 and a half years of schooling all together.

During that time it became clear to me I wanted to be a 3D Animator working on video games. The 3D animation class I took did not focus on video game animation specifically, it focused on the fundamentals of 3D animation and exporting the finished animations as videos with some post-production as well. The transition from normal 3D animation into 3D animation for video games is where most of my questions come from.

In school, I learned everything I know on Cinema 4D. I know most employers are probably going to have a different program in their studio, so my question here is, will they expect me to know my way around their program of choice or will they give me time to learn this new program once hired and on site?

you'll need to know the software they use; usually. In most cases a studio will animate in something like Maya, once in a while i've seen max, but usually maya, the rigs and controls and in many cases extra modes for things like weapon placement in-hand or on-back will be in the rig itself. that extra data is something a tech-artist would have setup along with an engineer. c4d is usually used for motion graphics, not too often used in game design. That said, knowing the UI and how to use a rig in maya is important, even the less expensive version from steam LT is useable to learn.

13 minutes ago, Reinfarcements said:

Next question is about the technical differences between regular 3D animation and video game animation. Again when it comes to animation I only have education in creating regular 3D animations, and very limited knowledge on getting them to work in a game. I know many developers use "skeletons" or "rigs" for their characters, which I believe are used to create animations that can be used by any models of the same type (humanoid rig, dog rig, alien rig, ect.). My question here is, am I expected to know how to create skeletons and rig a character before being hired, or is this something they will teach me/give me time to learn once I've been hired? 

Usually games require faster timing, like punches are irregularly fast to get to the hit, jumps have very little wind up and usually go right into the falling part of a jump. Animations like runs have to start and stop with the exact same pose, most of the time you'll also want to take _out_ the "character" of a run or walk cycle. As a player watching a "stylized" run or walk cycle gets annoying.

13 minutes ago, Reinfarcements said:

Finally, I would like to ask if there are any "industry standard" programs I should be familiarizing myself with, since I really only have experience with Cinema 4D? I am ready to start creating a portfolio / demo reel that I could send to employers, and am wondering if there is a certain program that I should create these demo animations in that would appeal to more employers? And should these demo animations be created in a specific format? (example being skeleton/rig animations, or could they simply be any type of quality animations I want to create?)

Any additional advice about making the transition from regular 3D Animator into video game 3D Animator would be much appreciated. I know this is a lot of questions to be asking, and I apologize if some of it is self explanatory or general knowledge. Thanks for your time.

Learn Maya, remain persistent, learn about rigging in maya, learn more than just animation, learn texturing and modeling, learn technical stuff, don't stop learning. To keep working and to stay employed you should be that guy that knows how to do a bunch of stuff, not just one thing.

 

good luck.

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