3dRender.com Top 10 Tips for Landing a Job In 3D
by Jeremy Birn
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1. Be Good.

Schools selling computer graphics as a career skill tend to gloss over this dirty little secret: you have to be good at this stuff.  There are a lot of students going for a limited number of jobs, so a lot of the class is not really going to break into the industry - only the ones who can become really good are likely to make it.

You don't have to be good at everything, of course, but your career will not take off until you get really good at something.  You need to show professional level skills in at least one area, such as modeling, character rigging, effects, character animation, shader development, texture painting, lighting, or compositing.  Several skills are better than just one, but you need at least one to be hired as a pro.  The best way to learn is to start by going through the whole process, and then go back and focus more on the areas where you feel most confident or have the most fun.

Schools that try to train students specifically for computer arts jobs often don't have the high placement rates in the industry that their recruiters imply.  One reason for this is that studios hire a diverse range of people, with a lot of different backgrounds: degrees in Illustration, Film, Fine Art, Architecture, Philosophy, Physics, of course lots of people with Computer Science degrees, and people with combinations of useful degrees and previous job experience.  The only thing tying them together is that somehow they each became really good at something that feeds into the production pipeline.

Being good at what you do is my number one piece of career advice to anyone, and in the end it's the only one that really matters.

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