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Thread: Arch Viz Career Path

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    Default Arch Viz Career Path

    I'm trying to start a career in the architectural visualization field and I'm curious as to how people arrived at the jobs they currently hold. Was your focus on arch viz and were you lead there? Did you start with a small company doing something completely unrelated to arch viz and work to where you are? What got your to where you are, was it a portfolio, connections with friends, a phone call? There are many other questions but I'm blanking so if you feel like imparting some wisdom please do. I welcome any help or advice. Thanks!

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    Veteran Member Dave Buckley's Avatar
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    Default Re: Arch Viz Career Path

    Strictly speaking i don't 'just' do arch viz, although it is part of my job.

    Heres the path i took.

    I went to uni to study digital film and 3d animation technology.

    I hated it however, i developed a lot of knowledge of 3ds max amongst other products

    I wanted to quit uni, however, i decided to stay and use the knowledge of 3ds max that i had already gained to take an 'industry' change.

    i looked into arch viz (internet, mags)

    i loved it

    i looked into it somemore

    i devoted my last year of uni to arch viz

    i graduated

    i went on job sites

    all i found was 'sales, recruitment, sales, recruitment'

    i then saw a job selling 3ds max

    i thought if i'm gonna get a job in sales then i may aswel sell something i know how to use

    i got an interview

    they saw i had the technical capabilites

    i was offered a technical job rather than sales

    i now work with 3ds max every day, mostly arch viz, but other things too such as mechanical animations etc, as our clients span multiple industries.

    after almost quitting, i know teach 3ds max at a basic level

    and i'm now looking for work with dedicate arch viz companies

    hope it helps a little bit

    (sorry for the life story)

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    Veteran Member ihabkal's Avatar
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    Default Re: Arch Viz Career Path

    wanted to work with animals, as a vet or farmer. Brother advised me to study architecture. played games early 90s and liked the 3D in them (command and conquer).
    wanted to do 3D so taught myself with books. After graduation couldn't find anyone to hire me for $500 a month. people in Lebanon thought that 3D was stupid and useless. Left and worked for an arch firm in Egypt for 1 year in 2001, then left to USA for 5 years working for arch viz firms. loved it. had to leave after visa expired. came back to Lebanon. now everyone here knows what 3D is. took them 10 years though. Now I won't accept a job for 4 times as much as I was asking when I graduated. I work alone for myself. Wish I was a vet and treated cats and dogs.
    anisboukaram likes this.

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    Member 3rddimension's Avatar
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    Default Re: Arch Viz Career Path

    Studied Building Services Engineering in College
    Graduated with an honours degree from DIT and Trinity College Dublin
    Went to Chicago for some R&R for 4 months (drink baseball drink baseball - witnessed the sammy sosa mark maguire slugg fest!)
    Came back and began work in an engineering firm.
    Didn't know any 3D but managed to land a job in a small arch viz studio
    stayed there for a year and a half and then setup my own studio
    Started from the bedroom and eventually built it up from there
    10 years later running a business I love and have a great team around me.
    Things are tough at the moment though but trying to diversify - training courses and medical 3D

    Its funny reading this post as I only just gave a presentation to architectural students outlining the above in a bit more detail and to get across the point that everyone needs to have an open mind no matter what career path you choose.

    Regards
    Nick

    3rd Dimension dot ie

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    Default Re: Arch Viz Career Path

    Dave - no worries about the long and short of it not being so short, you never know what information is important and what isn't. I do have a question though. What kind of activities are you doing or organizations your going to to find a job with an arch viz firm? Meaning what are you doing to find a job?

    ihabkal - nice story, sounds like you made it happen, very encouraging I have a question for you. What was the main thing that landed you your first job? What are the things you've done to maintain a steady work flow throughout the years?

    Thanks for replying!

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    Default Re: Arch Viz Career Path

    I went to school for Architecture, had a couple summer jobs at an AE firm. Started full time at the same firm in the IT dept. while still in school. In my spare time at work and in classes at school I found a passion for modeling/rendering. This was in the early years of Arch Viz, before it became the industry it is now. The design dept. needed someone who could do 3D and I was the best candidate, after working on one project for 5 months straight, doing modeling/rendering, I knew it was the best job for me.

    I finished a B.S. Arch degree, but convinced my boss we needed a full time renderer. It's been my position at this company for over 15 years, the group grew to 3 but we recently lost one due to layoffs.

    Unfortunately you are in a time where finding a 3D job is very difficult, but it won't be like this forever.

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    Default Re: Arch Viz Career Path

    I started off at the University of Houston studying Architecture, in about my 3rd year I took a 3D class and decided that's what I wanted to do for a career. From that point on I took every 3D course I could find but there were only a few. I got into a studio that strictly worked in 3D and during that year I took all of my old projects and turned them into 3D models which I used to create a portfolio. I graduated with my Architecture degree and began working at a local firm as their 3D guy but two months after that I was laid off. It took about 2 more years before I found a full time position doing 3D again, during that time I worked as an architectural intern which really sucked. Now I run the viz department at my current firm and I love it.
    I make fake things for real people to convince them fake things are real.

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    Veteran Member Dave Buckley's Avatar
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    Default Re: Arch Viz Career Path

    Quote Originally Posted by Waywardsoul2 View Post
    Dave - no worries about the long and short of it not being so short, you never know what information is important and what isn't. I do have a question though. What kind of activities are you doing or organizations your going to to find a job with an arch viz firm? Meaning what are you doing to find a job?
    again i've kind of landed on my feet with this one, due to the job i'm in now, i have great contacts. a lot of companies using max for visualisation are good friends of mine on a business level. so your probably asking why i've not made the move yet? i've been making the most of the time at my current job, getting the training, certifications, qualifications, basically getting myself up to a professional level where i feel i could apply for other jobs.

    so to be honest i'm not really doing anything other mainting a network of contacts in the industry.

    i may decide not to go and apply at another company. i really want to go freelance and eventually build that into my own company. and i'm currently looking long and hard into that.

    hope it helps

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    Veteran Member mahorela's Avatar
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    Default Re: Arch Viz Career Path

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Buckley View Post

    i may decide not to go and apply at another company. i really want to go freelance and eventually build that into my own company. and i'm currently looking long and hard into that.

    hope it helps
    I am hearing you there but it feels quite risky to do that at the moment.

    Like the other guys I struggled through freelancing in the early days and eventually landed a job creating models for a lighting company for prototyping (woo hoo). Went on to teach IT at college. But the whole time through every job I had since, I was working on my skills and my portfolio for archvis.

    Eventually I applied for a job just to see if I would get a call back, had a good portfolio and a portfolio website. I ended up getting the job and was working along side a junior. Within 12 months (and alot of hard work) our team had swelled to 8 and I was suddenly the creative director of quite a large vis company.

    At the end of the day the most important thing is that your portfolio is good and well organised. If you can do work that turns heads you will get an opportunity.

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    Default Re: Arch Viz Career Path

    Best of luck to everybody on your jobs and careers. It's a bit daunting at the moment for me trying to go into a field in a recession so I was curious how people ended up where they did. It doesn't seem like there is a set path like the mail-room to assistant to manager to VP path which is interesting to learn. I wonder how I'm going to get to where I want to be, aside from the hard work that is. Cheers!

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