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Thread: Career Advice for a 3D Visualizer

  1. #1
    Junior Member faheemrana's Avatar
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    Faheem Rana
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    Post Career Advice for a 3D Visualizer

    Hi everyone

    The is may be my 2nd post on the forum.

    I am a 3D visualizer since 5 years now, I have no degree related to design field.
    The tools I am proficient in are mainly 3ds max and adobe applications.
    I find myself always deep down the state of confusion what to do more to enhance my career and how to perfectly design it to survive in the future.
    The main confusion is whether to become 3D generalist or stick to 3D architectural, and to become graphics designer.

    I started several tools to learn like Zbrush, Sketchup, Illustrator, Indesign, Mudbox and now Revit(BIM). As I read somewhere that Revit(BIM) is only useful for those who are design engineers or have architectural/Civil Eng backgrounds.
    I just keep on switching tools, learn and leave them. I cant get a time to professional use those tools as I affiliated to the company who only wants me to work on 3Ds max.

    My question is what tools one should learn to make himself a good package so companies anywhere in the world would consider you as a good applicant.
    I am a good learner but can not decide a package of tools I should be following/learning.
    I hope Its not only me who is in this state of mind, sure many artists have already been through the same.
    Would appreciate the response and advice for everyone.
    Thank you so much.

  2. #2
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    Chris MacDonald
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    Default Re: Career Advice for a 3D Visualizer

    Well first you need to decide what you want to do. Do you want to work solely in achitectural visualisation, or do you want to expand into other areas? This will dictate what software(s) you need to learn.
    Check out my blog @ http://macviz.blogspot.co.uk/
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    Senior Member chroma's Avatar
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    Default Re: Career Advice for a 3D Visualizer

    Quote Originally Posted by Macker View Post
    Well first you need to decide what you want to do. Do you want to work solely in achitectural visualisation, or do you want to expand into other areas? This will dictate what software(s) you need to learn.
    Chris, this is so off topic; but I love your signature. Spot on!
    Except from that, for the thread starter: I have no clue why archviz people even bother starting up with Revit. Is it because firms have started hiring "BIM technicians with 3d skills"? BIM is so much more, and don't really have a big role in archviz. For making stunning imagery you don't use a BIM tool, you use a design tool like max. So if archviz is what you want, I'd skip Revit. I get the impression that you just want any job to secure the future, even if you must become a technical drawer overloaded with technical routines. Not an ideal situation for a creative mind?
    Last edited by chroma; February 26th, 2017 at 05:35 AM.
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    Default Re: Career Advice for a 3D Visualizer

    Quote Originally Posted by chroma View Post
    Chris, this is so off topic; but I love your signature. Spot on!
    Except from that, for the thread starter: I have no clue why archviz people even bother starting up with Revit. Is it because firms have started hiring "BIM technicians with 3d skills"? BIM is so much more, and don't really have a big role in archviz. For making stunning imagery you don't use a BIM tool, you use a design tool like max. So if archviz is what you want, I'd skip Revit. I get the impression that you just want any job to secure the future, even if you must become a technical drawer overloaded with technical routines. Not an ideal situation for a creative mind?
    In our company (there are 200 of us architects/techs) we design w/ revit and render w/ max. Even the hardcore 3d guys are expected to be revit savy. So the part about skipping BIM might not apply to everyone.

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    Senior Member chroma's Avatar
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    Default Re: Career Advice for a 3D Visualizer

    Quote Originally Posted by dantheman View Post
    In our company (there are 200 of us architects/techs) we design w/ revit and render w/ max. Even the hardcore 3d guys are expected to be revit savy. So the part about skipping BIM might not apply to everyone.
    I didn't mean skip learning Revit. I meant do not use it as a main program for where you setup your creative good looking imagery.

    Being able to use Revit or any other BIM-drafter program to clean up drawings and understand the building is important. Of course it is! Mixing BIM software with visualization is not needed nor wanted by any employee in other case than when he wants cheap technical illustrations. The BIM people will also get angry for taking parts of their job from them.

    For creative storytelling illustrations where you employ all design and composition knowledge you know, BIM has no role at all. Nothing. Nada. That's my opinion which I strongly believe in, all since BIM was introduced to our office 9 years ago. Since creativity is needed to get spotted amongst the mass, there will always be wise to go all in on expertise on that, just like BIM people have expertise in coordinating fields.
    Last edited by chroma; February 26th, 2017 at 08:54 AM.
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    Default Re: Career Advice for a 3D Visualizer

    Your question helped me.

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    Default Re: Career Advice for a 3D Visualizer

    As mentioned by Chris, it all depend of what your aspirations are, if you are not sure about your future, then being a generalist may be the better choice, you could jump between different disciplines and that would help you to put food on the table one way or other.

    Software are tools, the more you learn the better, you never know when you'll need them. Having said that knowing a tool does not equal you are an expert in that field. REVIT is not automatic BIM. Knowing 3DMax is not automatic visualization, there may be Architects that 'know' 3d Max but they are not Visualizers, and in the other side there may be an Arch Viz guy who know REVIT or CAD but that does not make it an Architect or designer.

    IMHO if you want to survive or be a great Arch Viz person you need to think beyond the software or tools you use. We Arch Viz people create experiences or create materials that are used to tell stories, to explain what Drawings or PowerPoint can't explain, we also help during design process to visualize concepts or try out different ideas, put in practice what can work and see what won't work.

    Where I work there are several people who know 3D Max, Lumion, Photoshop and many other tools that I use in my daily work. Should I be jealous or scare of them? no way, they have their role and the company relay on my expertise as Sr Visualization Artist to help them to produce the work they need, it is not only the tool but the process and input that you give that will make the difference. Technology is advancing really fast, get a Photo realistic rendering is getting easier every day, but experience and good decision maker Professionals are the one who make the difference, button pusher get replaced very quickly.

    Review your process and what you know, get strong in Artistry skill such color theory, composition, understand how light works, some landscaping, understand that building something in South Africa is completely different than build it in Norway. Real time, learn Architectural process, design process how to deal with clients, How to finish on time and when not to go all the way to 11, that and many other skill will make you a likable processional to work with, and not how many tools you know, they help you but if you don't have the first one, then you are not a pro, just a button pusher.
    "It is good to renew one's wonder"

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    Junior Member mattcooper's Avatar
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    Default Re: Career Advice for a 3D Visualizer

    I agree with Jon and Chris; focus on what it is that you want to do, and go all-in.

    It's good to learn the basics of BIM so you can clean and export models, but if you want to be a visualiser then anything more than the basics is not required.

    To become a good viz artist, learn and become proficient in Max, VRay and Photoshop as these are the main programs that Viz studios use. Create a good image with these and then try and create the same scene using another renderer such as Corona or Octance. Once you've done this a few times and you can go between multiple renderers easily, try learning a new 3D package such as Cinema 4D.

    At the end of the day, if you're creating good work, have a good artistic eye and a good knowledge of programs, it's easy enough to jump into other programs and pick them up fairly quickly.

    So decide what you want to do, look at the studios that you want to work at and look at what programs they use, and focus on them, don't waste time learning the ins and outs of ZBrush, InDesign and Revit if you want to be a viz artist, leave them to the character artists, graphic designers and architects!
    Last edited by mattcooper; May 2nd, 2017 at 09:06 AM.

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