dick buff wrote:yup, great answer. When did you get into this sort of non-comics stuff? Like, at the time you were working at Extreme Studios, had you already started learning these skills? And are you entirely self taught? I do web design right now, but I think it'd be neat to eventually get into more "entertainment" related fields down the road, while at the same time working independently like you. It's real easy to find out info about breaking into comics. I mean basically you just get real good at sequential storytelling and then submit stuff to the various companies. But I would have no idea where to even start to break into some of the industries you work in.
A few months after doing my last work in comics, for Marvel, when I was 19, I purchased a Silicon Graphics O2 with Alias/Wavefront Power Animator -- a combo package I paid $17500 for back then, and now is worth didly... At the time, this graphic system and software was the top of the line, used by ILM and others for features including Independence Day, Jurassic Park, among many others... Power Animator was the predecessor to Maya... Within the first month of owning the system, I taught myself the fundamentals of 3d nurbs modeling, and modeled my first head. It helped a whole lot, knowing the art of illustration as a boost in understanding 3d...
Since then, every one of my skills (I'll paste a fairly all-inclusive list below) I have 100% self-taught... every single individual discipline I learned, from illustration and storytelling, to modeling, graphic design, etc, has been a huge learning block for learning new tricks... each trick takes less time to learn... and now, I learn new complex software at literally a fraction of the time it takes someone to go learn it at a school or college, or Gnomon, for instance... and I save on the many thousands of dollars it costs to be educated at these facilities... and I use that money by reinvesting into my own biz, buying more machines, more software, more power...
I first taught myself 3d on Power Animator and O2... then, I got about $40K in work doing some 3d toy animations for Applause Toys, for the Star Wars toys given out at KFC and Taco Bell... with that money, I bought a Power Mac and started learning photoshop and other programs... with that, I landed one of my first projects on staff, working on the Roughneck Chronicles, Starship Troopers Animated Series, where I was responsible for the majority of the Insect textures and shaders, and modeling a bunch of insects too... from there, I just built my reel and portfolio and started building websites for myself, then offered those as services, etc, etc, etc.... till, I gained all the skills I have now, and continue to learn, at a fast pace.
If you're interested in starting out in the biz, and have a few skills to offer, you can always find gigs on Craigslist.org, Designinmotion.com, AWN.com, Highend3d.com, Creativeheads.com, and several other sites on the net... and as you build your reel and skills and portfolio, you can ask for higher rates, and start calling your own shots, while working at home, in your underwear and cowboy hat, like I do
TRADITIONAL & DIGITAL MULTIMEDIA & INTERACTIVE ANIMATION & DESIGN -- ARTIST
• Illustration & Painting: Stylized, Cartoony, Photo-Realistic, Fantasy, Science Fiction
• Classical Painting: Oils, Acrylics, Watercolors
• Conceptual Illustration: Characters, Creatures, Costumes, Backgrounds, Buildings, Landscapes, Vehicles
• Storyboard Illustration: For every occasion
• Comic books / Graphic Novels: Penciling, Inking, Coloring, Painting
• 3D Production: Character Modeling, Character Animation, Texture Mapping, Binding & Rigging, Props & Sets, Lighting, Rendering
• VFX & Live Action Integration: Roto-Scoping, Wire Removal, Green Screen Removal, 2D/3D Compositing, 2D/3D/ Motion Tracking, 2D/3D Visual Effects, 2D/3D Particles, Digital Matte Painting
• Video Production: 2D/3D Motion Graphics, Video Editing, Audio Editing
• Multimedia & Interactive: Graphic Design, Web Design & Development, Flash Animated Banners, 2D/3D Interactive Gaming Design & Development, (basic) Programming & Scripting
Software & Technology:
• AutoDesk: Maya, Combustion
• Newtek: Lightwave
• Pixologic: Zbrush
• Adobe: After Effects, Photoshop, Illustrator, Image Ready, Streamline, Acrobat
• Meta Creations: Poser
• Right Hemisphere: Deep Paint 3d
• Macromedia: Flash, Dreamweaver, Fireworks
• Sony: DVD Architect
• Sonic Foundry: Sound Forge
• Cakewalk: Home Studio
• Os: Windows / Macintosh
• Among Many Others