So, for the second part of my introduction, let’s continue. I was telling you before, about how I worked in a call center. Once I was only working there, without the 2nd job, I was able to kick my CG development into high gear. On average I would say, the next 3 years after my first, I put in even more time – like 12 to 15 hours a day. It doesn’t matter if you don’t believe me. I am not kidding when I say I’m obsessed. So during the day, I would use horrible PCs to try and get projects started, then go home to a slightly more inferior PC, that would turn off when it got hot.
I felt at this time, that my potential was limited. Here I was overflowing with ideas, however, I had a PC that was an absolute piece of s***. Sometimes the mag safe charger would get loose, and I’d have to fondle it, for sometimes half an hour, to get it back working. It was pathetic and it began to kill my ambitions.
I probably should have mentioned sooner that, before I decided to pursue CG, I had decided to leave my old life behind. It was similar to suicide, except I kept living. I consider myself a 3d ghoul, no longer part of the world of the living at times. I had an old life, overrun by corrosive people, in a small city, with no chance of ever getting better. I saw no future involving happiness, so I made the choice to sacrifice everyone who once knew me, for the chance to clearly pursue my ambition.
I always rant about how the life of the polygon is like being in a cult. I would live in a community, dedicated to the polygon, like a cult. Maybe I’ll make one. We’ll all wear wireframe robes and carry minecraft flames. But I’ll get back to the point here. 3D is to me a complicated and technical career, where outsiders are difficult to cue into the terminology, because they just lack the interest. I tell people I create digital matter, or film and game assets. But a lifestyle like this can’t take distractions. Life will be quick to show you a clearer path, than the one presented in 3d, which I think is invisible. It’s a road you must make. You road will appear before you, as you realize what your vision is. At least I hope so. That’s how I see it, IMO.
So, when I left my hometown, I left all cellphones and life behind. I had no interest in being contacted or being asked to come back. I wanted to just drift into nothingness peacefully, without a show, or even an audience. Even now, I don’t have a phone. Why call me? Phone calls were rarely good news in my old life. I would say, that was about 8 years ago, haha, or maybe 7. I just look at it like another universe. An evil… universe.
In time, people around me in the call center became curious about my 3d activities. My boss showed interest, which got my gears turning about making 3d training material, to ease the learning process. I modeled my life. At work, I made cubicles and modems as 3d models. Because I’m a sarcastically cursed comedian, I blew them up, and made them walk, and just learned the ins and outs, while thinking about a different path than the same old greasy ladder. “Why can’t a company just hire me as an idea-man? I think that’s my calling. Ha ha!” I hear words, then the ether begins materializing ideas.
As time went on, this call center changed, as I mentioned previously. The job became more sales oriented, and therefore they concluded my lack of sales was from using Blender, and not because they were basically forcing us to sell on a complaint line.
“Hello my internet is down.”
“Well here at ______ we have anti-virus software to protect your PC.”
“Does that fix my internet?”
“Well shove that up your a**!”
After being frustrated with both ends of the job, it began to wear on me, as customers were becoming more and more unhappy with our service quality. Not related to tech support, who just try to figure out what happened. It came to the point, where most people who called wanted to kill us. And in this time frame, they tried to take Blender from my life.
I couldn’t let this happen. Ha ha! I tried to fight it. However, my supervisor literally made me sit at his desk, and watched me like a timeout teen. I stood for it for a bit, but I couldn’t let myself be singled out, while people were dropping like flies around me. So, I began working away from the other workers, in the corner, and worked harder on selling, and even harder on Blender. I think at one point,
I made it clear to them, that the only thing making this job bearable was using 3d.
Don’t get me wrong. Whatever program I could run off of a flash drive, for 2+ years, and make 3d content was fine by me. It could have been maya, max, modo, or something else. But realistically, they would have sucked.
I began making friends at the call center and getting more acquainted with the town. I met a guy who is now what I call my healer. He is heavily into herbal restoration and is a healing soul. After explaining to him my situation, with poor PCs everywhere I looked, he did something impossible. He invested in a brand new PC for me. The PC I got was to my specs and was just amazing. I’ll forever be thankful for the sacrifice, since I was unable to afford it myself. He even went an additional mile, and got me the graphics card Cycles required. He allowed a payment plan, and restored my faith in myself and in my responsibility to make a mark, with that gesture alone. I learned how being a helping hand can be the push people need to actually get off their bums and do stuff.
I cannot overemphasize how, this one act of kindness changed my outlook on CG. I realized that, if people believed in my potential, then the means to express it would become clear on my path.
After all of this, I also got offered the chance to work at home. So now, I was working from home and doing Blender, no longer locked down taking DSL phone calls. I had the ultimate setup – a little monitor for work, and huge monitor for 3d. This was a true representation of where my priorities lie. I continued working, and getting better with this new PC, and I was unstoppable. I was moving units at work, and making nicer and nicer models on the 2nd screen, and all of it was possible due to one donation.
I have tried to take that same spirit with me into 3d, to give back to those walking the same path. Maybe someone like me, with all odds against him, will find his hope through something I did or said. It’s the mark I feel I’ll leave in this world. Also, by working from home, I think something snapped into place mentally. I just couldn’t be a drone anymore. I became aware that my calls weren’t being monitored hard enough, so I just became myself with customers on the phone, and it quickly became a much more pleasant experience. I didn’t read stupid scripts anymore, or say canned lines. I decided that I would try to develop easier dialogue, to get people to the point quicker, instead of so many counter questions to every step. That part isn’t relevant, but there were other things that happened during this time that are.
I now had a girlfriend, which was a very important step, since companionship and stability are important to surviving in this world. As of this writing, we’ve been together for about 5 years or something, but I couldn’t imagine life without her. Funny story, there was a time when I was using a Bamboo, but had a Intuos 3 with no pen. The pen was $70, and I was unable to afford it because finances were that tight. She bought me the pen, which I used for almost this entire time. In fact, that tablet has sentimental value to me, because it was a gift from her. I remember the note on the box saying, that she believed in me and supported my dreams. To this day, that box sits by what I call X3(my current PC), the one mentioned before was X2, and the Mac was X1. Being believed in, was what drove me forward, and for the first time, I had people around who supported my unhealthy obsession with 3d. With the new PC, I was elated. I decided that not sleeping would help me achieve greatness, and I blended even harder. I mean, 6am through work, until 2am the next morning. It probably made me crazier. Ha ha!
Around this time also, I began getting involved with the online artist community more. Before, I just posted videos, went back to work, watched tutorials, and answered hate mail. I got so much hate mail when I first started! I saw a show on the net, called “Meshed Up”, and was blown away. So many cool people being funny and hanging out. I realized that the path to the next level lied in social interaction. After convincing them I was cool, I was allowed access to a very unique group of talented people, and this is where I went from making stuff, to making art. These people are still my closest friends to this day, and that hangout is where I lurk. These people have grown with me, worked with me, and helped me develop into a more design capable being. I learned the true nature of a team. I also got my first job through social networking.
I have always been obsessed with being fast, and basically showing everyone my worth through sheer talent of tool handling, and that played a large role in building my reputation and perceived worth. My goal was to be the ultimate user. If there was a leader-board, I had to be number 1. I’d give my life for it. That was my attitude, and personally, I think that’s what connected me with my career at Dead Panic Studios, the studio that turned me from amateur to professional. DPS assigned me my rate and illuminated my path. The man running the organization shared the same ambition, and as a part of that team, I felt we began the expansion of the company from the ground up. When it comes to that job, there’s a part 1, and a part 2, but to keep it simple I’ll stick with part 1. This company was the ultimate playground: I could work; I could discuss ideas; and logic would prevail for the most part. We were ambitious as heck, taking on projects past our meager numbers, and attempting to crush with impunity. I personally feel, this was the most important part of my 3d journey because it taught me so much. I was able to see a dream grow into something more. As our team expanded, the membrane that held everyone together was stretched thin. Long story short, I’m no longer there due to personal disagreements. However, I do not regret any of it at all. Continuing on.
I have always wanted to be both an entertainer and an educator. I would like to light the paths of artistic improvement, because I don’t think it’s entirely clear how the CG field works. We talk about industry standards required by companies who won’t hire because of lack of experience. So you clutter yourself down with crap, official-ware with no soul, and end up producing the same thing as your buddy next to you. Why even do that?! There is an alternate path, however you have to grind eternally. In this CG world, I see a backwards model, of selling the secrets of the trade to the new meat, who is trying to learn the secrets of the trade. In this confusion of paywalls and locked information, there is a disconnect between the user and their very community. I produce a lot of content and it’s mainly for education, however I also have a more nefarious purpose. To eat! Bwahaha! However, I feel that I can produce richer content than the usual bear. Why do we present 3d like a cooking show? Why can’t that show be “Who’s Line is It Anyway”? Sorry, late nights make me random. In this time of uncertainty, all nights are late nights. Since I left my last job, my survival has been in the hands of my own inventions. I told everyone else this is my “burning the boats”, there is no surrender. No chains will be placed upon me because I don’t need guidance. I have my vision, and now I pander to my public, to support me in becoming successful.
Before my 2nd life began, I worked in the oilfields and in the industrial sector. Fumes, gases, sparks and unsafe conditions are the story of my life. In a time where I thought I could just do what I wanted with no consequence. Upon realization of what my last job in my hometown ensured, I left a oilfield career of 5 years and walked away from a life and career that was eating my body and soul inside and out. The life of a servant also doesn’t include insurance. Life for me is but a spark, but if I can make a fire within you, then my job is done. There is no need to dwell on the past. Once you walk the road of the polygon, life is over. Its like Gantz, with the ball that people see which gives them instructions. In the field of 3d, there is no time for sorrow. The overtaken artists that fall to sorrow are no longer progressing, and therefore are not competition anymore. My only response to failure is resolve. When I accept defeat, so will my body. I feel that this competition of 3d is a deeply spiritual journey, which has taught me to ask more interesting questions. Not so much, “What does a car look like?” but, “Where in my mind, did I get the perception that a car looks like this?” I’ve had to reanalyze my understanding of this world of shapes and moods, and it has taken me into a sub-world of 3d, to truly the root of imagination. And this is exactly where I want to be, producing art not simply assets. That’s the first step to becoming unique. You aren’t a construction monkey. Don’t make a chair. Make your chair!
Before I close, I would like to add, that paywalls aren’t something I agree with entirely, but I also don’t agree with starving. I try not to make paywalls because a servant can’t afford obstacles. However, I do survive in part, thanks to the kindness of those who admire and drive me forward, with positivity and donations. You must be willing to invest in your success. This world values money above all, and therefore sinking it into your studies (not college), ensures you truly aim to win. A loser will not invest in himself because he knows it’s a surefire loss. It’s a double win if you’re fortunate enough to make a difference in the life someone who is struggling in the cg industry, by buying a product to support him or her. If I make it to the top, I’ll spend the rest of my modified life to help as many over the wall as possible.
Before I close this post, I would like to talk about some milestones in my 3d development. I told you about the cube art I did when I was an “amateur loser”.
Milestone 1: getting started
I did this video of ethernet cables fighting
And this is my first concept of Deux. I am still in shock. I once thought this was acceptable. Haha!
My very first tutorial(or at least to me). Ducking Up. X1 days.
One day I’ll remake it and make the most realistic mallard ever.
Milestone 2: Goodbye Cubes.
Cubes are great and all but you won’t get hired with them. No one will ever admire a cube. Its too easy to make a cube, so much so, that it is an insult to leave it in the inferior 8-sided shape.
I was still a newb when making these, but I still love them.
I’m also obsessed with music videos – it’s part of my dream .
Milestone 3: Expressing A Vision
Over the course of learning 3d, I reattempted the same visions over and over to refine them. I found that as I worked with finer and finer artists, and teamed up with them, my own Sharingan was trained to be sharper and sharper. I hope those last three examples show just how refined a thought can become with progressive 3d understanding. I love them all. The first Deux will be on the key chain of the final Deux.
So that wraps up part 2. I was rambling a bit, so I think I’ll cut it this article short. Untill tomorrow!