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marmalade

how to learn

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Im finding  C4D is so complex and deep that I find it very difficult to focus on learning it. I never can decide how to go about it. Whether I should concentrate on one area such as modelling, hair, dynamics, particles etc and just try to get very good at one thing then move on to something else or learn bit here and there of everything which is what Im currently doing. TBH though i cant remember any of it.  My brain just doesn't retain much  of it at all. Ive been learning it for two years now and don't feel like Im really much good at anything.  I can watch tutorials and learn techniques till Im blue in the face but end of the day I dont ever seem to have any ideas of my own about things or know what to do with the skills I have learnt.  

 

How do people learn this stuff and turn it into a career?  Are people just faking it with their clients then figuring out how to do stuff as they go along and when needed?  Because I dont feel like Ill ever be at place where I can just do whatever a client wants. Life is too short to learn it all.  I guess when you work for an agency or something you are given something to do.

 I even went to uni and completed a degree but was still not enough to give me the confidence to feel like I know what Im doing and land a job.  The degree was very broad though so only learnt  little bit of this and that, many different programmes.  I did really well at uni and threw  my heart and soul into it but as soon as it was over I had no clue what to do next.  Uni did now prepare us for the transition at all.
 

Any advise from professionals about how to approach companies and what I need to show them?   Do I need a showreel or is a showreel something you have after you have done enough work to put on one.  Where I live entry level positions are rare as hens teeth and ask for 2 years experience! 

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sounds like you are aiming rather for a generalist position or even possibly going freelance?

only you can tell if there's an area in 3D you wanna focus on, if you have no idea then that's probably your heart telling you it wants to go generalist... or make up artist, or zoo keeper ;)

 

while watching tutorials is good and essential it's not enough to memorize all the stuff. solving problems on your own is a much more effective way to learn. set yourself small goals, little fun projects you can complete within a week or two. doesn't matter if you have no idea how to do it, figuring it out is the fun part anyways. once you completed it, take a deep breath and move on to the next. prepare for not doing much else the next couple of years, and don't forget to always tip your pizza delivery guy.

 

as for your question about client work: it would be utterly boring if i always knew exactly how to do every task involved in a project. unfortunately this situation happens more often the better you get. so enjoy your lack of knowledge while you can and dive into it. btw, there's nothing "fake" about it, in CG even the people at big studios solve problems while working at a project. no one knows exactly how to solve any task thrown at him right away.

 

and of course, a demo reel can get you jobs. as long as it's good it's actually the very best way to get you jobs.

 

i hope that helps.

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Some good advice there from everfresh.  Not much to add but to tell you that tutorials are streamlined, they iron out all the problems, the problems that always come up that will help the viewer follow the tutorials refined workflow.  Just remember that in reality this is not how it works.  The better you become at problem solving the more productive your be.  

 

When I follow any tutorial I watch it, then watch it back again taking a section of it, then I go off and do it. The way I learn is to teach.  This may sound strange but in my mind if I can't teach it I really did'nt get it.  I would test myself even if im not teaching it.  Id ask myself could I teach it, could I show it, and id simulate that?  I would shut down the tutorial, and start what iv been learning from scratch.  I did this with Brets rigging tutorials.  Watch it, watch i again, do it, and do it several times.  Repetition will set it in there because doing it is what helps retain more than using any other senses.  Reading is the lowest retention, then seeing, then seeing and hearing is what he get from tutorials.  Doing it is the highest way to retain it.  If your doing it while simulating teaching it your talking your self through it, try it, it works for me very well.

 

See if you can do it as if your showing someone else, this really helps me retain it.  I found this out years ago when I started making videos for myself in case I forgot how to do it later on, but by doing this I never returned to the videos. I  Kept doing this as it helps others but I never end up watching my own videos.  Im not suggesting you make videos but follow a kind of workflow that makes you repeat a task as if you were projecting your knowledge away from you.

 

You need to have a think what area is of the highest interest.  Modelling is always a good place to start, this naturally leads to learning Uv mapping, then texturing, then surfacing, lighting, and before you know it you would have learnt something in many areas.

 

Keep at it ,good luck.

 

Dan

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  • Hey guys, thanks for the great advise and encouragement.  I will be taking it all onboard.  ::):

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    Getting those first bits of professional work can definitely be tricky. In this case, perhaps inquiring about internships with these firms that demand 2 years experience in your area is worth a shot. Also, look around for groups/people who are into the CG field. I know it can be arduous for some, but networking can be a great way to start getting others to think about you when they have some task that needs an extra hand, or they don't have the time to do it themselves. Reconnecting with college mates from your program, or similar programs is another way to start getting you out there, which can be easier than meeting up with strangers. I get together with a few colleagues every few months for drinks, shop talk, laughs, and sometimes they bring new people. It's fun and interesting and I've been asked many times if I have time for some side work. Be confident in your desire to learn and don't be embarrassed to ask questions.

     

    If you've been learning C4D for 2 years, I'm pretty sure you have a good semblance of terminology, knowledge of the program, and basic procedures. You will be surprised when you finally get a chance to work on something real how much you actually know, as well as where and how to seek help for the really tough parts. Doing while problem solving along the way is probably the best way to really solidify your knowledge of the many techniques and approaches you've gleaned from all those tutorials.

     

    Heck, you can even start right here! The Cafe has a vibrant New Users forum where problems are posted all the time. Take a look, find something that doesn't seem way out of your league and just start researching and trying out solutions. The work of trying to solve those issues will ingrain old and new knowledge along the way. 

     

    As for which discipline is for you, well that will come with experience, unless you do some serious soul searching, research, and practice. Make a list of different CG disciplines (product modeling, architecture, motion design, simulation, sfx, etc) and dig into them. Look at lots of examples. Try to recreate some of them. Get on forums, talk to your friends and family, ask specific questions and try to suss out what it's actually like to work in those fields and you should be able to build a better picture of what you would or would not like to do. Understanding what you don't like is just as, if not more important than what you do like. Then just continue refining that focus.

     

    Wishing you the best of luck in your journey!

     

    -Casey

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