Posted by chrismmurray, 20 January 2012 7:00 pm
Hi Jamie! Thanks for your time today. Tell us a little about your self. In a few brief sentences, what are broad strokes of thepath that have brought you to this point in your career?
"Ive been creating 3D professionally since 2000. I’ve always been interested in design, whether it’s architecture, products, or street art. This steered me towards positions as a product designer, a graphic designer, followed by various roles in the architectural world. In one way or another, 3ds Max has been a part of every professional job I’ve had. It’s crazy to think how much I’ve relied on this product over the years."
What (or who!) were some of your major influences along the way?
"Snowboarding videos seem to have been an influence on me recently, I particularily like the unique style they have, mainly due to the footage grading and cmera moves. the three main non-cgi influences have probably been Stark, Banksy, and Charles Rennie Mackintosh. With the job I do, I'm lucky to see a broad range of 3ds Max users. It's rare not to find at least one piece in their portfolio that doesn't give me some inspiration.
As a child then their was no better inspiration than Lego.I think nurtured my imagination, and hunger for constructing things in CG."
What is favorite non-computer related creative outlet?
I'm sure every person featured on your site will say photography. It's almost a standard in the CG world now that you must understand how a real-world camera works to work in a CG job. (Sorry Chris but I'm running a Canon 7D currently.) I try to get all I can in the image, but will always do some minor post. I also try to keep a folder of imagery on my computer for inspiration. This is my only creative outlet. My main hobbies are mountain biking and snowboarding. The latter, I tend not to do as often as I would like. You can find me most Saturdays out in the forest. This allows me a chance to switch off and de-stress.
What is your favorite aspect of 3dsMax and why?
"My favourite aspect of 3ds Max is the community of users it has gathered. For me there's no other 3D application out their that has such a strong community of artists that are willing to freely share tips, tools and workflows. It's very rare to find such high quality free tutorials and files. This is how I developed most of my workflows and resulted in me starting my own blog to give back to this exceptional community.
If we were to focus on just one feature in 3ds Max then I would be inclined to choose the 'Flex' modifier. It's such a simple tool, but is amazingly powerful for all types of projects, by adding a secondary level of motion without any complex knowledge."
What non-cg talent or skill has proved the most beneficial in your cg-career (skill, ability, philosophy, what ever....)?
My awareness of needing to market my skills and share knowledge arrived late to me. I wish I had started this sooner, as it has certainly helped in my career. It wasn't until mid way through my production career that I started to share imagery and animations with software developers. This led to some freelance work as well as leading to me being a beta tester for various products and plugins. The first image I created and shared was for Cebas' finalRender for Siggraph use. This must of been around 2005. This one simple image led to be included in various publications and as result leaded to some job offers. There's a wealth of talented 3ds Max artists out there, but it's often difficult to find them, particularly when language is involved. Sharing your work with people like Autodesk for showreels, or publications like 3dArtist or 3dWorld will instantly raise your profile, and you never know where this may lead.
What advice would you give to someone starting to learn 3D in hopes of building a career in 3D or VFX?
"Attend 'meetups' or CG gatherings. You will learn more in one of these meetups than you can learn in a week of book reading or trawling the internet. I try to attend the London 3ds Max User group, The monthly London User Group is regularly attended by 50-60 high-profile users, and has been going for at least five years. The evening is an informal gathering held in a pub, which probably helps the sharing of knowledge. It’s also great to hear that more user groups are starting to appear, so keep an eye on my blog for more info.
I would also add, (perhaps controversially) to not believe everything you read or watch on the Internet. Try out different work-flows and tools, and make up your own mind. What work-flow that suits someone else may not suit you or more importantly your style of work. Try not to copy other peoples work, but build on the style and make it your own.If your making a show-reel, then choose some music that is not in well known. The ones I enjoy watching are enhanced by the music which is unique in itself. Don't repeat clips to fill the length of the track. If you don't have enough projects, then just make it a shorter show-reel. For me there's nothing worse than keep seeing the same model or image appearing. (My first show-reel was extremely guilty of this.) I also recommend including a small text description at the bottom of each clip in your show-reel that describes what you did on it. Particularly if you've just graduated and have some joint projects showcased. Don't be worried about saying you only did the texturing on that shot. This reduces any confusion and shows honesty. Finally, I would also say to explore all types of 3d work. the CGI world is merging and the skills needed are merging from each industry. An awareness helps you develop as a skilled artist. Using social media like Twitter can certainly help. You can follow me using the hash tag @3dsjamiesjewels."
Thanks Jamie! How do our readers find you (assuming you want to be found)? (Twitter handle, URL, Facebook, Google+, etc...)
"Jamie Gwilliam, Autodesk, @3dsjamiesjewels, www.jamiesjewels.typepad.com
I am a 3ds Max Application Specialist, based at Autodesk London. The territory I look after is a varied one, classed as EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa). The job involves looking after a number of Media & Entertainment Division products that fall into the Entertainment Creation Suites. My core focus is around 3ds Max, and this is certainly my favourite product. I shouldn’t really have a favourite program, but it’s difficult to not warm to it, considering I have spent a third of my life working with this creative tool. My role requires me to liaise directly with customers, and also helps our channel partners with their sales activities."
Is there an artist you would like to learn more about? Let me know... comment below and provide links to their work. Don’t recommend your self please. You can also tweet me links and suggestions @chrismmurray
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