CGI is rising in popularity year after year. This exciting technology is used in movies, video games, art, and more. Still, it can be challenging to figure out how to get your start in the CGI industry. This article will offer tips and tricks for those interested in becoming professional CGI artists.
Master foundational CGI skills
Several CGI skills are likely to always be in demand. Lighting, for example, is a CGI skill you’ll want to master to ensure your work is appealing to potential hiring managers. You’ll also need excellent attention to detail. Nowadays, movie studios and game developers want their artists to pay close attention to textures, such as threads on clothes, reflections on particular objects, and each hair on a character’s head.
Consider a specialty
There is a lot that goes into CGI between characters, environments, lighting, and movement. Luckily, you don’t have to master every element to become a professional CGI artist. It can be beneficial to decide whether you want to specialize in character creation, environments and backgrounds, rigging and animation, or lighting. In most cases, you’ll be part of a larger team that works together to create the final project.
Develop a keen eye for human behavior and anatomy
If you decide to work with character modeling or rigging, you’ll need an expert understanding of human anatomy. Your characters must have realistic proportions. If their arms or legs are unusually long, it will make them appear less realistic. Of course, your artistic style may involve unrealistic proportions. In this case, you’ll still need to understand human behavior to ensure your characters’ facial expressions and mannerisms are believable.
Consider getting a related degree
Due to the complex nature of CGI art, many jobs require a bachelor’s degree. Those looking to enter the field should consider getting a degree in art, computer graphics, animation, or computer science. Earning a degree takes time, and it’s easier said than done. Still, it can set you up for success as you begin your journey to become a professional CGI artist.
Practice time management
CGI artists must imagine intricate scenes and bring them to life. You’ll often face tight deadlines, so you must know how to make the most of your time. Planning tools, like the Eisenhower Decision Matrix, can be a lifesaver when you begin your first professional CGI job.
The Eisenhower Decision Matrix breaks your tasks into urgent, not urgent, important, and not important. This method helps you determine which tasks should take priority, which should be delegated, and which should be ignored. If structured planning methods aren’t for you, it can still be beneficial to break your tasks down into smaller subtasks and write them down in order of importance.
Some say, “it’s not what you know; it’s who you know.” This is true in many industries, but in the CGI industry, it’s what you know and who you know. It never hurts to begin making connections. Sites like Linkedin can connect you with professional CGI artists and others who work alongside them. You may not find a job immediately, but you can get your foot in the door.
Connecting with those in the industry can put you in touch with people that can teach you the ins and outs of how they landed their job. Sometimes, they may need to delegate simple tasks to you, which can be a great learning experience. More importantly, you can make friends that can further your career down the line.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) has come a long way in the last few years. What was once a novelty is becoming an integral part of our daily lives. Do you own an Alexa device or use chat boxes to interact with your favorite online retailers? If so, you’re already using AI. AI can also be useful in making your side hustle, your way of earning a little extra income, a lot easier. Below are a few suggestions on how to harness this power to make your side business more lucrative and efficient.
Leveraging AI for your side hustle
Nearly 40 percent of Americans earn extra money on the side by doing things like selling things online, offering services, renting out their homes or cars and/or freelancing. Since the object of a side hustle is to make money, you don’t want to have to invest a lot of money in the project. That’s where AI technology can be invaluable in saving you from having to pay an employee or outside contractor to help you. Below are a few suggestions. All of the tools we suggest are affordable on a limited budget. Most also offer a free trial period.
1. Automate your marketing
One of the best things that AI can offer you for your small side gig sales efforts is to automate your marketing efforts. This allows you to do more with the limited time you have available to devote to your side business. For example, AI can write email marketing messages for you and even target and personalize them to appeal to different segments of your customers. Tools like MailChimp and Cortex can be very useful for those working side gigs.
2. Offer “big company” customer service
It’s not expensive to install a chatbot on your e-commerce website and offer your customers answers to all but the most complex questions 24/7. Affordable customer relationship management (CRM) software can provide this service as well as help you manage other customer inquiries. Good, affordable CRM tools for freelancers and those working side gigs include Monday.com and Hubspot.
3. Give your customers a better way to view your products
Another big asset of AI for small entrepreneurs is the ability to offer 3D virtual views of your products, turning your 2D drawings into 3D models. Tools like 3DFY let your customers view your products from all angles and better visualize what the finished product will look like.
4. Use AI as your personal assistant
If your side hustle involves appointments, let AI keep your calendar for you. You can use this technology to allow customers/clients to schedule time slots for things like piano lessons, massages, online tutoring or landscaping. AI tools, such as Vagaro, manage your calendar and handle things like reoccurring appointments and rescheduling. Most tools also send out confirmation reminders, which reduces your rate of “no-shows”.
5. Help you communicate better with clients and customers
One of the challenges to freelancing or offering services as a side gig is keeping in contact with your customers while you are working your primary job or working for other of your side gig customers. AI platforms like Slack offer an affordable way for you to consolidate all of your communication methods, such as text, instant messaging, email and others, on one dashboard, so you never lose a message. The free version of Slack permits you to integrate up to 10 applications.
You shouldn’t view AI as this mysterious concept that’s only applicable to computer geeks and scientists. Use AI to your advantage in your side business by using this technology to help you better connect with customers 24/7, showcase your products and improve your marketing.