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I can't believe I'm asking for advice on 4chan. But hey, you never know. So here's the story /3/D Bros.
I went to school for a degree in Computer Animation. My goal (like a lot of people) is to someday get into the game industry as a 3D artist. (Personally I'm into environment/prop art)
I graduated about 8 months ago, and my school basically fucked me over big time. They taught Lightwave, which basically nobody uses, and honestly, in retrospect from what I've learned since it is a shit program. I got told that it wasn't any big deal, that I could learn any other program easy because "they're all the same". Also there was no focus on building any sort of portfolio or body of work, all they did is harp harp harp on our Senior Show and making it good. Here I am, 8 months later and I'm unemployed, with a degree that is worth less than the frame it's sitting in.
Almost every single company I've applied for asks for different program competencies, mainly 3DS. So, thus I'm teaching myself 3DS. Chaps my ass that I should have learned it 4 years ago but it is what it is. It's just really frustrating because I haven't found many good tutorial series so most of the time I'm headbutting my desk trying to figure out why I'm not using the ____ tool properly.
My biggest problem right now is I'm not sure where to go from here. I'm working on getting up to date on programs, and then I'll start building a good portfolio after but then what? I have no industry contacts to speak of, no internship, nothing. (My school also neglected to mention these were important). How does one even go about finding said contacts? I know people at Pixar/Valve/Bethesda/Epic/ect didn't just wake up one day and find themselves at their desk, they had to start somewhere.