Friday, March 7, 2008

Tips for 3D Students: Networking - Work

Networking – Work Exposure

Getting Noticed by Thinking Small

Yes, that’s right, I just told you not to ‘THINK BIG’ but what I’m really trying to tell you is how ‘Thinking Small’ will help you more, down the road, than you know. I’m going to explain how to use your talents to get noticed through the internet, not through your Big portfolio pieces but by the much smaller unrelated pieces you can make.

When I say ‘Think Small’ I don’t mean by any stretch of the imagination that this will be the easier way, compared to making one big portfolio piece, so all the slackers giving a big sigh right now, I’m sorry. This path will boost your networking capabilities while giving you the practice to maximize that Big portfolio project that you will Have to do to get a job. This tool isn’t designed to get you a job in any direct way, though there is a chance that you might get a job offer through this, so that isn’t a guarantee. This is a Networking tool and will help you snag a lot more industry contacts than not doing it... so read on!

The principle of this idea is that instead of spending 30 hours and up on one big 3D or CG portfolio piece to put on your demo reel, you instead create three 10 hour projects that are smaller and more achievable than the behemoth that you might not even finish. This simple concept will vastly improve the speed of your work, which is a huge thing in the Gaming Industry especially, and expand the fold of people which know you and recognize your work. That is the most important part, that more people will know you and be able to recognize your art at a glance.

This works because while you’re working on that big 3D piece you get virtually no exposure till the very end, but if you work on multiple smaller projects that are still the same high quality (just scaled down) then you’ll get a boost to your exposure after every release. You will see that after 4-5 of these smaller projects that people will start visiting your blog/website (if you have one) more often; people will comment on your work more often; people will instantly recognize your work.

This is actually an age old trick that has been used mainly in marketing and has worked since the idea of marketing started. It’s breadth versus depth or as they like to call it, “Diversifying, but not too much”. The idea is that you want to balance the two; too much depth (too deep into one thing) and your company crashes the instant the market for that item decreases; too much breadth (too many things) and you make no profit because you appeal to no specific group. Think about it for a second. Isn’t trying to get a job in the Gaming industry pretty much like marketing to a customer? Although the roles are reversed, you have to market yourself as someone with something of value to give to their company in return for their hard earned cash. In that light, using marketing tactics to gain a meaningful job just makes sense.

As a final note, just to make sure, I’m not suggesting you sacrifice quality. Do Not Sacrifice Quality! Merely scale down the project so it’s more manageable.

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List of 3D Student: Networking advice topics so far

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