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Old 10-05-2013, 04:41 PM   #1
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VFX Artists Overworked

There is a growing awareness worldwide about the overworked artists in the VFX industry.

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Old 11-05-2013, 12:30 AM   #2
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As much as it hurts me to say this being a visual artist myself, IMHO the fault lies in ourselves. Many years I have seen artists in all branches of the art field working for free to get exposure. Placing little value on the time and effort it takes to create. As long as artists ALLOW the world to take us for granted and we agree to work for free in big productions, we will always be taken advantage of. Working for free for a group of artists where nobody gets paid is one thing but to work for a production where everyone is getting paid but the 3d artists is another. It hurts all artists everywhere. Does the 3d community really need Hollywood to produce a movie? That I think is about to change. Sorry if I offend any of my brother or sister artists out there.
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Old 11-05-2013, 12:45 PM   #3
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well said mojon
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Old 12-05-2013, 09:35 PM   #4
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I wouldn't say overworked, but rather underpaid
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Old 12-05-2013, 11:45 PM   #5
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.. well..

I've experienced a 9 month crunch without a break.. so, yeah, definitely overworked..

but of course, that's not the rule.

But, most often it's those who're calling the shots and setting deadlines are the ones who have the least understanding of how things are done and the work involved (i.e. clients), and studio's Moneypeoples agree them, at the promise of more work in the future or risking losing assignments to competitors. With a budget that won't allow hiring more artists, but just enough to keep the ship sailing.

Studios have been underbidding and underbidding for a long time, to gain assignments from other competitors. This has resulted in astounding work becoming cheap, and clients feeling OK with asking for much and paying little (i.e. Ang Lee). But, the artist doesn't matter because: there's an oversaturation on the market. Too many highly skilled and talented people looking for work. And for one underpayed, overworked, burned out artist that quits, there are about 3-5 willing and able to replace him.
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Old 13-05-2013, 01:38 PM   #6
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It's really true! It's amazing to be part of a production but it's really stressing.
I think It would need a trade union.
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Old 13-05-2013, 07:51 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TekNeek View Post
Studios have been underbidding and underbidding for a long time, to gain assignments from other competitors. This has resulted in astounding work becoming cheap, and clients feeling OK with asking for much and paying little (i.e. Ang Lee). But, the artist doesn't matter because: there's an oversaturation on the market. Too many highly skilled and talented people looking for work. And for one underpayed, overworked, burned out artist that quits, there are about 3-5 willing and able to replace him.
This problem has particularly become exacerbated by the growing availability of studios at "3rd world" wages in areas like China and India. It used to be, not all that long ago, that if you wanted high-end effects, your choices were a handful of studios scattered across the US, Canada, and Europe. Now you've got a hundred times that many in areas with wages so depressed that an artist living in the US could barely afford to feed themselves on it (let alone any other expenses). And *these* studios are competing against you for the very same contracts and projects. Why pay a US artist a 50-75k salary, when you can take your work overseas and pay 5-10k, if even that much. It's all digital media anyways at this point...
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Old 13-05-2013, 08:41 PM   #8
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Yep.

And what most people don't get is that, unionizing will only shift jobs away from Britain or the US, to "cheaper" places. They'd just end up shooting themselves in the foot.

And, I'm seeing this happening with bunch of studios. A department in UK, or US will close and about 2 weeks later, a department of the same studio will open in Singapore or some other places.

A union will just speed up that evolution, since there are no Global Unions around.

Also, a thing that most CGI artists don't realize is that, just up to about 10 years ago, CGI was a highly highly specialized field, both in Hardware, Software (though, that hasn't maybe changed much), and in the Artist himself. Information regarding CGI was hard to find, and not really open to the general public. Very expensive schools, few books or just figuring it out yourself.

This has changed. I mean, just go on YouTube and type "3D tutorial", you'll get a overflow of videos. Information is much more easily obtainable, in every field regarding CGI. Also, tools have become easier to use, and more accessible to the Johnny Average (i.e. Blender). Nowadays, all you need is a decent laptop, and you've got yourself a Studio.

This causes CGI to not be available to only a few handfuls. The market is overflowed with Generalists, but full of Specialists also. This ends up allowing studios to lessen the salaries, since, you're just yet another one, but not a someone.

I'm speaking generally of course, since there are those who are specialized beyond Max, and really stand out Artistically and Technically (i.e. Vitaly Bulgarov, and various FX artists).

Today, if you want to stand out, you'll have to be specialized ridiculously high, in a field where there's a shortage, i.e. lighting or rigging, or scripting.

Sculptors (which was really a sought after specialisation just 8 years ago), Modellers or Texture artists? We're a dime a dozen.

Sadly, this is the evolution.
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Old 16-05-2013, 08:54 PM   #9
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Darwinism in effect I'm afraid - it's a labour intensive industry and labour in the western world is expensive.

Anybody with any common sense is embracing and profiting from far eastern art outsourcing - not complaining about it.
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