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I would like to know everyones thoughts and experiences on the business aspects/side of the Animation/Entertainment Industry.
Are there any books, articles, websites that are well known/recommended for young artists in the field? I've recently been encountered by various opportunities and would like to be well prepared for what to expect and how to conduct myself professionally in a Studio or Contract/Freelance Environment.
Looking forward to your insight
Talent and Creativity are yours to use and keep
[S K E T C H B O O K]
Can't speak for animation, but feel that the business side of video games is a necessary evil. It needs to be there, but is best when contained as best as possible and with as little control as possible in what actually gets created.
(disclaimer; speaking from experience in a way that may be considered by some to be a generalization.)
See, most businessmen either don't understand or don't respect creativity. What they understand is charts, graphs, and buzzwords. When trying to figure out what people want to see in a game, they put out a survey and figure out what has already been popular. Then they decide to make something like that but with a higher profit margin. As a result, the more that the studio (or corporation behind it) pays attention to playing it safe on the business end of things, the more likely they are to put out either blatant rip-offs of a dead horse that has already been beat over and over or bs that is totally crap that they tried to make shiny and desirable with a huge license.
Think of the games available out there; how many of them are original ideas? (Or at least a slightly different take on an old idea to make it more enjoyable?) Now, compare that to the number of FPS's that play like a cheaper version of every other FPS; the WoW clones; the inane iOS/facebook city-builders, virtual pets, virtual farms, and other "games" that don't amount to much more than a skinner box with a few bits of art to hide what it really is.
I'm not saying that there is anything inherently bad about those genres, but that if we want to see something new and exciting the business side needs to step back and let go of some of its control over what gets made. I can't blame them for caring about safe investments, but as both an artist and gamer I think that the medium would benefit much more from taking risks and exploring the potential of what games could be, rather than playing it safe and doing exactly what has been done before.
Please note, that I am not saying that EVERY game needs to be entirely different from anything out there, just that it should bring something new to the table other than just changing the appearance enough to avoid copyright infringement. (and in some cases not even doing that)
PCoene : Company culture plays a huge role too.
Odayga : Check AWN. Also, try to find out which field interests you the most and how you will specialize yourself. Movies / Game / TV / Web // character design / bg design / layout / storyboard / etc.
As far as the business side of games is concerned, Forbes had an interesting article about Valve and how they value their employees: http://www.forbes.com/sites/steveden...-future-valve/
For general business practices, the Graphic Artists Guild Pricing and Ethical Guidelines is a good reference to have. It's not specific to the entertainment industry, but covers a lot of what you would need to know as a freelancer (including sample contracts, invoices, and other basic business documents...)