With the heat, lazy afternoons and the promise of ice-cream by the beach comes a few challenges for the 3d artist. Depending on the nature of your work, and where you’re situated, the summer can either mean a long-awaited vacation, or lean months, where projects are sparse and the savings account faces the possibility of being quickly depleted.
In this listicle, we’ll try to visit the possible scenarios you, as a 3d artist, may find yourself in when the dog days hit, and what you can do about them!
1. Vacation Time
You’ve been freelancing long and hard throughout the year, and because of that, you’ve managed to save up some dinero for this very season. You might be working at a studio or company, and as is the case in many industries, the summer season is slow. Incidentally, you’ve got enough leaves left for a nice, week-long trip to the coast.
Regardless, you look forward to that road trip, and the waves you’ll be surfing once you’ve hit your destination. Nothing to worry about except where you’ll be making a pit-stop for some snacks.
Regardless of how you’ve managed to find yourself looking forward to some long awaited rest and relaxation, congratulations! You’re finally about to reap the benefits of your discipline and foresight. Have a good one! You deserve it!
2. The slow summer bummer
You may not have the benefits of steady employment to make adequate preparations for the slow season or are still learning your way around the world of freelancing as a 3d artist. Either way, hitting the beach isn’t looking like an option, and you’re probably going to have to tighten your belt a bit to get by the summer without breaking the bank while hunting for whatever projects might be out there in your favorite freelancing platforms.
If this is you, don’t worry. There are a couple of ways you can at the very least, sow some seeds for the rest of the year, or even find new job avenues during the summertime dry spell.
2 tips for the Dog Days
Up your game
Stay productive. The slow months are a great time to hone your skills to make you even more marketable when things get busy again. Revamp your portfolio and explore new techniques you’ve been meaning to try. There may be another stage of production you might be experienced in and want to monetize. If you’re well versed in 3d modeling, texturing, shading. Lighting AND rendering, and take this time to brush up on your compositing skills as well! You never know how much better your renders might look after a bit of mindful post-processing!
Find opportunities tangential to your skillset
This would also be the time to reassess your skill set and see where you might apply your abilities outside of the industry you currently work in. Are you an archviz designer with some serious lighting skills? Have a go at lighting scenes for ship interiors! You may not have been aware that Maritime Visualization is actually a thing!
Are you a 3d modeler that specializes in hard surface objects? Why not see how you fare in creating organic elements. You may find VFX houses in need of someone who can churn out a good looking tree for the matte painting composite of some TV show!
You might be an animator for film, in which case the games industry could be a good avenue to explore. You could create loops/animation cycles for characters and other in-game elements and sell them online as a source of a passive income!
Zbrush cowboy? Try your hand at restoring 3d scans! Museums have begun to scan their collections and might be a good starting point for summer work.
The point is, you can use this time to explore avenues of income that didn’t cross your mind before, and sustain yourself for the season while simultaneously increasing your value as a 3d artist!
3. The Busy Summer
We don’t claim to know what the seasonal trends are like in every corner of the world, and so it may be that where you’re from the summer is extremely busy, or you may have just found yourself with more work than you could have finished over the spring months. Regardless, you are now watching the neighbors driving out with their coolers and blasting Spotify’s summer playlist as you nurse your coffee in bitterness.
It doesn’t have to be this way! With a dependable laptop and internet connection, you could always work remotely, and take advantage of solutions to help you get through stages of production in a fraction of the time it would take you manually. Most would say a work-vacation is better than no vacation at all, and if you live in a cold country, the warm sun this time of the year could definitely be something you’d regret missing entirely!
3 tips on how to work on vacation and still HAVE a vacation
Find tools to work faster
A big part of success is working smart, and while this tip is applicable all year round, it’s especially important for maximizing your leisure time during a working vacation. What does working smart mean for 3d artists? Moving through the stages of production as quickly as possible! Consider finding a reliable source for 3d assets, procedural modeling plugins, tree generators, studio set up presets-whatever you might need for a project- so that you can allocate the time you would spend working on just bringing your render to the best possible level of quality you can. While many plugins will require some financial investment, it isn’t impossible to scope out what’s on the market and factor the costs into your rate for a job or string of jobs.
Find a way to work remotely without compromising
If you don’t have a laptop that can get the job done, there’s still hope! You can make use of a cloud-based server rental service to turn your basic laptop into a rendering juggernaut! If this sounds like sorcery to you, here’s a rundown of how it works:
You basically rent out a server by the hour and are provided with a fresh Windows instance in which you can install and run everything you need. This instance is stored in the cloud, and you can access it via some remote desktop protocol whenever you need to. You pay by the hour what is essentially the cost of a sandwich (in some countries). With enough pre-planning, you could sort out what tasks your laptop can manage, and what you could do on the server. If you can render with your GPU, imagine how quickly your frames will finish on a server with TEN 1080 Ti cards!
Take advantage of Summer promotions
Another point worth noting is that summer is one of those seasons where there are bound to be sales! You may be able to get more value for your money in anything from buying models, purchasing software or topping up for some render credits. With the many resources to choose from on the internet, it would be a shame not to at least consider them!
Speaking of sales, we at GarageFarm.NET render farm are hosting one from July 1 to August 15! You can get:
10% additional credits for a top up of $100 ( ( total: $110)
25% additional credits for a top up of $250 ( total: $312.5)
30% additional credits for a top up of $500 (total: $650)
40% additional credits for a top up of $1000 (total: $1,400)
And while this is great news if you’re in need of some CPU rendering, if by chance GPU rendering is more your jam, or you’re in need of a server, you can log into Xesktop with your GarageFarm credentials, and use your GarageFarm credit! Credits never expire, so whether you need renders fast, or a dependable workhorse, don’t miss out on this deal!
Busy or not, we hope you enjoy your summer, and here’s to success for the rest of the year!