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3D DIRECT • June 12, 2001

Eternal Truth of the Week

Tis the Season

by Swami Rendsanotsa

Greetings one and all. It's time for the Swami to be honest with you. Beyond the fact that the Swami has decided to act like the Rock and talk about himself in the third person, the Swami has to admit, he feels old.

Sure—in physical years—the Swami is not that old. But driving in to work, Swami passes by his old high school. Do you know what they are doing there this week?


Do you know what that means?

Another generation is loose on the work force.

Another generation is in art school.

Another generation has the summer free to practice and perfect their 3D masterpieces.

But that's wonderful, right? Well, yes. It is wonderful. Fresh blood using programs from companies that could use the infusion is always good. It's when the new blood mixes with the old that problems sometimes occur. Don't get me wrong, I was a new kid on the block once too; this column is not aimed at bashing anyone.

Instead, the Swami has come up with a list similar to the now infamous Sunscreen list to help artists new and old play well together.

The List

Always bring a towel. If you don't know why, read Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Sure it isn't the most important information you'll hear today. But if all else fails you, your trusty towel will still be there.

Watch animated movies and play "guess the modeling application." But stop before you can no longer remember how to model a square.

Read more books, if only to remind yourself there is a way to tell a story without blinking lights.

Don't get stuck in a rut. Try creating a static logo if all you ever do is animation, and vice versa. Let yourself grow and evolve. You'll never know what it is that you really can't do, unless you have tried.

Don't be afraid of failure. It happens to the best of us. If you need to fear something, try rutabagas. Failure only encourages you to be more creative next time. Rutabagas don't.

A program is only as good as the artist who uses it. Not a single modeling application will make art for you. I have seen some amazing art by people using "low end" software, and some dren done with a "high end" application, of course the opposite is true too. Go to different companies and try their demos. Find the software that suites you.

Go to discussion boards and answer questions. Sure, there are stupid questions. But don't mock them unless you can honestly say you have never asked a dumb question yourself.

Read the discussion board before you post a question. If you're stuck in the middle of a model, chances are someone else has had that problem before.

Go to a conference and drool at the new toys. But before you spend all your money on it, remember there will always be new toys. And toys do not make the artist.

Respect people who are new to this. Their enthusiasm will all to quickly wear into the jaded outlook you have. Let them enjoy their moment.

Respect those who are older and wiser. Let them help you. If you don't, they have every right to say, "I told you so."

Remember your graduation. You will never feel that accomplished again.

Swami Rendsanotsa is back, for some unfathomable reason.