I love helping people to understand and develop their 3D skills.
I first came to Do Digital Agency on a Summer placement, hoping to expand my skills and learn some Revit. I stayed on with Do part time during my architecture degree, and on graduation joined the team full time.
Since then, I have been lucky enough to work with some of the most experienced and talented individuals in their fields. The Do ethos is about sharing knowledge and building that studio environment, and I was lucky enough to be at the receiving end of that for my early years with the company. I came here to learn a bit of Revit, and have been able to expand that with the support of the team to include 3DS Max, photoshop, animation skills, after effects, unreal engine, photomontage and much more.
What does James have to say?
As an artist at Do, I’ve been able to work on a huge variety of exciting projects, from the Gherkin to converted barns in the countryside. I now run our interactive department, oversee training and development, and lecture at the University of South Wales in Architectural
I started Do Academy as the ability to offer others the same opportunities I was given. It’s fantastic to be able to see the development of those who attend, many of whom are now my colleagues who I get to see produce amazing work every day.
Architectural Visualisation is an unusual field to enter. It’s rarely as straightforward a path as perhaps more traditional careers where you do a degree or apprenticeship and continue in that role. We have a mixture of backgrounds in our team including architects, interior designers and game developers. Do Academy aims to make that route a little more straightforward.
James’ Tips for starting off Practice practice practice
The best way to develop your skills is that age old answer – practice. Those who are commited to developing their skills will put the hours in and reap the rewards. There is constant communication about how to push those boundaries, and new technologies are always arriving which need to be understood and manipulated to create the best output you possibly can. This is a role in which you can never stop learning.
Bearing that in mind, Do Academy acts as a spring board, I aim to give you an introduction in to the world of a 3D Artist, to help get over the daunting process of understanding softwares like 3DS Max, and start you on that journey.
'It's fantastic to be able to see the development of those who attend'
Be an artist
Alongside that development of your technological understanding, credit yourself as the artist you want to be. It’s easy when your sat at a computer to forget that your still producing something hopefully beautiful for your client. Think like an artist or photographer would. Don’t settle for how things just show up on your screen. Think about the story of your image, what are you selling about it and how are you going to do that? It can be something as simple as a pair of glasses and a book next to a bed, or a huge bustling cityscape filled with people, but whatever the image, give your viewer something to read into, and enjoy.
We are lucky enough to work in an age where almost everything you might need is available online. There are huge numbers of forums and websites out there of likeminded individuals building their skills, and Do Academy is just one of them. Join them all and get involved in the conversation, and it will only benefit you.
I’ve already mentioned thinking like a photographer once, but the similarities in our roles is more than you might realise initially. The main difference is the world we’re photographing is on the computer instead. Once we’ve built, textured and lit that world we have to think in the exact same way as a photographer. We consider F Stop, focal lengths, ISO and shutter speed. We consider composition, prop placement, backlighting too. If you want to be the best 3D Artist, think like a photographer, and if you can, get out there and be one, have a hobby that goes hand in hand with your career, and compliment one another.