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Basically I am ramping up my introduction to Maya and animation. I am now trying to decide games or movies as a career. I am leaning towards movies for a few reasons. I hear that game animation/modeling/texturing and what not is very goal oriented and you are usually over worked and under appreciated. In movies you will probably get worked just as much but it seems there is more money and a little more fame in it. Also I am all about photorealistic are and movies are as photorealistic as it gets. Also gaming industry is pretty cut throat and there are not many profitable startups that you can do if you are not with a big hitting company. With movies they divide up cg and give parts to different studios and then there is local TV, commercials and all sorts of side projects that not only get you recognized but paid too. Well that is my uninformed opinion. Let me know if you work in one of the industries and your 2 cents. Also let me know if you have equally uninformed opinions or if you heard something about this from your uncles, brothers, roommates pet lizard that you found interesting.
go for Film - games companies tend to be like sweat shops with artists cranking out (mostly) uninspired assets for a wage that would be OK for a normal working week but turns out to be abysmal when you take into account the overtime people are required to put in. Also every kid and their dog wants to make computer games so there is alot of competition in the area which pushes down wages and working conditions overall.
From my experience Film companies value their workers more, provide them with more perks and higher pay and are more exciting and challenging for the artists.
These are generalisations but are generally correct - there have been a few studies into the whole "Game companies treating their employees like s..." thing recently so if you want evidence it's not hard to find. Also it seems like you want to work in movies so that should be ultimately what drives you. And one more thing - unless you are super-talented, you are going to have to put in alot of study in your own time. I don't know anyone who has succeeded in the industry in either games or film without losing a fair amount of their social life to studying 3D.
Hope this helps,
There are many game companies out there that are worth a look. I've been in games for over 10 years, and worked at some pretty horrible and some really great places. I have many friends in the film industry and the two seem very similar.
Everytime I try to get into a film company they have to lower my salary, and I'll be let go after the movie is completed. In the game companies I've worked for I've recieved: bonuses, 401K, insurance, and royalities... But of course that is probably not typical. ID, Valve, Blizzard ( many others ) are great places to work. Try not to break it down into film vs. games - go for the the best opportunity out there. Both industries have been known to work you to the bone, so if you really don't love what you do, then don't do it. Merkin is absolutely right when he says
"I don't know anyone who has succeeded in the industry in either games or film without losing a fair amount of their social life to studying 3D."
Slinky provides some good contrast with his/her experiences. It is probably also good to point out that you are gonna get knocked around and exploited at some stage in your career, especially when you are starting out. And you are gonna have to start at the bottom and work your way up so the most important thing is probably to get a foot in the door and get paid to do 3D which will help you improve your speed and learn off the people around you and learn about the production environment which is invaluable knowledge.
So if a game company offers you a job, don't turn it down cos you want to do movies - you might not get into that industry straight off the bat. You can always move to film when you get an opportunity down the track but you have to eat in the mean time
Heaps of people cross from one industry to the other (and to others in between like advertising and production companies) before they find their niche where they are happy, well-paid and appreciated.