View Full Version : Burnt to a crisp. Need help!
The Umbrella Man
07-05-2007, 08:51 AM
For the past 6 months I have been having a really hard time getting any inspiration, motivation, or ideas for anything game art related. Itís been driving me absolutely crazy because while I normally have a problem coming up with things to model, I never felt like actually giving up before, just feels like I am perpetually behind the eight ball as poly counts and materials increase in quality steadily.
I need some kind of inspiration to keep going, I need a new interesting project to get me inspired again. I have been doing google searches all week and havenít found anything worth while. I toyed with the idea of modeling someone elseís concepts, but I havenít had a whole lot of luck searching google images.
So I was wondering:
Has anyone else felt this way, and how did you break out of the slump?
Does anyone have any good concept art resources they can point me to like model sheets and what not.
I appreciate any help you guys can give me. I have been in a hell of a slump lately and really want to get back in the swing of things.
Definitely been there before.
To get ideas, or some inspiration, I tend to watch movies or browse the web for portfolios. Usually I can lick the lull in no time.
I went a whole year once without doing any art at ALL. It was horrible.
I would suggest joining a mod team or something. That will get you the push you need, and a little direction.
07-05-2007, 09:10 AM
when i'm in a condition like that i make very low poly animals :P great fun to model and lots of reference available. (otherwise, i just don't model anything :P i go and draw some stuff, or visit some friends, or jump on the trampoline or sit in the sun :P)
maybe you need someone to tell you what project to do, and also a deadline, that way there will be someone to check wether you are working on it, and you have an assignment for something you probably couldn't come up with :P. hope it helps!
07-05-2007, 09:15 AM
There seems to be a lot of topics like this as of late.
I don't want to sound unsympathetic here, because lord knows we've all been there; looking for that creative spark and everything, but the 10/90 rule by Mr. Edison is spot on. You're just going to have to roll up your sleeves and do something.
The muse that far too many artists wait to hear sing in their ear is smaller than you might imagine. She can't do what's really required to get the job done. My advice is if you're looking to model something, model anything now. Looking to draw, draw anything now. You'll be surprised how inspirational having a completed anything in your portfolio (or even one for the trash bin for that matter) can be- enough that you might be primed for whatever your muse is suggesting at the time. Personal drive goes a long way.
Art is like anything else. After the plans are drawn/dreamed up it simply takes a heck of a lot of work to get from A to B if you want it done right.
07-05-2007, 09:17 AM
I find it helps to go through some tutorials, model something by someone else, step-by-step. I either get frustrated because they're doing it the wrong way (IMO) or I learn something new, or I use it as a springboard to a new project.
Something will spark you off again, maybe a mod, a movie, a book or comic. It'll come round. I hope it breaks soon for you.
07-05-2007, 09:21 AM
Definitely been there, and it happens quite often.
Playing through a game (re-playing FFX12 helped me recently), going to see a (good)movie, or surfing conceptart.org usually cure it for me.
When none of that works I walk away from my "normal" entertainment and read a book, play a boardgame, or visit friends. I highly recommend books for sparking creativity. Find a good author that you like (George R.R. Martin is a favorite of mine) and start reading.
Another thing that helps me is getting involved in challenges. Sometimes the direct competition and participating in a "live" event makes it much more fun. If none of the current contests spur your interest (polycount, cgchat, cgtalk, gameartisan, and I'm sure there are a ton more,) then pick a theme among your friends and battle it out thunderdome style. My roomate and I will do this about once a month, and it's a blast. The topics cover everything from bridges to ballroom dancers to random words (Snarfblat being a favorite).
Creating something different may help you also. If you generally do character art, try creating some environment art, or special effects. Quick little 3-4 hour projects are a lot of fun and kick the stress of larger, longer projects.
07-05-2007, 10:27 AM
i currently have the theory that real world issues and problems create 'the slump' which redirect one's focus from the desire to create and indulge in one's imagination.
in order to break free of this slump, i feel the artist has to fix or put their worries on hold for a moments time.
i would suggest one should allow themselves to burrow within their creative mind and create without outside turbulence.
07-05-2007, 11:35 AM
Killingpeople, I would defiantly say that is more than a theory (even if it's only currently /images/graemlins/wink.gif ) although you could work through the personal problems as you create but I think it is pretty hard to get your mind to that state that you are consciously revealing that unless you naturally do that anyway.
Nevertheless you still have an unmatched freedom to yourself. A detached playground.
Nitzmoff made a great point. There is nothing magical, that is going to come along, pinch your butt and make you lay down masterpieces or just stuff you would like to look at.
Ideas come and go and change (a lot) so if you like one, especially in gameart, you will have to be persistant and flexible to reach a point where you are happy with it or not, but then you have at least aquired technical knowlege that will give you a broader range of choice on further ideas. (You will be able to tell what is doable by your standard, ... filtering)
Considering finding stuff, well, the world is huge, and old and huge, HUGE I tell you! and diverse, just like humans /images/graemlins/wink.gif.
I'm also sure if you creep around folios and links on the artboards you will stumble over many things that will catch your eye. Don't expect, find.
I modeled a character by hawkprey ages ago http://www.hawkprey.com/James_Hawkinsconcept.htm
he's got some nice model sheets if that helps.
On the motivation part, well, that will always be up to you, I'm sure your demotivation also comes from the wish to do it professionally, so you start measuring yourself and expecting presentable results with your work, otherwise I don't see a reason (maybe a tragic one) why you should 'give up' with something you initially enjoyed doing.
If you only loose motivation with that, and still carry on with everything else, it might just not be your thing, but if your days and future reach a dead end with its loss then I think you should really ask yourself if this is doing you any good and if you want it to stay that way and what you could possibly do about it.
Get the wheel turning - Good Luck
The Umbrella Man
07-05-2007, 11:42 AM
@Japhir: I should try some super low poly stuff myself, seems like it's more fun and creative, and alot less stressful then dealing with the more complicated materials and what not.
@nitzmoff: Like with everything, I guess you get back what you put into something. Sounds about right to me.
@Pseudo: I haven't read an actual novel since fight club, been mostly reading manuals, and tutorials, maybe my brain is in tech mode right now, and not enough rmode activity is going on. I haven't even been able to force myself to watch a movie, so theres something terribly wrong with me right now. I should just put aside some me time to unwind and unplug. I work as a network admin which makes me sick of computers by the time I come home.
@killingpeople: I think truer words could not be spoken. I got a lot of outside stress going on right about now. I am always telling other people the same thing but I never thought it could apply to me as well. I guess I just had this image of myself as being well put together when truth is I am a fucking mess.
Thanks for all the input guys, it helped out alot. Put things in perspective. I think I am going to take a break to feed my brain, and just get my personal shit in order. Hopefully be back in the game in a few weeks. It's weird, I think the main thing that started all this was I was having trouble getting a normal map to render right and I just got frustrated with the technology. Ever since then I have been loath to go near 3d Studio.
Maybe I should learn Maya /images/graemlins/smile.gif
Thanks again guys.
EDIT: @Prs-Phil: I just read your post, I think you pretty much nailed it, but I really think my brain is just swimming in a pool of stress right now. I got to get myself to my happy place, I haven't been there since I made the move to California, and it's about time I enjoyed myself. I do think I measure myself to others and it is self defeating and probably something I need to just suck up and get the hell over.
07-05-2007, 12:07 PM
Wow, it seems like lately a lot of people have been having trouble with inspiration.
I usually just draw a random polygonal shape, and fill it in with facial features.
07-05-2007, 12:27 PM
I'll sum up past threads on this subject with these words:
"It's hard to get anywhere if you're feet aren't movin"
"If your car is out of gas do you expect it to fill itself?"
"How do you expect to get anywhere new if you're always making right turns?"
Most of the time I can get the spark back by starting something simple. Start modeling tree roots , play around with reactor or the hair/fur features. Or dig up some ref and start to model a chunk of an interesting building, like a Gothic church doorway.
The number one thing that gets me moving again is breaking up my routine. I do this by going some place I have never been, haven't been to recently (and has more than likely changed), or going to a place at a different time of day than I normally see it.
Try to find out what put you in the slump and it will help you figure out how to get out, as well as how to avoid it in the future.
07-05-2007, 12:44 PM
Go and model something you wouldn't normally model.
Do you always model big bulky space marines? Go and make a low poly cartoon car.
This accomplishes several things:
You make art
You try something new
You don't spent a week searching google for a cool space marine.
07-05-2007, 12:57 PM
If you are burnt, apply lots of Aloe Vera. The best kind isn't in a lotion form with other chemicals and water that can irritate the burn, but get as pure Aloe as you can find, either the whole plant leaves or in gel form (from GNC or something).
07-05-2007, 02:10 PM
stop modeling. Go outside. Forget about all things 3d. Then after a while, play a good game, but not for the "3d art" of it, just for fun. Before long you'll get sucked right back in to 3d land:P
works for me anyway.
07-05-2007, 02:36 PM
KP is dead on.
I hit my slump when I was working at 5000ft. Even as shitty as times were when we were working on Daredevil, I loved it. Every damn second. Why? Because I loved the art. The game, the gamestyle and the gameplay. I loved it all.
After Marvel canceled the game on us, we were told that we'd be doing Escape from New York. I couldn't have been happier. I love that movie. Then a few weeks later, we found out the real project we'd be working on - Poker.
My heart sank, and never came back. I've been in this slump for 2 years now. It was hard as hell working on STACKED, but I trudged through it. I've done pretty much zero personal art since then, and have had absolutely no inspiration. I can't see clearly, or concentrate on art tasks. It's like the love of it is gone, or severely faded. I hate the feeling.
I've worked on a few mods here/there along the way, but I find myself getting burnt out on them far to quickly. Hell, I even found myself passing up some otherwise insanely cool contract work from Three Wave. I must be completely stupid.
I have to find something. A project I'm absolutely in love with, and jump in. I need to. I can't stand not making art and feeling this way. And not being super experienced with normal mapping doesn't help my changes when I move to Seattle next year, either.
The Umbrella Man
07-05-2007, 03:43 PM
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Positively depressing, I think about that alot too, like would I really be happy working on a Dora the Explorer video game. I think the general consensus is probably not. I'm sorry to hear about that though.
When this happens to me I usually go out to the Vanguard or something, get drunk, and socialize. I just haven't felt real up to that lately because as I mentioned before all the stress.
I can't imagine how stressed I would be if I had to work over time on... A poker game. Fuck that's brutal.
07-05-2007, 04:27 PM
07-05-2007, 06:02 PM
Vassago: Yeah I remember when you were at 5000ft, you certainly were not happy. Perhaps going a different direction, such as learning some technical art, shaders, etc., stuff?
Can I make a suggestion to people having trouble... there are some self-help/instructional things that can really help you. Please don't jump on me here. I tried: http://www.ask-productions.com/ for a few months when I was in college, went to a couple of the meetings and read a couple books, it definitely improved... everything. I didn't stick with it for a few reasons, but it certainly was working. I certainly wasn't in a funk when I started it, in fact one of my professors turned me onto it because I was excelling in his drawing course instead of struggling, but I've never been in a funk since, hardly even a prolonged depressed, lethargic, or funked state. It can't hurt trying it out.
As far as creativity, why not try something that isn't ultra-creative, to get you back into things? A historical mod, for example, or along with the technical stuff I mentioned earlier (maybe MEL or MasScript). Ultimately though the change has to be internal, not external, or you have to change your external surroundings with a push from your internals.
07-08-2007, 05:35 PM
I just picked up the Gungrave artbook (it's a series of two so-so shooters and an anime. I'm not a big anime fan but I love the hell out of the designer, who is the same guy who did Trigun, Yasuhiro Nightow) and it's got my juices flowing.
I'd suggest you go find some cool concept art or screenshots of some interesting games and think about riffing off of them and spinning ideas off.
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