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Becoming a Computer Graphic Artist

At some time or another most of us have thought about a fantasy world. Some of us live in a fantasy world while others wish they did. Not Steve Ogden. He creates them for a living. "I make what you might consider virtual environments, pretend worlds that people can explore in computer games."

Og has been a computer graphic artist for about 18 years (he's 35 now.) Right now he works for Cyan Worlds, Inc. Cyan is the company behind the computer games Myst and Riven - both puzzle solving and exploration games. But Og hasn't always worked for his dream company. "When I was starting out as an artist I did just about anything to pay the bills. I painted signs, drew art on T-shirts, magazines and newspapers," says Og. "I even did some hand-drawn cel animation for some TV commercials. Mostly, though, I've done games." Before Cyan, Og worked for Leaping Lizard Software and released two games there - Bally Game Magic and Centipede 3D.

Thinking of becoming a CG artist? "In order to become a successful CG Artist you should have some formal training in art," suggest Og. "Personally, I think you should know how to draw but it's not absolutely necessary. You do, however, need an eye for detail. You should have some familiarity with 3D graphics and the basics of the main tools out there (3D Studio Max, Maya, Lightwave and Softimage are a few.)" Og says those are the basics to begin your career but warns that companies like Cyan don't have entry-level positions. They want the best. It took Og five years and a really impressive portfolio before he got in. "I have a degree in Art and Film from a four year university, as I believe it's important to the growth of an artist (anyone, really) to be as well-rounded as possible. You should have a broad range of experience and education because that's the pool you draw from when you create."

Not interested in creating games? Well, there are several other special areas to go into. "Architects use CG artists to help visualize buildings," says Og. Then there are special effects people (Hollywood just isn't about acting), animation film studios, TV commercial companies (Og says there are hundreds of artists who help out) and 'Industrial film' companies, who spice up videos for employees with graphics. These are just a few but it gives you an idea.

Wondering how much CG artist bring home for rent? Most game copanies pay around $30,000 to $50,000 a year. Senior or Lead Artist get a bit more. CG artists in special effects, film and TV industries can bring home up to a $150,000 or more.

If you seriously want to pursue a CG artist job, here's what Og has to say, "Study. Get as much education as possible. Develop and eye for detail. Go outside. Count the leaves on a tree. Watch the way water swirls in the pool at the bottom of a waterfall. Learn to draw." Og also advises you to "find someone who's done what you want and see if they have any advice for you... maybe they can help." But most importantly, don't forget to have fun along the way."

To check out more of Og's work head to this site.

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Dear Dish-It In The Forums

partydiva01
partydiva01 posted in Friends:
Dear dish it, my friend first met eachother on the first day of kindergarten we sat next to one another and we became close. we were BFF's throughout 1st to 2nd grades. then, the second grade teacher realized there were alot of kids in the class. and same w the 3rd grade teacher. so, we had to have a split class. my friend was in the split. I was not. It all seemed like the teachers were doing somthing... weired. all the girls (well, almost there were only 6 girls on one half) were in the split. and all the boys were in regular . AND YOU KNOW WHAT ELSE WAS WEIRED! :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :( :( all the boy BFF's and the girl BFF's were SPLIT. me and my friend,kids named Nia & Georgia, Isaac& Ethan, and more. it was so sad for all of us.2 months later, I got homschooled. 2 years later im back in public with my 4th grade self. everything had changed. a bunch of people were obsessed w\ a girl my age named kassidy. im neighbors w\ kassidy and she is REALLY cool and nice. but the whole I  [s:sm3/1jw1] kassidy crew got mean. if I asked them to play they would say. "If Kassidy is playing I will" or I would want to be parteners with kassidy on something and they would freak out. anyway jasmine NEVER invited my to anything, and I am trying to be nice to her ( ice cream money, homework help, comfort when sad, ect.) And not to mention I invited her to 3 things!!! on the bright side she came to 2 :thumbsup :thumbsup she also embarassed me by saying that she was moving I freaked out  because I cared about her and I would cry all the time. I even held onto her and said sadly, "PLEASE DON'T GO!!  :sad :sad . later i found out that she was not moving, she was going to CA for a vacation. even the teacher was in on it!! :mad :mad anyways, my parents told me that i should just let go of her. But i am not ready. HELP??? :e :e :e :e :e
reply 3 days
PittsburghPenguinsFanatic
When I was a child I wanted glasses SOO bad, cuz I wanted to copy my mom and sister. And also, I thought they looked cool. I wear glasses now. I have had them for 2 years and honestly I don't mind them. Although, this year I am gonna pry get contacts for swimming better and stuff like that. But if you don't need glasses I wouldn't recommend wearing them. They're not bad, but trust me after a while you will pry not like them as much. But hey, that's my opinion. If you want to do it I'm not gonna stop you. Do what makes you happy in the long run. And tell your friends that they are non prescription if you don't need them, but still get some.
reply 3 days
Bratayley_Fan_7
She is not. I have faced this problem before so I know. You should make a new friend!
reply 3 days
ValenciaRose
ValenciaRose posted in Friends:
I agree I was afraid of that first too. Eventually I just began inviting my friends over and they don't use it/practically obsess over it like I do but they understood why I use kidzworld and not many other forms of social media. 
reply 3 days
ValenciaRose
ValenciaRose posted in Friends:
"btw_sports_rule" wrote:I really like a guy and people think he likes me. I like him but im really scared to tell anyone. I really need help but i don't know who to talk to. I can't talk to parents. They would put me in trouble for falling in love. They believe I can't date until age 20. Aw, well, my advice for you would be to talk to your parents about it. There's no point trying to sneak around like those films and it is better for your mind if you talk to them about it. It can be super difficult I know but if you and your parents get along really well then you guys can talk about it and make it work. On the other hand, if your parents ban you from falling in love as you put it, then I think it's better just to stay as friends with him. 
reply 3 days