MIX OF 6 SKILLS YOU NEED FOR YOU MIXED REALITY JOB!
As you might now, the term mixed reality covers both Augmented and Virtual reality. Both are relatively new, but growing industries.
When I first tried to find an intern in Vienna 3 years ago I ended up being really disappointed. I simply couldn’t find any studio that worked with AR at the time. I ended up taking an intern at a regular studio developing mobile apps. There I worked as a UI designer on and App selling plumbing equipment and tubes. Not quite how I imagined my AR career would start.
However it made me want to study and search harder, and a year later I ended up getting a job as a 3D artist on a VR puzzle game called CoLab.
It was a great experience and I already felt like I was living in the future.
When the CoLab project ended and my study abroad program in the US was over, I found another job as a 3D artist on VR and AR apps at Innovation.rocks in Vienna. Inovation.rocks developed apps for the automotive industry and clients such as Audi and Volkswagen.
Even this was a full time job with a four hour commute, and full time study at the University of Vienna, it was a great experience!
To be honest I couldn’t believe they hired me, when it comes to my dream job skillset, I sometimes feel like an intern, because I still have so much to learn!
And then I realized it was not just me and this job. This is how my career in this industry will always be. There will always be something new to learn!
AR is a fast growing field and whether you are an art director, marketer or programmer you should start to improve these 6 skills today to be ready when Mixed reality gets big!
1. 3D modelling
There are a lot of 3D modelling apps to choose from. I personally work in Autodesk Maya which I am still running on a student license. Another popular 3D modelling program used in the industry is 3D Max. However, if you have a very limited budget and can’t afford a license, I would go for Blender. It’s a free program for 3D modelling and animation from Autodesk, and it also has a big support forum base.
2. Good computer vision
To be honest I am not very advanced in this area in terms of engineering knowledge. However I advise you to know at least the terms programmers use while talking about Computer vision. You don’t have to know everything to the last detail, but a general understanding will help you work faster, especially in a team made of 3D artists and programmers.
3. Market detection
Although making awesome looking tracked images feels great, and all of your friends might be amazed, everything becomes obsolete after a while. This is why you need to understand the market, and search for opportunities for your app to become successful.
4. Mobile programming or at least low level programming knowledge (C#, C++, etc.)
Even if you are not applying for a programmer’s position, to be able to work in this field you should have at least a basic understanding of programming. In my experience it’s always good to know how these apps work, simply to save the time of figuring out what your app can or can’t do.
5. Knowledge of relevant SDKs (Hololens…)
There is a wide range of opportunities that these devices offer, however, just as with programming skills, you should have an idea of how these devices work. I have seen so many art directors with amazing ideas that all ended up in a trash can. Why? Because the level of interactivity was too advanced for the budget the campaign had. You can save so much time by simply knowing what your technology can and can’t do and the amount resources you will need to make your idea happen.
6. Unreal Engine or Unity
Many people don’t realize this but AR and mixed reality apps are built same way as video games. How the end product is distributed is a different story. However when it comes to development the most commonly used engines are Unreal Engine or Unity.
There are great online tools such as Lynda.com or Pluralsight that will help you learn theses skills!
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