Volunteer Work??

Hi there.

I am new to these forums and i am looking for Volunteer work in a studio in Melbourne.

My skills are in the art department (3D studio max, photoshop, illustrator and after effects)

I am having great difficulty finding a place that will take on a Volunteer and have applied to around 17 studios here in Melbourne (some reply others don't)

I am not looking for paid work as i don't feel that my skills are up to scratch and i feel that the only way they can be is if i get some hands on experience.

I am not the type of person who will shy away from learning new software packages and am very open to learning things outside of the graphics side of the industry.

If anyone from a Melbourne games company is looking for someone to help out or someone they can train, i would be more than happy to fill that position.

Thanks for reading.


souri's picture

You might be interested in applying for the Digital Media Internship offered by Film Victoria. You have until 11 December 2009 to apply. More information at this link...


designerwatts's picture

I agree with Souri and you should try the digital media internship first.

Failing that however. Keep in mind that there are dozens of students both who have completed and are nearing completing their courses to look for a job in the industry. And given the current employment situation it's realistic that not many will be moving into any studio this year.

If you feel that your work isn't up to the quality that studios require and need. Why not attend events like the IDGA meet-ups and network with other students and graduate to create some small localised teams with the intent to work on more team-based folio projects? I could never get the understanding as to why people don't band together to improve their skills past their uni or private course. It may be the case that you might not be up to snuff but that may be remedied with one or two very short term, team based projects and some due perseverance.

NathanRunge's picture

I agree with designerwatts on that point, independent work is the route to go in order to improve your skills. Find some other interested parties and band together and just make some games. I'm currently working with a small team on a number of games. If you're dedicated, hard-working and skilled enough you can make a bit of money this way too. If you were in Brisbane I'm currently looking for a good 3D artist to help on a more ambitious project, but I want to keep the team local.

Regarding volunteer work, it will be difficult for you to find any. Firstly, studios will have plenty of potential volunteers so if your skills, modesty aside, truly aren't quite up to scratch they're unlikely to accept you first. Secondly, volunteer work is a difficult legal problem for studios to handle. There are many employment laws that are designed expressly to combat employers expecting employees to work for free. A lot of paperwork can be generated. This is why most studios will only really hire volunteer interns and similar through government or educational institute sponsored placements where another party either handles all the paperwork or (fully or partially) pays your wages. I'm not familiar with all the options in Melbourne, but definitely check out Souri's suggestion and, if you are currently at university, talk to their career services.

Anonymous's picture

Most local studios will shy away from volunteer work due to OH&S issues. i.e. its ambigious about insurances and stuff, and what happens if you get injured while on the job. i.e. paid employees have the projection of workcover. Even getting work experience kids on the place you have to make sure you have the right insurances in place.

Chobi77's picture

Thanks for the suggestions guy's.

I am currently looking into the Digital Media Internship and will be applying for it shortly.

I have finished my Diploma of screen back in 2006, so i have that to back me up and i also have a bit of work experience under my belt.

I have done around 2 months volunteer work for a TV program and 2 weeks paid work rendering and texturing in 3ds max.

The work was in Sydney and i had to move back down to Melbourne because of my financial situation.

The paid work that i did ended abruptly with the boss calling me in and he told me i was "to slow" and that he had to let me go, mind you there was no indications of this during the two weeks i was there, and i was told frequently that i would receive more work when i finished what he had given me.

My fear is the same thing happening again, i am a lot faster in my work now, but i don't know what other flaws i have, i don't want to start paid work only to be told i am not good enough in this or that and they need to let me go.

I need to get in so i can understand what is required and work my way to achieve what needs to be done.

ill just have to keep pushing forward till i find a place i fit.

Thanks for your help guy's.

Keep the suggestions coming.

NathanRunge's picture

I am not an artist, so this is heresay more than anything else. I do believe, however, that a number of my artist colleagues and friends engage in speed-painting and speed-modelling exercises in order to improve on their time efficiency. This could be done by setting a time-limit at which point the model is complete and working on improving the quality achieved in this time, or the reverse and setting a certain quality you deem acceptable and timing how long it takes to achieve.

Snacuum's picture

Do you know of any reference to common guidelines or styles of this practice in the the industry. When you're making something there is always a balance of quality vs. the clock. But what is the normal amount of time to complete asset X? or asset Y? And how do you assess the quality of a piece of work (that in itself is a mind-boggling argument) and quality vs. less of more time taken.

I consider my incredibly slow, easily distracted, and even though I understand all the principles of efficiency in modelling, and know how useful hotkeys and actions are, my body just seems to fight against them and selects shit through menu>menu>button. But I'd like to fix this too.

Anonymous's picture

There are many many of us working for free right now :) Sorry, but that's not going to be enough in the current situation.

Flash's picture

Free won't cut it guys, and it's not just because working for free is against OH&S. If you're hired for free to get some hands on experience, that is: Training, you need to understand that you'll need a mentor, or someone to train you up. This costs the time of the person training you AND the time of the person not working on another project.

You wouldn't get training from a junior; it'd most likely be from a midlevel or senior - and they're earning upwards of 50-60k. That's ~600 a week. If you're working for a 3 month stint, you can think of it as ~12.5k of investment, and if you're not there fulltime, that's money that they're not looking at keeping around the studio to make it awesomerer!

In terms of what you should do instead? Well, join some forums! polycount and gameartisans are my fav. They're full of ninjas, and there are regular challenges to get your work as good as THIS-> http://images1.wikia.nocookie.net/Callofduty/images/8/8a/MW2Soap.png

yaaaaaaaaay! Train hard!