SIGGRAPH 2008 > For Attendees > Roundtables > Common Needs: Building and Retaining the Talent

Common Needs: Building and Retaining the Talent

Tuesday, 12 August
3:45 - 5:30 pm
Room 406 AB

Theme: Professional Development and Education

What do CG professionals want from their jobs? Money? Creative freedom? Training and growth? Benefits? Loyalty?

When entertainment became a driving force in the SIGGRAPH community, employers were in the driver's seat. People were hungry to just be in front of a box in a decent facility. Working on a "cool show" meant more than money to many people. Over the last 10 years, facilities have been through their ups and downs; large production houses are being challenged by commodity hardware and costs have been holding salaries steady. Meanwhile, interactive entertainment has become a significant industry, with more people working there than in visual effects and feature animation. Factors such as cheaper talent from abroad are also playing key roles in how companies compensate and retain the top talent.

The larger facilities started in-house training departments to help their artists keep pace up with their rapidly evolving tools, in addition to growing their talent. Has this approach worked? The animation houses encourage artistic freedom by supporting employees who want to make short films on ther own time. On the other hand, games and interactive companies emphasized their stability, benefits, and stock options to attract and retain talent.

This roundtable examines these trends and explores what CG professionals want as employees. How can they work with facilities and studios to create environments in which both groups are loyal to each other? How can companies treat employees well and stay in business?

Evan Hirsch
Microsoft Corporation