This was my first proper job that I found myself and was totally my field - 3D animation. A museum was looking for a new exibit and the company that hired me is one of the more respected architects company. It was a very educating experience in a lot of ways.
My mistake was to show photos of seamonsters to the supervisors from the museum. They were impressed by the photos. Was I impressed? While they were dropping their jaws about how cool this video is going to be I realized my skills don't go anywhere near these photos. Pixar would have trouble. This is how I started work.
The result was appalling. I mean it looked like Tomb Raider 2 from the 90's. And I wasn't making a retro game, I had promised photorealistic sea creatures.
When I realized the complete mess I had made there was nothing left to do but just sit there and stare at the screen. The situation was so bad, that I thought through my options after being laid off. It was so bad I had a silent panic and I was planning on exiting the building immediately without saying a word to anyone.
I was in shock. This was really happening.
There was an incredibly friendy dude there. Called him over. He had a look. It was a long look. We sat in silence. Didn't have advice, but at least I wasn't going to make a fool of myself in front of the supervisors.
The boss walks over. He's the one talking to the museum people. He gives a pointer to continue working on the textures. He looks at the weakest point and fixes it. What a soldier.
So here comes the moment.
The supervisors come for a visit, super exited about the upcoming under sea adventure video. "So let's have a look" with a huge grin on his face, so exited can barely keep it together.
"Here it is" - me.
Well this was just priceless. The astonishment on these peoples faces. Just priceless. After the silence broke the main supervisor BURSTS OUT LAUGHING. It's the first time in my life when I have seen someone being dissapointed to the point that it's the joke of the century. He just kept laughing for a good minute. At the half way mark I look around at my teammates, totally confused as to what was happening. "Is this a joke or a mental breakdown?" we wondered. At one point the laughing had lasted so long that the situation started humoring me so I bursted out laughing like an incompetent idiot. It was so funny I just had a good burst just now. I felt hopeless while all of this was going on. While I couldn't stop laughing I was really thinking about he's either going to fire me on the spot or just try call my bluff and then get angry - he wasn't usually a very nice guy. Had that red face going for him.
When we all catched our breaths they just left. Everyone did. The supervisor was not so concerned about my performance, but the result of the product. Not sure what they were thinking, but this freedom and lack of negative attention made me do something different.
I switched my software. Crazy, right? How's that going to help, my skills are just not very good. Well call it an apiffany, but it totally did it. Now what's really strange I went from an expensive paid software to a free open-source project. And the reesult was 10x times better. Everything was easier in Blender. This moved me in a totally new way. Free software is better than the industry standard?
Anyway, that was the story.