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DaPerPT
07-06-2012, 10:41 PM
Hello everyone! My name is Daniel and I’m currently going to 10th grade... I really enjoy VFX and 3d Animation… the problem is, in my country ( I live in Portugal ), it’s really hard to find a good university and if you do… working here isn’t the best thing in the world... it actually is pretty bad.. So I found a way of going to study in England, and paying the fees/tuition when I’m going to start working.
So I started searching some universities on the web and keeping in mind that it had to be in the list of the “student loan” website. I stumbled upon 3 that were discussed a lot, the University of Hertfordshire, University of Teesside and the Bournemouth University.
These appear to be the 3 greatest, or at least the ones that most people get success off. I instantly e-mailed the 3 of them, getting fast response from the Bournemouth and nothing from the other 2. So that’s why I am posting this, so I can have some information about them.

I want to know(of each one you know about):
How is the university?
How is the city/area where the university is?
The software they teach.( this one being extremely important, the Bournemouth teaches Houdini… and I’m a way more fan of 3ds Max/Maya).
Exams/Subjects/Grade Point Average (Or something like that).


And… For you, what would be the better one?? Are there any other universities like these that I haven’t checked yet?

Those are the main questions I have… I got a response from Bournemouth on some of them… but I have no idea in the Teesside and Hertfordshire, how do they work?

Even if you can’t respond to every single question… please reply if you know at least one!
Thank you very much!!

SimonReeves
07-10-2012, 10:17 AM
University of Hertforshire is in Hatfield. Which isn't a great place. But it has a big campus and is close to London.
I went there years ago at the beginning of it's growth into one of the best courses in the UK, the lecturers have a great attitude and commitment.

Probably check here on the (quite big) unofficial forum http://www.3dhit.co.uk/

danmarell
07-11-2012, 12:25 AM
University of Hertforshire is in Hatfield. Which isn't a great place. But it has a big campus and is close to London.
I went there years ago at the beginning of it's growth into one of the best courses in the UK, the lecturers have a great attitude and commitment.

Probably check here on the (quite big) unofficial forum http://www.3dhit.co.uk/

Yeah a lot of my friends went there. they have all done pretty well in the industry. that simon reeves dude is a douche though. (jokes) :cool:

SimonReeves
07-11-2012, 10:34 AM
Thanks Dan :)

moidphotos
07-13-2012, 12:38 AM
Hello everyone! My name is Daniel and I’m currently going to 10th grade... I really enjoy VFX and 3d Animation… the problem is, in my country ( I live in Portugal ), it’s really hard to find a good university and if you do… working here isn’t the best thing in the world... it actually is pretty bad.. So I found a way of going to study in England, and paying the fees/tuition when I’m going to start working.
So I started searching some universities on the web and keeping in mind that it had to be in the list of the “student loan” website. I stumbled upon 3 that were discussed a lot, the University of Hertfordshire, University of Teesside and the Bournemouth University.
These appear to be the 3 greatest, or at least the ones that most people get success off. I instantly e-mailed the 3 of them, getting fast response from the Bournemouth and nothing from the other 2. So that’s why I am posting this, so I can have some information about them.

I want to know(of each one you know about):
How is the university?
How is the city/area where the university is?
The software they teach.( this one being extremely important, the Bournemouth teaches Houdini… and I’m a way more fan of 3ds Max/Maya).
Exams/Subjects/Grade Point Average (Or something like that).


And… For you, what would be the better one?? Are there any other universities like these that I haven’t checked yet?

Those are the main questions I have… I got a response from Bournemouth on some of them… but I have no idea in the Teesside and Hertfordshire, how do they work?

Even if you can’t respond to every single question… please reply if you know at least one!
Thank you very much!!


First of all thanks very much Simon :)

Hi Daniel, I'm sorry you didn't get a reply from Hertfordshire, did you email one of the animation staff or just a general admissions query email? I usually manage all the emails that come directly to animation, and I haven't received anything from you. My email is m.p.bowman@herts.ac.uk if you want to send me anything. In response to your question about software for VFX, the main packages we teach are:

Maya
Nuke
Photoshop
Premiere


but there's a lot of other software that you may encounter depending on which elective modules you take.

Regarding entry requirements, we need 280 UCAS points and Maths and English GCSE at grade C or higher - I don't (off the top of my head) know what that translates to in Portugal, but I can find out from our admissions department if you like.

DaPerPT
07-13-2012, 03:55 PM
Thanks you guys!

Moid, yes, I think I e-mailed a more general admissions, maybe that's why I didn't get a response..They must receive a lot of e-mails... :/

Anyway.. I will keep your e-mail in my contact list now..we can continue talking here or if you want, I will change the conversation to the e-mail :).
So.. I like the programs you teach. Just need to start learning more of Maya and Nuke cause I work with 3DsMax and AE.. but it's ok... I still have 3 years ahead of me. I know software might not seem like a big deal.. but imagine a student that knows Maya.. and the other that knows 3ds max.. if they both go to the same college that teaches Maya.. the Maya guy will have a much more easy time to keep up with everything... :D

My 2 big questions are about the portfolio and grade point average/ exams to get in.

What do you want to see in a student's portfolio? (3D Match moving, Roto, Matte painting, 3d modeling?) Just name a few for me please.. the ones you would like to see the most.. so I can focus more on them :D

About the grade point, I have no idea of the system you use... Here in Portugal is very easy.. You make an Average of your 10th, 11th and 12th year. And that average is from 0 to 20. And then you can get in whatever course you want, like lawyer is about 18,7... Architect about 17,3, Sculptor about 14,9. And some times you need to make extra exams to get in :)
There is a condition, there are 3 areas to choose in the 10th grade (Science and technology, Humanities, and Arts) I chose Science and technology because you can say it's the higher one and you can get any course.. you can get like a painting degree.. while in Arts you can't get a medic degree..

If you could please help me with the system you use, I have no clue how it works :S.. I would appreciate it very much... I'm sorry about the big text.

Have a good day!

DaPerPT
07-14-2012, 11:54 PM
Thanks you guys!
Moid, yes, I think I e-mailed a more general admission, maybe that's why I didn't get a response..They must receive a lot of e-mails... :/ Anyway.. I will keep your e-mail in my contact list now..we can continue talking here or if you want, I will change the conversation to the e-mail :).
So.. I like the programs you teach. Just need to start learning more of Maya and Nuke because I work with 3DsMax and AE.. but it's ok... I still have 3 years ahead of me. I know software might not seem like a big deal.. but imagine a student that knows Maya.. and the other that knows 3ds max.. if they both go to the same college that teaches Maya.. the Maya guy will have a much more easy time to keep up with everything... :D

My 2 big questions are about the portfolio and grade point average/ exams to get in.

What do you want to see in a student portfolio? (3D Match moving, Roto, Matte painting, 3d modeling?) Just name a few for me please.. the ones you would like to see the most.. so I focus more on them :D

About the grade point, I have no idea of the system you use... Here in Portugal is very easy.. You make an Average of your 10th, 11th and 12th year. And that average is from 0 to 20. And then you can get in whatever course you want, like lawyer is about 18,7... Architect about 17,3, Sculptor about 14,9. And some times you need to make extra exams to get in :)
There are 3 areas to choose in the 10th grade (Science and technology, Humanities, and Arts) I chose Science and technology because you can say it's the higher one and you can get any course.. you can get like a painting degree.. while in Arts you can't get a medic degree..

So... If you could help me out with the system you use and give me the information for the admission of an international student (EU). It would be great.

Thanks in advance,

Daniel

leigh
07-15-2012, 12:40 AM
.
I went there years ago at the beginning of it's growth into one of the best courses in the UK, the lecturers have a great attitude and commitment.

Strange then that certain members of staff there have repeatedly registered on this site with false identities, pretending to be students in order to promote the course, and then repeatedly lied when I've asked them if they're really students. I have the logs to prove it, and I really resent the way they've flagrantly used such inexcusable, dishonest tactics to get around our 'no promoting courses' rule here. Suffice to say I'd never recommend the university to anyone simply because I personally would never give money to anyone with a demonstrable history of dishonesty.

For what it's worth, Soho is full of Bournemouth graduates and the university continues to enjoy a good reputation with all the big VFX studios. And last I heard, they don't only teach Houdini.

DaPerPT
07-15-2012, 01:06 AM
leigh...

When contacting the Bournemouth support I got a response that their 3D package was Houdini... of course they teach Nuke/AE, PShop, etc...

I'm not saying it's bad the fact that they teach houdini.. I just like my chances better If I know Maya or 3ds Max. We'll see.

Of course Bournemouth isn't excluded, I heard great things about it!..

I just want some info on them. Then I will see the pros and cons of each one. And hopefully find the best Uni for me.

leigh
07-15-2012, 12:22 PM
That's odd, since loads of my colleagues went to Bournemouth and learned Maya there. If they're only teaching Houdini for the 3D side of things now, they're making a serious mistake. Houdini may be popular for FX (ie simulations, particles, etc) but for everything else, Maya is still the best option when it comes to VFX.

moidphotos
07-15-2012, 06:52 PM
Thanks you guys!
Moid, yes, I think I e-mailed a more general admission, maybe that's why I didn't get a response..They must receive a lot of e-mails... :/ Anyway.. I will keep your e-mail in my contact list now..we can continue talking here or if you want, I will change the conversation to the e-mail :).
So.. I like the programs you teach. Just need to start learning more of Maya and Nuke because I work with 3DsMax and AE.. but it's ok... I still have 3 years ahead of me. I know software might not seem like a big deal.. but imagine a student that knows Maya.. and the other that knows 3ds max.. if they both go to the same college that teaches Maya.. the Maya guy will have a much more easy time to keep up with everything... :D

My 2 big questions are about the portfolio and grade point average/ exams to get in.

What do you want to see in a student portfolio? (3D Match moving, Roto, Matte painting, 3d modeling?) Just name a few for me please.. the ones you would like to see the most.. so I focus more on them :D

About the grade point, I have no idea of the system you use... Here in Portugal is very easy.. You make an Average of your 10th, 11th and 12th year. And that average is from 0 to 20. And then you can get in whatever course you want, like lawyer is about 18,7... Architect about 17,3, Sculptor about 14,9. And some times you need to make extra exams to get in :)
There are 3 areas to choose in the 10th grade (Science and technology, Humanities, and Arts) I chose Science and technology because you can say it's the higher one and you can get any course.. you can get like a painting degree.. while in Arts you can't get a medic degree..

So... If you could help me out with the system you use and give me the information for the admission of an international student (EU). It would be great.

Thanks in advance,

Daniel
3DSMax and AE are good programs to start learning with, if they are your first 3D and comping programs, they are a good choice because they are quite user friendly. Using them to get the basics of what 3D/comping is about is no bad thing. Also you never know when you are going to need to know another 3D package - the more of them that you know, the greater the areas of work you can find employment in. However for VFX related work in London, Maya and Nuke are certainly the most popular packages. Before I move onto answering your questions, I should just mention to you that the software you use before the course is not important to us - the important thing is how creative you are as an artist. Learning to think visually, and to draw, to paint, have a grasp of colour theory and composition is much more vital than straight technical 3D skills. I was speaking to a senior compositor at Framestore this week and he told me that he wanted to hire junior compositors who (obviously) knew how to composite passes together, but much more importantly understood how to compose a beautiful image, that understood how colour works to create mood and also how to arrange elements in the image to make powerful compositions - those are traditional fine art skills - they are as relevant to painting as they are to CG. So worry about those first of all - software is just software, you can learn new programs as and when you are required to (and whatever software you learn now, I can guarantee that in five or ten years time, you'll be learning something new!). For example I started learning compositing about 14 years ago, and have now learned to composite in four different packages - but the understanding of how to compose an image and what colours to use stays the same - traditional skills are very useful.

Onto your questions. Regarding a portfolio, we like to see life drawing first :) You may wonder what drawing has to do with VFX, but if you think about what skills are required to create realistic VFX, the main one starts with an ability to analyse the world in front of you, understand it and record it. That is what you are doing when you draw things from life - you analyse the scene in front of you, you attempt to understand why it appears the way it does and then you record the image as best as you can.

I would also like to see perspective drawings of buildings in 2 point perspective (3 point if you can manage it, but not essential, I'll teach that), paintings of landscapes / urban environments - these can be made digitally or traditionally and can be based on reality or be fantasy (I'd advise reality first, because with reality you can get reference for the objects in your scene; fantasy tends to be much harder until you've developed your skills), photography that shows a good understanding of image composition and lighting, some 3D modelling - if you don't know what to make we suggest a building, a vehicle and a realistic human, but we're happy for applicants to show off their own imagination instead. Showing some attempts to blend 3D renders with filmed backplates is really useful for the VFX course. Demonstrating any of the standard VFX skills you mention will only help your application, but please prioritise the artistic learning first.

Regarding the translation of your School exams into UK UCAS points; I will have to ask someone from our admissions department - we obviously accept Portuguese qualifications because I've had two excellent Portuguese students in the past, but I don't know exactly how high you need to score - I'll let you know as soon as I find out.

Hmmm a quick search of the British Council's website shows their guidance for equivalences, however we use the NARIC guidelines at Hertfordshire so I'm not sure if the below is of use:

http://www.britishcouncil.org/portugal-educacao-licenciaturas-compare-qualifications.htm

Don't pay any money to NARIC to get your results translated; I'll just ask at admissions and they can look them up in the NARIC books we have.

DaPerPT
07-15-2012, 07:13 PM
Thank you very much! My mom is a Painter / Art teacher and my dad is a Software developer... So yeah.. what do you get from those two, right? xD I will get into my mom's classes and see if I can get my drawing skills at it's best :D

I chose 3dsMax and AE because I started my learning in VideoCopilot and Creative Cow... Those were the top ones back then... I will try to master as well as I can both of these and start practicing node based composition (Nuke). And as well see if I can get my hands on Maya students version. They have one for 3ds... :)

I would really much appreciate it if you could do those things about the UK UCAS points / Portuguese Points (0-20).

Thank you very much.

Daniel


PS: If you have any idea on how can I contact those Portuguese student's of yours ( website, something like that) It would be awesome, If not, it's cool. It would be just nice to see how they moved from here, where did they lived and how did England felt to them...

CGmaciej
07-15-2012, 09:43 PM
Try Canada - only a suggestion - otherwise you'll have to deal with re-qualified - uninterested in 3d for the most part staff. I was unlucky to attend Portsmouth - things maybe different in Bournemouth.

And then there's Digital Tutors or Lynda.com - better source of knowledge than any university. Don't waste your money and time.

DaPerPT
07-15-2012, 10:03 PM
Ohh.. okay... everyone has it's own opinion. The thing is... that little paper sure opens some doors to you, it's not a waste of cash and time in my view. In august I'm thinking on doing some Digital Tutors courses as well, so yeah.
Canada isn't even an option because I need to stay in Europe.. the prices are way lower because I'm a European Union citizen. But thanks for the input anyways. ;)

CGmaciej
07-15-2012, 10:24 PM
Ohh.. okay... everyone has it's own opinion. The thing is... that little paper sure opens some doors to you, it's not a waste of cash and time in my view. In august I'm thinking on doing some Digital Tutors courses as well, so yeah.
Canada isn't even an option because I need to stay in Europe.. the prices are way lower because I'm a European Union citizen. But thanks for the input anyways. ;)

Indeed everyone have their own opinion. Paper doesn't hold value - skillset does. You can graduate from the best University without skillset - believe it or not but for the most part name and money decide what University you get to study at apart from the fact that in UK education is a resource - much like financial sector (wonder why there's so many "overseas students" studying - because they pay up front). Quantity vs quality so unless it's top 20 don't bother and if you want to study at top twenty - change your name to Indiana Jones, they may consider you then.

Employment-wise it's a guy who can deliver but has no degree vs a guy who has degree but no evidence and cannot deliver. I started with Lynda.com and tutorials with Chad Perkins long time ago - he's brilliant - I suggest you find some of his courses and you'll never loathe 3d. Chad rules.

DaPerPT
07-15-2012, 10:36 PM
Thanks.. I never said a paper was better than a skill set... It never is and it never will be.
But the thing is if you have the skill set and the paper, you beat the guy that only has the skill set. Thanks for the advice on that Tutorial Website.. I will check it out!

leigh
07-15-2012, 11:21 PM
But the thing is if you have the skill set and the paper, you beat the guy that only has the skill set.

No, you don't. I've been working in this industry for many, many years and can safely say that 99.9% of studios couldn't possibly care less about degrees or other qualifications in artists. They care about the work shown in your reel.

That's not to say that an education is a waste of time, because it isn't. But don't fool yourself into believing employers care, because they don't. I have no degrees but it hasn't stopped me from working on three different continents for some of the best VFX studios in the biz.

moidphotos
07-15-2012, 11:36 PM
Thank you very much! My mom is a Painter / Art teacher and my dad is a Software developer... So yeah.. what do you get from those two, right? xD I will get into my mom's classes and see if I can get my drawing skills at it's best :D

I chose 3dsMax and AE because I started my learning in VideoCopilot and Creative Cow... Those were the top ones back then... I will try to master as well as I can both of these and start practicing node based composition (Nuke). And as well see if I can get my hands on Maya students version. They have one for 3ds... :)

I would really much appreciate it if you could do those things about the UK UCAS points / Portuguese Points (0-20).

Thank you very much.

Daniel


PS: If you have any idea on how can I contact those Portuguese student's of yours ( website, something like that) It would be awesome, If not, it's cool. It would be just nice to see how they moved from here, where did they lived and how did England felt to them...

Sounds like you have an excellent genetic advantage :) Yes, there is a student version of Maya:

http://students.autodesk.com/ just log in like you did for 3DSMax, and look for Maya - same process.

I've found the reels from the two graduates I was talking about, their emails are in their reels so I guess you could try contacting them?

Miguel Santana
https://vimeo.com/45441653

Ricardo David
https://vimeo.com/18511737

DaPerPT
07-16-2012, 09:29 AM
Thank you Moid! If you can get Average Points translated it would be awesome... But feel free to have them anytime... after all, I'm not in a hurry. If you really can't. I will ask around. Thanks anyway for everything! :D

Leigh, of course I'm not gonna discuss with a guy that has been in the industry. While I'm still in high school. :) But, from what I heard, family/ older friends, university gives you a lot of contacts and you can meet loads of people learning the same stuff you are, and if you have those contacts, if you can deliver, if you have a great skill set and a really good artistic vision, you will still get a good job, I think... :)
Anyways, It was nice to meet you, I'm sorry If I was anytime disrespectful to you, I'm just here to make friends, have a great vfx/3d life! I sure hope mine will be awesome. ;)

CGmaciej
07-16-2012, 09:43 AM
Thank you Moid! If you can get Average Points translated it would be awesome... But feel free to have them anytime... after all, I'm not in a hurry. If you really can't. I will ask around. Thanks anyway for everything! :D

Leigh, of course I'm not gonna discuss with a guy that has been in the industry. While I'm still in high school. :) But, from what I heard, family/ older friends, university gives you a lot of contacts and you can meet loads of people learning the same stuff you are, and if you have those contacts, if you can deliver, if you have a great skill set and a really good artistic vision, you will still get a good job, I think... :)
Anyways, It was nice to meet you, I'm sorry If I was anytime disrespectful to you, I'm just here to make friends, have a great vfx/3d life! I sure hope mine will be awesome. ;)

10 - 15 years ago game design for instance wasn't even at university. While it is true that connections matter a lot - especially in creative industries (there's two sides of the coin, you can be daft and awful but you get employed and promoted because you know somebody; option 2: you can have a great personality but you remain unemployed because somebody told others who told everyone else that you're daft) - as long as you are determined you'll be fine. Apart from that you can always go Indie and cut out the middle man - work for yourself. I suggest both - having a day / regular job and having your own projects.

Universities are not what they used to be - they accommodate casuals. Have you heard of College Scam Conspiracy Theory? It's not a theory nor does it attempt to conspire in any way. If I was You I'd study 3d on your own and get formal education in let's say Mathematics, Engineering, last but not least - Architecture. You'll more likely to find employment than a guy after a sunday school.

DaPerPT
07-16-2012, 10:01 AM
Of course I will have my own projects, my dream is after all working for myself... Youtube or Website, whatever. But to get here isn't as easy, at least for me :). So I will work for someone first.. to gain experience, etc... and have my own projects on the side.

About the taking another degree in maths or engineering.. hmmm.. you got me kinda thinking.
I still have 3 years to decide what I'm gonna do.. I will talk to my parents and friends... but of course the final call will be mine. I hope I make a good decision, one that I will not regret.

Thank you,
Daniel

CGmaciej
07-16-2012, 10:47 AM
Or get qualified as an electrician or a plumber - it's good money and steady job. If you learn how to use your mind in logical manner you'll be a better 3d guy than people with art background. You can always learn color theory but you cannot learn hard work. The only problem here is that employers and others will profile you and may ghettoize you (Oh god, another wanna-be artist from 7/11 night-shift) so...architecture is better after all. On the other hand Hollywood produced a handful of stars who came from the very bottom. Hilary Swank is one of my favorites and in terms of perseverance Thomas Jane.

Don't get conned into game design / animation studies - if you do consider them do the following (CGmaciej's guide to exposing 3d teaching scammers):

1.Look up your professors on Linkedin and Google search, from junior to principal.
2.Check their background.
3.Look for their portfolio.
4.Check their formal education.
5.Compute ratio of good vs bad.

It someone hasn't got a portfolio in 3d and is lacking formal education it's highly suspicious. Two things decide here: either good University (top 20 within teaching field), or portfolio. Having neither means it's a scam and department is run by a clueless guy who's interested in plucking you out of spinach.

There's also 3d "boot-camps" like Escape studios. More often than not when employers see this on your CV they think you cannot think for yourself and for 9k / course better to get an i7 with 2 graphics cards and a lifetime at Digital Tutors.

Consulting / teaching scams on the margin of VFX industry make more money than the actual VFX houses so becareful.

moidphotos
07-17-2012, 04:47 PM
Hi Daniel

I consulted my university's interpretation of Portuguese examinations and this is what it looks like, I hope it makes sense to you.

We need you to pass all the subjects in your Certificado de fim de Estudos Secundários, and Mathematics must be past at a minimum score of at least 10. Apparently we do not recognise the English exam within your course, so you will need to pass an IELTS with 6.0 or higher as well. You need to pass two of your subjects at a minimum score of 14 -17, and one other with a score of 10 - 13, and that would give you the equivalent to 280 UCAS points (our entry requirements).

If it's any help for you if you are applying anywhere with higher requirements, each of your subjects in the Certificado is considered the equivalent of an English A-level, and English students usually study three or four of these before applying for university.

English A level grade A = Certificado grade 18 - 20 = UCAS Points 120
English A level grade B = Certificado grade 14 - 17 = UCAS Points 100
English A level grade C = Certificado grade 10 - 13 = UCAS Points 80


So if you apply somewhere that wants say 320 UCAS points you can see that you would need two scores of 14 -17 and one score of 18 -20. Obviously check with each university because the NARIC guidelines are considered guidelines and open to interpretation by each university - we don't accept the English part of the Certificado, but other universities might do so for example.

DaPerPT
07-17-2012, 08:39 PM
maciej and leigh.. Thanks for your input. I will most probably study Visual Effects/3d though. Even if you think it's worthless. But yeah, I did say most probably!

Moid, thank you so much! But one thing, the grade of the subject is from the 12th year? or an average of a 10,11 and 12th years? Because some subjects, like chemistry we don't have it in the 12th grade. So how does it work? It would make sense being an average of all the grades of that subject. And another thing, I'm choosing science, If I would have chosen humanities it would be much easier to get really good grades. I'm just asking if the area matters, a guy who chooses science has the same chance of getting in the university as the guy who chooses humanities*?

Thanks! And sorry for so much trouble!!!

* The subjects are different,in humanities you have geography instead of biology, history instead of chemistry and German instead of math.

moidphotos
07-17-2012, 09:33 PM
I'm not sure - this is where the guidelines are not clear at all... at the end of your final year of study would you not receive a certificate of some sort listing the subjects you took and the final grades you gained for them? The final grades for UK A-levels are a mixture of exams and coursework, so you could say that they are an average of several scores - does that help?

My university / course does not distinguish between what subjects you take - so that can either be a good thing (you've chosen science and are not studying art, but we prefer to judge someone by their portfolio, so as long as your grades are high enough we don't mind what subjects they are in) or a bad thing (choosing an easier subject means you'd have higher final scores for applying to university). Obviously for some degree courses, your choice of previous subject matter is essential - you'd want someone who was studying to be a doctor to have already studied Biology at school for example! We would prefer an applicant that had an art subject, but we are also aware that some people have natural talent in that area, so we will interview someone without art qualifications if we think their portfolio is good. I think most UK animation courses will not mind what subjects you have studied previously as long as your portfolio is strong enough (obviously check this though, I can only really give advice for the universities I have taught at).

DaPerPT
07-17-2012, 10:11 PM
I e-mailed some other universities and most of them really didn't care about what I would take. But for a couple of them you need to have an artistic subject and a more mathematical one. And I can always take extra subjects!

But you see.. If you choose arts, except for architecture you can't really get something out of it! Of course visual effects/3d is an art, but you know.. I hope you accept me if I go with science in the 10th grade, I mean after all... there is only a couple of subjects that will change.. and If I have the drawing skills and mathematical skills I will get in a uni. At least from what I heard :D

I do not know If you receive something in the end of the final year. I will ask around!

Next year, I will go to UK and visit every university I have in my mind! I will ask more detailed questions there.

Anyways, thank you a lot for this, you can't imagine how much you helped me out!

CGmaciej
07-17-2012, 10:16 PM
maciej and leigh.. Thanks for your input. I will most probably study Visual Effects/3d though. Even if you think it's worthless. But yeah, I did say most probably!

Moid, thank you so much! But one thing, the grade of the subject is from the 12th year? or an average of a 10,11 and 12th years? Because some subjects, like chemistry we don't have it in the 12th grade. So how does it work? It would make sense being an average of all the grades of that subject. And another thing, I'm choosing science, If I would have chosen humanities it would be much easier to get really good grades. I'm just asking if the area matters, a guy who chooses science has the same chance of getting in the university as the guy who chooses humanities*?

Thanks! And sorry for so much trouble!!!

* The subjects are different,in humanities you have geography instead of biology, history instead of chemistry and German instead of math.

I'd say that it doesn't as long as it's a good University and you're willing to invest your own time - humanities can be useful.

This person (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1401798/) graduated with an English Literature degree and teaches lip-sync and face-animation. But how many like him are there - persistent enough to conduct their own research and learn CAD from scratch, with passion for film-making (that's why I suggested Architecture - think area / environment design / shape / form / spatial intel - last but not least visualizations).

This guy here (http://vimeo.com/39908083) is a protege of the former and a former plumber (look Linkedin - proud plumber). So hm...you can - rags to riches - just like Thomas Jane and Hilary Swank I mentioned before (or at least recognition).

What I want to see yet is Mumbai- rags to Hollywood-riches (not Bollywood) yet and not in a movie by Danny Boyle (awesome idea by the way). Do the math.

Architecture grad. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4MldRXC3Jus)

edit: I'm just trying to save your life pal. You deserve good University and good studies if you're serious - and best teachers. Thing is Universities will lie to you and so will teachers. So look for their individual involvement in creative projects and individual portfolios (not University portfolios made up from past grads' work) - if there's nothing or little on the internet it's most likely a lie. Good teachers take pride in their work and you'll see them on immdb or their work displayed on their own sites (don't forget you'd be their competition also - they're as keen on making money as anyone - but at least they deserve respect because they're there to help you - not to hinder you, like the pretenders.

DaPerPT
07-17-2012, 10:32 PM
I never said humanities wasn't useful, everything is useful, from science to arts, to languages to history, etc...

Okay look. Let's remember one thing, I do not like and won't do anything that I am at least a bit passionate about, and that's why architecture and being a plumber is totally out. So no, I will choose everything so I can end up being a vfx artist. Because that is my dream, to create something new, that didn't exist, make an idea come true. And hopefully being my own boss, we live in 2012, there is o much stuff to do, to explore, to create, to try. Why would I go away of my dream and be a plumber? Seriously, with all the respect sir, I will follow my dream and I will do everything I can to succeed.

Thanks for the input. Have a good day.

CGmaciej
07-17-2012, 10:40 PM
I never said humanities wasn't useful, everything is useful, from science to arts, to languages to history, etc...

Okay look. Let's remember one thing, I do not like and won't do anything that I am at least a bit passionate about, and that's why architecture and being a plumber is totally out. So no, I will choose everything so I can end up being a vfx artist. Because that is my dream, to create something new, that didn't exist, make an idea come true. And hopefully being my own boss, we live in 2012, there is o much stuff to do, to explore, to create, to try. Why would I go away of my dream and be a plumber? Seriously, with all the respect sir, I will follow my dream and I will do everything I can to succeed.

Thanks for the input. Have a good day.

Don't scuttle into your hole Bilbo. Because plumber is as good as an architect if you have determination, bit of luck and connections and a much better trade in state of emergency (like the nurse, electrician or a fireman - backbone of society, not the VFX artist in any case).

"I'm sorry I cannot stem the bleeding because I was only taught VFX."

"I don't wanna die, I don't wanna die, I don't wanna die!" *scream*

"I deduct you're going to die my dear but I cannot stand the sight of blood, I apologize".

leigh
07-17-2012, 10:52 PM
Why the discouragement, CGmaciej? He wants to be a VFX artist, so let him do that. Just because, from what it seems, you personally haven't managed to be successful as an artist, that doesn't mean you should go around discouraging others from doing so.

I've been making a very good living in VFX for more than 12 years now. Sure, the industry can be rather unstable but it's never really been a serious problem for me. On the contrary I enjoy a high standard of living and I have a job I enjoy. If everyone sought to become, as you put it, a "backbone of society", we would have no art, no entertainment, no philosophy, etc. And what with all these austerity cuts to public services these days, I daresay an artist in a private company has better job prospects right now than firemen and nurses.

leigh
07-17-2012, 11:05 PM
1.Look up your professors on Linkedin and Google search, from junior to principal.
2.Check their background.
3.Look for their portfolio.
4.Check their formal education.
5.Compute ratio of good vs bad.
.

I do, however, wholeheartedly agree with this. The overwhelming majority of CG-related courses on offer around the world are a complete waste of time, courses taught by recent graduates with little to no industry experience being run in order to cash in on the popularity of CG. If the person teaching you is lacking actual industry experience, don't waste your money, as they're unlikely to be able to properly prepare you for employment in the field.

DaPerPT
07-17-2012, 11:12 PM
Why the discouragement, CGmaciej? He wants to be a VFX artist, so let him do that. Just because, from what it seems, you personally haven't managed to be successful as an artist, that doesn't mean you should go around discouraging others from doing so.

I've been making a very good living in VFX for more than 12 years now. Sure, the industry can be rather unstable but it's never really been a serious problem for me. On the contrary I enjoy a high standard of living and I have a job I enjoy. If everyone sought to become, as you put it, a "backbone of society", we would have no art, no entertainment, no philosophy, etc. And what with all these austerity cuts to public services these days, I daresay an artist in a private company has better job prospects right now than firemen and nurses.

Thanks for supporting me. When a person can't achieve success they start hating on others. In this case trying to discourage me, but he couldn't do it...

Of course there is a need to have every job in society. I do not want to be in my 80's and think that I could have done something better, that I could have chosen to be someone else, someone that would create, not fix. If I'm telling you that I want to be a vfx artist, why are you trying to negate it? It's not of your business who I will be and what will I accomplish in my life. If you haven't been successful in yours and you are now a plumber or something, there is nothing wrong with it. But don't try to say I will have the same life.

And about these "I'm sorry I cannot stem the bleeding because I was only taught VFX." "I don't wanna die, I don't wanna die, I don't wanna die!" *scream* "I deduct you're going to die my dear but I cannot stand the sight of blood, I apologize". I just laughed at your ignorance. I opened 5 different organs until now, and will open them again next year. I know Biology better than you could imagine. You're terribly wrong If you think I fear blood.

So fix those plumbs, while I, create art. ;)

DaPerPT
07-17-2012, 11:14 PM
I do, however, wholeheartedly agree with this. The overwhelming majority of CG-related courses on offer around the world are a complete waste of time, courses taught by recent graduates with little to no industry experience being run in order to cash in on the popularity of CG. If the person teaching you is lacking actual industry experience, don't waste your money, as they're unlikely to be able to properly prepare you for employment in the field.

Yes, do not worry, I'm sticking with websites that have industry guys with a lot of experience, not just a random 19 year old trying to do a tut for cash :)

CGmaciej
07-18-2012, 12:19 AM
Thanks for supporting me. When a person can't achieve success they start hating on others. In this case trying to discourage me, but he couldn't do it...

Of course there is a need to have every job in society. I do not want to be in my 80's and think that I could have done something better, that I could have chosen to be someone else, someone that would create, not fix. If I'm telling you that I want to be a vfx artist, why are you trying to negate it? It's not of your business who I will be and what will I accomplish in my life. If you haven't been successful in yours and you are now a plumber or something, there is nothing wrong with it. But don't try to say I will have the same life.

And about these I just laughed at your ignorance. I opened 5 different organs until now, and will open them again next year. I know Biology better than you could imagine. You're terribly wrong If you think I fear blood.

So fix those plumbs, while I, create art. ;)

I wasn't implying at you because I don't know you - I was just saying. I wish I was a qualified plumber - like Harry there. These are your assumptions. I've done much worse jobs in my life.

Anyway you're taking my comments the wrong way because you're young and you haven't studied in England. I'm just telling you that VFX should be your hobby / passion not the thing to orbit your life around professionally (until you find actual employment in VFX).

CG is not an art form - it's more of a job description. Salvador Dali was an artist from a prominent family (he had no choice and it would take hell of an idiot to not to be recognized) - just like with many "artists".

Art is an effort - Paul Rand. All the best.

DaPerPT
07-18-2012, 12:57 PM
I realize that I do not have any experience with jobs. But, there are so many companies looking for vfx artist. I mean... you don't really have to be a 3d guy! You can be a matte painter, a roto artist, 3d modeler, etc... And even If you don't want to work with these, publicity is worth a lot a money, working in a publicity company, being a graphic designer, hell you can work on the vfx of a local television show.. man.. you can get your name out there and work with other people. And on the side having your own projects!! So when you can make money out of your own stuff, you will be on the top of your world. And that's why I didn't quite understand those comments of yours. But yeah.

Look, You can disagree with me and say that cg is not an art. Meh, maybe it's not. Maybe it is. Cinema is an art, painting is an art, digital painting in the cinema becomes an art because it gives you the feeling the vfx artist wanted to give you.

It was nice meeting you. Don't worry with my life, we don't even know each other, you gave me some advice, and I appreciate that. But nothing more.

Jisusu
07-22-2012, 10:37 PM
I was reading through this and thought I'd give a bit of info on the school that I go to in Denmark - it's not in the UK I know, but it teaches exclusively in English, and the tuition fee is much, much cheaper than in the UK because Denmark enjoys free education. All you pay is the materials fee - about €295 a month. I myself am from the UK but came over here after hearing about the school :) so I understand the bonus that being in the EU gives you. The school is quite small but has a good reputation because it's so focused and has a fair number of 3D and animation companies working out of the school itself.

It's called the Animation Workshop (http://www.animwork.dk/en/) and it runs two Bachelor degree courses - one in Animation and one in Computer Graphic Arts which teaches both 2D and 3D but mainly focuses on 3D. In CG you spend the first year learning Maya, Photoshop, After Effects and Mudbox with a generalist approach to 3D, in addition to matte painting, design, storyboarding and other 2D related skills. In 2nd year you build on what you know and progress from there with more software (Nuke etc.). Finally, in 3rd year you spend the entire year making a film with a group of students both from your own course and the animation course. You can choose to do a game instead if you wish, but the school is quite film focused. All of our teachers currently work in the industry and don't teach as a full time job, which can be bad but usually works out well because the school has been around for a while and they've worked out who's good - we have a lot of teachers come over from the studios in London and some from even further afield - this year for instance we had a rigging teacher from Dreamworks for a couple of weeks.

As far as entry requirements go, as long as you have completed a high school education the entry is completely portfolio based. You can find more about the portfolio requirements on the website, but if you get through the initial portfolio round, you then go on to do an interview and timed test, after which point they will let you know if you've been accepted. There is one problem with this school if you are really 3D/VFX based - they really think that good 3D is backed up with good drawing skills, and the portfolio requirements reflect this. They run a semester long drawing course for those who want it, but it costs a bunch so you're better off just starting now and practicing if you want to come to the school.

It's a great school anyway, some amazing teachers - you aren't in a big city at all but you become a better artist because it gives you the time to concentrate on your work. It's a great atmosphere and I'd really recommend it if you want to check the school out on the website.

DaPerPT
07-23-2012, 09:46 AM
Hey! Thank you! Look, uhm, that is a good option. I would prefer UK though but it looks really good.

About the drawing part, do not worry, almost every university does a drawing exam, so I will practice with my mom, she teaches art professionally. I can drawn, but not at a really high level, so I will try to get that skill at it's best before entering any university!

But yeah, Denmark. My goal was to study in England and then live there and work there. I'm tired of Portugal. And you realize when you go to a university in a place they will give you like a path to get a job in that area/country. And living in Denmark, it would be like living in Portugal, I mean I guess it would, because they are really small countries, but I only guess, I don't know :). But yeah, If I was already living in Denmark, I would go there with no further thinking, It looks amazing!

It's a really hard choice, but I will consider your input, thank you again!
_______________________________________________________________




If anyone has any further info of any other Uni, please comment!

nellfallcard
07-23-2012, 11:35 AM
If anyone has any further info of any other Uni, please comment!


Hello!

I couldn't avoid to follow the thread between Maciej, Leigh and you without having a word about it. I am currently studying a 3D masters in London, and you might not want to hear this but what Maciej is telling you is true. I am not suggesting go plumbing if that's not what you want to do for a living (I guess Maciej didn't suggest that either but was easy to misread) but, by all means, follow the advise Leigh gave regarding researching all the staff and don't throw your money to the trash bin, or at least be mentally prepared to attend a course with people who will only pop up once or twice per week with a "to do" list, a deadline, seriously dated video tutorials, and the difference between an A+ and a B- is whether you self-trained in youtube or paid some digitalTutors membership on the side. If you are not careful enough, you will end up paying 11k only for a piece of paper that nobody cares about besides your parents (because back on the day it mattered, but nowadays, and specially in this industry, your portfolio is what matters) and friends (because their parents told them so). Also, if you are planning to get a job in England afterwards, bare in mind they are not giving working visas anymore unless the company sponsors you directly, and for that, UKBA requires for the company to demonstrate nobody else in the UK can do the task... so you have to be very, very good on what you do... and anywhere in the world, for that matter.

Jisusu
07-23-2012, 08:58 PM
No problem, I know it's hard looking for good schools, a lot of people on here have been through it. Thanks for listening to the advice, as well.

The only thing I would say in response to the studying being a path to working in the UK thing - be careful with this. I'm sure there are a lot of great unis worth going to in the UK, but it might be worth considering other places that have just as good connections and aren't going to cost £27,000 for your studies in tuition fees alone. It's hard enough to earn money in this kind of work. Also remember that a lot of work in Europe is based out of London and France, especially in animation - you might want to explore some other countries because there's a good chance you'll end up in one of those two anyway :)

I don't see being in Denmark as being 'away from it all' in the UK. We have really good contacts over here with the studios in London, like Cinesite, Framestore and elsewhere, like Aardman, because people who are currently working there come to teach in Denmark during the weeks they have off, which is how our school works. Really look into things like that when you're doing your research - you can go to a great university and not get anywhere because, even though it's in the right country, it's quite academically focused and therefore removed from the industry. That's a massive barrier to getting a job - one of the most important things you can do is make contacts within the industry. A lot of the time this is what will get you jobs in the future, because then you'll be the guy people think of when they think 'hey, I need a modeller...,' and who wouldn't rather give jobs to friends - people they know they get along with, rather than complete strangers. Not saying that skill isn't a massive factor - it definitely is, but this is a small industry and knowing people is a huge part of that.

But good luck searching! I understand wanting to move out of a small country, and the prospect of big cities like London is exciting. It's great that you're looking into it now and really know what you want to do - I wish I was so sure when I was your age. Good luck anyway :) I hope you find what you're looking for.

DaPerPT
07-23-2012, 10:30 PM
Yeah! Thanks! But the thing is, I will have to pay for my own uni(Of course my parents will pay the expenses like food and school materials), and I will do this with a Portuguese student loan that gives the opportunity to go study in London and you will pay your loan when you're working. I think if you earn 4k € a month you need to pay them 250€, something like that, With absolutely no rate (like paying 10% more or something) until you complete the whole schools tuition. And If you don't receive more than 1.5k€ a month, you will not pay them a cent.. It's plus if you end up working on a minimum wage or something, but I hope it will never happen to us!
I have a lot of friends that are studying in England this way and enjoying it a lot.

And yeah, after all I still have 3 years to decide, I will look up to other student loans and other unis around EU and see what I can get. I'm just more on the uk side because of that loan... It has given a lot of chances to many people!

Thanks! And hope you have a good vfx life :D

Vastalegna
07-25-2012, 01:13 AM
Hi Daniel,

I've studied at Teesside for one year and I can tell you that the course is pretty good for someone who has never done anything in 3D. Most of all, the facilities are awesome -maybe the best I've seen anywhere. The university also holds the Animex festival, a great opportunity to meet professionals coming from some of the best studios all over the world.

I've been at Hertfordshire as well during an open-day and their local festival. The campus seems very nice as well as courses and tutors. A real strength is the proximity to London and all the consequent benefits.

Last but not least, I'd have a serious look at online resources such as Digital Tutors, CGWorkshop and Escape Studios [to mention but a few], you could find anything you need just there without the need of further explanations.

Anyway, I'd say that it is not the course that makes the real difference, but yourself. Lots of people that go at uni don't know what they're going to do or are not passionate enough in my opinion. Make your homework and be 101% sure of what you want to be, it can save you lots of time! Good luck.

DaPerPT
07-25-2012, 12:48 PM
Thank you!

reecpj
07-28-2012, 12:55 PM
If you're still considering Bournemouth, I might have some insight. I just finished first year on the Computer Visualisation and Animation course. The lecturers are mostly very qualified, talented people, many of them with ongoing work in the industry on the side. One gains a lot from other students, especially the exceptional ones who go out of their way to learn stuff not on the course.

Regarding software packages, we mostly use Maya here. All the computers are on Linux, so we have to make do with GIMP instead of PS. Nuke, Mudbox and Houdini are also used, particularly after the first year. We learn Python (for Maya) and C++, which is a real boon when it comes to getting employed, and speeding up or improving the workflow. Maths and Life Drawing are taught well, and feel very relevant to the majority of 3D career paths. The library also has books and DVDs on many aspects of 3D if you want to study in your spare time, some more useful than others. It feels to me like many people prefer to do the minimum possible to scrape passing the course, which is not an ideal way to go about things in my view. The majority on this forum are dozens of times more dedicated to their art than most students I know.

I haven't a clue about the Portuguese grading system, but the entry requirements to the course are really not that high. I would learn some 3D basics beforehand, as well as practising drawing/ painting and putting together a small but decent physical art (i.e. on paper) portfolio. You can't expect to be taught every detail of a software package by the lecturers - I found my few years experience in 3Ds Max very useful when it came to learning Maya, while newcomers to 3D packages were often confused, with their grades suffering as a result of the learning curve.

Overall, if I was basing the value for money on the hours in Lectures and tutorials (and this goes for any university probably), I would say it is faster and cheaper to teach yourself. Degrees are not that valuable nowadays, so what does that leave us with? The experience of working with other people, teaching them and getting contacts with the industry are I would say the most valuable parts of the university experience (from a career point of view). It is an enjoyable experience of course. If you can get those three benefits elsewhere, like a job, I would probably recommend forgoing the degree.

Good luck with your decision, and in your future career!

DaPerPT
07-28-2012, 02:22 PM
Thank you! Next summer I will visit UK and every University, I hope I can get a feeling of each one and ask more detailed questions there.

Thanks for the clarification of the software package. But only one question, Why in the world are they teaching c++? I mean they could teach Max script or AE/Nuke Expressions... Is c++ taught in that specific degree or is there another degree more of vfx? Thanks!

reecpj
07-28-2012, 05:57 PM
I think C++ is taught (in Computer Visualisation and Animation - there is a similar course, Computer Animation Arts without much of the programming/ maths, and focussing more on cinematography, compositing and actual animation) so that we can develop tools to make art, or programs/ games. I guess the object-oriented programming principles are useful when scripting as well.

One part of the course is more baffling for a VFX artist, that of the fundamentals of computer architecture - being able to build a computer out of boolean logic gates, timers etc, up to higher level structures like registers, memory and graphics chipsets. But I have found both elements useful when, for example using Cg to develop shaders for a real-time engine. I guess the CVA course is more geared towards technical artists/ TDs. Students' programming projects often include writing particle systems, fluid dynamics systems, that kind of thing. You can often choose which directions you want to go in at Bournemouth, which can only be a good thing!

DaPerPT
07-29-2012, 12:25 AM
Thanks! That was really helpful! I'm not so much of a scripting guy, but more of a visual... so yeah... I would go with "Computer Animation Arts" as you say it's less programming/math. Thanks again for explaining! I really do not see myself in a programming class right now... and in c++, that's one hard language x) I prefer keeping with software made already and try to create a good product out of it. But I do take my hat off to those guys who make the software and plugins.

conbom
07-29-2012, 01:21 AM
Yeah the Bournemouth computer visualization and animation course is probably by far the best CG course in the UK, the computer science aspect is there but it makes you more employable which is part of why its so respected.

I disagree with it being easy to get into though, when I applied its was 40 applicants for each place and they ask for A,A,B in good subjects.

You don't need a visa or anything like that for working in the UK if your from the EU

The cost of living in London is extremely high so its not a great place to be a student, a room would be like £500 a month minimum.

I would judge the standard of a university by its teachers and the former students work, no student work on their site = alarm bell.

A lot of them name drop and talk about great facilities I would not listen to that personally, let the work do the talking, if the student work from the previous years is looking lame, can be sure the course is not up to scratch. Be careful because there are a LOT of bad 3D courses in the UK and very few good ones. Can count them on one hand, education here is quite a big business so you get a lot of sham courses.

There is less of that money grab mentality in mainland Europe, many have a lot of integrity and really care about the students performance as opposed to the numbers.

DaPerPT
07-29-2012, 02:04 PM
Awesome! Bournemouth looks great! How is the place? And what is it like to live there? Criminality? How are the people?

DaPerPT
07-29-2012, 04:52 PM
Can you give me a link to a Bournemouth student's reel please, I'm looking up on youtube and it's not very impressive, actually pretty bad comparing to other unis. But I'm certainly doing a bad search. Thanks!

reecpj
07-30-2012, 05:39 PM
http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=BACVA+&oq=BACVA+&gs_l=youtube.3...6680.6680.0.6847.1.1.0.0.0.0.85.85.1.1.0...0.0...1ac.rjMTlNAmEeE

Should give you an idea of some people on that course's work. I don't know how much value to give to students' showreels really, if they are perfect, it doesn't necessarily correlate to the uni doing a good job, or vice versa.

Crime is not something I'm aware of much! Bournemouth as a town is really nice, great night life and leisure activities with the beach! The lecturers are all pleasant, but some will go further to help than others. Occasionally a module has a lot lacking *ahem cinematography*. One very helpful aspect of the course for me (in first year) was the Peer Assisted Learning - 2 hours a week of talking through problems, being shown inspiration etc, with a group of diligent, paid second years. In my experience, it's probably a majority of non-English students, so you'd fit right in.

DaPerPT
07-30-2012, 07:00 PM
Ohh.. it's fine.. It's just that I looked up some reels of other unis like this one (http://vimeo.com/29406507#at=0) (in the US). And maybe my expectations were higher... But after all you will go there to learn.. xD so yeah.. it doesn't matter that much.

Bournemouth looks really great, It's in my list now, next year I will visit it to see how everything is!!

Thanks.

Xistel
08-02-2012, 07:31 PM
For something shorter than a BA or MA, I found Escape Studios to be great if you are looking for VFX work (not so much modeling)

DaPerPT
08-05-2012, 04:59 PM
Yeah... I know about Escape Studios :) Thanks anyway.

conbom
08-05-2012, 11:55 PM
This is the main site for their CG stuff, its actually the National Center for it

http://ncca.bournemouth.ac.uk/

This is the youtube channel showing their work, it goes back to 1999, that's a really long time for a computer graphics course, some great stuff on there

http://www.youtube.com/user/NCCAAnimation#p/

As for Bournemouth as a town, its very safe and friendly, the town is mainly comprised of lots of students and old people living out their retirement. Its got some of the best beeches in the UK, is about 90 mins from London on the train, close to Brighton, very nice location, MUCH cheaper than london. I go there to swim on hot summer days, i currently live in the big smoke :)

DaPerPT
08-06-2012, 06:36 PM
Hahaha.. It looks like a great uni!! I don't have much interest in the beach because I grew up in Portugal and we have beaches everywhere. And it must be kinda cold in UK beaches comparing to ours. But anyway, I do not plan to live there! I want to live in London :)

Thanks for the info... Loved some of the work they've done!!

conbom
08-06-2012, 09:10 PM
British beeches are the best in the world, will put hairs on your chest :D

But yeah london is a great city, there is so much to do, good luck with your studies :)

DaPerPT
08-07-2012, 10:19 AM
Haha... thanks!

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