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View Full Version : good universitys in england and scottland: I need your help


slug
03-17-2003, 10:53 AM
I want to study something related to grafics such as graphic design or media production..maybe an art school? My problem is that I dont have an art background :hmm: so i cant produce a portfolio. If i dont get accepted in those i will go for computer science. So can you give me some names of universities in England and Scottland? Actually all i want to do is study in an english speaking countries, but the united states is too expensive for an european i think..

PHILL_JAMES2000
03-17-2003, 11:04 AM
if you want to do any art related subject in england or scotland then go and do a year long foundation course in art and design, that'll give you a portfolio of work and you'll get experience in a lot of different art subjects, as well as the ability to specialise... look at Manchester Metropolitan University, Bolton Institute, Salford University...these places have v-good foundation courses plus good design courses (although i wouldn't push the Interior Design course at the Met, but that's for personal reasons :D ) Salford has quite a few media, audio and visual production courses...

clusterfuq
03-17-2003, 12:04 PM
i'm just finishing a multimedia design and tech course at brunel. its ok, but doesnt really go deep into any subjects, just skims the surface. gives a good load of design theory and application basics, but if you want to be more specific with your skills, try somewhere else!

what is it you want to do or are you not sure? if you know then try and aim at a course more in that, you'll get more out of it.

a tip is to search for graduates from universitys you're intrested in (on google 'john smith graduate whateva university') and try and contact them and ask em what they thought. most will be helpful, some will ignore you tho.

oh, and go somewhere near to home, so nice escaping to mum's cooking every so often :p

just my experience

cf

slug
03-17-2003, 12:14 PM
thank you for the fast replys!
I got another question, might sound stupid but whats the difference between undergraduate and postgraduate stydies?

PHILL_JAMES2000
03-17-2003, 12:19 PM
undergraduate are studies for your degree, postgrad are studies after you've got your degree, like an MA or PhD etc...

show
03-17-2003, 12:49 PM
I am hoping to study BA Computer Animation at either portsmouth or teesside next year and im currently on the BTEC foundation course.

If you were to apply to portsmouth and they felt you needed to do the Foundation course first then you would actually be able to do it there and apply for the Computer Animation BA(Hons) the following year.

www.port.ac.uk (dont pay attention to their computer animation website though cause its terribly out of date)

If you want a more technically based degree then theres no place better than Bournemouth http://ncca.bournemouth.ac.uk

aqeel
03-17-2003, 02:57 PM
i am going for BA Multimedia at London Metropolitan University (http://www.londonmet.ac.uk).. however Bournemouth is the Best.. i think before taking any decision u should take a look at ...AWN's CG School's Directory (http://aidb.com/?ltype=dl&target=school&sv=awn_hp). am sure it'll be very helpfull...

Regards
Aqeel

clusterfuq
03-17-2003, 05:47 PM
and also SEARCH (http://www.cgtalk.com/search.php?s=) this forum for uk universities. sure theres been loads of topics about it recently.

good luck

slug
03-19-2003, 11:00 AM
thank you very much for your replies, more options are always nice ;) I did search the forum for university but didnt find anything helpful :shrug:

hoochoochoochoo
03-19-2003, 12:41 PM
teeside is fine but the students used to be transfers from the maths degree or something stupid like that. They took on maths A-level students who then hated Maths Bsc and wanted to join computer animation. if you're not artistic it sounds a good route to take.

Might want to see who teaches on those courses you chose. there's two anima universities that have tutors who are also developers or registered beta testers for the big apps - Bournmeouth and Cumbria.

For graphics, there are millions of courses. Leeds Met won't take you on unless you're really good. (600 applicants for 80 places) London is expensive, especially Central St Martins and they want your dad to be a millionaire (my girlfriend went for interview for BA Fashion Textiles) or you won't be able to complete the work.

Talk to students on the courses you choose, they'll tell you what it's like.

Cheers
03-19-2003, 01:47 PM
University of Hertfordshire http://www.herts.ac.uk ;)...although you may be cutting it a bit fine trying to find a place for next year, as you may find most Uni's have already filled their places up.
You will need a strong portfolio, although not necessarily showing your skills with digital media, but one that shows good drawing skills etc. As PHILL_JAMES2000 has already mentioned, the usual procedure in the UK is to do a year long foundation course, before you settle into your preferred subject. Obviously this means you must be prepared for up to 4 years of academic study.

Cheers

PHILL_JAMES2000
03-19-2003, 02:19 PM
...and, in most places, you don't get a grant for the foundation course... :annoyed:

hoochoochoochoo
03-19-2003, 02:48 PM
foundation is FE. Those grants died years ago.
I didn't mention Scotland before - but those Uni's are great if you're Scottish - no fees and they're trying to bring proper grants back.
Crap if you're english as you are poor in comparison at a Scottish Uni. Dundee has great courses there.

Who's teaching at Hertfordshire? Most good colleges are further away from London as the colleges can't afford as much equipment or software (have you seen house or land prices there?)

Finally - you don't need drawing to be an animator but if you want graphics then it's a must. Most woodentops (graphic designers) also believe in computer only graphics - which is why we call them woodentops....

Cheers
03-19-2003, 05:46 PM
The University of Herts, as a whole, has nearly completed an expansion costing nearly 150 million pounds, on top of what already exsists. The Digital Modelling course encompases well over 60 seats of 3DS Max/Character Studio/Reactor, all networked together so as to make use of network rendering. Of course there are other related schemes such as Design to Manufacture, that has a large resuorce of rapid prototyping machinery and, again, over 60 seats of ProENGINEER/CDRS in the faculty alone. It goes without saying that this is not including the additional resources available to students in the Learning Resources Centre.
I'm not sure 100% of the details, but Herts Uni is probably in a better position than mosts Uni's in the South East, because it already owns a sizable chunck of land in Hertfordshire already.
Dundee must be good, as I do know a lecturer there and worked with her in the past ;)

Cheers

hoochoochoochoo
03-20-2003, 03:59 PM
hi Cheers.
my "water" proved true. so do you work at UniHerts then? :p cos that was almost an advert.....

SimonReeves
03-23-2003, 07:27 PM
Cheers do you work at Herts? or a student there?

i am interested as i have applied there and have an interview next month :)

Cheers
03-23-2003, 07:35 PM
I work in the Digital Modelling & Animation department ;)

Cheers

SimonReeves
03-23-2003, 07:39 PM
excellent......

effilang
04-25-2004, 12:05 PM
I was wondering then perhaps you could tell me what modeling and animation software you use there?

I am an international student planning on applying there and i have strong roots in MAX. . .and frankly i dont wanna change to Maya,Lightwave or XSI even though i use Maya aswell.

Would there be a chance to proceed my "BA in Digital Animation" under 3D Studio Max.

And sorry to be a pest but just one more question as these things are very explicitly explained on the Uni's website.

I feel i want to pursue Digtial Character Animation and Modeling...so basicaly a lot of organic modeling and character animation for Movies,Cut-in-Sequences,et cetera....

Do you recommend i Take the Digital Modeling course or the Digital Animation course. . .because personaly under Digital Modeling i didnt see any information concerning character modeling in comparison to the Unis. Digital Animation Course.

A reply would be greatly appreciated and would certainly clear up alot of the fog for me.

Thank you.

allseeingi
04-26-2004, 01:30 AM
Hi Slug,

If it's a graphics course that you're after I've just finished a course called Graphics Design Portfolio Course at Central St. Martins in London. The idea is that you build up a portfolio of work to apply for a BA in Graphic Design at Central or any other Uni (I've just applied and am waiting for a verdict :D). It's a truly fantastic course in wonderful environment. The tutor is really great and you get to cover areas like drawing, photography, 3d (physical) work, typography, print making, computer studies (Photoshop/Illustrator/Flash) and life drawing. They like you to take an experiental approach to the work. London is an expensive city but it's not out of reach of anyone, many people flat shared and worked part time to cover cost of living and got through fine. The course itself is a lot per term but you only need to do term 1 and 2, and compared to anywhere else I'd imagine it's pretty much on par. And contrary to popular belief you DON'T have to be rich to get through it, I managed it. They're looking for strong ideas, not expensive finished products. I also don't know of another course like it in the country. Check out the website here:

Flash version:
www.csm.linst.ac.uk

HTML:
http://www.csm.linst.ac.uk/textsite/bronze.html

Click on Graphics and follow the link to the portfolio course. I'd be happy to answer any questions if you want to PM me ;-).

- allseeingi

SpeccySteve
04-26-2004, 07:35 AM
Hello,

I can only comment on the Scottish side of things, but for what it's worth "Art Schools" and Computer Animation-type courses are typically very different, although there will be animation course at some of the art schools just to confuse the isssue further.. There are If I recall, only four "art schools". Glasgow, Duncan of Jordanstone (Dundee), Edinburgh and Aberdeen.

You will typically need a very decent portfolio for an art school, usually higher art at a good grade ( do we still have highers? whatever the equivalent these days is..) Computer type courses will probably require "proven interest in creative computing" or similar.

The good news is many local colleges provide one year access courses to enable you to build a portfolio with a view to attending art school. ( handy hint: if this art course is HNC level or higher you should qualify for a student loan, depending on parental income...)

-Steve

mer
05-04-2004, 11:13 PM
This is my first post , so welcome me at cgtalk :wavey:

I have already 4 offers from bournemouth , bradford , hertsfordshire and teesside...

Bournemouth : Very respected course but has programming and mathematics... I really hate them ... Only Maya in BA , I am an XSI user.

Bradford: Their courses don't seem very nice...

Teesside: Post-production and special effects is a new course... but I heard quite good things... overall best for me I think...

Hertsfordshire: I would like to know more but uni & courses ( digital animation and lens media dont seem anything special...) . Teacher from herts enlight us for these 2 courses !

Help an international student today... click reply ! :thumbsup:

firestar3d
05-06-2004, 12:49 AM
This is a tough question to answer, and it was far more difficult when I first started looking at courses to attend. As it is, I've made a decision recently to return to full time education and attend a BSc(Hons) Special Effects course at London SBU in September this year. However, it's not listed on the CGTalk forums, so either the mods don't know about it yet, or it's not all that great.

The way I see it though, is that I will be learning essential Special Effects skills, both on digital and traditional methods, and character modelling/animation etc etc can be learned at another time (though I'll probably teach myself the basics instead alongside the course).

Is this the best place to go? I cannot be certain, but my place is already secured, so I will definitely be going, and for me personally, the location of the establishment is not as important as my own desire to expand my knowledge and break into the industry professionally.

Pete Andrews

milannium
01-07-2005, 05:00 AM
I have just started a course in BA (Hons) Computer Animation at University of Portsmouth in Oct2004 following a year out after my A Levels. So why is my post titled Uni of Bournemouth??

This is just my personal opinion so don't ponder on my words to much.

Couple of years ago when I was applying to universities I heard from many sources that Bournemouth was by far the best place to go to in England for animation etc. Even head designers at art houses in Soho said that most of their graduates are from Bournemouth.

But the reason why I didn't go there is because of the attitude that the university's department had. I felt their reputation had clearly gone to their head. They refused to let me take the course without first undertaking an art foundation year. This is in spite of having achieved A* at GCSE art and A's in Art and Graphic Design. Coupled with A's in Maths, Chemistry and Biology at A Level I didnt see why I was denied a first year place. I would have settled for the foundation year until I saw the work produced by graduates from Portsmouth. Even though their Animation course is only newly founded, their end results were clearly better than Bournemouth's even to the untrained eye.

I didn't feel I was sacrificing the university reputation either by going to Portsmouth since art houses also said that they only base recruitment on quality of portfolio. To an extent I feel it is possible to create a brilliant portfolio wherever you go because actual teaching time at university is only a few hours a week and the rest is self directed study. It all depends on your own prowess and how dedicated you are to achieving your goals.

With that said the courses at Portsmouth are excellently taught with quality lecturers and with a diversity of backgrounds.
It may sound like I'm bearing a grudge towards Bournemouth but I assure you I'm not. I understand the rivalry that universities have nowadays to try and grab the best of the best/ creme-de-la-creme of the students.

Hope this little info can help potential artists out there.

SimonReeves
01-07-2005, 02:08 PM
well said, completely agree with ya there

allseeingi
01-07-2005, 04:27 PM
I think you're being too harsh there milannium. If you go to any major art school, to do a full time degree course or higher on a major subject it will be a requirement that you have built a portfolio from a foundation, an access course or from work in the industry. I can see why a CG course would allow students who haven't done a foundation, but personally I have a great admiration for a CG course that does require a foundation as I think the grounding this would give you in art in general would be invaluable. I did art and graphics at A Level and I feel the difference between those courses and foundation is a serious step up. I think it does CG people good to look at the world in ways other than through the glass of a computer monitor and that's what a foundation should do. In the end I feel it makes you a better artist.

On your other points I would tend to agree. Though having good tutors can make a big difference to even the most dedicated of students. I'm glad you're having a good time at Portsmouth.

- allseeingi

<edit: spelling mistake>

Mungo J
01-07-2005, 06:01 PM
hmmm... a thread full of uk 3d student's, can't resist.

i'd have to agree with allseeingi here as the one piece of advice i can give is to be very weary of any where that doesn't ask of much for entry-

i got into swansea institute as i had heard it was a well respected 3d course, but i didn't really have enough ucas points or any art foundation, (i had taken a year out to travel, which most universities really like, that you aren't too fresh out of school) but they accepted me onto the BA - i was amazed.

but it was too good to be true, i'm in the second year now, and it's really quite dissapointing - the modules are really not thought out properly and the lecturers are very disheartening.

it really does feel like i'm fighting for my degree against the lecturers, they even have end of year reviews which the students suggest what modules should be removed/changed which i tried to be useful in, but was just dismissed by the lecturers.

it's a bit better this year as we have a really good new lecturer from america who has been in the industry, but she's mainly involved in the first years so we barely see her.
also i'm scared she'll go the same way as our only good lecturer from last year who was also from america and was our tutor, but left early in the year as the institute was so depressing for him. we had no tutor for our first year after that.

i'm hoping that the third year will be better tho as most of our time will be for our short film major projects, and at the end of the day you do all the learning yourself at uni, so it's mainly a reflection of you as an individual - i.e. the crappy lecturers can't ruin my film, that's down to me!

jmBoekestein
01-07-2005, 06:13 PM
This is my first post , so welcome me at cgtalk :wavey:

I have already 4 offers from bournemouth , bradford , hertsfordshire and teesside...

Bournemouth : Very respected course but has programming and mathematics... I really hate them ... Only Maya in BA , I am an XSI user.

Bradford: Their courses don't seem very nice...

Teesside: Post-production and special effects is a new course... but I heard quite good things... overall best for me I think...

Hertsfordshire: I would like to know more but uni & courses ( digital animation and lens media dont seem anything special...) . Teacher from herts enlight us for these 2 courses !

Help an international student today... click reply ! :thumbsup::scream: Welcome you!!!

I'm not from the UK actually, but I kept track of 3d developments in as many ways as I could since 2000. I finally got some equipment and software last year!

I read a lot of articles and the one thing that struck me is that if you want into the 3d business of film. Then a lot of studios will be banking on the London Filmschool! And I for one would take any chance of doing my MA there or even switch right now to do my BFA there.

First they'll check your reel, but if forced to choose between other school and London Filmschool, they'll go for the latter. Just what I've read!

victor throe
01-07-2005, 07:03 PM
thought i would chip in here.

an art foundation is essential before a degree for many reasons.

firstly you want to do one to undo all the nastly habits and pretentions a level art will have beat into you.

secondly, you cannot do enough drawing when it comes to animation. so make sure you choose a foundation course which offers lots of life drawing elements

plenty of decent folk are coming out of portsmouth. i personally despise bournemouths course(this is not based on experience but more on how they call them selves an animation course when it is anything but.)

"students suggest what modules should be removed/changed which i tried to be useful in, but was just dismissed by the lecturers"

remember a uni cannot just change the course structure from year to year. they have to jump through many hoops just to get a degree validated. once validated, they will be stuck with it for 3 to 6 years depending on the conditions of the validation board.

lets add southampton into the mix

it offers a full one year of intense traditional animation tuition. and in the second year they buy all the students the software of their choice. (3dsmax or digicel flipbook studio)

as far as bitching about various courses and the way they are run. as a student, it is your job to learn and the staffs job to facilitate your learning. if you exit a degree with a crap grade, thats your fault. and to a point, it doesnt matter where you study....choose the town with the best lifestyle for your needs, becuase you gotta live there for 3 years.

Mungo J
01-07-2005, 07:29 PM
"as far as bitching about various courses and the way they are run. as a student, it is your job to learn and the staffs job to facilitate your learning. if you exit a degree with a crap grade, thats your fault."

i entirely agree with this victor, and i hope that my post didn't sound like needless bitchiness, i just wish sometimes that my lecturers would talk to me like a human being occasionally.

another point to think about tho is that inspiring (or at least interested) lecturers will obviously reflect in student's work in terms of their attitude...

southampton sounds good tho... i have a friend in the first year there, i wish we did some traditional animation here.

victor throe
01-07-2005, 08:30 PM
if lecturers are not madly passionate about the subject they are teaching, they have no place taking your money.

who do you know at southampton?

Mungo J
01-08-2005, 01:18 AM
a guy called luke vagnolini, he's in the first year but he's on the games course (not sure what it's called exactly), which he says is so far following the animation course mainly.

i'm pretty sure it's southampton he's at, he hasn't yet touched a computer (good idea) and they spend the first two days of the week hand-animating. that sound like southampton?

yeh, lecturers get pretty damn annoying, we have one who laughs at questions, and never actually answers them. but on the bright side, cgtalk exists! which is full of passionate users eager to help each other.

the best lecturers we have are both women, i haven't quite figured out what this means about the sexes tho... wouldn't like to admit that women are just plain better than men!
maybe that in a male-oriented industry women have to excel to survive, who knows...

the best thing about the course tho is meeting like-minded peeps tho...
stripe who is around on here showed me cgtalk, and is a great bloke and a mad-crazy obsessed modeller.

victor throe
01-08-2005, 07:50 AM
laughing at questions is disgraceful, you should write a letter of complaint to the dean


as for the ladies, i dont think they are any better or any worse. it would be easy to make a generalization about woman based on the fact that all the women i have met in industry seem to be more focused and serious, but i think it is more likely that there just happen to be more men in the industry who are dicks.

cgtalk is a god send. it has successfully managed to remove that horrible clickyness you get with other forums. everyone is eager to help people no matter what their level of understanding.

as it should be

DJB343
02-25-2005, 02:25 PM
Hey there,

I visited Hertfordshire uni yesterday on a Art and Design open day .. and i can honestly say, I was really impressed. Im at the moment filling in my ucas form online, and Hertfordshire is my first choice, I want to do the 'Digital Animation' course, but im a bit worried, because my gcse results are really really bad, and can unfortunatly say they are no where near the requirements, as far as the gcse's go :(, (never used to listen in school what so ever, because funny enough all i wanted to do was model and animate nothing else, and school never had those facilites lol, so wasnt really interested, but yeh really regret that one now lol).

At the moment im currently finishing a 2 year National Diploma In Multimedia, i got onto that course purely on merit, it was all based on my portfolio. I guess though it will be different for university enrollment, because they still have to accept you for a interview, and to be honest im really worried that i wont even get a interview because they will look at my really poor gcse results, and totally go off that.

so i guess, can anyone enlighten me on this kind of problem by any chance ?

Cheers

stewartjones
02-25-2005, 03:31 PM
Ah nice to see someone else who has spent 2 years on a Multimedia Diploma course! :thumbsup: ... Seems so long ago now though!

If you are attending a course that is 'Route A' you may not have to go for an interview at all. It's mostly the 'arty' :arteest: routes, 'Route B' that ask for interviews. EG- Design, fine arts etc.

If anyone is thinking about going to Bradford University, then please kick yourself in the head for being silly. I went... *KICK* :cry:... I left ... *smile* :D

DJB343
02-25-2005, 04:34 PM
lol thats the thing though .. i am on route b :sad: mehhh

stewartjones
02-26-2005, 11:43 AM
lol thats the thing though .. i am on route b :sad: mehhh

If the course you want is route A (mine was, and still is) then get in touch with that University now, and ask them about it! Then you will have to contact UCAS. May be a little late, I think the cut-off date for entry to route A is the 15th of January.

To be honest, its mostly down to yourself how much you get out of a degree anyways. BUT, I can honestly say the only thing you would get out of going to Bradford is the BAF each year, and a hell of a lot of debt... Unless you wanna know why the sky is dark at night (I kid you not, this was one of the questions)!

Route B aint too bad though. The interviews I went to were fun! If your portfolio is strong enough, then you can just ride it out without any problems!

DJB343
02-26-2005, 11:54 AM
thanks vyntax i really do appreciate your replys :thumbsup:

the thing is, i dont think im able to choose a route a course, because my college tutors said "this year you students are on route b, because you are all considered as art and design students" .. but as far as i know all the university courses ive chosen are available for route b also, so im ok there :), js still worrying about wether or not they give me a interview, because of my poor school gcse results ... hopefully they do , because i believe myself i already have a strong portfolio, and im still adding to it ... so i guess i can only have hope when it comes to the acceptence for a interview :sad:.

cheers

mantis_640
02-26-2005, 01:01 PM
heya

i thought i'd add in my info to this

I don't know anything about schools in england, but I'm first year in product design engineering at Glasgow school of art, Scotland. My school has a 3d animation course, but they have a separate building really far away.. so i don't know too much about it. My guess is that it's not that great tho. Some courses at my school are really good but some aren't that good. In general, the good ones are architecture and traditional media courses, whereas our school lacks knowledge in anything technology related.

To the one who started this thread, I'll give you my somewhat controversial opinion, : you shouldn't be too quick to consider the uk for schooling. I don't know where in europe you're from, but there are some really good schools elsewhere in europe. I'm from canada... and came here for uni.. so i guess that's why I'm of the opinion that the uk is not the greatest place. Having lived in a lot of places, i think that the US would be your best bet for what you want. It may cost a lot of money, but it certainly doesn't cost more than what I'm paying as an international student. (I don't know if you would be paying those same fees in the uk) Right.... i'll shut up now... cuz all these uk guys are gonna be at my throat.

But... if you go to the uk.... i think that england would be a better option than scotland... not certain tho.

stewartjones
02-26-2005, 01:51 PM
My GCSE grades, and A level grades arent that good in general, but no one wants to know after u do any form of higher education.

My college told me that we had to go through route B as well, I was not impressed, but all is good now I guess!

Do you know what formative grade you will be getting? As if you have a straight MMM then no University should worry about your GCSE's at all!

Add your points up through the UCAS system. That should clear a few things up for ya!

Shameless
05-19-2005, 06:49 PM
Hi I'm new to this forum, and wanted to ask some questions.

I really want to do a course in 3D animation and then go on and do a degree in Game Art. I have a portfolio and my own website and I spend my whole life playing computer games ( I just got World of warcraft and love it!), which I guess is strange as I'm a girl. I've done loads of research but all the courses I like are either in too far away, as I live in London and can't really afford to go away. And the courses in London ( character animation, Central St Martins) want u to already have a foundation or an honours. There's a really good course in Norwich that sounds good, but that's too far. Apart from doing an art foundation does anyone have any advice in a foundation degree I can do in 3D animation, that's in London.

victor throe
05-20-2005, 08:19 AM
southampton institute have a computer games degree.

HellBoy
05-20-2005, 11:33 AM
My GCSE grades, and A level grades arent that good in general, but no one wants to know after u do any form of higher education.!

is it possible to tell us what you got, I am doing GCSEs now :buttrock: previous ones were Ds and 1 C :sad:

I heard Ani & Game courses will be happy with only AS Levels, if you got higher then thats good

is that true?

Edit: You know, I'd also say that Teeside is good for all the new media courses

Opelfruits
05-20-2005, 02:55 PM
it definatly possible to get into uni without AS or A-levels, im going to uni in september and i didnt do any a-levels, you just havt to prove to them that you will be able to do the work.

MastahUK
05-20-2005, 03:18 PM
Whoa, a lot of talk in here about Portsmouth Uni! I don't really have an artistic background, so I didn't get an offer for Computer Animation there, but I did manage to get a place for the "Entertainment Technology" course that they offer (which is cool, because it covers sound production and web design too). The one thing that is preventing me from strongly accepting this course is the fact that it only has a 160 points entry requirement. Thats 2 D's and an E at A levels!! Now I know this is a new department at Portsmouth University, so maybe thats why they're trying to accept a broader range of people.....I was just wondering if anyone could tell me if in fact this course would be worthwhile and not just a pointless degree that future employers couldn't care less about!

Opelfruits
05-20-2005, 04:14 PM
you only get out of the course what you put into it

HellBoy
05-23-2005, 11:13 PM
it definatly possible to get into uni without AS or A-levels, im going to uni in september and i didnt do any a-levels, you just havt to prove to them that you will be able to do the work.

wait a second, you saying you dont have to struggle with 5 GCSEs and 2 or more A-levels to get into a uni course (CG Courses) wooooooooooow, I think it depends on your luck too however, I remember calling a uni and they said they only take people with A-Levels, thats the moment when you get pink/purple cheeks :blush:

Headless
05-23-2005, 11:37 PM
As far as reputation for courses goes, in the UK, for games the best places are Teesside and Liverpool John Moore, while for film/tv/animation you're looking at either Teesside or Bournemouth (Bournemouth is supposedly better but there's more math involved).

If you're talking worldwide, I dunno... Vancouver Film School has a pretty good rep. So does Supinfocom in France.

manjoechan
07-04-2005, 09:59 PM
I am currently an AS level students in the Uk studying Maths, Physics, Art and Design, and Product Design. The Universities I'm currently looking at are Teesside, Staffordshire, Bradford, Bournemouth, Portsmouth and Hertfordshire.

I got Maths and Physics covered, getting the points shouldn't be a problem, the only problem I have is my art background. I got a C in GCSE, and I'm currently studying (as said earlier) Art in A Levels, and I have a feeling I'm not gonna do that well. I'm trying to look mostly for BSc courses rather than BA courses, but most of the courses I wanna do are BA. How much will my grade for art in A Level matter for the BA courses?

L.Rawlins
07-04-2005, 11:26 PM
My art A2 Level grade (they were playing around with that new As/A2 system my year) wasn't particularly great, however on the strength of my portfolio and my all-round passion for the subject at hand during the interview process; I was still offered a place at my 1st choice university.

Do as best you can with the academic 'formalities', but do not feel that your grades will ultimately determine your success at attending the university of your choice.

Gaining admittance to an institution is as much about you and your artwork, as it is about those grades on the certificates.

Best wishes.

playmesumch00ns
07-06-2005, 09:40 AM
I am currently an AS level students in the Uk studying Maths, Physics, Art and Design, and Product Design. The Universities I'm currently looking at are Teesside, Staffordshire, Bradford, Bournemouth, Portsmouth and Hertfordshire.

I got Maths and Physics covered, getting the points shouldn't be a problem, the only problem I have is my art background. I got a C in GCSE, and I'm currently studying (as said earlier) Art in A Levels, and I have a feeling I'm not gonna do that well. I'm trying to look mostly for BSc courses rather than BA courses, but most of the courses I wanna do are BA. How much will my grade for art in A Level matter for the BA courses?

The grade doesn't count for toffee. If you're going for an art-based course they'll want to see a portfolio.

Andrew W
07-06-2005, 09:47 AM
The grade doesn't count for toffee. If you're going for an art-based course they'll want to see a portfolio.And not only does the grade not count when getting on a degree course it counts for even less in the world of work. The showreel and experience part of your C.V. are king. I have a good degree but no-one has ever even asked about it at job interviews. Now is the time to stop thinking that grades count and start planning on how to make a good portfolio that will get you on a degree course and the more importantly get you a job later.

This emphasis on the importance of grades in artisitc disciplines is a pernicious invention of the education mandarins who can only measure and catergorise things in percentages, those that work in these sectors look at you and your work.

Andrew

playmesumch00ns
07-07-2005, 08:12 AM
As a yes...but... to Andrew's advice: just because the grades and degrees don't count doesn't mean that going to university doesn't count. Aside from giving you 3 years to develop your skills the people you meet and the opportunities that arise in your time there will do more for you than any "kickass" showreel. Once again I'm talking about Bournemouth specifically.

This emphasis on the importance of grades in artistic disciplines is a pernicious invention of the education mandarins who can only measure and catergorise things in percentages, those that work in these sectors look at you and your work.

Quoted just because it's a great sentence. :)

Andrew W
07-07-2005, 08:29 AM
just because the grades and degrees don't count doesn't mean that going to university doesn't count.Absolutely. Should have been clearer about that, the red mist descended for a minute and I lost focus...

I regarded uni as a facilities house who had the toys I needed to get work done. It took me until the middle of my second year to realise this but once I did things went much smoother in terms of making a worthwhile reel. University is a great experience and I don't regret doing it for a second. The important part to remember is that you need to focus on making work that will get you a job rather than on pleasing your tutors in order to get better grades. If the two things are synonymous then all well and good but if they aren't your future career is more important than your degree.

A

Obi
07-16-2005, 08:07 PM
Hi!

I`m searching for a university near Leeds, for 3d modelling, animation. I`m working with maya. I have a book, "Leeds metropolitan university, undergraduate courses 2006" where I found this : "Animation technology and special effects" and Games Design.

Will it be good for me and worthy the 3 years? if yes, which should I choose? Or any better option, in the Leeds area?

thx in advance!

LijpeLennie
08-09-2005, 05:30 PM
I am currently going to the Grafisch Lyceum Amsterdam and I am doing the Multimedia course there but the quality of the course just plain sucks.
But I am thinking of going to follow the Digital Animation Course at Uni. of Hertfordshire or the Digital Character Animation Course at Uni. of Teeside. But are these course any good? And are these course comparable to the quality of the Academy of Arts or Sheridan courses in the US and Canada. And I have only seen one animation of the Uni. of Hertforshire that was the hitchhiker short witch I realy loved :D thumbs up to Simon Reeves. But is that just an exception under the students or are all the students this good? And from the Uni. of Teeside I saw som animation work from Alex York that was pretty cool but are there more students with this quality of work? I hope you all can give me some answers

Greetings,
LijpeLennie

victor throe
08-09-2005, 05:38 PM
without getting into the pros and cons of a certain school, at the end of the day, it all comes down to how hard you want to work.

a degree is about YOU engaging in self directed learning.

my advice is pick a school which is in the town you want to live in. its more important to feel happy about your surroundings than whether or not a school has a good rep.

if you have talent and motivation, you will do well where ever you go. some of the european schools i have dealt with have appaling facilities and yet continue to churn out incredible work. its not the staff, its not the building, its the students.

if you want to be an animator, make sure they can support your life drawing needs.

AmyScott-Murray
08-10-2005, 12:15 AM
I'm interested to know - is Scotland getting overlooked simply for geographical reasons (fair enough) or because a school like Dundee really has a much worse reputation than the usual places in England?

I wanted to apply to Bournemouth, but ended up at Dundee because family reasons mean I'm not really free to move far away for the next couple of years. I really hope I haven't made a mistake if the course is really that different, or looked on as inferior by those in the industry.

Andrew W
08-10-2005, 07:44 AM
I'm interested to know - is Scotland getting overlooked simply for geographical reasons (fair enough) or because a school like Dundee really has a much worse reputation than the usual places in England?

I wanted to apply to Bournemouth, but ended up at Dundee because family reasons mean I'm not really free to move far away for the next couple of years. I really hope I haven't made a mistake if the course is really that different, or looked on as inferior by those in the industry.No one in the industry cares where you go to college. All that matters is your reel, experience and attitude. Many of the best people I've worked with did not even do Computer Graphics degrees or diplomas at college, let alone on one of the "noted" courses. I've seen quite a few end of year reels from a few colleges this year, both celebrated and not and the quality of work is pretty consistent. Just focus on your own work and your ability to collaborate with others. These are the skills that will be looked for. The name of your college, and to be honest the grade you get from it are irrelevent.

Best,

Andrew

AmyScott-Murray
08-10-2005, 09:04 AM
Thanks Andrew - that's reassuring to know. I'll get back to practicing then :)

SimonReeves
08-10-2005, 11:29 AM
Unfortunetly I get up too late to reply before Andew W it seems, but I was going to say a similar [less inciteful] thing about it not mattering where you goto uni,
hopefully you'll just have good people there with you [lecturer's and students] and have a good time so you can produce quality work

anyway what I noticed that was interesting I thought, was in another thread (http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?t=264097) and Andrew mentioned CFC's intership thing, I wish I'd seen this earlier, but it seems it doesn't matter as they only took candidates from 4 places

Which seems a bit limiting to me, I wouldnt say unfair as its their choice, but also I guess its an easy way to filter people out to begin with? Especially at the start of this intern programme

anyway its just something I noticed and thought to mention

AmyScott-Murray
08-10-2005, 12:23 PM
I actually emailed CFC to see if they had any plans to extend the internship scheme to other schools. I hope they don't mind me sharing this with you :) atm it seems to be sort of a pilot scheme, they're not even sure if it will run another year, but they didn't rule out including other universities at a later date. I won't be eligible for another couple of years anyway.

If anyone is still interested in knowing about Scottish universities:
Aberdeen (Gray's School of Art) has a sort of multimedia course which includes a bit of 3D.
Edinburgh's animation course I think is stop-motion/cel based, with no actual CG.
Glasgow seems to be offering a postgrad animation course but no degree courses as yet (but I didn't look into it too closely).
Dundee (Duncan of Jordanstone) has Animation and Digital Media, which also covers cel to teach animation principles, and stop motion is an option too.

SimonReeves
08-10-2005, 12:27 PM
atm it seems to be sort of a pilot scheme, they're not even sure if it will run another year, but they didn't rule out including other universities at a later date

ah nice one Amy, thats what I thought might be a possiblity, I was surprised that they were doing it at all :)

SimonGibson
08-10-2005, 12:28 PM
yea that 4 university thing sux, when i was younger i really wanted to work at framestore, but cutting me out of an internship (not that i dont have one already) just because I didnt go to the "right" University is abit low. Oh well now I feel a little bitter; although I got my placement/internship at Eutechnyx so I shall shut up now :D

SimonReeves
08-10-2005, 12:29 PM
yeah, steady on Si ;)

SimonGibson
08-10-2005, 12:30 PM
Forgot to ask, Reevesy are u changing degree or something or looking for a job(regarding u said something about an interview)? I mean u've got 1 year left at where u are at now right?

SimonGibson
08-10-2005, 12:31 PM
U know it is kinda hard to erm (coughs) boast with ur presence.

SimonReeves
08-10-2005, 12:47 PM
well how kind of you to ask,

I have another year left, another film to be done, probably with another chap on the course this time and not character based animation...
Hopefully live action + cg stuff

should be fun :)

LijpeLennie
08-10-2005, 04:00 PM
Thank for your reactions and I propable wil visit the open days at both schools and then make my choice :D

Silverblade-T-E
08-10-2005, 06:28 PM
Motherwell College USED to do a "New Media/digital art" HNC and HND (University requirements)

Hm odd I don't see it listed on their site now,..it was becoming a very valid thing indeed, as they were shifting it directly to industry needs, (ie learning MAX etc).
Need to go see them again one day I suppose, good tutors, though left due to ill health, lack of funding (better than England but sitll m loans when you are POOR is stupid) and the desire to punch a specific tutor's teeth through his head...(wasn't one of the art tutors by way).

www.motherwell.co.uk (http://www.motherwell.co.uk/)

*searches* ah yes various digital art/new media courses :)
they have an open day on hm 25th by way if you can reach here.

dodgevipert56
02-06-2006, 08:40 AM
hi guys, and this z my first time for getting into the cgtalk forum.

i am currently doing my AS back in srilanka (weird init), and doing subjects such as Maths , Physics, Chemistry and Biology. although they all seems as science subjects i wanted to embark in a career in computer animation. i currently came across some unis but the one tht caught my eye was definitely "bournemouth"...

although i aint doing any art based subjects for my AS (or even A2) i have done quite a handful of character sketches and life drawings during the past couple of months to strenghten my portfolio for any possible interviews in the near future...

the question tht has been bugging me is , whether, not doing any art based subject for my AS and A2 restrict me from being given a final offer from bournemouth, or do bournemouth still accept students who haven't done any art AS and A2 subject but have a strong grounding on there traditional art portfolios ???


replies are most welcome :D

Bathtub
07-24-2006, 06:51 AM
To all those would be UK computer animators who want to get a piece of the action in the wonderful world of movies, games, SFX and such.

IT IS VERY HARD INDEED

1) To achieve good quality animation, modeling and texturing skills

2) To get a job in the industry

You could be a genius at animation, modeling or texturing, yet to gain employment is very difficult due to competition and a glut of experienced personnel. I am not saying there are no jobs as there are. What I am saying is to get that dream job might take you a lot longer and much more perseverance than you think. I am sure that one or two of you have walked into that dream job nevertheless I am sure that there are many of you out there who have not even got a look in.

Why am I telling you all this?

Because Universities and Colleges through out the UK are setting up these computer animation courses and implying that one day you will get that dream job.

One has to ask oneself why are they so many animation courses in the UK?

Why are so many UK Universities setting up these courses when there are so few jobs?

In fact there are 275 animation courses in the UK at the moment

http://www.ucas.ac.uk/

Do a UCAS search ‘animation’

275 courses with 25 students per year for a 3 year course is a lot of students and a lot of competition for getting that job.

275 X 25=6875 per year.

This is absolutely ridiculous! there is no 6875 jobs per year in computer animation in the UK.

But for UK Universities it’s a lot of money (275 X 25 X 3) = 20625 to be made.

A Uni/College gets about £1200 per student per year from the government and if you are a non European student then they get £25000 from the non European student.

Many colleges think that by using educational software licences (for example 75 MAYA seats cost a college £2000 per year for a maintenance contract, 25 Digital fusion seats cost about £3000). And then possible updating a computer lab consisting of 25 comps every two years would cost about £30,000. So you can see the layout is not so much for receiving approx on average £1200 per student per year (http://www.hefce.ac.uk/pubs/HEFCE/2006/06_17/06_17.doc)

More info on how the government funds universities http://www.hefce.ac.uk/finance/fundinghe/

Many Universities are closing key departments like Chemistry, Physics, History, Electronics and laying off staff. (http://education.guardian.co.uk/higher/specialreports)

(http://education.guardian.co.uk/universitiesincrisis/0,,717499,00.html)

Most Universities in the UK are in a crisis, so by opting for the soft option like Digital Media and Computer Games/Animation, they think they can get themselves out of their mess. For they think that this is the way to make a living at your expense.

Most Universities/Colleges no nothing about computer animation they employ staff hoping that they will bring in more students so they can make money from you.

Academic staff who write degree courses prior to the validation know very little about the subject as they have not yet employed any expert to run/work on the course. So the course structure is usually questionable as the people who write these documents have been in education too long and are out of touch regarding new media techniques. These course documents are then validated by another group of academics who definitely know nothing about the subject so the College/University can gain the stamp of approvable. Once the course has been validated then the college can gain funds for equipment and employ the so called expert (the lecturer).

Finding staff to run/work these computer animation courses is very difficult as the good animation experts are working in the industry and also the wages for these posts are not that good. The appointed lecture will usually have about four core jobs to fill; Lecturing, Tutorial writing/studying, Research, Administration duties, and sometimes being involved with recruiting. All this takes many hours of work and if you think that lecturing is easy then you are wrong most lectures work over 80 hours a week especially in the world of computer animation as there is/are so many new things coming out every other day. So after about three years down the line this newly appointed lecture will be out of touch with the real world as they have been so busy, they will never be able to keep up.

As can be seen the course documents are out of date before the course starts, the lecturer/s is/are usually an expert in only one area and then becomes burnt out after three years due to too much pen pushing and the University offers very little support for its staff due to funding, time and work.

Most students get the blunt end of this, they can see that most of the lectures do not know that much (even though they are fairly helpful) that the learning outcomes are so ambiguous that doing virtually anything can justify a decent mark. This is why complaining about a course in a logical and respectable way will guarantee a decent degree as the heads of departments do not want anybody to know the flaws in the course and the college.

So why am I telling you all this?

Because I do not want you to waste your time and money on amateur college courses and be peeved in the not to distant future about what a waste of time and crap course you went on and how much money it cost you.

(http://education.guardian.co.uk/students/finance/story/0,,1820766,00.html)

So what am I telling you to do instead?

Teach yourself. Get all thos PLE version of software. Experiment and use the internet for help and advice. There are so many computer animation forums out there with exceedingly good people offering advice and help. Try it all out, you might find that you do not like it. You might also find that you are brilliant at it.

I know this for a fact all employers are not interested in your qualification what they want to see is a fantastic portfolio. Make a great portfolio with loads of drawings and paintings and some computer work.

If you have some money get those amazing Gnomon DVD’s they are very good.

Save yourself the money (http://education.guardian.co.uk/specialreports/tuitionfees/story/0,,879645,00.html)

and learn it yourself, you are going to learn it yourself anyway whilst you are at Uni as the lectures do not know that much.

Where do think the lectures are getting their information from?

The same place as you, the internet and training DVD’s.

Colleges are using you, they are going to make money out of you, secure their own jobs out of you, they are using you and do not give a toss about you. Yes they will pat you on the head give you a 2:2 or a 2:1 and then laugh their heads of to the bank.

Learn it yourself.

Make a good solid portfolio, if you like it then apply for a job.

Save yourself, your time and your money.

I hope you do not think I’m being mean but someone has to spill the beans on the crap education system in the UK regarding computer animation.

SimonReeves
07-24-2006, 03:19 PM
I enjoyed uni thanks, I don't regret it at all

Did you go to a uni? maybe there are a lot of poorly developed courses but that doesn't mean they all are, announcing that people shouldn't go to uni because of a poor educational system isnt 'spilling the beans'.
Being able to inform people of uni's with commited knowledgable teaching staff and facillities is.


Maybe you're bitter and blame university for your short comings? I'm only guessng because I don't see how you can suddendly tell everyone this without any giving any information on yourself and your experiences, although I assume you work for the guadian

playmesumch00ns
07-24-2006, 04:20 PM
While bathtub does seem to have a chip on his shoulder, his point is still valid. You should find out what courses are respected by the industry you're aiming for before applying.

Bathtub
07-24-2006, 04:25 PM
Your work is exceptionally good and you have worked very hard. You are/where a model student which colleges would praise etc…..

I am not commenting on whether people enjoyed Uni or not? Everybody enjoyed Uni I did I had a fantastic time and did exceptionally well and got a very good job.

Yes there are a lot of poorly developed courses. That is my point

I do have a simple question. What did you learn at Hertfordshire which you did not know already? Your CV states that you have been using Max for over 4 years most college courses are 3 years so you must have known quite a bit before you went.

As when I was at Uni I taught myself most of what I know

From what I know some of the apps you have on your CV Hertfordshire does not have so you must have taught yourself most of the stuff.

digital-boy
07-24-2006, 04:38 PM
You sound like a pessimist Bathtub, sure a lot of what you say about uni animation courses are true, however not all are like this. I'm sure people undertaking such a huge decision about their next 3 or 4 years realise that on paper the uni courses do look exciting but often fall short of promises, so ultimately the reputation of the course/uni should be the deciding factor.

A few positive things about uni and animation courses nowadays:

1) Quite a few uni's have industry partners and create their course content through extensive collabaration with said industry pros.

2) New courses are reflecting the current trends in next gen technology.

3) Decent computer animation courses place a high emphasis on traditional art/animation techniques as well as the technical aspects/software.

4) Many universities offer industry placements, I can't think of a better opportunity to get your foot in the door, gain industry experience and some money in your pocket.

5) A degree will make it easier for you to work abroad.

6) At uni, students learn invaluable social skills and contacts that will prepare them for working in a professional enviroment.

7) A degree is a good thing, most employers realise the hard work, time and financial investment that goes into 3 or 4 years at uni and that reflects upon the character of the person.

If I had a choice to sit at home for months on end in front of the computer with some training DVD's and internet tutorials, or experience all the benefits that university has to offer, I'd know which one I'd choose :thumbsup:

Bathtub
07-24-2006, 04:42 PM
So which Uni did you go to oput of the 275 on offer?

As yours sounds really good

SimonReeves
07-24-2006, 05:04 PM
If I had a choice to sit at home for months on end in front of the computer with some training DVD's and internet tutorials, or experience all the benefits that university has to offer, I'd know which one I'd choose

couldn't agree more

Cheers
07-24-2006, 05:30 PM
Hmmm, many of your facts are inaccurate.

1. A Foreign student pays about £8000 per year in fees.

2. In your valuation of cost you forget wages for staff to teach and maintain the equipment.

3. Many animation companies (especially in the states) require degree level education.

4. Universities are only growing with demand.

5. Peer learning and a structured approach to learning has been proven to be beneificial. Lecturers as well as students get their knowledge from industry ties, working within the industry themselves, peer learning, work placements etc, etc.

6. Nobody is forced to go to University. Any prospective student should way up the pros and cons of joinging any course.

7. None of the Universities I know of give false expectations of jobs available. Information is freely available to anybody concerning stats of what past students achieved in the market place.

I could go on and on, but at the end of the day it's down to the person as to if a University course will be beneficial to them.

How many people sitting at home with a training DVD (which can be just as out of date than a Uni course) know how to manage a 60 seat renderfarm or know how to colabarate on an Xsan between animators, editors, compositers etc?

Like anything in this world, it's all too easy to pan a subject, but when you scratch the surface it;s not so clear cut.

Simon knows what I'm talking about ;)

Cheers


To all those would be UK computer animators who want to get a piece of the action in the wonderful world of movies, games, SFX and such.

IT IS VERY HARD INDEED

1)To achieve good quality animation, modeling and texturing skills

2)To get a job in the industry

You could be a genius at animation, modeling or texturing, yet to gain employment is very difficult due to competition and a glut of experienced personnel. I am not saying there are no jobs as there are. What I am saying is to get that dream job might take you a lot longer and much more perseverance than you think. I am sure that one or two of you have walked into that dream job nevertheless I am sure that there are many of you out there who have not even got a look in.

Why am I telling you all this?

Because Universities and Colleges through out the UK are setting up these computer animation courses and implying that one day you will get that dream job.

One has to ask oneself why are they so many animation courses in the UK?

Why are so many UK Universities setting up these courses when there are so few jobs?

In fact there are 275 animation courses in the UK at the moment

http://www.ucas.ac.uk/

Do a UCAS search ‘animation’

275 courses with 25 students per year for a 3 year course is a lot of students and a lot of competition for getting that job.

275 X 25=6875 per year.

This is absolutely ridiculous! there is no 6875 jobs per year in computer animation in the UK.

But for UK Universities it’s a lot of money (275 X 25 X 3) = 20625 to be made.

A Uni/College gets about £1200 per student per year from the government and if you are a non European student then they get £25000 from the non European student.

Many colleges think that by using educational software licences (for example 75 MAYA seats cost a college £2000 per year for a maintenance contract, 25 Digital fusion seats cost about £3000). And then possible updating a computer lab consisting of 25 comps every two years would cost about £30,000. So you can see the layout is not so much for receiving approx on average £1200 per student per year (http://www.hefce.ac.uk/pubs/HEFCE/2006/06_17/06_17.doc)

More info on how the government funds universities http://www.hefce.ac.uk/finance/fundinghe/

Many Universities are closing key departments like Chemistry, Physics, History, Electronics and laying off staff. (http://education.guardian.co.uk/higher/specialreports)

(http://education.guardian.co.uk/universitiesincrisis/0,,717499,00.html)

Most Universities in the UK are in a crisis, so by opting for the soft option like Digital Media and Computer Games/Animation, they think they can get themselves out of their mess. For they think that this is the way to make a living at your expense.

Most Universities/Colleges no nothing about computer animation they employ staff hoping that they will bring in more students so they can make money from you.

Academic staff who write degree courses prior to the validation know very little about the subject as they have not yet employed any expert to run/work on the course. So the course structure is usually questionable as the people who write these documents have been in education too long and are out of touch regarding new media techniques. These course documents are then validated by another group of academics who definitely know nothing about the subject so the College/University can gain the stamp of approvable. Once the course has been validated then the college can gain funds for equipment and employ the so called expert (the lecturer).

Finding staff to run/work these computer animation courses is very difficult as the good animation experts are working in the industry and also the wages for these posts are not that good. The appointed lecture will usually have about four core jobs to fill; Lecturing, Tutorial writing/studying, Research, Administration duties, and sometimes being involved with recruiting. All this takes many hours of work and if you think that lecturing is easy then you are wrong most lectures work over 80 hours a week especially in the world of computer animation as there is/are so many new things coming out every other day. So after about three years down the line this newly appointed lecture will be out of touch with the real world as they have been so busy, they will never be able to keep up.

As can be seen the course documents are out of date before the course starts, the lecturer/s is/are usually an expert in only one area and then becomes burnt out after three years due to too much pen pushing and the University offers very little support for its staff due to funding, time and work.

Most students get the blunt end of this, they can see that most of the lectures do not know that much (even though they are fairly helpful) that the learning outcomes are so ambiguous that doing virtually anything can justify a decent mark. This is why complaining about a course in a logical and respectable way will guarantee a decent degree as the heads of departments do not want anybody to know the flaws in the course and the college.

So why am I telling you all this?

Because I do not want you to waste your time and money on amateur college courses and be peeved in the not to distant future about what a waste of time and crap course you went on and how much money it cost you.

(http://education.guardian.co.uk/students/finance/story/0,,1820766,00.html)

So what am I telling you to do instead?

Teach yourself. Get all thos PLE version of software. Experiment and use the internet for help and advice. There are so many computer animation forums out there with exceedingly good people offering advice and help. Try it all out, you might find that you do not like it. You might also find that you are brilliant at it.

I know this for a fact all employers are not interested in your qualification what they want to see is a fantastic portfolio. Make a great portfolio with loads of drawings and paintings and some computer work.

If you have some money get those amazing Gnomon DVD’s they are very good.

Save yourself the money (http://education.guardian.co.uk/specialreports/tuitionfees/story/0,,879645,00.html)

and learn it yourself, you are going to learn it yourself anyway whilst you are at Uni as the lectures do not know that much.

Where do think the lectures are getting their information from?

The same place as you, the internet and training DVD’s.

Colleges are using you, they are going to make money out of you, secure their own jobs out of you, they are using you and do not give a toss about you. Yes they will pat you on the head give you a 2:2 or a 2:1 and then laugh their heads of to the bank.

Learn it yourself.

Make a good solid portfolio, if you like it then apply for a job.

Save yourself, your time and your money.

I hope you do not think I’m being mean but someone has to spill the beans on the crap education system in the UK regarding computer animation.

Bathtub
07-24-2006, 06:54 PM
Hmmm, many of your facts are inaccurate.

I do not think so

1. A Foreign student pays about £8000 per year in fees.

3 X £8000 = £24000 about the same as £25000

2. In your valuation of cost you forget wages for staff to teach and maintain the equipment.

Many colleges in the UK get extra or special funding from different sources for equipment
UK students also pay top up fees ranging from £1000 to £3000 per year besides there basic fees of £3-4000 per course



25 students = 25 x 1200 (government sub) 25 X 2000 (top up fees) 25 X 4000 (course fees)

£180,000 per year per cohort

Do the maths the course I worked on had three lectures whom are on about £33,000 not all of their pay comes from just that department, they too are government subsidised by local education authorities.


3. Many animation companies (especially in the states) require degree level education.

This I do not know about as I am only talking about the UK

4. Universities are only growing with demand.

This is not true in the UK many colleges are having a bad time requiting new students, this is why many Unis have little festivals and promote their work on certain websites

The colleges I have been to do not do get their knowledge from industry ties or working within the industry themselves, and do not have work placements etc, etc.

I am not panning a subject I'm trying to make a few things clear to some people who think that going to Uni is the answer to their need for computer animation.

That is all

I think from the response I have received is that you guys are a little bit in the dark about how the system runs and that you are putting too much faith in the UK education system.

Chris Bacon
07-24-2006, 07:03 PM
If I had a choice to sit at home for months on end in front of the computer with some training DVD's and internet tutorials, or experience all the benefits that university has to offer, I'd know which one I'd choose :thumbsup:


Totaly agree, university gives you much more than just tutition..its a life experiance

Bathtub
07-24-2006, 07:13 PM
I do not know of any college that uses Xsan in the UK

I'll all ask you this simple question

Do all you guys make your final showreel at college in the labs working with other people or did you make it at home on your own?

Cheers
07-24-2006, 07:20 PM
1. Errrmmm, I think you should re-read your original post...you used annual fees as your argument.

2, Well I can assure you no extra special funding is claimed for staff wages. Infact many faculties are treated as stratigic business units so they have to make the sums add up...be it from student fees or research (which is another important source of income you failed to add in your equation).

3. Well, many dream jobs are also available in the US ;)

4. Well, in my experience if the course doesn't get the students it doesn't get the resources. You have to remember that an animation course has to fight for funds against courses as wide ranging as graphic design, fine art, film and photographic media courses etc, etc. If the faculty/uni doesn't see it paying for itself then it faces a cut in resources to match students.

5. The faculty I am familiar with has been oversubscribed by applicants for a number of years...demand outweighs supply in other words. And as a bonus the end of year festival was well attended by industry big players and some students were even offered jobs by them. I would put to you, where would somebody sitting in a bedroom with a training DVD be able to experience that kind of exposure?

6. We are not in the dark at all...maybe we are able to better judge the pros and cons.

Cheers

Hmmm, many of your facts are inaccurate.

I do not think so

1. A Foreign student pays about £8000 per year in fees.

3 X £8000 = £24000 about the same as £25000

2. In your valuation of cost you forget wages for staff to teach and maintain the equipment.

Many colleges in the UK get extra or special funding from different sources for equipment
UK students also pay top up fees ranging from £1000 to £3000 per year besides there basic fees of £3-4000 per course



25 students = 25 x 1200 (government sub) 25 X 2000 (top up fees) 25 X 4000 (course fees)

£180,000 per year per cohort

Do the maths the course I worked on had three lectures whom are on about £33,000 not all of their pay comes from just that department, they too are government subsidised by local education authorities.


3. Many animation companies (especially in the states) require degree level education.

This I do not know about as I am only talking about the UK

4. Universities are only growing with demand.

This is not true in the UK many colleges are having a bad time requiting new students, this is why many Unis have little festivals and promote their work on certain websites

The colleges I have been to do not do get their knowledge from industry ties or working within the industry themselves, and do not have work placements etc, etc.

I am not panning a subject I'm trying to make a few things clear to some people who think that going to Uni is the answer to their need for computer animation.

That is all

I think from the response I have received is that you guys are a little bit in the dark about how the system runs and that you are putting too much faith in the UK education system.

Cheers
07-24-2006, 07:24 PM
I do not know of any college that uses Xsan in the UK

You obviously haven't got your ear close enough to the ground as far as HE is concerned then ;)


I'll all ask you this simple question

Do all you guys make your final showreel at college in the labs working with other people or did you make it at home on your own?

I'm unable to answer that...I'm not a student, but I do have experience at the sharp end of the stick within the industry and within HE.

Cheers

Bathtub
07-24-2006, 08:40 PM
It comes across to me that you ‘Cheers’ have a successful course going and I would presume that it has been going for a number of years. Fantastic aren’t you and your students lucky. But what about the unfortunate ones that can not get into a place like yours, the new media type places that really have not a clue about CG etc these are the establishments I’m on about.

By the way there are many colleges that do not encourage their staff to do research in a professional manner as they are needed to do other academic stuff.

I’ve spoken to loads of lectures over the past years and they all say student attendance is low so that means that they must not be at college so they must be at home on their own doing their own thing. Get what I mean.

I am afraid that I have not a clue as to what the 275 animation courses in the UK use in terms of software or equipment and I do not think anybody does.

moidphotos
07-24-2006, 11:34 PM
Thought I'd add my comments to Bathtub's post. I'm a lecturer working in the UK so I have some experience of his opinions. First of all I have to say that I'm sad that it sounds like you've had a bit of a raw deal in terms of your degree. Poor education in animation courses does occur in this country, but there are still many courses that have excellent reputations, and I don't think it's fair to tar them all with the same brush.

To all those would be UK computer animators who want to get a piece of the action in the wonderful world of movies, games, SFX and such.

IT IS VERY HARD INDEED



Couldn't agree more. However, students that do dedicate three years of their lives to study and art creation will almost always get where they want to be, eventually. Unfortunately most do not realise just how hard that level of dedication is and do not put the required time in to achieve it. It does help if you've gone to a good University or College where the lecturers have industry experience (and admittedly I have taught in many places where the lecturers were pure academics alas), but even with excellent teaching many students will not acheive their goals because they are not motivated enough and are far too lazy.

I disagree with you about your figures, or at least they don't bare any resemblance to the costs in running the programs I teach on.


Academic staff who write degree courses prior to the validation know very little about the subject as they have not yet employed any expert to run/work on the course. So the course structure is usually questionable as the people who write these documents have been in education too long and are out of touch regarding new media techniques. These course documents are then validated by another group of academics who definitely know nothing about the subject so the College/University can gain the stamp of approvable. Once the course has been validated then the college can gain funds for equipment and employ the so called expert (the lecturer).


Here you are totally wrong. In the past (ten years or so ago) it was possible to set up a degree, as long as you could convince the Uni that it was a good idea and students would want to join. These days I would say it is very very difficult. I have been part of a team who have recently written a games art degree and a 2D animation degree and the course had to be written around what skills employers from these industries require to prove that our graduates would be employable. We had to interview lots of companies and prove that every time we decided to write a module, there had to be a real world reason for its existence - not just 'oh I like teaching texture creation, let's write a module for it'. We also had to prove to the University that there was demand for these graduates and jobs for them in the local area. The University demands that courses are written by people with direct knowledge and experience of working in the industries that the degree is associated with (which is the reason they hired me, for my previous games experience). The documents are validated by a panel of, yes, academics, but also members from the industry who are there to ensure that the degree is not a cheap money making exercise.

Degrees have to make money for the University, that is true, but word about a poor degree soon gets around and students either don't go to that University or they transfer to a better one (certainly we've had quite a few transfers to our Uni recently). Once a degree starts doing badly the University will drop it - these days they cannot afford to otherwise (exceptions being the major Universities - Oxford et al of course)

The best way to avoid joing a bad university is to look at the artwork their students produce - does it amaze and inspire you? If not, avoid it! And you should also ask what experience the staff have - if they are all academics then again, it's probably a good idea to look elsewhere. If you are going to spend three years of your life and enormous sums of money you should do a lot of research first.




Finding staff to run/work these computer animation courses is very difficult as the good animation experts are working in the industry and also the wages for these posts are not that good. The appointed lecture will usually have about four core jobs to fill; Lecturing, Tutorial writing/studying, Research, Administration duties, and sometimes being involved with recruiting. All this takes many hours of work and if you think that lecturing is easy then you are wrong most lectures work over 80 hours a week especially in the world of computer animation as there is/are so many new things coming out every other day. So after about three years down the line this newly appointed lecture will be out of touch with the real world as they have been so busy, they will never be able to keep up.


I agree, finding good staff is hard - but it's also hard for any animation company. Yes being a lecturer is a tough job, and requires long hours, but so does the games and animation industry - and I can tell you from personal experience that I make more money in education that I did as a Lead Artist in a games company. Admittedly education can't come near the salaries that post production staff can attain after a few years experience, but you are forgetting the real reason why most people become lecturers - because they enjoy teaching and find it a more rewarding experience to do that than work on another shoddy poorly conceived game or tv series. There's also the guarantee of working for company that is very very unlikely to go bust, and as long as the lecturer teaches the students well, there will always be work for him. And the pay is arrives every month when it is supposed to and not several months later with a bunch of excuses. Although having said that some Universities are bloody awful at paying on time. Anyway, add long holidays and the chance to make a difference to the students on your course's lives, and you begin to see the benefits - and I can add working in a team that aren't backstabbing each other in order to win favour with the boss and get the raise. I enjoy not having bosses scream at me when their clients are going crazy for work, I don't have to deal with colleagues who take far too many drugs and I don't have to worry about my current boss hiring useless staff because they're a mate and they need some work.

And a good lecturer will find ways to keep in touch with the real world. At my University we have a constant stream of guest lecturers from companies like Weta, Framestore, The Mill, Double Negative etc to name some of this years speakers, and we talk to them about what techniques they are using, and we research things we read on websites like CGTalk and create artwork and notes around those ideas. Also a good lecturer will rewrite his lectures every year to ensure they are fresh, full of current ideas and also interesting. OK I will admit I have worked at other universities where colleagues have used notes dating back years, but it's not good practice, and I wouldn't work with people who do that as it is bad practice. Once you stop creating artwork, you become a pure academic and the students lose their respect for you, I believe - so I regularly create new 3D work and use it in lectures, and all good lecturers would do the same.




So what am I telling you to do instead?

Teach yourself. Get all thos PLE version of software. Experiment and use the internet for help and advice. There are so many computer animation forums out there with exceedingly good people offering advice and help. Try it all out, you might find that you do not like it. You might also find that you are brilliant at it.

I know this for a fact all employers are not interested in your qualification what they want to see is a fantastic portfolio. Make a great portfolio with loads of drawings and paintings and some computer work.


Here you are both right and wrong. I know where you are coming from, having been on a degree course myself that taught very little and was not industry related (I studied fine art painting, only realised in my third year that 3D graphics was what I really wanted to do) so I had to teach myself after my degree. This was before the internet was available to me and certainly before there was any help from any source for 3D graphics other than the companies themselves. This meant it took me a lot longer to get to my supposed dream job than it would take any hard working dedicated student these days. The amount of knowledge my students know by the end of their course never ceases to surprise me as it took me far more years to larn the same skills and reach their level of technical mastery.

Yes there are amazing online sources of knowledge, great forums (like this one) and excellent DVDs, but none of these actually makes up for real human contact that you can ask for help from directly.

Employers are definitely interested in your qualification. No qualification and they won't even look at you. Think about it. You sit at home for 3 years of intense study to somehow teach yourself all the animation/ art knowledge you need without any help and then you apply to a company. They want to know what you've been doing inbetween your A levels or BTEC - sitting at home! But with no certificate to prove that you have attained a certain knowledge and level of matruity and intelligence. That had better be one totally amazing portfolio you've made.

Also how are you going to gain work experience / internships? Experience of working on group projects? Knowledge of life drawing and anatomy?

And exactly what is it that will motivate you to work that hard on your own at home for three years? Very few humans are capable of that level of self motivated direction without some form of obvious bonus or threat - passing or failing a module/course/degree etc. Without these spurs to force students onwards, they usually become lazy and play World of Warcraft all day instead.

You'll also find it near impossible to work outside of Europe, as the USA, Australia and New Zealand require minimum degree level qualifications to get work there, and these days are expecting MA level. Come to think of it, working outside the UK will be hard. The days of the lone self taught bedroom dwelling artist are long gone.




If you have some money get those amazing Gnomon DVD’s they are very good.




Totally agree there, they are good! But you should use them as well as a taught course.


Save yourself the money (http://education.guardian.co.uk/specialreports/tuitionfees/story/0,,879645,00.html)

and learn it yourself, you are going to learn it yourself anyway whilst you are at Uni as the lectures do not know that much.

Where do think the lectures are getting their information from?

The same place as you, the internet and training DVD’s.


Again you are totally wrong - you must've been to a very poor college, but decent lecturers would also have years of real world experience to fall back on when asked complex questions. Yes lecturers use DVDs and the internet, you'd be stupid not to - whenever I encounter a source of information that is greater than my own knowledge I always try to learn it - like a student should. Every professional would do the same. And most lecturers do know a lot, or if asked a question beyond their knowledge should either research it themselves or refer you to a colleague that does teach that area.



Colleges are using you, they are going to make money out of you, secure their own jobs out of you, they are using you and do not give a toss about you. Yes they will pat you on the head give you a 2:2 or a 2:1 and then laugh their heads of to the bank.


Again untrue - a decent course should care about its students. And the lecturer's jobs do depend on whether people want to joing their course, so it is in their favour to ensure that their students are taught the best information in order to get jobs in hte real world and spread the word of how good their course was and that students from that course are worth hiring. Yes there are some crap colleges in this country (and you either attended one or really didn't like the staff / teaching methods - but in which case you should've transfered!)

I think you've tried to make a fairly 'reasoned' arguement for your case, but you can only apply it to yourself and maybe your course - remember that every Uni is different, has different methods and staff and if you didn't like the one you were at, you have only yourself to blame for not looking elsewhere - there are at least six very good aniamtion courses in this country, it's not hard to find out about them and go and pay a visit - and if you've got talent they will always want transfers.

Good luck with the job hunt though, and if 3D animation is your dream, don't give it up because of bad previous experiences. I beleive that if someone wants something badly enough they will get there eventually - it worked for me.

Bathtub
07-25-2006, 08:09 AM
Thank you all for your comments I have found them interesting yet I do not agree with you (maybe my explanation of the finance is badly explained) as my experience as a senior lecturer on a computer animation course for 6-7 years has been described by my first post and has been fraught with managerial problems and no staff support.

It amazes me that you all thought I was a student (I was 25 years ago). My main concern is that I have witnessed the creation of bad designed and bad supported courses and I think that students who want to be “ANIMATORS” need to carefully look into what it is all about before applying etc..

Where I worked there was no industry help/advice. The making of the animation/games degree had no industrial input (which of course the management would disagree) and then when we the experienced lectures in our specialised subject had to rewrite the animation course for the quinquennial it was changed behind our back by the management because of room and staff shortages.

I have now left this place due to my integrity and honesty. I was so shocked at the goings on in the examination boards as to how people got degrees in animation who could not create a walk cycle amazes me.

I tried my best into incorporating painting, photography, film-making, sculpting and drama into the course. The culprits for not promoting these learning methods was from both the students (as all they want to do is sit in front of a PC) and the management as they where worried that the course might turn into an Arts degree.

One of the many points that I am trying to make is that education in the UK has got locked into a money making enterprise and that “learning for learning sake” has completely disappeared. I blame the principle of my college as all he wants is bums on seats and will except anybody with any form of qualification as he desperately needs those numbers for his statistical charts regardless of the fate of the not so talented.

I was not and never intended to slag off all Uni courses there are some fantastic Unis out there who do what it says on the can. But beware there are also colleges out there who are ripping people off.

rockyj123
07-25-2006, 08:30 AM
has anyone heard of university of westminster game art degree or something like it?.. hows it?

moidphotos
07-25-2006, 11:44 AM
First to RockyJ123 - the Westminster course is really for programmers (I was consulted about it during it's early stages). It does have some art creation, but mainly its for coders. It's probably a good course if you want to be a games programmer (although I don't know if any of the staff have any actual games experience). If that's your thing go and find out more westminster university (www.wmin.ac.uk)

If you are after a games artist degree, look at Teeside, Swansea, Bournemouth or even my University - Hertfordshire (http://perseus.herts.ac.uk/courses/fmm/3d-games-art-ba.cfm)
Sorry about the blatant plug there:)

Back to Bathtub

Thank you all for your comments I have found them interesting yet I do not agree with you (maybe my explanation of the finance is badly explained) as my experience as a senior lecturer on a computer animation course for 6-7 years has been described by my first post and has been fraught with managerial problems and no staff support.

It amazes me that you all thought I was a student (I was 25 years ago). My main concern is that I have witnessed the creation of bad designed and bad supported courses and I think that students who want to be “ANIMATORS” need to carefully look into what it is all about before applying etc..


Sorry about the confusion, I must've mis read your post! I honestly did think you were a student. My apologies. You are right in htat there are some poor courses in this country, and yes some of them are aimed at being money earners for the Uni, but I don't think they will survive in the long term. Once word gets around about how bad they are, they will hopefully begin to disappear. A course can't survive without students unless there's some really bad nepotism/favours going on at senior levels. I have had some experience of this at other places I have worked, and yes, many animation courses have been setup by people with no experience alas. You are definitely right when you say students should look into the course before signing up. Unfortunately some of these courses might survive for longer because one issue we have noticed is that since the ending of grants to students and increase in fees, a much higher proportion of our students now come from the local cachement area, and not further afield in the UK, meaning to save money students are living at home and atttending the local university, irregardless of its status. This is a shame as it will potentially preserve bad courses.


Where I worked there was no industry help/advice. The making of the animation/games degree had no industrial input (which of course the management would disagree) and then when we the experienced lectures in our specialised subject had to rewrite the animation course for the quinquennial it was changed behind our back by the management because of room and staff shortages.

I have now left this place due to my integrity and honesty. I was so shocked at the goings on in the examination boards as to how people got degrees in animation who could not create a walk cycle amazes me.


That I do find shocking, and I think you have made the right decision to leave, I would be unable to work with students if i was under that level of mismanagement. I would feel like I was conning them, and that is morally wrong, even though it does happen, and yes senior management everywhere are now concerned with money more than education. If you get on well with them and they support you, that seems to work fairly well (at least it does for us) - we do the teaching and they give us the resources, but I can easily imagine it the other way round...




I tried my best into incorporating painting, photography, film-making, sculpting and drama into the course. The culprits for not promoting these learning methods was from both the students (as all they want to do is sit in front of a PC) and the management as they where worried that the course might turn into an Arts degree.


You sound like you are / were doing all the right things which is a shame - we also use the same techniques, but promoting them to students is hard - many have a very fixed idea that all creative activity can only take place with a PC in front of them. We have found that getting industry people in to talk about the concept / design stages of work, and showing them paper / traditional modelling helped get the idea across. We don't allow them to start work on animations until they have supplied full concept art, storyboards etc - they have to keep re drawing until they are good enough - it seems hard, but it makes for more talented students in the long run. It also takes a few years to build up a culture of hard work, and this is something that many universities do not have. Drama was/is difficult until we got some post production animators to come in and show videos of them acting out the characters they were animating and the students began to realise how incredibly important acting skills are. The difficulty comes I think because most 3D animation students come from a technological / geek background rather than an art background, and therefore find expression, especially social or group expression difficult - they relate to PCs and being on their own with one, and so we do a lot of group activites throughout the year to break these preconceptions down.


One of the many points that I am trying to make is that education in the UK has got locked into a money making enterprise and that “learning for learning sake” has completely disappeared. I blame the principle of my college as all he wants is bums on seats and will except anybody with any form of qualification as he desperately needs those numbers for his statistical charts regardless of the fate of the not so talented.

I was not and never intended to slag off all Uni courses there are some fantastic Unis out there who do what it says on the can. But beware there are also colleges out there who are ripping people off.

This is unfortunately very true - I am a firm believer that the government should still pay for all education, and students should only go to university if they are academically capable of doing well. Not the current philosophy of 'got money? you're in!' Which really promotes university only to those who have rich parents, and are often fairly lazy characters as they are used to their parents paying for everything for them.

I think trying to find work at a university with a better reputation is the best option, although as you obviously know, jobs don't get advertised that often, especially at the senior end of lecturing, and if you want to work at a good University, you may have to move some distance, which is rarely an enjoyable or desirable experience. I have found that at other places i have taught that as long as I could keep a core group of dedicated students interested and learning, at least you can feel that you are making a difference to some people's lives. It's far from ideal, of course, but stick with that thought until you can find a course that really does want to produce top quality animation. And the UK certainly needs these courses, the work coming out of French and German animation colleges is astonishingly competent, and usually wipes the floor with most UK animation. So to any (potential) students reading this, make sure you thoroughly investigate the quality of the work that the third years on the course you are interested in actually make - does it look almost professional quality? Does it inspire you? and also beware of colleges who will use their lecturer's professional work in demo reels to improve what they are showing applicants.

To Bathtub, although things can seem very depressing I would advise trying to find good in some of what you teach, and realise that you can still make a major change in the development of students which is in my opinion, the most important and worthy attribute of a lecturer. Good luck:)

Deeon
06-21-2007, 12:56 PM
First of all sorry for bumping such an old thread but I didn't want to start yet another new thread about the study in England (sticky proves that you are sick of em :) ). Okay now on to the real thing...

Hello!

I'm seriously considering to study in England next year. I'm not English but I live in EU so at least on paper I'm equal to all English students. Language is not a problem at all. But I'm confused and lost in this education system. First of all there are so many universities and so many different but still similar courses - I have no idea which to pick. I'm interested in computer animation, design, visualization, design for games etc. Unlike in my country, in England you have to pay for knowledge and it's not a little money. Now my concern is if the money I invest will be well spent. For little over 9k GBP (+I don't know how much for living expenses) I expect good, skilled professors – professionals that will work with me and guide me.

But okay let's move on, let's say I got the money. But here's the new problem. Here in my country we don't have "A-levels" that you do at the end of the hight school. We have something similar but the point is it's not English A-levels – it's not run and managed by England but by my country. How can I even compete with English students then? How can I be accepted in to the university? For example - Bournemouth University, 500 or 800 people apply 50 are accepted (that's the info I got from this forum). If 50 people have A-levels, I don't see why would they bother with outsiders and other country's "A-levels" they don't know anything about. How do all those non-English students get in, that's what I would like to know.


Now let's move on to the portfolio. For lot's of art courses (if not all) you need to have some sort of portfolio and I have no idea what would be "good enough" portfolio for university. I said good enough because I know what would a great portfolio look like, professional portfolio. But then if I could make professional portfolio I wouldn't bother sending it to university. So I'm breaking my head here trying to figure out what would be good enough portfolio for uni. Some 3d work in one of the 3d programs? Or just classic pencil and paper (what exactly? “Random” art or more 3d space studies, anatomy studies)? I tried very hard to find some kind of sample portfolio for uni, but no luck.

And these are some of the unis I like, but I have no idea how good or bad they are, how many students apply and how many are accepted:

-University of Teeside: I heard lot's of nice things about uni itself. People say you need to lean lot's of stuff yourself since professors don't bother teaching you some basic stuff I guess. Creative Visualisation looks very nice, I like the moduls. Same goes for Computer Animation and Computer Games Art.

But when it comes to Middlesbrough... After reading some posts about it on this forum, I'm scared of that place. General opinion is – it's a shithole. High crime rate, drug addicts, high unemployment, some toxic greenish-yellow cloud of death floating around... oh and dog-sized rats. I picture it as those sewers from Futurama, full of mutants and everything. Sorry to all people who live there and maybe love that place but... If it's really like that, I don't think I could live for 3 years there.

-Bournemouth University: People say it's best in it's field but... There are math and programing. I've studied here at Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science for 2 years. In those two years I was fed with 6 different math classes, 4 different programming classes and some other rubbish stuff. Only useful thing was programing and maybe 5% of all that math (we have very outdated school system here). I'm only interested in the creative art side. Programing is no problems, I'm skilled at C++. But math... I have enough of math for the rest of my life. + not to mention how hard is to get in there.

Bournemouth as the city – it looks expensive. Other then that seems like a nice place to spend 3 years.

-Solent University: No idea how good or bad they are. I like Computer & Video Games course. Again it seems very expensive but damn... Southampton looks like a great place to live.

And last...

-University of Hertfordshire: Digital Animation. It seems like it's in middle of nowhere but very close to London. No idea how expensive it is to live there tho.

Living expenses... Teeside is considered cheap and I agree when you look at other places. Southampton, almost 100 GBP per week just for the room! That's... a lot. I'm scared to add all that together just to see how much would living cost me there. All of a sudden, fee for uni doesn't seem that much.

Huh... This was a lot. I really hope some one will help me to clear some of the questions. I just don't know where to ask at this point. This is the only forum that I know of where people talk about this and know about this. And I don't want to start calling universities or mailing em just yet.

Thank you for any kind of help!

synkipate
06-21-2007, 01:41 PM
http://hero.ac.uk/uk/home/index.cfm

Good resource for foreign students wanting to study in the UK. Should answer some of the less course-specific questions

So many questions, so little time! I'll try and answer what i can later

Deeon
06-21-2007, 07:45 PM
Thanks mate! I've been reading that for hours. I especially loved study_live_uk.pdf file I got from there, it gave me such a great insight in to this whole thing. I underestimated this whole thing a bit. I mean move to the UK... That will be the biggest step in my life. I was never on my own, I never did my own laundry (I do know how to put it in to drier tho!), I never cooked a real meal and so on :)

This is massive.


But I didn't find any info on portfolio and how can I compare my “A-levels” with yours. And money... Huh. If I live like a monk, we are looked at over 30k euros for all 3 years (that's spending between 7k and 8k GBP per year). Since idea is to sign up for next year... In over 12 months I can make 1/3 of it (I hope), with savings I got in the bank. Parents could push me for another 1/3, maybe more and for the rest I hope to get some kind of students loan. Once I sign up I could find some kind of weekend job there since most of the weekends I would stay in UK... But it's a lot. It's a damn good car :)

As I understand I should contact local British Council and start working on getting some kind of scholarship or aid or what ever as soon as possible. And I'm sure they will be able to help me about my “A-levels” questions.

And because there is so much money in play there is no room for error, like picking wrong university or course. And I'm not sure if I have to pay all 9k GBP upfront for 3 years. But still this is best case scenario. If I'll have to do foundation course... My info is that classes are only like 2 or 3 days per week for 1 year. There is no way I'm gonna waste over 5k GBP just for living expenses so I can actually do some learning 2 or 3 days in a whole week. Is there any way I can skip this foundation course? Like if I present em with a strong portfolio etc?

All this money talking makes me think if this is even the right thing to do. Will I enjoy this? Will I get work? At the moment I'm heaving a blast with Modo, I love it. I tried Max and Maya but work in Modo just feels so natural and logical. I mean I never touched that software but I just started it and tools make so much sens like I've been using it for years (+ they got some of the best video tutorials I've ever seen).

What would I like to do? Not sure yet... But I do know I wanna be creative. So I'm looking for a course that would really give me lot's of options at the end – game industry, movie industry etc.

And it's like 1 year away in my plan but it seems like a such a short time – soon the new sign ups will be open for next year, I need to pass English at local British Council, I need to put together some portfolio, maybe I should pass some more math exams at my current uni while I'm still signed at em, just in case, I need to learn whole new set of life skills, need to completely reorganize my current life. Damn... This is like military operation!

But I like it... Basically for the first time in my life I have a real goal, something to shoot at, to look forward to.

baaah888
06-21-2007, 08:46 PM
I wouldnt write off Teesside yet. I went to Teesside and whilst it does have its bad parts, like there is a relatively high crime rate, its nowhere near as bad as people say. As most people exagurate the bad things that happen to them yet dont mention the good things to much..

The plus's are the really low cost of living, rent specifically is much lower around the uni than most places, Bournmouth you'd pay 2-3times more than I payed when in boro, so if your on a tight budget its a great place.

The games, animation and programming courses are very good. Theres enough good tutors to make the course worthwile.

Alot of Teesside Grads do get industry jobs, from my year alone I know about 30 people across who got jobs in the games and film industrys, and thats just people I know well and kept in touch with.

Teesside and bournmouth are the two courses that are widely respected in the uk industry, others are catching up though.

synkipate
06-21-2007, 11:59 PM
I wouldnt write off Teesside yet. I went to Teesside and whilst it does have its bad parts, like there is a relatively high crime rate, its nowhere near as bad as people say. As most people exagurate the bad things that happen to them yet dont mention the good things to much..

The plus's are the really low cost of living, rent specifically is much lower around the uni than most places, Bournmouth you'd pay 2-3times more than I payed when in boro, so if your on a tight budget its a great place.

The games, animation and programming courses are very good. Theres enough good tutors to make the course worthwile.

Alot of Teesside Grads do get industry jobs, from my year alone I know about 30 people across who got jobs in the games and film industrys, and thats just people I know well and kept in touch with.

Teesside and bournmouth are the two courses that are widely respected in the uk industry, others are catching up though.

QFA

Also, if you are worried about the standard of some of the Animation courses, click on this (http://www.skillset.org/animation/accreditation/)

Skillset is the Sector Skills Council for the Audio Visual Industries (broadcast, film, video, interactive media and photo imaging). Jointly funded by industry and government, our job is to make sure that the UK audio visual industries have the right people, with the right skills, in the right place, at the right time, so that our industries remain competitive.

Admittedly, some courses are not that CG focused, but worth a look.

One more point....Have you considered Portsmouth?

Sorry for the shambles of a reply, very tired

moidphotos
06-22-2007, 10:51 PM
Hi there, I'm a 3D Animation lecturer at Hertfordshire University so I thought I'd throw in some (hopefully) helpful answers to your questions. Not all of them will be impartial, but at least they're friendly:thumbsup:

First of all sorry for bumping such an old thread but I didn't want to start yet another new thread about the study in England (sticky proves that you are sick of em :) ). Okay now on to the real thing...

Hello!

I'm seriously considering to study in England next year. I'm not English but I live in EU so at least on paper I'm equal to all English students. Language is not a problem at all. But I'm confused and lost in this education system. First of all there are so many universities and so many different but still similar courses - I have no idea which to pick. I'm interested in computer animation, design, visualization, design for games etc. Unlike in my country, in England you have to pay for knowledge and it's not a little money. Now my concern is if the money I invest will be well spent. For little over 9k GBP (+I don't know how much for living expenses) I expect good, skilled professors – professionals that will work with me and guide me.

OK you have an interest in a wide variety of subject areas, and you do not know at the present exactly which area you may wish to work in when you graduate. This is a common problem, (WARNING: blatant plug, everyone else change the channel for 30 seconds then come back) so we have a Digital Animation programme that at year one allows you to try different areas of 3D (and 2D) out - it covers game environment art, hi polygon character modelling, architectural visualisation, 2D and 3D animation, editing, sound effects, character design, life drawing, concept art, texturing, etc etc - at the end of the first year you are able to change from whatver part of the programme you are enrolled on (Games Art, 3D Digital Animation or 2D Digital Animation) to any of the others if you wish to. From year two onwards you get lectures that are highly focused on the area you have chosen.

All the staff on the Digital Animation programme have many years of real world experience, between us we have worked in every commercial aspect of 3D and 2D animation - Games, Architectural Visualisation. Product Visualisation, Feature animation, Post Production for films, animated TV series, Motion Graphics for TV, web based animation etc... I think the only area we don't have any skills in is medical visualisation or forensic animation. We don't hire staff who don't have real world experience, none of us are the academics you will meet on a lot of animation courses.



But okay let's move on, let's say I got the money. But here's the new problem. Here in my country we don't have "A-levels" that you do at the end of the hight school. We have something similar but the point is it's not English A-levels – it's not run and managed by England but by my country. How can I even compete with English students then? How can I be accepted in to the university? For example - Bournemouth University, 500 or 800 people apply 50 are accepted (that's the info I got from this forum). If 50 people have A-levels, I don't see why would they bother with outsiders and other country's "A-levels" they don't know anything about. How do all those non-English students get in, that's what I would like to know.

OK here's the harsh truth with all UK universities - you get in (or you get an interview at any rate) because you are a foreign student and they want your money. You are worth about three times as much in money as a UK student is, so the UK universities will want you over their own native students. Sad, but true. Admittedly on a good course you'll still have to pass an interview (some Universities have tests as well) and show artwork, so if a good course says yes to you, then you are talented (or at least they think they can make you that way:thumbsup:). Avoid any university in the UK that will give you a place without seeing your work or you... there's plenty of them.

About the A-levels: almost every country in Europe has better pre 18 year old education for it's students than the UK, so I'm sure you'll be academically capable if you passed all your courses at home :)

At Hertfordshire you would have to take an English test if you joined the course to get a rating as to whether you need English support help or not (I seriously doubt it). All non UK students get optional language support anyway to help with essays, but if you are confident you don't have to go to those lessons. If your English skills are a worry to you, ask any university you are applying to whether you get FREE language support and how much there is...



Now let's move on to the portfolio. For lot's of art courses (if not all) you need to have some sort of portfolio and I have no idea what would be "good enough" portfolio for university. I said good enough because I know what would a great portfolio look like, professional portfolio. But then if I could make professional portfolio I wouldn't bother sending it to university. So I'm breaking my head here trying to figure out what would be good enough portfolio for uni. Some 3d work in one of the 3d programs? Or just classic pencil and paper (what exactly? “Random” art or more 3d space studies, anatomy studies)? I tried very hard to find some kind of sample portfolio for uni, but no luck.


OK here I can only advise you by telling you what I would want to see in a portfolio, other Universities may have different ideas.

1. Life Drawing - 5 -10 really good quality anatomy drawings of the nude figure preferably. Show good knowledge of proportion and musculature.
2. Examples of work in any 3D program - models you have made by yourself (we teach in 3DSMax, but students can use any software they like) If textured and lit, so much the better, but greyscale is fine, we teach 3D from beginners upwards...
3. a couple of examples of Photoshop work is useful, textures you have created or edited, matte paintings, drawings you've coloured in Photoshop, strange photo manipulation etc anything creative that shows you understand the basics of the software. (We like to teach more advanced Photoshop skills so we prefer to take students who already know what a layer is, what curves are, how to misuse a filter etc), but we do start from scratch assuming no knowledge, but we teach a lot fast:) It's a good course if you want to have your skills seriously stretched and improved, but it's not a course for people who just want to go to art college and hang out...
4. Environment drawings - showing clear understanding of perspective and design - these can be real buildings or landscapes or imaginary
5. Character designs - drawings of preferably non stereotype characters - could be realistic or cartoon, try to avoid huge breasts, big guns, blue hair, school girls, space marines, orcs, enormous eyes and anything that looks like Manga... show us that you think before you draw:)

Other bonus skills: web design, coding (only a little maxscript on the course for rigging), photography, traditional animation (2D or 3D) film directing / editing, musical skills, acting experience, writing for narrative design etc etc

And these are some of the unis I like, but I have no idea how good or bad they are, how many students apply and how many are accepted:

-University of Teeside: I heard lot's of nice things about uni itself. People say you need to lean lot's of stuff yourself since professors don't bother teaching you some basic stuff I guess. Creative Visualisation looks very nice, I like the moduls. Same goes for Computer Animation and Computer Games Art.

But when it comes to Middlesbrough... After reading some posts about it on this forum, I'm scared of that place. General opinion is – it's a shithole. High crime rate, drug addicts, high unemployment, some toxic greenish-yellow cloud of death floating around... oh and dog-sized rats. I picture it as those sewers from Futurama, full of mutants and everything. Sorry to all people who live there and maybe love that place but... If it's really like that, I don't think I could live for 3 years there.

-Bournemouth University: People say it's best in it's field but... There are math and programing. I've studied here at Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science for 2 years. In those two years I was fed with 6 different math classes, 4 different programming classes and some other rubbish stuff. Only useful thing was programing and maybe 5% of all that math (we have very outdated school system here). I'm only interested in the creative art side. Programing is no problems, I'm skilled at C++. But math... I have enough of math for the rest of my life. + not to mention how hard is to get in there.

Bournemouth as the city – it looks expensive. Other then that seems like a nice place to spend 3 years.

-Solent University: No idea how good or bad they are. I like Computer & Video Games course. Again it seems very expensive but damn... Southampton looks like a great place to live.

And last...

-University of Hertfordshire: Digital Animation. It seems like it's in middle of nowhere but very close to London. No idea how expensive it is to live there tho.

Living expenses... Teeside is considered cheap and I agree when you look at other places. Southampton, almost 100 GBP per week just for the room! That's... a lot. I'm scared to add all that together just to see how much would living cost me there. All of a sudden, fee for uni doesn't seem that much.

Huh... This was a lot. I really hope some one will help me to clear some of the questions. I just don't know where to ask at this point. This is the only forum that I know of where people talk about this and know about this. And I don't want to start calling universities or mailing em just yet.

Thank you for any kind of help!


OK I can't really give my opinions of other universities, so I'll add comments about University of Hertfordshire (UH). UH is in Hatfield, which is, yes, the middle of nowhere but only 25 minutes to central London by train, so escape is very easy when you want to see something a little more impressive than Hatfield:) It's only 15 minutes by bus to St Albans which is one of the oldest towns in the UK (over 2000 years old) and has a good selection of impressive old buildings. The animation programme moved to a purpose built brand new building this year with lots of labs and PCs and resources.

I asked my students about current rent prices in Hatfield:

Halls of residence are £75 a week, more if you want ensuite / larger rooms for more people. All first years are offered halls of residence if they want them, all our students get to know each other in year one and then rent a house with their friends in year two or three.

sharing a room in house in Hatfield (non university landlord) is between £200 and £300 a month each assuming 4 -5 people sharing and the quality of the housing obviously (a house is about £1000 - £1500 a month if you want to live on your own because you need the space, man :wise:). You have to add bills on top for gas and electricity, this can vary a lot depending on whether you are year three students whose personal renderfarms have been running 24 hours a day for six months, or whether you prefer candlelight in the evening:)

Anyway I hope that helps you, good luck!

If you want to see a bit more info try www.h3da.co.uk (http://www.h3da.co.uk/filmday.html)

You can see some previous Herts animation films here on CGTalk, all frontpaged:thumbsup:

Tale of Rock (http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?f=154&t=502538)

Diversion (http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?f=154&t=370040&highlight=diversion+simon+reeves)

C://Max/run (http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?f=154&t=361511&highlight=jimbo)

Deeon
06-23-2007, 06:16 PM
Wow mate, thank you so much! UH just went very high on my list. I'll do IELTS at local British Council so I shouldn't have any problems with English. I can speak it very well and I understand it very well, but I only misspell couple of words here and there – nothing that can't be fix with bit of practice. Only problem I see is if I'll have some professor with very strong accent so I wouldn't even be able to catch any words he/she's saying :)

And after spending few hours on UH website I have a bit different view on whole “middle of no where” thing. The countryside setting is perfect to really focus on learning and when you get sick of that you just hop to London and wake up next morning totally wasted with massive hangover in one of those famous red telephone booths. :)
But seriously you got everything you need max 20 min away so no big deal. I love the fact that I can still change my mind after first year, that's great.

Just one more question considering portfolio: if I understand correctly I submit my portfolio just about the same time I apply for course (I guess I just send copies to all the universities I'm applying to, or I just send one and it goes around?)? And if I'm not mistaken I can apply either by Rout A or Rout B, only difference being that with Rout B I get to pick less courses but I'll have more time to finish portfolio (will read more about these routs on the link that synkipate supplied, didn't pay that much attention the first time I went through)?

Oh and I didn't notice anything about some kind of art foundation course, so I don't need it?

Thank you again.

nickmarshallvfx
06-23-2007, 11:29 PM
Ok, so i just finished my first year at Teesside university on the Digital Visual Effects Course. Last year I was going through the same thing as you are now.
Here are my thoughts after finishing my first year, I cant speak for anywhere else really, but here we go:

- Overall, I have to say, I have loved just about every minute of the course so far, but ill try and break it down a bit and give you a better idea of individual areas:

- Teaching: On the whole, brilliant. There was one module (of the 6 in my first year) that was below standard, and it was well below, but the work got done, and lots of people are complaining about the particular teacher, so i would think things will change there. All the other teachers were fantastic. They would always help you (to the point where I interrupted one tutor in the middle of her shop at Sainsbury's to get some advice, and she didn't mind at all), and they seemed genuinely passionate about their individual areas.

- Course Structure: For me it was great. My first year had 6 modules that were the same for all animation students. They were:
Drawing and Composition - Life drawing and perspective drawing in first year.
Animation Principles - 2D animation, to get you thinking more about movement and pace, timing etc.
Introductory 3D - 3D modelling and animation.
Concept Design - Character and Environment concepts, storyboarding, and scriptwriting.
History of Moving Picture - Studying movies, directing etc
Professional Studies - The boring one where you learn about presenting / pitching, teamwork etc.
Overall i thought the modules were all pretty well suited to give a broad exposure to different areas so that you can specialise by year 2.

Middlesbrough: A shithole? Well, its not a great area, but its like anywhere - if you are there to get pissed and stagger around and down dark alleys at 3 in the morning, then there are going to be people there to help you carry your wallet home (;)), but if you are sensible and take care, then you will be absolutely fine! I have never had any problems at all, and neither have any friends of mine as far as i know. Admittedly, i am there with every aim of getting to the top of my game, and most of my 3:00am's im up drawing, painting etc, but Middlesbrough still doesn't deserve its reputation. Lots of regeneration goiong on too!

Facilities: Great! Thats one thing that everyone agrees on, even students that I talked to at the Animex festival that were visitng from Bournemouth. There is a new £27m building that has just been erected and will house a lot of the animation deptartment. That will be sweet when it opens (this Sept)!

Bournemouth and Teesside are still considered the top 2 in the Uk. Other unis are catching up, but they still stand out. 3Dworld magazine gave Bournemouth 1st place and Teesside 2nd in the UK's best universities for 3D.
In my portfoio (to get in) I had work that was ok, but not great, and i was fine. I did spend some time with it, but my skills were pretty basic at the time (and have come on leaps and bounds since) and it was considered good enough. One point - try and steer clear of manga, or keep it minimal, because they much prefer some decent life drawings.

Ill finish my saying one thing, Im happy here, and I was very worried about the crime rates. Simple :)

Let me know if you would like any information that I can provide.

Nick

nickmarshallvfx
06-23-2007, 11:33 PM
Oh, and dont be worried about a strong Geordie accent. I dont have any tutors who even have a Geordie accent! Most of the students have travelled a long way to be at Teesside too, so its just like anywhere else. 2 good mates of mine came from abroad too (one German, one Swedish), and lots of people travel from London, so... :)

Deeon
06-24-2007, 07:12 AM
Oh no mate, I'm not writing anything of just yet. And the crime is really not that big of an issue with me. I'm fairly big guy (191cm – what ever that is in feet), buffing up at gym and in the next week or two I'm gonna start training karate again (or some other martial art). So if some punks cross me way I'm just gonna grab the smallest one and make him cry till the rest bug off (well... or I would run, I can run fast :) ). And really, living expenses in Middlesbrough are so lower then down south. My 1st calculation was a bit off since I forgot to add some other expenses, but point is it's still cheaper. But still I'm not sure. Crime can't be ignored and pollution is even bigger issue. If I get the money and if other universities down south are not lacking in any way, I would much rather study there.

Southampton looks like a very nice play to live I'm sure I would have great 3 years there. But still not sure if course is good or not. Same goes for Porthsmouth, seems like nice place and I heard course is good. Hertfordshire being very close to London, seems like they have some very nice courses and there is a direct link between my city and London via those cheap airlines.

Still got a lot to think about.

moidphotos
06-25-2007, 09:03 AM
Wow mate, thank you so much! UH just went very high on my list. I'll do IELTS at local British Council so I shouldn't have any problems with English. I can speak it very well and I understand it very well, but I only misspell couple of words here and there – nothing that can't be fix with bit of practice. Only problem I see is if I'll have some professor with very strong accent so I wouldn't even be able to catch any words he/she's saying :)

There are no strange accents at Herts, we all speak in 1960s BBC upper class voices:) Well, maybe not all of us...


And after spending few hours on UH website I have a bit different view on whole “middle of no where” thing. The countryside setting is perfect to really focus on learning and when you get sick of that you just hop to London and wake up next morning totally wasted with massive hangover in one of those famous red telephone booths. :)

With your pockets full of very interesting postcards, your wallet missing, and a half eaten kebab in one hand:applause: Only do it once and then learn from the experience - those red phone boxes are very rare these days and don't usually smell that nice...


But seriously you got everything you need max 20 min away so no big deal. I love the fact that I can still change my mind after first year, that's great.

That's one of the best ideas behind the course. Before we had the three areas, students who didn't like 3D or who wanted to work in games would transfer to other universities, now they can stay with their friends and study the area that is most suited to them.


Just one more question considering portfolio: if I understand correctly I submit my portfolio just about the same time I apply for course (I guess I just send copies to all the universities I'm applying to, or I just send one and it goes around?)? And if I'm not mistaken I can apply either by Rout A or Rout B, only difference being that with Rout B I get to pick less courses but I'll have more time to finish portfolio (will read more about these routs on the link that synkipate supplied, didn't pay that much attention the first time I went through)?

Oh and I didn't notice anything about some kind of art foundation course, so I don't need it?

Thank you again.

OK your portfolio travels with you to the interview usually (at least it does in all the universities I've taught at) - a good university will want to look at your portfolio and ask you questions about it at the same time. I'm not sure if Route A or B matters to non UK students, it's really for them based on what course they have been doing before applying to university - generally Route A is for students who have done A levels or BTEC, Route B is for Foundation students, but that often gets confused, it's not the best system...

Art Foundation is potentially a very good course - most of our strongest students tend to have done an art foundation course so that they have greatly improved drawing skills compared to what they will have learned at school or college. We accept students without the Foundation Art qualification as long as their portfolios are good enough and they sound committed and dedicated to the course. Most UK students stand a much better chance of getting into the university that they want to go to if they have an art foundation qualification. Drawing standards in European schools are (sadly) often far higher than UK schools, so this may not be an issue for you. Plus most universities will want you for the huge fees you bring with you... and won't want to scare you away.

I would suggest you try to organise a trip over to the UK for a few days to see all the universities that you like the sound of, and ask lots of questions. A degree is a hell of a lot of money and time, it's important you choose the right one.

victor throe
06-25-2007, 09:40 PM
i couldnt resist replying to this one


You could be a genius at animation, modeling or texturing, yet to gain employment is very difficult due to competition and a glut of experienced personnel. I am not saying there are no jobs as there are. What I am saying is to get that dream job might take you a lot longer and much more perseverance than you think. I am sure that one or two of you have walked into that dream job nevertheless I am sure that there are many of you out there who have not even got a look in.

all true. but then no one said it would be easy....the good stuff rarely is. gaining employment is normally down to being in the right place at the right time. and that is a result of putting yourself in the right place at the right time. there is always work for a worker.
i have known loads of excellent animators who cannot 'find' work. fact is, their idea of 'finding' work means waiting for it to come to them
i have known loads of mediocre artists in the industry but with the right attitude, i am one of those mediocre artists.




Because Universities and Colleges through out the UK are setting up these computer animation courses and implying that one day you will get that dream job.


with hard work anyone can get their dream job


One has to ask oneself why are they so many animation courses in the UK?

because they are popular

Why are so many UK Universities setting up these courses when there are so few jobs?

degrees are not primarily vocational. you dont have to even want to be an animator to study it. there are plenty of degrees in subject areas which have absolutley no industry, so i think animation courses are off the hook on that one



275 courses with 25 students per year for a 3 year course is a lot of students and a lot of competition for getting that job.

out of that 7000 students, id say no more than 2% will actively seek employement within industry and only 5 percent of those will be suitable

and as much as you like to believe the industry is a dream job, i am forever seeing people leave the industry for other more stable careers.

even so, the industry is expanding like you would not believe, emerging technologies and delivery platforms means that the industry is and always has been hungry for people that can do the job to a high standard.
it is getting cheaper and cheaper to produce animated content and as the number of tv stations, webpages, VOD adverts etc etc continue to grow, so will their need for content


Many colleges think that by using educational software licences (for example 75 MAYA seats cost a college £2000 per year for a maintenance contract, 25 Digital fusion seats cost about £3000). And then possible updating a computer lab consisting of 25 comps every two years would cost about £30,000. So you can see the layout is not so much for receiving approx on average £1200 per student per year


what people like you fail to understand is that the money brought in from students fees does not go just onto the principle lecturing staff, resources etc. you have to look at it holistically.

count up every member of staff at the uni including the admin team, all the faculty heads right up to the chancellors, deans etc

now count up all the physical resourcing

then add all the estates costs, rent, electric, etc etc

then add in all the research(which is what makes it a uni in the first instance)

add up all those costs

then divide by the number of students and you will see that student fees alone doesnt even scratch the surface



Most Universities in the UK are in a crisis, so by opting for the soft option like Digital Media and Computer Games/Animation, they think they can get themselves out of their mess. For they think that this is the way to make a living at your expense.

practicle based courses are without a doubt the most costly. theory courses have always subsidised them.



Most Universities/Colleges no nothing about computer animation they employ staff hoping that they will bring in more students so they can make money from you.

evidence of this?



Academic staff who write degree courses prior to the validation know very little about the subject as they have not yet employed any expert to run/work on the course. So the course structure is usually questionable as the people who write these documents have been in education too long and are out of touch regarding new media techniques. These course documents are then validated by another group of academics who definitely know nothing about the subject so the College/University can gain the stamp of approvable. Once the course has been validated then the college can gain funds for equipment and employ the so called expert (the lecturer).

this is the biggest bag of shit you have written yet

all courses go through a validation process. the validation panel is made up of external experts from the field. some will be academics and other will have to be industry based. all courses must be written by academic specialists in the field in conjunction with industry consultancy. it may be true that there are limitation to the practicle knowledge of the core course team, but this will prbably be addressed in the course rationale and be supported by industry part time staff. there will also be a 2-3 year validation window whereby certain resource issues will need to be resolved before the course becomes legitimate. if the course is under resourced with regards to subject knowledge, it either gets resolved or the course shuts down before the frst graduating year.





Finding staff to run/work these computer animation courses is very difficult as the good animation experts are working in the industry and also the wages for these posts are not that good. The appointed lecture will usually have about four core jobs to fill; Lecturing, Tutorial writing/studying, Research, Administration duties, and sometimes being involved with recruiting. All this takes many hours of work and if you think that lecturing is easy then you are wrong most lectures work over 80 hours a week especially in the world of computer animation as there is/are so many new things coming out every other day. So after about three years down the line this newly appointed lecture will be out of touch with the real world as they have been so busy, they will never be able to keep up.


not true, the industry is full of people looking to get out. any offer of employment in education is very competitive. lets face it, would you rather work 50-60 hours per week in industry or work 12 hours a week for the same if not better money...and get half the year off?

wages for lecturing are fecking excellent even without the hours and holidays factored in

part of any uni contract is at least 7 weeks per year you must partake in scholarly activity(boning up on industry practices and technology) and everyone is entitled to regular sabatical to work in industry

apart from that, the core skills never change. find a course with strong classical training and you will have a skillset which is transferable regardless of technology




As can be seen the course documents are out of date before the course starts, the lecturer/s is/are usually an expert in only one area and then becomes burnt out after three years due to too much pen pushing and the University offers very little support for its staff due to funding, time and work.

you dont know what you are talking about. there are huge budgets and time allowences for this kind of thing.....unis are very supportive

Most students get the blunt end of this, they can see that most of the lectures do not know that much (even though they are fairly helpful) that the learning outcomes are so ambiguous that doing virtually anything can justify a decent mark. This is why complaining about a course in a logical and respectable way will guarantee a decent degree as the heads of departments do not want anybody to know the flaws in the course and the college.

you get out of a degree exactly what you put in...any student who moans about what they 'aint getting' obviously feels the world owes them a living.

complaining does nothing to your grades. all work is blind marked by an external examiner who knows nothing of the internal politics



Teach yourself. Get all thos PLE version of software. Experiment and use the internet for help and advice. There are so many computer animation forums out there with exceedingly good people offering advice and help. Try it all out, you might find that you do not like it. You might also find that you are brilliant at it.

do this as well. anyone serious about being in industry can easily achieve this with or without a degree. but what you wont get from sitting in your room with a copy of maya for idiots is peer interaction and life experience. a degree should be an amazing period of your life where you develope your own ideas and your own vioce through your art. its a time when you are given the motivations and forums to actually say something with your work. this is much harder to do in an unstructured ad hoc self taught environment




I know this for a fact all employers are not interested in your qualification what they want to see is a fantastic portfolio. Make a great portfolio with loads of drawings and paintings and some computer work.

they will also want a good attitude....you dont have that yet....neither do i....but i have a job....kiss my butt

If you have some money get those amazing Gnomon DVD’s they are very good.


as well



Save yourself the money (http://education.guardian.co.uk/spe...,879645,00.html (http://education.guardian.co.uk/specialreports/tuitionfees/story/0,,879645,00.html))

no...get a loan...put it in a high yield account, pay your fees off at the end and you have made a profit

and learn it yourself, you are going to learn it yourself anyway whilst you are at Uni as the lectures do not know that much.

idiotic attitude...you are both spending 5 hours in a class...it cost you £5k and earnt them £30k....who knows more? :)



Where do think the lectures are getting their information from?

it doesnt matter where from....if they are any good, they will get their info from anywhere and everywhere

The same place as you, the internet and training DVD’s.

but they will have a better understanding of how to apply it





I hope you do not think I’m being mean but someone has to spill the beans on the crap education system in the UK regarding computer animation.


what course are you on by the way?

you aint enjoying it...drop out and stop wasting their time

Deeon
06-25-2007, 10:12 PM
Thanks for reply moidphotos. I have plans to visit UK sooner or later, in fact I plan to go to London next month with my sister and some friends. Of course I will not have time to visit unis (I'll be bonding with the locals ;) ) but it's very tempting to test that “20 min from London” theory and to see UH. But I do have a serious trip planed in couple of months – will visit all the unis I'm interested in, touring south of England will be great, but still need to make up my mind how to get to Middlesbrough and back. Oh well, plenty of time for that :)
Hope to have some portfolio by then so I can get some opinions on what I need to improve. Should work more on my drawing skills but can't help it, at the moment I'm lost in Modo, love it! Tho dwaring gets some attention too, like after 4 straight hours of playing with Modo and slight headache, it's very relaxing to draw on paper :)

But I'm not sure I understand “huge fees”. I live in EU so I don't pay any bigger fees then UK students, at least that's what every webpage said so far, unless I missed some small print. I do know that non-UK/EU students pay like 8k GBP per year just for fees.

Thank you again for reply, great info and great help.

nickmarshallvfx
06-26-2007, 11:45 AM
Just thought id throw these few things into the ring:

Portfolio-wise, not all unis will ask you to take it to an interview. I got my place at uni based on a portfolio, but i didnt have an interview, I sent the portfolio off and got the place based on that.
In response to the arguments taking place above, I think you both have valid points there. Actually, I think you both are right. There are too many students to places in industry, but there are a lot of people wanting to get out too.

One point that I do want to make regarding your comments Victor. I disagree with your point about students who moan about what they 'aint getting' feeling that the world owes them a living. When you pay £3000 a year in tuition fees, you expect a decent standard of teacing. Im not one to expect things to happen for me. When i finish lectures, i go back to my accommodation and work into the small hours to make sure i am where I want to be, but this year I have been utterly pissed off with the teaching of one of my modules.
In our first year, we had to study 2D animation, to get a feel for movement, timing etc. Our tutor came to our first lecture, and then missed one. Then at the next one, he forgot his slides, and made up the lecture as he went. Then he missed 11 lectures in a row due to illness, but people would turn up for his lectures and say they just saw him walking the other direction. Then, he turned up to a lecture, and in his exact words, said:

'Ok, well we've taught you all the stuff you need to know for this module this year, now you need to get to work on your animations, the deadline is in a month.'

The whole lecture theater erupted in laughter at his incredibly funny joke... until we realised he was actually serious...
This is still way before all the other modules were finishing too (2 months maybe?), but he said that 'instead of catching up the missed lectures, we would be better to just get on with the assignment'. !!

Now, as I said, im not one for thinking the world owes me anything, but for £3000 a year, we all felt extremely angry that he could get away with that!

Luckily all the other tutors actually seem to care about students and grades, and were always on hand to help you out, but that module utterly sucked! I am a hard worker, but i came to uni to actually learn something as well as be in that environment, so i am wrong to feel a little put out?

Dont get em wrong, i dont mean to say you are wrong, there are plenty of people who do come to uni and expect that their tuition fees will buy them a ticket into the industry, but I think there are acceptions to the rule.
For the most part, I agree with a lot of what you have both said, but that point did get to me a little.

Nick

victor throe
06-26-2007, 01:37 PM
One point that I do want to make regarding your comments Victor. I disagree with your point about students who moan about what they 'aint getting' feeling that the world owes them a living. When you pay £3000 a year in tuition fees, you expect a decent standard of teacing

thats the problem. you feel because you are paying something that it is the unis job to teach you....but it isnt their job to do that at all. it is your job to research and learn and the lecturing staff are there to facilitate it and present new channels for doing so.

its not school. many degrees have a reading list and thats it. you read, assignments are set and you do the work, then it is assessed. thats why when you do a degree is isnt called learning, studying, teaching or whatever...it is called reading.

all the hard work is done by you.

but. the modern way of doing things means that there is an agreement between uni and student. inside your course handbook is a list of what your obligations and the unis obligations are. if you feel you have been short changed, appeal and demand a refund.

this is normally too much effort though


Our tutor came to our first lecture, and then missed one. Then at the next one, he forgot his slides, and made up the lecture as he went. Then he missed 11 lectures in a row due to illness, but people would turn up for his lectures and say they just saw him walking the other direction. Then, he turned up to a lecture, and in his exact words, said:

'Ok, well we've taught you all the stuff you need to know for this module this year, now you need to get to work on your animations, the deadline is in a month.'

everything would have been available in the core reading texts assigned to the unit? dont get me wrong, if you are entitled to a guy blabbing for 5 hours a day, then thats what you should expect, but if you followed the reading texts then the asignmentwont have been an issue.

that said. there should have been a replacement staff member available to take the lectures. or the lessons should be made up at a later date.




Luckily all the other tutors actually seem to care about students and grades, and were always on hand to help you out, but that module utterly sucked! I am a hard worker, but i came to uni to actually learn something as well as be in that environment, so i am wrong to feel a little put out?

so learn.the academics are just there to facilitate your learning.





the only thing you can do if you are disatisfied with the quality you get from your uni is to complain. like it or not money plays a big factor and if you threaten to take your money elsewhere you will be surprised at howquickly issues get resolved.

if you are really narked, you could contact their nearest competitor and offer to transfer the entire cohort over. uni transfers are common and any school facing the prospect of losing an entire cohort will find a great deal of pressure to resolve any staffing issues

whilst i loathe the thought of students feeling they are customers because that implies they get something for their money, the reality is, you should get at least what is in the course hand book for your money

final note. all those people reading this thread who are considering applying to a uni in the uk. please dont take the oppinions of this thread to represent a whole school or course. my experience has shown that for every moaner, there are 10 happy campers.

my advice would be go to open days. actually go to the studios and talk to the students in the studios.
talk to the staff and get a feel for their expertise.

but most of all, dont do what the last fella did. dont accept a place on a course who didnt interview you. you want to meet them and they should want to meet you. its a huge investment doing a degree, you need to make sure every facet of the course is right for you, you need to make sure it caters for whereyou want to be in 5 or 10 years time. you need to make sure the student experience tallies up with what is in the course literature. you want to make sure the students on the course have no huge concerns. and it needs to be a great town. location is very important since thats your life for 3 years.

Obraxis
06-26-2007, 05:32 PM
After being on 2 degrees, I've now realised one thing.

When you go to university, you're paying to be inside a learning environment. You will learn more through your own research and from friends/peers than you will from the lecturers.

And if you dont do either of those...Don't stay at Uni.

kevinkav
11-16-2007, 10:45 AM
If you interested in 2D or 3D you might also want to check out the short courses offered at the Metropolitan Film School in London.

They teach degree courses in film, acting and scriptwriting, but they're also lauching some courses in VFX, editing, compositing and HD camera operation in 2008.

http://www.metfilmschool.co.uk/courses/pro_skills_series/

Dark Soldier
02-04-2008, 06:12 PM
...............................

AJ
02-05-2008, 11:53 AM
its a shame because its oen of the few max degrees in U.K but is run by the worst people imaginable.
They're not actually complete degrees &I don't know how true that they're the 'worst people imaginable' is BUT I can say that every CV/portfolio we've been sent from students who have studied at these courses have been categorically dreadful.

Delfor
04-03-2008, 10:58 PM
Well I have decided to continue my studies in UK.
So these are my choices: Bournemouth (unsuccessful), Teeside (no reply yet), Glamorgan (preparing my portfolio for sending it to them), Portsmouth (Conditional offer), Bradford
(Conditional offer - i'm not really willing to go there).
I hope so much they will accept me in Glamorgan. They have beautiful new facilities (ATRium), course is approved by Skillset and Cardiff is just...great place to live in. I'm just not sure my work is good enough.

I here someone who could possibly compare Portsmouth and Glamorgan? It would really help me a lot.

Obraxis
04-03-2008, 11:38 PM
Delfo dude, don't consider Portsmouth. I have visited and what I saw was appalling.

Glamorgan is ok - better than it used to be. My course at Newport is also Skillset accredited.

nickmarshallvfx
04-07-2008, 12:11 AM
3Dworld magazine did a rundown of the top cg universities in the world. Might be worth checking that out.

Nick

maverick340
04-07-2008, 06:16 AM
Hi,
I have finished high school last year and i am looking for a game design programe. Since gaming has not yet bloomed in india yet(education wise) I am looking for something in the UK. There is one unviersity in preston, University of Central Lancashire. They have a 3 year game design program. (http://www.uclan.ac.uk/courses/ug/ba_gdes.htm)
Could someone please advise me if this is a good college. Also is UK pretty expensive to live in ? :)

meelie
04-08-2008, 06:25 PM
This thread seems to have become a bit of an advertisment for Herts Uni!

Im sure the course there is excellent, but just to redress the balance a little so too is the
BA (Hons) 3d Digital Design and animation at the University of Greenwich.

The course is almost 5 years old now, and to date our graduates have been extremely successful in gaining employment- almost 100% in fact.


Although I agree with some of Bathtubs comments on this thread - there are a number of institutions which have jumped on the multimedia bandwagon, and are basically looking for bums on seats and offfering poor quality teaching in return, but this is not true of everywhere, and there are still enough of us left in H.E who care passionately about providing an EDUCATION as well as software skills.

The University experience is still valuable and whilst home learning from Gnomon DVDs and internet tutorial has its merits, in the bigger picture it is not a subsitute for education.

And yes Im Senior Lecturer in 3d at the U of G.

Myles

maverick340
04-08-2008, 06:45 PM
^^Thanks for the input there.. I am open to all universities, this is just one i came across. Tell me something, while studying can you pick up jobs(small ones)related to your field of education. As in working on some models or something.. Top make some money. Most of these courses are very expensive..esp for someone from India (damn exchange rates :x )

nickmarshallvfx
04-09-2008, 01:49 PM
Meelie - I went for an open day at Greenwich 2 or 3 years ago when i was first applying to university, and it was the most appalling and disorganised display ive ever seen. Id travelled for 5 hours to get there, so i tried to make the most of the day, but even when asking about the course, the multimedia people said the architecture people ran it, and the architecture said the multimedia people ran it. It was a real joke. I think the course i was going for was either the 3d-digital design and animation, or the digital animation and production.

Anyway, i didnt just post to bash Greenwich, but if the course is all you say it is, then you should really make sure you sell it at the open days. Maybe things have changed since then, but it was so bad that i didnt even apply for it as a reserve option because i would rather not have gone to uni at all than ended up there.

On a lighter note, its good to see serior lecturers visiting sites like this, coz it keeps you in touch with what people want from a course and current industry trends etc. Good luck with the course.

Nick

maverick340
04-09-2008, 02:25 PM
Hmm, anyone from UCLan here then ?

DjSneeze
06-01-2008, 09:25 PM
Hello ...
I hope this is the right place to post this question ... didn't want to spam the forum so I ended up here :)

Currently I am studying business at a university here in Romania, where I live ... but for some time now I've made up my mind to go and study at a university/college in the uk. I am sepcially interested in 3d game modeling even though I'd be more than eager to learn animation or hi res modeling. (none the less game art is my main concern)

I plan in going to the uk after 2 years, when I finish my current college (don't want to leave this one unfinished)

What would be the right college for me considering that I'd like to study game art (especially modeling) and that I've had no other oficial art studies here in Romania?
Furthermore ... I plan on taking that uk gouverment loan for international students, so a college at about 3500 pounds per year tops would be wonderfull.

Do you guys have any ideas or ar least point me in the right direction ? Plus I am a little confused about foundation courses vs undergraduate vs post gradutate ? What will I aim for, considering that by then I will have my current business college finished ?

Thanks very much for taking the time to read my thread,
Best wishes and God Bless !
Vick.

synkipate
06-01-2008, 09:44 PM
Plus I am a little confused about foundation courses vs undergraduate vs post gradutate ? What will I aim for, considering that by then I will have my current business college finished ?


Choose the type of qualification that suits you

When people consider higher education, they tend to think of degree courses. There are, however, several other qualifications that can be gained at university or college. The main courses offered are:



Certificate of higher education: the first year of a degree course;
Diploma in health: a three-year course specialising in health-related courses, for example, midwifery and nursing;
Higher National Diploma (HND): a two-year course, which, if completed with high grades, can lead to the third year of a degree;
Foundation degree: a two-year course for vocational subjects, starting at 'year 0', which prepares a student for a degree;
Degree: a three- or four-year course where graduates obtain a bachelor's degree. There are different titles and levels of degree, such as:
BA - Bachelor of Arts
BSc - Bachelor of Science
BEd - Bachelor of Education
BEng - Bachelor of Engineering
Ordinary/Honours - this can vary between universities and colleges, although generally an 'Ordinary' or 'unclassified' degree may be awarded if a student has completed a full degree course but hasn't obtained the total required passes sufficient to merit a third-class Honours degree. In Scotland, an 'Ordinary' degree is usually a three-year full-time course, whereas an 'Honours' degree is usually a four-year full-time course.
Postgraduate: courses for graduates, which involve one or two years' additional work after a degree and lead to a master's degree. A longer period of postgraduate study is required for specialist degrees, for example, graduate entry to medicine.


I'll try and come back tomorrow and point you in the right direction!

DjSneeze
06-01-2008, 10:10 PM
thank you very much for the fast reply ...
vick.

d3cl4n
06-01-2008, 10:16 PM
There are a few, in England I know that there is a Computer Games Technology (http://www.ljmu.ac.uk/courses/undergraduate/59970.htm) course in Liverpool which I plan to go to, but in Dundee, Scotland there is the same course (http://www.abertay.ac.uk/courses/CDetails.cfm?CID=185&Key=) aswell.

If you go on the 1st link there will be a link to this PDF (http://www.ljmu.ac.uk/MKG_Global_Docs/Computer_Games_Technology.pdf) which gives you alot of information, I hope you find the right course for you.

moidphotos
06-01-2008, 11:06 PM
DjSneeze the degree (or course) that you choose will depend on what you want to learn and also whether you can afford a whole degree over a shorter course - a masters for instance (a degree is typically 3 years, whereas a masters is 1 year).

Is your current course a degree? (three year course). If you finish that you will be more than qualified academically to join any UK degree course.

In the UK we have a system whereby students who wish to study art based courses complete their school level education (typically A-Levels, but also BTEC or GNVQ or all manner of weird and mostly useless qualifications) and then either apply directly to the university to study the art degree they want (if they know what it is they want to do at that point), or they study an Art Foundation course. This is a one year course that (if it's a good one, there are loads of poor ones) allows the student to try almost every kind of creative expression there is - sculpture, painting, fashion, jewellery making, graphic design, printmaking etc etc and from this experience the student is able to make a decision regarding their future education based on what they enjoyed doing the most. It's a good idea as many people (myself included) had no definite idea what they wanted to study at 18, they just knew that they didn't want to do a boring normal job :)

However if applying for an art degree straight from school, the applicant may not be able to gain entry to a good degree course because their art skills are quite often not good enough. Part of this is lack of experience and knowledge and effort, the other part is the appalling state of art education in schools in the UK. That's where a good Foundation course comes in - it allows the student to improve their skills to the point that they are good enough to gain entry to a degree place.

Of course there are many art degrees (and many games art degrees) that will let the student in without Foundation certification or art skills or even an interview, they do this because they are not good courses and they need your money. That's a warning sign about UK universities - if they offer you a place without seeing your work, don't go there!

You don't need actual qualifications from your country to prove you have artistic talent - your artwork will do that. I can't say what course you need to choose because I haven't seen any of your artwork :) I would query whether there is any point in you studying business for 3 years if you want to be an artist, it does sound like a terrible waste of your life when you could be studying what you want to study - why not complete your year and then change to the first year of a degree in games art?

If you are looking for a degree in Games Art you should look for a course that mixes traditional drawing skills (anatomy and life drawing) with 3D modelling - Maya or Max plus ZBrush. You need to be taught textures and issues relating to compression with them. I would say find a course that has access to a realtime engine so that you can see what your artwork would look like 'ingame' as it were, although that is not as important as the artistic training because every company has its own engine and each has its own bizarre issues. Also look for somewhere that encourages visual creativity and expression over copying what everyone else has done in the past - in order to stand out from the crowd your artwork needs to look amazing and original.

If you say you have no formal art training, unless you are an undiscovered Michelangelo, or have undertaken a lot of life drawing outside of your normal education, you will probably find that you may need a Foundation art course in the UK to become good enough to get entry to a decent Games Art course. You can get entry to a poor one with a few bad drawings of spacemarines, orks and a screen grab or two of a level you built in Quake 3:sad:

However if you are really talented you will get into a decent degree and won't need extra art training. I would say it is better to study for longer to become a stronger artist than to try to do as short a course (A Masters for example) where you would only have one year to learn the skills that a degree would teach you. A better artist is much more likely to gain employment than a weaker one...

Hope some of that helped you!

DjSneeze
06-01-2008, 11:51 PM
First of all thank you very much for all the info posted and for taking the time to write it all.

Secondly,

Is your current course a degree? (three year course). If you finish that you will be more than qualified academically to join any UK degree course.


I am currently finishing the 1st year of the course which will last for three years. I plan in applying to a UK college right after that. My qualification will be as an economist/assistant manager at the best university in the west of Romania but nonetheless I will still have no preparation in arts. What scares me the most is that my 2d skills lack big time and I have no idea how I'll cope with that in my future college. Of course by then I will have a proper 3d portfolio and the time to get some anatomy lessons but will that suffice?

Umm I found the University of Derby which seems awfully attractive even though I do not know what to expect from it ... you might now more then me...
Here is a link to the course: http://www.derby.ac.uk/gamesart?csId=1494877&eduCourseSearchText=#coursesummary
You can scroll down and "click for module information" to see more of what it has to offer and you might also want to look at their requirements. Even though I can't fully apreciate the level of the requirements yet (because of not knowing the difficulty of those examinations) they do seem to be pretty strict ... or am I wrong ?

I've no idea what would be the most suitable college to choose yet but I'll further dig on. What I know for sure is that I'd like to work in computer games modeling and with some managment skills who knows ... maybe in the distant future I might start something by myself but that's anoter chapter.

Well if you (or anyone around actually) happen/s to know any other colleges providing serious computer games modeling/animation courses worth taking a look at, please fell free to point them out. Every bit of info helps ...

A thousand thanks again for your time,
Vick.

moidphotos
06-02-2008, 10:26 PM
I'm still unsure as to why you want to study Economics when you want to be an artist - it would seem like a waste of 3 years of your life with no obvious additional skills - if you were going to study fine art sculpture I would say yes, excellent idea, or even medicine in some form to learn anatomy, but economics is only really useful if you intend to be one of the people who count the cash... certainly not very creative from my point of view. However if you can see something useful in it, go for it, I guess someone has to like economics :D Aah just re read part of your text - if you are studying management skills, that is useful; there are very few managers that actually know how to do their jobs.

Anyway back on to your comments - yes by studying this course you will certainly be missing art skills. That won't help you as an artist, and it will make producing high quality art even harder, and if you actually want to get a job in the games industry now you have to be very good indeed. As I warned before, there will be plenty of colleges that will take you on without much art skills because they need your money and it doesn't matter to them if you get a job at the end of the course. A 'proper 3D portfolio' should contain a large quantity of drawn 2D artwork - that's a big mistake that many applicants make for both degree courses and jobs. 3D renders prove you can model stuff, but drawing shows you can think and understand and design - all the stuff that happens before and during the modelling process. You can teach most reasonably intelligent people to model well made objects if they have good plans to work from and an explanation of the modelling workflow. Teaching people to think creatively and aesthetically is a lot harder, and those skills plus the 3D are what separates good from average students.

The course you mention has lots of sensible sounding modules, you would need to find out what is actually taught, how many hours of teaching, whether there is assistance outside the lecture time, also what percentage of graduates found work within the games industry within one year of graduating, what links they have with industry etc - the sort of information that is either a nightmare of an email for a lecturer or something scary that someone should ask on an open day visit to the university :)

Without sounding like too much of a plug for my own University, we offer a BA (hons) Game Art degree, although this is very new and is only in its second year at present so I can't tell you any information about graduates yet (although this will be possible by the time you graduate!). I'd love to tell you more about this course but our Marketing Department have decided that rebuilding the university's website and making it look pretty takes more importance over checking whether the content is actually in place and none of the games info is online... give it a month and hopefully they will fix that www.herts.ac.uk (http://www.herts.ac.uk)
However you will need a strong portfolio to gain a place, we need to see a mixture of 2D and 3D art.

However going back to trying to be unbiased, if you want a well respected Games course, (one of the oldest I think) you could look at Teeside (http://www.webstudent.com/about/partner-universities/teesside-university)

Derby might be a good course, I don't have any personal knowledge of it. If yo uare determined to pursue Economics for three years my advice would be study traditional art in all the spare time you have, attend as many life drawing classes as possible. Don't worry about learning the 3D so much, just get an excellent 2D portfolio together with a few 3D models and you wil find you'll get offers from good universities. And as you will be applying in 3 years, who knows what university will be the one to join :)

Imran2006G
06-03-2008, 06:25 AM
hi all, just wanted some info, i will be applying to sheffield hallam univ in the uk in some days time for MA in animation for games. wanted to know if some body has any idea of the univ, the faculty, the course work. any help will be appreciated...

DjSneeze
06-03-2008, 10:49 PM
However going back to trying to be unbiased, if you want a well respected Games course, (one of the oldest I think) you could look at Teeside (http://www.webstudent.com/about/partner-universities/teesside-university)

I look at it a bit, more to reseaerch tomorrow but it looks really really ok ...thanks for pointing me twards it !

Btw I'm not that good at drawing, actually I suck ... umm should I get to drawing anatomy ? Or what should I start with ?

As for this loan "a tuition fee loan is available - so you study first and pay back when you're earning over £15,000 a year."

What if I don't make over 15 000 ? What if I come back in my country and earn under 15 000 pounds ? Or remain there and earn under 15 000 ? What then ? How does this loan process work and what's the catch ? :)) because starting your life with a huge debt kind of sucks ! :))

Thanks again so so much for your help !
Vick.

synkipate
06-03-2008, 11:09 PM
Quick slightly-on-topic reply -

SkillSet accredit the top degrees related to the media (TV, Film, Games etc) in the UK - so take a look

http://www.skillset.org/games/accreditation/

http://www.skillset.org/animation/accreditation/ (http://www.skillset.org/games/accreditation/)

I recommend Bournemouth University highly, I even got in to the Uni (my reasons for not going were nothing to do with the course or Uni - just so you know). Also, if I were you, I would go for a more open animation course, as you can you will become more open to different employment than if you just did Game art (you can also mod games etc. in your own time to expand you experience). As you do your degree, your views on your work will change, so having a more open degree helps. The town of Bournemouth is also nice btw, with a not bad (if crowded) night & beach life :)

People have said it before but i'll say it again.... Fundamental art skills are key!
Colour theory, graphic design, drawing, painting, sculpture, composition etc...will all help you be a better digital artist - trust me :)

Good luck, and if you have an questions ask

synki

ps. youtube vids help you get an idea of under/graduates work...type in ncca / teesside etc. to get some films from those uni's - but judge the course on their work though ;)

Apologies if I sound pompous in the post btw!

moidphotos
06-03-2008, 11:47 PM
This link (http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/EducationAndLearning/UniversityAndHigherEducation/StudentFinance/StudentsFromOtherEUCountries/DG_065322) might explain the tuition fee process to you. You can borrow the money to pay the fees, you might be able to borrow the money to help stay alive, but atthe end you will definitely owe a lot of money. As it says you don't start to pay back until you earn over £15,000. If you never earn over that, you never pay anything back, but on the downside if you never earn over £15,000 you didn't do very well at uni or career. I believe after the age of 40 the government cancels your debts if you still haven't earned more than £15,000, but that might be for UK students only, you should check that.

The catch to the loan process is that you have to attend uni and do well or they can withdraw payments at anytime. The bigger catch is that you can put off paying the payments for years if you have a low salary, but the interest keeps getting added to the debt so it grows over time... the longer you wait, the more you pay.

And as Synkipate says, learn to draw, otehrwise there is no pint going on a three year art course - you'll still most likely be unemployable in the games industry afterwards, but you will owe a lot of money (and made a university happy).

Oh yes, final plug, stick Hertfordshire into Youtube (or better still Vimeo) if you want to see some excellent work from a more general 3D animation course.

Bathtub
06-09-2008, 08:57 PM
I'm sure it's posted somewhere else on this forum

http://www.3drender.com/jobs/training.htm

Quote
"By 2004, driven by the cheapness of personal computers that can now be used to run professional 3D software, and the appeal of computer graphics and animation among art students around the world, computer graphics training has grown into a huge industry unto itself.

In some areas, computer graphics training is a larger industry than computer graphics production.

Schools and training programs are selling a dream to tens of thousands of aspiring young artists that they will be able to work in animation or visual effects - even though the supply of aspiring students greatly exceeds the number of new jobs that are really open to them.

Today there are classes (as well as books and DVDs) covering all sorts of specialized tasks that used to be primarily self-taught a few years ago. Schools today offer classes in organic modeling, 3D lighting, texture mapping, digital matte painting, compositing, and other specialized tasks that most of today's working professionals had to learn on their own."

There are loads of colleges in the UK that are taking on any body for sheer profit and the student quality is extremely poor. Check out the drop out rate of a college. If it is high keep well clear, as it means that they are taking on anybody (i.e. they are warm and breathing) I'm not joking. The college I worked at had over a 50% drop out rate as the students could not do the homework. One year we started with 32 students and buy the 3rd year there was only 13 original students left. The college used the HND students to up the figures.

Quote again from Jeremy Birn

"Above all else, the most important part of a school is the students. Most of the people you will get to know, work with, and even learn from, will be the other students at your school. If you visit a school you're considering attending, be sure to break away from any tours or presentations and spend time speaking with the students who are working in the computer lab. Ask them about how flexible they can be in choosing their classes, whether the freshman classes are as good as the classes they are waiting to take later on, how they like the teachers, what kind of access they get to facilities they need to do their work, and any other advice you can get about whether you want to go to that school. Also take a look at the work the students are doing, think about how professional it seems to you, and whether that's the sort of work you're hoping to do. Your impressions of the students and their work are far more important than anything you can guess from looking at the curriculum or materials presented by the Admissions department."

Bathtub
06-11-2008, 04:33 PM
My best advice to any would be student for the UK is look at the University league tables, if the college you want to go to is not on this list or at the bottom
DO NOT GO THERE

Check out

http://www.completeuniversityguide.co.uk/single.htm?ipg=6524

http://extras.timesonline.co.uk/gug/gooduniversityguide.php

Most colleges that have a bad retention are at the bottom of the league and are not on the list, personally I would not go to these places, keep away from them like the plague.

Please note some cities have more than one Uni like Manchester, Sheffield, Swansea, etc... make sure you are looking at the correct college.

Delfor
06-18-2008, 06:25 PM
Well. I think this is the right place to post this. From september, I'll be the student of BA(Hons) Computer Animation at Cardiff school of creative and cultural industries - University of Glamorgan. I got unconditional offer after sending my portfolio.
If there is anybody who knows anything about mentioned....I would be glad if you share it.

toxygen
08-15-2008, 11:32 PM
your dream comes true =)

good luck

Simonkey75
08-16-2008, 01:39 PM
Great thread esp the portfolio advice - surprisingly hard to find info about what tutors are interested in seeing. My question is would people still recomend studying a degree for someone like myself in my thirties? I could only do a degree part time so would not graduate till 37-38 plus am limited to my geographical area (lancashire). Would my age count against me starting out in the industry? Would i be better off putting my time and financial resources training myself and attempting to get into the industry in a couple of years? Any advice appreciated! Ps any opinions on the animation courses at Edge Hill and Bolton also welcome

Bathtub
08-17-2008, 02:34 PM
What do you intend to get out of a CG Animation course?

What area do you want to specialize in?

What sort of a career do you want?

What are your skills at the moment?

Are you a good drawer or painter?

Have you done animation before?

Have you tried animation traditional or computer?

It might be OK to go to Bolton etc but are there any CGI companies in Bolton? You might have to relocate etc which might be a drag etc.

Personally I would get some Gnomone vids and a free Autodesk Maya Personal Learning Edition or XSI and spend a couple of months trying it all out. Maybe you will not like it.

I would also sign up for an Art evening class doing life drawing and an A level in Media studies or cinema studies.

Simonkey75
08-17-2008, 06:52 PM
What do you intend to get out of a CG Animation course?

What area do you want to specialize in?

What sort of a career do you want?

What are your skills at the moment?

Are you a good drawer or painter?

Have you done animation before?

Have you tried animation traditional or computer?

It might be OK to go to Bolton etc but are there any CGI companies in Bolton? You might have to relocate etc which might be a drag etc.

Personally I would get some Gnomone vids and a free Autodesk Maya Personal Learning Edition or XSI and spend a couple of months trying it all out. Maybe you will not like it.

I would also sign up for an Art evening class doing life drawing and an A level in Media studies or cinema studies.

Hi thanks for the reply Bathtub. To answer some of your questions I'm interested primarily in character animation - I enjoy the feeling of bringing life to a character. I admire modelling and the other 3d disciplines and am interested in them but they don't grab me in some way. I'm still very much in the learning phase and definately need to mentally commit myself more, but have been experimenting with Blender, Carrara 6 and Maya PLE for around 18 months, along with some 2d stuff in Anime Studio. My art skills are adequate - I have an A-level in Art - but definately need some brushing up! My local Adult college do 12 week Life Drawing courses every 3 months so I'm going to sign up for the next one. I have a degree in English Lit, and am a couple of units (creative writing including script writing and film studies) from completing a degree with Open University.

In terms of the local area, there's a corporate work-based CG company in Lancaster where I live, as well as animation companies in Carnforth, Preston, Blackpool, Bury and another I forget all within an hour of where I live, not to mention games companies. Manchester is only a 1 1/2 hour commute as well, so there is an industry up here. Relocation isn't a major issue - my family support me 100%, they just want me to feel happy and fulfilled.

I guess what I was getting at in my previous post is that old chestnut - is an animation degree vital, only the question is exacerbated by my age. I guess I'm leaning more and more to setting up my own framework of learning, using the wonderful resources and feedback available at places like this, and backing my own dedication and determination. I'm pretty tenacious when I put my mind to it!

moidphotos
08-17-2008, 08:23 PM
Hi Simon

I'll add my thoughts on your queries as well if you don't mind. If you do decide to study for a degree, I don't think your age will be an issue, I've had a student graduate a couple of years younger than you would be on graduation and the post production industry was quite happy to hire someone with a mature attitude to work and also a very dedicated
attitude to hard work - of course it did help that he was very talented but he had no previous experience in 3D animation.

On the other hand, I would think twice about doing a part time degree - animation really does require a huge amount of attention and dedication, and doing it part time can make it much harder to focus. Of course if you can focus over that period of time then ignore this comment, you mention you are about to complete an OU degree, presumbly part time so I guess you've got the right mentality.:)

A degree isn't vital for getting you a job; a very impressive showreel is. Having said that, most people are only likely to create an impressive showreel if they have good quality advice and a structured learning environment (that's fancy education talk for a course) to force them into creating it and to give helpful feedback on how to improve it. If you do decide to undertake a degree I would suggest you ensure it is with a very good university; there are very few decent animation courses in the UK.

I totally agree with the life drawing courses. Another possiblity for you would be to consider options like Animation Mentor which if you are specifically interested in becoming an animator will be highly useful to you and provide better education than most UK universities would - but it is for animation only. One of my graduates is studying the course at the moment and he is highly impressed with the quality of the tuition - and everyone in the industry has heard of it so that could be better than a degree from a course that nobody knows.

Good luck with your decision!

Bathtub
08-17-2008, 10:46 PM
On the other hand, I would think twice about doing a part time degree - animation really does require a huge amount of attention and dedication, and doing it part time can make it much harder to focus. Of course if you can focus over that period of time then ignore this comment, you mention you are about to complete an OU degree, presumbly part time so I guess you've got the right mentality.:)

A degree isn't vital for getting you a job; a very impressive showreel is. Having said that, most people are only likely to create an impressive showreel if they have good quality advice and a structured learning environment (that's fancy education talk for a course) to force them into creating it and to give helpful feedback on how to improve it. If you do decide to undertake a degree I would suggest you ensure it is with a very good university; there are very few decent animation courses in the UK.

Good luck with your decision!

Fully agree with above


I’ll put my two pennies worth in then

If it’s only animation you are interested in then maybe you could save yourself some time and find some short courses. There used to be the Leeds animation workshop and there is an excellent one similar to that in Bristol run by some very professional animators (if it's still running). I think that you will find degree courses using CGI offer other areas like compositing, film theory, how to get a job, how to get drunk.. etc.

Put it like this Max Fleischer and Walter Disney never went to college to do an animation degree.

And I think you will find that the amount of animation taught for the full three years is not that much.

Read

1)Illusion of Life

2)Acting for animators

3)The Animators Survival Kit

and

4)Practice the Principles of animation

that’s it, who needs to go to college. I was not taught animation at college 30 years ago I got myself a 16mm camera stuck it on the wall and started .

Have you looked at the Ten Second Club http://www.10secondclub.org/ they do monthly contests anybody can enter and you get good feedback.

To be quite honest with you if you want to learn character animation you will have to go to Vancouver http://www.vfs.com/ or do a more of a traditional animation course in the UK.

Simonkey75
08-18-2008, 06:29 AM
Thanks for the feedback! My choice of university is limited to my local area purely because I would have to work full time during it to afford it. I'm beginning to think that a degree simply for the sake of it may not be worth it. Doing short courses as Bathtub suggested is certainly feasible - I can arrange my annual leave around them. Barring a financial windfall or a backstreet sale of my kidney, Animation Mentor is out for the forseeable future! In terms of being able to dedicate the time to animation, I'm quite lucky in that my job is basically two (admittedly sometimes stressful) 24 hour shifts a week and thats my hours completed, so I have a fair chunk of spare time to put into animation. I think I'm going to do some research, come up with a kind of self-imposed syllabus to provide my learning with some structure, and try to keep involved with communities such as this, so I don't feel all alone in this! :)

markey2d
08-22-2008, 05:18 PM
moidphotos-
i am a prospective university student and i wanted to find out more about the courses in hertfordshire. I have read the prospectus and looked on the website but i want more specific information. For example is there any life drawing, how technical is the course? is there any focus on traditional skills?

I am an aspiring concept artist and i feel it is very important for me to build a good foundation.
I am really impressed with the work that i have seen in you courses, but for some reason i'm still a little bit skeptical for some reason.

I would really appreciate your help, thank you.
(http://forums.cgsociety.org/member.php?u=82836)

moidphotos
08-24-2008, 10:21 AM
Hi Markey2D

Lots of life drawing, one day a week through all three years, plus extra evening classes for those who are keen to become character modellers (evening classes are optional and do not count towards your degree, but they do improve your artwork;))

There is a heavy focus on both traditional and digital /technical skills, because that's what all the big companies keep asking us to teach so that our students are what they want when they graduate. So we do a lot of work with traditional ideas such as composition, colour and lighting theory, concept designs /model sheets, storyboards etc - these are very important skills and seriously improve the digital work a student creates. On the technical side we teach hard surface and organic modelling, compositing, rigging, editing/cinematography, mental ray rendering etc. Obviously we also teach character animation in 2D and 3D - we start in 2D to explain the concepts and then move to 3D after the basics have been understood.

One warning, our course is hard work - it's designed to make a student employable, and to be employable these days means you have to be really good and that takes dedication on your part. If you just want a degree in animation there are lots of places you could go to where you'll have three easy years of having a laugh, but if you want to actually get a job there are very few courses in the UK that can train you to that level. All our staff are from one of the animation industries - Games, TV/Film, Archvis, Commercials etc, we even have two animation lecturers who animated at Disney and Dreamworks.

You should be skeptical, most UK animation courses are appalling. Being skeptical is healthy;)

Come along to one of our open days if you want to see more, once someone visits us, they almost always apply to us :) What we always say is see us and then go and look at the competition... people always come back to us, so we are obviously doing something right!

markey2d
08-24-2008, 08:34 PM
Moidphotos- Thanks a lot for the help, i really appreciate you taking the time out.
I'm not too worried about hard work, success comes with price.
I will definitely come to an open day and check it out because the work is really impressive, especially that one called 'A tale of rock', really impressive.

You are right about most UK animation courses, there is only one other apart from yours that i have found of high quality, and that's the one in the Arts institute at Bournemouth. And I have done a lot of research.

So i guess now for me what i need to decide is what is the course for me. For some reason im still thinking of taking industrial design, product design or even illustration. However in the Uk I'm not sure this is the best choice. Some of the best concept designers have taken some of those courses which is probably why im thinking the same way. Do you have any advice as far as this is concerned.

P.S congratulations on winning lecturer of the year.

DjSneeze
08-24-2008, 09:25 PM
One warning, our course is hard work - it's designed to make a student employable, and to be employable these days means you have to be really good and that takes dedication on your part.

That sounds scary ... what do you mean by the fact that the courses at Hertfordshire are hard ? Hard as in work hard and do what you're supposed to do and you'll be fine ... or hard as in "incredibly impossible to pass"

I'm planning to go to college in the UK in 2 years after I finish this one here (one at the top of my choices is Hertfordshire), and I know I am not UBER talented or an art genius of some sort but I know that I want this opportunity more than anything and I would love to try hard ... but will that be enough if I'm not blessed from the stars :))

I know this sound corny but it sounds really really intimidating ... I mean to become really good in something you need good guidance and a lot of hard work more than experiente prior to training ?

Sorry if I'm not making any sense :))
Thanks in advance ,
Vick.

moidphotos
08-25-2008, 01:34 PM
@Markey2D If you liked Tale of Rock you should watch World War (http://www.vimeo.com/1470875)
by another of our students, I think you'll enjoy it, it's just won the best animation award at the Malaysian Film Festival.

I'm somewhat confused as to why you want to study industrial design? If you want to be an animator I wouldn't recommend that as a direction! Are you more interested in the concept art side of work? If so I can see your thinking, but industrial design is more about writing reports about how thigs do or don't work and interviewing people about how they use products, there's very little creativity in it from what I've seen of such courses - but if you want to be a car designer or something similar, obviously head in that direction. Could you explain what sort of role you want to study towards? Some of hte other options you've mentioned have semi related skills to animation, but you would have to study a huge amount of additional skills outside of those choices if you wanted to get a job at the end of the degree in animation.

I originally studied Fine Art painting, and I learned (well taught myself, the course was rubbish) about colour and composition from that but when I realised that I wanted to be a games artist, I had to learn to use a computer and 3D/2D software on my own and it took me years to get to a professional standard and get a job in games (this is pre-internet by the way, when information could only be found in books and magazines :) )

If I could change what I studied I would've picked animation straight away, it would've got me into the industry much faster!

Thanks for the congratulations :) The award was voted for by the students, not the staff :)

@DJSneeze

The courses at Hertfordshire are hard because we teach a hell of a lot of information and skills and you need to remember them and use them. You are expected to create a lot of artwork, because it is only by doing a lot of work that you will improve - as soon as you do some work you show a lecturer or some peers (or usually both) you get feedback on how to improve it and you revise it, or use those lessons to improve the next piece of work. It's not a course for people who want to turn up once or twice a week and sleep through a lecture and then go out and get drunk with their friends. It's a course for people who want to get jobs. You might think it strange that anyone would study for a degree, spend a fortune in fees and living expenses, and use up three years of their life if they weren't serious about getting a job at the end of it, but unfortunately far too many students have this attitude. I like to warn people in advance that if they want to get drunk for three years and slack off there's loads of places that they can do that - but not at Hertfordshire.

DJSneeze you do not have to be uber talented to do well, you just need dedication, intelligence and determination to be talented. I have seen many students enter our degree with average art skills yet leave with good degrees and jobs. As long as you don't mind the lecturers encouraging you to constantly improve, to always get better, and to create art that you could never dream of doing at the start of the course, then you'll be fine :) Attitude is worth more than skills much of the time - skills you learn along the way, but you'll never even travel down the road if you don't have the attitude and desire to want to.

Also you aren't left on your own - students who work on their own without asking for help/advice rarely amount to anything. You can't make a good animation course if you don't teach it well, and also even more importantly, support the student's learning well.

You mention experience before training - it's nice to have, but the majority of our best students didn't have it before joining the course - they just worked hard and applied what they were taught to their work.

Hope that helps explain things better :)

markey2d
08-25-2008, 06:09 PM
hey moidphotos, you're right world war is absolutely amazing.

To be honest, my end goal would be to get into concept design, in any of the entertainment fields. However because there isn't a course that specifically caters for it, I need to pick a course that will bring my skills up to a level that i could build upon, to make me employable as a concept designer. so which course do you offer that you think that will best help me?

Also what kind of things do you expect to see in portfolios. Is experience with 3D modeling and animation necessary?

Also if you wouldn't mind could you quickly browse through my sketchbook (link is at the bottom), and tell me what you think being brutally honest.

Thanks again for replying.

moidphotos
08-25-2008, 09:17 PM
OK I have to freely admit that none of our degrees are set up to create concept artists, they are focused on 3D artists / animators or 2D animators, so we can't provide a completely focused route for you that does nothing but concept art.

That said, it would seriously help your concept art if you had knowledge of how that art is interpreted into 3D, and so a good working knowledge of 3D would help you design the possible as opposed to the impossible and hopefully prevent you making enemies in the modelling department of wherever you work :)

I would say that either our 3D animation degree or Games Art degree would be the most obvious route - we have a good 2D animation degree, but it is designed to create animators above all and that might not be so interesting, although they do spend the majority of their time in 2D, drawing...

We teach character design and environment design (2D) in the first year, some of this is in traditional media and some is digital. You would be expected to create concept work for all the models you create be they organic or hard surface in every module.

We do have another good reason for you - our first year is a common year meaning you get taught aspects of 2D, 3D, Games and VFX, at the end of that year you can transfer to another degree if you feel the experience of it was what you really wanted to do in future.


You don't have to have experience with 3D to get ono the 3D course, although we do prefer it - if your drawing skills are impressive enough we know we can make a modeller out of you :)

Each of the four degrees has different entry requirements, but here are a few guaranteed useful subjects we like to see in a portfolio:

Life drawing, 4 - 6 of your best most finished drawings.
Character model sheets and concept art
Environment concepts, showing knowledge of at least two point perspective.
Photography that demonstrates composition or lighting knowledge is useful
Any form of animation (digital or traditional) 2D or 3D
Any comics/graphic novels you have created or storyboards to show you understand narrative in a pictorial form
Sketchbook full of drawings, not random UK art college crap like collage, bits of twigs, litter, magazine cut outs
Examples of films you've directed and edited and narratives you've written is helpful

You don't need 3D but it helps a lot, models don't have to be textured, but it would help. We love to see any 3D animation, we are happy to see people download free rigs, animate them and show the results.

By the way nobody has ever appeared with all of the above, this is a list for the theoretically perfect student :)

Now for the don't list:

Don't show us the horrible A-Level crap where you have to copy a Monet or Salvador Dali painting and or create a painting in their style....urghhhh

Don't show copies of other people's character designs/work, we want to know if you can think creatively.

Please no bad manga or poor superhero / fantasy art especially if it came from a How To Draw Manga/Superheros/Fantasy Art book

Don't show sketchbooks that are full of magazine clippings and print outs of other people's work.

I'll stop there, I'm getting flashbacks :(



You do know that their are very few roles in concept art in the animation industry, yes? I don't want to put you off, but I would suggest having skills in a similar area that there would be more work so that when you graduate you can find a job and can progress to concept art later if you have to. If you are determined to aim towards concept art only and nothing else, try to see if you can find an illustration course where they actually teach drawing (few do these days, illustration is all tracing over photos it seems). I'd avoid Fine Art (unless you can find someone who teaches atelier style) and avoid Industrial Design/Product Design unless you really want to be bored.

Good luck with the decision making, it's not easy.

I'll put my comments on your sketchbook in the sketchbook thread.

ahtiandr
08-28-2008, 01:36 PM
Good day to all of you !

I am planning to apply for university in England for visualisation and animation course and I would like to know is there any apply tests or is portfolio is only which is necessary ?

For example here in Finland we have drawing tests and it is impossible for me to draw something really good , that is why Finnish 3d schools are closed for me :(
By the way we have only two 3d schools in whole country .

moidphotos
08-28-2008, 02:38 PM
hi ahtiandr

Most UK animation courses do not set tests (main exception being Bournemouth), however any good course will want to see the quality of your drawing in a portfolio. If they don't want to see your portfolio and offer you a place without meeting you, don't go to that university. If your 3D skills are highly devloped many good courses may accept you with weak drawing skills, but if you want to be a good 3D creative person, drawing is something you need to master. Good luck.

ahtiandr
08-28-2008, 02:55 PM
So if I want to study at BU it is a must to have good drawing skills ?

I have heard a lot about BU and its quality of education , That is first place where I would like to study 3d . Maybe there are some preparatory courses or foundation courses for those who are not so good at drawing ?

I am asking because I can not find any information about test at BU . For example there is compleat information about test structure on Finnish universitys website . I see only requirements .

markey2d
08-28-2008, 05:40 PM
Moidphotos- sorry for the late reply, but thanks for replying anyway. I think what is left for me to is go to open days, see whats on offer. And make the crucial decision of going traditional and learning 3D later or doing that 3D art course and putting alot of drawing painting practice when i can.

I tried to look for a fine art course that taught traditional stuff, but to be honest i could of cried at how depressing it was.


thnaks for your help and advice, i appreciate it.

ahtiandr
08-28-2008, 07:19 PM
I just found this :
Preparation for Degree Study for International Students in Art, Design, Film, Music and Media. University Foundation Certificate/University Certificate

at Herts university . What do you think about this . Is it worth to take it ?

moidphotos
08-28-2008, 09:20 PM
So if I want to study at BU it is a must to have good drawing skills ?

I have heard a lot about BU and its quality of education , That is first place where I would like to study 3d . Maybe there are some preparatory courses or foundation courses for those who are not so good at drawing ?

I am asking because I can not find any information about test at BU . For example there is compleat information about test structure on Finnish universitys website . I see only requirements .


Assuming BU=Bournemouth University, i have to state that I have never studied there, nor worked for them. My knowledge of their test comes from interviewing students for my university who also went to interviews at Bournemouth. So from what they told me the test consists of a drawing test - sometimes this is a life drawing, sometimes it is a perspective drawing, I don't know why or how any distinction is made, I'm not sure if the drawing is made from reference or from imagination. There is a logic test and also a mathematics test. I have no idea how hard these are, or to what level they have to be passed in order to gain entry. I have been told that many students only get an interview after passing all three tests. Of course how much of this is true I cannot say; it would be better to ask someone from Bournemouth University and get the information direct.

There are many Art Foundation courses in the UK, they vary in quality a lot. A large amount of students on my courses have gone through one of these courses in order to improve their traditional art skills to enable them to be accepted on degree courses. This used to be the only way (in the past) to gain entry to an art degree - you had to complete a one year Foundation course first so that you had at least basic art skills and knowledge (this was a result of the stunning lack of art education in UK schools from the 1960s to the present day). Many art course prefer to take students from Foundation courses; they are often the strongest students because they have spent a year more than the others doing no other study but art, and as long as they had good lecturers and lots of life drawing they make excellent candidates for art degrees. However because of the UK Higher Education becoming a business rather than an educational experience, Universities and At Colleges have used Foundation Courses as massive money makers - they will take on hundreds, sometimes thousands of students to a Foundation course and put as little effort and resources into it as possible in order to use the funds to pay for prestigious degree courses. Many Foundation courses no longer even teach life drawing:eek:

These days, in order to keep student numbers high, almost all degree courses will accept students from A-levels (qualifications taken at the age of 18) or B-TEC or any one of a host of dubious qualifications that have been invented during the past ten years. This is caused by students now having to pay for their education(used to be free in the UK) so many cannot afford to study the extra year that the Foundation course takes, so instead opt to study a non art subject if they cannot get a place straight from school. Obviously this causes panic amongst art courses, so they dropped their requirements in order to get enough students to stay in profit.

Please note that I do not agree with the way education is run or managed in this country. However all I can do is to ensure that those I teach get as good an education and range of skills and knowledge as possible.

To answer your other question, the course you mention:
Preparation for Degree Study for International Students in Art, Design, Film, Music and Media. University Foundation Certificate/University Certificate

Is designed for students who need to increase their English skills to a level where they can handle being taught in English instead of their first language. If your spoken English is at the same level as your written English I doubt you'll need it. It does teach art skills at the same time, but I think another course would be more useful. What year are you thinking of applying for? How good are your 3D skills? If you are highly talented at 3D already, many courses may accept you without the 2D skills, assuming that you will learn them as part of their curriculum (assuming they teach them of course).

moidphotos
08-28-2008, 09:33 PM
Moidphotos- sorry for the late reply, but thanks for replying anyway. I think what is left for me to is go to open days, see whats on offer. And make the crucial decision of going traditional and learning 3D later or doing that 3D art course and putting alot of drawing painting practice when i can.

I tried to look for a fine art course that taught traditional stuff, but to be honest i could of cried at how depressing it was.


thnaks for your help and advice, i appreciate it.

No problem, good luck with your search. I have to admit that it has been a very long time since Fine Art had anything to do with drawing knowledge; it's all conceptual crap these days... bores me senseless. I did try a search for you for a private art college in Camberwell that used to exist when I was an art student (I dreamed of going there, rather than the woefully poor establishment I ended up at, but I couldn' pay their fees alas), however the college no longer seems to exist. I remember going for an interview and being shown around and walking into a room of sculpture students all carving copies of plaster casts of horses heads from the Parthenon :) I seem to recall that the fees were something like £9000 a year, and that was twenty years ago :( I'd like to think that there are still places like that in the world, but I doubt there are any in the UK now.

Go to open days and look for student work that impresses you. Ask whether there are modules that teach colour theory, life drawing, perspective, composition as well ass imaginative drawing. Try to find out how talented the lecturers are / what experience they have.

Don't give up, just look very hard :)

ahtiandr
08-29-2008, 08:14 AM
Thank you very much for so valuable information .

However my English is not so good as you may think . Writing on the forums is another thing compared to traditional writing . Here on the web I can search google for words and I can use checking grammar program while writing . Anyway I am planning to write IELTS test and I should have at least score 6 or above if I want to apply for undergraduate courses .

I am planning to apply for autumn 2009 . It means that I have to start my course search as quick as possible . I have read somewhere that it is better to send applications before January .

I have said that I am studying 3D for two years , but here were too many interruptions . My last examinations and then six months of army service . That is why I do not actually have a real portfolio . I have started making it one month ago . I can only show current and old 3D WIPs + some basic 2d works .

Current WIP for portfolio : first female head
brazil renderer

http://static1.filefront.com/images/personal/a/ahtiandr/121325/ipjbllgide.thumb500.jpg
mental ray renderer
http://static1.filefront.com/images/personal/a/ahtiandr/121325/oefqrvbydk.thumb500.jpg

This supposed to be a landscape scene . I have started it just before army , but after army I have realised that only making characters makes me happy :)

http://i005.radikal.ru/0712/ab/a979ff2527da.jpg
Stone fore the tower entrance

http://i034.radikal.ru/0711/a9/35f33d58f093.jpg








Digital painting
first character face
http://static1.filefront.com/images/personal/a/ahtiandr/121325/jldbkxpuqx.thumb500.jpg
space ship quick sketch

Male face study
http://static1.filefront.com/images/personal/a/ahtiandr/121325/dxpcsagtws.thumb500.jpg

In the conclusion I would like to say that I realise how important drawing skills are for successful 3D modelling . I know some basics like how to build front and side views of human figure . I know some face proportions and how to build it in steps . But I need practice to master all this and that is why I really want to study at university , because it could take very long time for me to do it myself without any professional help .

Here are quick sketches which shows my steps in making quick references .
http://static1.filefront.com/images/personal/a/ahtiandr/121325/fuuwctiixx.thumb500.jpg
http://static1.filefront.com/images/personal/a/ahtiandr/121325/cwsilxrtan.thumb500.jpg

For example if I will try to apply for Herts University and they do not accept me , is it possible to apply for preparatory programme in the same time ? Or should I choose between undergraduate or preparatory ?

Best Regards Alexei

ahtiandr
08-29-2008, 08:16 AM
MY traditional 2d works

Copy from film scene
http://static1.filefront.com/images/personal/a/ahtiandr/121325/boaqtnvkil.thumb500.jpg

Observational

http://www.esnips.com/imageable/medium/08d67884-e260-4fde-9823-fdeb7081adcc/?du=a5dfe3bd-3f0c-416f-9930-fce031780632&amp;uu=7d0f8dda-b544-414f-9974-bba263e66f4a&amp;dt=1188041789000&amp;fu=e44caecd-bd42-48ed-8ba2-c4059e07b83a

http://www.esnips.com/imageable/large/c512691e-a6dd-407c-b9fc-e9e2e5338b33/?du=a5dfe3bd-3f0c-416f-9930-fce031780632&amp;uu=7d0f8dda-b544-414f-9974-bba263e66f4a&amp;dt=1188041787000&amp;fu=e44caecd-bd42-48ed-8ba2-c4059e07b83a

LordMcGoat
08-29-2008, 08:28 AM
marky2d, you may want to consider a classical atelier. I couldn't find anywhere up to scratch in the uk, but Florence has 3 - the Florence Academy of art (also in Stockholm), Angel Academy, and the Cecil Academy.

You'll pay through the nose (Florence Academy was about £5k a year but they've since hiked the fees a bit), and you won't get any qualification for it, at least nothing that really matters, but in this industy who cares.

America also has some similiar schools, but I don't know the names of any them. conceptart.org has it's own atelier, which looks awesome, and will no doubt be well connected with industry. Just probably pretty steep too.

moidphotos
08-29-2008, 08:36 PM
Ahtiandr your 3D work is good for someone who hasn't been taught 3D! Your drawing isn't bad, but could do with improvements - a lot of life drawing and knowledge of anatomy would help you. If you want to make a portfolio for applying in the UK I would suggest trying to attend life drawing classes in Finland for the next six months (once a week) and you'll be surprised at the quality you will be able to achieve at the end of that time. You also need to think about anatomical structure - the elf painting is ruined by the weird placement of the ear - it's far too low on the jaw, and sticks out so much we question how it could support itself - it looks impossible, and all the best fantasy looks amazing, but also looks possible... Anyway I'll send you a PM with some further info :)

markey2d
08-30-2008, 08:36 PM
Lord McGoat-thnx, but to be honest i don't think i am prepared to leave the UK at the moment. besides when everything is calculated, accomodation and what not the price would be crippiling. In an ideal work i would go for Art Centre in the US.

Moidphotos- I actually found a couple traditional schools but they were private, and very expensive, and i didn't like the fact they didn't offer a real diploma.
Right now i have a three schools in mind and the open days is the only way i can decid the order in which would apply.
these are the three schools:

Arts institute at bournemout for animation.

Bristol UWE- illustration

Hertfordshire- 3D games Art/Animation

There definetly might be more good schools but these are the only ones i have found with really high quality work.

By the way Moidphotos, were can i find any of your students 2D animation films, or is the course too new?

moidphotos
08-30-2008, 09:09 PM
The 2D course has only been in existence for two years unlike the 3D course (10 years), so nobody has graduated yet, and so there is not much work online (many students prefer to wait until their final film is made before showing their work to the rest of the world). You can see an example of the work of one of the best 2D students on Vimeo, it's called Clouds (http://vimeo.com/1052622) and was made by Sam Miller. It won the Best Character Animation award at our yearly animation festival, so I hope it will do well at other festivals.

markey2d
09-07-2008, 10:47 PM
moidphotos- Hi, I was wondering whether if i took another course in Hertfordshire, would i be allowed to do evening life drawing classes if it wasn't part of the course that i am doing?
Also do you have to take accommodation that is on the same campus as your course or do you get to pick?

Thanks in advance.

moidphotos
09-08-2008, 10:39 AM
The evening classes are usually open to any student studying one of the art subjects, so theoretically yes as long as you apply to a degree within the Faculty of CCI. If you decide to study business management the answer is going to be no :) Many of the art degrees have life drawing classes during the day as part of their curriculum, but as to how many days / how often this occurs I have no idea. I suspect that the animation degree uses the life models more than anyone else.

You pick the accommodation - you can live on either campus, when you apply (if you come here) the accommodation staff send you information on what is available on each site and how much it will cost / what facilities. Students usually prefer to be on our campus (College Lane) because all the bars are here and so are the lectures, so you can wake up at 9.30 and still get to class on time :)

alexvorn2
09-09-2008, 03:54 PM
Oxyford or Standyford

Bathtub
09-12-2008, 08:47 AM
Go to

http://www.ucas.com/students/coursesearch/

and search animation

or

http://search.ucas.co.uk/cgi-bin/hsrun/search/search/StateId/DAw8N3vH_XqXayAQbeOJq2AWRXdHI-VyL5/HAHTpage/search.HsKeywordSuggestion.whereNext?query=35&word=ANIMATION&single=N

Yes that's right 327 courses at 78 colleges in the UK alone

About 25 students on each course per year

do the maths approximately 8000 students a year graduating

Ask yourself a simple question

Are there 8000 jobs a year for animators?

c'est la vie

ahtiandr
09-12-2008, 10:18 AM
With same method I can think about almost all other professions . For example lawyers . You can find job if you will keep looking for it . Do not forget . You can work as freelance artist on a small projects like making logo for small firm for example , or you could make animation for advertising . Because of Inter net you can find job from different countries .

Bathtub
09-12-2008, 09:05 PM
Your logic is so naive as when one studies “Law” there are many different avenues one can go down, civil, criminal, marine, international just to name a few and then when one has decided which area to choose from they then take further tests whilst practicing as a junior for a professional group.

One does not study a law degree then practice it competently by defending or prosecuting in a law court it takes many years from graduating to becoming a solicitor or a Barrister etc..

Not only that professional degrees like medicine and law are governed by bodies that are intricately tied into our social network for our own safety. There are very strict in their teaching and practice and attainment criteria controlled by governing bodies whose members are of high calibre professors who also practice in their appropriate profession. Not like these Mickey Mouse computer operating software degrees, press a couple of buttons and one gets a space ship flying through the air and then the lecturer says very good Jimmy and gives you a degree.

And another thing how many students who are studying similar subjects like Illustration, Graphic Design, Photography, Film-making, Multi-media (if it still exist), Art, Media etc are also messing around with 3D computer animation. I personally know of three guys who went to ‘St Martin’s’ did a fine art degree and in the evening they all taught themselves 3D Studio Max. They are all leading artists for games companies they most definitely did not do a computer animation course.

And also thousands of people go to the doctors’ everyday and thousands of peoples go to the solicitors every day.

How many people want a piece of animation done every day?

DjSneeze
09-12-2008, 09:24 PM
Your logic is so naive as when one studies “Law” there are many different avenues one can go down, civil, criminal, marine, international just to name a few and then when one has decided which area to choose from they then take further tests whilst practicing as a junior for a professional group.

One does not study a law degree then practice it competently by defending or prosecuting in a law court it takes many years from graduating to becoming a solicitor or a Barrister etc..

Not only that professional degrees like medicine and law are governed by bodies that are intricately tied into our social network for our own safety. There are very strict in their teaching and practice and attainment criteria controlled by governing bodies whose members are of high calibre professors who also practice in their appropriate profession. Not like these Mickey Mouse computer operating software degrees, press a couple of buttons and one gets a space ship flying through the air and then the lecturer says very good Jimmy and gives you a degree.

And another thing how many students who are studying similar subjects like Illustration, Graphic Design, Photography, Film-making, Multi-media (if it still exist), Art, Media etc are also messing around with 3D computer animation. I personally know of three guys who went to ‘St Martin’s’ did a fine art degree and in the evening they all taught themselves 3D Studio Max. They are all leading artists for games companies they most definitely did not do a computer animation course.

And also thousands of people go to the doctors’ everyday and thousands of peoples go to the solicitors every day.

How many people want a piece of animation done every day?

True but what's your point ? You're close to starting a war against people on this thread ... for what ...

With all due respect ... what's your point ? That people should not follow artistic cravings anymore because too few job offerings exist ? What about demo reels and portfolios ... which are used to trim down and separate good artists vs I go to animation school to get drunk and shitfaced every day and pay for my diploma ...

I might be missing your point here but you seem as if you're frustrated of smth ...

Best wishes,
Vick.

ahtiandr
09-13-2008, 10:59 AM
Your logic is so naive as when one studies “Law” there are many different avenues one can go down, civil, criminal, marine, international just to name a few and then when one has decided which area to choose from they then take further tests whilst practicing as a junior for a professional group.

One does not study a law degree then practice it competently by defending or prosecuting in a law court it takes many years from graduating to becoming a solicitor or a Barrister etc..

Not only that professional degrees like medicine and law are governed by bodies that are intricately tied into our social network for our own safety. There are very strict in their teaching and practice and attainment criteria controlled by governing bodies whose members are of high calibre professors who also practice in their appropriate profession. Not like these Mickey Mouse computer operating software degrees, press a couple of buttons and one gets a space ship flying through the air and then the lecturer says very good Jimmy and gives you a degree.

And another thing how many students who are studying similar subjects like Illustration, Graphic Design, Photography, Film-making, Multi-media (if it still exist), Art, Media etc are also messing around with 3D computer animation. I personally know of three guys who went to ‘St Martin’s’ did a fine art degree and in the evening they all taught themselves 3D Studio Max. They are all leading artists for games companies they most definitely did not do a computer animation course.

And also thousands of people go to the doctors’ everyday and thousands of peoples go to the solicitors every day.

How many people want a piece of animation done every day?


AH now I see your point :) But for me for example animation course is not just learning animation skills but also fine art and modelling . After this course I hope I will be able to work not as animator but as modeller , designer , animator and much more . I mean the thing is that I take animation but it will just help me to cover one aspect of CG . I already know how to model things in max or Zbrush . I am self taught student at this moment and I really love what I am doing . Animation course will give you more than just 3d character animation . You know there are many ppl who had animation course but some of them work as character designers or modellers not just animators .
I think if you want to find a place in CG industy you must work really hard . You must love your work and think about it every day !

Bathtub
09-13-2008, 01:58 PM
Please go to my original post

http://forums.cgsociety.org/showpost.php?p=3731245&postcount=72

which was 07-24-2006 just two years ago, there was then only 275 animation courses going on in the UK so in two years 52 extra animation course. Hmmmm I wonder why?

I'm most certainly not knocking CGI and I'm most certainly not knocking aspiring CGI artist that use this forum. I was a senior lecture in this field of study and I strongly believe that Uni's and their management take the P*ss out of you guys and use you for their own selfish egotistical reasons, which I abhor. Not all Uni's but most do.

There is a major problem in marking this stuff and giving credit when credit is due. I'm out of the game now and quite happy about it. However my warning is that animation is an exceedingly difficult art form regardless what ever tools one uses.

DjSneeze
09-13-2008, 02:14 PM
Well if you really want to help us all ... why not point out the few unis that DON'T "take the P*ss out of you guys and use you for their own selfish egotistical reasons" instead of acting as if the whole industry is unreachable for all eternity ... ?

Bathtub
09-13-2008, 03:06 PM
I already have

http://forums.cgsociety.org/showpost.php?p=5330989&postcount=136

One will find that ART education in the UK is a very odd thing it has no rules nor any boundaries and can not be quantified like learning mathematics or Newtonian physics. Which leads to the problem with most of these courses as they are run by guys who used to run physics base courses but as they are getting no students so they disguise there departments as being computer thingys and not fully understanding that they have now got themselves trapped into the 'art world' like cinema which they no absolutely nothing about.

If one perceives animation as poetry in motion then one might think more about doing a drama course or Ballet. But I think that these things might be just too radical for you guys out there as one needs to think outside the box when it comes to the ARTs. Learning how to operate a computer is neither here or there.

ahtiandr
09-13-2008, 03:41 PM
275 courses ! Oh my !

We have only two Unis where you can study CG art in Finland . The education is free but it is very hard to enter on these courses . You need to be very good at drawing after all .

markey2d
09-24-2008, 07:22 PM
Just wandering moidphotos, do you take Btec students?

moidphotos
09-24-2008, 08:22 PM
Of course :) As long as their portfolio is good enough. Probably 20 -30 % of our students have studied BTEC courses. Helps if they are Art and Design based, sometimes there are animation ones, also good, most BTEC's that apply to us have done multimedia and haven't drawn a thing for two years and so have very weak portfolios. You are supposed to get high grades on the BTEC though (mind you we say the same for A-level), however I prefer to look at portfolio quality and the standard of the student at interview, because in more than one occasion excellent animation students have had very poor previous academic records because it's quite normal for really creative people to not fit into the lovely neat boxes that school and FE level assessment would like everyone to stick to :) That's why we interview everyone that applies - if we went by just your exam results like most universities, we would never have had such an exciting group of people to work with.

Oooh quick plug, we'll be having an open day for animation at our University soon, I'll make a thread about it (and post here) once I get the full details.

Ben-Davis
09-25-2008, 10:22 PM
Moidphotos, I have a few questions if you don't mind me asking. I'm currently studying in my first year of A-Levels and because of that I've decided it's about time I start looking at potential Unis. Since I first found about the CG world, I knew I wanted to work in the industry, the problem is I don't know where in the industry, what I do know is I want to study it at Uni. I've looked around and three Unis popped out at me; Bournemouth, Teeside and Hertforshire. Looking through the prospectus of BU, the animation course there's seems to be extremely technical, with many modules in Object-Oriented programming, and to be honest that's not for me. I'd prefer to learn mostly about art and a little about the technical side. Teeside is just too far really (I live in the south east of England), so that leaves Herts. Looking trough the prospectus it seems perfect, the course seems to be to my liking and fortunately it's not to far away.

I've got two years until I will hopefully be going to Uni, so I need to know the best way of using this time. I've dabbled in 3D for a while, and I know my way around 3DS Max and Cinema 4D, although I've never really produced much with them (that's what I want to change). Theoretically I'd say I have an intermediate knowledge, of course I want to change this by studying. The problem I find is that when your self-taught is very easy to get frustrated and therefore lose motivation. So i'm hoping that by going to Uni this will change.

Live action/CG I think is where my real passion lies. But within this realm I still don't know what position I would want to take. I've looked at the 3D Visual effects course at Herts but I think it would be a bit to specific and leave me with limited choices, where as the 3D animation, I'm guessing, would leave me more choices in terms of the next step, like trying for a masters in Visual Effects. What do you suggest?

The A-Levels i'm studying are Maths, Physics and Media, and as i'm only a few weeks in, there easily changeable. To successfully get into the 3D animation course I'm wondering to what extent the actual A-Level subjects matter or whether it's just down to the Ucas points. Have you any suggestions?

Sorry to write so much ! Any feedback would be very much appreciated.

Thanks,
Ben

moidphotos
09-25-2008, 11:58 PM
Hello NLight

Firstly I would say don't just ignore a university because it's a long way from home - I understand that keeping costs down is obviously a major issue for most students, but do go and see the other universities on an open day and talk to them about their courses before you write them off. Look at it this way, by going to university you are going to end up owing a lot of money (unless your parents are very rich :) ) whether you live at home or away, so you'll need to get a good job to pay that back and justify the effort to yourself. Therefore just because the University of Hertfordshire is close to you doesn't necessarily mean it is the best choice - if you are going to owe a lot of money, make sure that you chose the course that appealed to you the most and that you felt would supply you with the education you want, irregardless of its distance. I would visit at least five universities before making that decision. Plus the more you visit the more questions you think to ask of the next one. And never believe a prospectus :) believe what you see with your own eyes.

Yes you will find that you will either become very motivated by doing a 3D animation course, or you will discover that 3D isn't for you - that happens to a few students every year - they liked doing little hobby projects with 3D at home, but once they start doing large scale high poly asset creation, texturing, lighting, shaders, design work, rendering and compositing (to say nothing of rigging and animating) they find that it's a bit too much for them. I would recommend doing plenty of 3D beforehand - it's not an easy industry to get into, only the best students get hired, so you have to reallly want to get those jobs and you have to want to eat, sleep and breathe 3D all day (with a little time off for 2D of course :) )

Experience with any 3D package will help you; we use Max and Maya at UH.

The 3D animation degree is a more generalist degree, allowing you to specialise later on into the areas you want or to allow you to learn as many skills as you wish. It does have a slant towards producing animators and storytellers - the work is all geared towards creating short narrative based animations. However we run a combined first year where the majority of the modules are identical in the four degrees we have - that means even if you joined as a VFX student you would experience almost all of the modules that the 3D, 2D and Games students do. That way at the end of year 1 you can change degrees if you found that you really enjoyed (for instance) games modelling/texturing and decided that was where your future was. In year two you would then get nothing but specialist modules devoted to the subject area you had chosen. So it doesn't matter if you can't decide which of our degrees to join, you can make that decision after trying each of them; it's a much better way to decide than reading about a course and hoping it's as good as the prospectus says :)

If you think you want to do a Masters in VFX, then either the 3D degree or the VFX degree would be the best choice; although if you are really serious about VFX, you would get much more VFX compositing type skills on the VFX degree than you would on 3D. On the other hand, I think it's much too early for you to make that decision! I would study a degree first and then see if you really want or need the Masters course.

Your A-Levels don't immediately scream 3D artist to me... I would really like to see an Art related A-Level (unless Media involves lots of drawing? I suspect it doesn't...). However maths is useful to help you with simple rotation calculations for rigging, Physics is good if you want to be a programmer (so is Maths), but we need to see pretty pictures :) It doesn't actually matter what A-Levels if your portfolio is excellent and you have strong drawing / design skills. Most A-Levels do not provide good drawing or art skills anymore unfortunately... if you know the art teacher at the school / college you are at, ask them if they set exercises involving life drawing, 1,2 and 3 point perspective, effect of light and shade on forms, composition, colour theory and real help with using different media (acrylics/oils, watercolour, pencil, conte etc). If all they do is make students copy a Monet painting and then ask them to paint a picture in the style of Monet, or make collage out of bits of cloth and paper, or explore making sculpture from cardboard boxes, then avoid like the plague. Unfortunately that's what most A-Level art students seem to get cursed with poor things. You will need good traditional art skills to get into UH, as well as 3D skills. So you could stay with the A-levels you are doing if you like them as long as you enroll on an evening course in traditional art for the next two years (adult education) where you get to do a lot of life drawing (that's the most useful thing to you and your portfolio - I can tell from a student's life drawing whether they are worth taking on or not, and that's before I see any 3D). And where there is a teacher who is prepared to criticise your work hard so you are forced to improve... you don't want someone who tells you that everything you do is wonderful dahling... false encouragement is useless. This is one reason why many A-level art students have to do a Foundation course afterwards; so that they (hopefully) get taught to draw there! Although good foundation courses are pretty rare as well these days :(

The UCAS points are just points - you could study anything, which is why we always look at a portfolio and not at points! And the person who made it! Points are for accountants.

Don't apologise for writing a lot - it's your future, you need to make the right decision and you can't do that if you don't ask. I should note here that the A-Levels you are studying may be exactly what another course wants; I can only inform based on what my course needs, but as I haven't seen any of your artwork, everything I've said is merely advice not gospel truth :)

Good luck!

I've sent you a PM to read as well.

Ben-Davis
09-26-2008, 03:20 PM
Thanks Moid for replying so quickly :)

I do fully intend to go to as many open days as I can, I didn't realise that the prospectus can be as misleading as you say, so I'll be sure to visit.

Getting to Uni and finding out 3D isn't for me is what i'm really worried about. I'm very passion about it at the moment and I really can't see myself doing anything else. I'm going to start using my spare time to practice 3D; I've got some video training for Max that I'm going to go through again, to try and get very confident with the environment and then hopefully advanced into some basic modeling techniques. Hopefully by doing this I'll then find out if 3D is not for me.

I knew that the first year at Herts was a shared one, but I didn't realise it would be that easy to switch courses; that takes part of the pressure of the decision making :).

I'll think that's what I'll do, I'm pretty sure that Live action 3D is what I want to do, but like you say the VFX degree may be a little to limiting.

I took an art GCSE and did pretty good, but I found that the course was very much how you said many A-Levels are, just copy, copy, copy. The majority of the course was focused on artist research, so inevitably there was a lot of copying. When we did get to create our own pieces, we were given a very specific topic, so we weren't able to explore subjects like life drawing. Because I had to stay at the same school for A-Levels, the A-Level art course was much like the GCSE one, but just a lot more work. So i decided that the art A-Level wasn't for me. The good thing is that I still have a passion for art in general, so in my spare time I still like to draw. I've learnt a fair bit about colour theory myself, and I have a solid knowledge of the 1,2, and 3 point perspective. One of the areas I need to practice a lot is life drawing, because anatomy is something I've never really tried (would you happen to have any suggestions for Life Drawing books, as taking an evening class would be quite hard, as I have limited time and money! :)). But I think with some practice I could fill a portfolio with some fairly decent work.

I don't particular want to swap to the art A-Level for the reasons I've already mentioned, so I think I'll do what you said: use these years to really practice my art, and then hopefully I'll be ready for Uni.

Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions, I really appreciate it. I'll be sure to post some of my future work somewhere online :)

Thanks again,
Ben

moidphotos
09-26-2008, 10:08 PM
Prospectuses are a form of advertising, and all advertisements are forms of lies :thumbsup:

That's why you should go in person and make up your own mind rather than have someone decide it for you :)

Our VFX degree may not be limiting at all - I probably should have said that after year 2 where you work in a very specialised module environment, in year three you can continue in that way if you are happy with that, or you have the option to work with students from the other three degrees to create something completely different :) The real limitations will be your imagination vs technical knowledge vs the amount of time you can grab our renderfarm for :)

OK avoid the art A-Level is it's just repetitious stuff, but I would strongly advise an adult education life drawing class - do it during the Summer holidays when you have loads of time. Also find out from your local authority (they often run a lot of these sorts of things at FE colleges) to see if you get it at a discount rate because you are still in state education and pre 18. Real life drawing is better than books, but there are a few very good books - pretty much anything by George Bridgman is worth having, his books are very cheap on Amazon, but if you want to try before you buy, a quick google search will reveal lots of helpful, but legally dubious information. Andrew Loomis comes under the same heading - really good to read and practice from, and easy to find PDFs of - having said that, do try to buy the books (the few that are in print) because it's so much easier to glance at the printed page than the monitor when drawing. Finally for a bit of character design inspiration I would recommend a book called The Skillful Huntsman, but buy that after you've developed your drawing skills - it takes you onto the next level of thinking, but if you read it first you may get stuck at the wrong level of understanding of the ideas in it.

Have fun!

Ben-Davis
09-27-2008, 08:59 AM
From my current point of view, I think that the VFX degree would be much more to my liking, but I guess it doesn't matter as it's possible to chose after the first year.

I guess that from what I've read and from what you've been saying, the 3D animation course is very much focused on character animation/modeling? How much of the course is dedicated to this? Also is it the same for the VFX course?

I've read into it a bit, and it turns out that there is a course running at the adult education centre during the summer of next year, but I couldn't find a price anywhere. I've never really thought about some sort of discount, I'll try and find out about that :)

I've looked at the books you mentioned and I think i'm going to get George Bridgman's Life Drawing, it's seems like the right difficulty and £6, can't go wrong with that!

Thanks again for all you help :)
Ben

moidphotos
09-27-2008, 10:22 PM
The 3D course does have a lot of character animation in it (also rigging of course) but it's not as heavily into modelling as the Games Art course is, which is where you find the biggest chunk of ZBrush and texturing. I'm not sure how much character animation / modelling the VFX course has at level 2, the degree has only just started and I don't teach it at level 2 so I haven't worried about finding out what was on the course! I suspect the emphasis will be on the compositing side and also filming real elements and adding 3D to them, lots of photorealistic lighting as well. When we spoke to several post production houses in the UK about what they would want taught in a degree to make an ideal junior VFX person they wanted lots of compositing and rendering and particles, reasonable modelling and texturing skills, but for anything that has to be up close to the camera or animate, they would want a specialist modeller or animator. That doesn't mean that you couldn't make a VFX heavy character animation as part of the degree of course, we rarely stop people from trying to make complex artwork :) And we echo this idea in our programme - if you want to make a VFX heavy character animation, but the character animation side isn't your strong point or area of interest, then team up with one of the students that wants to be an animator in the 3D animation course. Everybody happy :)

The George Bridgman book is a good one.

markey2d
10-04-2008, 07:29 PM
Just got back from the Hertfordshire University open day. I have to say i was really impressed with the De Haiviland campus not so much the college lane campus.
As far as the courses goes i was impressed with them too, a lot of really cool short films that i saw on posters. Facilities were fantastic, in the room we had a talk in there was a Wacom for every PC!
Overall it was pretty good.

moidphotos
10-04-2008, 07:59 PM
Thanks Mark, very kind of you to say so - the Dehavilland campus was only built about five years ago and was the largest investment in university buildings made in the UK at that point. College Lane (which is where the animators are) is having £20million spent on student facilities (bars and facilities for the student union) this year which means we spend more on students than any other university in the UK. Anyway, I'll turn off the advertising campaign, I'm glad you liked the animation department, we are all on that floor you visited (the whole floor is animation) in the newest building on campus (only three years old). There is a WACOM tablet for every computer in the animation labs (4 labs with approximately 160 PCs between them) - no professional would work without a WACOM, so why should a student? Please note that we don't let students take them home, they still need their own WACOM for work outside the labs :) I'm sorry I wasn't there to say hello personally, one of the animation staff got married today so we had a very good excuse to not be on the premises!

lightrig
01-10-2009, 09:36 PM
hi i planning on joining doing my ma course from Bournemouth i wanted to know more about this university let me tell u i am non EU student well actual i have already been working in this industry for almost around a year in India leading production house as a Tex& lighting artist specialized in characters was going to be a promoted to being a TD but my lack of knowledge in vfx and scripting side acted as major obsticles for me to become a genarlist td . plus i felt i still need to educate my self in the field of art especially in a universty environment were u can learn so much from people around u . also was kind of pissed of with the work standards in my country wanted to work more on feature film side but most of the production at home is based on tv and commercail side .


i have two course in mind one is ma in animtion (which sound more generalst course )and the other is ma in digital effects as the course content was not so specifc it sounded vfx and composting couse can any one plz tell me more about this plz . kind of i have to make a choice because the courses are realy expensive . ther is a ms course and my friend is doing it in uk but its too much on scrpting side and very little of art were as i am more l a of a artist who has a lot of tecncal knoweldge so right now i not intresetd in the ms com science course as i feel i do not have the sufficent skills to tackle the same

one lst question i know this is a tough one and u guys will yell at me its been a dream of mine to work in a plce like frame stores , escape studios which works on films . what are my chances of working in the same if say i have say a hell of a demo reel because i a non eu student mind u i mean no offence here i fell the best artist get a job at best places but ther are always thing s like visa things which are a probelm personaly know a senior modelr friend who misse his ticket to ilm because of some visa issue but now he is happy in dream works india thanks in advance

Atastrophea
01-12-2009, 03:39 PM
Hi everyone, I'm sorry in advance if this is a bit of a thread hijack but I know that it can be annoying when you get a million "where to study" threads and I'm guessing all of the UK education people on CG talk may be found here (if this is not ok, please ignore this post and tell me to start a new thread and I will :) )

I'm also interested in studying 3D Modelling in the UK and have been looking at the possibility of "topping up" my BA with an MA in a 3D related area. So until September I'm working and saving full time to try and afford it, but as a relative beginner in computer arts I wanted to try and do a short course (evening or holiday type of thing) to bring myself up to scratch, I was looking at the UH "3D modelling for beginners" but on phoning the uni it turns out they've had no interest in it and are probably not running it anymore. The only other one I can find that looks like a possibility is "3D digital Animation Techniques" at the London College of Communication (I'm looking for something in London or Oxford area)

In the interim I'm trying to teach myself as much as possible but I'd prefer to learn somewhere where you can ask someone all those random stupid little questions that pop up as a beginner without clogging up forums with obvious questions ;)

So if anyone has got any recomendations for MA's (anywhere in UK) or short courses (London or Oxford area) I'd really appreciate it :)

Cheers
~^-^~

moidphotos
01-13-2009, 10:53 PM
Well I can think of one place :D, feel free to PM me if you want to know more about the University of Hertfordshire's MA 3D Digital Animation course...

But to be more open and less one sided, I have seen very good work from Bournemouth University although it seems to be more VFX centred, the same can be said for Kent University's MSc in Digital Effects, so that might not be what you're after. I'm not sure if there is a specialist MA in just 3D modelling that wouldn't be more prototyping / product design orientated. I assume you've searched UCAS's website?

I can't help with the short courses. I would advise getting some training DVDs, work through them, and then try to join a short course because then you will be able to ask more complex questions. CGTalk is a good place for beginners to ask beginners questions because everyone, no matter how talented, was a beginner once. Good luck with the search.

Atastrophea
01-14-2009, 10:02 AM
He he Martin I know you are biased ;) if UH was running the short course this Feb I'd sign up for sure. I've already spoken to you about the UH MA actually and its definitely top of my list, I just want to make sure that if/when I apply to you I'm in a fit state to make the very most of the course so need to get my 3D Computeryness up to standard!

As I might have said I'm working my way through "3DsMax modelling for games" at the moment but there are just times when you'd like to turn round and ask a human being something whilst you think of it and get an instant reply so you can carry on with what you're doing, thats why a short course appeals so much. I guess I'll just have to start writing down those questions as they arise so I don't forget what they all are.

Maybe if anyone else on here would be interested in doing the 3D modelling for beginners course (http://www.herts.ac.uk/courses/3D-Modelling.cfm) too we could persuade them to run it after all? I wonder what the minimum attendence needed to run the course is, will phone them when I finish work to find out and if its not too huge I'll start a mini campaign :)

~^-^~

Atastrophea
01-14-2009, 04:57 PM
Ok, I phoned the course office and they said they would need 6 to 8 people to enrol on the couse for it to run so I have started my campaign on here and conceptart.org to recruit some other people to join :) (It might be a bit cheeky but you have to be pro-active about this things I think ;) )

>>LINK TO MY UH 3D MODELLING SHORT COURSE CAMPAIGN!<< (http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?p=5618416#post5618416)

~^-^~

Anyone else on here looking at the UH 3D Animation MA please say Hi, I'd like to meet others who are interested :)

DjSneeze
03-24-2009, 04:23 PM
Was wondering how important is it for a university to be recognized by skillset.org ?

For instance I have two universities in mind , these being Herts and Teesside. Now after checking the http://www.skillset.org website I could only find Teesside as being on the computer animation list. What does that mean ? That Teesside is better then Herts? That the degree I get from Herts is less important, and so on ?
Would love it if someone could explain please :)

Btw, I see that both unis focus on drawing skills which is absolutley great for me. Do you have any other thoughts on the two universities that I might find usefull and might help me make up my mind ?

Any other good unis on Computer Animation (in the 3d field) that I should also consider? I also want to study traditional art (such as perspective and life drawing that add up to 3d animaton and modeling)
I've checked bournemouth uni and I don't really like the idea of taking a math test for an animation course. As I hear they are focusing on the tehnical side of things.

Well thanks again and if you have any thoughts on the matter please feel free to jump in!
Best regards,
Vick.

HellBoy
03-28-2009, 02:51 PM
Was wondering how important is it for a university to be recognized by skillset.org ?

For instance I have two universities in mind , these being Herts and Teesside. Now after checking the http://www.skillset.org website I could only find Teesside as being on the computer animation list. What does that mean ? That Teesside is better then Herts? That the degree I get from Herts is less important, and so on ?
Would love it if someone could explain please :)

Btw, I see that both unis focus on drawing skills which is absolutley great for me. Do you have any other thoughts on the two universities that I might find usefull and might help me make up my mind ?

Any other good unis on Computer Animation (in the 3d field) that I should also consider? I also want to study traditional art (such as perspective and life drawing that add up to 3d animaton and modeling)
I've checked bournemouth uni and I don't really like the idea of taking a math test for an animation course. As I hear they are focusing on the tehnical side of things.

Well thanks again and if you have any thoughts on the matter please feel free to jump in!
Best regards,
Vick.

Hello mate

IMO, Skillset really means nothing. My current college is Ravensbourne and it is sh*t but is Skillset recognized. All Skillset IMO is just an orginazation much like a library where all new media courses are listed so individuals who are new to the field can browse around and see what's up.

From college/learning institution, you can imagine the need to be on the skillset list, it would be better for marketing, which means more students are likely to see the college and take their hard earned money to them :D

They do emphezize and say when you graduate, if your college is skillset recognized, you are more employable but that is BS. We all know in this field, your demo reel is your passport to employment.

From what I heard, Teesside is the best of all non-private instituation. Also, it doesn't really matter where you graduate from, so long as your demo is industry standerd, you are safe.

My college is Ravensbourne College and I can tell you in debth about it if you'd like but the course does more 3D than 2D. First year you get 1-2 terms of 2D and that's it. There may be life drawing every now and then but it is really up to you to persue the 2D side. The equipment and the tools is there, you just have to do it yourself.

If I was you though, I'd look more into Teesside because on top of your learning, you get events like Animex where a lot of key people in the industry do come.

nickmarshallvfx
03-28-2009, 02:55 PM
Sorry, double Post, see below..

nickmarshallvfx
03-28-2009, 02:57 PM
My college is Ravensbourne College and I can tell you in debth about it if you'd like but the course does more 3D than 2D. First year you get 1-2 terms of 2D and that's it. There may be life drawing every now and then but it is really up to you to persue the 2D side. The equipment and the tools is there, you just have to do it yourself.



I am just about to finish my final year at Teesside, and it sounds pretty much exactly the same...

Agree with you about Animex though, that is the highlight of my time here.

Nick

HellBoy
03-28-2009, 03:00 PM
I tried applying for Teesside with 2 AS's Level, they rejected me lol. Took the same qualifications to University of East London and Ravensbourne and both took me with those qualifications.

Teesside is so much of a drama queen :D

koansah
03-28-2009, 03:40 PM
Ravensbourne College of Design and Communication, in chislehurst, Kent, England, is a good one. http://ravensbourne.ac.uk

DjSneeze
03-28-2009, 03:50 PM
Thanks so much for your replies ! Thanks loads guys ...

Thing is that I really want a college that pushes students to work hard and such, I really wanna learn things I can't learn on my own ... 3d and 2d as well.

How could I get feedback on my present 2d/3d skills so I can see how far I am to having an actual portfolio that Teesside or Herts would accept ? I'm 100% percent self-taught and there's no way I could estimate my skills ...

Do you happen to have some drawings and/or 3d art that could represent a good starting point towards what we should aim ?

Thanks loads guys,
Vick.

koansah
03-28-2009, 04:13 PM
Thanks so much for your replies ! Thanks loads guys ...

Thing is that I really want a college that pushes students to work hard and such, I really wanna learn things I can't learn on my own ... 3d and 2d as well.

How could I get feedback on my present 2d/3d skills so I can see how far I am to having an actual portfolio that Teesside or Herts would accept ? I'm 100% percent self-taught and there's no way I could estimate my skills ...

Do you happen to have some drawings and/or 3d art that could represent a good starting point towards what we should aim ?

Thanks loads guys,
Vick.

Well, perhaps it'd be best to go to open days at different universities,

but if you would like a very trusted training facility for professionals, which most professionals use or university graduates go to to get some training before being dispatched into the industry, then you should try Escape Studios (http://www.escapestudios.com) . They are the best o the best and do almost everything.

They are situated in London Soho I think, or somewhere in West End of London. I personally haven't been there on training since I'm just on my first year at University studying 3D Animation, but I'm paying for their Maya core online tutorial which is pretty good. so check them out!

moidphotos
03-28-2009, 04:24 PM
Was wondering how important is it for a university to be recognized by skillset.org ?

For instance I have two universities in mind , these being Herts and Teesside. Now after checking the http://www.skillset.org website I could only find Teesside as being on the computer animation list. What does that mean ? That Teesside is better then Herts? That the degree I get from Herts is less important, and so on ?
Would love it if someone could explain please :)

Btw, I see that both unis focus on drawing skills which is absolutley great for me. Do you have any other thoughts on the two universities that I might find usefull and might help me make up my mind ?

Any other good unis on Computer Animation (in the 3d field) that I should also consider? I also want to study traditional art (such as perspective and life drawing that add up to 3d animaton and modeling)
I've checked bournemouth uni and I don't really like the idea of taking a math test for an animation course. As I hear they are focusing on the tehnical side of things.

Well thanks again and if you have any thoughts on the matter please feel free to jump in!
Best regards,
Vick.


Hi Vick

The Skillset accreditation is an attempt by the UK goverment to give some form of rating to animation taught in the UK , the concept supposedly being that if you have Skillset accreditation you are somehow better than most other animation courses. In practice Skillset accreditation really comes down to whether anyone on the course has filled out the 65 page accreditation form and found all the example artwork from students that meets the requirements and also whether the university teaches the sorts of things that Skillset / the government considers are important to animation. Personally I'd rather spend those months of form filling teaching students to make award winning animations instead :) I suppose it all depends on how well you think the UK's government understands how animation should be taught at university as opposed to lecturers with years of industry experience deciding what students need to be taught to be employable. I know which method I have more faith in :)

The degree you get from any university is worth the same, with the slight importance that going to a famous course supposedly adds to the degree - however as Hellboy rightfully points out, no employer cares what university you went to, all they care about is how good is your work?

I can't answer your other questions impartially so I won't :)

moidphotos
03-28-2009, 04:31 PM
Thanks so much for your replies ! Thanks loads guys ...

Thing is that I really want a college that pushes students to work hard and such, I really wanna learn things I can't learn on my own ... 3d and 2d as well.

How could I get feedback on my present 2d/3d skills so I can see how far I am to having an actual portfolio that Teesside or Herts would accept ? I'm 100% percent self-taught and there's no way I could estimate my skills ...

Do you happen to have some drawings and/or 3d art that could represent a good starting point towards what we should aim ?

Thanks loads guys,
Vick.


Well I can't speak for Teeside's entry requirements, but send me a link to your artwork and I'll tell you if it hits Hertfordshire's entry requirements.

MrJoey
04-21-2009, 08:39 PM
Okay so.. another aspiring 3D artist has graced this thread and looking for advice.. hopefully I won't recieve the bad news I'm dreading.

Okay so.. right now I'm doing a BTEC in ICT (it's a very general course) which has networking, hardware based and a bit of programming.. although it's definately not where I can see myself in a career. Games is a HUGE passion for me and I have to say I'm a sucker for 3D art, it facinates me. I've never done any art related courses and I can safely say I'm pretty mediocre at traditional drawing (pencil and paper)... however I think I have the potential for 3D art as for some reason my artistic gears just seem to click so much more when i'm working digitally than on paper. So I'm already teaching myself rendering etc with blender, may try to get hold of maya somehow, and I would love to go to a university course to learn more about 3D art (I think environment/character art is what interests me the most) but like I said I lack any experience in traditional art.. so what I'm asking is: Do I have a genuine chance of getting onto a uni course without any traditional art experience?

I'm planning to spend alot of time over the next year and a half (pretty much when my current BTEC finishes) learning as much 3D as possible, and I'm even going to try to teach myself the basic traditional stuff.. but after reading threads about people applying for unis with exceptional art skills I can't help but feel a little disheartened. Please be honest, although whatever answer I recieve I think I'm going to try my hardest, because I could safely say I don't want to do anything else for a career right now than game development.

Thanks for any responses. ;)

nickmarshallvfx
04-22-2009, 04:24 AM
MrJoey - When you say you want to be a character or environment artist, are we talking concept artist? Or are you more interested in modelling? lighting? 'artist' could really mean any area these days.
Regardless really of the answer to this, teach yourself to paint and draw. If you are mediocre make yourself good. Its funny, everyone who takes the time to do that says they cannot fathom doing good work without the artistic sensibilities that it develops (including me, a guy who was intending to stay WELL away from art when i went to uni but ended up going full into art).
The only people who dont really understand the benefits of being able to draw / paint are the people who cant. It really is so worth the time to develop those skills. If you are passionate and throw yourself into it, you will reap the benefits. The best students that will graduate this year from Teesside with me are the ones who can fudge things really well because they know exactly what is needed to make something look good.

However, if you are more interested in modelling etc, pick up a copy of Maya and practice that too as it will certainly give you a head start.

Nick

nickmarshallvfx
04-22-2009, 04:25 AM
I should add to that that i only did my first ever digital painting about 2 months before i started uni, so its definitely not too late for you! Just keep at it even when its tough!

Nick

MrJoey
04-22-2009, 11:30 AM
Thanks for the response Space.

When I said character/environmental I meant modelling mainly, at least that's what interests me more, although I suppose if I want to be succesful I have to consider both. Thanks for the advice aswell, I'm already beginning to teach myself and although I'm no expert yet I'm not one to fall down at the first hurdle and quit. What I'm really worried about is if I have enough time from now to when I start applying for uni courses to teach myself to a level which is acceptable by universities.. I don't know too much about the kind of standards universities are after but I'm guessing they expect to see pretty impressive portvolios, no?

Thanks again for the response. :)

nickmarshallvfx
04-22-2009, 12:52 PM
Having a strong portfolio certainly wont harm your chances, but i have seen some decidedly average folios get accepted here. Work hard and study hard and keep pushing yourself and it will pay off.

Nick

moidphotos
04-24-2009, 09:16 PM
Standards required by universities will all depend on how good the course you are applying to is. A decent course will require you to have good drawing skills (life drawing/anatomy knowledge, sense of proportion and volume, perspective drawing skills, character and environment design etc) however if you have reasonable 3D skills and no art skills you should be OK to get into the not so well known courses. My advice would be learn the art first, don't worry about the 3D - that can all be taught in lectures / workshops, but developing an eye for judging and creating an image only happens through practice and training. If you can get involved with a good life drawing course or even an Art Foundation year that emphasises drawing with feedback that would help you much more long term than spending a year with a software manual.

MrJoey
04-24-2009, 09:47 PM
Thanks for the advice again, I'm definately going to teach myself how to draw and whatnot, although admitedly it would go alot better if I were being taught. I dunno, I'll probably try to pick up a good book or something (any reccomendations welcome) or even attend a part time course in my second year of college.

Thanks again for all the advice.

DanielWray
04-24-2009, 10:07 PM
I'm not sure if anyone has posted in here about northumbria university, but i'm heading there this september, just wondering if any one has had experience with it?

I wen't for a talk with a lecturer, twice, before i decided too go, the equipment and rooms they have are pretty impressive, all with 24/7 access, so i'm quite pleased with that.


The workd that i saw wasn't ground breaking, i'll be honest. It wasn't bad either, well compared to some other stuff i've seen. The course i've went for is a Bsc in computer animation, i'm learning the artistic side on my own, i think i've done quite well upto now, so another 4 years of intensive of 2D/ 3D studying will be pretty good. Plus any life drawing classes i can attend.

Anyway this is kind of sensless rant, except the question at the top. But yea my plan is to learn the more technical side with the help of lecturers, this being programming and film/ photography as i have no experience with this and in my free time studying the artistic side, hopefully that should put me in a pretty strong position when it comes to applying for jobs :)

Oh yea i did apply for teeside uni aswell, i was really stoked when i got an interview, but it was a little too far and with the expensese i wasn't too sure if i could manage or not.

moidphotos
04-25-2009, 01:42 PM
Daniel - I don't know anything about Northumbria personally, but there is a very good thread on the Student Room Forum (http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/showthread.php?t=301364&page=36) (UK student forum) that discusses animation in different colleges throughout the UK, you could try asking there?

MrJoey - I would try a google search for "Andrew Loomis PDF", I think you might find some very useful sources :) After that, ou could also look for some of George Bridgeman's books, although Loomis is better for learning drawing skills, and hten when you feel confident I would say look at Bridgman. The best thing to do is to get enrolled on a life drawing course in addition to your current studies. Good luck.

DanielWray
04-25-2009, 05:11 PM
Thankyou for the link :) I searched the whole thread and the forum section, but there was only one thread on northumbria university, it was about the fashion design course.

I'm a little worried now becuase it's a large university, yet i've only came across 3 or 4 people who i know are either going, or have attended there.

I guess i'll just have to wait and see what the course is like, either way i'm going to get as much out of the course as i can, aswell as the 4 years of self study :)

moidphotos
04-25-2009, 05:40 PM
Try it for a year, if you don't think you are being stretched/the lecturers don't know anything/the course is badly designed, look elsewhere, don't stay on a poor course for three years and regret it. Good luck :)

ahtiandr
04-25-2009, 06:02 PM
I have just come from University Of Hertfordshire and I must say it is brilliant! I do not really know about other unis but this one has everything you need in my view at least. Many many many PCs each has at least 4 cores! + wacom tablets near each pc !! It is just a dream=) Buildings are very clean and looks like they were built few days ago) Accommodations are close to uni and there is shopping centre also with Odeon theatre=) Friendly stuff, uni is situated in a small and quite countryside but just in 20 minutes from London!

All in all it is a very very very good choise !!!

moidphotos
04-25-2009, 09:01 PM
Thanks very much :) I take it that the interview went well then?:thumbsup:

ahtiandr
04-25-2009, 09:19 PM
Everything was perfect! I was a bit surprised by how many ppl were there and almost all came for 3d anim course and only one for illustration:) but I was sure about myself :) I also talked to one of the students he commented my portfolio too) and he also praised you very much :thumbsup: From this day I ll keep my sketch book always near me even when I ll be sleeping))))

art_3d
04-26-2009, 07:58 AM
Daniel,

I'm originally from the north east. The irony is I moved away to study.

There was 1 art gallery in Newcastle when I left, the Laing. There was
no arts scene there and growing up in Consett there was no chance
of being an artist.

After I did the usually north east thing and joined the Army for 2 years.
I left and ended up studing fine art in Manchester, a freind of mine
studied fine art at Northumbria. I don't know much about it's 3D but Uni
is good chance to give yourself time to grow. So make sure you have the
right attitude and use the time to learn as much as you can. If that comes
from the lecturers then great. Ultimately it's down to the individual. Just as
it is once your in the industry.

We all need to keep growing and I continue to do this 10 years after Uni.

I only see a very small minority of UK students who leave Uni with the
necessary knowledge or ability to gain employment.

I would say it's more up to the student to get better and learn and this
never stops no matter which Uni you go too.

So I would'nt worry too much just use the time to grow.

DanielWray
04-26-2009, 12:11 PM
art_3d: Yea i totally agree, that's been my plan all along, to study at university, but also to study in my own time modeling, rigging etc. I know the university won't teach me upto a level that will get me in the industry, that's not there fault though, after all they only have a limited amount of time to teach.

But the things that i will learn, such as action script and the programming side, as well as the technical side of shooting video, photographs, sound recording and editing will go along way i think, and that's something that i probably wouldn't do at home. Well not on a scale that i'll be doing at university, and then there is also the networking and being in a creative enviroment with other people, it's a drain working on your own in front of a screen, well in my opinion.

There are a few more art galleries up here now, there is also quite a few studios popping up around here, which is good. But then again i don't really have any intentions of staying in the north east, i'd love to travel down south or even across to america if i have the chance. I think a degree would certainly help if i was in a position where i needed a visa for another country, so that's another reason.

Also i've been self studying CG for a few years now, and i'm still very passionate about it, i can't say the same for other things that i've tried over the years, so i know this is something that i'll continue to develop upon and study way beyond university :)

art_3d
04-26-2009, 05:52 PM
All sounds good Daniel.

I think there has been an upsurge in all kinds of 'CG' related courses popping up
over the last 10 years. I think with the right attitude and passion then you
can make the 3 years at any Uni worthwhile. It does'nt need to be the best
or most popular/recognised course. Yeah it helps, I can't see them places giving
you passion or the desire to always get better. That comes from the individual.

Good luck and enjoy it.

I still go back to the north east. It is very different now. If it is was
like that when I was growing up. I would'nt have left.

kabirtalib
04-29-2009, 07:08 PM
Hi all

Sorry i haven't go through all posts of this thread, and i don't want to post a new thread, i just want to ask that i am from Pakistan and I got admission in MA Computer Animation Bournemouth University and also in Computer Animation course at Sheridan Institute Canada... Please help me in deciding, where to go.. I need your suggestions for the right choice before depositing a large amount of money as fee.. and please do tell me if anyone has any idea about the work permit whether i will receive the work permit after the course or not...

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04-29-2009, 07:08 PM
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