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phantomworkshop
03-25-2009, 08:24 PM
I'm so happy to see a new Forum like this. It's quite difficult to dig through the old threads about all the different schools.

My situation is basically that I've been self-teaching myself for a number of years, then finally bit the bullet and enrolled at my local Art Institute. My original plan was to major in Computer Animation but due to my lack of Traditional Art skills and ability, I opted for the Game Art & Design program. It was going great for awhile, I was getting all As and Bs in my courses, even in Perspective Drawing. Then it came to Life / Figure Drawing and I struggled. I went to all the extra helps, asked my professor for help, spent every waking minute I had basically trying to draw the human figure but nothing would come out. My drawings seriously showed that 3rd grade level of skill, if you know what I mean. After my first year, I left AIFL after I had taken Figure Drawing 3 times and never successfully passed it.

After that I did some research and discovered Animation Mentor. I decided that program would be a great fit for me because there was no Traditional Art involved and I've always wanted to bring things to to life or at least I thought I did. See, when I was originally learning, it was all modeling, texturing, lighting, rendering, I really stayed away from Animating. But anyways, I enrolled at AM and really enjoyed it at first. It was difficult cause I had no prior Animation experience but I was having fun and working hard. As I got further into the first class, I started to really struggle. My grades started getting lower and I started to fall behind trying to get my 'arcs' right, timing, keying, etc.. all these concepts. My poses were great but my actual keyframed animation was lacking. It started to become tedious instead of fun. I ended up withdrawing before I even finished the last 2 weeks.

After that I started to think maybe I should just walk away from the 3D and try something new. I thought about studying Graphic Design, Web Design, Photography... but every time I get online and I read something or see a feature film that involves CG I yearn to get back into it. I started working a new job and a co-worker of mine there goes to Digital Media Arts College here in Boca Raton, FL. I looked at that school like 4 or 5 years ago when it wasn't even accredited yet and pretty much laughed in it's face. However, it seems like they've gotten their act together quite a bit now and I'm thinking about giving them a call. My other option was to go back to AiFL maybe work with a different Figure Drawing teacher. Oh, and I was also contacted by L.A. Film School about their Game Art & Design program. Which looks AMAZING! But that's a bit of a commute from Florida to Cali.

I'll stop rambling now and let you guys please give me some beneficial advice. I'm tired of wasting time and not moving forward with my future. It's just at this point, I'm not sure what to do anymore. I can see myself working in Games or Film very easily, I'm just not sure of the right path for me.

Thank you in advance for your help.

J

taxguy
03-25-2009, 08:40 PM
Phantom, please check out the next thread entitled,"what to ask a potential animation school." At the bottom of my post there will be a list of some of the better known animation schools. Check them out.

phantomworkshop
03-25-2009, 08:52 PM
Phantom, please check out the next thread entitled,"what to ask a potential animation school." At the bottom of my post there will be a list of some of the better known animation schools. Check them out.

Thank you. :)

SanjayChand
03-25-2009, 09:13 PM
I think you should spend more time on the traditional art. Its unlikely that you will suceed at CG if you cant wrap your head around the traditional art, atleast IMO.

OR you migtht be more of a technical person? Have you tried scripting, dynamics, etc?

MrPositive
03-26-2009, 07:35 AM
I'm kind of thinking along the same lines as Sanjay. You are really pushing this whole character side of 3D, which requires tons of of talent in traditional art. You love CG in general from the sound of things, so why does it necessarily have to be character animation? There are some slightly more technical sides that might fit your thinking pattern more squarely, such as unwrapping artist, environment/character lighter, compositer, programmar, etc. These all are extremely important positions in the chain of production and would still allow you to work in the field you love. They are still very creative but wouldn't require quite as much traditional character work. Seriously, if you can't get through figure drawing after 3 trys, maybe you should stop beating the right side of your brain against the wall. :)

phantomworkshop
03-26-2009, 08:08 AM
I'm kind of thinking along the same lines as Sanjay. You are really pushing this whole character side of 3D, which requires tons of of talent in traditional art. You love CG in general from the sound of things, so why does it necessarily have to be character animation? There are some slightly more technical sides that might fit your thinking pattern more squarely, such as unwrapping artist, environment/character lighter, compositer, programmar, etc. These all are extremely important positions in the chain of production and would still allow you to work in the field you love. They are still very creative but wouldn't require quite as much traditional character work. Seriously, if you can't get through figure drawing after 3 trys, maybe you should stop beating the right side of your brain against the wall. :)

Thank you for that, MrPositive. I appreciate the advice. I'm thinking about possibly going back to the Art Institute and just talking to the school, express my concerns, see if their is anything they can do to help make sure I get through those 2D courses. I do love 3D, and I'd really love to be a modeler more then anything. Characters were the original dream, but environments are fun too and I'd love to work on either. I did have the same professor 3 times, maybe it was his lack of help that was holding me back? Cause, he was one of those, Well if you can't draw, maybe you shouldn't be at an Art School. All about Illustration. Ya know?

Have you ever come across people in my situation who are skilled in 3D, but not 2D? What was it like for them?

Anyways, thanks for your help. It's greatly appreciated.

phantomworkshop
03-26-2009, 08:10 AM
I think you should spend more time on the traditional art. Its unlikely that you will suceed at CG if you cant wrap your head around the traditional art, atleast IMO.

OR you migtht be more of a technical person? Have you tried scripting, dynamics, etc?

Scripting/programming ... eh, I'm not sure that would be a good fit for me. I'm not the most "logical thinker" nor was I very good at math. ;) lol.

I have thought about more Visual Effects type work, compositing and whatnot, but I don't know if I would really enjoy that type of work... I really would love to be a modeler. That's really the dream job.

MrPositive
03-26-2009, 08:30 AM
Scripting/programming ... eh, I'm not sure that would be a good fit for me. I'm not the most "logical thinker" nor was I very good at math. ;) lol.

I have thought about more Visual Effects type work, compositing and whatnot, but I don't know if I would really enjoy that type of work... I really would love to be a modeler. That's really the dream job.
What about a hard surface or environment modeler and not a character modeler. :) These are in pretty good demand in the arch viz, games (guns, environments), etc.

phantomworkshop
03-26-2009, 08:35 AM
What about a hard surface modeler and not a character modeler. :) These are in pretty good demand in the arch viz, games (guns, environments), etc.

I love that idea. :) But, how should I go about doing that besides self-teaching? I really loved being in school and getting ideas from my classmates, profs, friends, and the networking was unbeatable. Ya know?

SanjayChand
03-26-2009, 05:47 PM
Have you tried texturing/shading and lighting? Painting classes will help quite a bit with this.

phantomworkshop
03-26-2009, 05:56 PM
Have you tried texturing/shading and lighting? Painting classes will help quite a bit with this.

I've done a little of it, but nothing to write home about. :) I did enjoy my Texturing for Games class that I did at AiFL though.

Rebeccak
03-26-2009, 06:04 PM
I don't actually agree that just because you have tried figure drawing a few times and not succeeded, you should give up. There are a lot of bad drawing teachers out there - I'm not putting this on them necessarily, but more often than not, life drawing is not taught very well. The Art Institutes are owned by Goldman Sachs, they're not necessarily in it for the education, but for the money, so you should consider checking out some better schools. You ought to check out perhaps Glenn Vilppu's DVDs (I just got one of their promotions saying that his videos are now downloadable and are half price) - he also has a Drawing Manual which is quite good and tailored toward an animating style. Basically he breaks things down into spheres and connecting center lines, which makes drawing significantly simpler.

Since California is far, for animation you might consider checking out Ringling which is in your neck of the woods - their strength seems to be animation. I haven't, to be honest, seen great figure drawing coming out of there, but that is just my anecdotal observation.

I'm not a promoter of any school, but I teach in the Foundation / Life Drawing Department at Otis College of Art (http://otis.edu/) here in LA, and I have to say they teach the best approach to figure construction and gesture that I've ever learned (and I've taken Vilppu's classes as well). There are some great draughtsmen coming out of Otis since they place such an intense focus on foundation figure and still life drawing in their Foundation year. If you're interested, you can see some examples of Otis Foundation Life Drawings here (http://mirrorbooks.blogspot.com/2008/12/work-of-my-students-otis-college-of-art.html). (Bear in mind these aren't their gesture drawings, these are long pose drawings done for their finals).

Again, this is not meant to plug any specific school, it's just to sympathize with your struggle with life drawing. I've been drawing for around 10 years or more and it's still frustrating :) and I learn new things all the time, but half of my struggle was trying to find a good method and approach that worked for me. You have to actively seek out a school that will teach you specific things well. Not every school teaches life drawing well, so you have to really do your research and find good teachers.

For the traditional side of things, you can also check out conceptart.org's Art Schools & Education (http://www.conceptart.org/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=15) section, where they have information on individual schools like Ringling (and many others).

Good luck, but don't just quit trying.

Edit - another thought, I recall from my high school days that there is a "New World School of the Arts" in Florida, that you might check out - I can't recall if this is a high school or a college, but there seems to be a heavy emphasis on the arts in Miami.

phantomworkshop
03-26-2009, 06:12 PM
I don't actually agree that just because you have tried figure drawing a few times and not succeeded, you should give up...

...Good luck, but don't just quit trying.

Thank you so much for that! :) Yeah, it's been rough because what I really want to do is be a 3D Modeler, and that Figure Drawing is like a big hurdle that I can't seem to get over. I don't want to give it up, I want to get through it to get where I really want to be. I'm not looking at it like I want to master Figure / Life Drawing, ya know? It's more like I want to have a solid foundation in it, be able to put it down on paper enough to understand the technique and concept to a point, and then move on. This Forum that you guys have here is great and you've all been so helpful thus far. I've thought about Ringling but from what I've heard, read and seen you need to be a pretty skilled 2D artist with a portfolio to even be accepted.. so I'm not sure I'd get in there. Also looked into SCAD. My friend Ryan Ford went to Otis a few years back, he's legendary with his Visual Communications there, always speaks very highly of the school. :)

Anyways, my friend just bought me a book called Figure Drawing for Dummies which looks like it'll be helpful to break down the technique. Do you really think that it could of been the way it was being taught, or I should say, not being taught that made it merely impossible to pass the course?

I've even thought about going to another Art Institute, maybe the experience would be different there? But, I'm not sure... there's also Digital Media Arts College here, or even taking Life / Figure Drawing at my local Community College, but I'm not sure if that would even be worth it, ya know?

Rebeccak
03-26-2009, 06:21 PM
Thank you so much for that! :) Yeah, it's been rough because what I really want to do is be a 3D Modeler, and that Figure Drawing is like a big hurdle that I can't seem to get over. I don't want to give it up, I want to get through it to get where I really want to be. I'm not looking at it like I want to master Figure / Life Drawing, ya know? It's more like I want to have a solid foundation in it, be able to put it down on paper enough to understand the technique and concept to a point, and then move on. This Forum that you guys have here is great and you've all been so helpful thus far. I've thought about Ringling but from what I've heard, read and seen you need to be a pretty skilled 2D artist with a portfolio to even be accepted.. so I'm not sure I'd get in there. Also looked into SCAD. My friend Ryan Ford went to Otis a few years back, he's legendary with his Visual Communications there, always speaks very highly of the school. :)

Anyways, my friend just bought me a book called Figure Drawing for Dummies which looks like it'll be helpful to break down the technique. Do you really think that it could of been the way it was being taught, or I should say, not being taught that made it merely impossible to pass the course?Ah, great that your friend is an alum. :) Honestly, I don't think that figure drawing can be learned alone via books. It can certainly help to inform your thinking, but there is nothing like being in front of a live model with an instructor for 6 hours a day every week, and then attending Workshops in between classes. I think students can often feel like they are walking in the desert, and that feeling of being without guidance leads people to prematurely give up.

Having taught students of all stripes and ability levels, I can confidently say that anyone can learn to draw. Not everyone, like you say, is going to be a master draughtsman, but also like you say, it's not necessarily everyone's goal, nor should it be. :)

I don't know what the situation is like in Florida regarding community colleges, but here in CA they are really good. In point of fact, often times here students are more likely to get traditionally based skills in a community college rather than in a big college or university, since university art programs are often geared toward conceptual art. The same is probably true where you are. For students, the key is word of mouth. Ask your fellow students, or ask online here / on conceptart.org (where traditional art is far more emphasized) who the good teachers are in Florida. I can't imagine that in all of Florida, there's not someone who is skilled at teaching life drawing. :) Sometimes, however, you have to travel to get the kind of education you want. But it's expensive and discouraging to have to hop around to different schools to get everything that you are looking for. So I would encourage you to check out the cc route, but just research good teachers (use ratemyprofessors.com, etc.) to find the good eggs. :)

Schools are all to some degree about getting your money, you have to be proactive (as it sounds like you have been) to dig to find your education.

I've even thought about going to another Art Institute, maybe the experience would be different there? But, I'm not sure... there's also Digital Media Arts College here, or even taking Life / Figure Drawing at my local Community College, but I'm not sure if that would even be worth it, ya know?I've known various teachers at various AIs, and they're good people and good teachers, but in general they all hate the AIs because administratively the schools are more about money and less about the students. I think any school that has to advertise to get students is not existing due to its word of mouth reputation.

An AI costs just as much as a private school such as Ringling, SCAD, Otis, RISD, etc., why not consider checking out a more well established, and well regarded school? Don't rule yourself out of any school, the economy is bad now and schools have had to be to some degree less selective. Even in a good economy, they need students! :) The thing to understand is that school is a game, you need them and they need you. They want to accept you, if you need to work on an entrance portfolio then do so at a cc, but I would see what colleges have to say about your existing portfolio:

I highly recommend checking out the National Portfolio Day. It's really useful for high school students (and any prospective students) in the US:

http://portfolioday.net/

Basically colleges from around the US (and a few from Canada) convene in various different cities on specific days to review the work of prospective junior and senior high school students (though I've taken students as young as sophomores, just to get a taste of their competition):

http://www.portfolioday.net/compone...list/Itemid,47/ (http://www.portfolioday.net/component/option,com_eventlist/Itemid,47/)

Students can go to their website and browse schools by name (http://www.portfolioday.net/content/view/23/37/) or by major (http://www.portfolioday.net/content/view/24/38/).

I did this in high school and it was incredibly helpful. Also some schools offer scholarships based on portfolio review on the spot (it depends on the school). Typically, prospective students should arrive early with a friend or friends / parent/s since during the course of the day with extremely long lines, you can only see maybe 4-6 schools to have your portfolio reviewed. Have a friend or parent stand in other lines for you. Deciding on which schools you want to see in advance is really recommended, as you can prioritize your first choice schools and stand in those lines first.

For my high school students, here is the advice I gave them for the actual day:

Take a clipboard and a notebook (paper) and some pens / pencils for taking notes on each individual colleges' responses to work:

Note what the feedback is on your portfolio, both positive and negative - what they say you need to put in your portfolio:

For each school, print out questions you are interested in asking related specifically to that school. You will likely also have general questions for each school.

For example:


What is the school culture like? Is it a small, large, medium school? Are the students competitive or friendly?
What scholarships are available, and what type of financial aid is available?
What scholarships do you have that are based on merit vs. need?
How will my financial prospects be affected by the current state of the economy? Will it be harder for me to get a loan in the year in which I apply, or are things pretty much the same as they were prior to the credit crunch?
What do you think are the strengths and weaknesses of my portfolio, and what do I need to do before I apply to strengthen my chances of getting in to your school?
What do you feel makes a successful applicant - what qualities do you look for in applicants' portfolios?
How much weight do you give to a student's academic performance vs. a portfolio?
What is the expected total cost - including tuition, room, board, food, cost of living, etc., for a year, and what is the projected increase over 4 years?
What is the success rate of your students, and what are the most viable majors in terms of long term economic success?
Feel free to think of others. Leave spaces between your questions so you can write the answers that representatives give you and print out multiple sheets, one per school.Sorry for the long post. ;)

phantomworkshop
03-26-2009, 06:45 PM
Ah, great that your friend is an alum. :) Honestly, I don't think that figure drawing can be learned alone via books. It can certainly help to inform your thinking, but there is nothing like being in front of a live model with an instructor for 6 hours a day every week, and then attending Workshops in between classes. I think students can often feel like they are walking in the desert, and that feeling of being without guidance leads people to prematurely give up...

I don't mind long posts at all! So helpful and beneficial. What about schools like Gnomon, LA Film School? What's your opinion on those? Do you feel these places sort of assume you have a Traditional Art background beforehand and are there to further your education and/or build 3D art skills?

Yes, Cali would be very difficult to get to right now, however, when we're talking about what you love to do and are so passionate about, sometimes, you have to bite the bullet and do what's going to be best for you in the long run. Ya know?

Thank you again for your continued help and support! I just wish I had been drawing since I was 4 ;)

Rebeccak
03-26-2009, 06:55 PM
I don't mind long posts at all! So helpful and beneficial. What about schools like Gnomon, LA Film School? What's your opinion on those? Do you feel these places sort of assume you have a Traditional Art background beforehand and are there to further your education and/or build 3D art skills?

Yes, Cali would be very difficult to get to right now, however, when we're talking about what you love to do and are so passionate about, sometimes, you have to bite the bullet and do what's going to be best for you in the long run. Ya know?

Thank you again for your continued help and support! I just wish I had been drawing since I was 4 ;)Gnomon is a good school for someone with drive, and a bad school for someone without it - just like any other place. They're not the place to go to if you want a traditional background, they do assume that you should have one (they even state as much in their promotional literature). The all round advice you (should get) is to get your traditional underpinnings first. Here in CA, cc's are the best route for that. In point of fact, I was just discussing with another professor at Otis the other day about her former students from a cc where she taught, and how they would use her cc classes to prep to get into Art Center (my alma mater) quite consciously - even returning to her after getting feedback from Art Center on what to improve.

The question of moving depends on your financial situation - the economy sucks right now, so it might make sense to stay in FL and find the best drawing teachers you can. It's totally possible to prep your portfolio locally, just do your research and get out of the AI racket. I don't know anything about the LA Film school, but it's probably another gimmicky specialty school with little traditional underpinning (my guess). Frankly I'd steer you toward a 4 year art school instead of any of the 2 year unaccredited or short course program$$$.

Welp, good luck! :)

phantomworkshop
03-26-2009, 08:54 PM
Gnomon is a good school for someone with drive, and a bad school for someone without it - just like any other place. They're not the place to go to if you want a traditional background, they do assume that you should have one (they even state as much in their promotional literature). The all round advice you (should get) is to get your traditional underpinnings first. Here in CA, cc's are the best route for that. In point of fact, I was just discussing with another professor at Otis the other day about her former students from a cc where she taught, and how they would use her cc classes to prep to get into Art Center (my alma mater) quite consciously - even returning to her after getting feedback from Art Center on what to improve.

The question of moving depends on your financial situation - the economy sucks right now, so it might make sense to stay in FL and find the best drawing teachers you can. It's totally possible to prep your portfolio locally, just do your research and get out of the AI racket. I don't know anything about the LA Film school, but it's probably another gimmicky specialty school with little traditional underpinning (my guess). Frankly I'd steer you toward a 4 year art school instead of any of the 2 year unaccredited or short course program$$$.

Welp, good luck! :)

Thank you again Rebecca, I'm going to call my local cc tomorrow and ask them about the Figure Drawing / Life Drawing course(s). I think my best course of action would be to learn that while in cc for the next say 6-8 months, then seriously look into 4 year art schools outside of Florida, like SCAD, RISD, RIT, Academy of Arts, etc.

How is Otis' 3D art program(s)? :) Thanks again!

Rebeccak
03-26-2009, 09:02 PM
Thank you again Rebecca, I'm going to call my local cc tomorrow and ask them about the Figure Drawing / Life Drawing course(s). I think my best course of action would be to learn that while in cc for the next say 6-8 months, then seriously look into 4 year art schools outside of Florida, like SCAD, RISD, RIT, Academy of Arts, etc.

How is Otis' 3D art program(s)? :) Thanks again!Sounds good. :) Otis has a very strong Digital Media program, and I know that there are 3D classes, but I think their primary strength within Digital Media is Motion Graphics (After Effects) and to some degree concept art (they have the entire Sony concept art team teaching there now). Ringling, SCAD, etc. are probably more 3D centric. The primary advantage Otis has is its location within Los Angeles. The administration here is really geared toward helping students, there's much more of a community feel than my alma mater, and I think that from administr. through faculty, there's a lot of community spirit, which I like. :)

Anecdotally, one of my cc students who wants to be an animator is on a similar path to yours - she is developing her portfolio in a portfolio prep program and ccs, and is taking a foundation year at Otis in the Fall in preparation to apply to Cal Arts.

Btw, you should take not only life drawing, but sculpture. Ironically, a lot of the great modelers you see around here sculpt phenomenally, but kind of suck at drawing :D - it's not always the case, but I've seen that more than once over the years.

phantomworkshop
03-26-2009, 09:12 PM
Sounds good. :) Otis has a very strong Digital Media program, and I know that there are 3D classes, but I think their primary strength within Digital Media is Motion Graphics (After Effects) and to some degree concept art (they have the entire Sony concept art team teaching there now). Ringling, SCAD, etc. are probably more 3D centric. The primary advantage Otis has is its location within Los Angeles. The administration here is really geared toward helping students, there's much more of a community feel than my alma mater, and I think that from administr. through faculty, there's a lot of community spirit, which I like. :)

Anecdotally, one of my cc students who wants to be an animator is on a similar path to yours - she is developing her portfolio in a portfolio prep program and ccs, and is taking a foundation year at Otis in the Fall in preparation to apply to Cal Arts.


Wow, a lot of admiration for your student. :) I saw a couple of reels of work from the Digital Media program students at Otis, high quality work, but yes, very little in 3D Animation, Video Games and Modeling.

What other schools around there would you recommend for 3D Art? Do you know about Academy of Arts? I've heard a lot of good things about that school.

Rebeccak
03-26-2009, 09:18 PM
Wow, a lot of admiration for your student. :) I saw a couple of reels of work from the Digital Media program students at Otis, high quality work, but yes, very little in 3D Animation, Video Games and Modeling.

What other schools around there would you recommend for 3D Art? Do you know about Academy of Arts? I've heard a lot of good things about that school. You could just take cc classes here (seriously, there is some amazing teaching here thanks to the proximity to the entertainment industry, and its demand for artists with traditional training in their history). Some ccs around here: El Camino College, Santa Monica Community College, Los Angeles City College, Pasadena City College (which is close to Art Center and shares some of the same instructors), etc.

Alternately, you might consider a foundation year at Otis (even if they wanted to accept you as a sophomore, I'd do the first year since that is where all the foundation stuff happens - all of the students I know who came in as transfer students / sophomores and missed out on Otis' foundation year sorely regret it) - and then apply to Gnomon based on your portfolio. Some of the students in the current term at Gnomon are a little unfocused from what I've heard - it just all depends on your set of people who are studying with you at the same time.

Otis is expensive, but honestly the foundation program is extremely well coordinated. But I think if you are focused enough and disciplined enough, you can develop a strong traditional program the cc route as well.

As an example, this (http://mirrorbooks.blogspot.com/2008/02/irvine-valley-college-spring-2008.html) is the level of work I expect from my cc students.

phantomworkshop
03-26-2009, 10:05 PM
You could just take cc classes here (seriously, there is some amazing teaching here thanks to the proximity to the entertainment industry, and its demand for artists with traditional training in their history). Some ccs around here: El Camino College, Santa Monica Community College, Los Angeles City College, Pasadena City College (which is close to Art Center and shares some of the same instructors), etc.

I'd love to, but I'm not sure I could afford to go to Cali right now, even just for cc. I'll check it out though.

Alternately, you might consider a foundation year at Otis (even if they wanted to accept you as a sophomore, I'd do the first year since that is where all the foundation stuff happens - all of the students I know who came in as transfer students / sophomores and missed out on Otis' foundation year sorely regret it) - and then apply to Gnomon based on your portfolio. Some of the students in the current term at Gnomon are a little unfocused from what I've heard - it just all depends on your set of people who are studying with you at the same time.

That sounds like a great idea. I was always skeptical of enrolling as a Foundation Art student at any college due to my lack of ability in 2D, feeling that I would be behind the rest of the students and out of my league so to speak. I've already been in touch with Gnomon and they felt that my Object and Perspective drawings as well as my Photography was enough to get me in. My drawings can be found here (http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v388/drailed/drawings/) and my Photography work can be found here (http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v388/drailed/photos2/) and more recently, here (http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v388/drailed/photos/macro/). Gnomon sounds like a great school to go to if you're looking to get a job in the CG industry and you've got some 3D skills, in my case, a lot of background in Digital Art, however I would defnitely need to build a stronger foundation in 2D art to succeed at a place like Gnomon. It sounds like you recommend Gnomon very highly if you're a dedicated, pro-active artist like mysef.

Otis is expensive, but honestly the foundation program is extremely well coordinated. But I think if you are focused enough and disciplined enough, you can develop a strong traditional program the cc route as well.

At Otis, do you have students that come in having never drawn before, and with proper teachers and effort, they're coming out obviously not masters of the craft, but comfortable in drawing the human figure?

As an example, this (http://mirrorbooks.blogspot.com/2008/02/irvine-valley-college-spring-2008.html) is the level of work I expect from my cc students.

*GULP*

Rebeccak
03-26-2009, 10:22 PM
I'd love to, but I'm not sure I could afford to go to Cali right now, even just for cc. I'll check it out though.



That sounds like a great idea. I was always skeptical of enrolling as a Foundation Art student at any college due to my lack of ability in 2D, feeling that I would be behind the rest of the students and out of my league so to speak. I've already been in touch with Gnomon and they felt that my Object and Perspective drawings as well as my Photography was enough to get me in. My drawings can be found here (http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v388/drailed/drawings/) and my Photography work can be found here (http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v388/drailed/photos2/) and more recently, here (http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v388/drailed/photos/macro/). Gnomon sounds like a great school to go to if you're looking to get a job in the CG industry and you've got some 3D skills, in my case, a lot of background in Digital Art, however I would defnitely need to build a stronger foundation in 2D art to succeed at a place like Gnomon. It sounds like you recommend Gnomon very highly if you're a dedicated, pro-active artist like mysef.



At Otis, do you have students that come in having never drawn before, and with proper teachers and effort, they're coming out obviously not masters of the craft, but comfortable in drawing the human figure?



*GULP*The purpose of any foundation program is to get you up to speed. :) For sure, you have to show promise to get into any school, but don't rule yourself out of anything. At Otis, the program is well structured and we as teachers are evaluated based on the work of our students. So we've incentive to get our students to perform well. ;) It's the most coordinated foundation program I've ever seen, and this includes my alma mater, which I don't recommend for foundation studies anymore. I'm speaking as a permanent drawing student myself, and not as someone trying to sell the school - I don't think I honestly understood gesture properly until I trained at Otis. There are some wonderful veteran teachers there who will do their best to get you to the end goal, even if it means giving you lots of poor grades along the way. ;)

Incidentally, in my day, I've seen 3 different private college level foundation programs - I started at a well respected private university in St. Louis, which had a poor foundation program to the tune of $30 K per year - which is when I transferred to Art Center (to the tune of $35 K per year), which at the time had a great foundation program, but which has unfortunately fallen into disarray (they're still great for finish and polish, but not foundation). Otis by far outstrips them all in terms of their foundation program, both for still life and life drawing.

I can't recommend the National Portfolio Days more. You go to one place and talk to multiple different college reps, it's an unmatched opportunity, surely beating schlepping one's portfolio all over the country to get advice and feedback. Otis, along with Ringling and SCAD, are always represented at these. (Check the list, I'm sure there's an event in FL).

Also remember, school is a game. Schools need your $$$, don't go to any school that you don't actually feel prepared to enroll in. Ultimately you are responsible for your education, period. Whatever that means or takes, or however many schools you have to attend to get to your end goal.

Your drawings are decent exercise drawings that can be improved upon, and your photography is quite nice. :) But I wouldn't say that you're ready to embark upon figurative modeling, which I think is the reason you started this thread in the first place. I think that it is tough in this day and age, because so much is expected of students - to learn the traditional side of things is a lifelong pursuit in and of itself, and modeling another thing altogether. This is why it is more and more imperative to maximize the time and money you have to get the best education that you can.

Regarding motivation, here (http://happ13art.blogspot.com/) are some of my private high school student's drawings. Trust me, it's a kick in the pants for myself as well. ;)

Alrighty, I'm off to my class now, keep searching for the right path and you'll find it, I'm sure. :)

phantomworkshop
03-27-2009, 02:21 AM
The purpose of any foundation program is to get you up to speed. :) For sure, you have to show promise to get into any school, but don't rule yourself out of anything. At Otis, the program is well structured and we as teachers are evaluated based on the work of our students. So we've incentive to get our students to perform well. ;) It's the most coordinated foundation program I've ever seen, and this includes my alma mater, which I don't recommend for foundation studies anymore. I'm speaking as a permanent drawing student myself, and not as someone trying to sell the school - I don't think I honestly understood gesture properly until I trained at Otis. There are some wonderful veteran teachers there who will do their best to get you to the end goal, even if it means giving you lots of poor grades along the way. ;)

I just found my uncle lives down the street from Otis and said I could stay with him for the year if I chose to do the Foundation Year there. :) I'm still thinking about checking out some local places though, would definitely be easier on the wallet. :P Also, not quite sure exactly what would be the best move after that Foundation Year, would I need a 4 year art school, or would I be better off doing something like Gnomon's 2 year program? In your professional and personal opinion, that is.

Incidentally, in my day, I've seen 3 different private college level foundation programs - I started at a well respected private university in St. Louis, which had a poor foundation program to the tune of $30 K per year - which is when I transferred to Art Center (to the tune of $35 K per year), which at the time had a great foundation program, but which has unfortunately fallen into disarray (they're still great for finish and polish, but not foundation). Otis by far outstrips them all in terms of their foundation program, both for still life and life drawing.

Wow, you've got quite a resume there. It sounds like Otis is a great stepping stone to doing what I truly want to do.

I can't recommend the National Portfolio Days more. You go to one place and talk to multiple different college reps, it's an unmatched opportunity, surely beating schlepping one's portfolio all over the country to get advice and feedback. Otis, along with Ringling and SCAD, are always represented at these. (Check the list, I'm sure there's an event in FL).

Yeah, it's in Florida in January 2010 :eek: Kind of a long time to wait! LOL.

Also remember, school is a game. Schools need your $$, don't go to any school that you don't actually feel prepared to enroll in. Ultimately you are responsible for your education, period. Whatever that means or takes, or however many schools you have to attend to get to your end goal.

I couldn't agree more. The object of the game is to use them as much as they use you ;)

Your drawings are decent exercise drawings that can be improved upon, and your photography is quite nice. :) But I wouldn't say that you're ready to embark upon figurative modeling, which I think is the reason you started this thread in the first place. I think that it is tough in this day and age, because so much is expected of students - to learn the traditional side of things is a lifelong pursuit in and of itself, and modeling another thing altogether. This is why it is more and more imperative to maximize the time and money you have to get the best education that you can.

Thank you, I appreciate that. I surprised myself by having a good teacher and a great student and friend who really helped me in Perspective Drawing. I'm interested in all areas of 3D, really. At the moment, I'd love to be a modeler more then anything whether it be organic or hard-surface, both appeal to me. However, after getting a taste of everything in 3D, I might change my mind.

Regarding motivation, here (http://happ13art.blogspot.com/) are some of my private high school student's drawings. Trust me, it's a kick in the pants for myself as well. ;)

Alrighty, I'm off to my class now, keep searching for the right path and you'll find it, I'm sure. :)

Again, WOW! I've got a long ways to go before I'm at that level ;)

Have fun at class, talk to you later!

AVTPro
03-27-2009, 03:16 AM
Someone on CGTALK who I don't know asked me a question via email recently so I am going to change the names post it here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Questioneer
I've been trying to decide on where to get my training since I recently decided that getting my Masters in vfx was simply too expensive. (approx 70k total!!)

But the issue is there are so many options. You listed a few I hadn't seen before and I was wondering if you'd give me your opinion.

Everyone talks about fxphd a lot, any experience?
Did you use the Gnomon on-line classes or the DVDs? What did you think? If you used the DVDs, how do they compare to DigitalTutors dvds?

I've never heard of Buzz, but I just checked out their site. Thoughts?

You mentioned Keith Lango and someone else mentioned him along with Jason Ryan, David Weinstein and Aaron Holy? What did you think?

Any experience with Escape Studios On-line?

There is soooooo much out there to pick from and I find new options every day. I just want to make sure I'm getting the best training. One of the advantages of traditional school that I really like is the predefined curriculum, something I'm now having to develop myself. I just want to put together the right combination.

Hi Questioneer,


I agree, 70K is exuberant. You could study on your own for a fraction of the cost. It's mainly practice anyhow. Your biggest challenge is as you say, defining a course outline. Design one and stick to it. Also, understanding the level of depth you need to go to be marketable and what's overkill. Round the instensity by only spending 1 or 2 month limits on each study focus. You can come back to something quickly once you know it, but spend enough time not to forget what you learned. Refresh newly learned info every two weeks or if you are good at it, you will lose it.

VFX and Compositing:
I didn't even know what Live Action/VFX and compositing were, Roto, or matchmoving until recently. Knowing what area of research you want to specialize in is the hard part, and each area has subsets and specialty studies. Research, and make an overveiw chart and follow it based on a schedule. Critically manage your progression...Eat it and sleep it every waking moment. Keep the schedule as best as life allows and don't change your chart. It should be an overview that encompasses the discipline (areas of study) you need to know.

Charting Your Course:
You may find a cirriculum on line and just fill it in. I took my studio and made each wall a step in my progression of learning. It didn't turn out to be very linear in the end but it was like a giant compass. It was very informal, but I never got lost and was surround by my goals. My 3D character has been very successful. I got much work before I finished studying, for which I thank God. I worked for Puma, BMW, Disney, all kinds of stuff and I'm getting more work as I continue to study. Freelance was the short term goal and studying is the long term. Have a sensical short and long term goal with markers you can achieve (plan A and plan B).


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hc1pv91MMFc

Still I forget to look up at it but as long as I was pushing forward, I was in the right section. Study production house pipelines and flowcharts. It's a good way to keep your progression and focusing on product completion. Actually my next study is VFX/live action but I will be learning 3D technologies towards it. Notice in the video, I using motion tracking. I will start integrating my character into video and I bought a HDV with a SteadCam. I also bought a mocap system with the proceeds of my freelance (while I studied).

Online Presence
Surround yourself with community and learning groups but only join contests that will specifically challenge you in the area of study you want to grow into. I recently joined the Zbrush action hero contest because that's where my focus is right now. RADii (http://www.zbrushcentral.com/zbc/showthread.php?t=66772&page=9&pp=15) Try to keep a positive and purposeful online persona. You never know who is lurking that could give you your next multimillion dollar contract. You don't want to appear to be "hard to work with" by posting abrasive, unprofessional remarks. Believe me, when jobs come up, it makes a difference.

Concerning DVDs or Online training.

Look at it this way. No amount of DVDs you will buy will cost you $70K. That's how I look at it. I remember spending my last unemployment check on a CGtoolkit DVD which cost half of my check for food. However, the DVD had 3D character tricks on it that helped me complete a project that I bought a new computer system and even won an award. DVD tutes are the best thing since slice bread. I say that as someone who has taught 3D in college, and as a 3D DVD vendor (ReadRigs). Problem is you have to be dedicated and there's so many to learn. Learn only what you need to learn to meet your goals, if it's one area of interest then buy all the DVDs you can on that ONE specific topic from as many vendors at you can. Don't try to learn calculus or binary code just to be a Photoshop software users. You don't need to go that deep. Now that there's is a wealth of DVDs and Online Training, content providers will start breaking their DVDs down into megapacks for full course outlines and you can just choose advance or overview. Digtal Tutors is starting to market like this now that they have a full repertoire training material.

You have to be careful of burn out. When your brain just says "no". Listen. Rome wasn't built in a day. Some of this stuff just takes time to marinate. Get your mind off it for a week and do something else less strenuous. When the concepts are BRAND NEW it's like Alien Martians talking to you. After you get use to the ideas, when you comeback to it, it just makes sense. Don't overload but you never know where that one TidBit of info is going to come from that just makes it happen for you..like the day on the Platter recommended SimplyMaya.com Dog tutorial. I couldn't model Cupitron until I got that free tutorial.

Digital Tutors
Digital Tutors are great for getting started. If you need to know every to get your first character or project out the door. They have completed projects that directly focus on getting you up to speed or completing a deadline. However, it's 1,2,3. If you mess something all you can do is repeat something. Most of the great speakers. There's one who isn't but he still knows his stuff. LOL. I constantly buy their video and online DL's. I credit them for my Zbrush training. (Also a Fur and lots of other stuff that I had to learn quickly on a deadline.)

TheGnomonWorkshop
Gnomonology and Gnomon Online.
Gnomon is awesome for indepth study. Alex is a genesis, fast and knows exactly what he is talking about. They also feature many "traditional" video. One area that is going to be hard to market is the "Business" of the work. Videos that actually show Behind the Scenes of full productions are going to be invaluable once uses learn the basics. Gnomon is doing this. They even have a new video where major films discuss the movies. Now that's incredible. I constantly buy their videos and their Gnomonlogy works. However, their forum see to be lacking, I asked a question about their next BTS video on rigging and never got an answer. I don't think you can get any closer to the film industry traing than Gnomon. I mean, you can watch a feature films and see one of the instructors being interviewed in the "making of" feature (Hulk: Aaron Sims). Does it get any better than that? You're watching the Hulk and you say, Hey I know that guy! There's guys understand "workflow" and not just buttons.

3DBuzz
Without these guys I wouldn't know Maya or MotionBuilder and it's "FREE". (Ok better got better). Very complex areas of Maya I was able to learn understand. Buzz is also detailed but it depends what you are trying to learn. I have only use them for those two areas but they also teach C++, Houdini. I would also like to get into their Master Classes. Buzz and Zaks friend banter makes learning a fun process in the midst of very keen execution of advance rigging and modeling routines.

Keith Lango
one of the Best "Full Outline" Character Animation Online training. Keith Lango' VTM training course is one of the first of it's kind. It's actually so deep and fundamental that you actually don't have to practice it to become an animator. Keith will shoot me for saying that but it's true. His is one of the first "Non App Specific" courses on animation. It's how to "Be" an animator not how to learn software buttons. You understand the core philosophy of animation foundation before you touch the keyboard. There are other course but I haven't looked at them like Jeff Lew, Animation Mentor. One that does have my interest that Keith could actually applauded with be Animation Survival Kit. I think the guy was actually one of the "Nine Old Men". I mean..what can you say to that?

CGToolKit
They are practically throwing away these full DVD sets for cheap. They seriously changed my life. They very Maya specific but they have help me with immensely with my EIAS workflow. They are probably dated now but it's stuff I need to learn from them. It's very production oriented training to deal with complex problems. I would like to see more of this kind of work that deal with "tricks". Ropes, cloth, hair, fur, backpacks, winged creatures all the stuff that you want to accomplish in a character project. Often I have to find stuff like this in Max tutorial and translate the technics. With CGTK I am able to translate most of the techniques into EIAS. Most of my many advances in EIAS came from these Maya DVDs.

FXPHD
I only recently heard about FXPHD but what I know is great for VFX which I consider live action compositing. I haven't looked at this yet but I hear it may be great for VFX. Mind you, my main study is 3D character. Anyway there's principles and there's practical application. Great industry talk podcasts.

VTC
Is another I have become familiar with for Zbrush training.

Massive Black

Very good for Photoshop and tradigital stuff. I like the very inexpensive, fast DL's from thems as well as Gnomonology. Only $15 in most cases.

3D Palace

Yes I have purchased Max Dvds.

YouTube
Use all resources available online...including YOUTUBE. You will surprised how many great tutes are there.

Itunes

Tons of free Podcast as well.


Again I studied 3D <Maya, Zbrush, Character Design, StoryBoarding etc. If you are learning VFX you will probably need Keying, Tracking, Shake, Rotoscope etc.


http://www.fxphd.com/course-grid.pdf

I havent' seen this but I think it might be really want you need to get started.
AFX301 A Guerrilla Filmmakers Guide to After Effects
Once you have a clearer view of your vocation, then you can research of area of special interest.


Hopefully one day there will be more business of film and game DVDs. More like How a company works, their service.

Pixar and Disney DVDs "Making Of"s are great for stuff like that.

All the Alias/Autodesk books are good. However some of the very specialized DVDs lack structure.


This is my personal experience from the last 7 years of going from not knowing CA, modeling, Rigging or character animation to paying my rent every month as a freelance in a city where their is no 3D market.

If I didn't mention a vendor, I either forgot, or don't have work by them. Feel free to send me a DVD or sample and I will review it.
Hope that helps.
Alonzo Von Threet

Rebeccak
03-27-2009, 07:04 AM
I just found my uncle lives down the street from Otis and said I could stay with him for the year if I chose to do the Foundation Year there. :) I'm still thinking about checking out some local places though, would definitely be easier on the wallet. :P Also, not quite sure exactly what would be the best move after that Foundation Year, would I need a 4 year art school, or would I be better off doing something like Gnomon's 2 year program? In your professional and personal opinion, that is.Well that's incredibly lucky! :)

To be sure, it's a tricky question...the traditionalist part of me says, always make sure to get that degree, because you never know if you will want to work abroad, and if you don't have a degree, no matter what your level of skill, you may have problems getting a work visa. I know that many foreign students at Gnomon have come across this problem - here they have invested a small fortune in their education, but can't get hired in the US because they don't come out with a Bachelor's degree. (And no one talked to them about this, which is a crime - it's also stupid to come all this way without knowing what the endgame is). It's something that one should seriously consider, because the nature of the entertainment industry is changing so much and many people work abroad in this field.

Then there's the part of me that thinks, get a foundation year at Otis, or study at local or California ccs, and then enroll at Gnomon. You could potentially live with your uncle and take cc classes in CA, which would get you acclimated to a new place before you started on your training course. (Gnomon btw is in Hollywood, which is a fair distance from Otis, approx an hour in average traffic). I think if you attend there when there is a good set of students, you have a higher chance of getting a job down the line than were you to attend elsewhere.

The all in one solution is attending a place like Ringling or SCAD, and then you'll get some traditional underpinnings along the way to getting a specialized degree. There's less moving around / transferring around, which makes that a conceivably cheaper option, and of course, cost is especially a factor in this day and age. The downside is that neither Ringling nor SCAD is located anywhere close to where the action is, which is in California. You are far less likely to rub shoulders with industry people in casual settings than you are here, where you can't turn around without running into people who work in entertainment.

Think of it this way - get your fundamentals on the cheap, maybe work part time to save some money, and then apply to different places / attend National Portfolio Day, etc., and go from there. You mentioned earlier potentially studying for a year at the local cc level, at which point you could attend a Portfolio Day and see if a place like Ringling, SCAD, Otis, etc. would accept you. I still don't think you're *actually* ready for Gnomon, the more traditional experience you have under your belt before going, the *far* better. I also have to be honest, I think the ccs here will be far more beneficial since there are tons of competitive students and it will give you a stronger dose of reality than maybe your average Florida cc (though I don't know anything about Florida ccs).

Regarding self study, I don't know anyone who gets better at life drawing without a model. ;) I don't think it's wrong to try self study, but in my experience, the vast majority of people don't have the discipline. You also don't make any connections with people except maybe online, and you have no group of people to ask questions of in the flesh. I would strongly encourage you not to think that you can learn everything there is to know by DVD, though of course they are fantastic supplemental materials.

AVTPro
03-27-2009, 07:48 AM
Regarding self study, I don't know anyone who gets better at life drawing without a model. ;) I don't think it's wrong to try self study, but in my experience, the vast majority of people don't have the discipline. You also don't make any connections with people except maybe online, and you have no group of people to ask questions of in the flesh. I would strongly encourage you not to think that you can learn everything there is to know by DVD, though of course they are fantastic supplemental materials.


I agree. It takes far more discipline and it's not for everyone. You have to be like an ant, they work by themselves without a boss watching. :)

I always believed art is more about what you put on the paper than what papers you have and employers being more interested in the quality of the work as oppose to name of the college. I see your point when it comes to immigration laws, which has nothing to do with capability of the artist.

Don't discount online connections, it's a major source of business that can pay well.

As you say, no one can learn it all via DVD but I don't think possible to learn it all via college or instructor? I don't it's possible to learn it all period, conversely you have a wide variety of opinion via DVD.

Concerning Models, I don't know how a self study would exclude using models. Models are an hourly rate. Though I wasn't referring to Life Drawing because I took it classes for that in a 2yr trade school. However, most cities, even one as poor as mine have Wed or Thur nite open studio session for $5 or $8 a session. Not to mention anyone can start their own.

My response was to help to avoiding astronomical tuition fees. Bottom line, like DVD training, schools are a business and there's many ways to compete in business.

AVTPro
03-27-2009, 07:51 AM
server problem double posted.

phantomworkshop
03-27-2009, 05:46 PM
Well that's incredibly lucky! :)

To be sure, it's a tricky question...the traditionalist part of me says, always make sure to get that degree, because you never know if you will want to work abroad, and if you don't have a degree, no matter what your level of skill, you may have problems getting a work visa. I know that many foreign students at Gnomon have come across this problem - here they have invested a small fortune in their education, but can't get hired in the US because they don't come out with a Bachelor's degree. (And no one talked to them about this, which is a crime - it's also stupid to come all this way without knowing what the endgame is). It's something that one should seriously consider, because the nature of the entertainment industry is changing so much and many people work abroad in this field.

Yes, I have to agree, that I've always been somewhat curious to travel and work in another country. The different cultures, very inspiring for any form of CG. :)

Then there's the part of me that thinks, get a foundation year at Otis, or study at local or California ccs, and then enroll at Gnomon. You could potentially live with your uncle and take cc classes in CA, which would get you acclimated to a new place before you started on your training course. (Gnomon btw is in Hollywood, which is a fair distance from Otis, approx an hour in average traffic). I think if you attend there when there is a good set of students, you have a higher chance of getting a job down the line than were you to attend elsewhere.

That is a great idea, what California ccs are close to Otis? And, what would be the advantages or disadvantages of going to Otis vs. a local Cali cc?

The all in one solution is attending a place like Ringling or SCAD, and then you'll get some traditional underpinnings along the way to getting a specialized degree. There's less moving around / transferring around, which makes that a conceivably cheaper option, and of course, cost is especially a factor in this day and age. The downside is that neither Ringling nor SCAD is located anywhere close to where the action is, which is in California. You are far less likely to rub shoulders with industry people in casual settings than you are here, where you can't turn around without running into people who work in entertainment.

I couldn't agree more. I've been telling my family and friends that you really need to be immersed in the entertainment area to truly make it. Otherwise, it's back and forth plane trips for interviews ;) if you even get them, that is. What about Academy of Arts? Wouldn't that be a similar path to say Ringling or SCAD? Granted, I don't know much about that school. And, you're saying to go there instead of the 1 year at Otis, and just do the 4 year well-rounded program which will in turn help me build up my Traditional skills?

Think of it this way - get your fundamentals on the cheap, maybe work part time to save some money, and then apply to different places / attend National Portfolio Day, etc., and go from there. You mentioned earlier potentially studying for a year at the local cc level, at which point you could attend a Portfolio Day and see if a place like Ringling, SCAD, Otis, etc. would accept you. I still don't think you're *actually* ready for Gnomon, the more traditional experience you have under your belt before going, the *far* better. I also have to be honest, I think the ccs here will be far more beneficial since there are tons of competitive students and it will give you a stronger dose of reality than maybe your average Florida cc (though I don't know anything about Florida ccs).

Yes, it seems like that. Although not so important when you're working in the field (although it can't hurt) to have that Traditional background, it's definitely important while getting your education. Yes, I don't feel that I'm ready for Gnomon at this very point in time either unless I just BS'd my way through the 2D courses, and even that doesn't usually get me very far.

Regarding self study, I don't know anyone who gets better at life drawing without a model. ;) I don't think it's wrong to try self study, but in my experience, the vast majority of people don't have the discipline. You also don't make any connections with people except maybe online, and you have no group of people to ask questions of in the flesh. I would strongly encourage you not to think that you can learn everything there is to know by DVD, though of course they are fantastic supplemental materials.

Frankly, I spent a few years trying to self teach and I got burned out. There's nothing like being in a classroom or studio or anywhere really and bouncing off ideas between friends, classmates, professors, etc. You learn from each other and networking in a school for art is unbeatable. :) I think that self-teaching is an excellent addition to a school setting, or work setting, but it shouldn't replace a well rounded education.

Rebeccak
03-27-2009, 06:47 PM
Hey there, I mentioned some local ccs in an earlier post. :) The advantage of Otis is you get a unified approach to drawing, vs. several scattered classes which you have to decide about and coordinate. Going through a foundation year with a cohort of students is beneficial because everyone is swimming in the same direction, which means you bond with students, but also that you have peer pressure to force you (if you are a good student) to move forward and to be competitive. This is vs. studying in a cc, where you will have that group pressure only on a per class basis, not on the basis of an entire unified program that has been crafted over several decades of pedagogy. CCs will save you a ton of money, but it's up to you to ensure that you come out of that experience with a good portfolio, and it means researching classes and teachers. The downside of only doing a foundation year at Otis and then attending Otis is, as I mentioned earlier, not getting a degree. Which is why I pointed out Ringling and SCAD (or AAU) as "full package" options.

I'm not as familiar with the Academy of Art (AAU SF) - I've heard mixed things. In some ways they're like the Art Institutes, but in the case of the Academy of Art in SF, I've heard it's the best of that chain, and some really good traditional artists teach there. The problem with the school is that, like the AI, they don't require an entry portfolio, which means they are about $$ and not quality of the students they let in - I hear they let everyone in, then weed them out. This isn't especially good for the good students who want to be in a competitive environment. Having said that, I've heard anecdotally it can be a good school, I've seen some great traditional art portfolios come out of there on conceptart.org, and one of my cc students decided to attend their masters program for Animation. The also have a full ecorche sculpting class which is of benefit to aspiring modelers. The best thing is to contact students from the school to get their perspective. You might contact this person (http://forums.cgsociety.org/showpost.php?p=5682793&postcount=3).

Welp, I think that's plenty of information to get you started. ;) Good luck! :)

AVTPro
03-27-2009, 10:08 PM
The problem with the school is that, like the AI, they don't require an entry portfolio, which means they are about $$ and not quality of the students they let in - I hear they let everyone in, then weed them out. This isn't especially good for the good students who want to be in a competitive environment.

Could be worst I guess, some schools don't weed them out and they recieve good grade averages to make the school's quotas. This is why the employer has to judge the work and not just the degree.

At my age, I went to school when their wasn't computers, so I do have "somewhat" of a traditional schooling and natural talent. However with computers I am completely self taught and in a traditional manner with books. Then DVDs started to boom and that made learning so much easier.

I have employed artist over the internet, and I care nothing about their degree. I would like better e-commerce so I can pay $$ with less e-transfer fees.

phantomworkshop
03-27-2009, 11:27 PM
Hey there, I mentioned some local ccs in an earlier post. :) The advantage of Otis is you get a unified approach to drawing, vs. several scattered classes which you have to decide about and coordinate. Going through a foundation year with a cohort of students is beneficial because everyone is swimming in the same direction, which means you bond with students, but also that you have peer pressure to force you (if you are a good student) to move forward and to be competitive. This is vs. studying in a cc, where you will have that group pressure only on a per class basis, not on the basis of an entire unified program that has been crafted over several decades of pedagogy. CCs will save you a ton of money, but it's up to you to ensure that you come out of that experience with a good portfolio, and it means researching classes and teachers. The downside of only doing a foundation year at Otis and then attending Otis is, as I mentioned earlier, not getting a degree. Which is why I pointed out Ringling and SCAD (or AAU) as "full package" options.

Are there any other 4 year reputable schools for 3D/Computer Animation besides AAU in Cali that you'd recommend? I'm looking into Otis' program as well as the California ccs to get started. :) I can't thank you enough!

I'm not as familiar with the Academy of Art (AAU SF) - I've heard mixed things. In some ways they're like the Art Institutes, but in the case of the Academy of Art in SF, I've heard it's the best of that chain, and some really good traditional artists teach there. The problem with the school is that, like the AI, they don't require an entry portfolio, which means they are about $ and not quality of the students they let in - I hear they let everyone in, then weed them out. This isn't especially good for the good students who want to be in a competitive environment. Having said that, I've heard anecdotally it can be a good school, I've seen some great traditional art portfolios come out of there on conceptart.org, and one of my cc students decided to attend their masters program for Animation. The also have a full ecorche sculpting class which is of benefit to aspiring modelers. The best thing is to contact students from the school to get their perspective. You might contact this person (http://forums.cgsociety.org/showpost.php?p=5682793&postcount=3).

I've heard mixed things as well, but I was curious as to what you've heard. It would however be nice to just be in one school instead of switching after a year, ya know? Unless I go the Gnomon route after my year at Otis. :) I've messaged Tracy, thank you for that link.

Welp, I think that's plenty of information to get you started. ;) Good luck! :)

You've gone above and beyond the call. Thank you again so much and please keep in touch ;)

phantomworkshop
03-27-2009, 11:53 PM
Could be worst I guess, some schools don't weed them out and they recieve good grade averages to make the school's quotas. This is why the employer has to judge the work and not just the degree.

At my age, I went to school when their wasn't computers, so I do have "somewhat" of a traditional schooling and natural talent. However with computers I am completely self taught and in a traditional manner with books. Then DVDs started to boom and that made learning so much easier.

I have employed artist over the internet, and I care nothing about their degree. I would like better e-commerce so I can pay $ with less e-transfer fees.

Yeah, I see what you mean I wanted to say thank you for your posts as well in this forum where we're all trying to figure out my future ;) lol.

It's appreciated.

Rebeccak
03-28-2009, 05:11 AM
Are there any other 4 year reputable schools for 3D/Computer Animation besides AAU in Cali that you'd recommend? I'm looking into Otis' program as well as the California ccs to get started. :) I can't thank you enough! Unfortunately and ironically, I can't. :/ It's not because I haven't heard of them, it's because I don't think better ones exist. Times are trying for students with your area of interest. There is the AI Los Angeles, but I've never in 4 years of being on CGTalk seen a reel from there - the main benefit I can see in going there would be to finish out your degree to have the paper, then further study at a better school. Good luck.

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