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Pandaren117
05-11-2009, 01:20 AM
Are there any links or places where I can take part in a learning environment that can help me with digital illustration, 3D modeling/animation, and more in Southern California around LA. During the summer time or regular school year?

I know how to draw/decently paint quick example (http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?f=31&t=731055&page=2&pp=15&highlight=Sister+Benedron), but there's a lot I think I need to pick up from actual one on one training (or small group training). (I prefer more of the teacher/step by step approach) And I feel a bit intimidated, because I know there are much more skilled people, but that makes me want all the more to get surpassing!

I already signed up for a summer camp in Stanford for 3D Maya modeling for two weeks. iD Gaming Academy (http://www.internaldrive.com/idga/courses/teen-game-design-3d-modeling-camp/) (Main iD site)
(http://www.internaldrive.com/index.php)
From what I gleaned from student videos and company videos of the program, it looks good but I would love to gain some more momentum. I'm a junior, but I'm not sure if I will have enough time.

Thank you for your time and God Bless.

taxguy
05-11-2009, 02:52 PM
Hi Pandaren, let me tell you what my daughter did in high school.She realized that she wanted some art or design major by the end of her sophomore year, which didn't give a lot of time for portfolio development.

Not only did she take almost every art course offered there from her Junior year onward,but she took art courses at her local community college on weekends. Many schools such as Syracuse, Pratt Institute and RISD, Corcoran, among others, have pre-college summer programs which she participated in. She also went to a tutor for about 6 hours per week to help hone her portfolio. This was in addition to having a full load of high schools courses as part of a magnet program.It is doable! As you can see, since you are in your junior year, it will take a LOT of motivation by you.

I strongly urge you to take courses in fundamentals and NOT just in software applications. You should have a lot of pieces from observation since many schools require a strong portfolio. You should do a LOT of live drawing of people and animals and even of buildings and landscapes. Draw, draw and draw some more.

You don't need to spend the money that we spent for precollege summer courses and for tutors,although that would be a good thing to do. You should at the minimum take courses at your local community college or art school in figure drawing and live drawing.

Almaghest
05-11-2009, 03:11 PM
I second what was said about community college courses. If you are lucky they will transfer and save you a LOT of money. Worst case scenario, you get to learn very valuable information about fine arts and build a portfolio that you can use to apply for colleges. Remember, the software we are using today will be defunct in a few years. A college would much rather accept and teach a student with a good traditional arts background and the same can be said about many studios. It's not unheard of for a studio to hire on someone who has no experience with software but has an incredible fine arts portfolio, because you can ALWAYS be taught software but some people just don't have an eye for aesthetics.

Pandaren117
05-11-2009, 11:01 PM
Hi Pandaren, let me tell you what my daughter did in high school.She realized that she wanted some art or design major by the end of her sophomore year, which didn't give a lot of time for portfolio development.

Not only did she take almost every art course offered there from her Junior year onward,but she took art courses at her local community college on weekends. Many schools such as Syracuse, Pratt Institute and RISD, Corcoran, among others, have pre-college summer programs which she participated in. She also went to a tutor for about 6 hours per week to help hone her portfolio. This was in addition to having a full load of high schools courses as part of a magnet program.It is doable! As you can see, since you are in your junior year, it will take a LOT of motivation by you.

I strongly urge you to take courses in fundamentals and NOT just in software applications. You should have a lot of pieces from observation since many schools require a strong portfolio. You should do a LOT of live drawing of people and animals and even of buildings and landscapes. Draw, draw and draw some more.

You don't need to spend the money that we spent for precollege summer courses and for tutors,although that would be a good thing to do. You should at the minimum take courses at your local community college or art school in figure drawing and live drawing.

No offense, but I would say that from state to state school varies. I am in a similar high school, hard academic course work, and part of a community of hard-working, competitive group of academics (mostly Asians. I know, it's bad to stereotype, but I have tlaked to some of my peers and even they agree there's this sens of competition among our parents for us, the teenagers.). The only way to enter the highschool I am in is to do well in the CA state testing. Right now, hours have been sunk into studying, grabbing those hard As, aiming for the 2400s, 5s, and such, all for the ideal of "education." No offense to anyone, but it seems really hard to squeeze, say, 6 hours of dedicated tutor or work into art school. I am WILLING but it feels intimidating to maybe work with people better than me (and I do realize there is ALWAYS going to be better people. Even the best man in the world pales in comparison to God.). And there's that spectre of college. I was talking to a recent teacher about it, that it seems highschool is a fight to end up with as many opportunities in the end as possible. Like a "block of opportunity." Do well in academics and such, you get a big block. Not so much, a small block, and for me, I have not so much a particular dream school nor am I a zealot for any on profession, so it just feels like what Nietszche said about education: I have reasons, but its just an undefined bright light at the end of the tunnel. But, as I talked to that friend mentioned, I have to rethink the bigger picture, which has been fuddled all these years unfortunately.

But I am willing, just in honest terms, apprehensive.

Almaghest
05-11-2009, 11:38 PM
If that's the case you should probably just take a year off or go to community/state school for a year and get together a portfolio and figure out a good idea of what you want to do for a career. Your parents might not like it but it will be a lot more useful to you than wasting 2-3 years doing something because you were pressured into immediately going to college. It sounds like you are attempting to come out of high school with very good grades, which many private art colleges will like because they see a lot of students who are very good at art and have poor grades. I know at SCAD you can get as high as a full tuition scholarship simply for getting good grades and/or test scores without even submitting a traditional arts portfolio. If you have a high average and good test scores, don't sweat the traditional arts junk right now.

I do recommend looking into things like http://www.artandwriting.org/ if you need money for school. I found out about it well into my senior year which was a little too late for me to send anything in.

Pandaren117
05-12-2009, 12:52 AM
Thank you. Ya, my school had a SCAD representative come by and talk about the school. But, unfortuantely, I have this feeling of prejudice that it's not as prestigious as say USC, but once again, prejudiced biases I am guilty of.

It's times like these I wish I had a mentor about this.

taxguy
05-12-2009, 06:02 PM
Pandarin notes,"No offense, but I would say that from state to state school varies. I am in a similar high school, hard academic course work, and part of a community of hard-working, competitive group of academics (mostly Asians. I know, it's bad to stereotype, but I have tlaked to some of my peers and even they agree there's this sens of competition among our parents for us, the teenagers.). The only way to enter the highschool I am in is to do well in the CA state testing. Right now, hours have been sunk into studying, grabbing those hard As, aiming for the 2400s, 5s, and such, all for the ideal of "education." No offense to anyone, but it seems really hard to squeeze, say, 6 hours of dedicated tutor or work into art school. I am WILLING but it feels intimidating to maybe work with people better than me (and I do realize there is ALWAYS going to be better people. Even the best man in the world pales in comparison to God.). And there's that spectre of college. I was talking to a recent teacher about it, that it seems highschool is a fight to end up with as many opportunities in the end as possible. Like a "block of opportunity." Do well in academics and such, you get a big block. Not so much, a small block, and for me, I have not so much a particular dream school nor am I a zealot for any on profession, so it just feels like what Nietszche said about education: I have reasons, but its just an undefined bright light at the end of the tunnel. But, as I talked to that friend mentioned, I have to rethink the bigger picture, which has been fuddled all these years unfortunately.

But I am willing, just in honest terms, apprehensive."


Response: Do you think that you are the only one who goes to a tough high school? My daughter attended a top rated school that also has a LOT of asians. IN fact, her school is 40% asian. I never said it would be easy Panderin, but rarely does success come easily. It will take a LOT of work and dediction.

However, I know it isn't impossible to fit 6 hours a week into a tutor since my daughter did it! You just have to have good time management and be very dedicated. If you can't do it all, take some of my suggestions.

Almaghest
05-12-2009, 06:59 PM
To be honest in this industry no one will care where you went to school. No, really. They are going to look at your demo reel/website and decide whether to hire you based on mostly that. Where you should go to school depends ENTIRELY on what you want to do as a career. If you want to be a doctor, yes which school you go to will matter because you can't PROVE you're a good doctor by being like "Oh and here's some videos of me performing surgery" so potential employers have to look at the school that taught you and compare you to others who came out of it. The CG industry is very different in that you can easily provide proof you can do a task well by showing an interviewer examples. Yes, USC is doing some neat research in the world of computer graphics but as an undergraduate you will probably not be exposed to it. Anyway my point is that the prestige of a school does not necessarily matter, but rather the quality of instruction there. You're right - I actually don't recommend SCAD to anyone who does not have a large scholarship because the quality of instruction is inconsistent and not worth $550/credit hour, BUT if you can get a free ride or a significant reduction in tuition because of grades, suddenly it becomes worth your while. Anyway it's just something to consider. If you want more specific advise on your particular situation I'd be happy to talk to you through emails or something it's not just us bumping this thread.

Also, taxman... as a parent I understand your desire to drive your child to do her best but as someone who recently graduated high school you have to understand that high school nowadays can easily be the most stressful and competitive part of a child's life, hands down. College actually comes as a relief because we are no longer required to spend hours and hours and hours pushing for things like 5's on AP exams we don't care about in order to appease our parents and our peers. State schools like USC are not going to require an art portfolio for acceptance and will look only at grades so if Pandaren feels that is his/her dream school, focusing on developing a traditonal arts portfolio that brings down grades in other areas may be a mistake. Like I said before, many private art schools will accept students with incredible grades and poor portfolios because it means those students have the drive to develop but not the exposure to arts that some other students may have had. Grades are an excellent indication of motivation and work ethic to college admissions departments.

taxguy
05-12-2009, 07:25 PM
Hi Almaghest, Actually ,we didn't push our daughter at all. She is the one who was driven. We just accomodated her wishes.She was a VERY motivated young lady.

As for good grades vs. good portfolio for top schools, this has been debated ad nauseum. For many stand alone art sc hools, other than RISD, and MICA, a strong portfolio is crucial for both admission and scholarships,but good grades and scores certainly is important too. Thus, art kids should have good grades, SATS and a strong portfolio, which is not an easy task.


As for USC, it is a private school and NOT a state school. As a university, they are very grade and SAT oriented and not as portfolio oriented as some of the better known art schools. However, doing what my daughter did would give Pandarin and others the best shot at the top art and design programs, in my opinion.

Almaghest
05-12-2009, 07:45 PM
Ahh, apologies, I didn't realize USC was a private school. I agree that having good grades and a strong traditional arts portfolio is definitely the most preferable course of action for someone wanting to get into a good art school. However, I recognize that because students have to spend 8 hours/day at school and assuming they spend 8 hours sleeping, they only get 8 hours each day to everything else they have to cram in. AP classes alone can easily eat up huge amounts of time and trying to balance studying for the SAT/ACT on top of that leaves little time to even eat much less do things healthy high school students do like socialize. I had only semi-decent grades and recognized that I would not gain admission, especially much needed scholarships, to a school based on my grades alone so I focused on my portfolio. If Pandaren's GPA is very high and she/he is doing well on AP tests and standardized testing, it may actually be very beneficial for him to focus ONLY on grades right now, then take a year off to focus on a portfolio if necessary. Even taking only a semester off might help tremendously. I think it's much better to have incredible grades and no portfolio than have both suffer because a student is trying to juggle too much. You can always work on your portfolio, you can never go back and do high school again. It's great that your child was so motivated and able to accomplish so much during high school, but for most students it's just TOO MUCH.

Also, Pandaren... you should consider taking this summer between junior and senior years to develop a traditional arts portfolio rather than focusing on learning software related skills, because every college will be far more interested in your exposure to traditional arts than to software packages. I think that's the main point we were both trying to get across before we got off on this tangent about high school.

taxguy
05-12-2009, 09:50 PM
Yes, while in high school, you should be focusing on your traditional art skills and NOT just on software proficiency. Yes, knowing the software is nice,but having strong drawing skills is hard to train without a LOT of practice. If I were you, I would focus heavily during your summer on developing your observational drawing and live drawing skills. If you have time during the senior year, I would keep focusing on these skills.

I really do understand the pressures of high school with AP exams, college applications etc. However, for art and music kids, having strong fundatmental skills will be crucial and make a big difference in your college success as well as your overall development of a quality portfolio and demo reel.

In fact, some schools such as Max the Mutt up in Canada, give three years of skill development while they teach classical animation. There is very little focus on software too. Every major studio seems to want folks who have strong basic skills. Their attitude is that software can be taught. Basic live drawing technique has to be deveoped over many years.

Rebeccak
05-13-2009, 03:10 AM
Are there any links or places where I can take part in a learning environment that can help me with digital illustration, 3D modeling/animation, and more in Southern California around LA. During the summer time or regular school year? In response to the original post, I would say that your best bet is Santa Monica Community College - I've consistently heard good things about their digital media program.

Also, just another voice to support that most art colleges will be looking for a traditional arts portfolio. I teach portfolio prep and have been through the art school application process as well as the university application process, and know that for art schools, all they want to see is traditional art, and for university art programs, you'll have to have traditional art + good grades.

I attended Washington University in St. Louis for their Fine Arts program for a year and a half, and then transferred to Art Center in Pasadena, and have attended enough National Portfolio Days (http://www.portfolioday.net/component/option,com_eventlist/Itemid,47/) and talked to enough college representatives to know what I'm talking about. No art school or art program within a university will care about your digital art. They will mainly care that you can draw and paint, the figure primarily, in traditional media.

Pandaren117
05-23-2009, 02:10 AM
I just recently talked to my school's art teacher, and she recommended Long Beach City College for art classes during the summer. She cited that local art schools or classes were bad in the sense that they only concentrated on your portfolio to get into fine art programs, but after that, you get essentially "owned" because you can't say why or how, say, values work, etc. Basically, reproduce the same work. I plan to talk to her and show her some of my current amateur work to get an assessment from a professional assessment.

But does anyone have any personal accounts of Long Beach City College's Arts Dept. and its related classes?

Rebeccak
05-23-2009, 09:04 AM
She cited that local art schools or classes were bad in the sense that they only concentrated on your portfolio to get into fine art programs, but after that, you get essentially "owned" because you can't say why or how, say, values work, etc. Basically, reproduce the same work.I don't understand what you mean by this statement, could you be more clear?

Pandaren117
05-25-2009, 06:36 AM
From what I heard from the teacher, she meant that, Yes, some art schools/classes do help you to develop your portfolio to get into art school or a fine arts program. But it doesn't help you overall, so when one tries to solo it, one forgets or does not know completely fundamentals, etc, such as WHY did we use this color, or HOW does this composition boost the overall artwork. because all the time was spent on developing a portfolio, not an artist. So I would agree with her on that point, about being a good artist, making sure you understand the craft.

Rebeccak
05-25-2009, 06:46 AM
From what I heard from the teacher, she meant that, Yes, some art schools/classes do help you to develop your portfolio to get into art school or a fine arts program. But it doesn't help you overall, so when one tries to solo it, one forgets or does not know completely fundamentals, etc, such as WHY did we use this color, or HOW does this composition boost the overall artwork. because all the time was spent on developing a portfolio, not an artist. So I would agree with her on that point, about being a good artist, making sure you understand the craft. Ah, okay, I see what you mean.

I guess in your case, since you are focusing on traditional skills to help boost / support your 3D skills down the line, it doesn't matter as much as if you were wanting to be, say, a traditional painter or sculptor.

School is definitely a game, and you have to play by certain rules to succeed within any given school.

Different people want different things from their educations. Classical drawing and painting skills are better learned at non-degree granting ateliers (http://www.artrenewal.org/asp/database/atelier_list.asp) - whereas more generalized art education is to be had at community colleges, private art colleges, and art programs within universities. It all depends on the program - no two are alike. Any kind of school *other* than an atelier will give you a kind of general art education - depending on the school, you might not refine, in a classical sense, any of your abilities, but instead get a survey or overview of skills. This isn't necessarily a bad thing - it can be good to experiment and get a broad based education in art at first - assuming that you can afford to specialize later.

The trap for a lot of art students, however, is that they enter art programs thinking they will learn realistic skills in terms of drawing and painting - but many art programs are more conceptual in focus. This is why it's important to research any school you might be interested in.

Most community colleges, such as Long Beach, have more skill oriented classes. Cal State Long Beach, in particular, has a great reputation for its art program (this is different from LBCC).

It depends on what kind of artist you want to be - do you want to study classical realism? Illustration? Traditional Realistic Sculpture? Different schools will offer you different things.

Your first tool of inquiry is the internet - the second is visiting a school. Visiting is the only way to know for sure what a school or program will give you.

Pandaren117
05-25-2009, 05:35 PM
Whoa, that was just an awesome explanation!

I want to work on my skills, that's true. I wouldn't mind taking conceptual classes later though, but now it's just skills and fundamentals I need down.

Rebeccak
05-26-2009, 04:12 PM
Glad it helped, good luck!

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