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View Full Version : The act of asking some questions via the use of too many words


MartynPS
06-22-2009, 07:52 AM
Hello to you, the beautiful members of this here glorious internet forum. I am a 28 year old human male from England who graduated from my Architectural based undergraduate degree a whole 2 earth years ago. Since then I have interned for practices both in the UK and San Francisco, a city I have fallen in love with, while at the same time falling out of love with Architecture.



I have been traveling SE Asia for the past 4 months I have had plenty of time to think (while taking time to not think) and have come to the striking realisation that I need to do something I can be passionate about rather than something I stumbled into, and probably engaged in to seek my father’s (who has since passed away) approval – choosing a path in life for others rather than yourself, a slippery path at best. I went to university as an average student, discovered I was rather dyslexic and went on to do a world better at my course than I ever imagined possible (designing my university student union bar, final year awards etc).

The world of me changed forever, as I had gained a huge boost in confidence and with the added benefit of special tutoring, I found academia manageable for the first time in 22 years. The aspects I excelled were design, creativity, 3d and 2d computer visualisation and graphic design, the engineering and messy stuff caused my brain to turn to custard and noodles. This did not become clear to me until but a year ago while in SF, I decided I wanted to work for a 3d architectural visualising company, found a job, the visa did not work out so I was kindly escorted out of the country thank you very much.

Having put ample thought into my position (in the world, not on this chair) and time of life I really feel it is important for me to undertake a career choice that I can be passionate about, that I can give my all to, and that I can wake up in the morning and to be excited to be part of. I have always loved CG art, been passionate about CG in film and various aspects of media since I was a wee pup. So why, for the sake of all that is good and great, did I not dive head first into this industry when I was first spat into the world of higher education? Well, a lack of confidence in my creative skills, and a lack of ability in my sketching skills. The former I overcame rapidly soon after the great dyslexia discovery of ’03, the latter I decided to do something about 2 weeks ago and have discovered it quite simple, wholey enjoyable and meditative to draw and as such I curse myself for not putting more time into it sooner.



So, now I have overcome my two main fears, and already with an acquired knowledge of the likes of Max and various Adobe products what is stopping me you may ask? (You may also be asking ‘when is this boring tripe going to end?’ soon dear friend, and you are a saint for not clicking away). The truth is nothing is stopping me, clarity overcame my being only a few days ago and I am on a fully fledged mission to become a good, nay great CG artist (at some point, in that there future). But here is where you come in, and why I could not have gone straight to this point without not only wondering around the houses, but taking a boat, balloon and space ship around the planet is beyond me…



1) I want to learn; I want to learn everything I have missed out on by choosing a different career path (not the wrong, just different, as I have learnt so many valuable lessons in architecture, including architecture ain’t pour moi, ce) am I best doing this on my ownsom or via an academic institution?



2) My ideal plan of action would be to attend The Academy of Arts in San Francisco, studying an MFA in 3d animation and visual effects, beings as I have such a knowledge of the area and a number of friends (in and out of industry) it seems only right. Is this a good school for such activities, and is the pricetag worth it, also will my background be enough for me to be successful at such a course?



3) What’s the bestest book for learning Maya, or website, or that sort-a-ting?



4) Is 28 too late to join the industry or is such talk codswallop?



5) Have you lost the will to live reading this consonantly mutating stream of consciousness?



6) If answer to 5 is yes = sorry.



Big love, thanks in advance for all your thoughts,

Martyn

jipe
06-22-2009, 03:30 PM
1) Learning on your own is a viable option if you have an extraordinary amount of drive and motivation, AND if you are able to structure your time in such a way that encourages development. In addition, you'll need to find people with experience whom you trust to give blunt, detailed feedback about your work. This is usually best done verbally and in-person, which is why school is often preferable for most people. And don't underestimate the importance of community; even with an online school like AnimationMentor, the interaction with other students yields valuable feedback and inspiration. You WILL develop bad habits, you WILL do things wrong, and you need people to point out those weaknesses so that you can learn from them. Of course, you can always come to CGTalk, but I would not want to rely entirely on feedback from strangers; it's so much harder on the internet to know how to filter people's responses to your work.

Either way, even if you enter a degree program such as AAU's, you'll likely be doing an immense amount of learning on your own, outside class -- whether it's reading books or watching Gnomon DVDs, looking up something on CGTalk, or simply just working in the lab with other students until all hours of the night.

2) There is no easy way to answer this question. I would advise you to do a search here about the AAU... you could even hunt down students who have attended or are currently attending, and ask them. I know I've seen reels from a few of them in the Finished Animation forum.

3) There is no "best" training material, just as there is no "best" school or company for which to work. The choice of DVD or book really depends on how you like to learn. I personally find that DVDs are much more effective for learning software or technical-specific things, which means that you're looking at something from Gnomon or Digital Tutors. However, don't fall into the trap of just trying to learn the software. Pushing buttons is the easy part; acquiring and using artistic knowledge is difficult (yet rewarding). Drawing, painting, and even sculpture -- all with traditional materials -- will help you build a skill set that you can transfer to your 3d work.

4) Not at all. You are never too old.

My last piece of advice is this: everything always comes down to editing, whether you're telling your life story or making a short film. 3d work is extremely time intensive and storytelling for an audience is an extremely difficult art to master. Figure out how you can say as much as possible with as little as possible, and you'll increase the chances of retaining your audience. Good luck.

behn
06-22-2009, 09:33 PM
I can only really answer 3),

I have recently made the switch from Max to Maya and as such invested in many training DVD's to get me started. Digital Tutors i found to be the best for learning the innitial ins-and-outs of the software, they have a huge amount of training available for each aspect of Maya, there material is easy to follow and the included projects give you a good base to start exploring the software.

The Gnomon DVD's were excellent for really broadening understanding of the software in a production sence, they can be a bit fast paced for someone new to Maya though.

Kanga
06-22-2009, 11:15 PM
Welcome Martyn.

Don't talk, pick an aspect of 3dcg you like and just do it. Free Learning (http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?f=283&t=768736)
At 28 a course will be less helpful than a good portfolio. Where is your portfolio?

MartynPS
06-24-2009, 11:11 AM
1) Learning on your own is a viable option if you have an extraordinary amount of drive and motivation, AND if you are able to structure your time in such a way that encourages development. In addition, you'll need to find people with experience whom you trust to give blunt, detailed feedback about your work. This is usually best done verbally and in-person, which is why school is often preferable for most people. And don't underestimate the importance of community; even with an online school like AnimationMentor, the interaction with other students yields valuable feedback and inspiration. You WILL develop bad habits, you WILL do things wrong, and you need people to point out those weaknesses so that you can learn from them. Of course, you can always come to CGTalk, but I would not want to rely entirely on feedback from strangers; it's so much harder on the internet to know how to filter people's responses to your work.

Either way, even if you enter a degree program such as AAU's, you'll likely be doing an immense amount of learning on your own, outside class -- whether it's reading books or watching Gnomon DVDs, looking up something on CGTalk, or simply just working in the lab with other students until all hours of the night.

2) There is no easy way to answer this question. I would advise you to do a search here about the AAU... you could even hunt down students who have attended or are currently attending, and ask them. I know I've seen reels from a few of them in the Finished Animation forum.

3) There is no "best" training material, just as there is no "best" school or company for which to work. The choice of DVD or book really depends on how you like to learn. I personally find that DVDs are much more effective for learning software or technical-specific things, which means that you're looking at something from Gnomon or Digital Tutors. However, don't fall into the trap of just trying to learn the software. Pushing buttons is the easy part; acquiring and using artistic knowledge is difficult (yet rewarding). Drawing, painting, and even sculpture -- all with traditional materials -- will help you build a skill set that you can transfer to your 3d work.

4) Not at all. You are never too old.

My last piece of advice is this: everything always comes down to editing, whether you're telling your life story or making a short film. 3d work is extremely time intensive and storytelling for an audience is an extremely difficult art to master. Figure out how you can say as much as possible with as little as possible, and you'll increase the chances of retaining your audience. Good luck.


1) A really important point, and something I had overlooked, thank you. Especially being part of architecture where learning can be such a personal thing (read: selfish) for the majority of your time it excites me to think I could be involved in something that demands a more open learning approach. You're right about me developing bad habits, my girlfriend often gets angry at irregular gases and suchlike created by my person, I figure she's just a lucky girl, right?

Yes, I love that, I love that I will need to be told or pointed in the right direction, i'm sick of being around arrogant egotistical people who think only their way is right, unwilling to admit fault, I like being wrong, it's how I learn to do things, this whole CG thing is shaping up to be more and more suitable for me as the days pass.

2) i've done this search you spoke of and come up with an intresting array of answers. I'm honestly still leaning in the direction of going with it as it sounds like the course is at the very least comprihensive, and not patronising, even if the earlier units are a little weak. I'd feel a little more confident about it if they responded to my e-mails though! (i'm in Singapore at the moment so they start at midnight my time, and finish at 8am my time, thus internet cafe's and skype are rather redundant, stupid sun, always messing things up).

3) Again, wonderful advice, I had felt this was the case but it's good to hear it. I will put my all into my artistic persuits and my rest into techincal stuff.

4) super



Oh, that's good to hear, I seem to have an inbuilt knack for getting the best out of the least, being dyslexic has a wonderful way of creating couping strataguies to help hide your short-comings, basically editing the truth so those around you think they're seeing something great, when it's basically just ok (this is a skill I developed before I found out I was dyslexic, now that I know I am it is simple a skill I can take advantage of, I think that makes sense). I've thrown together some videos and audio compoisions over the last few years and they've had all sorts of positive responces, yay for learning difficulities.

CG 4 Architecture 0.

behn, Nice swan, I shall delve right into those when I get back from being away. Did you find your aquired knowledge in Max helpful at all, or was it like day and cheese?

I like fast paced, it makes my head spin, weee.

Kanga, Thanks thanks. and I will, i'll be all aboard when i have my pc in front of me, and you'll be sick of my name after a few years (or excited about it, no, probably sick). I have a portfolio, but it's full of Architectual projects and graphic design with a few max models thrown in for good mesure, probably not a lot of use in this here world I fear. I will get on it though, and i'll be sure to share when I feel it is at a stage of goodness.

Thank you for your time people and persons. The next 2 months will be critical for me and myself, so I fear that this will not be the last you will hear from me!

mwa, big love

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