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WLX
11-11-2009, 03:57 PM
Hello people!!!

I'm From Russia and my dream is to study abroad. So Far i've chosen several schools overseas which are Sheridan, SJSU and of course Gnomon VFX school. I have few questions to people who work in the industry but firstly a bit about my self. As i said i am Russian, 22 years old, concept artist and i'd love to become a Matte painter and environment designer basically :P thats it)))hehe))

Before I found Gnomon web site I've been really serious about going to Sheridan thinking that the 4 year animation program will make me a professional animator, concept artist and matte painter. I've looked at some of the works they produce- i didn't like it.

SJSU Animation\illustration seems a bit better place but thats it for now.

Gnomon... On the first glance looks fantastic and when i look at the people's portfolio who graduate there i think "Oh my good I WANNA GET THERE"...but it is a lot of money to spend on education and living in USA and coming back to russia after all is kinda frustrating... don't you think? Well my dream job is Blizzard and i want to work there badly. I know, i know it's really hard to get a job there (don't laugh at me:P). Any ways,
Do you think having Gnomon's High-End CG Certificate and good portfolio will help me to get into the industry in USA??? or it is not worth coming to studying at Gnomon???

Thx in advance!)))
Respect!!!))

taxguy
11-11-2009, 05:22 PM
My daughter attended their advanced Maya program last quarter and will eventually pursue their computer graphics program. Let me share a bit of the experiences that she had.

First, Gnomon is VERY 3d computer graphics oriented. You won't get a number of courses that you would have seen with a full degree program such as a lot of traditional animation, art history and a lot of traditional art skill development, although they do have some courses in these area. She would highly recommend that you either develop some strong traditional art skills especially in drawing of heads, gestures and hands or take these courses as part of their "Entertainment Design" track before you take the computer graphics program.

The Entertainment Design Track ( ETD) is not what you probably think it is. It is more of a fundamental, foundation program that teaches anatomy of the body, hand, head and creature drawing with some Maya. Since most art schools and art programs have some sort of foundation, this is the foundation program for Gnomon except it is geared more towards entertainment design and design for computer graphics.

I think Gnomon added this because they were previously criticized for not having courses in fundamental drawing and anatomy,which the entertainment design program attempts to remedy. Thus, it probably is a great program to start off with before you take the Computer Graphics program unless you already have the skills mentioned.


Secondly, Gnomon always seems to have a lot of very cool events that you should always go to. For example, while we were there, they had the director of Nine give a presentation about how the movie was developed.

Third,When you get there, if you do go there, work like a dog. You will get out of the program what you put in..

Editorial opinion: I don't know about your background since I know nothing about you. My daughter, however, will have some art and design training and will already have a degree in design before starting Gnomon. Thus, she had a substantial amount of training in both drawing and color theory.
I am not sure that you should go there without some college degree. You may be better off going to either Seneca College or Sheridan and getting that degree, or even better go to Ringling or School of Visual Arts in NY.

A college degree will enable you to immigrate here easier and to more easily qualify you for a job in the US. More importantly, having a degree will open up more doors and opportunities than a certificate in animation. Thus, although both I and my daughter really liked Gnomon, I am not sure that it is the right thing for you without a college degree. Can you get a job from there by developing a strong demo? Yes, you can. However, again, I think the same can be said with a Ringling degree or a degree from Sheridan or Seneca College or Calarts or SVA etc. At least you will have that degree that you can fall back on.

Here is a post that I did on the necessity and advantages of a college degree. You should read this over carefully:
_______________________________________________________________________

I see alot of folks noting that a degree isn't necessary for an animation position. Since, I am not in animation, I accept what everyone said about this. BUT!!! Let me present a different point of view.

There are some very good reasons to get a degree among which are:

1. As Leigh noted, in foreign countries, it might be necessary to get a job there.

2. More importantly, it opens up many doors that might not be available otherwise: I have found that folks never know where their life will take them or what changes will ocurr in their life. What happens if suddenly studios start wanting degrees or want those with degrees and experience for higher level positions?
This has certainly been the case for other professions and can certainly start happening here too.

More to the point, what happens if you want to leave the field of computer graphics? This could happen due to outsourcing, problems with the industry ,or simply changed objectives by you. Having a degree opens up more options.

I know someone who switched from animation to eventually going to law school and specializing in intellectual property law. Having a degree will open up other doors.

Also, if a school has a stringent admission policy, you will learn from other top students as well. Top schools also tend to attract top faculty. Lets face it: faculty would prefer to teach the better kids.

Also, I would bet that top faculty have a lot of industry connections. If you go to a good school and do well, it is common for faculty to recommend students to employers and for employers to ask top faculty for recommendations. This happens all the time in many fields of endeavor.

Personally, I STRONGLY recommend that you get a degree. Now once you have one, you don't need a second degree unless you want to teach. You can attend a trade school to get the skills needed such as Gnomon or Animation Mentor or even study books or take online programs for the skills. However, having a degree can't hurt you. It can only help!

With all this said, you still will need a strong demo ( which should occur if you work your butt off at a good school) and would need decent interviewing skills.

WLX
11-12-2009, 04:30 AM
2 taxguy

MAAAAN you've OPENED UP MY EYES!))) THANK YOU A LOT! You saved me from making a mistake!!! man....i don't even know how to thank you))) sorry for so much emotions but i am really glad you cant even imagine)))) this thread will be very helpful to other International students.

Ok, another question pops out in to my head. What if for example I want to be employed in USA but graduated from Sheridan in Canada, does it make any help? or preferably to study in USA in order to remain there further, continue my studies and work?

P.S.
I am absolutely in-love with USA...))
Thank you VERY MOOCH ENDEED taxguy))))

taxguy
11-15-2009, 02:59 PM
Yes, you can go to Sheridan and get a degree and theoretically get a job here in the US. However, it will be HARDER to accomplish that if you go to school in Canada. If you want to work in the US, you should try to go to school here, unless you can't afford the high prices of tuition here. The leading Animation schools here are Ringling, Calarts, SVA, Pratt Institute, Laguna College of Art and Design and SCAD. I think you will get a great education and animation training in Canada at places like Seneca,but I don't know how easy it will be for you to get into the US. At least going to school here, should open up some connections with US companies. Again, I don't really know for sure.

One thing that I do know though: NO ONE can guarantee you a job that you will necessarily like by going to any particular school. Thus, attending a school in the US will not guarantee you either employment or guaranteed admission to the US. It probably would help,but it won't be a guarantee. Make sure that you understand this point.

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