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kfc
08-21-2003, 06:51 AM
Andriod blue. Stahlberg's and his partners visionary plan on a training center. Take a look at their latest update in web.
www.optidigit.com

Press release
---------------------------------
The vision
Alain, Steven and Nik have a plan, a vision that is unique - yet itís an idea whoís time has come.
Itís the Android Blues Virtual Talent Studio.

They will create a training center, an 18 month course, with a very high standard of admission, a very high teacher-to-trainee ratio, and hardly any fees for the trainee.
The trainees work on real-world projects. It will be a real studio, not a school, making itís money on long form content produced by the trainees and their masters together, NOT on admission fees. The focus of production will be virtual characters for use in cg animated long and short form, but also games and interactive applications.
-------------------------------------

remember to take a look at the short form projects animation under the gallery.
http://www.optidigit.com/Galleries/shortform/pix/aida.jpg

:thumbsup: And I say this is a great news for cg industry.
(p.s. sorry steven and Alain, I'll too eager to show this to everyone. cheers.)

Sky_DaBomB
08-21-2003, 07:05 AM
Great news

FatAssasin
08-21-2003, 06:31 PM
I guess I don't exactly understand. There's a lot of marketing fluff on the front page about how great it is to be in Malaysia, but is he asking people to move there to work at this new studio?

The way I understand it, the "student" pays to move to Malaysia, has to find housing for 18 months, and then works on real projects that the studio and its owners get paid. Sounds like a great opportunity to learn with a master, but it also sound like a great opportunity for the owners of the Android Blues Virtual Talent Studio to get free labor and pocket the savings. I'm sure Steven has our best interests at heart, but I'll remain a bit sceptical until I see some more details and hard facts.

elfufu
08-21-2003, 08:57 PM
the malaysia part is the part that is a hard sell

Shade01
08-21-2003, 09:21 PM
The way I understood it, they expect to tap into the native Malaysian population and rely less on students from abroad. It sounded great until you get to the part about Malaysia.

Still, the cost of a plane ticket to Malaysia is far cheaper than the cost of typical tuition if thier tuiton is as low cost/free as the say. Of course, Americans traveling abroad is not exactly the safest thing.

Lunatique
08-22-2003, 05:27 AM
I'm sitting in Opdigit's office right now(paying Steven a visit), and it's a nice cozy place. Very laid back and friendly. KL is a very nice city--on par with any major cosmopolitan cities in the world. My wife and I went out shopping yesterday, and you can find anything here that you can in the States. Huge English bookstores similar to Barns & Noble back home(In fact, it's better because we shopped at a gigantic Kinokunia, which for those of you who live in the Bay Area, knows what that means.), all the same clothing stores you'd find in a big shopping mall back home, international food..etc etc. The weather is warm all year round--kinda like Hawaii I think.

There are some very exciting projects being developed here--none that I can talk about, and none are mentioned on their website, of course. When the time comes, you guys will know.

Opdigit definitely isn't out to take advantage of free labour. You'd get a salary as far as I understand. It's cheap to live here, and you might even be able to live a higher quality of live here than you could back home in the States. Rent is cheaper for better quality, and food is cheaper too. All this, in a modern city with all the modern conveniences you'd expect.

So anyway, that's my impression so far. Steven will probably explain stuff more in detail when he has time.

ntmonkey
08-22-2003, 08:36 AM
but it also sound like a great opportunity for the owners of the Android Blues Virtual Talent Studio to get free labor and pocket the savings.

And so do major companies who hire interns for their crew. However, with Optidigit, you get the opportunity to learn by working on a real project. This was something I wished we did here at FullSail. Plus, I don't see how going out to Malaysia would be a hard sell. If I was given a legitmate opportunity to leave the US for awhile, I would go. It would not be any different than colleges and universities offer study abroad programs. And anyone who doesn't want to go overseas is just limiting their perception of the world.

Anyway, try finding a school that has instructors on par with Stahlberg's skills and that offers an opportunity to work on paying project that you can later accept credit for. I'll bet you won't find many here in the states.

Plus, anything different from the lecture/lab structure of institutionalized education is a breath of fresh air. They hardly represent or prepare students for the real world.

peace,

Lu

shapeshifter
08-22-2003, 01:20 PM
I think that this is a very good opportunity! After finishing school most people have difficulties finding work - not always because of the quality level of their work but for their lack of experience working on real world projects.

So what could be better than working closely together with experienced artists and collecting nice shots for your demo reel?

And regarding Malaysia / KL: I was once there on vacation and it was great -i know you would perceive the city different if you were to live there for 18 months but still it is a very nice city.

I am looking forward to get more details on this.

???
08-22-2003, 01:45 PM
great :)

Stahlberg
08-23-2003, 10:21 AM
to get free labor and pocket the savings

We'd be producing stuff much cheaper than anyone else (in the industrialized West at least), that's half of our business idea (the other half being the high quality). So we'll all get paid less, including me - we're passing on the savings to our customers, not pocketing it.
Though it's all good because living costs are so much lower here... :)

TheGreenGiant
08-23-2003, 11:04 AM
looks really nice. can you fill me in on what sort of entry requirements there will be? If its 18 months of hard core CG lessons, I don't see why not? KL should be livable; if a little hot.

* Stalhberg - one thing I will say and I hope this doesn't compromise my interest is that, the cost savings you're talking about is one of the things I think the CG industry really doesn't need - I believe it cheapens the art and makes it all the harder for freelancers and starting cg artist from surviving. Its like the whole 3rd world/cheap labour movement - like moving jobs out of the US to mexico, or from Australia to Vietnam or China.

Peter Reynolds
08-23-2003, 11:14 AM
TheGreenGiant has a point.

3D and FX sweatshops are not really in the interests of a lot of artists. Not that I think sweatshops is the aim here. But the more everyone keeps undercutting each other the more pain everyone has to endure in the long run.


And its not just about "more competition the better". If such a trend ends up driving a lot of great studios out of business, you end up with a lot less competition and quality takes a big hit too.

AshodT
08-23-2003, 11:21 AM
with a very high standard of admission

hum,can you explain a bit more please?

Stahlberg
08-23-2003, 04:38 PM
Very high standard of admission, as compared to for instance Ringling which has none (except that you pay a lot). You'll be judged based on your portfolio or showreel, as if applying for a job. (And of course it also depends on how many people apply.)

About taking jobs from the US and hurting the industry, that's kind of a protectionist attitude. If you think about it, you're saying I have to either
1. move to the US to start my company, or
2. find another profession, or
3. raise my prices 200 - 300% above what would be normal where I live? (Which would in effect be the same as 2.)

jipe
08-23-2003, 07:14 PM
Very high standard of admission, as compared to for instance Ringling which has none (except that you pay a lot).
Just wanted to mention that Ringling does have a rather tough standard (although not as much as yours appears to be) - they emphasize traditional drawing skills heavily for admission.

Peter Reynolds
08-23-2003, 11:28 PM
Using price as your main aspect for competition is often not a good idea for products that are not mass market.

As an industry model, isn't 3D and fx more in line with architecture or advertising, than textiles?

Pixar, ILM, Weta, etc didn't get where they are buying starting out with a "hey, we can do it cheaper" attitude.

Come on Steven... your works worth more than that.

Beechdbum
08-24-2003, 02:40 AM
Originally posted by Stahlberg
Very high standard of admission, as compared to for instance Ringling which has none (except that you pay a lot).
mmmmm i would have to say bad choice of example there, ringling gets hundreds of applicants for its 45 spots. so saying that ringling has no admission standards is a wrong statement to make.

Derlaine
08-24-2003, 02:46 AM
deleted text because i can't delete the post

Deadjeffersons
08-24-2003, 05:20 AM
Stalhberg, what is with the posters for the long form shorts - it looks like you've just slapped titles on images that you'd worked on previously and termed them as long form movies. I follow your work a bit so I've seen them before. Some of the images are from like 2001? It looks gimmicky and bad. 3 projects already lined up for a firm/company that hasn't even started? And all works that you've done previously. I really don't know what to make of that and am highly skeptical; it reads like you're gimping people to do your work.

As for the work/experience/employment details - why still so sketchy. I mean if the website is live, why isn't more details forthcoming?

http://www.optidigit.com/Galleries/longform/pix/androids.jpg

http://www.optidigit.com/Galleries/longform/pix/rhyne.jpg

http://www.optidigit.com/Galleries/longform/pix/killer.jpg

Stahlberg
08-24-2003, 05:32 AM
Funny, I've been told by Ringling students they were 'raking them through like a factory'. shrug. I wouldn't know, I've never been to Ringling myself. Sorry if I offended anyone.
Let me clarify my own position then - I'll look at the applicants work to date, and make my judgement much like any art director would when selecting members for his team. (And, yes, personally I do usually like to emphasize traditional art skills.)

About migrating to a new country - I've lived in Sweden, Australia, Hong Kong, USA, and now Malaysia. I've visited many more. I must say so far I like Malaysia the best.
I feel kind of sorry for people, including those in my own immediate circle of friends and family, who feel they have to stay rooted in the same country all their lives, although I suppose I must respect their choice. It's a shame, though, especially for those who don't really know what they're missing. :)

Stahlberg
08-24-2003, 05:45 AM
Deadjeffersons - it's live because we need something right now to show potential investors and distributors, buyers of content, potential new hires, local politicians, etc etc etc. We're not at this time looking for applicants for the training center, since this won't open until about 6 months from now. But since we've gotten so much interest and questions we thought artists would be interested to find out a bit more too.

Until just a couple months ago, I was the only person working on these projects - in my spare time. That should explain why there's not more to show at the moment. Yes, of course I'm looking for 'people to do my work for me'. That's the whole point of starting a production company, and the only way anything worthwhile's ever going to get finished. Though I won't mind working on someone else's project either, if it's a good one.

Strob
08-25-2003, 10:22 AM
Wow! It sounds very interesting to me. I just sent my resume and links to my reel (http://www.strob.net/spgm/spgm.php?g=STROB_DEMO_REEL) and gallery (http://www.strob.net/spgm/spgm.php?) . I want to live in an exotic country and work with a master! :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

bRyaN2003
08-25-2003, 07:16 PM
This seems like the coolest thing in the world to me right now .

UNfortunately i lack any skills when it comes to CG and Digital art.
But this website, and the masters that post has gotten me extremely interested in starting some CG work of my own. Up until now, i am strictly a traditional artist(pencils, pens, paints)

This would be the perfect learnig opportunity, but it seems like you already need to have the skills to work/study there.

Nonethless, I wish you the best in this endeavor and hopefully i could build an impressive enough portfolio to aallow my entrance into this awesome program.

BoydLake
08-26-2003, 02:21 AM
Sounds cool enough. There are a few comments/questions that come to mind:

1. This first one has to do with what I feel are the conflicting goals of this Hybrid approach: providing education and competing in a marketplace. It would seem that when it came down to priority the latter wins, since you're promising low or no tuition and fees for the student/laborer. this to me says, you're interested in leveraging the student in the market as a laborer first, and educating the student second.

With other educational institutuions, while they still need to pull in enough money to stay afloat, the primary goals are to recruit educate and place students in the market place. Some are more oriented to get the financial aid check the students can qualify for, but even in thoose cases, they still have to show they can place graduates in order to recruit students.

I'm afraid that unless education is the primary goal of an institution, then what's best for the students is likely to come secondary to business, whenever there's a choice to be made between the two.

2. Using student labor may make you able to do the work two to three times cheaper, but what about the added time a less experienced staff will require? If you're going for high quality, they will need more time than an experienced staff would to maintain that standard.

3. On school projects, most students get the opportunity to try a wide range of career areas without the stress and risks associated with employment. I can't see the average student getting those opportunities in an environment you're proposing. It would seem that more traditional institutions would be able to offer a more rounded education in a less stressful setting. Indeed, student assingments can be stressful, but if you do poorly in a class, you can often make it up by re-taking the class.... you don't have to worry about being fired when you screw up on a school assignment.

Anyway, these were comments/questions I had that I thought were worth bringing up.

DePingus
08-26-2003, 04:12 AM
This seems to be a great place to do an internship, not so much a full-blown education. Although education is a side-effect of the internship its not the same learning you will get at a school. Like Mr. Stahlberg mentioned, its real-world experience. This would be a great place for graduates to end up at for 18 months. Sign me up!

Lunatique
08-26-2003, 06:15 AM
1. but even in those cases, they still have to show they can place graduates in order to recruit students.

Do they really? How many of say Ringling's graduates have gotten jobs in the industry right after graduation?
Seriously, I don't know and I'd like to. Anyone have a guess? I'm assuming the schools would not keep statistics on this, so we'd have to ask the graduates themselves.

2. Yes, that's correct, we estimate roughly an average of 3 supervised apprentices will be able to do the work of one master, at first (this ratio may change towards the end of the course).

3. Right again, we plan to specialize a bit more than a school would. In fact what will probably happen is many of our admittees will already have tried the more expensive more generalized 'no-stress-no-risk' approach.
Sure, we'll stress you... but it's not much of a risk - it's a plane ticket! Not like you'll be paying off loans for the rest of your life. And you would get to see an exotic country for that money.

We'll focus on realistic to semi-realistic cg character creation and animation. We have to expect our trainees to already have a fairly clear idea of what they want to do.

About firing: since one apprentice is only 'worth' 1/3 of a master, and since it's only 18 months, he/she would have to become one royal pain in the ass for us to go through all the trouble of firing him/her. And to avoid this, is why we'll try to be strict on admissions.

Stahlberg
08-26-2003, 06:21 AM
Oops! That was me who wrote that, not Lunatique, he must have forgotten to log out from this computer before he went shopping... :)
Sorry!

slime
08-26-2003, 07:21 AM
I don't understand the bitching.
Seems a great exciting opportunity for people with talent but without experience. Anybody young with the cg dream that could afford the plane ticket should be excited.
You can also send the reel to other studios, but not many are accepting a lot of internships lately, and you know that is difficult to enter this world without experience ;)

Good luck, Stahlberg! :thumbsup:

BoydLake
08-26-2003, 07:37 AM
Originally posted by Lunatique
1.

Do they really? How many of say Ringling's graduates have gotten jobs in the industry right after graduation?
Seriously, I don't know and I'd like to. Anyone have a guess? I'm assuming the schools would not keep statistics on this, so we'd have to ask the graduates themselves.

Actually, any decent school of this sort (non university) would have these numbers. What I'm saying is that any discriminating student will seek those numbers out and make a decision based on them.

I'm also saying, that at the tuition rates they typically charge, they won't survive without proving their worth with placement figures. I'm not necessarily defending Ringling's placement in particular, since I have no idea what their numbers are either.

One thing I will say in Ringling's defense, since they've been singled out, is that their students work is prominently featured in the electronic theater at Siggraph on what seems like a yearly basis. That to me says something about the quality of their program.

In my own experience, I completed core fine art training at a University and transfered to I.T.T. and got a degree in CAD Design, since there were no other CG related courses available (this was 1988). My experience there was a mix of good and bad, and I am pretty sure it was comparable to what you'll find at most non-university CG programs. Their tuition was higher than the University I attended, but I went to I.T.T. because they had a 80%-90% placement rate, and I was married and needed to get a job quickly to support a family.

Now I have no idea whether Ringling, Full Sail, Art Institutes, etc.. have nearly that high placement rates, but if they are going to be around long, they will have to place graduates consistently, or discriminating students will choose to go elswhere.

2. Yes, that's correct, we estimate roughly an average of 3 supervised apprentices will be able to do the work of one master, at first (this ratio may change towards the end of the course).

Then is it really that much cheaper than having one master do it alone even if he's in the states? I mean, you still have to pay your master artist, and the apprentices. Then there's hardware for the apprentices, space and other costs related to having extra employees/students.

That brings up another question: What kind of visa do you get to go there, a work visa or student visa, or does Malaysia even worry about visas?

3. Right again, we plan to specialize a bit more than a school would. In fact what will probably happen is many of our admittees will already have tried the more expensive more generalized 'no-stress-no-risk' approach.
Sure, we'll stress you... but it's not much of a risk - it's a plane ticket! Not like you'll be paying off loans for the rest of your life. And you would get to see an exotic country for that money.

We'll focus on realistic to semi-realistic cg character creation and animation. We have to expect our trainees to already have a fairly clear idea of what they want to do.

Heh, sort of a Master's degree at the school of Steve. :arteest:

Stahlberg
08-26-2003, 07:56 AM
Well, don't worry, we've done the calculations over and over, and it all works out. :)

If you find this whole idea hard to swallow another way you could look at it is as simply an ambitious intern-program, with a difference.

About other schools, I think I've been confusing Ringling with FullSail, sorry. Anyway. I doubt any school has 90% placement rate today... but I'd like to hear from some recent graduate who knows what became of most of his classmates. Anyone?

keithlango
08-26-2003, 08:49 AM
I've spent some time with the faculty at Ringling and am fairly familiar with their program (they're good folks, very dedicated and talented. Their high reputation is well earned). They are a 4 year college of art and design. The larger section of the school is in fine art and illustration (several hundred students). The computer animation department is approximately 120 students across all 4 years of undergraduate study. Each year Ringling's computer animation program recieves about 300-400 applications, and they accept only 45 new freshemen each year. The cost is not cheap. Tuition runs in excess of $20,000 USD per year and they offer no scholarships. As for graduate placement, by the time a class gradutes, the number of students has been reduced through attrition, failure, etc from 45 to around 30-35. Of those, around the top half graduate with reels good enough to get some kind of work in the business right out of school (from games to broadcast graphics to video, film, commercials, corporate 3d, etc). Of those, there's maybe 2-4 "star" students who are heavily recruited by large film studios. Those are the folks whose work usually ends up in the E-theater. The rest of the graduating class will need more seasoning once they graduate, but they'll generally get work eventually if they keep at it (within 12-18 motnhs of graduation). And there seems to be a few each year who are there to get the diploma because mom and dad are loaded with cash and are putting them through college and they couldn't really care less about anything besides mere graduation (if that). But that's a very small minority. So a decent percentage of Ringling C.A. grads will be working in the business within 2 years of graduating, some sooner than others.
Fullsail is a bit more of a vocational school. Shorter programs, less liberal arts (practically none), high student turn around. It's more of a focused 3d training center than a college. Each has it's place in the educational marketplace.

And that's the important thing to remember: education is a product. And when it comes to markets, product choice and variety is king.

I think it's great that Stephen and his group are offering a different education product in the marketplace. Is any one product right for everybody? Of course not. So the more educational products and alternatives we have to choose from the better. You have full 4 year undergraduate programs like Ringling and Cal Arts. You have certificate programs like Fullsail. You have your hybrids like Vancouver Film School. You have targeted specific training like Gnomon. And now you have this other alternative. This sounds like a great "learning lab" situation. It's just non-traditional, that's all. And at the rate that college tuitions and fees are rising (3-5 times the rate of inflation), you're going to see more and more alternative education options cropping up in the world, in animation and in every other imaginable field.

As a non-traditional learner myself I say it's great to see some education alternatives out there. The more choices the merrier I say. If I were starting out again I'd be awful tempted to follow this path. :)

-k

TheGreenGiant
08-26-2003, 01:55 PM
Originally posted by Stahlberg
Well, don't worry, we've done the calculations over and over, and it all works out. :)

If you find this whole idea hard to swallow another way you could look at it is as simply an ambitious intern-program, with a difference.

About other schools, I think I've been confusing Ringling with FullSail, sorry. Anyway. I doubt any school has 90% placement rate today... but I'd like to hear from some recent graduate who knows what became of most of his classmates. Anyone?

Stalhberg.. you skipped over Boyd's very pertinent questions about the visas. I reckon that's quite important. Do you have some sort of arrangement with the Malaysian government - are we going to be staff or students - either way, it would factor into our roles in your firm/school - you also mentioned earlier that the venture was a co-op with the Malaysian government (or did I misread that) - how come then, you aren't training more Malays?

rickycox
08-26-2003, 02:50 PM
Sounds like a great idea. 18 months isn't such a long time, I'm sure it would fly by pretty quickly. I did 3 years volunteer work, 1 day a week at an art gallery in Sydney. But you don't mind doing that sort of thing if your passionate about art.

Plus with this you can get immersed in another culture which would be a rewarding experience in itself.

I've got friends in KL that keep asking me to come and visit. I've actually been 4 times, but just in transit.

What's the deal with visa's like, do you need to apply for a student visa?

I think KL would be a great place to live.

Shade01
08-27-2003, 04:21 AM
I've got a question: If your standards of admission are so high and your showreel has to be uber cool to get in, then what's the point? Isn't anybody with a demo reel *that* good already working in the industry?

And are you saying that someone without much talent but willing to make an effort will not get in?

Stahlberg
08-27-2003, 07:40 AM
I repeat, I prefer people with some traditional art skills, and I also prefer people who know Maya, but these 2 are often traded off against each other. It'll have to be a case-by-case thing. And don't forget, it all depends on how many are applying to any one batch.

you skipped over Boyd's very pertinent questions about the visas.

Sorry, forgot. Visas of any kind are easy for us, as we do have this special relationship with the government. It might take a month, you don't even have to be here, but you can, and you can even be working here while you wait.

About Malaysians, I'm sure there are many talented Malaysians who will be admitted if they apply.
But we'll have a new batch every 6 months, and we normally wouldn't be admitting beginners. There's not a huge population here, most Malaysian applicants would be coming from only the KL area anyway, furthermore the 3d industry isn't very enormous around here either yet. So there should still be plenty of seats left for foreigners. :)

somlor
08-27-2003, 09:40 AM
How hard would it be to bring my girlfriend? :love:

18 months is a long time to do the long distance thing.

Stahlberg
08-27-2003, 12:44 PM
If she doesn't work for us, and she's not married or related to you, we can't give her a work visa. But she can stay 3 months as a normal tourist, and then take the bus to Singapore - about a day's trip back and forth, not expensive - then on returning get another 3 months. And so on. There's also wonderful Thailand right next door. :)

Sky_DaBomB
08-28-2003, 12:12 AM
and then take the bus to Singapore - about a day's trip back and forth, not expensive - then on returning get another 3 months. And so on. There's also wonderful Thailand right next door.
What a great way to get the visa...yeah it's quite easy to get a visa in Asian. :applause:

somlor
08-28-2003, 01:17 AM
Yeah, that's funny. I had no idea you could do something like that. Thanks for the info.

Well, time to polish my reel. :D

eLm0
08-28-2003, 04:05 PM
hey again,
last couple posts about the school in specific have been a bit iffy on the details as expected cause its not in soild yet alot of them so for us eager people waiting
what sorta experience are you looking at:
i.e. ( new graduates, people with industry experience, very experienced, beginners with some all-rounded ) what exactally are you looking for

also how many places will be avaliable for students *how many students per batch you looking at*

and on a side note about what Boyd Lake was getting at
i love your idea but your making the student both a client and employee and it's important to create a barrier between the to even tho you learn heaps in the work place your getting a mix of people some looking for schooling, some looking for work, some looking for both and when your selling a product *your idea* wheather your employing them or not its important to remember that even tho the persons working for you there still a client.

its pretty late and i lost what i was getting at. Its finially in action congrats Stephen is it in stone yet or is it still in the concept stage?

Stahlberg
08-29-2003, 06:15 AM
eLmO; there will be about 12 - 18 places to fill each 6 months. In the beginning less, more as we expand. If only one person applies, he's in. If 13 people apply and we're taking 12, I'll pick the 12 most talented ones (weighing that against how well they know Maya).

As for details on what I'm looking for, it's very subjective. And people are all very different - I don't want to rule anyone out. As clearly as I can phrase it today - in a few months I WILL be looking for:
Talented people motivated to become 3d artists, preferrably knowing SOME Maya already - OR - talented 3d artist working in some other package, motivated to learn Maya - OR - very motivated and very skilled at Maya and MEL but maybe not so 'artistic'. Or any combination of the above.

About client versus employee; perhaps more employee than client, but it's really neither. It's more like the traditional relationship of apprentice-master.

.................................................................................

I also have an announcement: Robert Chang, better known here as Lunatique, will be joining me and kfc (and the others) in the Androidblues VTS.
He and his beautiful wife Elena visited us here in KL, we interviewed him and he looked us over, we immediately knew we wanted to work together.
His short film 'Promise' will be one of the projects we'll be working on, with him in the lead of course.

.....................................................................................

eLm0
08-29-2003, 06:52 AM
haha thanks.
apprentice-master great way of describing it.

Lunatique
08-29-2003, 09:58 AM
As the newest member of Androidblues, I'll chime in and say a few words:

1)Optidigit isn't your typical operation. The studio was founded on trust and friendship between longtime friends. They all share the same dream, and that dream is to make a mark in the industry and produce original content that is not only commercially successful, but also artistically fulfilling. Being a production studio that works on farmed out contracts is not what Androidblues wants. We're in it to do our own thing--not to play with somebody else's toys.

2)Creative voices are valued in the company. It doesn't matter if you are an animater, modeller, texturer..etc, if you have an interest and talent in original content creation, they will take you seriously and give your voice a chance to be heard. Is is then up to you to impress everyone with your ideas.

3)Malaysia isn't a totally foreign country. Most people speak English(although with a heavy accent), and all the modern conveniences you expect from a cosmopolitan city are available. Gigantic shopping malls, cable television(HBO, SHO, MTV, Cartoon Network, Sci-Fi channel...etc), English bookstores, Anime/manga stores, video game stores, comfortable apartments, international food, nightclubs..etc are all there.

4)The weather is warm all year round--so if you don't like tropical weather, this isn't for you. (Or, just stay indoor and blast the AC.)

5)I don't need to tell you guys how nice of a person Steven is. You all know that from his presence online over the years.

6)Since I'll probably be one of the people involved in make decisions on hiring artists, I'll echo what Steven said before: we place heavier emphasis on traditional skills here than other studios. This doesn't mean that we won't look at anyone who's good at 3D but can't draw their way out of a paper bag. It just means that you'll impress us more if you have traditional skills too. Steven made a great analogy once while we were walking home from the office one night. He said, "It's kind of like, take your clothes off, and let's see what you really have underneath the clothes. If you were sucking in your pot belly, we'd know." So, basically, if we take away your software, you should still be an artist with or without it.

Ching T
08-29-2003, 10:57 AM
WoW:eek:

This seems to be the best studio ever! Some of the best 3d artists in the world join force, looking for talent artists from all around the world. Awesome idea!!

What about those who have artistic skill but donít have the main interest in 3d? (Concept art, Script writing, directing skill, etcÖ)

Strob
08-29-2003, 11:10 AM
Originally posted by Lunatique
Steven made a great analogy once while we were walking home from the office one night. He said, "It's kind of like, take your clothes off, and let's see what you really have underneath the clothes. If you were sucking in your pot belly, we'd know." So, basically, if we take away your software, you should still be an artist with or without it.

OK I'll take my clothes off for you, but please don't take away my software!!!:shame:

Stahlberg
08-29-2003, 12:21 PM
LOL! I'd forgotten I said that...

Ching T, we'll look for writers, directors and concept artists too, but obviously not as many as the 18 month 3d apprentices.

Ching T
08-29-2003, 03:43 PM
oh Thanks:)

I will look forward for it.

eLm0
08-29-2003, 04:13 PM
i'll reluctantly take my clothes off if it guarrentees a position hehe
:scream:

how many trainers are you looking at outta curiousity cause i know that you and stephen are teaching oviously but who else or will it start with you two and progress to many more?:wavey:

tauism
08-29-2003, 04:40 PM
hi stephen, lets assume(although i think this will probably happen) that a barrage of applications come in from abroad and in malaysia. Do you give priorities to locals or is it solely based on merit? How about if there is one more spot left and its a choice between a malaysian and a foreigner, will the malaysian be chosen?

I ask this because I'm wondering whether you intend to help increase the talent levels in Malaysia first and then opening it up to others when there is space or is it first come first served?

Gamoron
08-29-2003, 05:39 PM
Sounds really promising. I've always wanted to check out the old country. Shame about the working visas not being handed to girlfriends (I love her but marriage is a big step;) ) But I'd be interested in learning more. Is there a link for anything else?

Strob
08-29-2003, 07:39 PM
I've just learned some facts about Malaysia (http://voyage.dfait-maeci.gc.ca/dest/report-en.asp?country=171000)

One bizzare thing:
In Malaysia, homosexuality is illegal and you can be put in jail for a long time for that. :deal:

I'm hetero but now I know that if I move to Malaysia, I have to stay hetero... Fine for me!

Note that each country has weird laws (http://www.lostplayground.com/articles_weird_laws.htm)

Derlaine
08-30-2003, 09:39 PM
deleted text because i can't delete the post

R_K
08-31-2003, 12:12 AM
steven, can you compare your apprentice program with Gnoman's training program? I know that you are working on projects and not paying the thousands to Gnoman but you learn a lot at Gnoman (i am a fourth term student here). It is hard to focus, though, here because I learn so much in such a short time. 18 months is not long to learn what in earlier times a painting student would spend ten years training for.

i think the idea is really awesome and may even apply myself as i think more training can be nothing but good and traveling is close to my heart.

thanks,
r

Sky_DaBomB
08-31-2003, 04:18 AM
R_K: Hmmm dont mean to be harsh but if you are attending at Gnomon, you should know the school is not Gnoman :shrug:

rickycox
08-31-2003, 04:31 AM
Hey Strob a bit off topic but I read in a Sydney Paper that oral sex is against the law in the US. Some British reporter got arrested for it during the Atlanta games. Very scary huh :)

Stahlberg
08-31-2003, 05:49 AM
eLmO; we're starting with a small group of trainers, then grow as we go. Some graduates may want to stay on and become trainers, others will be hired "cold".

tauism; as a guideline we plan to aim for about 50/50. But that's not a rule, it's a guideline, and it's ours not anyone else's. Which means we can depart from it if we think it's justified. Talent will come first, nationality second, I'll do my best to make everyone happy, including our share holders.

Gamoron; no links that I know of. I get my info straight from the source, let me know if you have any more questions.

Derlaine; I wouldn't recommend anyone to interrupt a school program they've started, just to apply to us. You're still young (compared to me) and if we're successful we'll still be here 10 years from now. There's no rush. If you finish your present program you'll have a better chance of getting in here (and anywhere else). To answer your question, I'd say probably next year.

R_K; I know very little of Gnomon but I think it's better at teaching you how to use every part of Maya than any other institution. We, on the other hand, will focus on long form realistic character animation. We're not focusing on Maya per se, it just seems that way today because it's all I've been using so it's all I know.
But if another app or combo of apps comes along that's better than Maya in a pipeline for long form realistic character animation, then we'll switch.

Peter Reynolds
08-31-2003, 06:31 AM
DAMN. Did you hear that?

Stahlberg's switching to XSI.

wgreenlee1
08-31-2003, 06:33 AM
Originally posted by Peter Reynolds
DAMN. Did you hear that?

Stahlberg's switching to XSI.


:applause: :applause:

Hahaha.....too funny Peter,youre way too funny!:wip:

R_K
09-02-2003, 08:25 PM
Stahlberg; sorry to ask a simple question, but what do you mean by "long form realistic character animation"? the "long form" in particular. this whole thing sounds more and more exciting particularly since my original training is as a realistic sculptor and painter.

Sky_DaBomb, I'm so glad you could correct me. my world is a much better place now and i am sure yours is too. I guess i have been working on the rig for Gnomon's Gnoman for too long now. :shrug:

Stahlberg
09-03-2003, 09:31 AM
R_K, that just means I want to specialize in story telling, using the type of characters you can see on my website. Long form usually means anything longer than a TV commercial, with some kind of entertainment value. Like short film, music video, TV series, feature film, theme park rides etc...

DePingus
09-03-2003, 04:15 PM
On to more important questions...and this is for anyone who knows, not just Mr. Stahlberg. How do people unwind after a long day's work!? Is there any nightlife? Bars? Clubs? What time is 'last call'? How are Malaysian women? Do they all run about covered from head to toe in traditional Muslim garb? How would they take to a Cuban-American in their midsts?

Things sound somewhat strict over there. In the Canadian travel guide it mentions that it is illegal to purchase alcohol in someplaces and apparently the death sentence is handed out for things that would earn you a slap on the wrist around here. And they have pirates too! :surprised

I've lived my whole life in Miami and I'm used to a certain way of life. 18 months is a long time to behave myself. (Not that I can't but its just something I would need to take into consideration). :D

Lunatique
09-03-2003, 04:28 PM
During our 6 days of non-stop shopping at all the major malls in KL, I'd say we only saw one woman completely covered from head to toe out of maybe one hundred. So, no, not a lot. We saw plenty of hot chicks in lowriding pants--so, it's not some stuffy place with prudish women.

At all the restaurants we ate at, there was alcohol--too bad that we're not big drinkers.

I know that illegal firearms can get you the death penalty, but I don't know about the rest. Steven can fill in on that.

As far as night life goes, there are bars, pubs, dance clubs, live music...etc. Remember, KL has lots of ex-patriates, so many places cater to that type of customer.

All-in-all, I didn't feel much of a difference between KL and other major cities, other than the occasional muslim/hindu garbs worn by some women--and they certainly are not the majority. The biggest difference would be the heavy accent when the locals speak English. Takes some time to get use to.

Strob
09-03-2003, 07:21 PM
Happy birthday Malaysia!!! (Last sunday, it was Merdeka day)

Hi Lunatic!: When are you moving to Malaysia?


I found some good links about malaysia:


A touristic guide (http://www.geographia.com/malaysia/)

A malaysian blogs listing (http://www.mycen.com.my/search/blog.html) (reading blogs is the best way to learn about a country)

Another blogs listing in Malaysia (http://www.blogwise.com/bycountry.php?country=130)

A good photoblog (http://photoblog.jeffooi.com/cyleow/)

kfc
09-04-2003, 05:19 AM
Good day guys.
I've been working under Stahlberg's supervision for almost a month now. All I can say about this experience is superb (Thanks to Steven and Alain for giving me the job). I've get the chance to play around with all of his models and rigg.
Currently our group is still small (only steven, mr.Lor and me) at the moment. oh I should add this, mr. Lor is a great local animator and a good colleage of mine. We are waiting eagerly for Robert to come back to M'sia by this month. (Lunatique, great to meet u in person)

I never left M'sia since I was born (except once traveled to singapore at 12 years old). If anyone has any doubt and trouble about this country. I might can help answering some of the questions.

"Things sound somewhat strict over there. In the Canadian travel guide it mentions that it is illegal to purchase alcohol in someplaces and apparently the death sentence is handed out for things that would earn you a slap on the wrist around here. And they have pirates too! "

I guess the person who wrote the travel guide never really travel to M'sia before. It's only illegal to purchase alcohol for muslim.

Pirates, ah.... I never seen one around me here. com'on, This is the land not sea. U'd onlu got a chance to encounter with a pirate if only u are a fisherman.

Drug is a little strict here if anyone found carrying cocain or any drug in to M'sia will have to face a death penalty. hmmm.... I've no problem with that. but for ppl who is coming in, be extra caution on ur own luggage.

Malaysia is a country on a land of peninsular and an island where sabah and sarawak is (shares with indonesia). currently we are located at the west side of the peninsular which I can say is the safest place of asia. Everythings here is cheap for alot of foreigner I've met before. But Robert mentioned that electrical appliances here is slightly expensive than china.
Night life is great where u can find alot of decent pubs, disco, cafe (alot of starbucks, coffee bean and etc around) and restaurant at any part of the country.
There's alot of historical buildings (great source of inspirations and texture collection) all over the country especially at Melacca and Penang. And these places are the best place for Yummyyyy food. I encourage all of u guys to travel to some other states of Malaysia for the sake of great food and leisure.

Speaking of how cheap is our life here? hmmm.... if u want to live as comfortable as possible. U can rent a condominium with 3000 square feet and fully furnished at 1k USD. It's already has swimming pool and gym included. This is already more than enough to move ur whole family to this place.
I personally renting an appartment for 225 USD. It's an condominium with 850 square feet. I've to furnish it on my own but I've got all of facility that I need. Swimming pool, gym, playground and etc. U name it, u'll got it.

http://www.cgtalk.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=66443&highlight=rent+student <---- guys, read this page and u'll see the difference.

This is not the matter of hard sell of company or country. This is just to shares some info here if any of U here are interested to work in this country. And I'll always be happy to give u guys a hand on solving trouble that I can handle.
I'm actally very happy about this educational program. Because I was once a student before. and I've experience the moment when I couldn't afford to pay the tuition fee and have to drop out from the college during the 3rd year (but a few months later they hired me back as a lecturer). Now I still have to pay back the debt of remaining tuition fees to my ex employer and that is going to take me atlease 2 years to clear all fo the debt. If this program started 4 years ago, I might not have to go throgh all of the trouble with the financial problem.
Now, here we are.... ready to help ppl with ambition to become a digital artist/animator but couldn't afford to go to college.

Stahlberg
09-04-2003, 05:26 AM
Lunatique tells it right.
Remember there's about 25 - 30% Chinese in this country, who dress pretty much like Westerners do in any warm place, like Miami. :)

I personally unwind by vegetating in front of the TV with my family and some good food, then do some more work on my home computer. On weekends I like to mix a visit to a mall in with the work. (If I did a blog it would be very tedious.)
I have no idea when last-call is, or if they even have that here. IMO, that Canadian site was a bit over-protective of Canadians and so gives us a skewed impression of Malaysia.

edit: HA, kfc wrote that while I was writing this. Right behind my back too! :) Yes, kfc tells it right too.

Lunatique
09-04-2003, 05:48 AM
One thing that always bothered me a bit about seeing these photo-journals is that:

Photographers always seek out the least developed parts of a country to take photos. It's like if a photographer visited the Unites States, he goes to the deep south to take pictures of farmers and cows and tractors--but that's hardly a representitive picture of the United States, no? I guess it's because I'm a city kid, and I'd go take pictures of the downtown buildings, streets, stores, people, cars..etc. LOL!

If you are going to KL to work, it's very unlikely you'll travel to the less developed parts of the country like the countryside. I know for me, I'll stay in the big city all the time--unless I'm going to take some photography for a photo-journal, of course. ;)

kfc
09-04-2003, 05:53 AM
Do they all run about covered from head to toe in traditional Muslim garb? How would they take to a Cuban-American in their midsts?

ha... I guess this could be the most interesting thing for some of u guys here. Ok... there's alot of malay gal cover up their hair. U can see them around but totally covered up in black and we barely see their eye. that's not 1/100 among the population though. I might say it's 1/8000 and most of the time, they are just visitors from mid east. The chances of seeing one is rare.
infact, alot of girls in KL doesn't wear the regular "Tudung" (refer to the thingy to cover up their hair). Our secretary here doesn't wear one. we can assume that only much more traditional thinking melay girl (muslim) wear tudung around. U can see them at government dept., Melay hangouts (we don't really have to go there except for food again), villages and so on. As far as I've seen, tudung is not likely to be wear at our favorite hang outs like pubs and disco. But things is a little different at the east side of the peninsular (Terengganu and Kelantan). they follow muslim law very strictly. I've heard they'd chop off ur arm or ur leg if u are caught as a theif. well, that's just a rumor. Nothing like that happened here. most of the muslim women at the eat coast wear tudung.

Like Robert mentioned before, alot of hot chicks with sexy dress around. (and he personally mentioned that he found that girls here has better body figure, his wife also agrees on that).
ah.... Michelle Yeoh (kung fu fighting bond girl) is a Malaysian too.

A link to the beautiful Rainforest of M'sia (http://www.orean.com/nature.html)

Imagine golden sandy palm fringed beaches, coral island, pinacolada, babe in swim suit and clown fish. Waaoo... Don't worry, girls don't wear "tudung" in swin suit/Bikini.

If I describe the place that i'm living now. I'd say it's a city with the mix of Bali Life style.

AlexAlvarez
09-04-2003, 07:04 AM
Strange that this thread has turned into a 'how are the chicks?', 'is it backwards?', 'do they have the Gap?', 'what do you do on weekends?' thing...

If you are going to get on the job experience with Steven, than there you go.. I personally haven't met Stahlberg yet but I've known of him for -years- (and I assume he's known of what I've been up to) and I've always respected his character work. His 'apprenticeship' idea sounds interesting and has the potential to be valuable to a select group of people... so I wouldn't worry about Malaysia. I'd worry about A) getting accepted and B) knowing that you have the drive to do whatever you are asked to do whether you like or not... trust in those who know what's up. As I'm sure Steven does...

Will Steven's company be able to train you to become a better artist? I would think so. Will it prepare you for a job outside of Malaysia? To an extent, probably... But is Malaysia a cool place to be? Does it matter?

The main question I have is what type of artists, for what type of studios, will this program prepare people for? Steven has mentioned a focus on character animation... well, you have to decide if that is what you want to do. As there are many aspects to production other than that type of work. Not to mention that a small studio has different requirements of a character artist versus a large studio.

A.

Stahlberg
09-04-2003, 07:33 AM
LOL Yes but you know most of the guys who come here will be young single men, and some of them are bound to get local girlfriends... I'm sure some will even marry them. So it's understandable. :)

Thanks, yes, I've known about Gnomon too since it started, and you and your work Alex, I always wanted to attend one of your courses because I know it would make me better at Maya. And your comments on character animation are correct. This thing we'll be doing here probably isn't for everyone.
When the time approaches we will have more detailed info on our website.

TheGreenGiant
09-04-2003, 07:42 AM
Originally posted by A.Alvarez
Will Steven's company be able to train you to become a better artist? I would think so. Will it prepare you for a job outside of Malaysia? To an extent, probably... But is Malaysia a cool place to be? Does it matter?
A.

Yes it does. If Stalhberg's school was in Iraq.. would you go? Being accepted will be bloody awesome but for life is more than just work - its where you live, how you live and if you can get something out of life. Its good that questions about Malaysia about being asked as its vital information. I mean, you're going to be travelling to a foreign country (and on which is a)Islamic b) in a tropical climate); you'd definitely like to know more.

Malaysia I would say, wouldn't be a bad place to be.. But I personally couldn't live there.

And as for the Stalhberg's school info/position, in my instance, I've already tabled my interests (pending acceptance of course) but the fact is not much info is forth coming at Stalhberg's end - we're getting drips of "it'll be high quality".. "project descriptions" etc but nothing concrete in terms of what the positions entail and what the hours will be like. There has also been little discussion on pay (although it had been mentioned accepted personnels will be paid) but on what level? Even the questions on VISA was answered with a "we have an arrangement with the Malaysian government" - What IS that arrangemenet and surely the firm is expected to train Malaysians too (otherwise, it's too good on Styalhberg's end. Something for nothing? What are the proportion of overseas staff vs locals. All this is pertinent but I'm sure the team is working on the details now. Til we know more, I guess it wouldn't hurt to ask about the locale.

DePingus
09-04-2003, 08:13 AM
First, let me thank you guys for replying. Malaysia sounds like a great place and, more importantly, not so much of a stretch for someone like me. AndriodBlue is definately something I'll be keeping an eye on and considering.

Originally posted by A.Alvarez
Strange that this thread has turned into a 'how are the chicks?', 'is it backwards?', 'do they have the Gap?', 'what do you do on weekends?' thing...
Perhaps I was a bit too facetious with my questions. I already know that Mr. Stahlberg and company can offer me an invaluable education like nowhere else (there are 4 pages prior to my post covering that in this thread). I've already decided; Educationally and profesionally this a fantastic opportunity. But again, 18 months is a long time in a strange place. While questions such as "Is this the type of work I want to do?" are vital, it is also important (at least to me) to find out what type of lifestyle changes I will have to accomodate. One must be happy both in life and work, else why bother?

Anyways, I didn't mean to steer this thread in a different direction (especially not that one..."backwards"!?) And you bring up a great point about the focus on character animation. Many thanks for the insight.

elfufu
09-04-2003, 09:50 AM
Originally posted by Sky_DaBomB
R_K: Hmmm dont mean to be harsh but if you are attending at Gnomon, you should know the school is not Gnoman :shrug: ROFLMAO hahahahahaha :applause: :applause:

Stahlberg
09-04-2003, 11:40 AM
nothing concrete in terms of what the positions entail and what the hours will be like.

Before we can answer these questions we need to finish building our studio. This is why we're not taking applications now. I would guess that the hours would be somewhat less than mine are, unless someone wanted to work longer. We will be doing our best to rotate people through different positions, whenever possible, if they want. Pay, I don't know, not my decision. I repeat: details will be published later.

Even the questions on VISA was answered with a "we have an arrangement with the Malaysian government" - What IS that arrangemenet and surely the firm is expected to train Malaysians too

We're an MSC company (Multimedia Super Corridor) there's a link on our website. In short we have special privileges that other local companies don't, including easier visa procedures for our employees. Yes naturally we're expected to train Malaysians, we have no problem with that, we want to. I already stated we'll try to keep it about 50/50.

kfc
09-08-2003, 06:00 AM
http://www.geocities.com/tvsmith/lessons.html

Here's a guide to all of the foreigners for a visit to M'sia.

[edited]oppss.... I find that some might sound a little offending but it's just for the sake of a laught. but anyway, there's some info in it which is very true about our culture.

Derlaine
09-08-2003, 09:46 AM
deleted text because i can't delete the post

elfufu
09-17-2003, 11:16 PM
nuff said http://www.boners.com/content/790470.1.jpg

Stahlberg
09-18-2003, 08:12 AM
That sign is mildly funny in its language. But I agree with it. You want to pay good money to fly to the other side of the earth, and then live like a homeless person, pissing off the locals? I wouldn't recommend doing that in any country.

::r|[o::
12-16-2003, 11:43 AM
It's been a couple of months since the last update, so I was wondering if there is any news about this project since then. I'm really interested :)

Strob
12-16-2003, 04:03 PM
No news=good news?

boomji
12-16-2003, 06:00 PM
Originally posted by kfc
http://www.geocities.com/tvsmith/lessons.html

Here's a guide to all of the foreigners for a visit to M'sia.




...ahahaahaahhaahahaha maaan that link leads to some nice jokes as well...i havent laughed so hard in years(honest)
...thanks a lot.

b

Stahlberg
12-17-2003, 05:48 AM
Yes, in this case no news is good news. :) Things are moving, slowly, but in the right direction.

ZenMaster
06-13-2004, 10:25 AM
I am interested in the training.

I was wondering if everything is moving foward ? If you had some news to tell.

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