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View Full Version : Which College to go to..


Erdauq
05-04-2010, 03:47 AM
Ok well, what i want to do when i grow up is either 3D Character Modelling, Environment Artist, or something along those lines (not Animator). So, when i was looking for colleges, i was looking for colleges that had those classes (im in 11th grade atm). So, i looked at colleges such as Gnomon (www.gnomonschool.com), Full Sail (www.fullsail.edu) (they send me stuff in the mail), Ringling (http://www.ringling.edu), etc. The thing is, i dont think most schools like that have like the traditional 4 year, stay on campus sort of thing.

But to me, i always hated how i would go to college and have to take classes such as English 101 and Calculus or w/e and cant start classes that have to do with my major because i have to wait 2 years.

If i were to choose a school such as Full Sail or something, where the program is only like 20 months or so, it would probably be a surprise to my mother, but would get me where i want to go quicker than going to Ohio State, for example, and not doing anything related to what i want to do for a couple years. Anyone have any opinions on like what schools have the courses i would need to take, and also have like dorms or w/e to live on campus?

Sorry for rambling and the long thread..

gawl126
05-04-2010, 10:14 PM
There is campus housing for those schools.

http://www.ringling.edu/ResidenceHalls.47.0.html

MrConterno
05-05-2010, 08:14 PM
Greetings, well first things first. Not sure if you are aware (or your mother) but in this industry degrees are pretty much useless, most studios couldn't care less. Just wanted to make sure you knew that just in case.

As far as 4 year stay on campus, typical type college if you will; being that this is an artsy field you tend to have to go about teaching it in a different way than you would say accounting. This is why you won't find many schools that follow that description that are any good. Not to say a school like Ringling (a 4 year stay on campus [optional] school) isn't any good.

Ok so onto what you want to do, you mention Ringling and so does the guy above me, I do not suggest Ringling for anything other than animation. Ringling although arguably the best animation school in world, isn't all to interested in teaching modeling (characters, environments, any of that). Their pure focus is animation, they do teach modeling and such but only enough to create your scene for your demo reel. Which if you look at Ringling's demo reels the modeling is well utter crap. I highly recommend you look else where if you aren't interested in animation.

My recommendation is to look at Gnomon and Vancouver Film School. Both of these schools are highly respected and considered to be the top dogs when it comes to things other than animation (although VFS is well known for their animation as well).

Gnomon

http://www.gnomonschool.com/


Gnomon has a one, two, and a three year programs. The one year is purely 2d art so I won't talk about that one. The two year program is focused purely on 3d art, it is well known for being top shelf. Their three year program is new, their first class will start this June. This course will give you a combination of the one and two year programs with slight changes. This course is focused on being sure you get a great well rounded education in everything you will need to be a successful artist. There is no doubt that this course will reflect Gnomon's reputation of being a great school. For both these programs, part way threw your program you are able to pick a specialization (modeling, special effects, or animation). After that point you take courses specifically geared to your specialization.


VFS
(Vancouver Film School)
http://www.vfs.edu/
or more specifically- http://www.vfs.edu/fulltime.php?id=7


VFS is also a very well known school for giving top shelf education. They offer a one year program that also offers the same specialization choices. If you wish after completion of the one year program, you are able to take the post-specialization course for a different specialization at a decreased price. So for example you could go for modeling and then go for special effects if that interested you.

Both schools give amazing education and you are learning from industry leaders. Also both schools do not require you to take any liberal arts courses ("English 101"), every class you take directly effects your chosen field. Both courses also have classes about finding jobs, interview information, and all kinds of useful information about your life after school. And of course both schools leave you with an amazing demo reel. Both of these programs do not give a degree nor do they offer on campus living. Both of these schools are right where the action is, the cities are full of studios and possible work.


***Disclaimer***

These are my personal feelings, and do not represent the feelings of cgsociety. This is protected by the freedom of speech and opinion and cannot be constituted as libel or slander.

***End Disclaimer***



Had to get that out of the way :P. As far as Full Sail goes, I recommend looking else where for your education. Full Sail is known for being, lack of a better word flashy. I feel (along with many many others) that Full Sail is mainly interested in how many students they can in and out, almost like a McDonald's, how many cheese burgers can we get out there. They tend to prey on people's dreams. Some people that go here do succeed but the chances are definitely stacked against you. They do offer top quality equipment but if you aren't trained correctly on how to use it that doesn't do much for you now does it? My feelings are a school that is confident that you will choice them because of their quality of education doesn't put a rock band, tour buses, and "VIP" name tags on their school tour. Ringling just has a student walk you around the campus and just tell you a bit about the school, and it made me impressed with their school. Because they don't have anything to hide.

I highly encourage you to talk with the school and create your own opinion, but I want to make sure you are being extremely wary of what they say.

Well I probably missed some thing but I think I should probably stop now, and you thought your post was big :p.

If you have any question about basically any thing about school or the industry feel free to contact me. I'm more than happy to help. Don't worry my replies are usually smaller.

Also my website might be of use to you.
http://mrconternoeducation.viviti.com

-MrConterno

MaxBickley
05-06-2010, 05:45 AM
Studios are looking for a well rounded individual who fits in with their team, as much as they are looking for pure 3d talent. A four year college with a campus is an opportunity for you to grow as an individual as well as an artist. My 2 bits.

taxguy
05-06-2010, 03:44 PM
Maxbickley notes,"Studios are looking for a well rounded individual who fits in with their team, as much as they are looking for pure 3d talent. A four year college with a campus is an opportunity for you to grow as an individual as well as an artist. My 2 bits."

Response: I think you are absolultely right. My daughter worked for a studio that did a lot of motion work for movies and studio web sites. As a project, she had to read over the script for an upcoming movie and help plan a movie trailer. She not only needed good reading skills,but good writing and communications skills as well.

Can you make it as a great 3d modeler? Yes, but you will probably place limitations on your career. My suggestion is to get some strong reading and writing skills as well as strong training in the 3d area as well as decent foundation training in art.. The best way to do this is either to go to a university, strong art school with decent liberal arts or to attend Gnomon AFTER you get these basic skills.

Valhalarising
05-06-2010, 03:57 PM
I've been keeping this in mind myself. I'm in a similar boat myself in trying to figure out schooling and my future. I honestly have little background in the arts, although I have a strong creative mind and strong computer competance. I'm finding as I train myself up to make a portfolio that I also have skill with drawing, so yay. My big limiting factor is location. I'm stuck in Raleigh nc, which is great for the vid game indestry. This means the best school is the living arts college, and so i need to find out if that place is worth my money and time. Opinions anyone? :)

MaxBickley
05-06-2010, 09:12 PM
I've been keeping this in mind myself. I'm in a similar boat myself in trying to figure out schooling and my future. I honestly have little background in the arts, although I have a strong creative mind and strong computer competance. I'm finding as I train myself up to make a portfolio that I also have skill with drawing, so yay. My big limiting factor is location. I'm stuck in Raleigh nc, which is great for the vid game indestry. This means the best school is the living arts college, and so i need to find out if that place is worth my money and time. Opinions anyone? :)

Do you need to stay in state?

Valhalarising
05-06-2010, 10:44 PM
Unfortunately yes, staying in state is best at the moment. By your question should I assume the aforementioned college does not have the greatest reputation? Or instead, based on what I said do you think there is aanother that would be a better choice.

MaxBickley
05-06-2010, 11:20 PM
Unfortunately yes, staying in state is best at the moment. By your question should I assume the aforementioned college does not have the greatest reputation? Or instead, based on what I said do you think there is aanother that would be a better choice.

I couldn't say, I've never heard of 'The Living Arts' College. North Carolina has always been lacking in schools with strong programs, so if it's in any way possible to expand your search out of state I would consider it. I'm not saying your decision to stay in state is a bad one, but your options will be limited.

Valhalarising
05-06-2010, 11:39 PM
I couldn't say, I've never heard of 'The Living Arts' College. North Carolina has always been lacking in schools with strong programs, so if it's in any way possible to expand your search out of state I would consider it. I'm not saying your decision to stay in state is a bad one, but your options will be limited.


It's also known as the School of Communication Arts. It's been around for a while and is set up in a studio style. It seems pretty good from the visits I've made, however my main worry is a school with a rep like Full sails (at least from what I've read here). I mean I'm sure I'll learn a lot, it's just I want the most for my money you know?

Erdauq
05-08-2010, 12:10 AM
Thanks MrConterno. didnt wanna quote your whole post, but thats some nice information. I was looking at Gnomon (will take a look at VFS, i heard about it but didn't know what it stood for, thanks though) but there might be some problems there.. See, i live in NJ, and when i told my mom i wanted to go to Ohio State she would say that's too far (let alone Cali).. but i will still talk to her about it. Heard a lot about it and it seems good. Also, paying for either VFS or Gnomon might not be that easy, unless they have financial aid or scholorships.

Oh and about the Full Sail thing, i heard the same thing.. so eh..

MrConterno
05-08-2010, 01:13 AM
A note on your mother, some thing you might be able to use is, I am trying to be responsible by getting the best education available to me. Might impress her never know might help anyways.

for VFS I know most of what you can get comes from Sallie Mae, othe than that I don't know

For Gnomon you have a plethora of options because you are a US citizen (right? lol). Ill list a few things to look into to get you started.

Federal Perkins Loans
Privet Education Loans
Pel Grants
FASFA
Sallie Mae (company that has loads of options)


Once your accepted to Gnomon you can talk to their Financial aid department they can help

Any questions just lemme know

Lyr
05-08-2010, 02:03 AM
Don't borrow money from sallie mae, seriously, it's just not worth it.

MrConterno
05-08-2010, 05:23 AM
sadly it's the only option some times :/
but yes I agree they aren't a a wonderful company and avoid using them if at all possible.

Erdauq
05-09-2010, 03:29 AM
Okay, thanks for the help. And another problem with going to Gnomon, or VFS for that matter, is the lack of housing. Since Gnomon is in the heart of Hollywood, im guessing it would be cheaper to live in a cheaper area but within walking / bus distance i assume (maybe not the same with VFS since its in Vancouver)?

Also, about the portfolios i'd have to send in with the application.. I haven't really drew anything portfolio worthy, and in school i take a CADD class, and we're actually going to start using 3ds Max Soon. Should i just switch out of that class next year and just take a Commercial Art class, where they draw, paint, etc? I mean, I think im pretty good at art, and people have also said the same, but havent really drew anything good enough to put in a portfolio in a while.

MrConterno
05-09-2010, 03:57 PM
Up in Vancouver you can find decent housing decently cheap (for a city). In LA housing is more expensive and you get A LOT less for what you pay. Either way your living expenses are going to be decently high but you can get by cheaply.


As far as your portfolio goes, for VFS the feeling I got was if your portfolio was pure 3d they wouldn't mind. Gnomon on the other hand I feel looks for the 2d stuff a bit more. If you have some really nice CG work I don't think they will mind. You don't really need to be able to draw to do CG, it's mostly just the skills you learn from being able to draw. Your best bet is to take what you currently have and talk with an adviser about what they think about it.

Erdauq
05-09-2010, 05:40 PM
Hmm well im not that good in 3ds Max yet since i only started learning about 2 weeks ago (but was playing around with it for like a few weeks in class last year).

Thanks for the information though. Also looked at your website about colleges and stuff.

kelvincai
05-09-2010, 07:08 PM
Sorry to interrupt your conversation. But, I also agree with Max that studios are looking for a well rounded individual who fits well in teams, as much as 3d or artistic talent.

I am not saying VFS or Gnomon won't train you well rounded. But, sometimes these professional schools could get too focused and might miss some basic skills. Those English 101, Calculus 101, and even Economic 101 will come in handy in both your career and life in long term. For example, most of the rendering and shading techniques are based on linear algebra, calculus and physics. Have basic understanding of these areas could make you work more efficiently on the current and future tools.

As being said, the four year college life could become one of your happiest and valuable time in your life.

jpatel
05-09-2010, 10:02 PM
See, i live in NJ, and when i told my mom i wanted to go to Ohio State she would say that's too far (let alone Cali).

If your Mom wants you to stay close to NJ you should check out schools in NYC. Pratt, SVA and NYU all have good programs. Champlain College in Vermont also has a good program with a focus on Game art and Animation.

Erdauq
05-10-2010, 12:54 AM
I am not saying VFS or Gnomon won't train you well rounded. But, sometimes these professional schools could get too focused and might miss some basic skills. Those English 101, Calculus 101, and even Economic 101 will come in handy in both your career and life in long term. For example, most of the rendering and shading techniques are based on linear algebra, calculus and physics. Have basic understanding of these areas could make you work more efficiently on the current and future tools.

That's probably true about VFS since i believe thats only a 1 year program or so.. but Gnomon is 3 years, not quite as long as normal universities/colleges though.

If your Mom wants you to stay close to NJ you should check out schools in NYC. Pratt, SVA and NYU all have good programs. Champlain College in Vermont also has a good program with a focus on Game art and Animation.
Yea i looked at Pratt and SVU before, just looked at NYU though. So i looked at the tuition for the schools and came out with this:

Pratt: around $49,000 a year x 4 years ≈ $196,000 or so.
NYU: around $50,000 a year x 4 years ≈ $200,000 or so.
SVA: around $26,800 a year x 4 years ≈ $107,200 or so.
Gnomon: Entertainment Design & Digital Production: ≈ $81,075.

(Note: these might or might not be accurate, i just found those numbers on the internet. They could have gone up / down in the past few years, i'm not sure).

Gnomon might come out more than that though, since they don't provide housing on campus, so i'd have to factor that in.

jpatel
05-10-2010, 01:18 PM
Yea i looked at Pratt and SVU before, just looked at NYU though. So i looked at the tuition for the schools and came out with this:

Pratt: around $49,000 a year x 4 years ≈ $196,000 or so.
NYU: around $50,000 a year x 4 years ≈ $200,000 or so.
SVA: around $26,800 a year x 4 years ≈ $107,200 or so.
Gnomon: Entertainment Design & Digital Production: ≈ $81,075.

(Note: these might or might not be accurate, i just found those numbers on the internet. They could have gone up / down in the past few years, i'm not sure).

Gnomon might come out more than that though, since they don't provide housing on campus, so i'd have to factor that in.

Don't forget that a lot of these schools give pretty big scholarships based on need, talent and gpa, so don't rule them out because of money until you know you don't qualify for scholarships and financial aid. If you're interested in any of those shcools you should go talk to admissions to see what kinds of scholarships are available.

MrPositive
05-10-2010, 05:48 PM
I upfront this post by saying I may be biased and these are my own opinions, observations, and experiences. :) A couple things I see thrown around a lot on here: a 4 year degree is worthless in this industry and a demo reel is everything when getting hired. I hear these two things said ad nauseum on this site, many times by people who are not actually in the industry. Let's begin with the 'demo reel is everything'. In my experience, I've never seen the most talented person in any of my classes get hired in film or gaming (and many are just sick talented in art). I'm not even kidding here. The pattern has almost always been the same, someone in the top 3/4 of the class, with much more ambition, personality, social skills, and a team player who wants to soak up knowledge. Don't get me wrong here, the demo reel is very important as well (and probably can get some hired even if they are satan), but I find that who they are as a person is of equal importance. Secondly, I cannot for the life of me understand why all these 16/17/18 year old kids want to go to a trade school so badly to jump right into the industry at 19/20. To me, it just screams 'way too fast' and burnout. I can't even imagine working full time at 19 or 20 or even 21 and having any capacity for the maturity needed dealing with multiple personalities and lifestyle demands to be a full time professional, at anything. My 4 year experience in sculpture was the best time of my life (and I was dead broke!), and far less pressure and costly to one of these trade schools. I am in no way saying they are not excellent schools, but I am a big believer of 'finding yourself' a bit in your early twenties. Also, I am not supporting going to just any ol 4 year CG program, but finding the best in state school (because of the massive scholarships/grants you'll receive), can save you tens of thousands, give you a well rounded college experience, and still get you to your ultimate goals. Not to mention that an accredited degree can be used later if you decide that what you wanted at 17 is no longer what you still want. :)

taxguy
05-10-2010, 06:39 PM
[QUOTE=Erdauq]Okay, thanks for the help. And another problem with going to Gnomon, or VFS for that matter, is the lack of housing. Since Gnomon is in the heart of Hollywood, im guessing it would be cheaper to live in a cheaper area but within walking / bus distance i assume (maybe not the same with VFS since its in Vancouver)?

Reseponse: My daughter took some courses at Gnomon during the summer. Yes, they don"T have student housing or dorms, per se. However, they do have appartment finders that help place kids in appartments. Also, you can go to Craig's list. My daughter worked in Hollywood for two quarters as part of her coop program and attended Gnomon during a summer program. She always found housing.

Erdauq
05-10-2010, 08:57 PM
Don't forget that a lot of these schools give pretty big scholarships based on need, talent and gpa, so don't rule them out because of money until you know you don't qualify for scholarships and financial aid. If you're interested in any of those shcools you should go talk to admissions to see what kinds of scholarships are available.

Oh yea, forgot to factor in financial aid, but didnt know the schools gave out that many scholarships.

Secondly, I cannot for the life of me understand why all these 16/17/18 year old kids want to go to a trade school so badly to jump right into the industry at 19/20. To me, it just screams 'way too fast' and burnout. I can't even imagine working full time at 19 or 20 or even 21 and having any capacity for the maturity needed dealing with multiple personalities and lifestyle demands to be a full time professional, at anything. My 4 year experience in sculpture was the best time of my life (and I was dead broke!), and far less pressure and costly to one of these trade schools. I am in no way saying they are not excellent schools, but I am a big believer of 'finding yourself' a bit in your early twenties. Also, I am not supporting going to just any ol 4 year CG program, but finding the best in state school (because of the massive scholarships/grants you'll receive), can save you tens of thousands, give you a well rounded college experience, and still get you to your ultimate goals. Not to mention that an accredited degree can be used later if you decide that what you wanted at 17 is no longer what you still want.

Yea i know what your saying, but even if i went to a 4 year college I'd still be graduating when im 21. Its not so much as im impatient, its just that it seems like a more practical way of going about it i suppose. I mean if someone didnt know what they wanted to be i would think a regular university would be a good choice. But like at my school, im already at a vocational technical high school, and, for example, my friends who are in classes like Building Trades or whatever could join the Carpenter's Union straight out of high school with help from their teacher. They could go to college if they wanted, or if they actually wanted to be a Carpenter they could do that. It just seems like a less time consuming way to me, although im not sure..

But anyways thanks for the responses. Will definitley consider everything posted in here..

Dare-o
05-10-2010, 11:49 PM
Okay, thanks for the help. And another problem with going to Gnomon, or VFS for that matter, is the lack of housing. Since Gnomon is in the heart of Hollywood, im guessing it would be cheaper to live in a cheaper area but within walking / bus distance i assume (maybe not the same with VFS since its in Vancouver)?

Also, about the portfolios i'd have to send in with the application.. I haven't really drew anything portfolio worthy, and in school i take a CADD class, and we're actually going to start using 3ds Max Soon. Should i just switch out of that class next year and just take a Commercial Art class, where they draw, paint, etc? I mean, I think im pretty good at art, and people have also said the same, but havent really drew anything good enough to put in a portfolio in a while.

There is lots of affordable housing in vancouver, you just need to look in the right spots. You could always get roomates that you go to school with. I'm pretty sure Vfs has off campus housing. The college im currently attending has off campus housing (art institute of vancouver).

http://www.och101.com/vfs/ has some resources you might want to check out.

For your portfolio, try 3ds max/maya now, don't wait, learn it in your spare time and get good at it. I think vfs uses maya now, so you might want to consider learning that instead. And for drawing, I think taking that commercial art class would benefit you a bit more. Having some solid drawings in your portfolio would really help.

Erdauq
05-11-2010, 03:46 AM
There is lots of affordable housing in vancouver, you just need to look in the right spots. You could always get roomates that you go to school with. I'm pretty sure Vfs has off campus housing. The college im currently attending has off campus housing (art institute of vancouver).

http://www.och101.com/vfs/ has some resources you might want to check out.

For your portfolio, try 3ds max/maya now, don't wait, learn it in your spare time and get good at it. I think vfs uses maya now, so you might want to consider learning that instead. And for drawing, I think taking that commercial art class would benefit you a bit more. Having some solid drawings in your portfolio would really help.

Yea im actually learning 3ds max and about to start maya.. dont know which to choose over the other though. Also, would u suggest i just switch out of my CADD class (which uses some 3ds Max, but mostly like Revit Architecture, Autodesk Inventor, and Auto CADD) and get back into Commercial Art? That is, if my counselor would let me.

Dare-o
05-11-2010, 06:45 AM
Yea im actually learning 3ds max and about to start maya.. dont know which to choose over the other though. Also, would u suggest i just switch out of my CADD class (which uses some 3ds Max, but mostly like Revit Architecture, Autodesk Inventor, and Auto CADD) and get back into Commercial Art? That is, if my counselor would let me.

Do you plan on getting into games or visual effects for film? I notice most games companies use max, and vfx houses use maya. But for learning purposes, that's up to you really. Take a look at this thread, its got some really interesting posts about taking traditional art before 3d, and vice versa.

http://www.ozzu.com/digital-art-forum/learning-digital-art-before-traditional-art-t97609.html

workaholicmind
05-11-2010, 03:14 PM
Okay, thanks for the help. And another problem with going to Gnomon, or VFS for that matter, is the lack of housing. Since Gnomon is in the heart of Hollywood, im guessing it would be cheaper to live in a cheaper area but within walking / bus distance i assume (maybe not the same with VFS since its in Vancouver)?

Also, about the portfolios i'd have to send in with the application.. I haven't really drew anything portfolio worthy, and in school i take a CADD class, and we're actually going to start using 3ds Max Soon. Should i just switch out of that class next year and just take a Commercial Art class, where they draw, paint, etc? I mean, I think im pretty good at art, and people have also said the same, but havent really drew anything good enough to put in a portfolio in a while.

for gnomon housing Housing around Hollywood is expensive. A 1 bedroom apartment can go for up to $1600 a month. u can rent out a 2 bedroom apartment and share it with 2-3 other students. This comes out to be much cheaper. u can look at Off of Hollywood blvd and Whitley (and north west of there), West Hollywood, Studio City, Sherman Oaks, Melrose ave area, Larchmont area. Artesia/Cerritos, which is 30 miles from Gnomon. rest r lil far so u would need car,bike our bus. i hope this might help

gswariior
05-12-2010, 01:52 AM
I am a perspective student to the Academy of Art university in San Francisco. I am interested in studying 3D Computer animation. I have some concerns about the program due to negative reviews that I have ran across online and was wondering if other people had any insight into the program. I live in the bay area so it would be a perfect location for me. After my schooling I would love to work more a motion picture company (Pixar, ILM, Dreamworks etc.) I was wondering if people had insight on the best route for attaining this goal, is the academy of art worth the money? Thank you so much for your help.

Erdauq
05-12-2010, 03:54 AM
Do you plan on getting into games or visual effects for film? I notice most games companies use max, and vfx houses use maya. But for learning purposes, that's up to you really. Take a look at this thread, its got some really interesting posts about taking traditional art before 3d, and vice versa.

http://www.ozzu.com/digital-art-forum/learning-digital-art-before-traditional-art-t97609.html

Mainly lookin to get into games but not sure if i'd do films..

kelvincai
05-12-2010, 05:34 AM
The studios doesn't hire you because you are a Max or Maya user. They hire you is because you are a very good artist. Just try either packages (or XSI, Houdini, Cinema4D, Lightwave, even blender). See which is more comfortable, then get good at it. If you are good at one of these major packages, you could easily transfer your skills to other packages if the studios use it. Most studios use a fair amount of propriety tools anyway.

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