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Jackdeth
10-07-2003, 07:23 AM
After reading countless posts, I am really wondering why so many people put soooo much weight into going to school for a "degree" in 3D.

After much thought, hiring/firing dozens of aritist, and looking at hundreds of demo reels, I've come to a few conclusions:

1) Most people don't realize that learning at home is cheaper and more efficent. You could buy all the hardware/software you need for cheaper than some schools charge.

2) Maybe some parents put misguided pressure on the students for a "degree" even if it costs more than it is worth, just for the sake of having it. "My son/daughter is no dropout...."

3) Lots of new 3D students aren't hardcore artists, and maybe shouldn't be in this profession. They rather be spoonfed than self proactive. This explains the new pool the weak artists with bad attitudes and horrible work ethics.

4) Peer presure and mis-information from schools create a false sense of what is really needed to susceed in this biz. People like the idea of going to school more than actually learning stuff.

5) and lastly.... Its a good thing that helps some people out with no other way to have acess to technolgy.. (See, I'm not all negative)


I dont mean to rant, or turn this into a flame war, but I just really can't stress enough to people that it is only about the WORK!!! I learned at home, and so did some of the other best guys I know out there. Its all about how dedicated you are, and how much you really want to susceed.

And I'm not saying that school doesn't help lots of people. I'm just saying that people with real talent will do well no matter what. And the ones who can't learn on their own, I think maybe should be doing something else.

No matter how good you are, you are always learning new stuff, sometimes everyday. Its this drive that seperates the minors from the majors.

Your reel is king. Armed with that and a good attitude and a willingness to learn, nothing will stop you.

Dont believe the hype....Do it for yourself....

gnarlycranium
10-07-2003, 07:27 AM
I'm self-taught. And I tell ya, I am ACHING to get to a school. Somewhere I can be around other people who do this stuff and can work with me. Somewhere with TEACHERS who I can ask QUESTIONS. Somewhere that'll fill the gaping holes in what I know.

Sure, you don't need a degree to get work, but honestly it's damn hard to learn this stuff alone.

Jackdeth
10-07-2003, 07:32 AM
Who said it was easy?

I do agree its great to have other people to bounce ideas off of, but with some digging, books, and web sites...you can survive.

I was 17 learning PowerAnimator version 4.5. I sat in my basement and read the entire manual 2 times before even doing anything in the program. Every page I read, over and over again until it was drilled into my brain. Thats no over-exagearation.

Have you ever read the manuals straight though? Its mostly all there. Then its up to you and your brain power to take all of the tools and make the connections get the results that you want.

Gilgamesh
10-07-2003, 07:35 AM
School is fun!

zzacmann
10-07-2003, 07:38 AM
School is like CgTalk, but with real people. And instead of funny avatars, everybody has disheveled hair and bloodshot eyes.

Schools for computer graphics are very helpful because its the only other place, besides cgtalk, where people will have some idea of what the hell youre talking about. And the best part is, you get responses to your questions immediately. But if you have the drive, and I mean a whole lot of it, then I don't see why someone couldnt successfully do it on their own with books and the internet.

Jackdeth
10-07-2003, 07:44 AM
Heres the point....

Maybe schools make CG look easy, and lots of the worng people are getting into it. Or maybe they think CG Art is something that can be taught, not grown from an inner talent. Maybe some schools are churning out CG hobbiests, not hardcore CG effects artists.

Maybe people should realize that this is a lifestyle, not just a job.

Slurry
10-07-2003, 08:05 AM
Maybe you should realise that many people learn in many different ways.
If you are self-taught and are good at what you do then I applaud you.:beer:
But many others need the motivation and drive that you can only get from a group environment.
Should these types of learners be denied the opportunity to work in this field because they don't have the focus and will power to learn at home in their basement?
Learning to work well with others and in a team environment is something that will happen in the "real world". That is another benefit of learning in a group situation.
Besides, if the school learners don't measure up and are only at a hobbyist level as you claim - then who cares? They won't geta job anyway so no skin off your nose right? It definitely would be cheaper to be self-taught but I know other very talented people at the school I went to who drove me to try harder and excel.
Also, learning in a group environment can help excellerate your skill level. Learning from acheivements and mistakes from others around you instead of drudging through on your own. We're not all 17 living with our parents with little responsibility and all the time in the world.
Leave it up to the individual and how they want to learn. Their choice - their money.;)

~S

AWAKE
10-07-2003, 08:28 AM
Yeah, but...

Learning cg isn't about just hardware and software. It's the fundamentals of a few diciplines of art. Composition, perspective, lighting, motion, mood, etc. The list goes on. The better artists are artists, not technicians. The thing that makes CG great is it's artistry. I think alot of schools are missing that. Well, at least they were in my day :rolleyes: Schools that can teach that, or who rercuit people with a "good eye" are worth it.

But the true benefit of a school environment is being in a community where you watch Ideas come to realisation. In school I watched people do their work, and It helped me realize that wasnt what I wanted. I watched people's demo reels, and decided how I was going to stand apart. School gave me a point of reference as to the level I wanted to be at, and a style I wanted to pursue. Kind of fueled my drive. It also allowed me access to machines and video decks, as well as school sponsored events. Besides that, I got my first job through a professor of mine. And we all know that first job is the roughest. --or is it the second?

Regardless, there are arguments to be made for both sides of th school issue, but in the end it's really up to your drive and attitude.

polyester
10-07-2003, 10:25 AM
uh-oh...not another one of these :hmm:

There was a debate about this not long ago, if you wanna see the pros and cons of going to school, here ya go:

Game Artist's Perspective #7: 5 Good Reasons not to go to College (http://www.cgtalk.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=87136&perpage=15&pagenumber=1)

I think it should actually be a logical choice whether you decide to go to school. If you have a valid reason for not going then don't, but I sure hope it's valid. School isn't for everyone, sure isn't for me, but I made myself do it anyway cuz that's part of the challenge for me. I say do it and get it over with while you're at the most capable point in your life, which is usually right out of high school. It gets to be more and more difficult later. (I've dropped out twice).

I had a very hard time making myself stay in school...for about 2 or so years of college I was learning everything on my own and NOTHING in school, so I figured it was because the school I was going to did not have a challenging enough program. I finally transferred elsewhere (unfortunately 500 miles away). Luckily I had gotten a lot of core classes out of the way and was able to go directly into 3D classes at the most crucial point that I needed something to challenge me. Had I not have transferred, I doubt I would have gotten anywhere beyond an associate's degree. I'd probably still be doing tech support or something, making more money and being much more miserable :D

IMO, It's just a much more efficient learning process if you have deadlines to meet and teams you have to work with among so many other things. There are so many things to learn besides the technical skills.

Like I said...if you have the opportunity to go to school (especially if you don't have to pay your own way), you don't really have any reason NOT to go. Better to regret something you did do than something you didn't. I rarely EVER hear anyone say they regret having gone to school. (If they do, they usually play scapegoat for their own laziness). I often hear people regret NOT having gone to school though and end up in a situation that makes it too late to go back.

RenderStream
10-07-2003, 12:45 PM
hey, im just starting threedy, about a 2 months ago, and i tihnk im on the right track. I do think i want to persue 3d animation for film as a career, but have a few questions.

What kind of post secondary education is best? I've always thought about heading to university, but it seems most 3d schools are colleges, is this the best way to go? Ive heard employers often take university students over college students.

Now is secondary education useful? I probably will go, but the thing is, i am self taught photoshop, and did web design proffesionally, and seeing my art compared to those who have just got out of art schools, i begin to wonder... is it really worth going?

Stahlberg
10-07-2003, 12:58 PM
Some people need 3d school, some don't. If you have lots of money and think you're one of those that would be better off in 3d school, by all means go for it. If you don't have lots of money, think twice, you'll be paying off that debt for a LONG time... and in any case, whether or not you have lots of money, or plan to go to 3d school - do 1 or 2 years of traditional art school first. Because it's
* Much cheaper
* just as much fun as 3d school, if not more
* will help you a LOT when you start in 3d
* if you weren't all that sure in the first place about 3d, it will give you a good idea of if you should continue or not

Cinematography
10-07-2003, 01:10 PM
Originally posted by polyester
uh-oh...not another one of these :hmm:
uh-oh... not another one of these "not another one of these" posts. :hmm:


:cool:

======================

Originally posted by Jackdeth
Have you ever read the manuals straight though? Its mostly all there. Then its up to you and your brain power to take all of the tools and make the connections get the results that you want. ------ No matter how good you are, you are always learning new stuff, sometimes everyday. Its this drive that seperates the minors from the majors. ------ Your reel is king. Armed with that and a good attitude and a willingness to learn, nothing will stop you.
This is all so true, IMO.
:beer:

If you're good at learning things on your own [THIS IS KEY], and you can get a list of the things you'll need to know for your career goal, you can save a lot of time and money by skipping the whole school thing.

Before I became a student at the Art Institute in Chicago 3 years ago, I was already 6 years deep into 3D computer animation. Everyone at school was shocked by the freshman who already knew how to do walk cycles, special effects animation, and so on. I stayed only for the fundamentals classes [design, composition, color theory, life drawing, etc], and then I left.

WARNING: If you do decide to learn everything on your own, start with the basics/fundamentals, try to be as thorough as possible with your research, and always set deadlines for yourself. Setting deadlines will help keep the pressure on, and keep you moving forward. Also, try to set your bar as high as possible, but not too high Ė you donít want to hurt yourself.

peachstapler
10-07-2003, 02:18 PM
Originally posted by Cinematography
Art Institute in Chicago

I've been there myself. Those are one of the schools that I feel Jackdeth was indeliberately referring to, IMO; the all-to-common breeding ground for CG "hobbiests". There's a ton of them out there, and it's an accurate estimate that a very low percentage of their graduate students really WANT to work in the field of 3D.

When I was at the said institute, the students seemed to care more about social life and very little about fundamentals, and their excuse was, "I'm gonna be a 3D artist, I don't need this stuff". Lo and behold, when the 3D courses rolled around a year later, the same people were hanging out in front of the building for hours on end, day after day.

In the world of computer graphics, you've gotta move fast and keep up with the buzz. No matter if you go to school or not, you've gotta help yourself.

OlafK
10-07-2003, 02:53 PM
I think people like me who started learning CG at home and are on there way quite well, don't need any CG school. Besides that i think many people doing CG (especially cg animation) think they can make something good because they have the software and hardware.... (correct me when i'm wrong, no offense to anyone)
i've been reading some books and stuff about 2d animation, like the old disney movies...and it's really helpfull when doing your CG. So maybe focus on that first, maybe at a school, and then use it in your cg graphics.

TheGreenGiant
10-07-2003, 03:21 PM
I think one of the pros of going to the school is the trouble shooting and pro experience some of the better schools can provide. I know that VFS has a very comprehensive system which includes the art side to cg creation too. I seriously doubt and have seen very little non schooled cg work that can match

RINGLING
VFS
GERMAN FILM SCHOOL
SUPININFOCOM
etc

so, don't be that eager to knock the schooling system yet. As for the holygrail of getting production experience, come on, its hard to even get the foot in the door and I'm totally not sure or keen on working for free as an intern. That's not to say I don't have drive or desire but this working for free business is NOT on, no matter the industry. Time = money = rent payments, etc

polyester
10-07-2003, 03:22 PM
Originally posted by OlafK
i've been reading some books and stuff about 2d animation, like the old disney movies...and it's really helpfull when doing your CG. So maybe focus on that first, maybe at a school, and then use it in your cg graphics.

yup...Animator's Survival Kit = :thumbsup:

Eudaimic
10-07-2003, 03:41 PM
What ever you do, don't go take the Computer Arts from University of Abertay in Dundee, Scotland.

Take it from someone who knows!

Eldar
10-07-2003, 06:01 PM
Originally posted by Cinematography
Art Institute in Chicago ]

Originally posted by peachstapler
I've been there myself. Those are one of the schools that I feel Jackdeth was indeliberately referring to, IMO; the all-to-common breeding ground for CG "hobbiests". There's a ton of them out there, and it's an accurate estimate that a very low percentage of their graduate students really WANT to work in the field of 3D.



Let's think about what is the issue is here. Isn't the issue that you actually have to want to succeed to actually make it?

This applies to both self taught people who aren't going to school, to people who go to Art Institute of Chicago, and people who go to German School of Film.

You are pointing the finger at the wrong direction. It's not schools fault that people are lazy. If you got the drive, you will succeed, and the school can provide a great environment to learn to be professional. I know that in the AI program, for example, there are many courses that can help you polish up your skills and shift your mindset from a dude who likes 3d to a promissing professional.

But unless you are going to Hogwart's School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, you aren't going to magically turn into a competent professional just by being there. So the real issue is that a lot of the students just don't have the drive. And this goes for people who are trying on their own also. Just look at the number of depressing posts in General section in the past month.

This topic comes up very often it seems, and I still think that unless you are the type of person that is extremely energized about advancing yourself in all the necessary aspects, you will have a hard time making it on your own. School provides structure, and provides an opportunity to learn all you need to know. It provides deadlines, goals and guidance. Whether it works out for the best, is entirely up to the student.

OlafK
10-07-2003, 06:06 PM
nice one eldar... you have a good point there

Jackdeth
10-07-2003, 06:21 PM
Good posts...

One other issue is that who are these people teaching at the schools? Part of me always wonder why if someone was really good, why they would not be in production? I know some schools have "super star guest teachers," but still, is that enough?

When I first started in the late '80s there were no schools at all so it made sense to learn at home. But what I don't like hearing is that SOME teachers are just reading the manual back the students without acutally understanding what the hell they are teaching..

AdamantiumKnot
10-07-2003, 09:13 PM
i think regardless of whether or not someone goes to a school, without basic skills and concepts it's not going to make a difference. i'm currently a student in college majoring in computer animation and i have numerous people in my classes who saw Shrek or Monsters Inc. and say, "Hey that looks fun!" and decide to major in it. One day I had a computer graphics major state he hates photoshop. I advised he might want to switch majors because he'll be dealing with it for the rest of his life in this field. I'm very motivated and do have a strong background in art. I find at school I'm more motivated being around other people who are similar to me, and having more knowledgeable people around me. Everything comes down to skills, the computer's just a tool. As for a social life, it consists of mainly working on my computer untill 4 in the morning night after night getting ahead on projects. All time spent outside of that is class, sleeping, eating or watching movies. Not a big partier and I don't drink or do drugs so i think the main thing is is that I'm at school for the education, not the degree. If I could get hired and leave school early, I would do so in a heartbeat. Forget the degree I'll let the work speak for itself.

-joe

PhilWesson
10-07-2003, 09:29 PM
Anzovin Studios:
decent 3d house

crappy teachers

MJV
10-07-2003, 09:54 PM
I honestly can't imaging a greater waste of time and money than going to school to learn CG. I think it's mostly for spoiled rich kids. What you need is a broader BA degree in arts or sciences. Studying art is good, but make sure you go to a real university that will teach you a broad range of subjects and skills. Don't waste you time going to some button pushing school.

leigh
10-07-2003, 10:14 PM
Originally posted by Jackdeth
I learned at home

I can't help but suspect that if you had studied CG then you'd have a very different view on this. People usually get on a soapbox and proclaim that their own experience is the best solution - it's human nature ;)

However, I do agree with some of what you say :)

There are way too many lazy people out there who think that going to college and being spoonfed will somehow make them into these brilliant CG artists with minimal effort on their part.

I think that in most CG classes, the majority of students have skills that are mediocre to moderate, with only a handful being exceptionally good - and these top few are usually always the ones who did a lot of work on their own as well. But I think that in the group of people that learn by themselves at home, the same statistic applies - there is only a handful amongst them that have great skills. In all walks of life, you get the majority that are mediocre to moderately good at things, with a handful that are amazing and a handful that are not good at all.

So in light of this, perhaps it's a combination of studying at school and diligence and self discipline at home that make good CG artists. As you even said, it's about the work - how they choose to get there is really their own choice.

Aside from that, I do honestly feel that there are many schools out there that are a waste of time. Lots of insititutions try and cash in on new trends by hiring inexperienced instructors who are cheap, and who consequently make a hash of the teaching, resulting in students graduating who are really not particularly good, but sadly don't realise it. I think this is a real shame because they have spent a lot of money on their course, and deserve to get their moneys worth.

I think in the end it really comes down to the individual and their requirements. Some people prefer learning on their own while others crave instruction (as many people here have mentioned, they like to have someone to answer questions, etc). That is perfectly understandable, and I don't think that there is anything wrong with either approach - it's up to the artist in question to ensure that they give in enough dedication, hard work and innovation to develop and improve their skills, regardless of whether they are teaching themselves or studying through a school.

And the ones who can't learn on their own, I think maybe should be doing something else.

I don't see anything wrong with people who prefer to have a coach. There is a big difference between a person who craves a mentor and a person who expects to be spoonfed. I think there are a lot of people who are trying to get into this field who would probably be better off doing something else, but hey, that's their choice. I applaud them for their tenacity :)
You ever hear the phrase "where there is a will, there is a way"? I believe that if their determination is strong enough, they will succeed eventually. It might just take them a little longer.

So, all in all, I say: if you can afford it, and you want to - hey, go to school. Choose your school wisely, work hard at it, and you'll be happy - nothing learned is ever a waste.
On the other hand, if you can't afford it, or if you are unsure about schooling then by all means go ahead and buy some programs and hardware, and some good books and learn for yourself. There are plenty of forums like this one where you can get help and advice.
Both paths require hard work, innovation, and a proactive attitude, and neither one is easy.

Just to expand a little on the subject of there being too many people entering this field that are lazy and have bad work ethics - isn't that found in EVERY industry on this planet?
CG being the relatively new industry that it is (in the grander scheme of things) was going to see an influx of this sooner or later, as does any industry.
Let's face it, a lot of people out there do only the bare minimum to get by, and it was really only a matter of time before these people found their way into this field. It's simply a fact of life.

ChewyPixels
10-07-2003, 10:55 PM
Originally posted by Jackdeth
Good posts...

One other issue is that who are these people teaching at the schools? Part of me always wonder why if someone was really good, why they would not be in production? I know some schools have "super star guest teachers," but still, is that enough?

When I first started in the late '80s there were no schools at all so it made sense to learn at home. But what I don't like hearing is that SOME teachers are just reading the manual back the students without acutally understanding what the hell they are teaching..

I have to agree w/you Jackdeth...and this is coming from experience as I'm currently studying 3d animation here in Chi-town. Had it not been for all the money and time that I invested into college, I would've dropped out and concentrated on learning on my own, as most of my 3d skills are self-taught. To this day, I have yet to be impressed by any of my school's instructors. Funny thing is that last semester I blew away my instructor with my final animation for the class. :) Poor guy shouldn't even be allowed to teach that course. Half the time during lectures he'd be trying to figure out how to do certain things in Maya that he supposedly knew how to do. My advice, self-taught is the way to go. :thumbsup:

paradisio
10-07-2003, 11:45 PM
1. I am beginning to completely agree, considering there are no instate CG schools, between travelling and the courses, I am looking at more than 10000 dollars at least. And for over a 1000 I can purchase the gnomon complete library, which seems very powerful, not to mention there are quite a few online video classes for free. Not to mention experimentation could be considered more powerful than being taught. So you can find new ways to do things.

2. Yea, I am stuck here... When I dropped out of high school because I had Social Anxiety Disorder my grandma had a heart attack almost saying "everyone is going to think I am a complete failure"

3. I agree again, some people in my Photoshop class which is for a specific degree, don't do any extra work... And they will fail in the real world with their lazy attitudes.

4. Well not me, I have always loved self teaching rather than schooling. I hate listening to people talk hours on end when I could have figured it out much quicker usually.

Even though I agree a lot, If possible I would like to have a schooling in this. If not for enjoyment, for tacking onto my resume.

markbones
10-08-2003, 01:45 AM
1) Most people don't realize that learning at home is cheaper and more efficent. You could buy all the hardware/software you need for cheaper than some schools charge.

I believe you are correct. Most people DONíT realize one could learn this stuff at home. I sure didnít Ė chalk it up to experience. I believe CG is such a different field than anything else, people donít realize how much they can accomplish without going to school. In contrast, you have to go to school to become a doctor, lawyer, architect, dentist, truck driver, chef, etcÖ People are very ignorant/naÔve about the CG field. (more on this at the bottom).

2) Maybe some parents put misguided pressure on the students for a "degree" even if it costs more than it is worth, just for the sake of having it. "My son/daughter is no dropout...."

If the parents are like that, then usually the parents can afford to pay for the schooling ;)

3) Lots of new 3D students aren't hardcore artists, and maybe shouldn't be in this profession. They rather be spoonfed than self proactive. This explains the new pool the weak artists with bad attitudes and horrible work ethics.

Like some other people mentioned, bad attitudes and work ethics have nothing to do with being an artist. I am not an artist, but I have (and make an effort to have) a good work ethic. Some artistic and creative aspects take me much longer to grasp and improve at. Conversely, I am great at picking up the technical things.

4) Peer presure and mis-information from schools create a false sense of what is really needed to susceed in this biz. People like the idea of going to school more than actually learning stuff.

True Ė misinformation from schools is probably a huge issue. But no one should assume that completing a program will ensure success in the field. Peer pressure? None of my friends have a clue as to how I do what I do. I got into this business by my own accord.

5) and lastly.... Its a good thing that helps some people out with no other way to have acess to technolgy.. (See, I'm not all negative)


I dont mean to rant, or turn this into a flame war, but I just really can't stress enough to people that it is only about the WORK!!! I learned at home, and so did some of the other best guys I know out there. Its all about how dedicated you are, and how much you really want to susceed.

And I'm not saying that school doesn't help lots of people. I'm just saying that people with real talent will do well no matter what. And the ones who can't learn on their own, I think maybe should be doing something else.

A few things I loved about school is being able to ask questions, getting feedback on the spot, bouncing ideas off other students and teachers, and learning from the experience of my teacher.

BTW: My teacher was amazing. He freelances, so he taught at the school for a few semesters, and then went back to work in production environments.

You bring up some very valid points, but I think that CG is still such a new field that too many people (myself included when I started) are unaware of the various aspects of creating CG animation: concepts, model sheets, color palettes, modeling texturing, lighting, animation, compositingÖ Yes, people should inform themselves, but more often than not, if you want to learn to gear yourself towards a profession, school is the place to go. People see movies and video games, know some of what is computer generated, and want to do it. Simple as that.

EDIT: The CG community also has message boards a forums where people can post their frustration and gripes about the CG industry and we can all read about it! Other professions have people in the same situations, we just don't hear about it :)
In other fields too, people who can't seem to hack it should just get out. Happens all the time.

zzacmann
10-08-2003, 05:50 AM
I can't agree more that a background in traditional art will make you a better cg artist. I've been drawing and painting since I was three.

But I have to say that some people like myself still benefit greatly from the addition of school rather than drive and creativity alone.

I read a lot of computer books but I still learn and comprehend much much faster by watching somebody who knows what they are doing first.

I learned how to rig a character in one 5 hour class. If I have to learn that from a book or tutorials it would have taken weeks and I still wouldn't know if I was doing it correctly.

I find that books often tell you HOW to do something, but not WHY you do something. You can ask a teacher why? and I think that helps immensly.

Beechdbum
10-08-2003, 07:24 AM
hey Jackdeth, you bring up some good points, but being as im one of those people who will be applying to 3d schools this year let me tell you why im doing it,

1 well i do have the technology thanks to student editions and i can learn the software on my own, places like ringling dont focus on teaching you the software but on teaching you animation, although not allot of schools teach you more then just the software, so im acc being rather picky to where i apply for this reason

2 you are right in my family it is expected to go to college, so if im sposed to make the most of my edjucation why not do it having the best possible time and preparing my for my goal of getting to do this for a living.

3 dont think this really applys to me

4 sure i like the idea of going to school, but ive also seen the progress some of the students make at the these schools and and that exictes me just as much to know that i could do the same thing

5 your right thats a positive, it open up new resources to people

Airflow
10-08-2003, 12:47 PM
"I learned how to rig a character in one 5 hour class. If I have to learn that from a book or tutorials it would have taken weeks and I still wouldn't know if I was doing it correctly."

How do you know this? have you ever tried......
Id say you now know 1 way of rigging a character, can you make 2 other rig designs in 5 hrs?
What Im getting at is that you could learn more by getting through the problem on your own.... when you get stuck, ask for help here... or elswhere, but it means you tackled the problem, not someone else and will understand it much better..

A lot of people dont realise that working in the cg industry demands alot of problem solving, and people wont be on hand to answer your questions (not because they dont know, but because they are far too busy already) which is why most fx houses employ people who have experiance. You need to be able to hit the ground running, and If you learn on your own, you are improving your problem solving skills...

Im sure if you spent the time understanding how to rig, from a book or maunual, you can work out your own system, which may be better that what is taught at your school.....

The school issue, well If you are surrounded by 90% of people who want to be in cg because of a movie they saw last night, but not because of their background, ability and preivious education... then maybey its not for you, because that would be a hack cg school... who pack them in with no real interest in the student...

For me, learning on your own has its draw backs... but when I learned there were no cg forums, you had 1 book.... and had to make it work... so I can say I learned that book.. instead of asking people questions. And it benifited the way I work. Maybey its not the same for you... but I ask just this...

Why do you want to be in the cg industry.... because you already know you can do this stuff, or do you want to be in it because you just think you can do this stuff?

I was in the first group...

forflowers
10-08-2003, 01:08 PM
if it was up to me i wont go to school at all and learn by my self. but mum would be very sad if i do.

daraand
10-08-2003, 02:40 PM
Everythign I say is a rehash of what was just said so please just skip mah posts - but I NEEED to get this out of me. This is in relation to a recent person who posted being fustrated with maya and school from a college in upstate new york. his life - unforetunately =| - is a perfect example of college bs. Yes they aren't in for monetary profit, but they're in for school profit. More people coming, bigger school, expanding, more money, more being spent...

First off school is fun actually. I'm stuck with meeting new people and learning and having a little fun. Have just a little social life, whatever of it you can find. :) Believe me its very useful to have someone to talk to and respond rather than wall and have it mock you:p

I go to U.T.

The program discription says I will learn how make video games flash animations blabhalbhjalhblbah. The program is technically an animation geared coursed (3d of course) but offers only one animation course. You know what I do when I go to class? I go online and read CGTalk and learn whatever I can, reading articles and all. The only help I get in CG is strangely enough (not the word I want to use but:0 its 9 am...) Figure Drawing class. He doesn't teach us the tools but rather the fundamentals and ideas. And not b lecturing but by making us do it. 3 hours of drawing is fun indeed:)

Ah its so sad in this animation class. There's so many in here just for a waste of time and it's sad. Granted our teacher however is a good animator and knows connections to nearby studios, but still it's sad, we sit here watching him figure thigns out by reading a manual much like we all do. I'm not saying this is fautl either, he's certified in Maya yet our school for no reason decided to use lightwave on macs, a system and program he and all of us aren't really skilled at. We're trying though.


most schoolsl ike this one are in it just for the business however. just for the money. please don't come into this field unless your trying. In one way, being an RPG fan that I am, we can say it's much like acquiring a profession in galaxies. It takes so much experience and there's MANY paths to it. Learn on your own, pay for your lessons, learn from others. Either way you all will use (NOT WASTE!) the same amount of time effort and sleepless nights either way you choose.

Erik Anderson got some tough responses to his post, but assuming a perfect situatons and no anolomies you can get basic fundamentals. But don't spend time thinking on what path to choose. Just do it!

i myself want to go to the school path and am tryign to stick to it as much as I can. Hired out of school? I'd rather stay and learn more but who knows my decision might change if it happens

Just work at it please. Schools like Ringling NYFilm SCAD Pratt Sheridan (sp?) are there for a reason, they're good at what they do. Univeristies (which is a unity of colleges for thsoe who don't know ) tend to be less effective, at least here, in art. Research - you might learn some things.

But like many others in here said - it's great to have osmeone to use and abuse for questions - you're paying for it. So use it to your advantage.


I feel sorr for all the kids in this class. I feel sorry for my Beginning Design class in which the teacher is out in the ozarks, so "involved" in art she ignores her class and doesn't get us involved. I feel sorry for this one guy whose a Graphic Design Major and is graduating this year. He found no internship and he knows dirt more than Illustrator.

I want to smack these people! There's more to life than partying!

I take MTV's (sigh) take on music learning for CG. A commericial about a girl at a 7th grade talent show playing a tuba (?). She's alright but still learning and everyone boos her. She responds saying she's actually doing somethign with her lif and not wasting time like the other kids.

I whole heartedly agree:\


Forgot to add too:D Please have patience!

paradisio
10-08-2003, 02:49 PM
Yea, it is too bad many parents are so closed minded

TheGreenGiant
10-08-2003, 03:16 PM
Originally posted by agentJ
This is in relation to a recent person who posted being fustrated with maya and school from a college in upstate new york. his life - unforetunately =| - is a perfect example of college bs.

yes. true but if you followed that thread, you know as much that that chap didn't have realistic expectations - paying for CG school doesn't gurantee you a job (especially if you leave and aren't much good at the end of it ). He got a blasting from Lunatique (who was right, IMO). No clue about pay + No skills = guranteed misery.

There is a place for schools, sure they're out to make money, but if you're going to pay them, make sure you milk the instructors for their knowledge. You can't expect to be spoonfed while you're at school, your learning shouldn't be confinded to what they teach you, spend time away from class and investigate other stuff you could do. It's your time and YOUR money. I wish you guys would stop bagging out the school structure and take some resposibility for yourself. Agent J is right about what you get out of it.

NOT EVERYONE CAN GET AN INTERN POSITION AND NOT EVERYONE CAN LEARN BY THEMSELVES (go read the post by nino about self learning), it's a difficult process. Just because production experience is superbly valuable and valued, it doesn't make it any easier to come by.

There is a thread a couple of days back from a guy who asked "HOW MUCH EXPERIENCE IS EXPERIENCE". He's a hobbist who's done 3d work for 3-5 years and no firm will give him a job. So what to do? School and get proper skills, self learn and get no respect. (unless you're really really good) or just be in the right place at the right time.

This is not a science guys. Maybe Ed Harris should come in and post what he thinks. After all he wrote the book about getting a job. (Not a dig) I find all these pessimism depressing!

P_T
10-08-2003, 06:12 PM
1. i like competing and at the same time working together with my classmates. gives me the drive to be better than my peer and i get to learn to work in a team.

2. my school got the facilities such as render farm, mocap, blue room etc which i can't afford on my own.

3. school helps me to build a network which is gonna be valuable to help me get a job later. from my teacher who already has connections in the industry to fellow students who might help me or I might be able to help later on.

4. i can get the help i need when i need it.

"nearest distance between point A and B is a straight line" and school helps me stay on that straight line by providing the abovementioned.

i did learn by myself before i went to school but it just took too long to get to where i want to be and time is more valuable than money for me so i invested in school (i still learn outside school though). the answer to whether it's worth it or not is up to me, school shows me the way but it's still up to me to drive myself there.

just a few thoughts...

d4rk
10-08-2003, 08:10 PM
Originally posted by P_T
i did learn by myself before i went to school but it just took too long to get to where i want to be and time is more valuable than money for me so i invested in school (i still learn outside school though). the answer to whether it's worth it or not is up to me, school shows me the way but it's still up to me to drive myself there.

just a few thoughts...

I agree with P_T.

Sometimes learning on my own. I feel like I have lost track of the path that I'm on. I've recently gone back to school to get myself back on track. I'm actually going to focus on traditional skills before I get to 3d though (well I have 3d experience at home, and learning software was never that hard anyway so far). I also feel that having input from people in a good school can give you an edge or rather help sharpen an edge you may already have.

I also believe you need to be well rounded as well. I'm going for the degree because of this. Otherwise I would only be focusing on art, I've already learned alot in my Generad Ed classes this semester, my goal is learn as much as I can, I'm not going to waste my time or money and I don't want to be a technician, I want to be an artist.

elfufu
10-08-2003, 08:27 PM
i go to school to be surrounded by people like me, to learn FASTER and to have deadlines put on myslef to do the work as you learn.

playmesumch00ns
10-08-2003, 08:34 PM
Learnt a fair amount in the 3 years I spent at university. Well quite a lot actually, about a whole range of stuff.

But I've learnt a hell of a lot more since I started work. I think the key is being around other people who are more experienced than you, and having something specific to aim for.

University was kinda like that, except everyone's at sorta the same level, but I still learnt quite a lot from other people (especially the older students).

I guess if you can afford to go to school, college, university, whatever and dedicate yourself to doing CG (i.e. not have to work a crappy job all hours to support yourself), then it's definitely worth it.

Being around others who are knowledgable, especially if there's a bit of healthy competition, will make you progress faster than anything else.

Spankspeople
10-08-2003, 09:16 PM
I live with four roommates. One of them picked up a neat little card game(http://www.dylinglights.com/) and I figured I'd try to figure out how to play it. Two months later, after I'd picked up the book numerous times and just given up, one of them sits down and shows me in five minutes what I couldn't bring myself to learn in two months.

The same goes for school... I don't do well when teaching myself things... I learn far better when I have someone who knows what they're doing to show me what it is that I'm doing wrong...

Course I took was started by one of the traditional animation instructors at the college. It wasn't a full course, just a four month certificate course, but I learned more there than I have on my own over the course of a couple of years. Though it also helps that most of the instructors were doing this as a side job... my 3D animation, and game design teachers worked for a local game company, the editing and stuff(shoot me, I can't think of the proper word for what it was) teacher works at a local TV station, the 2D animation and film design instructor was one of the schools traditional animation instructors(the guy who did the course)...

It was a neat course... covered pretty much everything you'd want for "computer animation", not just 3D, or 2D, but the sound editing, film design, all that stuff. Though it didn't go into great detail on anything, it was a VERY good starting place... helped me get rid of most of my bad habits(though not all), and it taught me a bunch of stuff that I didn't even think about looking into when I was doing it myself, and far far quicker than if I was left on my own to do it.

And yes, some of the students were quite lazy(one girl kinda came in for two classes at the beginning, gave up and that was it), and some of them were very obsessive about doing well (like the guy who had a cot set up in the corner of the room so that he could stay to work on stuff overnight... yet was always late for class in the morning 'cause he was out for breakfast... =P). And there were the middle ground people, like me(though I attribute that to the fact that I'm a lazy ass... I may not be progressing quickly in my CG stuff, but I'm still progressing quicker in it than in anything else that I do, so it's not that I don't have the motivation for it, I just don't have motivation periot...) who did pretty well. But that's how most things work. I've had friends into it who just gave up because they never tried, and friends who excelled in it because it was what theydo well, same as in class.

Oh, and the course I took was at Algonquin College, in Ottawa(Or Nepean, or whatever...), in case anyone was curious, though that was two years ago(boy time flies when you're... not really doing much at all...), so I don't know if the course has changed at all now. It was in its experimental stages when I took it... *shrug*

Wait... did I have a point?

TheGreenGiant
10-09-2003, 02:11 AM
so there you go, the last 6 posts above were pro school. Just wanted to emphaise this incase its missed. School can be good, I think knocking it on face value isn't really fair.

Jackdeth
10-09-2003, 06:45 AM
GreenGiant, some of your points are a little confusing, perhaps I'm missing your point...

How would going to school get you "proper skills" and self teaching get you "no respect."

It's not where your learned....but what you know. And that's not knocking it at face value. The reality is that most people don't even realize how lame thier schools were until it is too late.

I just hope people have more faith in themselves about finding the genius inside, then thinking some teacher will spoon feed the smarts into them.

TheGreenGiant
10-09-2003, 07:00 AM
Originally posted by Jackdeth
GreenGiant, some of your points are a little confusing, perhaps I'm missing your point...

How would going to school get you "proper skills" and self teaching get you "no respect."

It's not where your learned....but what you know. And that's not knocking it at face value. The reality is that most people don't even realize how lame thier schools were until it is too late.

I just hope people have more faith in themselves about finding the genius inside, then thinking some teacher will spoon feed the smarts into them.

what you know (and this from sitting at home working on your 3d)doesn't mean jack shit in the end, IMO. It will never be as good as production skills; Go look at various demo reels done by the various artists who post them, I look at every single one I can. YOu can tell which ones have been schooled by their quality (and the fact that it say.. "xxx school". I have seen very few comparble work from non schooled individuals (and this is for people hoping to get into the industry, not a work demo reel); that said, a lot of the schooled stuff is bad as well. Hence, choose your school well. THat's not to say people who go it alone won't be able to but without a render farm at hand, experienced trouble shoots as/when needed (online is nice but never immediate). And for the ones hoping to get into the industry, the important thing is having that good demo reel. Again, something that being in a school affords you greater access/ease to achieve.

you must have completely missed my point about doing more than just taking the spoon feed.

zzacmann
10-09-2003, 07:09 AM
:buttrock:

This is the valley of the Jolly Green Giant

Jackdeth
10-09-2003, 07:11 AM
The best 3d artists that I have worked with didn't go to school. Thats not to say some of my best employess didn't go to school, but they didn't learn crap there. 99% of all of their skills came from after school. And calling school "production experience" I think is really way off the mark.

I think my sucess is a direct conflict to your opinion. I learned everything needed to survive in production at home. No teachers, mentors, or 3d buddies to help me out. Maybe people like having it easy these days. Maybe its the people that are stuck all alone (much more like being in production) that can dig in and figure out thier problems are more likely to be better artists. Or maybe its working with real artist in real companys that people fianlly find thier inner skill set. That has nothing to do with school. Where you start is only the tip of the iceberg....Its what you do with it that really matters...

Just because self taught people don't post this pics on this web site doesn't mean that they suck. I've never posted anything here ever, so thats not a fair way to judge things. Maybe students at a school like to show off more...who knows..

polyester
10-09-2003, 07:16 AM
Originally posted by Jackdeth
GreenGiant, some of your points are a little confusing, perhaps I'm missing your point...

How would going to school get you "proper skills" and self teaching get you "no respect."

It's not where your learned....but what you know. And that's not knocking it at face value. The reality is that most people don't even realize how lame thier schools were until it is too late.

I just hope people have more faith in themselves about finding the genius inside, then thinking some teacher will spoon feed the smarts into them.

[disclaimer: this is not all directed at you specifically Jack, but to the general audience...everyone's experiences are of course different]

heh...if it counts for anything, I realize how lame my school is, which frightens me to think how even more lame I'd be without it. I figured I end up having to teach myself either way, so why not have a piece of paper to at least prove my sticktoitiveness. This is by far not the only advantage (see previous posts for others) but that's about the most simplistic answer I have for now. Yea, yea...your work should prove enough for itself...too bad it usually doesn't :shrug:

Anyhow, you're right, it IS a lot of what you know and not where it came from, I just think it's idealistic to think you can learn more on your own. If you are THAT good based on your own instruction, just think how much better you could be if you did go to school; you should even be able to get a scholarship to one of the "good" ones, where they offer internships and stuff ya know?

If you think school is such a bad idea and beneath you because people there don't seem to know what they're doing and students can't learn on their own, think of the opportunities you'd have to positively influence others. How bout becoming part of the solution instead of part of the problem...just a thought. We all seem to care enough about it here on this forum...I hope we all have the same sense of concern for our collegues.

Can we DO anything about school leaving such a bad taste in these people's mouth? It really makes my day when my schoolmates tell me that they appreciate my encouragement and enthusiasm, and downright cheerfulness. Sometimes I feel like such a small factor trying to balance out all the negativity. Anyone feel me here?

- poly

Edit: saw this one after I posted already

Just because self taught people don't post this pics on this web site doesn't mean that they suck. I've never posted anything here ever, so thats not a fair way to judge things. Maybe students at a school like to show off more...who knows.. [/B]

I wouldn't point that out if I were you, it's not helping you case AT ALL. There's a handy dandy edit button down there ;)

Jackdeth
10-09-2003, 07:21 AM
I do help the problem. I pride myself in finding artists with great potential and pour all of my knowledge into them. I don't keep BS trade secrets. Usually the first thing I do is end up un-teaching them bad habits and incorrect work flows.

All I ask for is a good attitude and a level of dedication that shows how much thier heart is into it...


And Poly, why edit that line out? Read his post... He's saying that he's looked at "Every" picture posted here and the school taught ones are better. Thats not a fair comparison. I don't know anyone who's ever posted thier pics online. So how can you make such statements about quality then? Maybe I should post my 3d work from "Nutty Professor" then, I did it in high school from my basement....would that count then?

zzacmann
10-09-2003, 07:25 AM
Maybe people like having it easy these days.

Give me a break. Spending 2 - 4 years and spending 10s of thousands of dollars to be paid off for the rest of your life is "having it easy!"

I dont doubt the quality of your work but you definitely have some unwarranted predispositions against cg schooling.

polyester
10-09-2003, 07:33 AM
Originally posted by Jackdeth
I do help the problem. I pride myself in finding artists with great potential and pour all of my knowledge into them. I don't keep BS trade secrets. Usually the first thing I do is end up un-teaching them bad habits and incorrect work flows.

All I ask for is a good attitude and a level of dedication that shows how much thier heart is into it...


And Poly, why edit that line out? Read his post... He's saying that he's looked at "Every" picture posted here and the school taught ones are better. Thats not a fair comparison. I don't know anyone who's ever posted thier pics online. So how can you make such statements about quality then? Maybe I should post my 3d work from "Nutty Professor" then, I did it in high school from my basement....would that count then?

I understand the context but it was still an unfair comment towards the rest of us school-taught people that are plenty humble about our work. "Nutty Professor" might not be a bad idea...if you just wanna post something anonymously so you don't come across as "something to prove" it might be enlightening. See if you do get the same kind of feedback regarding "non-schooled" work as you do "schooled," might be a neat little experiment. I'm not really trying to argue as much as I'm questioning this whole perspective.

So um...I don't understand...if you're teaching...why is it that you are being so harsh regarding school?

Jackdeth
10-09-2003, 07:35 AM
Originally posted by zzacmann
Give me a break. Spending 2 - 4 years and spending 10s of thousands of dollars to be paid off for the rest of your life is "having it easy!"

I dont doubt the quality of your work but you definitely have some unwarranted predispositions against cg schooling.

Spending all of the time and money in the world doesn't mean anything if your heart isn't in it. If you are going to complain how difficult it is all the time...then maybe you should change careers because it won't get any easier. This line of work is really, really, really hard and demands massive hours from you.

I don't dislike school, but I think it is really misused, and most students dont know that until after they finish, and discover that they have to un-learn many things...



And to Poly.....I teach my employees at my company. I did do some teaching at DHIMA in Santa Monica years ago. The best way to learn is in the kitchen while under the flames.....

ps. I did the shot of belly wrapping around the doctor bursting out of the hospital room in Eddie's nightmare.

zzacmann
10-09-2003, 07:50 AM
Im getting really tired of people talking about how much "heart" and "desire" it takes to succeed in this industry. I know it takes heart and desire and I can assure you that I have a great deal of it. If I didn't, I'd agree with you.

I've posted many times on the subject of cg schools and it never fails that we will see some self-proclaimed martyr preaching about how it takes "heart" and "desire" to be a good artist and no amount of schooling in the world can change that. I agree, but don't use this issue as a safety crutch to whip out at a moments notice and bash anyone who complains about school.

I have lots complaints about school, who doesn't, but that doesnt mean I didn't work my ass off to do the very best work Im capable of.

polyester
10-09-2003, 07:53 AM
Originally posted by Jackdeth
And to Poly.....I teach my employees at my company. I did do some teaching at DHIMA in Santa Monica years ago. The best way to learn is in the kitchen while under the flames.....

My...I do love this banter :) Must have someth'n to do with it being 3 a.m.

I'm actually 100% with you on there being little in comparison to being tossed to the sharks, under the flames....etc etc...(working in the industry). You have no idea how much I look forward to it! I still don't really understand why school is such a horrible thing. I'm going into the industry one way or the other, so why, if I know that it is a personal gain for me, is school such a bad idea? I don't see how it logically does more harm than good. Is it because you have to "unlearn" those bad habits you mentioned? Are you experiencing this with people being introduced to your work and this is why you are unloading? I'm really curious.

I've had a really rough time forcing myself through school, initially the only way I could see it was just as a security blanket..."just in case" it mattered somewhere along the way. Now that I'm finishing, I realize that I got a lot more out of all this than I ever expected. However, I'm very glad to be done with it and very eager to move on, but I'm seriously considering now what I should look out for as to how I might have been negatively affected by my education.

TheGreenGiant
10-09-2003, 08:15 AM
Originally posted by zzacmann
it never fails that we will see some self-proclaimed martyr preaching about how it takes "heart" and "desire" to be a good artist and no amount of schooling in the world can change that. I

lol. who's the matyr and what are they selling this time. Talk about funny way of putting it. :D This thread is going down the flamey corridor as is. It's pretty apparent Jackdeth think education is a load of hot dog shit and can't/won't be swayed. Oh well, I guess it who can get a job at the end of the day.

/bleeds from paper cut.

* ps if students don't know anything when they leave; according to JD, how then the awesome work from Ringling and VFS? I guess it just happened. :thumbsup:

P_T
10-09-2003, 08:31 AM
Hi Jackdeth, u said and i quote The reality is that most people don't even realize how lame thier schools were until it is too late.

no offense but usually people who thinks their school is lame are the ones who expected to be spoonfed. Just as people who learn by themselves can succeed (like yourself) without going to a "lame school", so can those who go to a "lame school" succeed without going to an "awesome school" like Gnomon for example.

im not saying im getting a "production experience" from school but i am learning how to work together with my classmates as a team and i think that's pretty important, don't you think so? there are other advantages that i pointed out in my previous post, feel free to dispute them :)

maybe u see that as being spoonfed, but the thing is, it's still up to the students to make the effort and take advantage of wat the school is offering no matter how "lame" it is.

saying "99% of all of their skills came from after school" is really quite off the marks too i think, is their school really that good that they can get a job just with that 1%??

after i told a few 3D artists i know that im going to school, their reaction was "wow u're going pro now?". from that i came to a conclusion that by going to school, im showing people (and hopefully my future employer) that i am dedicated to the study of CG. that may not mean much, but i'll take whatever advantage i can get to get into this industry.

if i could make it by self-study like you i would be very proud indeed, but im not ashamed of being "spoonfed" by going to school :)

im not knocking self-study at face value coz i did that prior to school but as i mentioned, i believe school can get me there faster so i invest in it.

polyester
10-09-2003, 08:55 AM
is it just me or are the "spoon feeding" schools the lame ones? If anyone's backing up going to school based on that they ARE having their hand held, hmmm....I don't believe I've seen too many responses of the sort, nevermind :) Doesn't matter, what we have agreed on is that you get out of it what you put into it. Every school is at least somewhat different, some DRASTICALLY, just like every job. You should be learning on your own regardless of any and all schools you may go to. If you feel you haven't learned anything in school, you have been spoon-fed, you aren't pushing yourself enough. I say this from experience. I say stay in school, but continue to educate yourself as if you weren't. If you have the opportunity, go elsewhere. Why is this so controversial?

McC
10-09-2003, 09:56 AM
*crawls out of his cubbyhole*

Ahem.

I'm currently in my second year of University, studying animation. Prior to coming to school, I was learning on my own for six years. I've discovered, in my time here, that I know the tools infinitely better than any of my peers (including those in the program). Students sometimes come to me for answers to questions about the programs and how to achieve various things.

Do I think school is going to make me a better animator/modeler/CG artist? Yes and no.

You see, at my school (Northeastern University), the guy who runs the animation program understands the idea that CG art work (specifically animation, in our case) is a lifestyle more than a career. You need to be ready to put in real time and real effort to get good results. He drives that point home over and over and over with his assignments. We have a new animation project due each week, as well as the storyboard of the project that we'll be turning in next week. Resting is not an option (what do you think I'm up doing right now? ;)).

I didn't come to school expecting to be spoonfed. I didn't come to school expecting someone to teach me how to be a CG artist. I started down that path when I first picked up a demo of trueSpace3 (or was it 2?) many years ago and started dabbling. But I look around at my classmates, and I see that they don't have the work ethic -- yet.

That brings me to my ultimate point. For those of us that already know we have within us the potential to get by in this field, school gives us a playground wherein we can cultivate our skills amongst peers and instructors and find new avenues we might not have considered, while refining our craft and our eye for the artwork (here at NU, animation is one of the ART programs, not an architecture or computer program -- the entire first year is spent doing traditional artwork, rather than dealing with computers at all). For those that do not fully understand what it means to be a CG artist, this is where they can find out. If they can't get the work done and the projects in on time, meeting our professor's very high expectations, then they sure as hell won't make it out there in the field. This is their freebie chance to realize that they might not be doing the right thing and change their minds before they start down an inexorable path that they may later find difficult to escape.

So, in closing, school can be, for some, a potentially vital opportunity to explore whether or not CG is really right for them, if the teaching in environment is right (and I feel that NU's teaching environment is perfect for this sort of thing). For me, it's a good bit of time to test myself and hone my skills for a few more years before diving headfirst into the workplace.

:wavey:

Jackdeth
10-09-2003, 05:38 PM
Also, to clear up a few points. I don't hate 3d schools. I did say in my first post that they can be very good for some people. Hell, my wife, who is our top artist at my company now, came from a 3d school as did our entire modeling staff.

School is a good place to get a base knowledge, but not for highend production skills. Three weeks in any FX company with TDs and supervisors that like to pass on knowldege will equal years of education in schools. But again, that isn't a knock at schools, but the reality of being in a production enviroment.

I have found in my experience the people with best problem solver abilites, the most well rounded feature knowledge, and hardest drive don't are the ones who learned the hard way at home. Its a different mindset.

The point that most of you bring up about having people to ask/answer questions around you is also the weakest point. People get used to always having someone else helping them, which isn't always true in the production world.

Slurry
10-09-2003, 06:09 PM
Originally posted by Jackdeth
School is a good place to get a base knowledge, but not for highend production skills. Three weeks in any FX company with TDs and supervisors that like to pass on knowldege will equal years of education in schools.

So are you saying you are willing to hire on all these people who haven't gone to school and teach them? Under the flame so to speak?
That is very generous!!! When do I start!!!?

:beer:

Troy
10-09-2003, 06:32 PM
I think it's better to study something less specialized, and then specialize later.
I want to study architecture at university with the ambition of getting into architectural visualization, and through that eventually animation or other specialized fields within cg..

I have noticed that many people start off doing general design/art subjects and then are led into 3d through their experience..

what do you think?

WillJohn
10-09-2003, 06:39 PM
slurry ,

if u have a good demo reel , im sure he would.

Art School is useless for people in this field that have no talent. Art center lets mostly anyone in , who can pay.


Ive seen dozens of reels from guys fresh out of artschool. And they arent that great.

There is a cockiness that comes with coming out of school , you think somehow that the CG industry OWES you a job , where you start your first year out making 50k or whatever , just because you wasted your $$$ at a school.

I think the CG industry is unique in letting people without degrees get to high places. Having a Degree on your resume is hardly even recognized , all we do is pop in the tape and use the resume for contact information.

But it is always *good* to have a degree(in a REAL field , not CG) , i just think its a luxury item more than needed, FOR the CG industry.

Just a note to all the school fish out there , Bust your ass and make a kickass reel. Dont let some Second hand teacher try to sell you their outdated trades and tricks. Use school for an outlet of your own creativity , maybe you cant afford said 3d package , or renderfarm. Just dont waste your time. Learn the basics.

-Will

leigh
10-09-2003, 06:59 PM
Originally posted by WillJohn
But it is always *good* to have a degree(in a REAL field , not CG)

Oh, so CG isn't a "real" field?

sireel
10-09-2003, 07:55 PM
ok I read through some of this post and felt compelled to share my opinions on this topic.
I felt like Gnarly Cranium did in that I was self taught and picked up a few freelance gigs here and there and was aching to be around like minded individuals and learn from people who knew this stuff inside and out. HA!

I found out that the Art Institute near me had a certificate training thing and found out that my day job would help with the ed costs so I thought at the very leat I would make a few friends and walk away an overal more knowledgeable person. again HA!

The first instructor I had had the portfolio of a third grader and knew less about the subject than I did two years ago. When I complained and got another instructor he ended up knowing more but is a complete flake and can never seem to keep is word on anything. My fellow students are basically the egar college students that say "Kewl!" to any stupid video of a 3d sphere with a face poorly mapped to it.

Now there is nothing wrong with any of this for those of you who have money and time to burn but I'm 28 years old and have a family which basically means that I have neither. So what am I walking away with? a 3DS Max 5 Bible book that I barely read and the knowledge that the CG landscape at least in the midewest is PACKED with big talking flakes that have niether the talent nor the knowledge to make decent art let alone offer people the medium to getting a job in the field.

WillJohn
10-09-2003, 09:08 PM
Originally posted by Leigh
Oh, so CG isn't a "real" field?

Cg isnt a real field. Its a Hobby that most of us are lucky enough to work in. This backend of the entertainment industry isnt the Real world.

The real world is having your Masters Degree , doctors , ect.

I love cg , but a degree in cg is useless*.

People like Dennis Muren , or your equivalents are Business majors , as in REAL field. Then they take what they know and apply that to the medium.

I mean , if people have dreams of Working at ILM and Dreamworks , why not try and follow the steps that these people have done.

Getting a CG degree places you in a slot , you cant take your Maya certification to Microsoft or anywhere else when the industry is quiet for a while , as you could a Business Major.

But with a Business major , a good CG Demo Reel , and TALENT you hold more weight in the REAL world.

Its not thinking about your Future , when you lock yourself into an unstable field.

*I mean , this isnt to say that you cant get both.. so a cg degree alone is useless in my opinion.

Education is never useless.

- Will

leigh
10-09-2003, 09:18 PM
WillJohn, I can't actually believe that you actually think CG doesn't qualify as a "real" career.

Perhaps you just have a very bizarre basis for comparison as to what is classified as "real" and what is not, or perhaps you have never actually worked in this industry and therefore have no real idea of what is involved in it (I see you are still pretty young).

Cg isnt a real field. Its a Hobby that most of us are lucky enough to work in.

CG pays my bills, and has done so for a few years now. I've worked in studios that are very "real" (I certainly didn't imagine them), for very "real" money (not Monopoly money), for very "real" people, and subsequently saw my work on a very "real" television and "real" cinema screens.

You can't deny an industries existence or worth simply because the people in it didn't get degrees in business (why study statistics and stuff when you are supposed to be pushing polys???).

This backend of the entertainment industry isnt the Real world.

It is a business, it makes money, it employs people and it requires skilled labour - how can it NOT be a real industry???

CG studios make a product - whether it's a film, tv commercials, broadcast branding, tv shows, etc. It's a product that has been essentially ordered/requested by a client/investor, and has subsequently been made and delivered. In this regard, CG is essentially no different from any other production industry.

On a side note, in my own experience business and creativity don't mix well. I don't think it's essential for CG artists to have business degrees - what's the point? In a studio environment you have managers, admin staff, etc who handle the business side.

Saying that CG isn't a real field is like saying that football isn't a sport.

zzacmann
10-09-2003, 09:18 PM
Sir Eel: There are many good schools and many bad schools. Unfortunately you picked a bad school.

WillJohn: You are about to be pelted by a birage of angy post from cg people who dont consider the job that puts food on the table a "hobby." I'm just going to watch from the side lines.

WillJohn
10-09-2003, 09:31 PM
#1 ,

I love CG , its my life. Im just not Biased by it.

Its the way i Make money.

CG provides Jobs , and not really careers.

How many people here can say that they have multiple Year Contracts , with Health Benifits , a retirement package ,stock options.


#2 the 'buisness degree' was an Example of a versatile degree , which a CG degree isnt.

Because in life , you always dont get what you want. Most of you ont make it to be the biggest things in the cg industry , its just being realistic , and having a plan b.

As someone said earlier , hes 28 years old and has a family .. he doesnt have time to go back and forth from wasting time on a cg degree , not finding work , then having to get another degree to get some stability.

I myself am in a position where i have a Long Term cg career.

edit:
ZZACCMan:

Everyone that does CG does it because they LOVE doing it. It is a hobby that I do , and that everyone does , because you get enjoyment out of it and pleasure , and that alone is worth it.

Its a Hobby that many do , that you can get paid to do , and put food on the table. And thats why i love it. You get paid to do your hobby.

-Will

paradisio
10-09-2003, 10:01 PM
CG provides Jobs , and not really careers.

I agree to some extent, but high schoolers don't pick between walmart and pixar...

A career doesn't mean you have to work in the same place, it means you work in a field for more than just the money.

nobrain
10-09-2003, 10:04 PM
this is a heated topic and one I'm gonna throw my 2 cents in,

first I'd have to say that being a cg artist is a credible and very plausible career (like others have said its no dream). Like most people, for me it started as a hobby and making money from what u love is probably the next best thing, that doesn't mean I haggle my warez like a man selling fake watches on the corner of the street because business is not my strong point, I depend on the quality of my work to speak where I can't, hence I have a portfolio. that I think is pretty much everybody who's tried to make a buck from doodling on a pc.

as for the comment that cg is not real I think I can see where u r coming from, its not an exploited industry because the people who work in it have trained for years to do what they do and that brings about a certain exclusivity and seperation to the rest of the business world, people who work in this industry can appreciate their work as well as their checks... (see where this is going...) There is no get rich quick scheme here, only lots of dedication and hard work. Perhaps in the "real world" these business practisings are unheard of, but the rest of us would like to think that doing what u love and makin money can go hand in hand.

WillJohn
10-09-2003, 10:06 PM
i just wish it had better benifits @ these studios ,

I lucked out and have a steady gig getting a place off the ground.

But i mean , i got sick of freelancing really quick.. Going from place , to place , to place.

I just sat back and thought 'man do i really want to be hopping from place to place when im 30' and want to have a family , buy a home ect.

I just wish there was alot more stability.

- Will

polyester
10-09-2003, 10:26 PM
hmm....since we're discussing hobby vs. career. Now...ART, as in fine arts...that was a "hobby" for me. I started drawing when I was a wee little thing and always dreamed of a career as an "artist". Bout the time I hit 15/16 I started to realize that my "hobby" was too likely to not get me very far. I looked at how I could best apply my artistic skills towards a "real" profession, and graphic art ended up being the solution. I worked with 2D graphics companies for a LONG time, and that's what has put food on the table thus far.

After a few years of 2D graphics, I got bored and started to think once again how I might apply my skills to yet another direction, towards a different, more creative, yet professional career. I ended up going 3D and I feel extremely fortunate that I had the opportunity to do so.

I have encorporated my artistic and also technical skills to produce a very well rounded skill set. I think a LOT of people these days hardly have the same amount of versatility that we do, which I believe makes us invaluable people. We haven't just learned CG, we've learned how to learn...on the fly even.

I'll also be completing my bachelor's of science at a university, so I also have a well rounded education. I gotta say, I feel that I'm just about in the best position I could possibly be in. For what opportunities I've personally been given, I feel very confident (and very lucky) that I've made the right decisions.

OH...and I don't in any way feel that anyone OWES me anything because of my degree, I volunteered to go the route I did knowing what the struggle would be, and I feel that my success thus far is a reward in itself. I bet a lot of others feel this way. I think some people are mistaking "pride" for "cockiness".

Let's assume that we are all equally as talented and dedicated: A degree of any sort is a great accomplishment! Also, I think people who haven't gone to school should be just as proud of themselves for having gotten where they are by any other method. I do appreciate these kinds of discussions as a way of giving people a heads up as to what to avoid when it comes to going to school OR teaching yourself, but how bout for some of us, we lay off the "I'm better than you" attitude ok? ;) This forum is one way in which we are all learning in the same fashion. That is something we all have in common.

Beechdbum
10-10-2003, 01:44 AM
"CG provides Jobs , and not really careers.

How many people here can say that they have multiple Year Contracts , with Health Benifits , a retirement package ,stock options.:

so basically cg jobs are no different from any art job by your standards, since almost every artist in history that i can think of did not work for just one company and one employer, so none of these people had careers? they were all just hobbyiest making their money doing a hobby?

Atwooki
10-10-2003, 02:10 AM
JackDeth:

I learned at home, and so did some of the other best guys I know out there. Its all about how dedicated you are, and how much you really want to susceed.

Yes, true VERY true! but the student today is INCESSANTLY reminded of the need to 'network', and act as a 'team player';

After all, in the work environment, he/she will need on average to lean over to his/her colleague's desk at LEAST up to twice a day to check file paths...can get pretty heavy on the 'ol communication skills ;)

Atwooki

TheGreenGiant
10-10-2003, 03:09 AM
Originally posted by WillJohn
Cg isnt a real field. Its a Hobby that most of us are lucky enough to work in. This backend of the entertainment industry isnt the Real world.


/ cocks pistols next to cranium.

Nooo. YOu are NOT MY FATHER!

umm.. that's a shocking point of view. That plus your view that CG isn't a real career is pretty obtuse. I don't know what to make of this. I guess, working as a butcher and chopping meat, sweeping the floor and dragging out the garbage is REAL WoRLD. I guess being a lawyer or an account and getting fat and rich doing jobs that don't serve anybody but themselves is the real world. They're as real as you can get. Back end? I wonder what the guys at Pixar, Mill, ILM will have to say about that? Paul (?) Tippet is directing the next Starship Troopers. There's a definite line that can be crossed if you're good. I don't know. I HAVE FAITH.

/ crawls into fetal position.

No

Day-Dreamer
10-10-2003, 03:18 AM
i am currently studying classical animation and thinking to go sheridan four year degree.after reading this whole thread:surprised
four years+70000 :rolleyes:
well i better sleep
:buttrock:

Jackdeth
10-10-2003, 03:46 AM
CG isn't a real career?? hmmmmm thats an interesting point...... Could be mostly true...

Its a very wierd biz. So I would agree with that comment. Its more art based, so therfore it's as much of a career as being a musican or a painter. good pay, but very uncertain future. Save your money...

But this biz leads us to many amazing places. I'm directing comericals and music videos now, and being a 3d aritst got me there. It opened the door a crack, and I jammed my foot into it. And doing 3D is still paying my bills now, so I would call that a career. A weird, yet amazing career.

thats what makes this biz so cool. That there are unlimited possiblities, and many doors yet to be opened if you have the will and the desire.

polyester
10-10-2003, 03:52 AM
Originally posted by Day-Dreamer
i am currently studying classical animation and thinking to go sheridan four year degree.after reading this whole thread:surprised
four years+70000 :rolleyes:
well i better sleep
:buttrock:

Who's paying for it first of all?

Jackdeth
10-10-2003, 03:56 AM
For seventy grand you can buy all of you own stuff and start a small shop up.

On top the that, you can cut me a check for 30 grand and I'll teach you.....and you will still have money left over for beer and pizzia....:)

Day-Dreamer
10-10-2003, 03:56 AM
mainly will be student loan and the rest my parents.I will have to pay back myself for student loan after i finish school.

Jackdeth
10-10-2003, 03:57 AM
Originally posted by Day-Dreamer
mainly will be student loan and the rest my parents.I will have to pay back myself for student loan after i finish school.


is that 70 grand candian? Whats that....50 bucks US?

Day-Dreamer
10-10-2003, 04:20 AM
is that 70 grand candian? Whats that....50 bucks US?
--------------------
edited
us dollar .if canadian dollar it will be around 80000 .I wish i have someone who can teach me like that.:)

markbones
10-10-2003, 05:05 AM
Career vs. hobby.

A career is a career until you lose your job, or until you get sick of it and quit. Granted, most people don't expect to lose their jobs if they get a "real" degree. But, talk to nurses, teachers, computer programmers, auto workers, engineers, etc. No "career" is safe. A company I used to work for (and still have friends at) layed off 200 people or so over the past 2 years. Most of them are people who thought they had a "career". People even choose to change jobs every 3-4 years just to keep things fresh.

Everyone seems to agree that if you have skill and talent, and are dedicated, you will find work in the CG business. It's tough going from contract to contract, but it is a different way of life from 9-5, and people can make a decent living out of it. As far a CG goes, degrees from certain schools are probably worth more than others. I really wonder how many CG schools actually FAIL their students, or does everyone get a diploma? The commitment to working hard, performing to a certain standard, and seeing your courses through to the end definitely counts for something. On this site, you can see very good work coming from students at particular schools.

None of the animators at the studio I'm at now have their MBA's, or MA's or PHD's. And you know what? They are damn good at what they do, and they're doing all right. It is not a job requirement for an animator. You can have all the degrees you want, but if you suck at or are lazy at your job, or even just can't get along with other people, you won't succeed in most companies whatever the field. CG is more than a hobby if you choose to make the commitment to make it so.

polyester
10-10-2003, 06:16 AM
This is all for you:

Originally posted by Day-Dreamer
mainly will be student loan and the rest my parents.I will have to pay back myself for student loan after i finish school.

*GASP*...I dunno. I come from a bit of a differnt family where my folks won't even ALLOW me to rack up loans, even of my own. What kind of course work is it? Is there anywhere else you can go for a couple of years to get some core work done first? Granted, the fundamentals are crucial and I'd hate to see anyone waste any time getting crappy instruction anywhere, but you might be wise to invest more time than money into researching some other schools and other options. You may even need to consider that you might at some point decide to change directions or not like the school as much as you thought. You're gonna have a hefty price to pay for trial and error.

If you insist on strangling yourself like that, I would SERIOUSLY consider having some job working your booty off to pay as you go. I just hate to see people struggling so much with debt that they can't even enjoy what they paid so much to do.

The university I'm graduating from was about $3k/semester (in state) and the school I transferred from with all my core credits was about half of that even. I dunno exactly how my abilities compare to those of SCAD or Academy of Art students, but I know my debt is at least $70000 less. I think given the feedback I've gotten from my work thus far, it's more than worth it to have passed on student loans. I'm SO glad to be debt free! If I need further education in any one area, I can afford to take classes at Gnomon or something of the sort. However, I'm anxious to hop on into the industry! I'd only continue to go to school now though if someone told me I really *needed* to. (I am considering Academy of Art for Grad school......though very unlikely I'll have to do that).

I think the only thing I've really missed out on is not having ties to the industry through my school. Would be really nice to have the immediate opportunity of an internship. However, for me it kinda builds even greater ambiton. I'm perfectly capable of beating down doors to get someone's attention. In fact, it's worth it to me to do so rather than pay someone 5 figures for maybe an even less opportunity.

Please please please take these decisions oh so seriously. IMO, the financial situations you get yourself into are way more important than the school you come out of. I'm not at ALL bashing the "over-priced" schools, I think they're fantastic...IF you already have, are not borrowing, the money to invest. Even then...I'd like to see people that DO have the money lay out that 70K in cold hard cash and hand it over. *ouch*

Hope this helps. This is a GREAT place to get some advice, as contradicting as it is; you have a lot of people here with all kinds of different expriences you can learn from.

- poly

Asorson
10-10-2003, 09:24 AM
In my opinion school is a breeding ground for mediocrity. School is a place for average people to go, people who have no drive or ambition and require strict guidelines to push them through to the next step of their lives. The same kind of people who once they get a job will goof off as soon as the boss isn't looking, or do just as much work as is required to get a paycheck and avoid being fired each week. The same kind of people who will stay at the same position at the same company for 10 years and then one day the company will go out of business and they realize that they have neglected their portfolio and are no longer a marketable assett to the industry. Then at 35 they move back in with their folks and do nothing for 2 years until one night a late night tv infomercial catches their eye promising another dream career. Just join the class, think as little as possible, do what the nice man says, and hopefully you will plop out the other end as a better person than you started.

If I had to sum up how I feel about schooling in one sentence it would be this: "Garbage in, Garbage out".

bentllama
10-10-2003, 09:57 AM
Originally posted by Erik Asorson
In my opinion school is a breeding ground for mediocrity. School is a place for average people to go, people who have no drive or ambition and require strict guidelines to push them through to the next step of their lives. The same kind of people who once they get a job will goof off as soon as the boss isn't looking, or do just as much work as is required to get a paycheck and avoid being fired each week. The same kind of people who will stay at the same position at the same company for 10 years and then one day the company will go out of business and they realize that they have neglected their portfolio and are no longer a marketable assett to the industry. Then at 35 they move back in with their folks and do nothing for 2 years until one night a late night tv infomercial catches their eye promising another dream career. Just join the class, think as little as possible, do what the nice man says, and hopefully you will plop out the other end as a better person that you started.

If I had to sum up how I feel about the neccesity of schooling in one sentence it would be this: "Garbage in, Garbage out".


Erik,

Time and time again you blantantly and openly bash schooling. I really do not understand where you are coming from with your viewpoints. Are your rants a cry of justifying your own experiences? Is to camoflauge your own insecurities? I saw this kind of attitude from old school game artists threatened by the new breed of technically savvy and artistically sound gang of new artists, they felt threatened. Never did I expect to hear such opinions from someone as young as yourself. It really does not make any sense to be harbouring these kind of resentments in a public forum, if at all.

Please let me continue by covering my opinionon a few things you stated.

So you say school is a breeding ground for mediocrity? No my friend, mediocrity is held and displayed through the individual alone. School is what you make of it and of the quality of your surrounding peers.
You say that school is for people with no drive or ambition? Far from the truth. Hmmm... My colleagues and I must have gotten where we are today by our lack of drive and ambition, with our mediocre skills paving the way. Earning tremendous respect from our peers must have been gained by our desire to do the bare minimum and breeze on through for a paycheck.

While your "paycheck theory" may be true for the odd man out, it really is not an accurate representation of the majority of students and alumni in the industry today.

Can you please stop with the blanket statements that generalize people with an education? I have an education but I do not spread "anti-home-schooling" propaganda. I hold no ill will towards people without formal art training, and I work along side one of the best types of those artists every day.

I really do not understand why you express the views you do in a public forum, especially as a freelancer. Networking is sooooooo important as a freelancer. This industry is way too small to be burning bridges, and you would be surprised at how many people hold grudges for comments like your above. Sometimes reading your comments, you brush off as a jaded individual. A person who holds a grudge against others in the industry. In my opinion, that is the wrong impression to be sending out...

I respect your work and your opinion and I hope our posts/conversations in the future can be more pleasant than what has spewn forth in this thread.

Peace.

:beer:

P_T
10-10-2003, 12:30 PM
ouch erik, that was a very harsh opinion indeed... and very stereotyping.

i'm a student, and maybe im just one of the average people but i sure have the drive and ambition. a while ago my teacher challenged the class to make a circuit board out of only primitives and i spent the whole weekend experimenting on arraying, scaling primitives just to get that extra detail.

whatever my teacher told me to do, i always try to do more than what was asked of me.

now, maybe i was a garbage when i started school, but i intend to become a recycled material when i finish it... just as good as any other product and friendly to the environment ;)

playmesumch00ns
10-10-2003, 02:06 PM
bentllama: Couldn't have said it better myself.

Erik: what a load of horse shit. I went to university for 3 years to learn and develop my trade. I now work at one of the top film houses in the world, where I work my nuts off to get the best result possible. Everyone I know who graduated from my year has done the same thing.

True, I didn't flip burgers for 6 years while I did CG in my bedroom, neglecting my friends, family and girlfriend. Nor did I run for 18 months. I may have got lucky with my way into the industry, but I'm damn sure I'm going to prove my worth now, and so far, I believe I have.

Your comments were offensive and displayed nothing except your own ignorance.

May I ask how far you've got by not going to school?

daraand
10-10-2003, 04:02 PM
Being the 1501st view of this thread I recommend you al lget your hats on:D

I will possibly say nothing that has already been said but I will give you what I've seen.

Erik Anderson, while however controversial (eh not really...) your article was, it stil lbrought a point that i wanted o share with a fellow student - and so I did. more highlighted was your posted on John and Paul (if I remember the names correctly) and their 6 years leading up to the hopeful game artist dream. I wholely agree (and laugh at people saying NO this way! No the other way - there's more than one way ). It was a straight out perfect world and everything happened according to plan well, then you would be correct.

Either way I showed her the article. She interestingly read it and gave me a response "well it doesn't really matter because if you don't have a degree then you won't get anywhere". I told her "but work is all that matters". Her response was that "yeah but still you're proving that you went through school and look at me, see I graduate next May with an art degree and I know a lot, so when I go out i may not know a lot about one things but stil lbe able to get a job in the industry" I asked her what industry. She said any.

I wanted to cry. She's cute!

The point I was trying to get across is that you have a good portfolio and "skeeelz". You have to know your stuff like the back of your hand. And while no one has really written an article on that (though it's just KNOWN to all of us here, justo ne oof the things of CG people) at least in Erik's article it was somewhat highlighted upon.

Now I'm in agreement 100% of bentllama. I am tired of your bashing of colleges.

GRANTED there are people who go into SCAD and skip around and expecto nce they graduate with a degree they'll get anywhere.

For the record let's highlight and put this thought to rest as it has been said too many times and is already understood by anyone who followed this thread.

A Degree is Useless! What only matters is what YOU! yes YOU! get out of the school.

We know this. Please. We understand the majority of the people Erik who go to schools in general EXPECT this. The girl I met and told you all about earlier PROVES this mindset.


err i need to leave now ill finish this later

Asorson
10-10-2003, 08:06 PM
There is plenty of room left in this thread for people to make a case for education, and I certainly won't bash them for it. Also I want to clarify that I am not bashing artists who come from a college educated background saying that they are somehow inferior to self educated artist. No way! I am just saying that they are the cream of the crop, and if they wanted to, they could have done it on their own.

Like Bentllama said, it all comes down to the individual, which reflects my original statement: "Garbage in, Garbage out". The opposite is true as well: "Gold in, Gold out". College does not transform slackers into artists, or artists into slackers. It does not transform garbage into gold or gold into garbage.

The main transformation that takes place is that of your bankroll into a butterfly! :P

If you are gold you can go to school or you can choose to educate yourself. Either way you will succeed. If you are garbage you can spend all the money you like, attend all the institutions you like, and acquire as many degrees as you like, but you will never be sucessful until you change what is inside yourself that is holding you back.

On the issue of holding my tongue for my own professional security I'm not going to do that. I think that everyone should have the right to express their opinions, and if I am persecuted because of them I will survive. My opinion of education has absolutely no bearing on my ability to perform as a professional artist. It is this selfish fear of persecution that prevents many people from voicing their opinions, and lends to the brain dead society we live in today.

I only ask that my opinions are accepted, and that I not be asked to censor them. In return I will do everyone else the same courtesy. My response is on topic with this thread, so if you are tired of opinions that you disagree with welcome to the club. I am tried of people saying "You have to go to college to be an artist", but I doubt they will stop saying it soon.

bentllama
10-10-2003, 09:21 PM
On the issue of holding my tongue for my own professional security I'm not going to do that.


It is often best to rephrase devastative insult with predicated opinion. It is not what you say, but how you say it.


I only ask that my opinions are accepted, and that I not be asked to censor them.


People are more receptive to alternative opinions when such opinions are delivered with respect.

I give mutual respect to my peers until they prove it unwarranted, and like others, I expect the same in return.

Regards,
bentllama

Asorson
10-10-2003, 09:32 PM
It's hard on the internet to speak passionately about something, and also eliminate the possibility of being mis-interpreted. I try to be respectful but also forceful in my delivery. Whenever I try to "politically correcticize" my writing it seems to muck up the point. That is something I will have to work on becoming better at.

No disrespect was intended to anyone.

bentllama
10-10-2003, 09:56 PM
No disrespect was intended to anyone.

None was taken, at least not by me...
I just wanted to bring up the point before hard feelings were created...

Peace. :beer:

nobrain
10-10-2003, 10:15 PM
everybody has their own opinions, to me opinions drift a person away from the real point. Lets not mire each other down with senseless opinions. If there is no money in cg then where did george lucas get the hair brained idea to start ilm. what about method studios in australia, responsible for matrix 1 effects and all.

Prominent people in a prominent business, if you're sour that you don't have their potential doesn't mean everybody else is too.

polyester
10-10-2003, 10:27 PM
Nice recovery Erik ;)

Ya have to admit...it's kinda neat to see everyone so passionate, one way or the other. It's that enthusiasm that brings us together *tear slowly falling down cheek*

Jbo123
10-10-2003, 10:29 PM
I go to VFS, and it didn't cost me a dime out of my own pocket, I got student loans. I don't think anyone would give me a loan to buy XSI or Maya, so what you people are saying about learning on your own being cheaper isn't necessarily true. In the long run perhaps, but for right now, it was a good desision. And i don't think I would have learned HALF as much as I know now on my own than i've learned here. I may not be so positive when it comes time to actually pay back the loans, but again, I feel it's a good decision. That's all. thanks.

Bishop_64
10-10-2003, 10:45 PM
I been through the whole schooling part of 3d. It was good a start but not enough time to get a reel done up to standards with most companies. It took me 8 months after school to create a 2nd demo reel, during those eight months I learned a lot, I was finally begining to understanding the software, due to the fact that I had to trouble shoot everything on my own without any help. I found that learning on your own forces you to understand problems that arise while doing 3d, instead of an instructor showing you. Also being an intern is a very good way to get your foot in the door if you have no experience, do not pass up this oppurtunity. I was an intern for 4 months, than got a contract for 6 month, and after that they offered me full time position.

thanks

P_T
10-11-2003, 12:51 AM
College does not transform slackers into artists, or artists into slackers. It does not transform garbage into gold or gold into garbage.

ah i understand wat u meant now ... i agree with you there erik. i thought u meant EVERY students are garbage.

Asorson
10-11-2003, 03:38 AM
Just one more point before I turn this thread back over to everyone else. There is a difference between "school" and "class". I think we all stand to learn something from others, and classes can be very a useful part of your "self education". If you want to spend $1,000 and take a 6 week class on Maya, or Concept Drawing, or Character Animation, or Figure Drawing and you can afford it then by all means don't pass up that opportunity. The difference between that and school is that school tries to sell you a "system" or "program" for success, in exchange for your commitment and a whole buttload of cash, when in fact no such system exists.

A $1,000 investment in a course that teaches you the fundamentals of a program or area of your field that will help you become a more marketable assett is a worthwhile investment. A $50 investment on a book or a $75 investment on a training DVD is something that will give a high rate of return for a low price. A $70,000 investment plus four years of your time on the other hand may or may not be such a sound investment strategy.

It's all about money folks! If college were free everyone would go. Hell I'd go three times just to make sure I learned everything! But it's not, least not here in the U.S. It's expensive. Average 2 working person household income in the U.S. is $40,000. Average cost for four years of college at a state university is $80,000. Average cost for 4 years of college at a private university is $160,000. Average cost for 2 year tech school is about $25,000.

gmask
10-11-2003, 04:59 AM
Originally posted by Jbo123
I go to VFS, and it didn't cost me a dime out of my own pocket, I got student loans. I don't think anyone would give me a loan to buy XSI or Maya, so what you people are saying about learning on your own being cheaper isn't necessarily true.

Well after you graduate you will eventually have to repay the student loan but you make a good point about not being able to get a loan so easily to buy hardware and software.


I went to an actual art school. At the time there wre no degree programs in jut how to operate a piec eof software. So dpending onthe school you may be getting change dint hat you are not getting an education in art or the principles of animation or a real good education in the software. There are too many CG schools now but I think there are some reputable ones.

You also canot under value the power of the connections you make in school. They will last you a lifetime.. mine have and for that reason alone school was worth it.

fistandantilus
11-26-2003, 03:19 AM
Okay here's my litle story.Off topic at first but will get to the point.
I bought my Desktop just about a year ago to learn to back up my DVD's.That's all I really wanted a computer for.So for the past year I have been teaching myself how to encode video with varies programs and various format.Divx,Xvid,RMVB,Svcd,Vcd,Kvcd to name a few.When I first started I couldn't tell you what bitrate meant at all.Now nearly a year later I can take nearly any video file and re-encode it to a format I like.

About 6 months ago I came across,somewhere I don't know where on the internet,the different 3d software packages.I decide to surf the internet for Maya,Lightwave and 3d S Max to find out iformation about them and I ended up here at cgtalk.I decided to go with Lightwave and try to teach myself with the online tutorials.Well I ended up getting very frustrated and gave up because alot of the online tutorials don't teach you the basics.I'm sure if I had just stuck to it eventually it would have clicked.Well I decided to buy a book on Lightwave,Dan Ablans Inside Lightwave 7 which is a god send, and have learned quite a bit in the last 2 weeks(I know I have a long road ahead of me).I know that I have the commitment to do this because it is something that has really interested me for a long time and seeing some poepls work on here has greatly inspired me to learn this program.Now I use to draw alot when I was younger but as I got older I guess I just decided to quit.I still can draw and If I sat down and decided to draw everyday could become good again,as I think it is a talent that never goes away.I also think that to be good at 3d you don't necessarilly have to be an amazing 2d artist.Yes being a traditional artist helps and may help most people out there but I think there are also a few,people like myself,that when we set our minds on something nothing is going to stop us from accomplishing it.

Now why I have I stated anything I have said above?Well I always was bad in Highschool(poor marks).I found out several years latercan't remember but it just clued into me,that the only things I ever got good marks on were things that I was imensly interested in.Social for example and WW2 I had the highest marks in because WW2 was something I was very interested in.English and Shakespeare because I could actually understand shakespeare and what he was saying.

I guess what I am trying to say in this whole post is that you don't necessarily have to go to school to learn something.If you really want to learn you can do it on your own.I would love to go to school but realistically it's not going to happen no matter what I do.I'm 28 years old.I have Car payments,2 children to support,rent and many other things to pay for.I can't just up and quit my job,even though I hate it right now,and spend $30,000 Canadian to go to school.Not only that but I'd have to move to BC,I live in Alberta,to be able to go to a half decent school.I'm basically stuck teaching myself with books and tutorials but the key to it all,for me ,is that "I WANT TO LEARN" how do to this.I want to be able to create stunning and beautiful images that will move people like some of the art on here.I want to be able to create a 2min,3min,5min short that someone will say "WOW!!"to.

I really don't know what else to say.I know that there are pros and cons of schools but I guess it is up to each individual to chose.If you have the money to do it,go for it but only go for it if you really would love to do this kind of work.If you are at all hesitant than don't bother find something else in life to do.Every day I wake up and dread coming to my job(Hotel Management).I have been in this industry too long(all of my life due to parents).I gre up around it and ended up in it because I didn't care about school.I have regretted ever since not going to school and doing what I wanted to do.If you had asked me 6 months ago what I wanted to do,besides being in hotel management,i'd have said "I have no idea".I finally realized after 28 years that I would love to be able to do what some of you do on here.Create awesome art and hopefully one day land a job in a studio.I know i'm setting my sights high but I have to to be able to accompish what I want.If not I know i would fail.Hopefully,one day soon, I can post some of my own work and a few of the peopel that I said 'WOW" to their art can do the same to mine.

Sorry about bad punctuation.Like I said always bad at school especially English.

tauism
11-26-2003, 04:14 AM
there aren't really any cons of going to school. if the school is a good one and you've got the money, go for it.

my current school has a 1 year foundation course where they teach graphic design and fine art first before going into classical animation & sculpture and finally into 3d.

Jackdeth
11-26-2003, 05:58 AM
There are many cons....

Like wasting time not learning what you should be as other opertunities (sp?) pass you by.

Learning bad habits and improper techinques.

Dumb teachers that are below your skill level.

Pissing away money that could have been spent on personal equipiment.

Developing an attitidue at school that will make you hard to emply. Either cockiness or shyness.

etc, etc


There are Pros too, but lets not forget the cons.

kwshipman
11-26-2003, 06:28 AM
it mostly boils down to personal preference. I personally cant learn at home. Too many distraction, too much food, no one to talk too, no one to ask questions, no group projects, etc.

I also didnt like working 45-50 hours a week, then going home to sit infront of a computer for a couple of more hours when I could be spending that time with my wife. So I decided that if I quit work, I could devote that 45-50 hours to learning and have time with my wife and friends. Now if I was single that might be a different story. I also had a job for a while where i could set my own hours and wasnt accountable to anybody. Failed misserably. I need structure. Its just the way I am.

in either case, this is not a decision to be made lightly. You really need to know how you learn and what you want to learn. There are many students at my school that dont even seem like they want to be there. They skip class regularly, or are late all the time, or dont turn in homework. Maybe it just the first time at college that they need to get used to, I dont know, but come on, we are learning how to make games and movies. How awesome is that.

If you decide to learn on your own, know and be ready for the difficulties. If you go to school, look out for the slackers and learn outside of class too.

For thoes of you straight out of high school, consider a community college first. Get a feel for college life and see if it suits you. That way if you only make it one quarter, you wouldnt have wasted a lot of money.

There is no one true answer to weither or not everyone should go, each have to find out for youself.

Jackdeth
11-26-2003, 06:34 AM
Only working 40 hours a week? How do you get anything done?

Though, I dont blame you. I average 90-120. 7 days, no hoildays.

ugh.

Annuostivix
11-26-2003, 06:37 AM
well, what seems more flexible and fun for you. There you go I guess. I'm starting to wonder about it myself. I figure all you can do is ask yourself which one would work better for you.

In the end, all that matters is that you can work quickly, efficiently, and get REALLY GOOD results, so yeah, look at it that way perhaps.

kwshipman
11-26-2003, 06:37 AM
you work 12-17 hours a day 7 days a week and teach your self at home too?:surprised

front242
11-26-2003, 03:03 PM
I agree with you absolutely shipman. To work full time, then come home in the evening to sit in front of the computer again and try and learn a software with all those distractions. Impossible. And you never get time with your family.

Has anyone been through a CG program on a Masters level?
I have a B.S. in architecture, and want to get into the CG industry.

mattmos
11-26-2003, 03:56 PM
Just finished an MA in Computer Animation at Bournemouth, which absolutely has been the right choice for me. Reason being:

1, Already have a degree in traditional art.
2, Don't work well outside of structure.
3, Prepared to put the hours in.
4, The tutors really know what they are doing, and the students are prepared to work together/share learning.
4, Met loads of really cool people who are mostly now working at really cool places.
5, Still managed (just) to maintain some kind of social life.
6, Got a job within a month of graduating.

Difference between the Master's course and the BA as far as I could see is that most of the people on the MA are actually pretty focused and there to do one thing, whereas the BAs may be technically much better due to 3 years but not always have the direction.

commy
11-26-2003, 03:57 PM
well i did BA in computer animation. for several reasons

1) its a degree it carrys weight even if its not a job gaurntee

2) its an experience

3) it helps to have people around u to comment on ure work and people who know how to help u, yes u can buy manuals tutorials etc but they dont talk to u show u y ure stuck or suggest things they are by there nature linear. ud be suprised how much better ure work is with decent crit (good as it is cgtalk is no substitute for an hour with a profesional working thru ure problems and ideas)

4) u learn alot of things about the buisness and life that dont come in a manual with neat page headings

5) working abroad, most countrys want a degree or better (and ive sene several job adds that require a degree 2) so if i do wnat to work in the US or something i can

6) high school to work is a big leap even if i had the skills to start with, uni is a nice stepping stone

7) i wnated too!

think thats about all of em. lots of companys like the mindset graduates have as well there more rounded people who are open to voicing ideas and taking critism well.

the comments about learning bad habits and techniques and slackers is true but its down to u to check that ure going to a course thats going to teach u right we had 3 main lecturers 2 where of no rela use to me (tho there are times they bring up interesting points and help) the 3rd was of great use and a great help. if u let ureself be held back by slackers thats down to u wether its work or a school. and anyone who doesnt work outside of class is fooling themselves into thinking lal they have to do is attend a few class a weke and they cna get a job.

i worked for my 3 years as hard as i could (with some breaks for partys etc! ) and i believe im better for it having said that lots of people do learn entirly by themselves and it works so u know whatever u think is bets for u i cna only comment on what i felt was best!

playmesumch00ns
11-26-2003, 04:54 PM
Originally posted by mattmos
Difference between the Master's course and the BA as far as I could see is that most of the people on the MA are actually pretty focused and there to do one thing, whereas the BAs may be technically much better due to 3 years but not always have the direction.

Is that why the MAs were always asking the BAs how to open Maya?:)

bentllama
11-26-2003, 05:17 PM
Originally posted by playmesumch00ns
Is that why the MAs were always asking the BAs how to open Maya?:)

LOL

That made my morning. :thumbsup:

DigiLusionist
11-26-2003, 05:18 PM
I don't know why anyone would ever want to go to school for anything. All "I" have to do is pick up a book and I'm a blasted master at it by the end.

The other day, I performed brain surgery on my neighbor's cat. The "Brain Surgery for Idiot's Book" was far cheaper than going to med school, plus, having a companion CD included helped me to feel far better about myself.

I have three children, and sure as shootin, I'm going to discourage them from getting a degree in whatever it is they decide to study. Why? Because there is nothing they can't learn on their own! Surely they are geniuses and talented beyond belief. Universities are shams. Institutions that have fooled the world into thiking that knowledge could adequately be imparted by one person to another in the same room.

Charletans! I know all, and you know naught! I read it in a book, which, by the way, couldn't possibly be poorly written or incomplete in its presentation of the subject discussed.

This is why, as a self-taught guy, I think education is a complete waste of time. Knowledge is simply what I think it is on a given subject. And that will ever be all I need in this life.

Abstract thinking, and discourse and intellectual engagement are overrated. Ignorance is bliss...

Oh, by the way, I'll be twenty next week, and I have so much life experience already, that to even infer that anything outside my comfort zone is valuable would not only be an insult to me, but a lie.

:rolleyes:

kwshipman
11-26-2003, 05:23 PM
Originally posted by playmesumch00ns
Is that why the MAs were always asking the BAs how to open Maya?:)

Have you seen that comercial for fedex where they grab this new guy and say "hey, we need your help" then they take him down to the shipping room and say "we need you to ship all of this stuff using fedex.com" so he says "Ya, um, I have an MBA" so his boss says "oh, you have an MBA. I'll need to show you how to do it then"

mattmos
11-26-2003, 05:43 PM
Originally posted by playmesumch00ns
Is that why the MAs were always asking the BAs how to open Maya?:)

Fair cop guv. It's a good thing I'm an XSI user ;)

gmask
11-26-2003, 06:18 PM
>>experience already, that to even infer that anything outside my comfort zone is valuable would not only be an insult to me, but a lie.

Wow twenty and three children.. no wonder you don't want the kids to go to college it'll cost you half a million dollars!

I have seen both sides of this coin.. I have a Degree but it's a Bachelors in Art so it may not be worth much of anything but I did enjoy getting it.

Back when HTML 2.0 was hot I was doing some freelance Perl scripting and at one point in the project the supervisor who had not yet met me ask for a meeting.


The man was livid that I did not have a computer science degree.
After the meeetign he took the code I had written and sent to a coupel fo ohter cotnractor sfor a review of it.. once replied that it looked like "I had read a book and written the code" as if their wa ssoemthign horrible about that and another said that it was not written in the way that would have but "if it works it works".

In the end the supervisor hired a company to rewrite it in C which cost many more times what I had charged and apparently their version of it it did not work as well as mine.

I value education personally in all forms.. school is a great environment.. and should be fun besides other things. From what I keep hearing the biggest denouncers of higher education are those from the UK and from what I have heard they have good reasons to feel like this.

The bottom line these days is that the market is competitive ..any thing you can do to get an advantage is a good idea.. so I would think schooling and independant study is all the better if you can afford it.

No-one is going to hire you because of a degree in a subjective medium such as computer art but that does not mean that you cannot gain alot from the getting the degree and for many maybe it's a luxury.. I saw alot of people in school that were wasting their time.. thanks to them for paying tuition anyway and keeping fees down :buttrock:

DigiLusionist
11-26-2003, 06:35 PM
:wip:

Ya, I was just being facetious. I'm really 39, have two degrees, and my wife has one. Of course our three kids will be going to university. I couldn't imagine not having a formal post-secondary ed. It simply amazes me when I read some of the things posted on these forums from guys who've never been to college, or finished it.

Who gives a rat's ass if this particular industry doesn't weigh having a degree or a kick ass demo reel. Gads! That's still not reason enough to think being uneducated is acceptable.

Heck, I went to school for a fair amount of time and I still have plenty of life experience to show for it. The two are different types of experience and one will never replicate the other.

The bottom line for me is: If you want to major in CG or PoliSci or Basketweaving or Proctology, do it! You'll be all the better for it. So it costs money. So does being an ignoramous.

PLUS, by going to school, you get to read a lot of books! So, not only will you be self-taught, but you'll have other minds around to discuss things and there'll be a number of professors there who can remind you that you don't know everything...

DigiLusionist
11-26-2003, 07:01 PM
Actually, I reread my response and want to clarify.

I apologize for stating things in a manner that may have suggested that only college grads are smart. I meant no disrespect to anyone who hasn't had the money or opportunity to go to college.

I don't think it's a crime NOT having a college degree. I meant that I think it's criminally stupid to think that college degrees are worthless, and that someone can gain all the knowledge they will ever need by learning in a vaccum.

Nethermind
11-26-2003, 07:05 PM
I learned more from my peers than any of my teachers could ever have taught me. I actually lost respect for one of my 3D profs when the class was shown her film. . a muffler twisting and flopping around in a creek among various shots of cg trees...the music was this tribal drum beating...ugh..

DigiLusionist
11-26-2003, 07:24 PM
Hopefully you had more than one teacher at school, and hopefully you didn't think school was a waste from just one film.

In five years, more and more of the guys who are currently in the industry will decide to work normal hours so they can spend time with their families. Then, when they're teachers, they'll probably forget how disparaging they were of instructors in CG programs. The youngins then will probably trash talk them the way they are nowadays...

Joel Hooks
11-26-2003, 08:06 PM
How in the world does a kid in high school living in his parents basement afford Power Animator and an SGI? That's was like what, $40k at the time?

I went to school for access. My parents didn't have any money, and cooking food can only buy so much high tech gear.

Of course it's easier now, with computer costs so low. 10 years ago was a different story.

I thought the classes were a joke, taught by mediocre teachers, but I had access to the labs and fellow students which was extremely helpful. Made about 5 lifelong friends in the process and came out with a mediocre demotape. I did enjoy the traditional coursework though. Painting, Color/Comp, Life Drawing, etc.

The student loans get paid off next month, and I still work with 3d graphics on a daily basis. So in the end it was worth it.

I always reccomend people pursue a more traditional line of education. As opposed to 3d graphics trade school anyway. BFA or some sort of engineering are good choices.

It's hard to say really. Lord knows either way it takes a lot of self discipline and personal motivation/hard work.

Jackdeth
11-26-2003, 09:21 PM
We afforded it because my Dad got laid off at IBM, and at that time we were already making money off of our Amiga. So we convicened them to take his retirement savings to buy a machine with PA. Its a huge huge huge risk, but it paided off.

And also, the school of Life is most important school of all. Going to med school doesnt even compare to your first week actually working in the ER.

Same for CG. 4 years in school don't compare to 1 week in deep production.

zanian
11-26-2003, 09:37 PM
just my 2 cents

I work in visual effects as a compositor/fx animator and I got an MFA from UCLA's Animation Program. This school is not a "button pusher" school. You have to make films and compete with very bright and talented students. If you just want to learn software this school is not for you.

For the schools that do just teach software I would be very reticent about sending them any of my money. What you need are ways to make you a better artist, to learn fundamentals and realize what are your strengths.

Some of you might not be good artists. But I have seen amazing films by people who could not draw to save their lives but were strong in timing and comedy. They went on to do timing for animation and some have sold scripts.

Maybe you want to pursue the technical side of the field to get a job. TD's are always in demand.

UCLA provided me a forum to help my ideas grow, to bounce off other people, to be experimental or non-commercial, to network to get a job. It wasn't about the software, because that is always changing. You could take classes throughout the Film School, in writing, producing, sound, live action. This gave me a broader sense of the whole process. Making your own films also makes you aware of the difficulty of production, all the way to the final composite film print, when all of sudden your sound does not sync!. No one is holding your hand, this stuff is hard and complex! It teaches you to be strong and nurture both your left and right brain, to never give up on a problem or find a creative work-around.

So not all schools are created equal. Research them to make sure you are not wasting your money. Talk to former students. Me and my fellow students all seem to be doing very well working in TV and feature film animation, gaming, visual effects, flash animation and teaching.

cheers

end of 2 cents

Ibox
11-26-2003, 09:53 PM
What about the tools we use?

Does this factor in at all, when it comes to decisions regarding whether or not to go to school?

Imagine for a moment that you model primarily in... say... Wings3D for instance... have ya ever tried to learn to model with another app once you have gotten used to Wings? I mean wow, what a thought... here's the teacher, explaining how one would boxmodel out this part or what have ya, in say LightWave for instance, and all the while you just can't wait to get home and pump out said part in Wings... too funny, really... :D

or... here's the CG teacher, explaining how to repair some trapezoidal distortion on a photo, using PhotoShop, taking say ten or twelve moves, while I can envision doing same correction using ULead's PhotoImpact by simply sliding a slider over but two notches...

I mean this extends right out to boards such as even CGT here...

So many user's have enquired as to just what software is what... shhhhh cries whoever... simply because good business, and or alliances would be better served by not entertaining these kinds of threads...

so a sticky thread is made up, which proclaims that said questions will not be cool, and instead, a list of software is posted for any and all to take from there... uh, ok, now I have Carrara Studio 2... I mean I saw "Rustboy", then saw Carrara mentioned as a cheap alternative app here at CGT, and thus I go for it...

gee thanks... haha, too funny... I can hear the prospective employer laughing already... " I use Wings3D and Carrrara Studio 2 " I say to them... " I learned how to use em at home" I say..... hahahahahahahaha, they say to me :D

and watch out for those mag software reviews and/or even those endorsement ads... misleading doesn't quite fit the bill here... Let's face it... there are certain choices that have to be made right from the git go... and choosing the right tools which are going to be found supported within the industry is a pretty important concideration... saves on the ole pocketbook, not to mention time invested into the learning curve(s)

So... yea, school or home school is one thing, but even before taking the plunge either way, one requires a lot more straight answers from the industry at large... concerning just which tools do what, and where they will be found employed within the industry... the straight goods eh...

I mean we are so used to viewing reviews comparing various platform and processor facts and figures...

So... how many moves from the cube to the completed model, in each software app? with and/or without additional plugins? and... where will I find jobs using these tools?

Will I really get hired if I am proficient at Wings3D? or C4D ?

Do the schools teach these apps as part of the curriculum? Which ones?

Joel Hooks
11-26-2003, 10:41 PM
Originally posted by Jackdeth
We afforded it because my Dad got laid off at IBM, and at that time we were already making money off of our Amiga. So we convicened them to take his retirement savings to buy a machine with PA. Its a huge huge huge risk, but it paided off.

And also, the school of Life is most important school of all. Going to med school doesnt even compare to your first week actually working in the ER.

Same for CG. 4 years in school don't compare to 1 week in deep production.

It sounds like you had access and privilage that a lot of people might be lacking. Some people come from families that struggle to pay the mortgage week to week, much less dropping a years salary on a pro fx rig so little johnny can bust out cg and save the family from finacial ruin.

A lot of us had a fairly typical public school education without the benifit of SGIs (much less computers) in our bedrooms so that we could create fx shots for features instead of studying high school math.

" Maybe I should post my 3d work from "Nutty Professor" then, I did it in high school from my basement....would that count then?"

Again, to me it sounds like you were in a particular situation that could be classified as "unusual". You've made the most of it, congratulations, but you should come down off that horse and realize not everybody is as lucky as yourself.

I found your emergency room analogy to be awful. I can't imagine working 90-120 hours per week you've had the opportunity to work a week in the ER, much less attend medical school. Personally I wouldn't want a "home schooled" doctor operating on me or my family. Even if his dad did buy him a nice scalpel set and an xray machine :eek:

From my experience, producing the final show reel from school was a lot like meeting real world production deadlines. I probably don't work the insane hours you do, but I've done my fair share of working 9-5 with deadlines, coupled with freelance and even tighter deadlines. Very similar to trying to get that reel out the door.

None of it will change the fact that the majority of us are just "average". Hell, that's the definition of the word - it's just part of the human experience - college or no. ;)

Jackdeth
11-26-2003, 11:04 PM
You missed the point. What I said was that all of the training and school gets mostly thrown out the second you actually are on the job. Its a good background to have, but the REAL learning happens at work, not in school.

And also, being you can be super smart without being "book" smart.

I

gmask
11-26-2003, 11:13 PM
>>>You missed the point. What I said was that all of the training and school gets mostly thrown out the second you actually are on the job. Its a good background to have, but the REAL learning happens at work, not in school.


On the job training is great but as for example of the people I have worked with I'm one of few who know how to work an oscilloscope or understand what broadcast safe means and those were things I learned in "art school". I don't know how many times I have worked with "designers" on a broadcast piece that sent me illustrator files with spot colors in CMYK format. :scream:

Likewise you could be an intern and regardless of your interest or efforts really learn nothing unless the staff teach you things.. I mean you learn by doing not by osmosis whatever the situation is. The ones who did all nighters when I was in school are the ones that I know who are still out there doing "art".

Joel Hooks
11-26-2003, 11:21 PM
I didn't miss the point. Doctor's learn huge amounts of core knowledge in med school, and while actual work may be different in nature, they still rely on that core. I've used a lot of what I learned in my studies on the job. Still do. Of course if I sat around with my thumb up my ass relying on that 1995 training I would be washing dishes now instead of blowing things up on the computer.

I understand what you are saying, I just think you are making sweeping judgements based on your limited experience. I do agree that CG trade schools are largely a waste of money though. I know plenty of people that paid them 10s of thousands of dollars and aren't working anywhere near computer graphics anymore.

gmask
11-26-2003, 11:37 PM
>>Doctor's learn huge amounts of core knowledge in med school, and while actual work may be different in nature, they still rely on that core.

Yes but as interns they actual practice based on that learned knowledge so it sort of is on the job training.. but you are being supervised or at least I would hope so..


>>.I know plenty of people that paid them 10s of thousands of dollars and aren't working anywhere near computer graphics anymore.

And there are those who wether schooled or not don't have the drive and ambition or shear talent to make it. There are other factors to like making contacts and school is great for that assuming you are in the right one in a locale where you can actually get work.

In short it's not simple.. you cannot pronounce any single approach as the right one.

It is true that thee days you could gain alot from simply using the software and using forums like this to learn as well as books etc. This is much different than when I went to school as the internet was not a household appliance yet and my contacts from school are how I got into the business. Some of which are people I work still with.

You need an edge.. if you have raw talent then on your own you can refine it and probably get a job. I have however known people with that talent that were self destructive and anti-social.. no matter how talented they might be they undermine their own success or are simple unmotivated. Given the right environment or encouragement these people can get over these issues. or lesser talented people may work within a structure that shows their best efforts. Some people when on their own cannot focus their efforts and school can help with that. Like wise I have known many a rich or privaledge kid that could't finish anything even though they actually had talent.

It's really a matter of choosing the path that's right for you. If you can't afford school then focus on figuring out were you want to work and what you want to work on and then practice practice practice. Show your work and try to get involved with larger projects or create ones and get like minded people involved.

In the end it's about the work and it's hard there is no easy path to it.

wgreenlee1
11-27-2003, 12:13 AM
Originally posted by gmask
You need an edge.. if you have raw talent then on your own you can refine it and probably get a job. I have however knwon peopel with that talent that were self destructive and anti-social.. no matter how talented they might be they undermine their own success or are simple unmotivated. Given the right environment or encouragement these people can get over these issues. or lesser talente dpeopel may work within a structure that shows their best efforts. Some people when on their own cannot focus their efforts and school cna help with that. Like wise I have known may a rich or privaledge kid that could't finish anything even though they actually had talent.


damn.......ya hit the nail right on the head that time gmask...lol:buttrock:

gmask
11-27-2003, 12:17 AM
Originally posted by wgreenlee1
damn.......ya hit the nail right on the head that time gmask...lol:buttrock:

Now if I could just stop making so many typos... can't we get a spellchecker in here :scream:

Nice lens flare in your avatar! did you use XDUGEF? :beer:

Dargon
11-27-2003, 12:19 AM
A good school doesn't teach you a program. It gives you a much larger base in art.

I speak from experience. My own, my many students, and now that I'm an artist, my colleagues.

Sure, when (if) you get a job, many technical issues will be learned that they never would or even could discuss at schools, and you could learn a program with tutorials. (I've never found them to be particularily effective, either for me, or my students)

When I went to school, I learned how to critique, (so few people have this skill) and how to take critism. I learned that working in groups is often not very easy, but it's something you'll have to do a lot, and it's better getting over those growing pains at college than on the job.

In addition to the less tangible things, I learned proportion, the golden mean, how to design for an audience, instead of for yourself, composition, colour theory, ( what colours go well, and how people react psychologically to colours) I learned typography - also a skill that very few people understand.

My list goes on and on of what I would never of known if I hadn't gone to school. I can say as both a recent student, and as a recent instructor, that time spent in a reputable college is time very well spent.

This being said, if you have no real talent or no drive, you probably won't get very far with or without school. I found time and time again, that the students that did well in my classes, were the ones who did well with careers.

Paying the dosh is no guarantee.

I have the drive to succeed. I learned a lot in school, I even learned a lot while teaching it. Now I work for a games company, and within a month or two, I had already proven myself to be one of the most valuable members of the team, and I have no doubt that I will go places, as I already have. My time in college made this possible. I might of been able to get a job without it, but I wouldn't of been excelling in it without my education.

kachoudas
11-27-2003, 09:14 AM
Hi, being, among other things, a teacher myself, I feel I'd add my 2 cents :

I believe most students misunderstand what an art/CG school is made for. They believe it's made to make them top professionals, learn all trick, pro situations, etc... I think Jackdeth is absolutly right in stating that ONLY production can give this - together with the urgent necessity to earn your OWN money, not dad and mum's.

But now that early ages of the CG industry has gone in history, that the competition is bigger and bigger, it's not that easy to get that experience.

Schools helps you to :

- create your first basis of professional contacts and adress books. Quite usefull when you come from far away places from LA and London

- Helps decide if you really gets the motivation and the talent. Teachers won't tell you, but you may judge by yourself by comparing to others. Many times students with low self confidence gets a huge boost when they realize that the works they admire had an early stage that was as bad as their own works.
Also, a good art school should help you realize and decide what exact field of the art/industry meets your desires.
I entered my art school to learn photography... there I saw what is really a photograph job, and quickly decided, Illustration/drawing where more suited for me (until I met POVRay... that was really long ago... ;) )

- Helps gives confidence on you to your relatives. "you an artist my son ? Bah ! get a macjob, you don't have the talent of that Mr Spielberg (or whoever) ... what he went to that same school as you entered ? (alternative are : he does master class in it / recruited students from that school last year). It somehow justify their investment

- Of course, gives basis on art and art theory (other have pointed this before)

just my 2 cents

Jerome

Nu Elemental
04-27-2004, 06:46 PM
Allow me to throw in a short word with Ryan (McC).
I also go to school at Northeastern and I just completed my first animation class. I practically know nothing, and have considered dropping out to learn on my own. I have discovered however that there is nothing I would rather be doing other then animating at this point.
I also have decided to stay in school. Its a great expense to me and I am paying for it on my own, but I have discovered a few things... and I know a lot of this has been touched on.

1.) Close contact with fellow animators is an incredible boost.
To have someone in the room who has been there before and has some experience and insight is just awesome. McC himself has been absolutely fabulous in helping me excel in my class. Other students there are incredibly talented and I find myself able to take a lot from them in encouragement and advice. In the lab its like a little community. We're not all working together, but still... it helps.

2.) Competition - Ok I don't mean this in a bad way, but when you sit there and the guy next to you is creating something that is leaps and bounds above what you are working on (at least for me) it is inspiring. You suddenly find yourself striving to do better... work towards their level.

3.) Pizza - Yes... occasional free pizza shows up.

4.) Faculty - Yeah... you know... the experts. To have access to those people on a personal level is great. Its motivating. I find it to be one of the things that has helped me the most. I am constantly trying to impress them and it forces me to go to extrordianry lengths.

5.) Facilities - Not every school has got them, but Northeastern has fantastic labs. The technology i get to play with is wonderful. Now I relalize for less then the cost of college I could get comparable technology for personal use, but hey... Im paying for the other stuff I mentioned too.

Well... thats it. Im a new member to CG talk and Ill be around more and more as I work more and more on this stuff. Ill post some of my beginner work soon. Im quite proud of it. so... cool.. Hi! thanks for having me.

kwshipman
04-28-2004, 03:09 AM
Holy dead thread resurection batman!

Nu Elemental
04-28-2004, 05:06 AM
Uh... sorry... yeah I know... oh well.

3dSnail
04-28-2004, 05:40 AM
In my own opinion...
Schools should be there to give a person the basics or as a guide to a career. But many people are unsure of what they want to do, what area (like modeling) they want to be in, let alone weather its a good idea to study alone. Many people will se that as a waste. If I did that before I went to collage (TAFE), I would have gotten a whipping from my parents, and everyone would thing I'm a bum. Actually they do now :blush:. And another thing, how many people actually know alot about 3d, before going to school? I didnt. I didnt even know you could learn it in Australia (where I am). So I'm glad I went to school, because it showed me that I have to work hard and motivate myself. Even with only 9 students, the teacher was always helping the slower students, which fustrated alot of us faster students. The damn school lets anyone in, and these people didnt even know how to use a computer ffs. I had a heap of fun at that school, but not much work was done, just because no one who cared about 3d could get answers quick enough, and quickly got bored. I remember waiting 1hr and a half before getting help once. In a 2 hour class, thats alot of time wasted. And it didnt help that we didnt learn any animation basics or principles, or how to use weight maps properly. So it was another, "Lets make many from this 3D fad" type school. Althou we had an excellent teacher who was in the industry, we only had him for a little bit. And on the studying alone side, it can be good or bad, depending on the student. Went to school with these two guys. One very self motivated and smart, the other talked alot, and was a bit dopey. The smart guy taught himself 3d 6 months before going to school, so he was ahead of everyone else. And hes the only person to this day who got a 3d job. The other guy, had arguemnts with the teachers, so he took 2 months off of school to produce a pretty bad (even by school standards) little short. He asked the smart guy for help, and those parts are the only ones that looked ok. THIS GUY HAD A BONED SKATE BOARD PEOPLE!
My points are:-
- If you go to a school find one with good teachers. Do as much research on this as you can. They will be the ones you learn from.
- Check out past students work.
-If you work at home, you must learn. Not just read books or do your own experiments. But set yourself goals. Like what a school would do.
- Learn what will motivate you. I myself get my motivation from seeing others work, not just tehir finished work, but their WIP.
- Teachers can be just there because they couldnt get a job, because they want to help others (which is something I'd like to do IF I ever become great) or because they need the extra money because they work at little companies or they're freelancers.

And to answer the question, I think you should its up the individual but I believe that school has an avantage of networking.

And just a thought. Has anyone ever thought of getting a bunch of friends, or just people you know who are also interested in 3d, and do their own thing together. So you get the best of both worlds. Just an idea.

Cheers

DSedov
04-28-2004, 07:35 AM
Jackdeth - I totally agree with you. I dont know why it turned out to be a war thread of self tought and people who went through school. I personally attended SOMA, which used to be called Digital Art Center back then in Santa Barbara. Frankly I havent even finished that collage, when I found that my teacher was taking classes at Alias|Wavefront (now Alias), where I worked until they closed all the developpment offices in SB.

Now school is expencive (not DAC), and those kind of money (someone sad 70K) is better spend on some equipment. My personal history was exaclty like that - just with smaller numbers. I did couple of TV productions DC:911 and Paradise with Showtime through another company I was freelanceing for, that didnt really pay much, since we had to compeate for a conadian dollars. Leaving in one of the most exepcinve citied in US, that also got a print on my thoughts, that this would work as a full time freelancer. After I escored whole contract through my friend (art director of Celine Dion) I spend every single cent on opening a workspace, where I could invite other people to work with me on projects. After a while, Im facing quite big numbers now, and plan to expand XOFX into alot bigger production house.

Work experience is THE SCHOOL for cg artist. Quite a long time ago I posted an add that I do VFX in Brooks Film School that was about 40min drive from where I live. in a year - I supervised 3 features. They were student features, but they had producers, deadlines, and picky directors to deal with <- this was the school for me, but not the collage. Im not saing that everyone has to do the same thing, but going to school doesnt garantee you anything (as they promise you) only your will to learn and talant does.

JA-forreal
04-28-2004, 10:54 AM
Iím thinking that for some people computer education will come from an exposure to computer technology these days. You buy a computer or someone has a computer in your household that you make use of. Actually one could even pass on any computer skills that they know to their own children.

We have to face the fact that computer tech is not a stagnate form of technology. You can pop the hood of our pops old Chevy then go to the local library and get a few books and tinker with its engine. Computer tech is always on the move. Even a fortune 500 company can fall out of the loop if they donít keep up with the trends in computer tech. So I figure that some schools can also be behind in many areas of computer tech. Often networking with people is your be bet for drawing a quick straight line to meet your career goals as far as computers are concerned. I find that with computers no ďoneĒ person is ďTHEĒ expert on anything. You need as many credible opinions as you can get on any computer related subject.

The do-it-yourself method works when it comes to learning anything on a computer. The group learning method can be too generalized for all intended purposes. Computers are personal tools and one size rarely fits all. I remember with the Dot.com era everyone was talking about ECommerce as being the best thing to learn as a web site builder. Many of the pure information content sites are still around but most of the Ecommerce based sited failed mostly due to overconfidence in that trend over the old standby that the web was built for. The web is an information network first and last.

If you learn anything especially if it is job related you should first study trends in that industry past and present. History can teach us how to deal with certain aspects for everything.

I like traditional methods applied to new technology. For one thing the traditional approach is tested and proven and it even works without the computer.

For instance what if you are a commercial media computer art designer who has no traditional design drawing skills? Say you are working with this client laying out the framework of some logo design that he or she needs in a hour. Itís a logo for a special one time promotion or what not. And your computer crashes and your power goes out. What do you do? Do you do sit looking at the dead computer screen? If you know traditional ad design commercial art design techniques you pull out your drawing tools and finish up the logo on paper then rush out to get it printed up. The client thanks you and says that you have saved their presentation.

Computers are not the cure all they are just calculators and data storage devices. Right now after years of using computers my goal is to gain total control over my computer so that I can dictate every kind of work that is done on it without it being a limiting factor to me software or hardware wise.

I think that a good education is important from a school or otherwise. It is always better to know more than less. But in the end if all of the knowledge that you learn is not practical to your own living experience then it is of little value.

I think that real world knowledge holds more weight than " just" book knowledge any day. Thatís why you have to network with others to see how things work for them in the real world.

I favor real world education to methodological education any day.

StephanD
04-28-2004, 12:21 PM
One thing is sure,I want Jack's opinion on my first reel ;) :bounce:

Iotrez
04-28-2004, 03:47 PM
I envy people who have knowledgable teachers to ask while on good 3d courses.

There have been so many times as I've been trying to learn 3d that I've had a problem and have spent hours and hours trying to sort it out, and in the end its just been a simple solution that an expert could have explained to me in a few seconds.:banghead:

I know its probably good to work things out yourself but it would be nice to be somewhere in the middle.

If it wasn't for this site I'd have no chance.

TheClick
04-28-2004, 05:04 PM
I had a few good examples but the machine is working against me today.

So let me just say that this is the beauty of open source:

to even give fools a chance at enlightenment.

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