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View Full Version : I'm debating between schools. What is my future outlook?


shuilun
11-11-2010, 03:58 AM
Hi one and all!

I was putting it off but I'm considering 3D school. Other than making a mess in ZBrush I dunno much about 3d.

Longterm I was hoping animation or apply 3d graphics in to comic books. But what is a career outlook in 3D? I'm 25 doing minimal wage and major problems finding work.

I wanted to go to the Dave School in Florida but I do not think I can afford the rent. Tuition itself is expensive but I was hoping to get a loan. (anyone with help on loans is much appreciated. If you know of grants, even better.)

The New York Film Academy seems okay as well. It's commutable for me. It's one yr. as well. http://www.nyfa.com/film-school/animation/1year.php

I'm not sure what software the Dave School handles but I'm pretty sure it's Lightwave, the NYFA is Maya.

For a person living at home in NY what school is best? I remember reading a lot of interviews where a lot of artist would proudly say that they were self taught. I admire that, but I was wondering how that is changing with more schools doing 3D?

I really need some kind of work to fall back on and 1yr program does catch my eye.

I like the Dave School because they said they do job placements and invite guest and help with demo reels.

How/Who do you submit your demo reel, to find work?

But from the outskirts of NY, what is the best school option for me? I don't care where it is, I'm willing to move but due to money issues something drivable or subwayable is better.

I'm more interested in 3D studio max, but I'll use what is most popular. But my main interest are places that help with demo reels & help you find work.

Thank you.

MrConterno
11-11-2010, 09:27 PM
Longterm I was hoping animation or apply 3d graphics in to comic books. But what is a career outlook in 3D?

Be sure you fully understand what animation is and the process of animation before you search for an animation school. It seems like the greater majority of people don't understand what the precess of animation is. As far as the outlook, very good. As with all industries jobs have fallen but video games and movies are some of the least effected. Every article I have read about general job outlook has said anything with computers is the way to go.


I wanted to go to the Dave School in Florida but I do not think I can afford the rent. Tuition itself is expensive but I was hoping to get a loan.

Dave School is pretty decent, from what I remember it was around 30,000, which is workable. Rent shouldn't be too bad, it really depends where you live. Some parts of Orlando you will be paying $4 for a bottle of water, others are much more dealable.

The New York Film Academy seems okay as well. It's commutable for me. It's one yr. as well. http://www.nyfa.com/film-school/animation/1year.php

First impression isn't good. Watched the video on the page you linked. The animations are extremely cluncky, and the VFX is just laughable. I always get worried seeing schools display things like that. A school should only show it's best work, and if that's it, look elsewhere. I'm not sure how many semesters they have you doing but if it's the classic 4 then stay away. 18k/Semester x 4 semesters is 72k. For that go to VFS or Gnomon! This school is definitely not worth 72k.

I'm not sure what software the Dave School handles but I'm pretty sure it's Lightwave, the NYFA is Maya.

If animation is what you want to learn you would want to learn Maya. But most of the programs are decently similar and wouldn't be too hard to learn another one.

For a person living at home in NY what school is best?

This is really up to you. It changes depending on a lot of personal stuff.

I remember reading a lot of interviews where a lot of artist would proudly say that they were self taught. I admire that, but I was wondering how that is changing with more schools doing 3D?

Self taught is definitely a possible route to take. Generally I only recommend doing this as a last resort or if you are more middle aged. Just because school really helps young adults in lots of ways. Also a lot of getting into this is meeting the right people, which can be really hard if you self teach.

I like the Dave School because they said they do job placements and invite guest and help with demo reels.

This is more of a standard than an extra thing. Decent schools will have many guest speakers, have company reps come to the school looking for new talent, mentor on demo reels, and help direct you to getting a job (granted once you graduate it's basically all up to you no matter what the school says).

How/Who do you submit your demo reel, to find work?

Granted my info on this one is hear say, because well I'm still a student :p. Resume, cover letter, demo reel, contact info, and send it to every and any studio you would enjoy working at. Then call them all later. Rinse, repeat. While you are trying to get a job be working on your demo reel and try to attend as many CG events as possible.

But from the outskirts of NY, what is the best school option for me? I don't care where it is, I'm willing to move but due to money issues something drivable or subwayable is better.

I know there is a school is NYC that has a decent reputation. Honestly I can't remember the name, if it comes to me I'll post again. Ideally some thing like Ringling, SCAD, CalArts, or VFS would be where to go but all of those cost a decent amount. You can take a look at animation mentor, which is online and 18k (some where around that). As a note that is the only online course I'd recommend.

I'm more interested in 3D studio max, but I'll use what is most popular. But my main interest are places that help with demo reels & help you find work.

Demo reel is absolutely essential, it's all that matters. Be sure to look for demo reels from a school you are looking at. As far as finding work goes, that will always be kinda touchy. Most of that part is going to be on your shoulders even if you went to a place like Gnomon or Ringling.


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shuilun
11-13-2010, 11:05 PM
thanks for the input.

I like the Dave School but what do you think of the Maya fast track at Gnomon? I like it but it's seems too short.

I found this but theirs not much information about it at all. Do you think this is bad: http://www.digitalfilmacademy.com/3dmaya.html ? I can afford that but I don't think I'll gain much.

I think the Dave School would be best for me.

RoundRobbin
11-14-2010, 12:03 AM
you may not want and NEED to get caught up in schooling. It takes away a lot of time in commute and your basically given information from instructors that could have just as easily have been found online, if you have 'good' taste and aren't blind you don't need instructors to tell you your work looks bad or good, you could use your friends and family for that. School is not imperitive unless your really scrappy behind the computer and suck at finding info for yourself. Industry doesn't care if you have an bfa or a mfa.. The best thing you could do is buy a decent computer with a tablet and get your hands on popular tutorials. You don't want to dig yourself in a hole that you could have avoided. Save yourself the misery of paying for information that should be free.

KrzysztofFus
11-14-2010, 01:09 AM
For a person living at home in NY what school is best?
.

SVA is the best CG school in the North East.

http://www.svacomputerart.com/

KrzysztofFus
11-14-2010, 01:20 AM
you may not want and NEED to get caught up in schooling. It takes away a lot of time in commute and your basically given information from instructors that could have just as easily have been found online, if you have 'good' taste and aren't blind you don't need instructors to tell you your work looks bad or good, you could use your friends and family for that. School is not imperitive unless your really scrappy behind the computer and suck at finding info for yourself. Industry doesn't care if you have an bfa or a mfa.. The best thing you could do is buy a decent computer with a tablet and get your hands on popular tutorials. You don't want to dig yourself in a hole that you could have avoided. Save yourself the misery of paying for information that should be free.

This is true. Dude, your thesis was the reason I went to SVA.

MrConterno
11-14-2010, 03:26 AM
what do you think of the Maya fast track at Gnomon? I like it but it's seems too short.


Well it's Gnomon so that's always a good thing. I haven't heard a lot about the program. It could either be too things; for people who have a beginners understanding of CG, or for people who know a decent amount about CG who need an over all review and enhance their skills. I imagine it is the first one though. If this is the case it might be nice, then you can just get a subscription to Gnomon workshop and self teach the rest. Once you get to an intermediate level it's basically just learning tricks and refining your skills.

gmsalpha
11-25-2010, 11:46 PM
Hey there,

I know you have places in mind, but I strongly recommend you fly down to Orlando to see DAVE School and/or to Vancouver to see VFS and/or Hollywood to see Gnomon School. Websites will only give you so much information.

I live in Orlando and the two primary schools here in town are DAVE School and Full Sail, but I ended up enrolling at Gnomon, where I'll be starting their 2yr Digital Production for Entertainment program in January '11. The #1 reason is because of its location in Hollywood near the movie studios and a lot of video game companies. Networking is key, so being within a 15 minute drive of major Hollywood studios and companies like Blizzard and Naughty Dog is an incredible component, along with meeting industry professionals, learning from them, and having classmates who are future pros. I don't want to have to hope enough companies go on recruiting trips to Ringling, Savannah, Full Sail, DAVE, etc. I want a great education, but even more than that, I want a great job.

I considered VFS because the demo reels that come out of there really are amazing and it's a great location with a lot of TV shows filming in the area, as well as Pixar Canada, but the complications of going to school in another country were a little too much for me. Academy of Art University in San Fran would be great too, because of all the companies around the area. But then again, the cost of living would be insane.

Finally, having looked into tuition at most of the top-tier schools, it's going to be expensive no matter where you go. It just is. So don't take the cheap way out, or the place nearest to your home. If you have to take $90k in loans to cover tuition and two years' worth of living expenses, do it. But do it knowing you're going to be living, breathing, and sleeping 3D modeling/animation/visual effects, etc. I'm very lucky to be married to a woman who supports me in my decision 100% and is lucky herself to be able to work from home and pay for rent and food, though tuition is my responsibility. Also, my brother has lived in L.A for 10 years now so I have that family connection.

gmsalpha
11-26-2010, 02:40 PM
thanks for the input.

I like the Dave School but what do you think of the Maya fast track at Gnomon? I like it but it's seems too short.

Understand that Maya Fast Track can be taken as individual 1-week classes, although Introduction to Maya is required as a prerequisite (thus, it's your week 1 class). One option you could strongly consider would be to enroll in Introduction to Maya, then fly out to Hollywood, check in to a hotel, and see what the experience is like. The classes run from 9am to 4pm so although it's only one week, it's a lot of classroom time. Plus, if you do it that way, you will become familiar enough with the area and the school itself that if you wanted to go for the full 2-year certificate program and you'll know the quality of the instructors. It would run you less than $3k but having that on-campus experience would give you invaluable information to help you decide if Gnomon is where you want to be.

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