View Full Version : >>Where did you go to school??

02 February 2004, 09:06 PM
Hi guys, I thought I would start a thread to see if everyone could share a little of their background w/us here? I'm cursious as to what most peoples background are that are working in the game industry or trying to get in (like myself).

--I am 26yrs old, and have 2 degrees, a BFA in Illustration (KCAD, Grand Rapids, MI) and an Associate in Computer Animation (Full Sail, Orlando,FL).

--I have a couple years experience doing freelance Illustration and design and worked as an eCard designer/animator for for a little over a year....

--I am ultimately looking to get into the video game industry and, have been for about a year now. (still *crossing* my fingers, heh)

--So far my educational experiences, I really value and am glad to have. Both schools have had their ups and downs but, ultimately I felt that you really get out what you put in - and I have a feeling most schools are the same way (am I wrong?). I met a lot of great mentors and friends, most of whom I still talk with. I did learn a lot at both schools but, not much in the way of how the industries work (as in video games, or film/Illustration) - mostly just technical training and traditional art skills. The career placement programs at both schools are pretty lame - Full Sail in particular was dissappointing ( I expected that though ). I didn't expect to be handed a job upon graduation only, more guidance on my demo reel and resume/cover letter. And I really thought a school like FS would have lots of great connections in both the video game and film industries, they don't.

Anyways, I would love to hear more of you guys share what your backgrounds are like up to this point. How many of you are working at game companies, and what were you backgrounds previous to that? How were the schools you went to, good/bad? Or whatever else you'd like to say.

02 February 2004, 09:22 PM
hi, im trying to break into the industry myself. im currently working on new content for a demo reel which i hope lands me a job.

im a Full Sail alumni also of the feb. 2002 class. (graduated in june of 2003).

i have taken a break and spent some time with my families at home for the holidays but now its time to get serious.

btw if anyone can let me in on a good webhoster id be greatful. ive looked at a few places but they seem to have a policy on sites with cg.

02 February 2004, 11:30 PM
im 22, and have zero degrees, although I attended virginia commonwealth university for a year of fine art, and the savannah college of art and design for 1.5 years to study animation and game art.

i have 9 months experience in the video game industry. 6 at warthog texas in austin texas, and 3 at Terminal Reality in Dallas Texas.

I am looking to eventually be a game art professor at the college level after i get a few shipped titles under my belt.

Scad was good, and i wouldnt be here without it, but way way way overpriced. Was not worth the 31k I am in debt for just those 1.5 years.

02 February 2004, 11:59 PM
I turn 18 in a couple of months, im in the final year of technical highschool (i think, not really sure how the american school system works :) ) Right now im browsing for a university.

I intend to study data and electronics or something similiar. I've actually found a program wich contains data, electronics and 3d modeling so that seems kinda great.

I started out as a q3 mapper for about 3 years ago and i got in contact with 3dsmax almost two years ago and i'm getting better and more secure as time passes by. I'm not sure if i want to work with games but who knows! Maybe i still have the same passion for games in 4 years that i have now...

02 February 2004, 12:01 AM
Im 21 ive finished first 2 years of BA computer games Design at Teeside uni. (its Game art degree really as i only dont 2 modules out of 20 that are design related the rest are art)

Im on a year out from my degree to do portfolio work and earn money so i can buy a mother of a PC.

Next year is my final year then job seeking. which sounds harder every day. But i had a bit of interest last summer from a few companies about a placement, and they said to contact them when i graduate as they were in no position to take student placements.

But anyway, I'll try damn hard to get a job modelling and/or texturing.

Or a few students and freinds from the programming degrees and animation degrees are gonna try and start our own company using grant money to start it, before finding a publisher. but thats a pipe dream at the moment.

Oh and my abilities mainly Max (3years) and Photoshop(3) but i have had experience with maya and XSI.

02 February 2004, 12:17 AM
I spent 2 Years at the Academy of Art in San Francisco. My first year I was 3D Modeling (Games) major. REALLY dodgy sounding if you ask me. My next year I switched to an Illustration Major.

I started getting into game art near the end of my senior year in highschool. And I got really hooked. I pretty much spent all my time after highschool modeling and texturing.

By the time college rolled around... I tried to juggle both my hobby and school work. It went alright for a little while. By the end of my 2nd year at the Academy of Art... I pretty much lost all interest in school and devoted a lot of my time to putting characters together.
I ended up failing a lot of classes... but hey... the characters I put together during that time got me my job.

I got my job here at EA when I was 19. And I've been here for a good 9 - 10 months.

I was very fortunate that the people who looked at my portfolio were looking more for talent rather than a few pieces of paper. So in a way, I caught a break there.

I suppose I could still be in school right now learning and getting prepared for this job. But I don't think there's anything a school can offer that can top what I went through during the last several months of the game I worked on. Hah
But I'll be honest... I'm glad I decided to look around for a job. There's so much I've learned working here. And there's no doubt in my mind that I'm a much better artist now than I was when I first came here.

The school really can't "make" a better artist. The individual still needs to have some kind of talent to improve their skill set.

02 February 2004, 12:39 AM
3 years at the Art Institute of Phoenix and earned a BA in Game Art and Design. Graduated Sept 2003. School covers a broad range of game related areas (level design, game design, modeling, animation, etc). The good game related teachers left after the quarter I graduated, so I can't really recommend it to anyone.

Been working on my portfolio since I graduated and will be looking for a job soon.

02 February 2004, 01:35 AM
I am Jonathan Williams, 20, I graduated Full Sail (Orlando, FL) in June 2003 with a degree in Computer Animation.

Eric22, what year did you graduate?

JaMo, what is your real name? Were you in CADP as well?

02 February 2004, 01:41 AM
I'm 22, and this will be my last year at Savannah College of Art and Design...thank god.

Getting a BFA in Comp Art. Totaly agree with poop on it costing wayyy too much, thankfuly for a good scholarship I'm still here. I could probably say more bad than good about the school. But it did get me where I am now, met my wife and had my son. So it's all good~

Anyway I'm now starting on the job search, either fulltime or intern for a game company. Right now I'm shooting for EA or Lucas Arts. We'll see.

Just remember that no matter what school you go to, it's only worth what you make of it.

02 February 2004, 01:46 AM
my real name is Jason Mozingo and i remeber your demo reel. =)

02 February 2004, 03:45 AM
This is a great thread for all those people serching for good colleges to goto (including me)

Ive been in contact with fullsail but have heard some negative reviews about them.. mainly how its not worth the money.

To all those that have graduated i was wondering what the computer animation course actually offers and if its really worth it ?


02 February 2004, 03:48 AM
>>Darkax: I totally agree w/you about college education, that it really is what you put into it.

I truly am envious of you guys who made it in w/out a degree, you guys have some serious talent. It really took me a full four years at art school to really develope my level of art, and I still struggle everyday with it. We also didn't have any 3D classes back when I attended art college, that's why I ended up going to FS, to hone up on those skills. I've got a lot of debt from the education but, think it should pay off in the long run...I hope.

02 February 2004, 04:14 AM
Ok, here's my take on Full Sail. I graduated from there back in Dec 2002 from the Comp Animation program. I learned a lot from the program, though I wish there was more of a focus on the game industry side of things. Some teachers were great, some were not so great. Career placement, don't expect to get a job through them - in fact don't expect anything from them - you need to start out on your own and start early on that! If you do go to FS, make sure you get into contact with Chad Kendall, he heads up the Game side of things in the Comp Anim program - he is the man (a great guy to know)! FS will hit you in the bank account and hard - so be prepared for that kind of debt. But, then again - education is worth expense - hell people spend more money on cars than I spent on both my degrees (I try to look at it like that - give myself a little more comfort, heh).

I think you should avoid FS if you are straight out of highschool, especially if you want to do an artistic job in the games industry. Look for a decent four year art degree with and emphasis on 3D modeling/animation.

I've said this several times in this thread but, you really get out what you put into an education, that goes for any of these schools. Talk to as many people as you can and use your best judgment (by the way, has a nice list of schools geared towards the game industry - go check em' out).

This is just my opinion but, I hope it helps you out a little more.

02 February 2004, 04:40 AM
I went to SCAD from 1996 - 2000.

02 February 2004, 04:53 AM
I spent 3 years at Queen's university in Kingston, Ontario, Canada working towards a Mechanical Engineering degree.. which I ultimately dropped out of because I spent so much time making a video game while I was there.

I then went out west and attended the Vancouver Film School, out of which I got a job at Mainframe, then Relic Entertainment for 3 years. Now I'm in vfx for film and tv, and working as an instructor at VFS teaching a course on "Intro to Video Game Art".

Funny how things go around. :)

As for breaking into the biz, just make sure you have a great demo reel. For all the times knowing someone gets you in the door, having a great reel will break that door down. I congratulate all of you who have formal art training, as I never have and it comes back to bite me in the ass. Nothing beats a solid foundation.

Best of luck to all of you!

02 February 2004, 04:56 AM
I learned Lightwave in High School, doing tutorials in an A/V class.

I got my Associate of Applied Art in Computer Animation from the Art Institute of Dallas. It was basically Photoshop and 3D Max Intro courses. I've had better learning experiences in community college (THAT's where I learned MAYA).

I'm currently at the Guildhall at Southern Methodist University (Dallas, Texas). I'm in the first cohort, and have been there for 7 months, now. It's completely focused on game design - Art Creation, Level Design, and Programming tracks. I like it a lot, but the real results will show when I graduate in December '04. Nobody's guaranteeing any jobs, but we definitley have a step up on the ladder, as far as game design goes. The link is at the bottom; check it out, if you like.

02 February 2004, 05:36 AM
Oh yeah, another thing I wanted to mention is that I learned so much more about 3D modeling and stuff after I finished school. Honestly, just checking these forums daily and doing my own portfolio work - I learn a lot, lot more.

02 February 2004, 05:40 AM
Great topic...
I turned 30 last month...guess that makes me the old guy around
I graduated a magnet art highschool in 92 and attented 2 years of community college in houston....moved to Dallas in 97 began attending AI Dallas. Graduated AI Dallas in I have 2 associates.

so what took me so long? Where did all that time go...well I have been really involved with coaching gymnastics and tumbling for many years...I love it, but it doesnt pay much, and in many ways has held me back from a full time art gig..

I have always been involved with freelance graphic art, logos, comic illustration..etc..knew I wanted to get into games. when I started school there wasnt alot of schools offereing a CAM program or games the time I graduated it seemed the market was flooded with new recruits and new art training centers...all of them way overpriced..

As for my AI education, I credit them with introducing me to the tools and the industry....but I definately had to spend time learning on my own....lots of time, energy, and money outside of school. when I graduated there werent many jobs to be found and my demo was shit, I really feel like I should have stuck to a graphic art degree....but it has worked out mostly for the better...I ended up getting a job in WEb dev for a few years , I still freelance...and last year I worked on my first pro game contract as a concept artist for a pretty well known I feel good about that..I love concept and design more so than 3d, but there arent many companies that will hire just a concept guy anymore( or so it seems) so I'm putting together a new 3d portfolio.

I still coach gymnastics, but it is becoming very difficult to make ends meet and very clear that I will soon have to stop freelancing and get a full time art gig, especially today....things are pretty tight at the moment, hopefully it will get better.

02 February 2004, 05:48 AM
Eric22: Oh yeah, another thing I wanted to mention is that I learned so much more about 3D modeling and stuff after I finished school. Honestly, just checking these forums daily and doing my own portfolio work - I learn a lot, lot more.

agreed!!! I feel exactly the same way....

02 February 2004, 06:52 AM
Titan - Sorry to hear that you got hosed by Ai Dallas, too. I agree about CGTalk, though - one of the best resources I have ever come across.

02 February 2004, 10:46 AM
age: 27
school: sheridan college, classical animation
sheridan college, computer animation
[bachelor's equivalent]
duration: i have been in the industry since 1999

02 February 2004, 11:12 AM
I'm currently enrolled at Art Institute of Dallas... in fact I'm working on my demo reel as we speak... I'm not sure what it was like in 1999, but the part about having to learn on your own certainly still applies... the instructors here basically show you the ropes... how you progress is up to you. if you only do what is required from the courses, you might pass, but your future will be far from secure... if you take the time to learn on your own, then you will most likely be doing okay...

I picture them more as guides than instructors now, as I have taught myself everything I put to use in my demo reel, and the only thing they can help me with now is making sure the quality is acceptable, and that my demo reel is interesting...

but yea, just another quarter or two and I graduate there...

02 February 2004, 11:43 AM
Nice thread Eric!

I'm 20 and in my final year of my BA (hons) Computer Animation Degree at Portsmouth University (thats in england).

I've started work on my final project for the year and i hope to have a decent showreel together soon. Soon i will start the horendous task of looking for game work, as a modeller/texturer, when i'm nearer the end of my course.

I've had my website up for almost a year now ( and have been using forums like this for about the same amount of time. I've have found the members of cgtalk to be very helpful and a good resource for constructive critisism.

oh and i like the colour orange!!

02 February 2004, 05:17 PM
Savannah College of Art and Design; 3 years until I was offered an industry job. Whether or not I am going back to finish my last year is still undecided. Is SCAD worth the money? That depends on how you use your time there.

02 February 2004, 06:42 PM
I graduated Collins College in Dec. 2000 with an Associates degree. Got a job as a Teacher's Assistant there soon after for almost a year and learned TONS.

Took a year to further my own skills on my own thanks to generous parents putting up with me and eventually got a job at Warthog Texas in Austin.

Collins is a pretty good school, although maybe not as high-priced or with the best facilities, but, like has been said, you get what you put in to it.

02 February 2004, 07:49 PM
I'm 20 and I've wasted a good 3 years milking an AS in general art at the local comunity college. I can honestly say that you learn nothing usefull with general art. Right now I'm working with a couple of budies at our media design company (check the website below, I made it) doing any kind of work that walks through the door. Pay isn't much (1/3 of whatevers left after expenses) but I get my own office ;) One of these days I'll finish my portfolio and hopefully get picked up by a game company.

02 February 2004, 09:18 PM
Im 26. I went to Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo, CA for juust about the whole Art& Design major. I have a few classes left, but took off early to go work at Kush (Sega Sports). Im currently at Left Field Productions, and have just finished my third published title for x-box, ps2, and GC.

btw.. college is absolutely not neccesary for this field.

02 February 2004, 10:16 PM
ouch, I feel small...

02 February 2004, 11:21 PM
I'm currently in my first year at THE magnet art high school in the country, thank you very much. Or at least that's what our teachers tell us. We get all the presidential art scholars and whatnot. My question is what college would be the best for game art design if money were not a problem? Lots of (art) colleges look at my school for handing out scholarships and if I do well at this school it shouldn't be that big of a problem to get the money. And, if I have sufficient experience instead, could I just get a degree in business to fall back on and still have a chance in the industry?

02 February 2004, 11:49 PM
I'm currently attending AAC and majoring in computer art: 3d modeling. When I'm done in alittle over 3 years I want to get my MFA then get into the film industry.

02 February 2004, 01:49 AM
Just thought I'd throw in my 2 bits on this topic. Maybe it will offer a little hope to anyone who's discouraged cuz they can't afford an expensive education, or aren't very computer savvy. I started out 2 1/2 years ago, having never used a computer before. I went to community college for a year, dropped out cuz the program was really weak, went to a "high end training facility" for a couple week long Maya classes that was absolutely not worth the money, then decided to forego school and just learn by myself. I haven't gotten a full time job yet (though I haven't really been applying cuz I'm still workin on my portfolio), but I've done 3 contract jobs.(2 games, one cancelled, one licensed PC title due out in Spring, and a national TV commercial that will be airing soon). My self education consists of:
-getting as many Gnomon videos as possible
-acquiring as many books as possible
-doing boatloads online tutorials
-spending quality time at this site and
-being active in the local 3D community
-having a borderline compulsive work ethic (for example I worked on 3D for 30 hours last weekend)
I hope my post doesn't come across as arrogant or boastful by talking about myself or what I've done or whatever, that's not my intention, I really just wanted to illustrate that it can be done without an expensive degree.

02 February 2004, 04:37 AM
I went to school at VFS, but all it really help me do was skim the surface of how to use the programs since the course wasn't really long 1year to learn traditional animation and 6 months to learn how to use maya but at the end of the course they make you do a short film which you end up learn the most from...depending on how determined you r.

but i found that school was only something to start me off, pretty much everything i'm learning about game modeling and texturing is from reading books and tutourials.

02 February 2004, 04:40 AM
>>fattkid: Arrogant or not, I personally like to hear everyone's experience (though, I don't think you sounded arrogant anyways) and I think most others would agree. Also, I think you are very right about those Gnomon videos/DVDs, I've heard they are very helpful.

>>DaemonMagus: Man am I envious of you! I wish I could've went to a specialty art high school, that would have been way cool. As for what game oriented school to go to, you've got a couple years ahead of you so start doing your research now. A great place to start is by checking out They have a great section of game oriented schools and programs. Start bugging the schools to send you all the info they can on their program - and ask each school if they can put you in touch with some people currently attending and alumni - and ask as many questions as you can think of. Things are probably gonna change by the time you graduate from high school so just keep your eye on which schools appeal to you most.

02 February 2004, 06:24 AM
I just graduated Full Sail about 8 months ago, and I want to leave my two sense about what I thought of it.

First off, It IS worth the money. You can't put a price on what you will learn.

I will be honest, it is a tough school, if you like to party, forget it. You ussually do school 5-6 days a week and about 8hrs a day. However, you wind up going home after most classes and work for hours more on your own.

I agree with Eric22 though, they needed more Game Design stuff. However if you aren't sure what you want to do in the 3D realm then this is great for you. You learn all types of 3D stuff: Polygon modelling, NURBS and Sub-D's (some). You learn modeling, rigging, animating and more. You even learn bits of cloth sim, fur and other neat stuff.

It is 14 months of school. The first 6 are easy, the middle 4 are rough, and the last 4 are insane. However they have changed the course some from when I was there, so it might be different.

Other interesting facts about FS: It has a "lifetime garuntee" For the rest of your life you can audit any class from the degree program you go in to. Take a second and think about how awesome that is! 2 years down the road they have a new breakthrough in 3D...and you can go take classes on it for free!!!

Last thing and I will shut up, as I am sure some of you are ready for me too! :)

Teachers...ok there are some jerks, and some good ones. But there are some great ones too. In any case, most of the teachers are ages 20-40 and have been in the industry before. It is one of the most invaluable things you obtain. I am friends with a couple of my teachers, and talk to the every once in a while. However, almost all the teachers tell you, "if you ever need a answer, or have an issue, contact me", and they are sincere...

Look, in short, I am very happy I went to Full Sail and graduated. Yes, I am 30+ thousand dollars in debt, but that is ok.

I guess the only thing I have to complain about was too short. :(

Mangled Poly
02 February 2004, 10:25 AM
I am currently 19 taking art classes at the community college, i must say a great place to learn at a cheap price currently im doing offsite contract work for a company soon another, while juggiling with some companies for a full time salary job.

I originally spent most of my highschool years studing architecture, and not till mid of that did i realize i haded the regulations and loved the artisitic freedom of game modeling. I wish i would have realized it my freshmen year in highschool so i coulda taken more traditional art classes, however ive been working liek a mad dog at my local college to make up for that!

02 February 2004, 10:47 AM
Heh, glad i didnt goto fullsail when i was planning too heh.

Ive got another freind thats taking comp animation atm, ill ask him what he thinks so far later.

So far i went to highschool, barely graduated lol, then went and did a bumch of construction work and fast food.... now im unemployed thinking about either going into debt to goto a school, or go find another mcjob and keep learning from tutorials and forums like these :)

Why didnt you take their game design class instead of animation eric?

BTW im thinking of doing a 3d buzz class at their center, anyone been to the ren center in nashville?

02 February 2004, 02:40 AM
>>TRyanD: Hey man! I didn't take the Game Design degree because it's all focused on programming, no art to it at all. Don't be fooled by that title, it's only programming.

02 February 2004, 02:50 AM
so where should i begin? where i was born? where i grew up? Or should i start where i was born into dorkness, as i like to call it?

but seriously, i went to SCAD for 4 years, having not touched a 3d program until my sophomore year there. While experience with the college wasn't one that i particularly liked, it did give me a chance to meet some really cool people and artists, which is where i learned the most from (but i think everyone is like this.) After graduating, I hung around for a little while in savannah (girlfriend.) I moved back home around thanksgiving, and I am now looking for a job. Oh, and video games are like crack to me.

P.S. the G4 channel really sucks, and so did that spikeTV video game awards BS

02 February 2004, 08:05 AM
Just thought I would throw out a quick balance to this topic (before anyone takes out a loan against there first born to pay for "art" college).

I have been handling hiring of 3D artists for RT applications for the past four years where I work - and after the first batch of them, I have not looked at the education block of the resume packages. The first few that I hired I placed a high emphasis on that, and turned up a number of people who were technically skilled but were unable to work as needed (schedule or material - without trying to get all philosophical about the work...). They were shortly fired.

Since then it is your portfolio that gets you through the door and into the interview seat. If your personality does not clash with any other team members we sit you down to see what you can do. If you can work under pressure, under watchful eyes - you get the job. I know a lot of other companies are also hiring in that manner too.

Simply put - it doesn't make much difference were you go to school or how many honors you have on your resume. If your portfolio is not up to par - we will not even talk to you. If your portfolio is up to par - but you spent a year perfecting 5 models, we will show you the door. Some people need the school to learn, others do not. If you can learn on your own - I would recomend you spend time perfecting the skills you will use on the job as opposed to racking up student loans.

02 February 2004, 05:42 PM
Hey Now.... Eric,

I have been meaning to reply to some of your work you posted for some time now, and it is all really good stuff!
Like nearly all the other people that reply to your work, i to am a budding texture artist, trying to hit the big time.

I am 22 and was in the same computer animation course in Portsmouth university England as Sam Grace. Who i see you know to on cg talk.

I know Sam through other friends of mine in the same year. I think he started when i was in my last year. I happened to be in the first year of the course, when there were only 20 people on the course, and only about 10 or so turned up those were the days...
Thehard core group who ended up knowing more than the old art teachers,that had just started using the software at the begining of the course.

After uni I was in a small group who were trying to get a deal for a game but as it wasn't up to scratch they didn't get one. As it looked like an old playstation game rather than a next gen title. So they went bust. since then i have been trying to improve on my strengths which i found were texturing, and i have been told to work on realistic textures. To show i can texture for a range of different games. and right now i'm doing retail/stock room work for money..yeah...

Oh by the way, have you ever heard of Mike walker, do a serach for him and check out his work, amazin stuff!!! highly recomened!!

02 February 2004, 06:41 PM
>>bobydazzlaa: Hey thanks for the comments. Yeah Sam's a good guy - we met on a mod we were a part of awhile back. I've never heard of Mike Walker but, I'll have to check him out now, thanks. I'll be applying as a car porter tomorrow, I'm desperate for any kind of work at this point.

>>myrlyn68: Hey, I understand your points and generally agree w/most but, I think every person and situation is different as far as the amount of portfolio work they have. You mentioned that you don't even consider people who only have say 5 nice pieces that they created over a year, that's not fair to judge everyone in that manner, each person is different and it doesn't mean they spent 2 - 3 months working on each peice to perfection. I know lots of other artists who can only work on things in their spare time, aside from working a regular job for example, and it may take a month to finish a project. I don't want to make excuses for people but, also don't think it's a good idea to judge people all in the same manner because everybody has different circumstances. -- by the way, I didn't mean to argue this, I just wanted to provide a counter point.

02 February 2004, 09:04 PM
Originally posted by myrlyn68
Just thought I would throw out a quick balance to this topic (before anyone takes out a loan against there first born to pay for "art" college).

Since then it is your portfolio that gets you through the door and into the interview seat. If your personality does not clash with any other team members we sit you down to see what you can do.

while it is true that your portfolio and your attitude are the 2 most attractive assets to employers...they certainly are for not discount the fact that schooling is important.

consitently I have seen much greater results in portfolios and individuals I/we review when they have experienced some sort of curriculum.

in the end, it is all about ho you present yourself and your work...presenting them both professionally...schooling can provide a lot of focus towards that goal.

I have mentioned this in an interview I did over at - check it out here -

02 February 2004, 09:57 PM
You mentioned that you don't even consider people who only have say 5 nice pieces that they created over a year, that's not fair to judge everyone in that manner, each person is different and it doesn't mean they spent 2 - 3 months working on each peice to perfection.

I think you misunderstood me here (or I didn't make it clear to begin with. ;)

What I mean is that I have seen a number of demos and protofolios that floored me, but then when we sit the person down for an in office test (generally something simple on software they are familiar with) they barely get started during the given time period. Yes, the person is a good modeler - but they are not close to being fast enough. While we are not looking for someone who can crank out perfect models or environments in a few hours - time is money, and money cuts from the bottom line. If you can't produce quickly your chances are slim even if you have more talent then anyone else who applies. That is one reason why we do actually watch them work - to both ensure that what they say is theirs is, and that they also can perform under a deadline.

It's OK for you to have only 4 or 5 examples in your portfolio (I actually prefer fewer than more) but if you spend too long creating each example (varies by what you are dealing with) you might actually be doing yourself more harm than good.

@bentllama - I am not too sure if it is the schooling or the dedication that makes the difference though. It has been about 50/50 for me as far as the people who have schooling and those who are self taught. If you are serious and want to learn, you can recieve a great education for free (or nearly so) using websites and forums to recieve critiques and training. Mostly though I just wanted to offer some balance to this, as I know a lot of people who do run off to pay more than they have made in their lives to go to a college that teaches specifically art only to find out that it doesn't give them any solid advantage over spending a couple years learning the trade on their own.

02 February 2004, 10:32 PM
umm ok the only place i have "gone" to school as in past was southwold ps
im a gr 10 student at ceci in st thomas
I actually skipped gr10 computers cause most of the stuf they do teach at my school is at an extremly low level

most of the stuff i do is self taught.

i hope to go to sherdian tho


02 February 2004, 02:21 AM
Originally posted by Nigil
umm ok the only place i have "gone" to school as in past was southwold ps
im a gr 10 student at ceci in st thomas
I actually skipped gr10 computers cause most of the stuf they do teach at my school is at an extremly low level

most of the stuff i do is self taught.

i hope to go to sherdian tho


I went to southwold too!

I never fell for that CECI garbage though...Central? NO WAY!


Good luck with Sheridan Nigil. Hang in there!

02 February 2004, 07:22 PM
I'm currently at The Art Institute of Phoenix doing a batchelors in Game Art and Design. First school in the U.S. to off a Game Art and Design degree ;-) I will graduate this september. I don't plan on getting another degree, but I do plan on taking classes every so often, especially if I end up in the LA area.

Good luck to everyone trying to get into the industry.

02 February 2004, 08:31 PM
>>Gyzer: Congrats when you finish! By the way, what classes are you taking for the Design aspect of that degree and what do those classes have you doing?

02 February 2004, 07:21 AM
Design as in Art or Design as in game play?

I think ur wanting to know about gameplay so I'll talk about that :-).

We take a series of game play classes, but they're always being reworked, so what I did in the classes before, I've had all of them, isn't necessarily what they're doing now.

First class is a Gameplay and Design class. When I took it we got into groups and created a game doc for a game. Some small assets were made, but nothing big, it was pretty much how to do a game doc.

Second class was level design which we went through alot of theory and psychology of what makes a good game a good game. We also did some paper maps towords the end of the class.

Third class was adv. level design where u got into a group and created a game doc, but this time we were planing on doing an alpha of a game using the Unreal Engine. This class is only the doc and mechanics of the game

The next set of classes, were Production Team and Prototyping. Production team is where u started to do the assest for your game, and Prototyping was learning the Unreal Editor. There are both advanced versions of each of those classes continuing on with work for your game.

But most of those classes have changed from now on. Now there will be no group work for several classes for newer students. The groups sound like a good idea, but they aren't in how it turns out. Also there will be less game docs because game docs from a student wouldn't really get them a job anywhere.

I'd have to say that my experience at my school has been good for the most part. All of our teachers have either worked on games or done 3d animation. The teacher who headed up the game art program worked on Soul Reaver 1 and 2, but has left reciently but still, we've got good teachers. Only thing that sux is the upper echelon of the school, but I'd assume its like that at any school.

Damn this was a long post lol

02 February 2004, 06:52 PM
Yeah, course programs change a lot at schools/colleges I think. Same thing happened after I finished up a Full Sail - my friend who teaches the Game Art/Design portion of the Comp Animation degree said that the program has been revamped like 3 times now since I left.

Thats interesting that you guys actually worked/learned more actual game design principles.

I always wonder how those schools can get the teachers because they don't pay crap, for example, Full Sail. Schools like that are making bank, yet they offer beans for the people to teach those programs. I still don't get it, heh. And as you pointed out, teachers end up leaving anyways - seems like the majority of them are always on the lookout to get back into film or games. Oh well, just my opinion.

02 February 2004, 08:29 PM
I got drugged and woke up 2 years later in a crummy flat with a headache, a 3dsmax handbook and inferior knowledge of maya, and all I got was this stupid shirt.

But seriously folks, I'm 21 and I went to UCAA here in RSA for 2 years (2002-2003).
Just remember how important a parental figure is, especially your mother. It's thanks to her that I'm not studying to be a boring architect, sitting all day in front of a computer, learning a program made for archiectures, not going out, not even for a bit of sunlight.
Now I sit all day in front of the computer, using a program made for animation, not going out, not even for a bit of sunlight.
I'm on top of the world, Ma.

College was excellent, that's where I met new friends which I hardly have any contact with now, wasted my time mastering my skills at foosball, and where I met Miss Texture Queen, Leigh.

other than that and Highschool, which was a waste of my life mind you, I don't have any other degrees. But I will be getting these little papers sayin I'm a certified Max and Maya user. woohoo!

02 February 2004, 07:22 PM
Retired from the Army and then went to school for 3 1/2 years at SCAD, received my BFA in Computer Art. Yes it was a lot of money. Was it worth it? Jury is still out, on that one. I was 38 years old when I started college. I know work for a Governemnt contractor doing graphics for Computer Base Training. Still would love to work for a game company doing frist person shooter games. Glad to see all those SCAD alumni out there. I raise my mug of beer and a toast to you all.

02 February 2004, 01:59 AM
im on my final year at Teesside University, on a BA in Computer Games Design, basically we do evreything related to games on the art side and game design side... there are courses specific to games programming, and courses that combine both even, but seeing as i hate programming i did that.... the hard part is after im done, trying to find work abroad in the US or the UK... id prefer sunny cali over cloudy london though..... we'll see where it goes...... any students doing such a degree in the uk? i wanna hear from u guys about your university classes....

02 February 2004, 06:02 AM
I started learning 3Dstudio in high school and got hooked petty quick. The high school teacher I had started up a post secondary coarse in digital art the year after I graduated. Originally the coarse was mostly self directed and consisted of 4 modelers 3 programmers and 2 video guys. Through the coarse of the year the tiny school became a tiny production company specializing in advertisement and webpage design. We have grown this year, there is a new batch of students and the balance between school and company is a lot better.
A lot of the projects this year have been more to do with game development. We are currently working with an ex EA. producer and some programmers in Russia on a RTS.
you can check us out at (

I hope to work for a larger game company like EA. in the near future. I live near Vancouver so there are many to chose from. These last two months I have devoted to my personal projects (characters for my demo reel and my web based portfolio)

I have experience in: (ordered from most to least)

3dsmax R2-6
combustion 2
wings 3D
Maya 4

02 February 2004, 09:12 AM
Greetings people, My name is Trevor and im 1 month away from finishing my last class term of a 2 year program.
Taking the Game Art and Animation program at CDIS, Center for Digital Imaging and Sound in Vancouver BC, Canada. But soon as I started the school was taken over by The Arts Institute and things kinda went downhill. Changed so many things, so many things that were good about CDIS, i pretty much havn't learned anything at school my second year, it was a waste as far as classes. I have learned a lot on my own though and from working with a group of students making our own game.

06 June 2004, 04:01 PM
Wow this thread is full of great info! Anyone have updated info to share? I'm now in the process of looking for a school as well.

Sorry for brining up such an old thread, but you gotta admit it's full of juicy info! ^_^

06 June 2004, 11:54 PM
Nice thread. Myself graduated from Bowling Green State University last december, still currently unemployed and looking for jobs. Was thinking I made a mistake until reading and talking to others. BGSU was a good school in some aspects, learned alot about everything but never got time to concentrate on one thing. Didn't have any classes on game design and modeling, and thats what I have been freelanceing lately. kinda ironic.

Scarlet Dawn
06 June 2004, 01:56 AM
I'm 20 and I'll be graduating from the 3D Graphics Tecnology program from NBCC Miramichi next Thursday ^.^' It's been a very fun two years but I am happy to be moving on and hopefully finding a job or perhaps continuing my education. I'd like to get a job as a character or game designer!

06 June 2004, 05:31 AM
holy crap this is a great forum i graduate from highschool next year and got into video game graphics from my older brother eversinsce i could remeber. for his atari games, and now im so hooked into these computer game graphics deal, althogh we still dont even got one game out yet.

anyways i was planning on going to full sail but then i thought about it, so easy to get in... short time for learning.....and really pricy. so then i looked around and i wonder if ringling school of art and design is a good choice, if anyone has any info on it.

-by the way im new at the forums and its been a great learning experience so far-

06 June 2004, 05:43 AM

06 June 2004, 05:45 AM
currently attending full sail, i'm straight outta high school. I have about 4 months left, i kinda do wish i had waited because i now realise i need a much stronger traditional art background, but i have 4 months left at full sail and i'll prolly take my years as an art major somewhere. I agree Chad is the man, and we do need a bit more on the game design aspect of things, i really love making game characters and working on levels and hope to break ground there. So far the program has been excellent though alot of the teachers will go out of thier way to help you refine your skills and with any problems you might be having, invaluable resources they are.

06 June 2004, 05:51 AM
I'm 20, current FullSail student.- 11th month.

I came here straight from highschool just like everyone told me not to. I'm fairly glad i did, no real complaints. I guess it all depends on whether er not i can land a job in 4 months. either way, my models are getting better every week.

the Comp Animation degree said that the program has been revamped like 3 times now since I left.
hah, I think its been revamped like 3 times since I started. and the faculty changes by the month

problem with this school- no portfolio requirement. and audio students.

06 June 2004, 06:11 AM
yea they do change it up alot, and a portfolio would be nice. RA isn't that bad, they leave us alone, i've acctually gotten quite a few offers from them to help me with the sound on my demo reel

06 June 2004, 03:32 PM
What? What is this? No one else has mentioned DigiPen?!

Anyway. Art degree, Digipen, hardest years of my life. After graduation I began putting in a lot of hard work and refinement into my portfolio so I could really show it off. Four months later I'm hired into an awesome job, and am now coming up on my first full year in the industry.

A good balance between quality and speed is very important. You may be able to create a jaw dropping amazing masterpiece of art, but if it takes you a year or two to do it in...the people looking to hire you aren't exactly going to be thrilled about that. Making something look good is important, but when it takes a long time to do, it makes you look less skilled. As someone once said, 'If you give it enough time, even a monkey can write a novel.' Likewise, if you give even a humble beginner enough time, they can crank out a really sweet model. The problem is, no one in their right mind in the game industry will want to invest the time or money to wait for a monkey to do that sort of thing, nor will they want to wait for a slowpoke artist.

Now don't get me wrong, I'm not suggesting that it would be wise to put forth a massive flood of ultra low-quality pieces that only took an hour or so to do either. A good balance between the two is key; Pick something straight forward and manageable and set a 1 to 2 week deadline on it, take the time to add polish, but don't get obsessive. Having a few things in your portfolio that not only look great, but also took a reasonable amount of time to complete will turn many more heads than having only 1 really really kick ass piece that took you several months to do.

06 June 2004, 04:52 PM
Originally posted by Estrellex
What? What is this? No one else has mentioned DigiPen?!

Anyway. Art degree, Digipen, hardest years of my life. After graduation I began putting in a lot of hard work and refinement into my portfolio so I could really show it off. Four months later I'm hired into an awesome job, and am now coming up on my first full year in the industry.

I heard digipen was one of the best if you want to get into games. People tell me there is a really strong focus on the GAMING aspect of 3d/art/design at that school. I would have chose that one myself but it would cost me too much money to go to school again.

About myself? Well, I feel like the chaperone around here, at the age of...gulp.. 30, I'm just starting this whole 3D thing. I condidered taking all this stuff in college back in 1992, but it simply didn't exist. So I majored in ILLUSTRATION and FINE ARTS. I was still young and arrogant at the time and thought I was going to be one these New York artists. Reality hit me pretty hard. lol

At that time, people were also still playing there SEGA Genesis(myself included), Trip Hawkins thought everyone WANTED to play crappy Full-Motion-Video games(Sega quietly released one of the first playable 3D games out there, Virtua Fighter.) and Sony was known for there great TVs and CD players that broke after a few months not to mention everyone here had high-paying internet jobs where they sat on their asses all day and did nothing. :P

The only major that SVA(School of Visual Arts) offered at the time was "Computer Art", which was so horrible at the time, even the teachers didn't know what they were teaching. A lot has changed in NYC and SVA since then. A LOT. Now, SVA's computer art department is one of the best. Pixar visits the school every year hunting for recruits.

If I only had money, I'd give another full-blown degree another chance, so instead I'm learning from all you guys and continuing education at CADA NYU. They've got some great MAYA classes and the computer labs are always empty.

My goal is to work for a company like Studio 8(Maximo) or INSOMNIAC GAMES(Ratchet and Clank). I want to work on a game that reminds me of my favorite days of NES/Master System but updated in 3D. You know, something fun and not necessarily next gen.

My Wacky Knight (

My animation (

06 June 2004, 05:18 PM
I'm 27, last month at Full Sail in Orlando. As everyone has stated, every school has it's good and bad qualities, but I'll whole heartidly agree with Reed in regards to the no portfolio requirement. There are a LOT of people who should not be in this industry and definitely not at this school. But this school is a business first, and a school second. Which has it's good qualities and bad. As it's been said, the program is constantly being revamped, schools added, new labs with new hardware added, new curriculum all the time. So ya, that part of it is great, that and the fact that you can come back and audit any class for free after you graduate for the your lifetime. Full Sail however is a tech school, not an art school, and that's what a lot of people don't really understand. Most people come in here with no traditional art training and think that learning Maya is going to make them an artist, when in fact it's just going to make them a button pusher. But anyway, I don't regret coming here, it was the right school for my situation and glad I made the decision to come here.

06 June 2004, 06:00 PM
whoa! only one other BGSU alum here. :) k make that 2. (pic, who are ya? hehe this is maury if you cant tell by my name)

I graduated in 2003, and got a job right out.

BGSU was an extremely fun place, and was worthwhile in the end. However, i wasnt initially drawn there by its art program, i went to bgsu for its music program, ended up dropping out of that and picking up art. I basically started from scratch, but thanks to being in the middle of nowhere, where all you could do was drink and do what you were there to do, i pulled together and eventually started kicking ass. I can say i loved it there, but now that im gone i dont want to go back.

The classes and instruction wasnt A++ (although there were some great profs), it was more for the experience of doing NON DIGITAL work that really helped me progress my digital art.

id say just taking a 'Game modeling' class will not cut it. If i saw someone's who majored in "Game Art" id think twice about it, as opposed to someone who maybe had illustration or painting in their background.

In short, when looking at schools, or looking at classes to take, do not cut out the basics, your roots as an artist. If you can't draw, learn to - 3d modeling is just drawing from every angle.

I have no regrets of decisions i have made toward my art, or where i went to school. You should be able to make the most out of whereever you are, just be dedicated and passionate about making the best art around.

good luck!

06 June 2004, 07:10 PM
Maury good to hear from ya, Its stefan, graduated last december, worked at the home depot with you. Been waiting on seeing your new website, good to see another BG alumni on here.

06 June 2004, 07:36 PM
Im too ashamed of the college i went to.... i prefeer to say im "Self-taught" which is what i basically did, since the college was so bad, i only had 1 good teacher, so that was 1 good class...the rest, pure and utter turds. And to think i blew so much money on it..... makes me mad..... i knew more then our teacher.... he was a failed 3d animator.... *sigh*

06 June 2004, 10:03 PM
Age: 18

Did one in a half session at art school from last autumn to the end of april. I dropped out in march, then I got a level designer job. I've been in the gaming industry for 4 months now.

I don't regret to have left school. I was already bored sick of it and thinking that I would still have 3-4 years to do was a picture too depressing for me to look at.

I understand I do it the hard way but I'm as good as anyone else working, minus the piece of paper. No way I'm going back to classes.

06 June 2004, 11:09 PM
I'm 24 now.
I spend about a year and a half at my local Community college, because my High School art teacher recommended the teacher there. Having grown up in Arizona all my life, there isn't much in the way of art education in high school, in the sense of developing the skills and talents. Most of the school's budget went towards football and the drama/music departments. I was lucky to have an art teacher that actually taught us how to draw, and how to critique. I suppose it was the closest thing I could get to a 'magnet school' in AZ.
I learned even more at Mesa Community College. I took as many art classes as I could while I was there for a year and a half. I knew that if I was going to go to some other college, I'd better get my art classes from someone that I knew had their shit together.
I was thinking about going to DigiPen in 2000, but the more I looked into it, and looked at the information they sent me, it was more of a programming only curriculum being offered. That was good anyway, as I didn't want to move yet.
I had seen the tv ads all the time for Al Collins (before it changed it's name), but was advised agains it by a cousinn who's friend went there. They were very good for art/design and whatnot, but that was until they wanted to get into web design, and net commerce, and computer tech, and then gaming. They spread themselves too thing, and I'm still wary that they still have some time to recover.
I had a guy from Devry come to the house, to talk. That's all it was. Definitly not for me.
One of my friends at work mentioned that he wanted to go to the University of Advancing Computer Technology (UACT, formally CAD Institute, now UAT) that fall. It sounded interesting, that they were the first to offer both an Associates and Bachelors degree that focused on Game design/multimedia (Art Institute didn't start theirs till about a year later). Since they were local, and weren't Al Collins, I started their that fall. My friend wouldn't start until two years later.
If I can get the classes I need, I should be graduating this fall. I've had a great time, met a lot of people and learned a lot. I can't say all of it was from the school though. I had previously taken a number of drawing classes, and I'm glad I did. The figure drawing classes I took (once they were finally offered) were just studio time. That was fine, because that's all I needed at that time. The teacher came from a background in abstract painting, so I had doubts about getting relevant information from him, on developing a style, and whatnot. My experience with him was good though.
Alot of what you learn is dependant on the teacher and how much you put into it. That could probably be said about all schools though.

I wouldn't recommend UAT for someone coming out of High School. I see too many of them here, and they aren't doing themselves any good. Most of them are not mature enough to bother actually understanding gameplay elements seriously. They can hardly write a full paragraph on what makes a particular game great, let alone 5-10 pages.
The game design (gameplay, levels, character development) classes are great, and you learn a good deal of solid information on concepts, and you can later apply them in class run game projects. A number of companies are interested/aware of our presence, and like our curriculum.
Twice a year we have a weeklong forum with people from the industry who talk about particular topics. This past spring, we had people from UbiSoft, Lucasarts, Red Storm, NCSoft and I think Rythm & Hues. Some are also alumni that come back to talk as well.
I'd recommend anyone that wants to come here to take as much of your general education classes as you can at a community college or local university. You'll save a crapload of money. I spent $35 per credit hour at my community college, here at UAT it's ~$350 per credit hour. You can transfer your credits in, as long as you're school has some accreditations.

06 June 2004, 01:34 AM
j. lewis - 21 - full sail
i spent about a half hour giving one of my really silly, long winded responses, but my computer locked up in a batch rendering mishap & yeah...
anyhow i went from dec 2001 - feb 2003. generally i'm pretty happy about what i got out of it. i agree about having art experience before going. i went straight out of high school, having only a few ap art classes behind me. not that i thought that the ap classes were nearly enough, but it came down to a matter of priorities. i figured i can try to perfect my artistic style on my own (and i'm still doing it thru practicing as often as i can), but i needed help learning the tech side, so that was sort of my rationale. i do intend to maybe go back to an art school after i pay off full sail (46 years from now lol), save up & go & get an art degree. this would all be dependant on time & money though.
personally i think the teachers (with a few exceptions) were generally pretty good. the gaming class was awesome! my only problem was that it was only one class (and only a month long). the lab time was great. i know i don't have a frame of reference, but i've heard horror stories about people trying to get things done with limited lab time (if you're still in classes, i HIGHLY reccommend getting to be a lab monitor, it makes everything so much easier, especially during final project) not that it was healthy but i was in lab for a day & a half, went home for an hour & then went back & (thru lab-hopping) managed another day, which retrospectively, was not very healthy, but i got a lot accomplished lol.
my only complaints? yeah i wish there was more art training & more focus on the gaming end. i think i just about got my money's worth, but it would have been great to get even more of what i would have wanted, needed, & then some, you know? that and not only has placement not been a great deal of help, in a few cases (mostly thru what i've heard from others, but something along the same lines happened to me recently) it's been a hinderance. sending old postings that they get like sixth-hand, & the feeling that you're missing the ones you really would be interested in. i mean they were really nice, but successful? eh... still remains to be seen.
oh..... & i HATE florida's climate lol that counts, doesn't it? lol
yeah & the audio kids were cool. i had a few friends in the program. the thing about audio is the sheer numbers of students. that means that there are more people who aren't nearly as dedicated as they should be! if you want to complain about another program, i say take it out on the digital media kids. the ones we had along the same time as us.... buncha pain in the asses lol
all that having been said, i haven't officially 'broken-in' to the gaming industry yet. partially my own fault, after taking a bit of a break after graduating & then never sitting down & redoing my reel (i'm in the middle of that now). i know i want to go into games, but in the meantime, i've been working at a local television station doing odd jobs, everything from gopher to camera guy to technical director, but i more or less keep getting screwed over working there, so i'm looking for a way out & after growing up a fan, i'm sure gaming is the way to go!
dammit..... still long winded... i really need to work on that!


06 June 2004, 06:50 AM
ah hey stefan, good to hear from ya too :) my new site should be going up.... eventually. heh, been uber busy.

although campus/collegiate instruction may not be the best around, or the most worthwhile for that matter, i think that college as a whole is an amazing exeperience.

It boils down to if you are passionate and driven. The rest is a social experiement in getting drunk and laid (not to sound too crude...). sure, the classes may suck, but if you really care about what you are doing, and the profs may not give a damn about what you are doing, you at least will get some great friendships and relationships out of it. plus learn a great deal about yourself, others, and socializing that you will most likely not pick up anywhere else.

i am eternally grateful for school, despite its ill comings, i would not be doing art as a career had i not gone to bgsu :)

(BGSU is in northern ohio btw, just south of toledo., or for those interested)

06 June 2004, 07:10 AM
How hard is it to go to both the Academy of Art college and have a full-time job? I'm tired of working in bars and restaurants and wondering how hard it is to be able to do both. My major is computer animation and thinking of getting back into sales..which is good because usually there is no take home work in my industry.

06 June 2004, 12:39 AM
How hard is it to go to both the Academy of Art college and have a full-time job?
From what I read... it's pretty damn hard. It seems it can be done, but I imagine that very few people could pull it off. The CA course is supposed to be very demanding.

I've never even been to that school before... just filling ya in on what I read... take it with a grain of salt until someone can verify :thumbsup:

06 June 2004, 07:22 PM
I went to the Art Institute of Vancouver - Burnaby, formerly CDIS (it got bought out just as I started there a year and a half ago or so). I officially graduated last month, after my required 2 month work term, which I did at EA. I'm currently still at EA on a contract.

I was in the Game Art and Animation program, although it did not really involve too much 3d animation, which was OK with me since I don't like it. Overall the experience was ok, mostly because I met some great new people and got a job out of it, kind of. Although, the school over all wasn't too hot. The curriculum slowed down in the last year of the program and we didn't learn as much as I would have liked. Most of what I learned in the last year was on my own. Worst thing about the whole experience was some other students, mostly the ones fresh out of highschool. They complained and whined a lot when they should have instead worked hard.

If i were to do it again I would have probably gone to a real art school and got a real degree. But I guess things worked out somewhat so I'm pretty satisfied. My only advice to people interested in going to a school to learn game art is to be prepared to give it all you have (and not just money wise, HAHA!) Just showing up isn't enough and won't get you anywhere.

06 June 2004, 06:53 AM
crikey, i agree with ya full on.

One thing that is great to do in school is to pick a rival, or find out who the best person is, and make sure you do better than them. Dont make it a vendetta, become friends with them. Its a lot of fun, and you can push yourself harder if there is someone else making cooler stuff than you. It sucks at times (scholarship comps, etc), but its better for you, and the person you are grudging against.

but with what crikey said, sometimes the other students dont have the drive you have, and it becomes a downer. But socially growing by trying to make others care like you do is great practice and a personality builder imo.

the one thing college taught me best was how to learn on my own - which is what i think the entire purpose of college is for. not to be spoon fed, and given the gifts, but developing your craft and yourself so that afterwards you can be successful.

/end motivational speach.

06 June 2004, 04:01 PM
Victor S. -21, I'm currently at The Art Institute of San Diego completing a BA in Media Arts and Animation, will graduate this winter. Just got hired 2 weeks ago interning at SOE.
Damn i totally agree with you mmountain, Ive got my friend/Rival and we compete almost every week on timed modeling and texturing. Helps me get better when he kicks my ass. :)

07 July 2004, 03:43 AM
i recieved my BFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art in baltimore, MD

07 July 2004, 12:42 PM
Hey, some BGSU grads on here! I graduated from BG in 2000, but with a Visual Communication Technology degree. I took a few of the Maya courses but I'm mostly self taught. Landed a job right out of college at the Medical College of Ohio as the 3D jack-of-all-trades. Now I'm working on a demo reel to get into the game realm......medical animations are cool for about a year, then you start getting a bit restless.

MMountain, if you graduated in 2003 then I believe I gave a talk to your class after I had been at MCO for a bit. Dena had me come in and show some stuff.

07 July 2004, 02:11 PM
I graduated from Cogswell Polytechnical College in Sunnyvale, CA...2002. I majored in Computer & Video Imaging with an emphasis on Video Game Design. I really enjoyed going to school there and I learned so much. I am currently a 3D Environment artist at EA Chicago and I have shipped two games..."NBA Street Vol. 2" and "Fight Night 2004". I recommend Cogswell, it's an accredited college and you can't beat the location.

07 July 2004, 07:41 PM
I worked for 2 years at DMI as a photo engineer(retouching, color correcting, etc.) and then Half Life 1 sucked me into 3D. I started making models using Milkshape (which was relatively new at that time), then moved on to 3DSMax. Taught myself that, and then discovered Lightwave, and have never gone back. I've made short films(mine only), feature films(mine only), game models, you name it. Worked for another 2 years doing odd jobs, the occasional mod, etc.

Then I made the biggest mistake of my life: I spent one term at Academy of the Arts College in San Francisco.

I had decided that I needed a degree to further my career and open up some job offers. After many, many discussions they told me that I would be able to bypass most, if not all of the lower classes. LIE. They buried me in red tape and documents for almost the entire term. So I got stuck in the first year classes, which were by far the worst classes I've ever had. I have never met teachers more incompetent or curriculum more poorly designed.

The Intro to Computer Graphics teacher hadn't worked in the industry since Tron came out and didn't even know how to use layers in Photoshop. He once confided in me that the last version of Photoshop he had used was Photoshop 2. I ended up pretty much teaching his classes for him. Every question the students had was redirected to me. He had no idea what half the terms in the textbook(which he never bothered to read) were. He'd never made a storyboard before, therefore he just gave everyone an A if they turned in some drawings. Even if it was just a single drawing of something from your sketchbook. You got an A. After a while, I just ended up recommending that everyone report to their advisors. They recieved so many complaints that everyone that had taken his class that year recieved 3 free course credits.

First year students are only allowed to use 7 or 8 computers in the entire lab, and the computers basically only had internet access and Photoshop. When I installed Lightwave on one of them, I had 4 different lab assistants and my advisor confront me. Of course when they saw what I was doing with it they allowed me to keep it on one of the computers. Three of the lab assistants started coming to me when they had a 3D problem and the other lab tech kept asking if I wanted to form a Lightwave Users Group on campus. But they still wouldn't move me up to more advanced classes.

Intro to Form and Shape and Intro to Drawing were pretty much the exact same class, but with different teachers. Out of the drawing teachers I had and the other five or so teachers I looked into, only two could actually draw well. The Intro to Sculpture teacher was amazing, but she only cared about the top two students in her class, and couldn't care less about anyone else.

Basically, they're all about the money. Everyone I talked to while I was there was sort of in the same situation. It doesn't matter how much experience you have, it doesn't matter how well you do. They will try to keep you there as long as possible to suck out as much money as they can. With all the over-the-top costs that it takes just to live near San Francisco, plus the massive amount of money they charge, I will be paying it off for at least the next 10 years.

I wouldn't recommend AAC to anyone, and to everyone out there who made it through or who are going there now, I salute you. It's a bitch.

I would love to complete my college education and get a degree, but until I find a college that cares more about furthering my education & producing quality work instead of lining their pockets and buying their daughter a new car, I'd rather stay where I'm at.

01 January 2005, 06:06 AM
I must admit I wish I had done more research and reading before this point. I am recently turned seventeen, graduated, and enrolled in correspondence courses with the Academy of Arts. A friend of mine already finished one semester and had nothing bad to say about it besides some absurd costs, and I've done a little reading around and never before found any outright negative or shocking statements as the above. I am willing to accept that what you say is entirely true, but even if there is some degree of outdatedness or failings in their teaching methods about all they are providing me with is an opportunity for guided self learning and a degree if I work through all of their program. The basic idea behind their class requirements very much coincides with what has been unanimously spoken for here: that one must learn the fundamentals of art, that they are more important than being proficient at pushing buttons. I agree with this and was happy to see that proposed by their program, but am really in a state of doubt as to whether I should continue with the program past the first semester. I start classes in a few days, so I guess I will soon be able to make my own impressions. I am starting with the courses required for a degree in 3D Modeling, but truly want to gain as general an education with 3D graphics as possible to keep my career opportunities open. I am artistically capable, and have worked with many graphics and design programs over the last few years, but am lacking experience with more traditional media and have very little formal art education.
To end this ranting I'll just say that I am willing and able to pursue the best education I can in this field, and would welcome any comments or suggestions anyone might have.

01 January 2005, 07:35 AM
My name is Chris Kuncewicz im almost 20 years old (ie 19 years old), i have been doing flash animating(non-professionally) for 3 years, went to school (college of interactive arts) and took a game art and design (learned 3DS Max / Maya / Flash / C / C++ / C# / classical animation) for one year where i learned nothing from the teachers and everything from my fellow classmates, i m still hunting the market for jobs as an animator (2D or 3D), am currently working on a game with a couple of people i graduated with and working on my porfolio on the side

01 January 2005, 08:43 AM
Hello, I am a long time reader of these boards but, a first time poster. So I figured this would be a good place to start things off.

I also went to FullSail, graduated Feb 2004. Only prior art classes that I took were in the form of basic higschool art classes. Once I got into the Game Character and Scene Design class, I never wanted to leave. Ever since I wanted to do work in the game industry. After graduatting my gaming art skills were not as good as I felt they could be. So instead of rushing out to get a job in games, I decieded to spend some time to improve myself. Being active in the modding communities of my favorite game and working on personal work was my way on improving. Soon I went back to FullSail and started an internship in the Game Design programs. Here members of the assest team create art assest for the students which are making games for their final projects.

Hopefully I will feel confident enough to start posting my 3D game art here and other places.


02 February 2005, 02:53 PM
hey this thread is cool!!

i am currently doing a BA hon in multimedia design and digital animation at cumria institue of the arts in england.
the course goes through many thing from 2D the 3D, but i would like to finally get into either games work or VFX, either would be nice, he he.

im pretty new here too, so hopefully when iv done some more work i can start posting cools stuff. :thumbsup:


02 February 2005, 06:27 PM
Hello I am anther first time poster and Full Sail grad.

I want to say a little something about going to full sail right after high school as I did. I do not see a problem with it my class had several right out of high school including the giant amongst men “Clodhopper”. There were some others who did not make it but it seamed to me they did not cut it for the same reasons those started latter in there educational carrier. If you come to Full Sail with a goal of making it in to the industry you spend your time trying to reach it by whatever means (sleeping in ones car, spending 60 hours strait at a computer, retaking a class because you just did not get it the first time,…)you will succeed there just is no other option. The funny thing is you can kind of see very early on when the classes are large who will stay and who will go and honestly you do not even real notice the ones who go when you class shrinks (the ones you do notice are the ones who movie ahead or behind for whatever reason).

Also, every one has been saying Chad but do not forget Uncial Larry. Without him giving a bit of a rude awakening in S&L and the NURBS class I don’t think I would have been able to push myself as hard as I did latter on.

Jonathan Newberry FS class on November 1st 2004

02 February 2005, 06:09 PM
I spent 3 years at SCAD. Meet a lot of awesome talented people; spent a lot of money on tuition, worked ridiculously hard, and got tons of opportunities that I wouldn't have had if I had not go to school.

I left SCAD for Warthog ( in Austin TX, spent about 8 months there. I moved over to Inevitable to work on Area 51 (, they were bought by Midway ( Now I'm a lead animator on one of our next projects at Midway Austin; and Area 51 will be on shelves some time soon. :) WOOT!

02 February 2005, 07:03 PM
weird, ... loads of you have been to schools, learned got tought, met loads of other artists have been trained in art and to get into the gaming industry.

I would have killed to have done that.

I went to buisness school in austria after 9 years of complusary school. I hated it. I started doing gameart at the end of my first year there, for fun, to get rid of the frustration I got from that stupid school. Everything, self thought. I would of loved to have done an eduction in that direction, but hey, how should I know with 14 years that I want to do gameart or what art is.
Did my A-levels, a year of national service at the red cross as a paramedic ... lets see what is going to happen

02 February 2005, 07:38 PM
I went to Central Washington University, earned a BFA in Graphic Design-graduated June 2001. I now have a job in my field and really enjoying it.

CWU is a typical state university. you take your classes for your major, and you take your basic/breadth requirements to give you an all-around general education. I was fortunate enough to be in an art department full of extremely talented artists in all forms of art..drawing, photography, painting(oil/acryllic/watercolor), ceramics, jewelry/metalsmithing (lots of fun), sculpture, woodworking, computer art even, and of course graphic design and typography. :arteest:

Don't underestimate things like a general education, you'll learn things about the world around you that you would've never known..and in some cases can provide an extra source of inspiration for your artwork. :wise:

My 1st animations were done on an Amiga using DPaint 4 in Jr. High :surprised

I've also been messing around with 3D since high school, when a friend of mine let me use Infini-d (2.5!) I quickly threw together a 1 minute animation of civil war ironclads for my U.S. History class.

I'm presently enjoying blender on my G3 at home.

02 February 2005, 12:06 AM
well i dont have any degreies (lmao im also dislexic) and im still in secondary skool . wat would u say that i should do stay on and do ict and stuff . or do courses . lmao . random !!
:shrug: but its still cool to see wat u have done (see where im heading):)

03 March 2005, 03:03 AM
I'm going to Arazona in a couple of months to look at Collins and UAT an i was wondering if anyone knows anything about ether college?

03 March 2005, 03:18 AM
Hey Eric, couldn't help but notice you work at Iron Lore.. I live about 2 miles from maynard and used to live there.

I dropped out of high school when I was 16. Took my SAT, and I am about to take my GED. I should be going SCAD next fall. I have no formal education in 3d (or art) but I have been modelling/texturing for ~6 years and I had an internship at Papyrus.
I have been planning on sending my resume/portfolio into Iron lore for temp work.. Im going to write the cover letter and send it off now.

03 March 2005, 06:01 AM
Im currently 17, I tested out of highschool at 16 and I am attending Santa Rosa Junior College in Northern California, I am passionate about breaking into the game industry. As far as experience, it is limited to working on mods for games like Battlefield 1942, Battlefield Vietnam and Half Life 2. I am curious about peoples thoughts on what classes and schools you would reccomend as a big plus for a resume, I currently have a working portfolio online( but im just not sure where to go from here. Right now im just modelling, modelling and modelling stuff to put on my portfolio, any suggestions?

03 March 2005, 07:54 AM
Currently attending Sheridan computer animation. It is hard work and the tempo is really high but it is a kick ass course and the teachers are the best.

Oakville is the most boring place in Canada though....

03 March 2005, 10:21 PM
I'm 22 years old, went to DigiPen Institute of Technology - graduated last spring. I'm currently working for Sony Comp Entertainment of America in Bend, OR (Sony Bend) on an unannounced title.

I'm the ONLY girl who works here... Okay, that's not true. The office manager is a woman. But out of our crew of 60+ arists, programers, and designers, I'm the only female.

When I first got here, there were already three guys who graduated from DigiPen with me, that were working here. It was pretty cool cuz it was like being back in school... only easier. HAH.

My first experience with 3D was back in 10th grade when a friend gave me a pirated (OMG!) copy of 3D Studio 4 for DOS. hahaha... My computer was not the best of friends with DOS and the program never did really run properly, but it got me hooked.

After highschool I went to a school called Marycrest International University in Iowa. The place promptly went out of business. The school was a shithole anyways, so it was for the best cuz it made me realize how important it was that I go to a good school, and not a convenient one (I was from Nebraska, so Iowa seemed convenient somehow... pft)

That's when I went to DigiPen.

I got better because DigiPen pushed me so hard. I didn't produce much quality-looking stuff while I was there simply because of a MASSIVE quantity of work they give you in every single class, but I learned how to make quality stuff quickly, and once I was done with school and finally had some TIME I made a whole bunch of good looking stuff for my portfolio.

03 March 2005, 10:05 AM
I, too, am currently a student at Teesside University in the UK. However, I'm a first year Computer Games Art student, having switched over from Computer Games Design last year (which I was quite unimpressed with). However, the course structure had a complete revamp last year, with further emphasis on the artistic side itself.

Last year in Design, we had modules such as Drawing 1 and 2, Digital Imaging, Animation Principles 1 and 2, Narrative Structure, etc. But now (since first year Design and Art are literally identical) they've scrapped the Animation Principles and Narrative Structure (story/scriptwriting, basically) and added similar modules as options in further years, now just teaching the basics of 3D modelling, as well as basic Photoshop and Flash skills in first year. Which, in my opinion, is for the better.

One downside with this university is... well... it's in Middlesbrough. "Never have I seen such a wretched hive of scum and villainy."

03 March 2005, 03:23 PM
damn youre almost all highly qualified...
im only about to pass secondary scool (with 18 *crying*)
here in germany there are nor many schools for graphics (just for commercial, but they suck)
i hope i will get a schooling in coding or sth like that

Mr Gone
03 March 2005, 01:56 AM
Hey everyone, I went to Henry Cogswell College in Everett WA. I walked and found out later that I was 3 creds shy of my BA. No prob, I shopped my senior project anyway and got a job in socal at Barnyard the Movie.

I was starting to worry that I wouldn't make it into the Ind until a friend from school called to offer me a way into their company.

quit my crappy job thursday - started at BYM Teusday and quadrupled my income. never give up on what you know is possible. even if it takes longer than you want.


Mr. Gone

06 June 2005, 06:12 PM
Sup guys, I was wondering if there is a good college or university in Canada that gives a BA or BFA in Illustration? Cause I studied 2D animation in CDIS Vancouver but iM not happy with how I draw and the US isnt a wise choice for me being Saud or else it wouldve been easy for me to chose from the 1000s of colleges there. I'm working in one of the best advertising agencies here with a great salary that most of the guys in my age would dream of but the thing is that I dont see myself as a graphic designer, Im so crazy about character designing, movies and cartoons.

06 June 2005, 09:31 PM
apparently sheridan has a good illustration program....but then my friend is going there and he called up some employers and apparently they says that the recent graduates from there arn't comming out with that much skill as they used to, and none of the demo reels he got from there are worth anything....but then that was animation....not ilustration....just look into there program...donno if it's a Bachelors though....

Wayne Adams
06 June 2005, 01:03 AM
I went to the art institute of phoenix for 2 and a half years then i ran outta money. if i can Ill go back

06 June 2005, 08:53 AM
Thanks guys

06 June 2005, 03:40 AM
Hey People,

i just recently graduated from Full Sail in May 2005 in Computer Animation. Right now i'm trying to keep busy moedling things and texturing them while looking for an Environment Artist Job. But just wanted to say that what people where saying about FullSail is True. Chad was the best person Next to Todd in Acting for Animators , i went to chad alot asking Game development question's , GDC, and what to expect in the Game World. His Lab guys where great also ( Jeff, Chris , and even Aaron ( when he was in a good mood !!! LOL) Anyway , you really have to buckle down near the end espcially when Compositing hits and from on Final Project, and DRC . The money will always be a problem i have about $56k to look forward to paying ($35k for school and $18k for living !! can't work with the hours they had, not that i'm debating that part ) Anyway i think it was worth it i waited 10 years after highschool to finally do something with my life and i went to Full Sail and meet some great people, who i still keep in touch as i'm typing. Anyway to sum it up it's basically a choice you really have to decide what you want to learn and where. Enjoy !!


P.S. If anybody know's of anyone looking for an Environment Artist drop me a line LOL !!

07 July 2005, 04:20 PM
Sup again guys,
I forgot to mention one thing about schools in Canada actualy I was looking for schools in British Columbia, All I heard about was AI and Emily Carr and niether have BA in Illustration. Any idea?

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