View Full Version : Quit job, leave for school?

02 February 2008, 05:46 AM
Hi there,

I have been a compositor in VFX for one year now. I've never had any arts schooling, it's all self study.

I'm very interested in becoming a 3D artist... so I've been upgrading my 3D skills after work at home night after night... with my long work hours as a compositor, I can only manage to squeeze in like 2 hrs per night on 3D practice... not to mention half the time I'm stuck on error messages.... hence, 3D progress is quite slow...

I really feel the urge in taking a one year diploma in Vancouver Film School in the 3D Animation and Visual Effects program... quitting my current job...

But again... I don't know if I'm making the right move leaving my current position... I mean... post production company is what I've always wanted... now that I'm in the mainstream... i'm leaving for education.... It's like I've got the steps mixed up...

Am I making the right move in giving up my current job as compositor and moving onto one year film school to upgrade 3D skills??? It's a big investment and decision to make...

Please advice...

thank you...


02 February 2008, 01:01 PM
before posting.. check archives and FAQs regarding "Should I go to X school"... yadda yadda yadda.

02 February 2008, 03:28 PM
Is there anyway you could work something out with your employer to do both part time? Many employers encourage you to continue education.

02 February 2008, 04:13 PM
Well, before you even try classes in school, why not order some dvds from Gnomon and digital tutor, and go through some tutorials? As a working pro in industry, going back to school is a commitment. Besides, you are very likely learning very basic stuff from one year course. You can definitely learn basics and more advanced stuff from those dvds and they are way cheaper and better. Just feel it out before you spend your whole year in school.
As a person who graduated from art school and learned 3d, I don't really recommend it that much. 80% of the stuff I know, I learned from work. Not from school. With so many good instruction materials out there, why go back to shcool?

02 February 2008, 04:21 PM
The chance might be quite large that only a one-your course isn't indepth enough. If I was you, and having that steady job, I would sit put and learn on the side. It takes a lot of time and effort, but life is long enough... you have the time. I think if you rush it, it can bite you in the *ss.

02 February 2008, 04:24 PM
no you learn nothing at school anyways, too bad it's the only way to achieve a diploma...

02 February 2008, 04:33 PM
VFS doesn't give diplomas; only certificates. But the education is concentrated and a lor of people come out of there better then 4 year students.

But the question wasn't about "which school"; it was, "should I quite work and go to school?" to to which I would say no. You caught the bus the first time in landing a CG job but before you have enough experience to be really marketable, you want to take a year off and start all over again? If you always wanted to work in post and you're working in post, why mess a good thing up?

I think the part-time and/or training DVDs suggestions are your best bet. And there's good odds that working as a compositor, you'll meet/have met people who can teach you more about 3d then a school can.

02 February 2008, 04:46 PM
Thank you very very much Switchblade327 and most of you for your replies. Switchblade , you've made your point nice and clear.

Post is always what I've wanted... and 3D as well though...

With regards to the suggestion of working and learning 3D on the side through DVDs, I have been doing online tutorials for the past 2 years and digital tutorial for the past year. I just find my progress slow due to long working hours... hence I thought a one year Vancouver Film School (heard it's good) would speed up the learning...

But yes, the above suggestions with learning on the side sounds like my best bet....

02 February 2008, 05:07 PM
If your a comper at a studio that has 3d artists giving you elements, then you have a far better resource available to you for free than almost any school has. Many of the instructors at the schools are not industry professionals or are under employed industry people (not that good at what they do). Some times you are being taught by someone who was a student just a term or two befor. I will say there are some good knowledgeable experienced people teaching, but they are not the norm at a 3D school. My own instructors were dismal. We learned far more from our fellow students and the net than anywhere else. The best thing school will give you at this point is time to work on your own stuff. If you want that, I'd say save up some cash and take a break from work and work away. Keep in touch with your workmates and pay one of them to tutor you once a week (answer your questions/critic your work). For now if you are having difficulties from the night befor, go to one of the more experienced 3d guys and pick their brain.

02 February 2008, 08:48 AM
Talk to your employer about the posibility of working a few less hours each day or have 1 day off a week. Maybe at your next review period. ie, instead of a pay raise, just say you need more time to become a better artist. Work within the system while you can. Make sure your company knows what you want to do and find out what you can do to get them working with you towards that goal. Best of luck mate! :thumbsup:

02 February 2008, 09:42 AM
2 hrs a night of self study is hardly bad. Thats actually a really nice amount. You'll improve fast if you keep running through tutorials.

Dont go back to school, youre in the work force now and your work history will speak more loudly than a certificate.

02 February 2008, 04:36 PM
Dont go back to school, youre in the work force now and your work history will speak more loudly than a certificate.

Aesir, do you mean my work history now as a compositor will benefit my future 3D position better than going back to school?

I am pretty motivated learning 3D on the side, no doubt there, I just find the progress a bit slow. Seems like everyone is leaning towards no school and keep working... even if it means I'm working in a different position (not 3D)?

FalseCathedral, the program I'm interested in is a one year thing... full time... intensive... it requires quitting my job...

02 February 2008, 04:45 PM
Aesir, do you mean my work history now as a compositor will benefit my future 3D position better than going back to school?

I would absolutely think so. The work itself isn't related but things like working with deadlines, pipelines, art directors and co-workers is a big part of work experience. Don't expect to get hired as a senior 3d artist because you have comp experience but any in-industry work experience is worth more on a resume then in-school experience.

02 February 2008, 05:47 PM
Switchblade 327, thank you so much, I'm glad this is the case. This is exactly what I would need to hear to reinforce my decision to stay working and practice 3D on the side. My previous concern was my compositing industry experience would go wasted if i spend another year or two working in 2D before I move into 3D.

Thanks for letting me know it's not the case.

Forums are great!

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