View Full Version : Choosing a University

12 December 2009, 10:22 PM
I'm interested in modeling (preferably hard-surface) and am aiming for a degree.

Two Major Questions:
What University's are there for 3d modeling?
Should I get a Bachelor's Degree alone or get a Master's Degree afterwards?

Alright, I'm a high school student in South Carolina and I'm looking at universities. My parents want me to stay in South Carolina or North Carolina because they don't want me to be too far away and are afraid I won't like/want that. I personally don't care how far away I am since they aren't actually home very often anyways.

My parents are willing to pay up to around $80,000 US for tuition but that is really stretching it.

For the past two years or so I've tinkered with 2d digital & traditional art, as well as 3d. This past year I have began focusing on what some consider to be hard surface modeling. At the moment I've only been using Google Sketchup, which is an admittably easy program to use. I plan on trying blender as soon I can get a learning book for it (such as Blender 101).

3D & 2D Work
**Image Heavy**


City Render

Top-View Wireframe

Reflection (Grass park underneath, although its hard to see)

Building 01 Roof

Building 02

I would include some more of my recent work but I am at the image limit.


Large-Scale Space Ship

Concept Sketch

Train Concept


Multiplayer Map (bad)
*Vehicles not by me

Truck Wireframe

At the moment I've looked at VFS, Full Sail and a university in California in-depth. VFS didn't seem like the right school for modeling, I've heard that Full Sail is a scam from multiple sources so am currently questioning it (Link (http://link/)), and I can't remember the California university.

I'm wondering what other universities there are for modeling and what you would recommend.

12 December 2009, 05:00 AM
There are LOTs of schools noted in various thread that have better reputations then either VFS or Full Sail. You need to ask yourself whether you want a college degree or not.

If not, either Gnomon or VFS might be a good choice or even Max the Mutt.

If you want a degree,and I strongly urge you to get one, you might want to consider schools such as:

1. Ringling
2. Cal Arts
3. Academy of Art University in San Francisco
5. SVA in NY
6. Laguna College of Art
7. Pratt Institute, computer art department
8. Syracuse University

and others.

12 December 2009, 06:53 PM
I am going for a degree. Thanks for the list btw. I'm going to look through them when I get home and add more to this post.

I have one other question. Should I get a Bachelor's degree and a Master's degree or just a Bachelor's degree?


12 December 2009, 10:45 PM
Generally, most of the skill base is taught in undergraduate programs. You only need a masters if you want to teach or to specialize in an area that you didn't have a concentration in as an undergrad.

12 December 2009, 08:03 AM
I am a Sophmore Computer Art major at Syracuse University I would recommend going there the program is getting better each year and it's the great way to get a well rounded specific education that you can base around your digital arts. The university choice brings a lot to the table that is not offered at art schools.

01 January 2010, 10:39 PM
Hey Matt,

I know this is a bit belated in reply, but hopefully this still helps. I'm an instructor at Full Sail, and previously was a student going through the program, but I've had the opportunity of working with a wide range of people with tons of different interests, traditional art and technical skills, and personalities. It's good that you've already got a good idea as to the focus of 3D - hard surface modeling. Any college that really focuses on building a traditional art skill set will be a great choice because that helps you all across the board. Training your eyes to see color, form, and movement will be extremely important regardless of the focus.

I feel our (Full Sail) talented traditional artists have the most potential to succeed and do well in the industry - not because they're able to push a series of buttons and tools, but because they're able to see the final, appealing product and know what they're aiming for.

The technically geared artists also can do well, but obviously you would expect that to be more beneficial for scripting, setup (even then knowledge of anatomy is extremely important), hard surface modeling, and visual effects.

I've seen great work from VFS, Gnomon, Ringling, and Cal Arts so that would be a great place to start investigating. Don't let advisors from the school dictate or sway your decision too much, because obviously their job is to pull in more students (for-profit schools anyway). Start talking to graduates from various schools and see what their experiences were.

Remember that no school is going to guarantee that you get a job after graduating. Just like high school, there are a huge range of students that go through college and all have a different level of competency and work ethic. Someone that is only putting in the minimal amount to get by won't succeed regardless of the degree or school.

As far as Full Sail is concerned, there is definitely a bad vibe that has been associated with it from previous years mainly due to the struggle some students face trying to deal with the intense work schedule - it's an accelerated program (BS in 2.5 years). We've grown IMMENSELY since I went to school back in 2004-2005, and I can honestly say that the school is an amazing asset for many artists - again it all comes back to how much you're willing to put in.

Good luck with the school hunt and future endeavors. If you have questions specific to Full Sail feel free to send me an email and I can get into more details.

01 January 2010, 03:00 AM
Thank you for taking your time to share that information with me. I found this all very helpful!
(sorry if this isn't as much of a reply as you expected, I wasn't exactly sure what to say)

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