View Full Version : Iowa State University

05 May 2011, 07:57 AM
I am tearing my head off on trying to know what my major should be and where to go.

I am in a community college right now, on my way finishing my Associates Degree.

All I wish to know is if Iowa State University is good to go for Graphic Design with a minor in Digital Media Arts a good idea or not. What I wish to to pursue in my life is the ability to design/model characters for animations or video games (thus maya is practically going to be the default program suggested practicing).

I looked high and low in the Design school of Iowa State University, and can't seem to grasp on whether a company will hire someone with a BA in just Graphic Design. It kills me trying to know. And this is the school I hope to go, it has enough for me to afford and provides Graphic Designer the trip to Rome program in Study Abroad and also Internship for Graphic Design.

I just hope I don't get that denial card just because of my major. I know character modeling needs sculpture knowledge, not that bad into 3D programming (especially if I am going to use Zbrush) and some technological memory on what buttons to press and where to move the model in which position etc.

I just hope I'm not about to make a big "Oopsie" Help. :sad:

Alternatives would be SCAD, DMAC college (it only costs 500 per hour, which SOUNDS cheap lol), or Ringling, but don't know if it's accedited or as suggesting as a normal university like ISU.... My brain hurts.

Iowa state in-state tuition is 8,000 per semester. Easy to eat up with scholarships. Don't know if these will be any cheaper or near the same annually (SCAD, DMAC or Ringling--but read SCAD is better than the three, during and after graduation).

05 May 2011, 02:35 PM
I looked high and low in the Design school of Iowa State University, and can't seem to grasp on whether a company will hire someone with a BA in just Graphic Design.

Not sure if you mean for graphic design or for 3d but in general creative companies don't care much about your degree and just want to see what you can do (i.e. portfolio).

As a professional designer studying other 3d-related fields at the moment I really enjoy what I do but I can't say it's helped my 3d work that much. If you're wanting to get into sculpting/modeling I'd think that a traditional arts program would probably be more helpful.

05 May 2011, 03:24 PM

I am at total devotion being a Character Modeler, someone willing to use Z Brush namely for the industry.

But you say that it is mostly the portfolio than the educational background.

Though, if I still go to school in Graphic Design BFA, with a minor in Digital Media, would that be a plus?

I keep reading Graphic Design as mostly labels and/or text, and hope it doesn't draw to a mislead into anything.

05 May 2011, 03:37 PM
Howdy from the other side of the state.

As noted, you do not have to complete a four-year degree to get a job if you put together a quality reel. Do your scholarship(s) require that you attend full-time? Are you considering getting a B.A. degree as a "back-up" plan in case things do not work out as you hope? ISU is a good school, but I don't have any firsthand experience with the graphics program there. You are eligible for in-state tuition in Iowa. If you jump into another program out-of-state and end up in a different direction the ISU degree will hold more weight.

You could take some online training (Digital Tutors,, etc.) or get some DVDs from Gnomon Workshop, eat3D, 3DMotive, etc. and work on improving certain skills outside of regular classes in a degree program (more work, but if you really want it and enjoy it you will do it). 8MonkeyLabs (developed Marmoset Toolbag) is in Cedar Falls (and there are a couple of other game companies in Iowa). Perhaps you could develop an internship possibility to see if you really enjoy the field.

05 May 2011, 03:42 PM
I just saw your second reply about really wanting to be a character modeler. CG Workshops has several good workshops for learning how to be a character modeler (taught by industry pros). Katon Callaway's High-end Fantasy Game Art Creation begins May 30th. Jon Rush's Game Characters with ZBrush began a few weeks ago and will likely be offered again soon. I've taken both courses and recommend them (you must be a self-starter, get your projects done so you get feedback, and put time into them to get good results). Check the workshop list out. Katon and Jon are good about giving you detailed feedback and helping you. The more revisions and polishing that you do the more they can help you advance. You will find out real quick if you enjoy character modeling by taking these workshops!

05 May 2011, 03:25 AM
ah, nice. Thank you!!

Right now I have nothing set up. I have to wait till I transfer to ISU and have my loans help me out a bit on preparation.

Awesome to know too about Iowa developers lol ;.;

I hope they'll accept me for internship.

I also talked to ISU, they said they're going to add in a major for the 3-D field by next year, with concentrations towards it. Hopefully it will get me well rounded.

05 May 2011, 11:29 PM
I'm a graduate from Iowa State with a BA in Art and Design (I also worked in admissions for 3 years so I'm probly a little biased). First thing I would do is talk to an advisor they are pretty good at helping you find out what you want to take.

I'm not real sure that graphic design would be the right major if you want to be a character modeler. From what I saw graphic design is mostly focused on typography and brand development. You may want to consider either the Integrated Studio Arts(ISA) or Art and Design programs.

There are a few differences between those two programs the first being the degree you get, in ISA you wil earn a Bachelors of Fine Arts while Art and Design is just a Bachelors of Arts so be aware if thats important to you. Also you have to apply to ISA after you get to Iowa State like in Graphic Design. You don't have to reapply to Art and Design.

There are program differences, in ISA there are required classes that consist of a year of taking quarter long studios in every area of ISA and professional development classes your 3rd and 4th year. I don't think that Art and Design has any specific classes that you're required to take so its more flexible and a little faster to get to what you want to take, but there might be some studios that you cant get in if your not in ISA(wasn't a problem for me).

Like I said at the top I did Art and Design where I focused on 3d and drawing as well as getting a minor in computer science. If thats a route you consider here's some advice.
Drawing 2(art 230) is the most important class to get into as early as possible its a requirement for Figure Drawing(artis 330) and 3d modeling(artis 308), 3d modeling is a requirement for the higher level 3d class in Character Animation and Development(artis 407) and Story Boarding(artis 408).

you can take most 300+ level studios up to 3 times for credit which I recommend for Figure drawing and 407. The instructor for 407 and 408 is pretty good at letting you tailor the course to fit what you want to do, one guy spent a semester modeling characters in zbrush and another was drawing a comic.

The main software they teach there is Cinema4d, you can use maya on your assignments but you'll be on your own. All the best people I saw there were putting a lot of time in on their own so be prepared to do that too.

Again I would talk to an advisor, but theres some advice from someone who's been through it.

05 May 2011, 11:43 PM
Also about the rome program Iowa State owns the campus over there and the instructors split there time between there and Iowa State so you might not get everything you could out of it. If you go to the study abroad office they can help you find programs in pretty much any country you want (I went to Sweden and was the furthest north anyone from Iowa State has gone on a study abroad) ISEP programs are great because you still pay Iowa State Tuition and housing. Or you could try the National Exchange program where you can spend up to a year at another school in the US.

CGTalk Moderation
05 May 2011, 11:43 PM
This thread has been automatically closed as it remained inactive for 12 months. If you wish to continue the discussion, please create a new thread in the appropriate forum.