Should I go back to university?

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Old 01 January 2009   #1
Should I go back to university?

I've been doing arch-vis for about a year and a half now (in-house, not in a studio) and the work is getting a bit boring for me now. Working in-house means that I never get to take an image to a 'finished' level as it is all design development imagery. It has helped my modelling a lot but I'm starting to think that it would be great to go back to university this September to do a Masters in either animation or post production. I already have an M.Arts(Hons) in Architectual Design.

I'm a 'capable' modeller (by no means exceptional) in a number of packages (3ds Max, Rhino, Digital Project, Grasshopper) and decent at Photoshop and starting to really get into Maxscripting. I know my way around After Effects as well, but I'm no pro. Due to the current economy I've been forced to take 3 weeks of unpaid leave and so I'm dedicating this time to improving my skills to a level where I'd feel confident going back to university. I've started drawing again (2d) and have been delving into organic modelling, hopefully by the end of my time off I'll have something nice to show for it.

If I go back to university I'd be worrying that I'd be spending a lot of money on courses that are just going to go over the 'basics' of 3d modelling.

At the moment I think I'm leaning towards a course such as Bournemouths MA Digital Effects. I just had a couple of questions:

1. My background hasn't really been in 'post production', will I be at a big disadvantage going into a course such as this with more experience in modelling/rendering/scripting than in compositing?
2. I do like the idea of their Animation course as well, however I've never really been great at 'inventing characters', I prefer to work off of someone elses designs. Would this be an issue for me?

Generally speaking, when would be the latest that I could apply to such a school? I currently work abroad and wouldn't be able to visit any universities for a couple of months.

I've only been looking at schools in the UK as I doubt I'd be able to afford any international study. If anyone has any suggestions for other schools/courses I could look at it would be really appreciated.

Cheers,
 
Old 01 January 2009   #2
Originally Posted by womble1234: I've been doing arch-vis for about a year and a half now (in-house, not in a studio) and the work is getting a bit boring for me now. Working in-house means that I never get to take an image to a 'finished' level as it is all design development imagery. It has helped my modelling a lot but I'm starting to think that it would be great to go back to university this September to do a Masters in either animation or post production.


Sounds to me that your decision has already been made - or that you're seriously considering staying in an area that bores you.

Quote: If I go back to university I'd be worrying that I'd be spending a lot of money on courses that are just going to go over the 'basics' of 3d modelling.


Visit the universities, talk to the lecturers, go over the syllabus carefully and you should be able to eliminate the chances of choosing a school that will just reiterate what you already know.

Quote: 1. My background hasn't really been in 'post production', will I be at a big disadvantage going into a course such as this with more experience in modelling/rendering/scripting than in compositing?
2. I do like the idea of their Animation course as well, however I've never really been great at 'inventing characters', I prefer to work off of someone elses designs. Would this be an issue for me?


You don't need to be a character artist to be a good animator, and you don't need prior compositing experience if the school's course is well-structured, delivered well and you work hard.

Quote: Generally speaking, when would be the latest that I could apply to such a school? I currently work abroad and wouldn't be able to visit any universities for a couple of months.


Call or visit the UCAS service, or ask the university directly.

Quote: I've only been looking at schools in the UK as I doubt I'd be able to afford any international study. If anyone has any suggestions for other schools/courses I could look at it would be really appreciated.


http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread.php?f=2&t=69427

http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthr...&threadid=50251

Seriously, this question gets asked about once a day. The search function is your friend.
 
Old 01 January 2009   #3
I am doing an MSc at Bournemouth right now. My impression is that you don't need a strong compositing background as a prerequisite for the MA Digital Effects program. Modeling/rendering/scripting - all that helps. Just have a good portfolio to show that you have a good eye - whether it's for lighting or realistic motion or something else.

Courses - check out http://courses.bournemouth.ac.uk/Co...nt&start=201010
Plus the rest of the pages for the program.

Re deadline - the earlier the better, i think there is more competition for MA admission than MSc (C++/math/etc scare away most people). But it's best to get in touch with the NCCA to find out if they have a tentative deadline.

It's best to come on campus. It does not have to be on one of the official "open" days - the next one seems to be all the way in April 1st.

I only applied to Bournemouth, so can't tell you much about other schools in the UK.
And yes, with the weak pound you probably won't be able to afford to go abroad.
5,000 pounds is very cheap compared to tuitions in UK and Canada.
 
Old 01 January 2009   #4
No offense mate, but I really think we need to start nipping these threads in the bud. Honestly, we've just had far too many of these "what should I do with my life?" threads recently, and I've just had enough. It's your life, you make the decision.

Pretty much all your education-related questions have been answered hundreds of times before in hundreds of threads just like this. Please do a search.
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