CGTalk > Main > Education
Login register
Thread Closed share thread « Previous Thread | Next Thread »
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 01-28-2010, 07:07 PM   #1
salopla
New Member
portfolio
Milton Henry
Castries, Saint Lucia
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 14
The Art Institutes ( Chicago/Vancouver) Info

Hi guys,
I would like to know if anyone can give me the 411 on the art institute's game art and design program or media arts program.Is it any good?Know any past students with good jobs now.Im trying to get specific information about Chicago or Vancouver because it's those schools i'm talking to right now.VFS and Gnomon get most of the verbal wordplay around here for good reason. Anyone know anything about this schools or the art institutes in specific.Any info experiences are welcome.

Thanks
 
Old 01-29-2010, 02:07 AM   #2
artbytravissmith
Veteran
portfolio
Travis Smith
CG Generalist
Zoic Studios
Vancouver, Canada
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by salopla
Hi guys,
I would like to know if anyone can give me the 411 on the art institute's game art and design program or media arts program.Is it any good?Know any past students with good jobs now.Im trying to get specific information about Chicago or Vancouver because it's those schools i'm talking to right now.VFS and Gnomon get most of the verbal wordplay around here for good reason. Anyone know anything about this schools or the art institutes in specific.Any info experiences are welcome.

Thanks


I'm currently attending the Art Institute of Vancouver in the 3D Modeling for Animation and Games program (MAG).
First off if you want to get into art side of the videogame/vfx industry the game art and design program is the last thing you want to do. Game Art and Design or GAD as people here call it only briefly touches on drawing/painting, 3D Modeling/Texturing/Animation, doesn't use Zbrush at all, and from what I've been told from friends in the program is focused primarily on documentation/research, level design, mini game prototyping, and scripting in languages such as MEL.

3D Modeling for Animation and Games covers quite a lot of ground. The earlier terms are more focused on the fundamentals of drawing/art but for someone interested in becoming a concept artist for example, it isn't nearly enough unless they put in years of serious focused study/practice before coming to the school. Past the 4th or 5th terms you likely won't draw at all unless it's for yourself, at extra life drawing, or in Pre-Production for the Game Production Workshop (GPW). Even since I started in July 08 the teachers for the earlier drawing classes have changed quite a lot so I'm unsure whether it is still at the same level. I was lucky enough to have a high end traditional animator come teach Life Drawing while he was on a break between jobs but he is no longer here. I do not think I would have progressed in drawing as far as I have in the past year in a half if it wasn't for him and some of the other teachers that no longer teach those classes (Life Drawing, Concept and Illustration, Drawing and Perspective).

Here's a breakdown of the Modeling classes.

Basic 3D Concepts: Introduction to Maya by someone who knows the program very well beyond simply modeling. You will learn the basics of Animation, Rigging, UV Mapping, Modeling, Deformers, and be introduced to Dynamics during the final class.

3D Modeling I: A number of different people teach this course but it focuses primarily modeling and UV mapping props and simple environments. Some teachers also ask you to model a simple character in the final weeks of the class.

Environment Modeling: You will model, uv, and texture two buildings for the midterm. For the final half of the term you will place your buildings along with those of your classmates into a larger city environment complete with props that you and other students build and texture.

3D Modeling II: You will model something non-organic from your imagination or concept art and model something from reality. The second half of the term focuses on modeling a video game style 'level'.

Character Modeling I: Introduction to Character modeling. From my experience the people who seem to do well in the class are either those who have modeled prior to entering the school or have been drawing for most of their lives. If you are at all interested in becoming a Character Modeler I would suggest learning a 3D Modeling program if you arn't already and reading as much as you can about artistic anatomy before you enter school. The current teacher for this course is hilarious and is a very good artist.

Character Modeling II: Another stroke of luck, the Creature Supervisor from District 9 is currently teaching this class. I've never met anyone that knows anatomy as well as he has and I've already learned a great deal about the art and technical side of character modeling. The only problem is that he might not be here anymore by the time you have this class.

Brushed Based Modeling and Texture: Zbrush, I havn't had this class yet but the video tutorials at Pixologic's ZClassroom cover a lot of the same information. You could probably learn how to use the program with those alone. That's more or less what I've done and what I wish I did years ago.

In short: I do know of quite a few people who have gotten jobs out of the MAG program but it has become much more difficult over the past year for obvious reasons. It only recently picked up and if they're still saying they have a 90% placement rate they must be using old numbers and I question the accuracy of those numbers in the first place based on what I've heard around the school.

As for my experience I have mixed feelings but it really depends on what you want to do,

Texture Artist and Prop Modeler: You can learn much of the texturing on your own but it is getting more difficult as there are more programs to learn, more shaders to understand, and games are becoming increasingly realistic. AI will give you much of the technical knowledge needed to become a texture artists but the art side of it is really up to you. Unless you really struggle artistically you shouldn't have much trouble getting these sorts of jobs out of AI.

Character Modeler: Only one person has gotten a job as a Character Modeler right out of this school. It is an extreamly difficult job to get and I would be astonished if that person hadn't been seriously studying art (especially Artistic Anatomy) on his or her own for years prior to entering the school (and had probably also been drawing for their entire life). They probably also had experience modeling or sculpting prior to entering the school.

Concept Artist: Only one person has gotten a job as a Concept Artist right out of this school. It is an extreamly difficult job to get and I would be astonished if that person hadn't been seriously studying art on his or her own for years prior to entering the school (and had probably also been drawing for their entire life).

Personally speaking my long term goal was to become a Concept Artist/Character Modeler with the shorter term goal of becoming a modeler/texture artists. Prior to applying to AI I was given advice from people in the industry that an arts education was the way to go, and programs like Maya, and Zbrush could be learned with books and online tutorials. I decided to go to the Art Institute primarily because I thought it would be a less risky and quicker way into the videogame industry. I thought that if I went to a traditional art school even while learning those programs I might not become a good enough modeler on my own to get a job once I was done school. While that might have been true I wish I had taken more time to research traditional art schools or Ateliers. If I had known what I know now I would have found a place that teaches the construction school of drawing, one that stresses the study of anatomy and the ability to draw from imagination. The study of anatomy alone has the dual benefit of helping inform you when creating characters in a program like Zbrush and allowing you to more easily draw realistic figures from your imagination.

I hope that wasn't too rambling or telling you things you already knew..

Last edited by artbytravissmith : 01-29-2010 at 02:12 AM.
 
Old 01-29-2010, 02:54 AM   #3
salopla
New Member
portfolio
Milton Henry
Castries, Saint Lucia
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 14
Hi Tbone,
thanks very much for the information. I have been wondering about Game art and design versus a more general pursuit of animation and digital art. From what yo are saying consistency may be an issue at the school and I would want to be sure i get the best teaches.I have some books on anatomy but i cannot draw without reference as of yet but i will work harder at it. Thanks for all the info I appreciate it.
 
Old 01-29-2010, 03:35 AM   #4
artbytravissmith
Veteran
portfolio
Travis Smith
CG Generalist
Zoic Studios
Vancouver, Canada
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by salopla
Hi Tbone,
thanks very much for the information. I have been wondering about Game art and design versus a more general pursuit of animation and digital art. From what yo are saying consistency may be an issue at the school and I would want to be sure i get the best teaches.I have some books on anatomy but i cannot draw without reference as of yet but i will work harder at it. Thanks for all the info I appreciate it.


What do you want to do for a job though?

If you want to be a Game Designer you might not need to study human anatomy all that much, at least at first. Both MAG and GAD are fairly general, just in different ways.
 
Old 01-29-2010, 05:40 PM   #5
salopla
New Member
portfolio
Milton Henry
Castries, Saint Lucia
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 14
I'm thinking of doing modeling and concept art. If possible maybe some animation. The only thing i do right now in tearms of art is draw. I'm trying to find a good school to help me get better and with good networking as well so i can have a chance to get a job.
 
Old 02-01-2010, 10:36 PM   #6
artbytravissmith
Veteran
portfolio
Travis Smith
CG Generalist
Zoic Studios
Vancouver, Canada
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by salopla
I'm thinking of doing modeling and concept art. If possible maybe some animation. The only thing i do right now in tearms of art is draw. I'm trying to find a good school to help me get better and with good networking as well so i can have a chance to get a job.


If you want to get into concept art the GAD program is probably the last thing you want to do. The program offers barely any drawing classes (maybe two? and only in the first term). The Modeling program at AI Vancouver is pretty good but the more you can learn about Maya or any other 3D Modeling program before you come here the better. It will give you much more time to focus on the art of modeling rather than learning how to operate the program.

For concept art though I think you might want to consider different schools, especially those the emphasis drawing with volume, drawing from your imagination, learning anatomy, perspective etc. Schools or ateliers that teach sight-sizing will help you become better with colour and tone but you will probably want to learn construction on your own if that school doesn't teach it.

I found this thread on conceptart.org very informative:
http://www.conceptart.org/forums/sh...ad.php?t=160487

Some schools to take a look at but that thread has a larger list: Sheridan's Animation Program (Ontario, Canada), the Art Centre of Pasedena (very very expensive), Ringling College, Capilano University's Animation program, Ashland Academy of Art (Construction drawing, but don't have any Entertainment design classes), etc.
 
Old 02-03-2010, 10:17 PM   #7
salopla
New Member
portfolio
Milton Henry
Castries, Saint Lucia
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 14
Thumbs up

Thanks for the info. Its quite a alot to go through but very helpful.
 
Old 02-03-2010, 10:50 PM   #8
artbytravissmith
Veteran
portfolio
Travis Smith
CG Generalist
Zoic Studios
Vancouver, Canada
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 40
I was mostly pointing out the thread for the first post. Hopefully it helps.
 
Old 02-05-2010, 07:54 AM   #9
Rebeccak
Anatomy Forum Leader
 
Rebeccak's Avatar
CGSociety Member
portfolio
Rebecca Kimmel
Founder + Owner
Korpus School of Art + Gallery
Los Angeles, USA
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 19,471
Please be aware that the Art Institutes are not accredited, and that they therefore do not grant recognized undergraduate degrees. This could become an issue if you ever seek to work in a country outside of where you currently reside. I've known several students who have attended either AI or other non degree granting institutions (Gnomon, etc.) and the lack of a degree has meant that they have had to return to their home countries after they have completed school.
__________________

Korpus School of Art + Gallery
Website:
www.korpus-la.com
Facebook Page | Blog
korpus.info@gmail.com
Downtown Los Angeles






 
Old 02-06-2010, 03:02 AM   #10
JYoung
Never enough time.
 
JYoung's Avatar
portfolio
Jason Young
Character Artist
Austin, USA
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 779
Send a message via AIM to JYoung Send a message via MSN to JYoung Send a message via Yahoo to JYoung
Art Institutes are accredited.
__________________
Portfolio : Blog
 
Old 02-06-2010, 05:21 AM   #11
Rebeccak
Anatomy Forum Leader
 
Rebeccak's Avatar
CGSociety Member
portfolio
Rebecca Kimmel
Founder + Owner
Korpus School of Art + Gallery
Los Angeles, USA
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 19,471
Quote:
Originally Posted by JYoung
Art Institutes are accredited.
I met an AI (Santa Monica) graduate last Tuesday who is having problems being accepted into a Master's program at Cal State Fullerton, because they won't recognize his degree.
__________________

Korpus School of Art + Gallery
Website:
www.korpus-la.com
Facebook Page | Blog
korpus.info@gmail.com
Downtown Los Angeles






 
Old 02-10-2010, 05:44 PM   #12
Rockalicious
Bay Station
portfolio
Clayton Miller
Animator
Flurry Studios
Minneapolis, USA
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rebeccak
I met an AI (Santa Monica) graduate last Tuesday who is having problems being accepted into a Master's program at Cal State Fullerton, because they won't recognize his degree.


I believe AI also offers certificate programs, I know 8 or 9 years ago that's mostly all they offered. I have a full blown BS degree from AI, they are most definitely accredited.
 
Old 02-10-2010, 11:38 PM   #13
JYoung
Never enough time.
 
JYoung's Avatar
portfolio
Jason Young
Character Artist
Austin, USA
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 779
Send a message via AIM to JYoung Send a message via MSN to JYoung Send a message via Yahoo to JYoung
Most(all?) of them are not regionally accredited, which is probably why Cal State isn't recognizing it for their masters.
__________________
Portfolio : Blog
 
Old 02-12-2010, 05:51 PM   #14
salopla
New Member
portfolio
Milton Henry
Castries, Saint Lucia
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 14
Unhappy

Are you 100% percent that this is not accredited.I spoke to a representative at length and she said that they are accredited.Is it just a situation that the BFA is not recognised. I stepped away from gnomon because if i got a certificate there i would not be able to stay in the USA or get work in other countries. Is it the same with the chicago school?
 
Old 02-12-2010, 11:41 PM   #15
Rebeccak
Anatomy Forum Leader
 
Rebeccak's Avatar
CGSociety Member
portfolio
Rebecca Kimmel
Founder + Owner
Korpus School of Art + Gallery
Los Angeles, USA
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 19,471
Quote:
Originally Posted by salopla
Are you 100% percent that this is not accredited.I spoke to a representative at length and she said that they are accredited.Is it just a situation that the BFA is not recognised. I stepped away from gnomon because if i got a certificate there i would not be able to stay in the USA or get work in other countries. Is it the same with the chicago school?
Are you talking about the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, or are you talking about the chain of schools referred to as the Art Institutes? These are very different schools. The former, SAIC, is very prestigious primarily for Fine Arts. The latter, the chain of schools known as the Art Institutes, is nationally accredited, but not regionally accredited in the Western part of the US which includes California (it's not WASC accredited). WASC accreditation is an assurance to the public about the quality of a school. The Art Institutes chain of schools does not meet that criteria at least in the Western US.

The reason why the person I met with a degree from the Art Institutes - Los Angeles is having difficulty being accepted into a California graduate school is because the chain of schools called the Art Institutes are not regionally (WASC) accredited. So that means that despite having spent $80,000 on a degree, he may have to repeat his studies at an undergraduate school that IS WASC accredited in order for him to enter graduate school in the Western US.

What this boils down to for you is that, should you decide to attend a school that is part of the Art Institutes chain of schools (of which SAIC is NOT a part - it is a reputable school) - you might (or will most probably) experience difficulty having your credits accepted by a graduate school to which you might want to apply, should you ever wish to do so.

Whether or not a degree from the chain of schools known as the Art Institutes will be acceptable for visa purposes is beyond my knowlege of the visa system.

FYI, I have known of several international students who have studied at Gnomon and have had to return to their home countries after graduation, since they did not have a BFA (Bachelor's of Fine Arts) or other type of Bachelor's degree. You need to do research (not by calling the Art Institutes chain itself, they will give you whatever information you want to hear) to determine if an AI degree will be acceptable as a bachelor's degree for visa status.

-R
__________________

Korpus School of Art + Gallery
Website:
www.korpus-la.com
Facebook Page | Blog
korpus.info@gmail.com
Downtown Los Angeles







Last edited by Rebeccak : 02-12-2010 at 11:49 PM.
 
Thread Closed share thread


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
CGSociety
Society of Digital Artists
www.cgsociety.org

Powered by vBulletin
Copyright 2000 - 2006,
Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Minimize Ads
Forum Jump
Miscellaneous

All times are GMT. The time now is 11:59 AM.


Powered by vBulletin
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.