Transfer to Gnomon?

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  06 June 2010
Transfer to Gnomon?

I'm currently in the Game Design MFA program at the Academy of Art (hoping to eventually work as an environment artist), and lately I've been considering the possibility of transferring to Gnomon (specifically their one year Entertainment Design program). My reason for this is not because I don't like Academy of Art... my first semester was awesome. The main couple of reasons are: the cost, the time investment (2.5-3 years at AAU as opposed to 1 year at Gnomon, meaning I could get started in my career sooner), as well as the fact that my network of friends/contacts are all in Southern California, and most of the companies I would want to work for are down there as well.

I've gone through the pros and cons numerous times. Both programs seem to be highly regarded. The advantage of AAU is that I leave with a Master's Degree. The advantage of Gnomon is that it's shorter, and perhaps more specialized (?). I guess what I'm really looking for here is some input as to whether the one year program at Gnomon would be inferior in terms of building my skill set and portfolio. Would it be worth being close to my contacts, graduating with less debt, and spending less time, but also giving up the MFA degree? I don't expect an answer for this question specifically, since I doubt anyone has gone through BOTH programs, but some insight into either program and what the potential of the one-year program at Gnomon is would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

As a side note, the Game Design program at AAU is sort of a derivative of their Animation and VFX program, just more geared toward game art. So for anyone who has gone through the ANM and VFX program at AAU, your input would be welcome as well.
 
  06 June 2010
Greetings,

What area of the industry are you looking to get into? I ask this because the 1 year Gnomon program is mostly dedicated to traditional 2d art. While this may transfer over to say, matte painting decently, it wouldn't transfer well to environment modeling.

As far as getting the MFA goes, honestly it doesn't mean much more than a piece of paper. Very few job titles require some kind of degree but the vast majority only care about your demo reel. Unless you plan to transfer into a different career, teach, or move to a different country, it won't effect your future career much.

As far as Gnomon it self goes, I'm sure you know they are considered one of the best. I don't think anyone here would argue they aren't. As far as the program it self goes, I have heard nothing but good. But as I said before it is focused on traditional art. Their two year program is focused exclusively on CG. Their three year program is basically a combination of both.

If possible it's always nice to graduate with less debt , as long as it doesn't sacrifice quality of education.
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  06 June 2010
Smile

Thanks MrConterno! That definitely sheds new light on this situation. As for what I want to do, my preferred specialization would be environment art for games. Since the Entertainment Design program at Gnomon is focused primarily on 2D traditional art, do you think it would still help drive me in the direction of being an environment artist if, say, I spent time in addition to my classes learning, for example, the unreal editor and maya/3DSmax? I realize that the traditional skills are beneficial no matter what direction you go, but for me, I probably would not continue into their Digital Production program after completing the Entertainment Design program. I guess what I'm trying to ask is, will that be enough (coupled with extra effort on my part to learn game-specific programs/techniques)?
 
  06 June 2010
Well I took a look at your website to get a feel for your current skill level. For low polly work it is decent.

If you where to do that it's hard to say the outcome. You could come out fine but you could flop. I know for the three year program students have full access to Gnomon's online DvDs, if this is true (i don't know if it is) for the one year students also this plan might be pretty decent. But being that the tuition is only about 16k I don't know if they will include that perk.

Simply put it's hard to say, it mostly depends on you.


Of course I suggest going for the two year program but 66k on top of your current costs is a pretty hard pill to swallow lol. Another option, you may be able to find an internship at a studio. I just recently made a thread about that (below) might work out.
http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthr...?f=283&t=889792

Gnomon also offers single classes you could build your self a course depending on your wants. I think this is more expensive in terms of per class but you can also weed out the classes you don't need.

You have a difficult choice, bit hard to aid this one lol.
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Nicholi Conterno - Gnomon Student

Time To Answer A Question: 15 Minutes
Time To Thank Someone For An Answer: 30 Seconds

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Last edited by MrConterno : 06 June 2010 at 06:30 AM.
 
  06 June 2010
I looked into it and apparently one can get access to all the Gnomon Online DVD's for $500 per year, which, relative to the cost of the program, is a pretty reasonable investment, and an easier pill to swallow as you put it

Anyway I really appreciate all your input so far. I'll keep researching and trying to make the most informed decision I can. One other curiosity I have about the one year program is about the portfolio potential. I've heard that Gnomon's fast track Maya program is not for building a portfolio, only for learning the skills. Is the purpose of the Entertainment Design program more along that line, or will students in that program actually develop a good (albeit mostly traditional 2D) portfolio?

-John
 
  06 June 2010
Originally Posted by jlewlotr: I looked into it and apparently one can get access to all the Gnomon Online DVD's for $500 per year, which, relative to the cost of the program, is a pretty reasonable investment, and an easier pill to swallow as you put it

Anyway I really appreciate all your input so far. I'll keep researching and trying to make the most informed decision I can. One other curiosity I have about the one year program is about the portfolio potential. I've heard that Gnomon's fast track Maya program is not for building a portfolio, only for learning the skills. Is the purpose of the Entertainment Design program more along that line, or will students in that program actually develop a good (albeit mostly traditional 2D) portfolio?

-John


They list the course classes on their site. I know the two year programs focus the last semesters on building a demo reel.
 
  06 June 2010
I think it would be worth the money to get that $500 deal if you choose this path.

It's really good to hear you are doing side research. It is the extra mile you go that will help you succeed, research as much as you can. Now that I look at the curriculum of the program it doesn't say anything about portfolio development, which is of course invaluable. I would call Gnomon up and ask about it. If the answer is no I would say stay at your current school or look into the 2 year program.
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Nicholi Conterno - Gnomon Student

Time To Answer A Question: 15 Minutes
Time To Thank Someone For An Answer: 30 Seconds

Post of Wisdom
 
  06 June 2010
Originally Posted by jlewlotr: I looked into it and apparently one can get access to all the Gnomon Online DVD's for $500 per year, which, relative to the cost of the program, is a pretty reasonable investment, and an easier pill to swallow as you put it


John, are you aware that the Academy of Art has a good number (if not all of them) of Gnomon DVDs in the library and you can watch them for free, right?
 
  06 June 2010
I went to that school. really nice id go there more if I had the money. the teachers are really good as you can see from the site they got extensive experience and alot of them also work in the industry. the environment for games teacher if he is still workin there works at blizzard and is pretty cool. I would highly recommend you go. what i did was just take each class as i went since i didnt get accepted into the program it might be better just to do that. Up you though if you got any other questions you can hit me up. Take a tour if possible. they also have some online classes i havent taken those yet but it might give you a hint of what to expect. as i said i went there for like a year so if you got any questions

Last edited by therealdeal20 : 06 June 2010 at 08:53 AM.
 
  06 June 2010
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