Which Best 3D Modeling and Animation School/University?

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  03 March 2011
Which Best 3D Modeling and Animation School/University?

Hello everyone,

Can someone please tell me which best 3D modeling and animation school/university so that I can become a professional 3D modeler and animator such as The Batman Arkham City trailer in YouTube such as below link?


It really makes me fascinated !

The 3D model and animation is really awesome !

Very realistic looks and movement !

Thanks !!!

  03 March 2011
Hey, Deewah

I'm going to give you as honest and frank an answer I can give, but it won't really answer your question.

I've seen so many people get into degrees that promise to teach you modeling and animation, but they end up getting burned because the industry doesn't work like that. First off, degrees are unnecessary. All they say is that you can complete a program. They say nothing about your talent, which is why your demo reel is the most important thing for getting a job.

Which brings me to my next criticism of schools these days. Game design programs are a joke, seriously. Ones that try to give you classes on everything. You take maybe 3 classes of modeling, 3 classes of lighting, 3 classes of animation, that sort of thing. And it is academic irresponsibility to tell someone that taking a program like that will get them a job. Plain and simple. Here's why.

I'm an animation student at Animation Mentor. Every day I have to remind myself that there are millions of animators in the country. Hell, there are at least 100,000 in California alone. But there are only a handful of great ones and I have to compete with them for a job. The great ones are the ones who have a burning passion for animation. They eat and breathe it every day. When you look at it like this, it's easy to see why programs that try to make you a jack of all trades are jokes.

Animation is a deep, deep art form. So is modeling. So is lighting. You cannot possibly expect to study each of these and, in a few classes, become a master of them. Like any art form, each of these takes years of practice and dedication to get good at, and they're each so different that it's far too futile to try to become an expert in every one of them. I can do some modeling and some rigging and some lighting, but I absolutely would never be able to get a job as any of these.

Even worse about modeling/animation programs at a college or University is that you're forced to take classes which have nothing to do with the art form of your choice. When I was in college in a program that was meant to teach modeling an animation, in order to work towards my degree I had to take geography. I wanted to be an animator. If there's one subject that has the least to do with animation, it's geography.

My suggestion to you, and I really sincerely hope you take this, is to first figure out which specific art field you want to devote your life to. Now, here's where general 3d courses can come in handy because they expose you to bits of everything and you can see which field appeals to you the most. I decided to be an animator in college, when I was trying to get an modeling/animation/lighting degree, so I can't bash them that hard. They're fine for trying out lots of disciplines to see what you like, but do NOT (I cannot stress this enough), do NOT get into one that's very expensive. If you can find a local one, like at a community college, look into it. The worst decision you could make is to spend $50,000 or something like that on a 3d course.

So, once you figure out which field you think appeals to you the most, here's the hard part. You need to be completely honest with yourself and ask yourself if you have the drive to devote your life to this. You can't go into this half-assedly. There's a famous study by Anders Ericsson about common factors leading to expertise in a subject. It turns out that something every expert had in common was that they've spent 10,000 hours practicing what they're good at. Musicians, artists, writers, it didn't matter. They all spent 10,000 hours on their passion. And this led to a common consensus that it takes 10,000 hours of practice to become an expert. Modeling or animation may seem like fun to you now but you have to honestly ask yourself if you are ready to devote that much time to becoming great. There are no shortcuts, especially in art. Talent can only get you so far. The ones who are the best are the ones who have the passion and drive to never stop learning.

So, to summarize:
- Forget about a degree. Your work will speak for itself.
- Where does your passion lie? Modeling? Animation? Lighting?
- Be honest with yourself: are you willing to spend years and years practicing your art?

I hope I haven't discouraged you from moving forward. I AM trying to discourage you from wasting your time by thinking that becoming an artist is easy. It's not. For me, it's been a long and very, very hard road. And I'm not anywhere near the finish line because I know there is no finish line. It's been the hardest thing I've ever done but, let me tell you, it's also been the most rewarding.


Last edited by Ibeechu : 03 March 2011 at 07:30 PM.
  03 March 2011
Ibeechu has a lot of good information in his post. The only thing I can disagree with is the amount to spend on courses. Gnomon for example is 82k (3 yr program) or 66k (2 year program), but the reels coming out of the school are unmatched. I study there and the amount of talent at the school is just amazing. The students and instructors are just top notch. Thats what you are paying for. Do you need a school like this, no, it's mostly just a stepping stone that gets you where you want to go much faster.

But in reference to your question, and you aren't really going to like the answer. From the way you have worded your question I can tell one thing. You have no idea what you are talking about. Not your fault, you just don't. If you feel this may be some thing you want to do. Research the hell out of it. So many people get suckered into thinking this is some thing that it's not. You need much more knowledge on this before you make a choice to attend a school.

One of the things you are going to need to do is try CG. Modeling, animation, lighting, dynamics, rigging, matte painting, texture painting; these are just a few things that are used in games/films and are all extremely different. There are very few people who know a lot about all subjects.

So what I am suggesting you do is get a subscription to digital tutors. It is $45 a month. Also go to autodesk and get a trial of Maya (free for 30 days). For that month do as many different Maya training videos you can. Within that month your entire conception of games/films will change, I guarantee it. If at the end of that month you still feel this is some thing you want to try, buy 3 more months and get a non professional version of Maya (probably only a few hundred dollars). During those 3 months be sure to try all the different categories digital tutors has. Find which one you like most and at the end of that 3 months come back here and ask again. What schools should I be looking at to be a (insert what you liked, for example a lighter).

Maya trial - http://usa.autodesk.com/maya/trial/
Digital Tutors - http://www.digitaltutors.com
Nicholi Conterno - Gnomon Student

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

Post of Wisdom
  03 March 2011
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