Will be teaching 3 classes at Art Institute of California (San Francisco) this week.

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Old 07 July 2006   #1
Will be teaching 3 classes at Art Institute of California (San Francisco) this week.

For those of you that are attending Art Institute of California (San Francisco), I'll be substituting for Andrew Klein's modeling and advanced texturing/lighting classes on Mon, Tue, Wed, from 6-10pm. Drop by and say hi if you're around.
 
Old 08 August 2006   #2
Awesome, Robert! Let us know how it goes!
 
Old 08 August 2006   #3
Tonight's class went nicely. Some students came and thanked me afterwards for giving them a dose of reality and waking them up from the fantasy world of "I'm going to get a job in video games and CG animation right after I graduate because the school told me so." I talked about the principles of efficient topology for modeling for games and animation, how that falls into the entire production pipeline, and how to be selective about where to add details in a low poly model and where to conserve polys in areas that aren't as important..etc. But in general I think the students were a lot more interested in the career-oriented topics, like do's and don'ts for demo reels, salary expectations, working hours, how they'll be treated by most places as entry level grunts..etc. I was delighted to find out they have a copy of d'artiste: Digital Painting in their school library, so some of them were already familiar with my work. I can kind of tell which students were the passionate and driven ones, and which ones were just cruising. There were the shy ones too, so it's kind of hard to tell with them.

Initially I walked into the wrong classroom, which had only Macs, and I was like "I'm a dead man, because I don't use Macs and don't know my way around them very well." Luckily the correct room had PC's.

I brought my camera but forgot to take a photo when everyone was in class--I remembered after most had already left. Tomorrow I'll remember to get a nice photo of the whole class.

Last edited by Lunatique : 08 August 2006 at 08:03 AM.
 
Old 08 August 2006   #4
The second class went quite well also. I covered even more topics the second night than the previous class--stuff like examples of good and bad topology, and how to tell good from bad ones. I also covered ways to counter being mistreated in the industry, the right way to ask for a raise, knowing when to say no, and not being afraid to walk away from a job or an offer..etc.

I stressed the importance of being an artist instead of a button pusher. A lot of the students in the 3D classes hate having to take the drawing classes and other foundation art classes, and they are really shooting themselves in the foot with that kind of mentality. If they don't start placing more importance on the art foundations instead of pushing buttons in a 3D software, they will not be able to compete in the industry when they graduate. I mean, look at the how high the bar has been raised--not just by industry veterans, but also young guns who are self-taught--kids that have purchased gnomon DVD's online and learned how to draw and paint, as well as model, texture, rig, animate, light..etc. And they did it all without spending a dime on expensive art school tuition--maybe just a few hundred dollars worth of DVD's and books. How are these students who graduate with a heavy student loan and lack of important artistic skills going to compete?

Learning how to operate 3D software is the least important aspect--you can get that from DVD's, software manuals, help files, online tutorials, and 3rd party books. What art school student should really learn is how to be a good artist, period, and all that artistic skill and knowledge will easily translate into the 3D world. Some of the students really got what I was saying and came to me afterwards to thank me for it, but some probably will go on hating having to take the art foundation classes. For those students who hate the art foundation classes, I hope they at least eventually pick up the theory stuff like composition, color theory, perspective, anatomy, values/lighting, principles of animation..etc so they can apply them to their 3D stuff, or else they will only end up with an expensive student loan and nothing much else to show for the 4 years spent in art school, let alone a desirable job in the industry.
 
Old 08 August 2006   #5
The third night (Advanced texturing & lighting) I covered texturing, colors, and lighting (and also the same career-focused stuff as the precious two nights). I talked about texturing for games, showed some texture painting techniques, the science of color, why there's no such thing as the "right" or "good" skin color, the fallible theory of warm light = cool shadows, the terminator as the most saturated point, form and cast shadows, what's lighting the cast shadow, standard kelvin temperature as the yardstick for lights, mixing different colored lights and what happens when they intersect, using lighting to convey emotions and mood, using contrasting colors or color focus to make images more interesting, why lights are hard or soft, and how to use them..etc.

It was a fun and rewarding experience for the past three nights, and the students were grateful for a lot of the stuff that aren't being taught in school. I've been asked to return to give another two-hour lecture on whatever topic I choose, and the school's expressed that they'd like me to return on a regular basis as a guest speaker. All-in-all, it was a great experience.
 
Old 08 August 2006   #6
Robert,

It's great that you've had this teaching opportunity, as I'm sure you would make a great full time teacher (if that is what you wanted to do). Best of luck with your endeavours there.

Cheers,

~Rebecca
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Old 08 August 2006   #7
Darn!

Originally Posted by Lunatique: Tonight's class went nicely. Some students came and thanked me afterwards for giving them a dose of reality and waking them up from the fantasy world of "I'm going to get a job in video games and CG animation right after I graduate because the school told me so." I talked about the principles of efficient topology for modeling for games and animation, how that falls into the entire production pipeline, and how to be selective about where to add details in a low poly model and where to conserve polys in areas that aren't as important..etc. But in general I think the students were a lot more interested in the career-oriented topics, like do's and don'ts for demo reels, salary expectations, working hours, how they'll be treated by most places as entry level grunts..etc. I was delighted to find out they have a copy of d'artiste: Digital Painting in their school library, so some of them were already familiar with my work. I can kind of tell which students were the passionate and driven ones, and which ones were just cruising. There were the shy ones too, so it's kind of hard to tell with them.

Initially I walked into the wrong classroom, which had only Macs, and I was like "I'm a dead man, because I don't use Macs and don't know my way around them very well." Luckily the correct room had PC's.

I brought my camera but forgot to take a photo when everyone was in class--I remembered after most had already left. Tomorrow I'll remember to get a nice photo of the whole class.




really wish I had stopped in...I would have asked you a butt load of questions on so many things including on WHY people get into the industry in the first place and whatnot.
 
Old 08 August 2006   #8
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