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Old 02-17-2014, 10:59 AM   #1
Brian23
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In search of a life line

CG Society, I come to you with my hair in my hands. I'm sure you see these often, so I hope I'm memorable enough to illicit some form of response. I'm a 22 (23 in April) year old who's almost finished with community college (I've dragged my feet, I'll explain later) and I am hitting a wall and I am hitting it hard.

When I graduated High School I kinda floundered, I put off a Uni because I didn't have the grades nor did I actually know what it was I wanted in life. I decided instead to waddle my way through Community College and work some part time to save up a bit of money, and that plan seems to be failing me. While I'm still figuring what I want in life, I've come to terms with the reality that to enjoy my life I need to be making something. I need to be able to focus my mind and creative juices onto something or I slowly drive myself in sane. I did news and film through out high school but found that live action was almost impossible without a steady group of like minded friends.

Recently (or really the last year or two, but specifically the last few weeks) I've started looking more into Animation. I've read up on, to me at least, the top 2 online options; iAnimate and AnimationMentor. I've talked too a few students, read reviews, and chatted with someone in the VFX arena for tips and I'm still pretty torn on both those options. I had Full Sail in them as well, as was suggested a few months ago by family members, but the consensus I've seen from the internet is that its a waste of time. I believe a quote I saw said you'd find more Full Sail graduates working as local Braistsas then you would in a studio. Regardless, I'm not sure those are actually the venues I seek.

I've realized that I'd probably find more fulfillment in character and/or asset creation. To me, if I was to be an Animator, I'd want to create my own...everything and animate it from there. Potentially animating someone else's baby and dream seems effy to me, though I probably have the wrong mental image of that process. Anyways, I digress.

Currently I'm in search of some form of schooling, maybe similar to Animaton Mentor or iAnimate but I'd even go for a College or Institute. I am looking into Digital Tutors to help build a base. I know I've read a lot of people self teaching themselves a variety of art forms related to 3D and Computer Graphics but that just doesn't work for me. I need someone over my head and dead lines drawn in the sand to get to work or I end up getting distracted (Reddit is the bane of my existence). I learn best by doing and having someone critique me as I do. That's why I'm in search of some form of schooling.

On the topic of a College , In my mind, going there at my age seems weird. I'm only 22 but my age is obviously old to me. To me college has always been something you do when you're 18 or 19 and fresh out of High School. It seems daunting and out of place to expect someone like me who should be in the entry positions of his career path to be attending a college. I've been told I'm wrong but it still seems like an alien concept to me.

I live in Northern Virginia (45 minutes out of Washington) and while I'd be willing to travel, the issue for me isn't so much the tuition (though that still seems to be coming up steep) its more the cost of living if I had to relocate. I don't actually have a marketable skill to pick up a job where ever I'd move too and affording living expenses can sometimes exceed tuition. That kinda hurts cause it seems like California has a lot of great choices, but living there is insanely expensive. I believe the same for New York.

One name that has popped up for Modeling has been Gnomon. I haven't had much time to look into them. I see they offer online courses but am not sure what that actually entails. On top of that, I also know they're based in Cali and seem on the expensive side. Besides that I haven't looked much into them.

Reality is, I'm lookin' for a life line. I feel like I'm standing at point A and to get to point B I have to cross a massive canyon. As I said, I live just outside of DC. I know that if I wanted to get a Government job, I know how to go about that. I have people in my family and that I know I can tap into to facilitate that, I know the skills and where to acquire them. For what I enjoy? The resources seem scattered and far between and as always everyone’s got an opinion on what did it for them. If I can pointed towards some resources, if anyone knows some solid schools, anything and I'd be indebted too you.
 
Old 02-28-2014, 04:44 AM   #2
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On the topic of a College , In my mind, going there at my age seems weird. I'm only 22 but my age is obviously old to me. To me college has always been something you do when you're 18 or 19 and fresh out of High School. It seems daunting and out of place to expect someone like me who should be in the entry positions of his career path to be attending a college. I've been told I'm wrong but it still seems like an alien concept to me.

Community college is great for people in your situation, and it sounds like your not making the most of the opportunity. I just started on my degree at a local community college last year when I was 22. My classmates range in age from 16 to senior citizens. If your struggling to interact or relate with others outside of your age group, community college is a great place to learn those skills.
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I need someone over my head and dead lines drawn in the sand to get to work or I end up getting distracted (Reddit is the bane of my existence).

Everyone gets distracted. Part of growing up is learning techniques to avoid them. Personally, I don't read sports or news until the sun goes down. I also don't play video games, even though I really want to. You need to learn to eliminate distractions to stay focused.
Quote:
Potentially animating someone else's baby and dream seems effy to me, though I probably have the wrong mental image of that process. Anyways, I digress.

There are plenty of people that enjoy this stuff as a hobby. You don't have to do this stuff for a living to enjoy it. Most paid work will entail working on someone's project.

Quote:
I learn best by doing and having someone critique me as I do. That's why I'm in search of some form of schooling.

If you post on any of the WIP forums, and your polite, you might get feedback from some top notch artist.

http://forums.cgsociety.org/forumdisplay.php?f=120
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Old 02-28-2014, 09:44 PM   #3
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There is absolutely nothing wrong with community college. Also, what does age have to do with college education? This is your FUTURE. Age doesn't matter, but the sooner you get through the better. In my opinion, general education is extremely vital, even for an artist. In my opinion, I'd say do your general ED's at community college and maybe do your AA in art/fine arts. Even though you want to major in Animation, the traditional art classes (Drawing I&II, Figure Drawing, painting) are very important! You need to know how to draw. Period. After you get your AA degree in Art THEN you can focus on your Bachelors (last two years) in Animation at a State School or University. These will mostly be technical classes. For example, my State school requires an AA or AS degree in Digital Media to enroll in the Animation program. If you have the money, I would go to a private art school such as Ringling School of Art & Design or SCAD. I attended Ringling for a semester as an Illustration major because there was a waiting list for the Animation program. These schools are an artist's paradise. In order to get granted admission you do need to meet portfolio requirements. Ringling did not require any Math or Science classes, which is pretty awesome. Also, when I switched to State College, most of my courses DID transfer over. A few did not. This won't be the case with For Profit institutions such as Full Sail, which in my opinion is a waste of money.

I lived in Orlando for a while and I've taken the tour at FULL SAIL and yes, the school is always equipped with the latest tech and software. However, despite what Full Sail says, State Colleges and Universities will view Full Sail as a trade school. The AA/BA/MA degrees they offer WILL NOT transfer to State schools/ or Universities. IMO, this is very alarming. I've read horrid scenario's, for example, during LABS students are told not to ask many questions and do view tutorials ONLINE. I can relate because the labs at my community college (Valencia CC in Orlando) did the same thing. The difference between my Valencia Community College and Full Sail is that I was paying less than HALF of what Full Sail charges. This is unacceptable on Full Sail's part. With the amount of money they charge students.. students should have UNLIMITED questions during labs. My current state college has instructors that will GLADY meet with students after class, answer questions DURING labs, and via email. I almost went to Full Sail, but I am so glad I didn't. If I could I would totally go back to Ringling School of Art and Design, at least there I know I would be getting my general education (English, liberal arts) and traditional art classes, as well as the TECH Animation courses. You can do the same at State/University for cheaper.

Honestly, I think a degree is important, but a degree isn't going to get you a job in the industry. It could help, but the industry wants talent and technical skills (both 2D and 3D). However, there is a great personal satisfaction/ confidence when you get a degree. In my opinion, Full Sail seems half assed. I'm sure there are talented folks there with PASSION that make it in the industry, but I'd honestly waste money on Animation Mentor or the DAVE school if I wanted/needed more experience in 3D.
 
Old 03-01-2014, 03:41 AM   #4
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Quote:
I've realized that I'd probably find more fulfillment in character and/or asset creation. To me, if I was to be an Animator, I'd want to create my own...everything and animate it from there. Potentially animating someone else's baby and dream seems effy to me, though I probably have the wrong mental image of that process. Anyways, I digress.


Aren't we all?

Why don't u move to LA or NY, hit big studios working as a runner/ assistant/ client service etc????? This step and what u can extract once u r in there blows any traditional uni/ college. Plus u can still do animation mentor/ whatever on ur spare time
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Old 03-01-2014, 08:54 AM   #5
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Why don't u move to LA or NY, hit big studios working as a runner/ assistant/ client service etc?????
 
Old 03-01-2014, 08:54 AM   #6
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