Hmm... Do I go back to university?

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  08 August 2009
Hmm... Do I go back to university?

Hi guys,

A very quick background: I studied Electronic Engineering at uni, and in my final year started depping (subbing for the US folks ) as a keyboard player on touring musicals. After uni, I went into the job full time, worked my way up, and have spent the past few years as a musical director (conductor) on West End shows and UK tours.

Due to personal circumstances (my stepfather had a major stroke in late 2006), I had to go "home" (real "home" - with the parents "home") to help care for him, which entailed giving up my full time career and only do part time stuff (the odd couple of weeks on a show here and there).

ANYWAY, I have always been drawn to CG, and it's been a hobby for many years. Now I am free again, I am considering making it a career, which will involve some kind of education (I'm reasonable with CG, but not stunning, and I really need to consolidate my skills and get into the game properly).

So, do I go back to university for an animation degree?

On the positive side, I am 28, have been-there-done-that with the going out, wasting the first year, needing to go a little mad, and growing up; so if I go, I will *really* get my head down from the word go.

On the negative side, it's an expense (although I will still work part time), and it's a long time - 3 years at least. Maybe even 4. And I already have an Electronics degree.

What are the other options? Teach-yourself, which seems like a good idea (Digital Tutors, Gnomon etc.), but ends up with no formal qualification, or correspondence course?

Sorry this thread is a bit all over the place. Any thoughts would be appreciated though!


The cat is a corrective; the erratum of the mouse - proof of creation revised and corrected.
  09 September 2009

I am 23 and i graduated doing BA Multimedia and specialising in 3d modelling. My course was not up to scratch and like you said, i have also been there done that when i went to london to study interior design which i then quit. So this BA really was to put my head down and just work (most of the time).

I spent most of the year teaching myself the whole of 3d max to an intermediate/advanced stage and i am very proud to have been so pro-active than the others who just spend time drinking all night.

After graduation, i tried to look for work but it was extremely frustrating and difficult as I needed experience of which I have none.

So now, I am going to do a masters in Games Development at Kingston University in London which will help me get together with other students and create a game which will be pitched in front of real life companies.

Im not sure if doing a degree will help you. I am very wary with universities that claim to have all these big industry contacts. our course certainly didnt have any contacts or none that were relevant.

My best bet is to learn these things at your own pace which is also free you will find that teaching yourself is a lot more focused on you rather than a class of 30 others or more. I wouldnt waste any money on universities. Strange to say that...but I KNOW that Kingston will help me achieve my target. But just be careful with BA courses.

I wish you the very best of luck in future and may your CG career be successful!
  09 September 2009
Hi Toby,

Thanks for the reply - and sorry for my delayed response!

I agree that teaching yourself the "course" is completely customised, but there is something to be said (as has been mentioned on other threads) to a "formal" teaching setting with experienced lecturers.

I am thinking more about studying in a more technical field (VFX, or even programming) and teaching myself the tools (Maya and Houdini specifically are the ones I want to become very experienced in).

I've been looking at Digital Tutors as well as the Gnomon stuff and I think I'm going to hammer my credit card a bit very shortly

I think I need to sit down and think long and hard about where to go from here...!


The cat is a corrective; the erratum of the mouse - proof of creation revised and corrected.
  09 September 2009
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