Gnomon Question


I already know that they’re considered the best around, I wanted to ask a question more concerned more about broader studies. I really want to learn a different language and study abroad, so I’m already scheduled to attend one of the better local universities in my area. Luckily I’m going basically for free with an opportunity to get around 3k back in a refund, from grants received from going to local public high school.

My problem is if I do choose to transfer to Gnomon, providing I can scrape up a worthy portfolio(I think it’s required, not sure though), I’d have to pay to fly from Missouri all the way to California and pay at least 10k a year for an apartment(roughly). Currently I’m not going in debt at all and I planned to spend extra funds to travel abroad to the country I plan to lean the language of.

My question:
Would going to Gnomon be worth going into 30-40k debt(provided no scholarships/other funds are obtained), even though they don’t provide the extra things other universities do(sports, clubs, gen. eds, different courses outside of a major, travel abroad)?

I realize this question is more up to my own decision, but having never dealt with debt(30-40k is before eating, but for all 3 years) or credit dues, or living and providing completely for myself(CA is a LONG way away from home), I figured I’d ask people who already have a foot in the door of the office I wish to work in one day. Thank you all in advance.


Additional Note: Because the 3 year program is built with a different amount of tuition for the 4-12 semesters, I might be accountable for another few thousand. I’m not sure tuition remission would be able to account for different priced semesters.


As you said, this is ultimately your decision to make.

Having said that, no I don’t think that’s worth it at all. Not by a long shot. I was also under the impression that tuition there was closer to the 60k a year mark.


Spending your own hard earned money is always a personal decision.
If it’s the money of your parents or someone else, it’s their personal decision.

It’s like to raise a credit, it’s expansive and it’s risky, so it needs a good amount of time to think about it and it might be even recommendable to consult an professionell advisor such as an career advisor for an investment that high.

As for the distance between your home and Gnomon school.
To the time I was studing I didn’t had the choice to study near my home town, because there wasn’t any education institute at my home town 10 years back. It was quite painfull to leave my home town, my friends and family. If I could turn the clock back and there were so much possibilities in studing as nowadays, I wouldn’t leave.

That’s my opinion and that’s all I have to say to this subject so far.

I just hope you wont have such an hard time to come to a decision than I had.

Good luck!


Proto715 notes about Gnomon that , “I already know that they’re considered the best around”

Response: This isn’t necessarily true. For example, even Gnomon acknowledges that they are a braod based 3d graphics training school . If you want very specific training in some area such as character animation, you might be better served going elsewhere such as Animation Mentor.

Likewise, Gnomon won’t give you a degree, whose value has been debated adnauseum.

Ringling, CalArts, SVA, and even Pratt and perhaps some other institutions such as Leguna, RIT, SCAD etc are considered among the better programs if you want a degree.

Also, it is rumored that Sheridan in Canada also has a top notch program. My advice is to keep your options open and check out other opportunities too.


degrees are only useful if you want to become a professor…

good reel + ex assasin, satan worshiper = job
bad reel + degree from the best school on earth= no job


If these things are important to you then you probably wont be overly happy at Gnomon.

Yes you need a portfolio to get into Gnomon.

A note on cost, its 81k for their 3 year program, 66k for their two year program, and 14k for their one year. Be ready to pay about $800/person on rent, over all living costs are high.

Yes I would say Gnomon is without a doubt one of the best schools to go to. But not everyone will have the same experience because people need different things. I can’t stand general education courses, I hate sports, I’m not a big peoples person, and I know what I want to do. For me Gnomon is a good pick, I would hate being at a university.

But to more specifically answer your question, I think you would have a better college experience at a university.

A note on degrees, I have heard the same, a degree won’t get you or cost you a job. If you want to teach you will need one. Other than that, your demo reel is what gets the job or costs the job.


So…how would you do in the work place? You will have to interact with a lot of people.


So you are already at Gnomon - thought you would go there not untill autumn?

As for the degree, there are quite a few situations when it can be helpfull to have an degree, so I wouldn’t say a degree is generally worthless. Maybe you want to work in Germany or UK? If so, a degree will look good.


i am working abroad…not having a degree didnt mean a thing to immigration in canada when they see professional experience. hell i dropped out of high school.


Bear in mind, not everyone can show a real like yours, especially not if one just starts out. It also took you quite a while to get there where you are now. Time has changed pretty much as well, it’s not like 10, 20 years back. Maybe competition for beginner is much higher nowadays since everyone with a new generation Amiga/C64 wants to go into games, commercials or movie FX and there are much more good ppl out as 10 years ago. A good portfolio is a must have, but having also an degree can’t hurt in my experiences.


Thanks for all the replies everyone! I decided that I’ll focus on my school for now, I mean the classes are what I make it after all-and hell, half of the people in the industry now didn’t even have college to use. Worst comes to worst I work a lot outside of school, which would be required anyway if I wanted to make it anywhere in the industry.

I really considered Gnomon though, because I’d love to be a generalist, one that can fiddle in everything. My school is purely animation, though I have this master scheme to use student discounts on software, so I could teach myself outside the class. I’d love to get feedback because I’ve never used programs outside of Photoshop cs2, so I’m not sure how probable my idea of learning it alone will be.

I figure grab Zbrush, Photoshop, Maya, sub to magazines and use the internet for learning-Dvd how to’s, free tutorials, etc. That way while learning animation at my school, I could learn character modeling on my own time, between work and school of course. Any feedback on that? Thanks again everyone for all the help.

edit: Also, I don’t really care much about having a degree. In this industry I figure it’s more about being the best at your trade than having a paper that says you know your trade. Though, the list of stuff I mentioned(language courses, travel abroad, clubs) are important to me so that’s what I was weighing the options based upon. Pure knowledge of the trade with a big debt vs. (free)College life, travel abroad, clubs and activities.


Here’s also another word of advice. Sign up to be a Siggraph Student Volunteer while in school. It’s a good way to network with other students and industry pros. It is definitely too late to sign up for this upcoming one, but definitely sign up for the next. Enjoy your college experience!


One thing I’ve learned after teaching for 10 years, and meandering through every Fing pitfall you can imagine, is that there is really no one right answer, and those who are the most open minded are almost always the smartest people. In other words, as I wrote three years ago in that ‘truth of the industry thread’, everybody has a different path. Some individuals are simply go getters or what I like to call prodigies. I played collegiate tennis and in juniors some kids were just ridiculously talented right out of the gate. But I also passed a lot of those kids through hard work and good fundamental instruction (and my own good level of talent). Almost every skill set in the world is basically set up as such. Saying all that, I truly truly believe that some kids cannot ever make it in this industry. That’s the cold hard truth in my opinion and I’ve been preaching it for awhile. I hate to say it, but it usually comes down to intelligence. It takes a pretty well crafted person of intellect to tackle both the artistic (technical or creative) side and computer savvy analytical side of a professional level 3D artist. Unfortunately, the mass majority cannot fulfill that mean (though I always tell my students that just taking a 3D course will improve their problem solving skills for whatever they choose to become…). Nevertheless, the ones who have made it we found could not have done it alone, whether that is due to needed instructor/mentor motivation, fear, some people work better in academic environments, many just need exposure (it’s amazing how many students we’ve had get jobs that came into the class taking 3D as a non needed elective hahaha), lack of equipment (many of our christian students simply refuse to steal the software even when everyone else is doing it :(, etc. This is why it is of the most excruciating level trying to give advice to someone I do not know over the internet on such important issues. You know your own personality, your intelligence, your drive and those around you know you far better than us.
this next part is very bias and I will be listing this disclaimer from now on
After taking all that in, if you know you are good enough to make it in a school environment, then why on earth would you need to go to a) a school outside your own living region that will send you in debt for life and b) a specialist school that will give you a certificate and basically be worthless if you ever decide to tackle that other desire of carpentry (list other desires)? If you get an authorized degree and decide later, this whole 3D thing was a fad for you like say New Kids on the Block, at least you can use that degree to get a job or go get a professional degree later (Masters or Phd). Just saying…shrug.


Thanks a LOT for the advice everyone. Maybe it’s pre-real life(big spending college life) fears, but all of your suggestions and information helps. I figured from the moment I even considered Gnomon that staying local would be the better choice, I really didn’t have confidence though because I’m jumping into, what seems to be-coming straight out of High School- a completely different world. The real world. It scares the s*** outta me tbh and I’m aware I have a good opportunity that not everyone gets, hell sometimes the fact you struggle more is better for the artist, but I feared failing or wasting the opportunity. Anyway, thank you all for not only informing me, but helping me regain my courage to take responsibility for this choice.


you need good traditional skills to get into gnomon. the exception is if you pay an extra 20k for the three year program so they can teach you the fundamentals, but you’d be better off going to a community college and taking art classes at 1/500th the price and then apply.


This thread has been automatically closed as it remained inactive for 12 months. If you wish to continue the discussion, please create a new thread in the appropriate forum.