Good university In UK / Need Info!


#1

Hello everyone! My name is Daniel and I’m currently going to 10th grade… I really enjoy VFX and 3d Animation
the problem is, in my country ( I live in Portugal ), it’s really hard to find a good university and if you do
working here isn’t the best thing in the world… it actually is pretty bad… So I found a way of going to study in England, and paying the fees/tuition when I’m going to start working.
So I started searching some universities on the web and keeping in mind that it had to be in the list of the “student loan” website. I stumbled upon 3 that were discussed a lot, the University of Hertfordshire, University of Teesside and the Bournemouth University.
These appear to be the 3 greatest, or at least the ones that most people get success off. I instantly e-mailed the 3 of them, getting fast response from the Bournemouth and nothing from the other 2. So that’s why I am posting this, so I can have some information about them.

I want to know(of each one you know about):
How is the university?
How is the city/area where the university is?
The software they teach.( this one being extremely important, the Bournemouth teaches Houdini
and I’m a way more fan of 3ds Max/Maya).
Exams/Subjects/Grade Point Average (Or something like that).

And
For you, what would be the better one?? Are there any other universities like these that I haven’t checked yet?

Those are the main questions I have
I got a response from Bournemouth on some of them
but I have no idea in the Teesside and Hertfordshire, how do they work?

Even if you can’t respond to every single question
please reply if you know at least one!
Thank you very much!!


#2

University of Hertforshire is in Hatfield. Which isn’t a great place. But it has a big campus and is close to London.
I went there years ago at the beginning of it’s growth into one of the best courses in the UK, the lecturers have a great attitude and commitment.

Probably check here on the (quite big) unofficial forum http://www.3dhit.co.uk/


#3

Yeah a lot of my friends went there. they have all done pretty well in the industry. that simon reeves dude is a douche though. (jokes) :cool:


#4

Thanks Dan :slight_smile:


#5

First of all thanks very much Simon :slight_smile:

Hi Daniel, I’m sorry you didn’t get a reply from Hertfordshire, did you email one of the animation staff or just a general admissions query email? I usually manage all the emails that come directly to animation, and I haven’t received anything from you. My email is m.p.bowman@herts.ac.uk if you want to send me anything. In response to your question about software for VFX, the main packages we teach are:

Maya
Nuke
Photoshop
Premiere

but there’s a lot of other software that you may encounter depending on which elective modules you take.

Regarding entry requirements, we need 280 UCAS points and Maths and English GCSE at grade C or higher - I don’t (off the top of my head) know what that translates to in Portugal, but I can find out from our admissions department if you like.


#6

Thanks you guys!

Moid, yes, I think I e-mailed a more general admissions, maybe that’s why I didn’t get a response…They must receive a lot of e-mails… :confused:

Anyway… I will keep your e-mail in my contact list now…we can continue talking here or if you want, I will change the conversation to the e-mail :).
So… I like the programs you teach. Just need to start learning more of Maya and Nuke cause I work with 3DsMax and AE… but it’s ok… I still have 3 years ahead of me. I know software might not seem like a big deal… but imagine a student that knows Maya… and the other that knows 3ds max… if they both go to the same college that teaches Maya… the Maya guy will have a much more easy time to keep up with everything… :smiley:

My 2 big questions are about the portfolio and grade point average/ exams to get in.

What do you want to see in a student’s portfolio? (3D Match moving, Roto, Matte painting, 3d modeling?) Just name a few for me please… the ones you would like to see the most… so I can focus more on them :smiley:

About the grade point, I have no idea of the system you use… Here in Portugal is very easy… You make an Average of your 10th, 11th and 12th year. And that average is from 0 to 20. And then you can get in whatever course you want, like lawyer is about 18,7… Architect about 17,3, Sculptor about 14,9. And some times you need to make extra exams to get in :slight_smile:
There is a condition, there are 3 areas to choose in the 10th grade (Science and technology, Humanities, and Arts) I chose Science and technology because you can say it’s the higher one and you can get any course… you can get like a painting degree… while in Arts you can’t get a medic degree…

If you could please help me with the system you use, I have no clue how it works :S… I would appreciate it very much… I’m sorry about the big text.

Have a good day!


#7

Thanks you guys!
Moid, yes, I think I e-mailed a more general admission, maybe that’s why I didn’t get a response…They must receive a lot of e-mails… :confused: Anyway… I will keep your e-mail in my contact list now…we can continue talking here or if you want, I will change the conversation to the e-mail :).
So… I like the programs you teach. Just need to start learning more of Maya and Nuke because I work with 3DsMax and AE… but it’s ok… I still have 3 years ahead of me. I know software might not seem like a big deal… but imagine a student that knows Maya… and the other that knows 3ds max… if they both go to the same college that teaches Maya… the Maya guy will have a much more easy time to keep up with everything… :smiley:

My 2 big questions are about the portfolio and grade point average/ exams to get in.

What do you want to see in a student portfolio? (3D Match moving, Roto, Matte painting, 3d modeling?) Just name a few for me please… the ones you would like to see the most… so I focus more on them :smiley:

About the grade point, I have no idea of the system you use… Here in Portugal is very easy… You make an Average of your 10th, 11th and 12th year. And that average is from 0 to 20. And then you can get in whatever course you want, like lawyer is about 18,7… Architect about 17,3, Sculptor about 14,9. And some times you need to make extra exams to get in :slight_smile:
There are 3 areas to choose in the 10th grade (Science and technology, Humanities, and Arts) I chose Science and technology because you can say it’s the higher one and you can get any course… you can get like a painting degree… while in Arts you can’t get a medic degree…

So… If you could help me out with the system you use and give me the information for the admission of an international student (EU). It would be great.

Thanks in advance,

Daniel


#8

Strange then that certain members of staff there have repeatedly registered on this site with false identities, pretending to be students in order to promote the course, and then repeatedly lied when I’ve asked them if they’re really students. I have the logs to prove it, and I really resent the way they’ve flagrantly used such inexcusable, dishonest tactics to get around our ‘no promoting courses’ rule here. Suffice to say I’d never recommend the university to anyone simply because I personally would never give money to anyone with a demonstrable history of dishonesty.

For what it’s worth, Soho is full of Bournemouth graduates and the university continues to enjoy a good reputation with all the big VFX studios. And last I heard, they don’t only teach Houdini.


#9

leigh…

When contacting the Bournemouth support I got a response that their 3D package was Houdini… of course they teach Nuke/AE, PShop, etc…

I’m not saying it’s bad the fact that they teach houdini… I just like my chances better If I know Maya or 3ds Max. We’ll see.

Of course Bournemouth isn’t excluded, I heard great things about it!..

I just want some info on them. Then I will see the pros and cons of each one. And hopefully find the best Uni for me.


#10

That’s odd, since loads of my colleagues went to Bournemouth and learned Maya there. If they’re only teaching Houdini for the 3D side of things now, they’re making a serious mistake. Houdini may be popular for FX (ie simulations, particles, etc) but for everything else, Maya is still the best option when it comes to VFX.


#11

3DSMax and AE are good programs to start learning with, if they are your first 3D and comping programs, they are a good choice because they are quite user friendly. Using them to get the basics of what 3D/comping is about is no bad thing. Also you never know when you are going to need to know another 3D package - the more of them that you know, the greater the areas of work you can find employment in. However for VFX related work in London, Maya and Nuke are certainly the most popular packages. Before I move onto answering your questions, I should just mention to you that the software you use before the course is not important to us - the important thing is how creative you are as an artist. Learning to think visually, and to draw, to paint, have a grasp of colour theory and composition is much more vital than straight technical 3D skills. I was speaking to a senior compositor at Framestore this week and he told me that he wanted to hire junior compositors who (obviously) knew how to composite passes together, but much more importantly understood how to compose a beautiful image, that understood how colour works to create mood and also how to arrange elements in the image to make powerful compositions - those are traditional fine art skills - they are as relevant to painting as they are to CG. So worry about those first of all - software is just software, you can learn new programs as and when you are required to (and whatever software you learn now, I can guarantee that in five or ten years time, you’ll be learning something new!). For example I started learning compositing about 14 years ago, and have now learned to composite in four different packages - but the understanding of how to compose an image and what colours to use stays the same - traditional skills are very useful.

Onto your questions. Regarding a portfolio, we like to see life drawing first :slight_smile: You may wonder what drawing has to do with VFX, but if you think about what skills are required to create realistic VFX, the main one starts with an ability to analyse the world in front of you, understand it and record it. That is what you are doing when you draw things from life - you analyse the scene in front of you, you attempt to understand why it appears the way it does and then you record the image as best as you can.

I would also like to see perspective drawings of buildings in 2 point perspective (3 point if you can manage it, but not essential, I’ll teach that), paintings of landscapes / urban environments - these can be made digitally or traditionally and can be based on reality or be fantasy (I’d advise reality first, because with reality you can get reference for the objects in your scene; fantasy tends to be much harder until you’ve developed your skills), photography that shows a good understanding of image composition and lighting, some 3D modelling - if you don’t know what to make we suggest a building, a vehicle and a realistic human, but we’re happy for applicants to show off their own imagination instead. Showing some attempts to blend 3D renders with filmed backplates is really useful for the VFX course. Demonstrating any of the standard VFX skills you mention will only help your application, but please prioritise the artistic learning first.

Regarding the translation of your School exams into UK UCAS points; I will have to ask someone from our admissions department - we obviously accept Portuguese qualifications because I’ve had two excellent Portuguese students in the past, but I don’t know exactly how high you need to score - I’ll let you know as soon as I find out.

Hmmm a quick search of the British Council’s website shows their guidance for equivalences, however we use the NARIC guidelines at Hertfordshire so I’m not sure if the below is of use:

http://www.britishcouncil.org/portugal-educacao-licenciaturas-compare-qualifications.htm

Don’t pay any money to NARIC to get your results translated; I’ll just ask at admissions and they can look them up in the NARIC books we have.


#12

Thank you very much! My mom is a Painter / Art teacher and my dad is a Software developer… So yeah… what do you get from those two, right? xD I will get into my mom’s classes and see if I can get my drawing skills at it’s best :smiley:

I chose 3dsMax and AE because I started my learning in VideoCopilot and Creative Cow… Those were the top ones back then… I will try to master as well as I can both of these and start practicing node based composition (Nuke). And as well see if I can get my hands on Maya students version. They have one for 3ds… :slight_smile:

I would really much appreciate it if you could do those things about the UK UCAS points / Portuguese Points (0-20).

Thank you very much.

Daniel

PS: If you have any idea on how can I contact those Portuguese student’s of yours ( website, something like that) It would be awesome, If not, it’s cool. It would be just nice to see how they moved from here, where did they lived and how did England felt to them…


#13

Try Canada - only a suggestion - otherwise you’ll have to deal with re-qualified - uninterested in 3d for the most part staff. I was unlucky to attend Portsmouth - things maybe different in Bournemouth.

And then there’s Digital Tutors or Lynda.com - better source of knowledge than any university. Don’t waste your money and time.


#14

Ohh… okay… everyone has it’s own opinion. The thing is… that little paper sure opens some doors to you, it’s not a waste of cash and time in my view. In august I’m thinking on doing some Digital Tutors courses as well, so yeah.
Canada isn’t even an option because I need to stay in Europe… the prices are way lower because I’m a European Union citizen. But thanks for the input anyways. :wink:


#15

Indeed everyone have their own opinion. Paper doesn’t hold value - skillset does. You can graduate from the best University without skillset - believe it or not but for the most part name and money decide what University you get to study at apart from the fact that in UK education is a resource - much like financial sector (wonder why there’s so many “overseas students” studying - because they pay up front). Quantity vs quality so unless it’s top 20 don’t bother and if you want to study at top twenty - change your name to Indiana Jones, they may consider you then.

Employment-wise it’s a guy who can deliver but has no degree vs a guy who has degree but no evidence and cannot deliver. I started with Lynda.com and tutorials with Chad Perkins long time ago - he’s brilliant - I suggest you find some of his courses and you’ll never loathe 3d. Chad rules.


#16

Thanks… I never said a paper was better than a skill set… It never is and it never will be.
But the thing is if you have the skill set and the paper, you beat the guy that only has the skill set. Thanks for the advice on that Tutorial Website… I will check it out!


#17

No, you don’t. I’ve been working in this industry for many, many years and can safely say that 99.9% of studios couldn’t possibly care less about degrees or other qualifications in artists. They care about the work shown in your reel.

That’s not to say that an education is a waste of time, because it isn’t. But don’t fool yourself into believing employers care, because they don’t. I have no degrees but it hasn’t stopped me from working on three different continents for some of the best VFX studios in the biz.


#18

Sounds like you have an excellent genetic advantage :slight_smile: Yes, there is a student version of Maya:

http://students.autodesk.com/ just log in like you did for 3DSMax, and look for Maya - same process.

I’ve found the reels from the two graduates I was talking about, their emails are in their reels so I guess you could try contacting them?

Miguel Santana
https://vimeo.com/45441653

Ricardo David
https://vimeo.com/18511737


#19

Thank you Moid! If you can get Average Points translated it would be awesome… But feel free to have them anytime… after all, I’m not in a hurry. If you really can’t. I will ask around. Thanks anyway for everything! :smiley:

Leigh, of course I’m not gonna discuss with a guy that has been in the industry. While I’m still in high school. :slight_smile: But, from what I heard, family/ older friends, university gives you a lot of contacts and you can meet loads of people learning the same stuff you are, and if you have those contacts, if you can deliver, if you have a great skill set and a really good artistic vision, you will still get a good job, I think… :slight_smile:
Anyways, It was nice to meet you, I’m sorry If I was anytime disrespectful to you, I’m just here to make friends, have a great vfx/3d life! I sure hope mine will be awesome. :wink:


#20

10 - 15 years ago game design for instance wasn’t even at university. While it is true that connections matter a lot - especially in creative industries (there’s two sides of the coin, you can be daft and awful but you get employed and promoted because you know somebody; option 2: you can have a great personality but you remain unemployed because somebody told others who told everyone else that you’re daft) - as long as you are determined you’ll be fine. Apart from that you can always go Indie and cut out the middle man - work for yourself. I suggest both - having a day / regular job and having your own projects.

Universities are not what they used to be - they accommodate casuals. Have you heard of College Scam Conspiracy Theory? It’s not a theory nor does it attempt to conspire in any way. If I was You I’d study 3d on your own and get formal education in let’s say Mathematics, Engineering, last but not least - Architecture. You’ll more likely to find employment than a guy after a sunday school.