I Was Told That I'd Fail?


So basically I’ve had an interest in 3D for a long time. And I was going to go to Full Sail Online, but after talking to my advisor, I was told that I shouldn’t be in 3D?

I’ve played with 3D programs and I’ve made stuff, but the problem is my drawing skills aren’t that great. And I was told that without good drawing skills, I’d fail in the 3D industry.

Is this true? Are drawing skills really that important in the 3D industry? I don’t know what to do, since 3D was the only thing in college that I would be interested in. Should I take my chances and try the course anyways? Or would I be better off finding something else?

I know in the end it’s my decision, but I really need a professional’s insight as to what it’s really like to have a 3D job.

My main interest was the creation of 3D models, not really so much the animation and texturing.


If you loved something and worked hard on it you’ll definitely success in it. you just have to work hard on your skills and never give up.


If you approach things with a technical mindset there are things in 3D you can succeed at without sound drawing skills, however good drawing is the foundation for many tasks in CG related work. However, if the school insists this is your case, and that you will fail because of this, I would demand my money back, in full, and use their words against them. They can’t in one breath, take you in as a new student, and then in the next, once they’ve secured your payment, tell you that your not cut out or ready to finish the program and succeed. Best of luck, that sounds like a crap situation they put you in.


do some modeling tutorials…if you want to know if you are a good modeler, do some modeling.

Don’t worry at all about the drawing thing. I had a bad ass supervisor who made it a point to bring up that he was a very bad drawer.


In this case, you probably should learn to draw. You won’t necessarily fail if you can’t, but you’re likely to do better if you can. While it’s true that there are many parts of 3D production that don’t require drawing skills (such as lighting, rendering, and whatnot), modelling is one of the tasks that requires an artistic eye if you really want to excel. Added to that, more and more studios are asking to see traditional work along with people’s showreels these days. I guess it’s a way of separating the button pushers from the artists. Every single one of the best modellers I know is also good at drawing.


I think this is kinda the core of the argument. A person doesn’t neccissarily have to have the great hand/eye coordination associated w/ drawing well to have an “artistic eye”. And it’s the eye for it (in combination w/ using your tools to execute an idea) that is the important part. Granted, drawing is a great way to develop “an artistic eye”, but w/ all the tools available today it isn’t the sole path of development for the skill.

Additionally, and some may argue otherwise, some people (the lucky ones) just kind of ‘get it’ intuitively, wether they can draw worth a crap or not.


I think two different things about this. A.) Yeah, knowing how to draw can help. B.) Knowing “How” to draw really isn’t going to help, because it’s about your personal taste and whether the results of your taste “Looks Cool”, especially with character stuff, which is just not real easy to nail down other than to say that it has to be striking at first glance. Sure you can understand the mechanics of how to draw anatomy, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that what you can draw is going to “Look Cool.”

The best advice I can give is to start drawing, but focus on attempting to mimic the characters that made/make you pursue this until you have a decent grasp of the things that at least you think looks cool about them. You can eventually move that into your own stuff in 3D. It’s trickier to try do this in 3D first, because the reference stuff you will look at will probably be 2D and you have no idea what the sides you’re not seeing should look like.


That’s why I’m going to nmc for drawing for 2 years ( 2 semesters before I go to school at Gnomon

School of Visual Effects!, or full sail, My drawing is ok but it can be better “a LOT BETTER”

just go to collage and get your drawing on par like I am doing.


Don’t ever let someone tell you you shouldn’t do something if you are interested in it. I listened to an “advisor” once and wasted several years of my life doing something I wasn’t interested in, it’s not fun. Take the advice of the people on this forum, practice and work hard and you’ll get to where you want eventually. Good luck!


people tell me I’m worthless on a daily basis… just keep on trucking and learn how to draw :thumbsup:


While drawing skills are certainly helpful in the CG industry, it is possible to get by without them. I’ve worked as a digital modeller and a lack of drawing skills has never presented itself as an issue - my skills are much more photographic and technical than they are artistic (drawing, painting, sculpture, etc).

There is a fairly entertaining TED talk given by Adam Savage that might provide some inspiration. In particularly the point he makes about not being a sculptor…



The day you give up is the day you will fail. If you believe this is what you want to do and this is what inspires you then don’t give up. That simple.

I am 24 years old and I all ready graduated from college. I do not right now work in the 3D industry as a modeler but I know I want to. I have not given up on my dreams because they are what I know I want to do. I some times feel like I have failed at my age but know that if I truly give up then I have failed.

Long story short lad DON’T give up on something you want to do in your life.

Keep learning the technical skills in drawing as all ready mentioned. Study how things move and why they move that way to assist in your animation process. Learn the software and touch all the buttons figuring out what they do and why they would be used to do that.


first of all, DONT GO TO FULLSAIL. that place is pretty worthless. I have a few friends who went there and it’s basically a cg artist factory, they work you to the bone and then throw you out with no preparation. I would recommend doing some research into other schools possibly a 4 year institution with a good reputation where you can cover your basic courses (in your case drawing) as well as your focus of 3d.

last thing

never let anyone tell you you would fail. if you let other people make your decisions for you then you’ll never end up doing anything you want. Use it as ammunition and fuel to feed your desire to prove them wrong. It might not be in the right spirit, but people telling me I would fail helped me to teach myself cg, now I have an industry job that I can be proud of.

remember, success is the best revenge. when you try and go to a school where they hire former students that just graduated, you have to wonder about the value of thier program…

dont ask for it, go out and take it on your own…do that and you’ll succeed.

ps im sure there are plenty of students who come out of fullsail and do great in the industry, but im not talking about the advanced few, but the ones that need a bit more time and attention to truly fulfill their potential. to those people their time is wasted at a place like fullsail.


Drawing isn’t super important but it helps. Its more like a tool. If you can learn art fundamentals without drawing you’ll do fine. I know plenty of terrific modelers that cant draw.


What’s stopping you from learning to draw?

It’s not a magical art, not at the level that a commercial artist like a CG artist is typically needed to do.

Drawing isn’t something you’re born with. You learn it. It’s a craft with steps and building blocks and do’s and don’ts… all of which are teachable and learnable.

Go to your local community college and take their drawing sequence. It’s cheap and you or your parents are already paying taxes to subsidize it anyway so you might as well get some of that value back.

If you’re the sort of person who learns new things from books I’d recommend Betty Edwards’ “Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain”. You have to actually do the exercises.

Or better yet take a drawing class based on that book if you find one offered.

Be wary of for-profit art schools. The graduation rate and placement rate of all art schools is low, but you pay mucho extra for that privilege at the for-profit institutions.


I’m actually a current student at full sail, and I remember them saying all that stuff when I was looking at the school that said you have to be really good at drawing to succeed there. First off, they don’t require a portfolio to get in, so obviously they aren’t that concerned with how good an artist you are, no matter what they claim.

In fact, some of the worst artists there seem to succeed better than most just because it is such a technical school. You don’t earn a BA, it’s a BS, and they only have 2 pure art classes (although classes change from month to month, depending on when you start), so your grades won’t be affected much if you can’t draw all that well. And yes, as the previous poster said, they do work you to the bone.

It’s a 24 hour school, and they really mean that when they say it. I’ve slept there before, as have most of the other CA students. We do have a nice lounge though with a long padded bench that makes a great place for naps :slight_smile: I think that for some, Full Sail can be a great school and a great learning experience.

Personally though, I do wish I had chosen a four year school instead. I’m a bit of a slow learner and I also love art, so I think I would have done better at a different school that has more of an emphasis on the art side of things and gave you more time to be creative with what you learn.

The main thing that attracted me to full sail was the degree in two years. I’m older than most students (I’m 27), so I really liked the idea of earning a degree fast so that I could start working sooner. I’m almost done with the program now and I feel burned out mostly because I do like art and being creative, but full sail is more about learning the technical knowledge as fast as possible. This school really is good for the technically minded, so if you had an easy time when you were playing with 3D programs, this might be a good place for you.

Personally, I found Maya incredibly difficult in the beginning, but now I feel like I’ve lived within it for so long that it’s seeped into my blood or something… I have these maya dreams where maya is a massive computer that can think for itself and has a female vocie that talks to me and it creates these fantastic, fully alive creatures that are sometimes good and sometimes bad… yeah, so I think full sail may be driving me a little crazy :slight_smile:

Anyways, I think now that the technical stuff is almost second nature and I can concentrate more on art once I graduate. I think I’ll feel better about full sail in a couple of months when I get to finally start working on my demo reel too :slight_smile:

The main point of this long rant is that if you can’t draw and are more technically minded, full sail may actually be the best place for you. Other schools would probably penalize you grade wise if you’re not all that great at drawing. And personally, I think modeling and drawing are two different skills anyways and they don’t necessarily have to be completely interconnected… sculpting isn’t drawing or painting.

Although practicing your drawing skills can’t do anything but help :slight_smile: If you want to do character/organic modeling, you’ll have to study anatomy anyways so you could just get an anatomy book and practice drawing stuff out of there :slight_smile:

Good luck!


my former boss was told by his college faculty that he would fail. he now heads the CG department of a small commercial production company.

i am working on my drawing but know it still sucks. yet i managed to do pretty well freelancing for years. (i never drew anything)

what are your strengths? maximize them and you will succeed.


I went to Full Sail as well. I was interested in compositing and FX…used to be big into drawing but over time it faded due to whatever. We had an instructor who said none of us would “make it to an ILM” or that level. Well there were 50 of us, and only a few of us made it to that level. I’m a cloth/hair TD now which I don’t use much of the drawing :wink: but I WOULD suggest looking at a four year school for the reasons others have given.

It is great to have a fall back, and to be more well-rounded in general. Even if you are in this business it’s just good to have knowledge of a variety of subjects.

If you want to be a modeler I would listen to the previous posts and start drawing. Modeling is very competitive, and so artistic, you’d be hurting yourself if you didn’t try and improve in every way possible.

As far as someone telling you (what did they say the reason was specifically?), you could always use that as fuel to further motivate you…worked for me.


My thoughts in general about any art education, whether it be Full Sail, an Art Institute, 4 year college or university, etc., is that you will get out of it what you put into it. I went to the Art Institute of Fort Lauderale. During my time there, I knew a person who literally did not know how to turn on a computer when he began turn into an awesome animator because he put tons of time into learning the skills. He now works for Pixar and fully deserves his position there. I put my heart and soul into my traditional and digital skills and am the lead character artist at my current employer. I also saw people with amazing skills in school never graduate or find a job because they weren’t willing to dedicate themselves to it.

If you feel your drawing skills need some work, then just grab and pencil and have at it. Post your stuff and tons of industry people are viewing all of the major CG forums daily and will give you tons of advice for free. Also, many colleges will allow a person to “audit” basic drawing courses. Even check out local community centers in your town, many have drawing classes taught by local artists and teachers.

An honest fact is that some people will never develop the talent or drive to succeed in the art industry, but you will never know if you have what it takes until you jump in full force and try it. The worst thing that can happen is you have an educational life experience.


That advisor should find a new job and stop advising people. They don’t know how to do it. Drawing might help but if you want to be a animator, you don’t need to know how to draw. Unless of course you want to be a 2d animator. However, if creating 3d digital content is what you want to do, then do that! Forget what nonsense your advisor tells you. Tell them that your staying in 3d but you recommend them to find a new job rather. :wink: That’s just ridiculous