I'm debating between schools. What is my future outlook?


Hi one and all!

I was putting it off but I’m considering 3D school. Other than making a mess in ZBrush I dunno much about 3d.

Longterm I was hoping animation or apply 3d graphics in to comic books. But what is a career outlook in 3D? I’m 25 doing minimal wage and major problems finding work.

I wanted to go to the Dave School in Florida but I do not think I can afford the rent. Tuition itself is expensive but I was hoping to get a loan. (anyone with help on loans is much appreciated. If you know of grants, even better.)

The New York Film Academy seems okay as well. It’s commutable for me. It’s one yr. as well. http://www.nyfa.com/film-school/animation/1year.php

I’m not sure what software the Dave School handles but I’m pretty sure it’s Lightwave, the NYFA is Maya.

For a person living at home in NY what school is best? I remember reading a lot of interviews where a lot of artist would proudly say that they were self taught. I admire that, but I was wondering how that is changing with more schools doing 3D?

I really need some kind of work to fall back on and 1yr program does catch my eye.

I like the Dave School because they said they do job placements and invite guest and help with demo reels.

How/Who do you submit your demo reel, to find work?

But from the outskirts of NY, what is the best school option for me? I don’t care where it is, I’m willing to move but due to money issues something drivable or subwayable is better.

I’m more interested in 3D studio max, but I’ll use what is most popular. But my main interest are places that help with demo reels & help you find work.

Thank you.


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thanks for the input.

I like the Dave School but what do you think of the Maya fast track at Gnomon? I like it but it’s seems too short.

I found this but theirs not much information about it at all. Do you think this is bad: http://www.digitalfilmacademy.com/3dmaya.html ? I can afford that but I don’t think I’ll gain much.

I think the Dave School would be best for me.


you may not want and NEED to get caught up in schooling. It takes away a lot of time in commute and your basically given information from instructors that could have just as easily have been found online, if you have ‘good’ taste and aren’t blind you don’t need instructors to tell you your work looks bad or good, you could use your friends and family for that. School is not imperitive unless your really scrappy behind the computer and suck at finding info for yourself. Industry doesn’t care if you have an bfa or a mfa… The best thing you could do is buy a decent computer with a tablet and get your hands on popular tutorials. You don’t want to dig yourself in a hole that you could have avoided. Save yourself the misery of paying for information that should be free.


SVA is the best CG school in the North East.



This is true. Dude, your thesis was the reason I went to SVA.


Well it’s Gnomon so that’s always a good thing. I haven’t heard a lot about the program. It could either be too things; for people who have a beginners understanding of CG, or for people who know a decent amount about CG who need an over all review and enhance their skills. I imagine it is the first one though. If this is the case it might be nice, then you can just get a subscription to Gnomon workshop and self teach the rest. Once you get to an intermediate level it’s basically just learning tricks and refining your skills.


Hey there,

I know you have places in mind, but I strongly recommend you fly down to Orlando to see DAVE School and/or to Vancouver to see VFS and/or Hollywood to see Gnomon School. Websites will only give you so much information.

I live in Orlando and the two primary schools here in town are DAVE School and Full Sail, but I ended up enrolling at Gnomon, where I’ll be starting their 2yr Digital Production for Entertainment program in January '11. The #1 reason is because of its location in Hollywood near the movie studios and a lot of video game companies. Networking is key, so being within a 15 minute drive of major Hollywood studios and companies like Blizzard and Naughty Dog is an incredible component, along with meeting industry professionals, learning from them, and having classmates who are future pros. I don’t want to have to hope enough companies go on recruiting trips to Ringling, Savannah, Full Sail, DAVE, etc. I want a great education, but even more than that, I want a great job.

I considered VFS because the demo reels that come out of there really are amazing and it’s a great location with a lot of TV shows filming in the area, as well as Pixar Canada, but the complications of going to school in another country were a little too much for me. Academy of Art University in San Fran would be great too, because of all the companies around the area. But then again, the cost of living would be insane.

Finally, having looked into tuition at most of the top-tier schools, it’s going to be expensive no matter where you go. It just is. So don’t take the cheap way out, or the place nearest to your home. If you have to take $90k in loans to cover tuition and two years’ worth of living expenses, do it. But do it knowing you’re going to be living, breathing, and sleeping 3D modeling/animation/visual effects, etc. I’m very lucky to be married to a woman who supports me in my decision 100% and is lucky herself to be able to work from home and pay for rent and food, though tuition is my responsibility. Also, my brother has lived in L.A for 10 years now so I have that family connection.


Understand that Maya Fast Track can be taken as individual 1-week classes, although Introduction to Maya is required as a prerequisite (thus, it’s your week 1 class). One option you could strongly consider would be to enroll in Introduction to Maya, then fly out to Hollywood, check in to a hotel, and see what the experience is like. The classes run from 9am to 4pm so although it’s only one week, it’s a lot of classroom time. Plus, if you do it that way, you will become familiar enough with the area and the school itself that if you wanted to go for the full 2-year certificate program and you’ll know the quality of the instructors. It would run you less than $3k but having that on-campus experience would give you invaluable information to help you decide if Gnomon is where you want to be.


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