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cresshead
11-15-2003, 12:02 PM
WOW!....er...did i say wow?....ahh what the heck...WOW!

a very cool dvd for sure..and looks like a brilliant place to learn cgi in a production style environment with the likes of people from foundation imaging etc....and you get to do motion capture and post effects..and your at universal !

wish there were something like this over in the u.k....i'll have to scrape some cash up...i'd love to learn there....say are there many people here who either work there or have attended the course?

makes my course i teach in college [max/character studio/lightwave and combustion] look a little weak!...but we don't charage students a penny...so far!...actually we shold charge them as it would put the course on a more professional level...

thoughts on dave school?

steve g

KillMe
11-15-2003, 01:16 PM
i haven't got my dvd yet but i been thinking about getting some formal training and its production style enviroment and the fact its mroe than jstu lightwave does appeal to me

anyway we'll see - its abit pricy is the only thing

cresshead
11-15-2003, 01:43 PM
to be honest the term "dave school" really put me off..stupid me didn't realise that it actually stood for something other than a person's name!...doh!

as with most things i think it's worth it if you also have some commitment to leaning..i think you'll be well placed if you/i did attend the school...also online training such as spline god's or dv garage is also not exactly cheap or impulse buy stuff but it does deliver a good way to really get the most out of you and lightwave...i think of it as an investment in myself..i've bought quite a few books/dvd's and tape and if your lucky only a few are door stops..be wise in your choosing!

there's so much in ightwave that i have little or no knowledge about [particles and uses of gradients n nulls..for advanced stuff]
and you'll never learn it from your average jo smo books on lw as they are not deep enough...

steve g

hrgiger
11-15-2003, 04:35 PM
It's pricey but if it's what you love doing I would always say go for it. Just know going to school won't guarantee a job either although I'm sure it helps.
I just bit the bullet and went ahead and signed away about $40,000 in loans to go back to school and get my bachelor's degree in computer programming. I thought about going back to Art school where I went before because they offer computer animation now but the more I thought about it, the more it made sense for me to go for programming. I want to do both programming and animation but I had to decide which one:

A) would make me more employable and allow me to pay back school loans, not to mention make some serious bling bling.

and

B) would be less likely of a skill I could learn on my own without school.

I think for me, I like the thought of being a self-taught artist and I think programming will offer me more reliable, and more likely more lucrative, employment opportunities.
But if I were going to school for animation, I would really look at Dave school.

Hervé
11-16-2003, 11:40 PM
You're a lucky guy HGiger, things like that aren't just possible in Europe... I can imagine my banker if I say I need $40,000 in loans to go back to school.... he he...

In US they are more aware of education all along your life, here they say.... too bad you did not learn while at school, too late NOw ...

(unless you're rich off course°)

BTW could I ask you how old you are HGiger ?
(you dont have to answer this one...)

Anyway I wish you a good "everything" !

Cheers, Hervé

hrgiger
11-17-2003, 06:32 AM
Hervé,

Thanks!
I'm 31.
Yes, I do consider myself very lucky and very fortunate to be going back to school. What's great about it is I"m going to school for something I love doing anyway, and I would have borrowed $100,000 if I had to.
Well, I'm not borrowing $40,000 up front. We do have a limit over here on how much we can borrow each year, but by the time it's all said and done, it will be $40k. But I am glad it will be possible to do so.
I'm very excited about the possibility of learning to do coding for Lightwave. I'm not going to school specifically for graphics programming but I'm studying that on my own on the side as well as lscript.

ghopper
11-17-2003, 07:39 AM
What else are you going to learn at that school other than programming ? Or to put it in other words, what does the school offer that you couldn't learn on your own ?

Or is it more the degree you're after, so it's easier to get a job. I presume employers over in the US look for these kind of things. Here in the UK employers look more at what you can do and what experience you've got rather than what degrees you have ( I can only speak of the web / new media industry though ).

I mean $40.000 to learn programming and some other computer related stuff is a bit much I think.

hrgiger
11-17-2003, 08:54 AM
Well, when I say I"m going to school for programming, I'm just saying that's what I want to do. My degree will be in Computer information systems and that covers a wide range of things. I'll be learning things like Operating systems architecture/configuration like windows, Unix and Linux, networking, hardware, Object oriented programming like C++ and Java. I'll also be doing web programming and web design. I'll also be doing quite a bit of design for business systems and databases and more I can't think of right off the top of my head. So yes, my degree would be to get a job. I've looked through the job listings quite a bit and a lot of jobs do want you to have experience but just as many want to see you have a degree. I think ultimately, what you can do is more important then your degree, but a degree seems to be the thing here in the US that gets you in the door to show them what you can do. $40,000 may sound like a lot (and it is) but if you look at most colleges here in the US, that's not too bad as far as getting your bachelor degree goes. Besides, the interest rates for student loans here and the repayment terms are pretty sweet. I think right now, the interest is around 2% and you get like 10 years to pay your loans back and that doesn't even count getting deferments or postponements when needed.

SplineGod
11-18-2003, 12:36 AM
Certain industries do look at educational credentials. Before getting into 3D I worked at Sandia National Labs as a Laser Tech.
They do require a degree but will make special exceptions if they feel your experience or skill set warrents it.
In the CGI industry very very few places could care less about the degree. The purpose of the degree is to provide proof of some sort of qualification. In the CGI industry qualifications are determined via the demo reel and personal references.

hrgiger
11-18-2003, 01:28 AM
Well, I would agree with that Larry. Which is why I'm not going back to school for CG. It seems to be all about the demo reel and what you can do.

SplineGod
11-18-2003, 12:23 PM
Going back to school and getting the degree only expands those job options. Getting an education is never a bad thing. :)

hrgiger
11-18-2003, 12:42 PM
Definately. And were I not interested in programming, I probably would be going back for CG.

SplineGod
11-18-2003, 12:46 PM
Well the two are not incompatible.
Knowing how to program can also allow you to create plugins.
Many big studios that hire TDs want people who can program. :)

hrgiger
11-18-2003, 01:36 PM
Exactly. But I have to pick one as far as an education goes and for me, learning CG on my own comes easier to me then programming.

ghopper
11-18-2003, 02:09 PM
What about universities that offer online courses ?

There are online only schools like Sessions.edu ( althought I don't think they offer programming courses ) as well. Or are the degrees from such schools not that highly regarded in the industry, i.e. does it matter from what University you've got a degree from ?

hrgiger
11-18-2003, 03:01 PM
Not sure about that. Usually when I look through job listings, it just says must have a 4 year degree in engineering or development or whatever you're looking for. You can take offline courses but for me personally, I couldn't do a lot of that because I'll be working with both hardware and software systems and the integration between them so that's not so easy to do over the internet.(Ha ha, I can just see the plans for my own terminator now....:D and I'm only mostly joking about that) Not to mention, my course will also include some advanced math including a few physics courses as well as calc and trigonometry and that's something I would prefer to do with someone there who can help me when needed. I wouldn't even want to try that from home!

I think as far as CG goes though, it probably doesn't matter what school you attend. If an employer really wants you to have a degree in computer animation or graphics or whatever, they probably just want a general degree and probably at that point, it would rely heavily on your portfolio and abilities. Larry, you work in the industry, perhaps you can add to that.

SplineGod
11-18-2003, 03:51 PM
In my experience Ive seen many game companies hire programmers based on what theyve worked on and examples of coded they could provide rather then relying on strictly just the degree (or lack of one).

All a degree proves is that you could stick it out and that hopefully youre just dangerous enough to hire and retrain to do what they want you to do. :)

The more you can prove your skill set in some way (demo reel, things youve coded, juggling etc) the less someone MAY not rely on that degree. There will be some situations where the degree is all they can go on (including checking references).

So never leave a job in such as way that you also leave a bad impression. Learn as much as you can because youll always have a use for the information somewhere, somehow. Getting an education/degree will only open more doors.

More and more this industry is looking for people who can do more then one thing. :)

KillMe
11-18-2003, 06:28 PM
Originally posted by SplineGod

The more you can prove your skill set in some way (demo reel, things youve coded, juggling etc) the less someone MAY not rely on that degree. There will be some situations where the degree is all they can go on

ok people i can juggle (even one handed) now restrain yourselfs but i'm availble to hire =)

scott tygett
11-22-2003, 02:43 AM
"Owe no man."

What you want and need are friends and a clue, maybe the elixir of life, not a student loan.

How is promising that complete strangers have what you need and swearing that you will be able to pay it back, whether they do or not, if it takes the rest of your life, not completely insane?

If you can't do it on a credit card, and that's pushing it because just because cigarettes and booze are advertized doesn't make them good either -- borrowing is NOT good, don't do it. It's bad enough that over 50 billion is spent on "education" but none of the so-called "charities" can get together and create a DVD library version of college.

That the rest of the world is apparently a pest-hole really cheers me up.

If you don't have $40,000 at 31, how is spending $40,000 that you don't have going to improve things! Let them give you a damn money-back guarantee first! But they won't! And do you know why?! Because they're ripping you off! And not just because the government [email protected]#$^ing-off with your tax dollars instead of providing everybody college on DVD's. Because what you NEED is friends and a clue and you STILL will probably have neither, because you're hanging with clueless debtors and charlatan teachers!

Friends are everywhere. If you make 30 serious worthwhile friends who have more of a clue than you do, will you still need a stupid loan for a convolution posing as an education?

I hope this sounds more positive than it looks. Tralala, we're so happy you're going into debt,... buncha animals.


Scott

WizCraker
11-22-2003, 03:46 AM
Originally posted by ghopper
What else are you going to learn at that school other than programming ? Or to put it in other words, what does the school offer that you couldn't learn on your own ?

Or is it more the degree you're after, so it's easier to get a job. I presume employers over in the US look for these kind of things. Here in the UK employers look more at what you can do and what experience you've got rather than what degrees you have ( I can only speak of the web / new media industry though ).

I mean $40.000 to learn programming and some other computer related stuff is a bit much I think.

The cost for an education has gone up in recent years so $40K is not that much. Medical school starts at $40K and can reach up to $120K a year at Ivy League schools.

Some companies use a 4 year degree as a screening process, as Larry stated if you spent the time to stick it out for the 4 years then the company will only look at those who qualify.

The student learns more than just programming, CIS is a business of computing as Computer Science is science of computing. CIS which is a lot less math, theory and advance programming logic [ie Algorithms, Compiler design, Graphics etc.] orientated and has more business type of courses and a little more broad in different aspects of the computing world. It covers subjects such as ecom, web, entry software engineering and usually no courses in research.

Also having a degree in some companies [Microsoft, IBM] and the Government [which requires any 4 year degree unless for a specific agency such as CIA, FBI, USSS, NSA requires certain degrees] can give the employee more salary based on education. Entry Level position might be no degree with limited advancement, and undergrad is better pay with advancement and if you get Masters or PHD then your pay goes way up especially if you work for the US Government [Just want to make sure nobody gets confused on which one].

At least that is for companies in the US. Like Larry stated some companies will wave the degree if you can prove that you have experience, usually 5+ in that expertise with really good refrences from former employers.

hrgiger
11-22-2003, 05:23 AM
And actually, since I posted, I have changed my field of study to Computer Engineering Technology because I specifiically want to do software engineering and software design. Not just programming which you're right ghopper, I could learn on my own. CET covers a pretty wide range of career choices.

amorano
11-23-2003, 12:37 PM
Originally posted by cresshead
WOW!....er...did i say wow?....ahh what the heck...WOW!

a very cool dvd for sure..and looks like a brilliant place to learn cgi in a production style environment with the likes of people from foundation imaging etc....and you get to do motion capture and post effects..and your at universal !

wish there were something like this over in the u.k....i'll have to scrape some cash up...i'd love to learn there....say are there many people here who either work there or have attended the course?

thoughts on dave school?

steve g

I know five people who have graduated from there, and sorry to say, they all say they wish they had not. For some it was a waste of time, for others a huge waste of money.

BUT, I did get the DVD to check for myself. Doesn't look that impressive for that amount of money honestly.

For a price like that you could buy everysingle piece of training material out for LW (or go with a amay course and get something like gnomon's dvd's), a new computer, a seat of LW and do it yourself. Plus have money left over to fly to siggraph, gdc and meltdown to make contacts.

Just my HO of course.

DigiLusionist
11-23-2003, 01:26 PM
lol

Didn't look impressive to you? It sure did to me. Have you done better work? Match moving? Mocap application? Compositing? etc?

amorano
11-23-2003, 01:36 PM
Originally posted by DigiLusionist
lol

Didn't look impressive to you? It sure did to me. Have you done better work? Match moving? Mocap application? Compositing? etc?

Its not as grand as you make it out to be. I have, like I said, five friends, two who have real jobs, one who freelances, and two who have given up, whom graduated from there.

One student friend recently finished working on Battlestar Galactica, mostly modelling. Quite frankly he knew just as much going in as comming out.

I also have on hand six demo reels from students who applied for our film. They are not up to any kind of standard. Those reels are from grads, not people still going.

My friend who freelances did so before going and now has the additional debt of 19k+ to pay back over seven years. He is disappointed in the job market, of course, and feels that the school was sold to him mostly with the intention of helping him get better/any placement in the industry after graduation. It has not.

I actually know more than five disgruntled people who went there (some still work there becasue they actually had intentions of sueing the school before leaving, but were offered jobs as an incentive not to).

With that DVD, yes, in fact I have seen better. I would also expect that more than six people out of a grand total of 120+ would have jobs some where close to the industry if they were that good at making students who can produce work of quality. Of the six who actually have jobs, two already had worked in the industry, one taught, and the other was extremely talented but lacked contacts.

I have more, but sufficent to say, again, it is not currently a good choice for learning at that price point.

DigiLusionist
11-23-2003, 01:49 PM
I have first hand experience with DAVE School. I think it's a great place. Like any other school, a lot of the experience is what you make of it, and how hard you apply yourself.

Disgruntled individuals should speak up in this thread as a service to prospective students. Satisfied grads should also speak up.

I'd prefer to hear disparaging comments from others who also have had first hand experience there.

From anyone else, it's just hearsay.

hrgiger
11-23-2003, 02:14 PM
I doubt, amorano, that your friends would have fared any better by attending any other school for graphics and animation. I don't think the fault is with the school so much, as more likely to do with the job market/economy and perhaps with the students themselves. A teacher can only do so much, schools just don't implant talent and ability into your psyke like implanting the ability into trinity to fly a helicopter in the matrix. I'm sure there are other students who graduated from the Dave school at the same time as your friends that are probably doing kick a$s work. I agree with Digilusionist, that it has a lot to do with how you apply your skills and the amount of your determination.

scott tygett
11-24-2003, 12:59 AM
You've inspired me to talk to a healer about my own situation. $40 well spent.

I don't know DAVE, but I would definitely want to be solid on how animating or programing was going to help me contribute before I leapt into lifetime debt.

WizCraker
11-24-2003, 11:19 AM
I nice thing about DAVE school is that after the completion of the training, they offer free 4 week cross training in Maya. It may not sound like much but if the instructors are certified trainers the student would learn loads of info about the interworkings of Maya. I speak from taking Classes from Alias Certified Instructors.

Like DigiLusionist said you can only get out in what you put in by going through any type of training being it something like DAVE school to an Ivy League education. DAVE School has the unique opertunity of being on the back lot at Orlando and have access to the things in that enviroment, and also to have legendary Ron Thornton to study under as well learn from Dave West, Tom Henry, Lee Stringer [can you say FireFly], and of course the founder Jeff Sheetz which is very cool and takes the time to speak with you if you have questions.

The entire thing of learning at DAVE school is the production enviroment. Traditional schools is set in a class room style, DAVE school works with real deadlines and realistic production enviroments. Their schoo demo reel may not look like much to someone only looking for eyecandy but everything that is done on it is using real world techniques that get the students that complete the program ready for an entry level position in the industry.

amorano,

For the five people that you say you know might not have put 120%+ in doing their best their to become someone worth working in the field of CGI. The same goes for any other field of study such as programming if you don't take the time to work hard future employee's are not going to look at you as someone they want to employ.

Emmanuel
11-24-2003, 12:35 PM
All I can say is: Herve, I wish You all the success You deserve.
And I feel a bit disappointed that *some people* here make the desire to learn things properly at university like something You should apologize for.
Indeed it is much better to do the things You want to, even on a loan, than waiting 20 years and always have that little "itch You can't scratch" that says "What if I had...".

adrian
11-26-2003, 01:33 AM
I've also got the DAVE school DVD and the stuff looks pretty impressive (not as good as the stuff from VFS though...).

Once I have the cash I would like to go to VFS simply because they have stronger links to the industry than Dave School - and let's face it, a lot of it comes down to WHO you know as well as WHAT you know.... but as someone said, it doesn't matter where you go or how good the college is, it can't guarantee you a job at the end of it.

But in any case, I would say go for it as life it too short not to take chances... what's better: go after your dreams with 100% commitment and run the risk of failing, or lead a mediocre life doing a mediocre job which you know is not your vocation for a mediocre wage until you're 65..... and then die a few years later- but not before looking back as you lie on your death bed and say to yourself "If only....?".

If you really want it, you'll find a way.... just as I'll find a way.

Adrian.