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grafxstudio
10-12-2014, 05:51 PM
What software do they use now? I know they had used Lightwave in the past.
grafxstudio

ernpchan
10-12-2014, 05:59 PM
I believe it's Maya, Modo, Zbrush and Nuke now.

grafxstudio
10-12-2014, 06:24 PM
Any school that teaches Lightwave?

ernpchan
10-13-2014, 08:35 AM
Well I believe a school in Spain uses LW as part of their curriculum. Here in the US I think it'll be much harder to find a program, if not impossible.

But don't underestimate the ability to teach yourself with the aid of resources like the forum and material from Liberty3D.

If you want you to learn cg from a school, look at it from the view of learning the craft, regardless of the software.

Darksuit
10-13-2014, 09:12 AM
Going to agree as well with ernchan. For school look at it as learning the principals and concepts of the form rather than being taught a given program. Any employer can teach you a program if you both have a common language. (principles of animation, modeling theory, sculpting, etc.. ).

There are a number of people I have seen in the industry that are not very good, but they are quick because they understand a given application. However as we have seen with XSI applications are not forever, foundation skills are. Those Foundation skills (life drawing, drafting, sculpting, etc..) have been around for hundreds of years and will help you, and make you a better artist regardless of the medium you are using.

ccclarke
10-13-2014, 04:14 PM
I took the Lightwave Master class at FMC in 2007, then checked out the DAVE school and went there. Obviously a night and day experience, but I learned from each.

https://www.fmctraining.com/newtek/lightwave-3d/lightwave-3d-master-class

FMC is good, but to call six days of training a Master Class is a little misleading. You will not be a Lightwave Master in six years, much less six days (but you can be pretty good if you keep at it.) FMC covers a lot of LW fundamentals at break-neck speed, which is why they recommend you take the two classes a few weeks apart.

The DAVE school immerses students in much more than software. The instructors teach the fundamentals of animation, compositing, efficient modeling, and most importantly, teamwork to get an aggressive assignment(s) completed on tight deadlines. The software an artists uses isn't as important as the skills they develop that transfer to any studio pipeline. If you want to get into the CG business in one year, and aren't afraid to bust butt to do it, the DAVE school might be for you. You'll need to cut the cable to your TV, and be prepared to sacrifice weekends to get the homework completed. It isn't meant to be an "easy" school; they want you to be prepared for the next (and even more challenging) stage of learning when you land your first job. The instructors have loads of production experience, so they aren't teaching from books the majority of the time. The choice of attending really depends on what your goal happens to be. Once upon a time, Lightwave and Fusion were the main apps they taught, but the main goal of the school is to prepare students for the production world. With that in mind, they switched over to software that is more attuned to what the industry wants.

Good luck,

CCC

Mr_Q
10-13-2014, 05:15 PM
We are running in to this at my work as are others. No one is offering legit schools for Lightwave. The artists are vanishing in the Los Angeles area. Projects are being converted to Maya due to the lack of available trained artists.

Now more than ever it's how it was when I first started back in 1995. Schools teaching LW were non-existent. Even when people did start getting legit classes, they were pretty much being taught crap until the mid-2000s. TEACH YOURSELF. GET OUT HERE. WE WILL HIRE YOU. (if you show you know what you're doing)

spherical
10-13-2014, 10:41 PM
We are running in to this at my work as are others. No one is offering legit schools for Lightwave. The artists are vanishing in the Los Angeles area. Projects are being converted to Maya due to the lack of available trained artists.
TEACH YOURSELF. GET OUT HERE. WE WILL HIRE YOU. (if you show you know what you're doing)

Seems a ripe environment for remote artists and studios willing to hire them.

vector
10-14-2014, 12:32 AM
Any school that teaches Lightwave?

As Ernpchan said, there is FX Animation (http://fxanimation.es/cursos/curso-generalista-de-lightwave-3d#.VDzC7NSsUXI) at Spain teaching Lightwave in English language too. Yes, it's Europe but Barcelona is a nice city :)

WilliamVaughan
10-26-2014, 01:47 PM
What software do they use now? I know they had used Lightwave in the past.
grafxstudio

We have a mixed pipeline at the school with the core tools being:

MODO and Zbrush for Modeling
Maya for Rigging and Animation
Mari and Photoshop for Texturing
Nuke For Compositing
Mental Ray and VRay for Rendering
Unreal and Unity for Game Engines

All that said... the core of the school remains the same... Software is secondary. The School's focus is on training artists to become problem solvers. How to think like a modeler... animator, etc.

If you gain the fundamental skills, then you will be able to apply them using any software. This has been the case for the grads for 14 years. When we were a LW school we placed grads in studios using other software all the time. Software comes and goes and software gets updated yearly... but the core skill of problem solving is the same as it ever was.

Netvudu
10-28-2014, 03:34 AM
And when considering any place to learn, ALWAYS use the school and students demo reel to judge the true merits of any institution. That will be your actual learning above any marketing ideas anybody might want to hammer on you.

DAVE_FACTORY
10-28-2014, 09:08 AM
Learn about the VFX industry. Read everything on vfxsoldier.com. Ask your self the hard questions is this really what you want? Especially when you get older. There is a reason vfx artists become vfx teachers because they don't have work under vfx conditions any more. Please look before you jump. Look at the long term as well as the short term of your life.

Why would anyone want to encourage anybody, woman or man, to join the tumultuous VFX industry as it currently is?

WilliamVaughan
10-28-2014, 09:17 AM
There is a reason vfx artists become vfx teachers because they don't have work under vfx conditions any more.

Interesting take... I know plenty of amazing instructors that dont fit this scenario.


Why would anyone want to encourage anybody, woman or man, to join the tumultuous VFX industry as it currently is?

I can think of many reasons why I would encourage someone to become part of the VFX Industry. I love hearing from students that are leading extraordinary careers in the VFX industry working on amazing projects and living out their dreams.

DAVE_FACTORY
10-28-2014, 09:30 AM
living out their dreams and being forced to move to where the subsidies go...then being double taxed

OnlineRender
10-28-2014, 09:53 AM
living out their dreams and being forced to move to where the subsidies go...then being double taxed

Hey, I would move around the globe just live 1% of that dream...

I would kill to work on AAA projects.

WilliamVaughan
10-28-2014, 10:06 AM
Hey, I would move around the globe just live 1% of that dream...

I would kill to work on AAA projects.

Though some move around there are plenty that don't. That said... you'll want to live where the work is.

Cali and Texas for loads of gaming opp
Florida for Military Sim
Cali and NY for Commercial work
etc
etc.

It's cool watching the Atlanta area explode with Hollywood work and Studios like Branit FX being outside of Hollywood holding their own. Grads/Friends have found a nice home in those areas.

Try and decide what type of work you'd like to do and then come up with a game plan to do it. There is plenty of work available for someone with the two most important things that studios look for... Skill and a good attitude. The last studio that I hired artists for when I was in NY I was more interested in the artists personality and attitude then skill. Artists have the ability to gain skill... many cant change their attitude.

DAVE_FACTORY
10-28-2014, 10:37 AM
Yeah Atlanta!
http://clatl.com/atlanta/georgias-blank-check-to-hollywood/Content?oid=8657171

I take my positive attitude and support http://adaptvfx.org/. I'm sure the CEOs of VFX companies love positive attitudes as they race to the bottom. Oh and Schools love CEOs who hire their students, who cares how the CEOs treats them. The hire percentage is what matters most.

Netvudu
10-29-2014, 03:11 AM
Yeah Atlanta!
http://clatl.com/atlanta/georgias-blank-check-to-hollywood/Content?oid=8657171

I take my positive attitude and support http://adaptvfx.org/. I'm sure the CEOs of VFX companies love positive attitudes as they race to the bottom. Oh and Schools love CEOs who hire their students, who cares how the CEOs treats them. The hire percentage is what matters most.

I donīt know at other schools, but at FX Animation, we take active part in many of our students first contracts after the school if we have provided the contact to the student (if itīs something they found on their own we cannot control that), to be sure they donīt agree on abusive conditions.
Dave, it looks like you are using a lot of generalizations because of bad personal experiences, but in the process you are assuming a lot of things that are NOT true.

As for the state of the industry, I agree itīs not the best one, but if you ask me, itīs better than two years ago. In the end, if more money moves around, there are more projects, more hirings, and suddenly the global situation ainīt that terrible.

By the way, I had to teach not because I couldnīt get a job, in fact I have rejected several big projects in the last years. In my case I canīt live outside Barcelona right now for personal reasons, and indeed, this industry forces you to move around, or at least live in on the main CG production areas (for us europeans, London is one of the places to be).

EDIT: BTW, I apologize for mentioning another school at this Dave school-centered thread. I just wanted to point our own experience.

WilliamVaughan
10-29-2014, 05:36 AM
EDIT: BTW, I apologize for mentioning another school at this Dave school-centered thread. I just wanted to point our own experience.

I'm glad you shared your experience about FX Animation.

brent3d
10-29-2014, 08:24 AM
We are running in to this at my work as are others. No one is offering legit schools for Lightwave. The artists are vanishing in the Los Angeles area. Projects are being converted to Maya due to the lack of available trained artists.

Now more than ever it's how it was when I first started back in 1995. Schools teaching LW were non-existent. Even when people did start getting legit classes, they were pretty much being taught crap until the mid-2000s. TEACH YOURSELF. GET OUT HERE. WE WILL HIRE YOU. (if you show you know what you're doing)

Totally agree with you Mr. Q, I taught both Lightwave and Modo at the Art Institute of Washington and Howard University from 2006-2012, but you never would've known what software we were teaching unless you called the schools or visited. For everyone reading this please know that software purchased by schools are based heavily on deals and budgets, so because most schools don't currently have Lightwave mostly means that there is not enough incentive for schools to entertain purchasing for the courses. When I mean incentives once Autodesk had a campaign going that if a selected school program could prove they were using Maya for a international design competition at the time, that school could win a grant for 15 HP workstations. So of course all the Chairs of the departments went crazy and ordered Maya for as many labs as they could, and yes we did win the 15 HP workstations. But to Mr. Q's point I believe that Autodesk's monopoly has created a weird stagnation in schools in regards to choice and creativity. Although it's cool that we actually have 3D courses and degrees 3D's Max's and Maya's UI philosophy doesn't fit a lot of artist, so as students they are usually confused because they want to do 3D but the choice in tools the schools offer make them feel like they can't.... but that's when learning on your own like in the 90's comes in.

On another note, I myself have had to turn down several applicants who claimed to be trained in 3D but only knew how to model or animate in Maya, no generalist. Well at our studio we use Lightwave and Modo and any other software that supports *.lwo's and we are all generalist, so it was disappointing to see so many newly graduated students failing our on-sight tests. Remember a degree is great but it doesn't guarantee you the job.

lightscape
10-31-2014, 01:52 AM
Learn about the VFX industry. Read everything on vfxsoldier.com. Ask your self the hard questions is this really what you want? Especially when you get older. There is a reason vfx artists become vfx teachers because they don't have work under vfx conditions any more. Please look before you jump. Look at the long term as well as the short term of your life.

Why would anyone want to encourage anybody, woman or man, to join the tumultuous VFX industry as it currently is?

Are you saying those who can't, teach, those who can, do?
I agree with some teachers I've met but some are not really interested to work on highend stuff where the pay is not that great anyway.
The problem with dreamers is they don't know economics. They would work for nothing just to work on AAA titles. A hobo in the making that will be pennyless with no insurance, no house, nothing in the future. Makes for good slaves though.
Thousands of students graduate from these schools every year working for mcdonalds wages but with longer hours.

WilliamVaughan
10-31-2014, 05:51 AM
Are you saying those who can't, teach, those who can, do?
I agree with some teachers I've met but some are not really interested to work on highend stuff where the pay is not that great anyway.


I know teachers that left high paying gigs in the industry to teach... because they love teaching. I personally left a much higher wage up north to get back into education. But there will be endless amounts of different reasons why someone gets into education vs production... generalizing anything is a sliperry slope imho.



The problem with dreamers is they don't know economics.

Another generalization. I know plenty of dreamers that are well off and know plenty about economics.



They would work for nothing just to work on AAA titles. A hobo in the making that will be pennyless with no insurance, no house, nothing in the future. Makes for good slaves though.
Thousands of students graduate from these schools every year working for mcdonalds wages but with longer hours.

I personally know plenty of grads that are following their dreams, working on amazing projects that are NOT pennyless or working for a low wage. They own houses, nice cars, take vacations, etc. I also know that there is a massive problem in the US of grads with 4 year degrees from universities are getting minimum wage jobs after graduation. That are NOT trying to work in the VFX industry. Turn on the news anyday and they talk about this massive problem in the US.

There will always be success stories in every industry.... and horror stories. What I know from my experience in education for the last 18+ years, is that anyone that works hard can be successful. No time at a school or piece of paper = a job. I witness it first hand daily.

ernpchan
10-31-2014, 06:01 AM
No time at a school or piece of paper = a job.

Amen.

I tell interns there's a big difference between using the software and knowing the software. Do you know why you used that specific tool or are you just following instructions?

Ryan Roye
10-31-2014, 06:25 AM
Diversify + networking. Find a way to make doing what you like profitable enough to sustain you, even if you have to bend things around a little to make it work.

I started out as a 2d artist/animator. I sucked at it therefor I was never successful there. It was the closest thing to 3d at the time that I had access to.

I then made gaming videos on YouTube; that didn't go anywhere.

I then created original content and tried to monetize it. That didn't get very far.

I started making little free Lightwave tutorials online, that didn't work.

Larry Shultz then noticed my tutorials, original content and videos, started talking to his friends and gave me inside info on a lot of 3d workflows, that led to getting client work, then involvement with Liberty3d.com as a content producer, then commercial work from LA studios.

So, now what I do is work maybe 6 months out of the year on client work, and 6 months teaching. Everything I learn while making commercial content can be applied to teaching content. If I need a few weeks off in the year to turn my attention to something else, no big deal. It is liberating knowing that your financial situation is not dependent on the success of the company you are working for, and for the first quarter of my life before Lightwave that's exactly how it was with all the "pay ceilings" and "working twice as hard won't get to twice the income" crap that no one should have to deal with.

Diversify to offset your failures and eventually it can lead to networking, which leads to success. Failures tend to accumulate over time, it's just how things work.

lightscape
10-31-2014, 07:01 AM
Not really generalizing. As Dave_Factory said just read through vfx forums and vfx soldier. The industry is in very bad shape. A lot of AAA studios have closed down which anyone must have noticed unless they were under a rock. You're a teacher for Dave school so your post will obviously be biased when it comes to education and graduates. The graduates I meet are working on temp jobs and waiting tables to make ends meet. Working hard in vfx doesn't mean success like you said. Its who you know and a lot of luck and timing. I tell people who want to be in the industry not to go to school that specializes too much and instead get a real degree as a backup plan. Going to specialized schools, going in debt paying for student loans is not the way to go. There's a lot of online resources that is cheap anyway.

WilliamVaughan
10-31-2014, 07:32 AM
a "real degree" doesnt change anything imho.... Every day I read or hear about the broken education system in the US for grads with "real" degrees. The Universities know the system is broken and are desperately trying to fix it. I've taken part as a consultant in several discussions at universities up north where the focus was on fixing the problem....and yes.. I agree. You dont have to go to school. I tell anyone that tours the school here that. There are, of course, benefits to going to school but as mentioned above, it doesn't = a job.

If someone is capable of teaching themselves with all the amazing free training online.. that is what they should do... it's free. Many arent wired that way and can take advantage of training facilities that are available. Students loans may not be for everyone but to say they arent the way to go for EVERYONE is an interesting take... I try not to think or speak in absolutes.

I'm actually not a teacher at the DAVE school.. I'm the Academic Director and I don't believe I'm biased in any way when it comes to education and grads. My opinions are based on what I have experienced and seen in the 20 years of working in the industry. I have helped hundreds of artists break into the industry over the years and not all of them were my students or students of the DAVE School. There are great job opps for artists and they dont have to be temp jobs and they definitely dont have to wait tables.

Look at any industry and there are success stories and there are stories of grads not finding work or being paid low wages. I cant think of any industry this isnt the case. It's up to the individual to make things happen for them.

Take the path that you feel is right for you...

I'm extremely happy that I followed my dreams and continue to do so... I hope to encourage others to do the same for years to come.

Life is too short to do otherwise.

Chuck
10-31-2014, 03:17 PM
Yes, there is a lot of tumult and trouble in the VFX industry these days. I know a lot of folks in the VFX industry, in some cases for up to 20 years, and while I've seen some of them go through hard times now and again, it's also the case that they have all managed to make a good living, have homes, families, cool cars/trucks/SUVs as they wanted, and none of them so far, knock wood of course, are ending up waiting tables or working minimum wage. And a good many top-tier productions also pay well, though that often depends on how decent a client-side VFX supervisor you end up with. Get the wrong one and the hours skyrocket and the budget gets devoured. Nevertheless, they are pretty much all doing very well, meaning at least a good middle-class lifestyle, whether in film, commercial or series work.

On the other hand, I've also felt like the VFX folks I know are amazing problem solvers, and incredible artists, and a whole bunch of them are award winners, so maybe my sample is not representative. It still means though, that some of the generalizations made above in the thread are really not valid generalizations about the state of the industry. Like any other industry, it has success stories and horror stories, yet lots of opportunity to prosper to various levels, from middle class to much, much higher.

lightscape
10-31-2014, 10:14 PM
Chuck I was referring to the graduates.