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StevieB
12-28-2007, 12:25 PM
I've been hearing from different people, that they personally have 'never' been asked for their College Credentials when trying to get hired for 3d work. That the only thing they have ever been asked for are personal references and their demo reel. And I'm wondering how true this is for the majority of people. I realize that going to college is nearly a must if you want to get hired into a place like Pixar, or own your own business. But is that true for freelancing as well?
Please vote on the poll below, your name and information will not be displayed.

Thanks!

*Pete*
12-28-2007, 02:39 PM
to be hired, perhaps...but for running own business?..never, you ARE the employer and employee, and customers come to you with problems that you need to solve, they will not question your education or prior experience...you will be presented with a problem and a question whether or not you can solve it, and how much it will cost.

kopperdrake
12-28-2007, 02:43 PM
Never been asked directly for it although it's always on the accompanying CV. However, I do know that the showreel to acertain the quality of your work, and references to acertain the type of person/worker you are, are the most important things.

In my opinion, college is crucial for the sole purpose of getting you three years (or whatever in your country) of time dedicated to getting your skills and showreel up to scratch...it's so much harder to get the time once you're out there in the big wide world.

WGermer
12-28-2007, 03:07 PM
In many professions a college degree is crucial, but in our world it's all about your skills, creativity, and problem solving. I've seen dozens of college grads who have a terrible demo reel. When we hire, we want to see your reel first, and your creds second.

Also, internships are probably the best way to get started in any studio. You get to know them as employers, and they get to know you and hopefully see your potential.

W

Steamthrower
12-28-2007, 03:13 PM
When I was hired my bosses didn't care whether I had a college degree or not. They just wanted me to be able to visualise commercial building spaces, do elementary paperwork, and be able to talk on the phone without gagging in my own saliva.

However I've often heard that when applying for larger studios (even moderately sized/accomplished ones like Menithings or Branit or Atmosphere or whatnot) a college degree is a plus. Only if it's in something directly related to multimedia like computer graphics, or graphic design, or art, etc. A degree in political science won't help.

EDIT: And to run your own business? Half the business owners I know make six-digit salaries and don't have a degree.

StevieB
12-28-2007, 05:53 PM
Haha, I love the information you can get from posting a question on these forums. Thanks all for your replies! When I mentioned having to have a degree for a business I was thinking of restaurants (....genius *that was sarcastic*).
Anyways thanks for your responses once again and any more information that you could give me would be greatly appreciated.

With Regards,
Steven

codyburke610
12-28-2007, 06:39 PM
As far as working at Pixar goes. In some of their job listings they will say that you will need a BS to get the job. But if you look at their animation or modeling job losting. They say that it is a plus if you have one, but not required. If two people sent their demo reel into Pixar and one graduated from college with a BS but his demo reel was terrible, and the other one didn't go to college but his demo reel was simply superb. They would definatly choose the one with the best demo reel. Assuming that they actually liked it.
-Cody-

ted
12-28-2007, 07:05 PM
Yes a college degree is a plus to get in the door. But not to freelance or own your own business. I've done pretty well without going one single day. :thumbsup:
HOWEVER I've pushed my 3 children to get a degree and my last one is in her second year.

About 20 years ago more and more companies started requiring/preferring at least a BS, even for entry level positions. Some companies are smart enough to allow their policies to let good talent in without the degree though.

I always suggest to get at least a BS, but sometimes that's B.S. :D
If you've got what it takes, you can overcome anything. Many of my best people have not had a degree.

StevieB
12-28-2007, 07:38 PM
I always suggest to get at least a BS, but sometimes that's B.S. :D


HAaaahahahahahaha. Awesome.
I've also heard that less and less companies are using demo reels as a means of getting accepted because there are SO many. So you have to use personal references and then they might want to see your demo reel. Whats the best way you all have found of getting those references? Forums? Public meeting places?

hard8
12-28-2007, 07:47 PM
All of the above are myth. I own my own business (post production... which includes some 3D work) and I make a very comfortable living doing so.

Since I am hired by film/video production companies, I can be considered freelance, so at the end of the day my reel and my reputation is all that is ever considered.

And about Pixar.... it may say they "require" a college education, but trust me, they have hired many people who had no formal education. If that were the case then Pixar would be turning away talent in favor of a diploma.

A college education does not make you talented or creative. It makes you a person with a piece of paper who'd better have talent if you want a job.

Bottom line: Talent.

m4a2000
12-28-2007, 07:53 PM
I got hired just out of high school... Literally!!! I had just graduated 12 hours prior before my former teacher, now boss, asked if I wanted the job. It's a good thing I took it... We barely got the station off the ground and running when it aired four days later and my boss knows nothing of tech specs. Now, I've been told, we have one of the most sophisticated set-ups for an education based television station in the state of Washington. We a monthly magazine show, live news and sporting events, and special musical and theatrical presentations we air 24/7 on our own digital cable channel.

codyburke610
12-28-2007, 09:02 PM
Congrats!:thumbsup:

ted
12-28-2007, 11:31 PM
Whats the best way you all have found of getting those references?

As others have said, intern at as many places you can. If you impress people, in just a couple months you'll have references.
It helps if you intern at highly respected places though.

And while you are interning, learn all you can and never stop learning.
I wish you luck.

Stooch
12-30-2007, 02:08 PM
Should have never went to college to be honest.

but i did meet some good industry friends there. shame that i had to pay for the privilege.

Lightwolf
12-30-2007, 02:20 PM
Rep and reel... in any case I've so far been involved with in this business (the order of importance may vary).

And hey, I sometimes even get to teach at Unis without having a degree myself :D

Having said that, a good high standard education doesn't hurt... imho it should not be a direct CG related one though - CG is just a tool - something that can be learnt. Education is more than that.
(Then again, we're lucky, except for the few private places in the country, only one of which is decent, the others are state owned and free).

Cheers,
Mike

Wonderpup
12-30-2007, 03:09 PM
Not entirely on topic, but one thing that does amaze me is how many posts from people claiming to have degrees I see on various forums are littered with the most elementary errors of spelling and grammar. I don't know if this would influence perspective employers, but it scares the hell out of me.

And these are not people for whom English is a second language either.

Back on topic, I have worked in the past as an illustrator, computer games artist, 3D graphics designer and now self employed animator and not once has anyone been interested in seeing bits of paper- only examples of what I can do.

As creators in visual medium we are blessed (or cursed) with the reality that our abilities can be seen and measured at a glance.

On the one hand thatís great- no need to obsess about paper qualifications- on the other hand there really is nowhere to hide!

I wonder how many people in other types of jobs, like management or administration, would keep their positions if a way were found to display their true abilities on a screen for all to see?

Titus
12-30-2007, 04:40 PM
I've been hearing from different people, that they personally have 'never' been asked for their College Credentials when trying to get hired for 3d work.

A degree is a must if you want to move to another country, starting with the visa. Europeans have more freedom to move inside their community.

Mr Rid
12-30-2007, 06:08 PM
Have never seen a college degree have any bearing whatsoever on hiring at any place I have worked or on any project I was involved in hiring on. Demo is everything. Usually recruiters are swamped with a mound of mediocre demos and so its easier to just put out the word, 'Hey, anyone here know a good animator/modeler/FX TD?' Usually it is hard to find really skilled artists. They may come recommended, but as long as they have an appropriately cool demo and seem amiable enough to work with, they're in.

When I first sent demos out about 11 years ago, there were no computer animation courses and every CG artists I ever ran into was self taught. But houses still stupidly looked at college degrees that really had little to do with animation aptitude. I remember one place asking if I had a degree in physics... why on earth would anyone in '96 think that the way to become say a character animator was to first go after a Phd in physics? Why not look for someone who already had character animation on a demo reel?

All the best artists I ever worked with were self taught. I continue to feel that school is a complete waste of money when it comes to creative fields. For less than the amount of a year tuition you could set yourself up with the most insanely killer workstation, editor, render farm and HD acquisition... and hit the tutorials all over the web and this forum. I was gettig freelance jobs two months after starting to teach myself LW. Why wait years for a degree that no one is going to consider to earn money doing something you love doing? I think school is more for those who need to be pushed and motivated by others, which is fine. I would actually rather hire someone who did not have a degree. BEing motivated enough to teach yourself shows initiative, originality, and creative problem solving ability, instead of waiting for someone else to fill you in on what you are suppose to be doing.

Chris S. (Fez)
12-30-2007, 07:29 PM
Academic credentials mean (Dark Helmet voice): "Absolutely nothing!"

ALL that matters is your reel and that your personality is somewhat tolerable. Sense of humor helps.

Having said that, why deny yourself a cool college experience? Reading, writing, drinking, dating within a youthful community of mostly intelligent, interesting people...good times.

Mr Rid
12-30-2007, 08:14 PM
...
Having said that, why deny yourself a cool college experience? Reading, writing, drinking, dating within a youthful community of mostly intelligent, interesting people...good times.

Because you dont need to pay someone else $30,000 a year in order to do any of that. As you persist at pursuing your interests, you will attract the type of people you need to meet.

Chris S. (Fez)
12-30-2007, 08:54 PM
Because you dont need to pay someone else $30,000 a year in order to do any of that. As you persist at pursuing your interests, you will attract the type of people you need to meet.

I agree, but I also believe that there are students who are sensibly paying to participate in exclusive communities/programs dedicated to teaching/learning their preferred discipline. My sister is a doctor and I can say with some certainty that there is little chance she could have attained her medical knowledge anywhere else but school. I have to assume there are other disciplines that require the same kinds of "canned" academic communities.

Accordingly, I think "higher learning" can sometimes offer some unique social and intellectual opportunities. Depending on both the particular discipline and the program?

Of course, like anything else, college is what you make of it.

Steamthrower
12-31-2007, 06:17 AM
My sister is a doctor and I can say with some certainty that there is little chance she could have attained her medical knowledge anywhere else but school. I have to assume there are other disciplines that require the same kinds of "canned" academic communities.

Well...I can name those off the top of my head. Doctor. Lawyer. Architect. Engineer. Scientist of any flavor...not someone who does 3D art.

Mr Rid
12-31-2007, 06:52 AM
Well...I can name those off the top of my head. Doctor. Lawyer. Architect. Engineer. Scientist of any flavor...not someone who does 3D art.

Right, some fields obviously require accreditation, and that's why I originally specified the "creative fields" as being different. Like Ive heard so many directors like Spielberg, Scorsese, Rodriguez, and Coppola give advice to aspiring filmmakers to the affect of, 'Dont listen to us or anybody else, just get a camera, starts shooting, and figure it out for yourself.' Thats how you find your own voice.

"If you want to learn how to build a house, build a house. Dont ask anybody, just build a house."
-Christopher Walken
53463

mrpapabeis
12-31-2007, 07:44 AM
Well.... you need a degree.... if you are going to teach... ;)

*Pete*
12-31-2007, 08:09 AM
3D artists (or any creative people, incl musicians and such) are comparable to people who do sports for a living...if you can drive a F1 at a speed that is as fast or faster than the best, you will get a job as a F1 driver...even if you dont even have a drivers license for a normal car.

If you are a football player and get spotted by a talent scout, the first they notice is how well you play, they might not even bother to ask if you speak the same language when they sign you up for a contract...they will not ask for your education.

as mentioned before, we can show what we can do..a doctor cant, a dentist cant..they have to proove that they know what they are doing before they perform a surgery or mess with someones teeth, there is a risk bound to that and there is no place for so called creative freedom.
same goes for lawyers, policemen and car mechanics..they are trusted to do things right, the same way as anyone else with the same title would do it.

Chris S. (Fez)
12-31-2007, 08:32 AM
Well...I can name those off the top of my head. Doctor. Lawyer. Architect. Engineer. Scientist of any flavor...not someone who does 3D art.

Again, I think there are programs that can offer some unique opportunities for motivated students. I would hope this applies to art programs as well...

If a university hired Mr. Rid to teach Lightwave particles, I assume there would be some advantages to learning his tricks of the trade and having your work critiqued directly by an industry veteran.

Having said that, I also agree that online resources for learning 3D definitely rival any formal 3D educational communities. Perhaps that applies to all artistic disciplines these days. I don't know.

StevieB
12-31-2007, 09:26 AM
Awesome, an eye opening thread. I see why you wouldn't need a degree now. I also see how a degree 'could' help, but for 30,000 a year? I'd prefer to have that money in the bank and earning interest on top of what I'm earning from my job. Leave it as untouchable money. Basically if I had a choice between spending 120 thousand on 4 years of education where I 'can't' be working on what I love, and then get out of college broke or in debt 4 years later to start working and that 120 thousand never comes into play in helping me out, I don't see a good enough reason to go. Thanks all for your responses and votes, they were greatly appreciated.

Stooch
12-31-2007, 10:03 AM
for what its worth, some of the people i graduated with started companies and ara paying me good money to freelance for them .... :)

as far as tuition debt, i owe 40k for all 4 years. so its not too bad but coul dhave been far worse. The reason why i feel it was a waste for me because i tahght myself over 4 years before starting college. unfortunatelly where i lived there werent many cg jobs around so i fell into the college trap. should have just moved to LA.

funny thing is, i came back to Savannah (where i went to school) to visit some friends and saw the guy from my class, still working at a local gas station.

now that is the definition of sad.

Steamthrower
12-31-2007, 10:22 AM
I'd prefer to have that money in the bank and earning interest on top of what I'm earning from my job.

Unfortunately with the rate of inflation these days, even with interest your money will lose value while sitting doing nothing. That's why, if possible, you should liquidate. Buy something that will retain its value, or invest, if you don't have anything else to do with it.


funny thing is, i came back to Savannah (where i went to school) to visit some friends and saw the guy from my class, still working at a local gas station.

That really is sad. It's too true though.

That's what ambition is. College or no college, without ambition and a little resourcefulness, you ain't gonna go nowhere.

Andyjaggy
12-31-2007, 10:23 AM
I feel lucky now, I just graduated and only have about 8k of student loans. I worked the whole time though, that helps.

mrpapabeis
12-31-2007, 04:37 PM
There is something to be said about being in a room with a good instructor, let's say William Vaughan. He teaches at the Dave school right? I wouldn't mind picking his brains in person for a couple of semesters.

Mr Rid
12-31-2007, 06:03 PM
Xmas '79, I really wanted a super8 camera. My Dad got some stupid thing called a video camera for us instead. 3 minutes of developed 8 film cost about $9- substantial cost for a 14 year old then. The old tube video camera featured a 6 to 1 zoom and an on/off trigger. That was it. Heavy image lag and everything was either purple or green. But I was truly stunned when I learned that for $9 I could shoot for six hours, and I could immediately see what I just shot in the viewfinder without having to develope it, and if I wanted to, I could back up and shoot over it...NO... WAY... which gods had I pleased!?! I proceeded to shoot dozens of stupid little videos with friends in the backyard that were always shades of Star Wars, Raiders of the Lost Ark, or Monty Python.

Years later I finally had a chance go to local college for TV production where they had all brand spankin' new Ikegamis, Umatic edit bays, a huge stage with full grid and this thing called a Toaster that the teachers were drooling over strictly for the CG aspect... back then 'CG' stood for Character Generator. They had no interest whatsoever in the 3D- just some newfangled gimmick added on to to try and get you to buy this amazing Character Generator.

I was dissapointed to find that their really expensive television gear couldnt do slowmo, reverse, double speed or even a simple freeze frame like my home video gear could!? I went for a couple of semesters with my friends before I realized the teachers had started asking us how we were pulling off tricks with FX, sound, or getting crazy shots inches above the ground from a speeding car and such. We did more than expected for our assignments like to shoot an instructional video on 'how to change a tire,' with car chases and gags to break everyone up laughing. It dawned on me that those years of dicking around at home with the video camera had taught us more than the teachers ever even knew about creative composition, pacing, and all the fun tricks that comprise the art of filmmaking. I had not needed 'film' at all. And I didnt need to pay any tuition.

I had friends who got their degrees from film school but they had hardly ever touched the sacred cameras, and had maybe one short to show at the end of it all. I had dozens of wacky shorts and could shoot and edit rings around these people, all from just playing around with a crappy video camera in the backyard for a few years. I just did it.

If you want to go to school, then go. But you certainly dont need to. Just sit down and teach yourself. On your own, you will figure out things that maybe no one else has. If you follow a curriculum, you are following a path that is already well trod ground. Everyone already knows all that, and your mind follows the path like a trickle of water down the path of least resistance, cohesively flowing along where all the other little drops are going.

Its like how so many first time filmmakers tell how they were able to achieve breakthroughs directly because they didnt know what they were doing and had to figure it out on their own. They discovered new ground. If they had been taught the 'right' way, they might have thought it was not possible.

On his first movie, Orson Welles didnt know an extreme close up or wide, from a dolly or crane shot. Yet he invented so many techniques that have become standard film vocabulary, precisely because he didnt know any better or come from a common standard. An example, any experienced filmmaker would have told him it was impossible to shoot the powerful low, wide angles he wanted for Kane where you can see the ceiling of a set and still get the actors dialogue because there was no place to hide the microphones. He had the ceiling made of thin cloth and made to resemble a ceiling where the boom microphones could hang behind them invisible to the camera. Just one of the many ways he opened up cinema by coming up with what everyone else already knew was not possible.

Just do it.

Lightwolf
12-31-2007, 06:20 PM
I had friends who got their degrees from film school but they had hardly ever touched the sacred cameras, and had maybe one short to show at the end of it all.
Sorry, then they picked the wrong school... ;)

Ask Oliver about the stuff produced at the Filmakademie over here... usually two to three shorts make it into the Electronic Theatre at Siggraph... and that'S just the animation department. 4 years of education with more or less real world productions (budgets plus student producers, directors, editors, musicians, writers, DOPs, CG people...).

I suppose my point is: There are places out there that are great and allow you to collect more experience than you ever could on your own in the same time... That certainly isn't true for the majority of institutions though.

Cheers,
Mike

Mr Rid
12-31-2007, 07:35 PM
...

I suppose my point is: There are places out there that are great and allow you to collect more experience than you ever could on your own in the same time...

Just not true. You can experience as much on your own if you are self motivated. If not, then go to school. I figured out a number of LW tricks on my own that no one coming from a school would have thought possible. Like 3D tracking. In my first few weeks I figured out ways to do particle animation, and eplxosions before I had particle emitters, then I picked up complex compositing in LW because I didnt have compositing software which lead to all manner of tricks and shortcuts to baffle staffers when I went to work at actual houses. You will learn more by actually working as an animator instead of going to school and may get paid instead of paying. Like I said, I was freeelancing within 2 months after first teaching myself LW, but I spent 12+ hours a day, 7 days a week learning. More than I would get in school. You just have to be motivated. Not everyone is.

mrpapabeis
12-31-2007, 07:35 PM
Mr. Rid,

You have just evoked the name of Orson Wells, the 13th god of Olympus. My favorite movie of all times... "A Touch of Evil". That man was fluent in cinema. The density he achieved in that picture. Sigh. I agree with you that often "formal" education can stifle creativity. I have been on the receiving end of idiot professors. And by the way I got a big smile thinking about you and your buddies going wild with a video camera. Sounds like great fun.

But on the other hand my daughter has had a very positive experience with formal education. She attended high School at CATCOM ;

http://catcom.cat.pinellas.k12.fl.us/fox13.html

By the end of her sophmore year she had shot, edited, and aired 22 two minute packages on FOX 13 magazine. And she continued till she graduated.

She is now attending FSU film school;

http://film.fsu.edu/

Formal education seems to be working FOR HER so far. Would I recommend it for everyone?

No...

But it seemed to work for George Lucas.


With deep respect for your art and your character,


GP

Mr Rid
12-31-2007, 08:07 PM
Mr. Rid,...
Formal education seems to be working FOR HER so far. Would I recommend it for everyone?

No...

But it seemed to work for George Lucas.


With deep respect for your art and your character,


GP

Thanx. This is a topic perhaps you can tell I am am passionate about. Welles, Houdini, Bruce Lee... whatever your mode, follow your own muse.

All the filmmakers like Lucas went to school because it was a very different time period where cinema was extremely difficult to break into. Now, any goob with a webcam can develope a hit series, literally. All these famous filmmakers will advise you to teach yourself. It also depends if you are more interested in a secure job, or are you trying to say something.

I prefer the Raimi, Rodriguez, Lynch route, or Jarmusch who dropped out of film school and put his tuition dollars into his first feature. Thats smart.

Lucas is not nearly as visionary as people seem to perceive. He started out well, but what most people dont realize is that the Star Wars success was a fluke, Spielberg was the better half of the equation on Raiders, and everything Lucas made after that sucked and/or bombed. Not having any new ideas, he has been milking and reworking Star Wars and Raiders to death ever since. A great business man and responsible for the blockbuster formula (along with Speilberg) mentality that ended the most artistic time in American filmmaking and has plagued cinema ever since with all the overblown pander that we have come to accept as movies. The part I admire is his very successful and complete independence of Hollywood that most dont realize he acheived, saying FU to the directors guild, leaving LA, and financing Empire and everything after himself.

mrpapabeis
12-31-2007, 09:15 PM
Mr. Rid,

You are of course correct. My favorite Lucas is THX 1138. His first.

As for Raimi, Rodriguez, Lynch etc...

Well my father was self taught also. He lived in Paris and did 16mm Documentaries on art and history. Brilliant stuff. But he lived hand to mouth. And I respect that. He loved his art. He didn't want anything to do with Hollywood.

On the other hand i've watched people crash and burn trying to make an indie film. As I'm sure you have. Or worst, the "rich kid" with a bunch of new gear that doesn't know what he/she is doing. You've seen that one too, right? Or that movie that could have been great except that... Not saying that formal education would have rescued the situation, but i've seen, on occasion, where a GOOD school might have made a difference.

Interestingly enough apart from "self motivated learning" some of my best sources have been other teachers. In the '80s I was teaching audio recording in Ft. Lauderdale. There was a gentleman teaching video there who was a Native American. He ended up adopting me as his "nephew". I hung out with him and he taught me storytelling. And he knew video down to the component level. And he had this... well... dialog with each of the students. I mean right in there...

Anyhow. Take a moment if you'd like and check out what my offspring and her buddies came up with.

http://edcommunity.apple.com/insomnia_fall07/item.php?itemID=544


Happy New Year Mr. Rid,

The best to you,

GP

AbnRanger
01-01-2008, 02:06 AM
I know SCAD happens to have a number of scholarships each based on your ability to demonstrate your skill...so I guess you'd be competing with other artists for the same scholarship.
https://www.scad.edu/admission/financial/scholarships/undergraduate/index.cfm
How much of your total school costs is another matter, but you also have pell grants. Usually, the state will have a similar grant. There are a number of scholarships (you'd have to do some online research through scholarship search engines) available for the creative arts profession.
So, there's no doubt about it, going to a good, reputable college with a very thorough Animation program would be beneficial on several different levels...it's just that the cost can be intimidating and downright prohibitive.
What I would recommend is taking a close look, before you're due to graduate HS (when is that BTW?) at various schools around the country. Contact their financial aid dept. and level with them..."Look, I'm very interested in attending college there at _________, but the cost is the only obstacle for me. Leaving school with tens of thousands of dollars in debt is NOT an option for me...even if millions of people do it. I have legitimate options of self-training, with an overwhelming amount of tutorials available for little or no cost online, in this field. That's the route I will take...UNLESS you can help me secure enough financial aid primarily from sources OTHER than student loans. I am willing to accept a small percentage to come from federal student loans, but I am resolute about not being straddled with a millstone of financial debt around my neck."

When you take out loans...you are essentially GAMBLING...taking a gamble that you will be able to find employment that pays sufficiently to allow you cover that debt. Maybe you will...maybe you won't.

Going to school, as someone stated earlier, does allow you the benefit of applying yourself for a few years to nothing but the task of training for this career field...so you are more focused. It also allows you to have classroom instruction where you are free to ask as many questions as you need without some jerk telling you to read your manual! It allows you to collaborate with other students on projects and in the process you will form relationships that you will be able to network with in the future. This may be the best by-product of getting your degree. More importantly, though...you will learn a number of things that you won't likely learn on your own...valuable things like Typography (rules that are critical to know if you are doing ANY design related work or Motion Graphics)....Design principles that play a large role in CG work...like learning the rule of thirds and why that's important. It will help you learn how to use objects people or type in your work to frame the shot or direct the audiences attention where you want it.

If you just rely on dvd CG training...you CAN still produce an impressive reel, but you will likely be bereft in many essential elements necessary to know in CG work. Thereby you will have to learn on the job, through trial and error over a longer period...as opposed to learning it BEFORE you ever hit the job market. These things WILL likely show up in the early demo reels of those who DO NOT take some form of secondary education in this field.
I can tell a huge difference in my work before I took some of these classes in school. Without those classes, I'd probably be making many more mistakes and wondering why it just doesn't look right. A class I took in Digital Photography for Graphic designers was one of the best classes I ever took...not so much for learning how to operate a digital camera effectively, but using design principles in the process of EVERY shot. Using lights and shadows effectively...dept of field properly...using objects in the shot to make a visual statement or point toward your subject, etc. Lots of little things that collectively make a huge difference overall.

So, to sum it up...yes you can train yourself sufficiently, with a good deal of effort and diligence, to ultimately land a job in the CG field, and do well...but it's more advantageous to go to school, naturally. That's if you can avoid having to rack up a huge debt load to do so.

Lightwolf
01-01-2008, 03:59 AM
Just not true. You can experience as much on your own if you are self motivated.
Erm... you can learn as much about software, but there is plenty of other skills that you'll miss out on that are crucial oin bigger productions. Such as how to work in a team - and gather experience with the different roels in production. The so-called soft skills.
And you can just pick up a lot more in a (well motivated) group.

Cheers,
Mike

Lightwolf
01-01-2008, 04:03 AM
When you take out loans...you are essentially GAMBLING...taking a gamble that you will be able to find employment that pays sufficiently to allow you cover that debt. Maybe you will...maybe you won't.
You're gambling in any case. Taking a loan for education increases the risk - but also decreases it to a certain degree.
Sheesh, I'm really glad that Unis are in general free over here - except for a small fee per semester and the cost of living...

Cheers,
Mike

AbnRanger
01-01-2008, 04:30 AM
You're gambling in any case. Taking a loan for education increases the risk - but also decreases it to a certain degree.
Sheesh, I'm really glad that Unis are in general free over here - except for a small fee per semester and the cost of living...

Cheers,
MikeThat would be great, but here in the states it's almost as expensive as buying a new house...so if you leave school and have to settle for a low-paying interim job, it can put a hurt on you if not bankrupt you.
To make matters worse, the CG field can be downright brutal, since it's deadline-oriented, to get in at entry-level cause many places are looking for the typical 3-5yrs JOB EXPERIENCE..

Wonderpup
01-01-2008, 12:28 PM
The experience I had with art school made it clear that those who tutored me simply did not have a 'commercial' outlook.

They had an agenda that was about validating their own lives by expounding elegant abstract notions as to design and aethetics that simply had nothing to do with my objective- which was to make money as an artist- in fact it was made fairly clear to me that my grubby interest in financial viability was a character defect of sorts to be lamented.

The currency of their world was not money but a kind of intellectual snobbery that, in my opionion, made them a real liability to those they taught, because it led to the idea that the commercial enviroment would be an extension of their cozy intellectual playground- it wasn't.

Stooch
01-01-2008, 01:09 PM
I know SCAD happens to have a number of scholarships each based on your ability to demonstrate your skill...so I guess you'd be competing with other artists for the same scholarship.
https://www.scad.edu/admission/financial/scholarships/undergraduate/index.cfm.

oh my god no. this thread is great but SCAD isnt... lol. Scholarships? there was a huge student outcry because during my attendance a ridiculous amount of scholarships were given for sports! there were completely incompetent artists getting full scholarhips because they could play ball! because scad wanted a stronger presence in the college sports arena! I was promised to get a scholarship when i went in for a visit and showed my portfolio to a professor, only to have my portfolio lost and never getting a cent.

its designed to take money out of your pocket. its location is career suicide. if i could rewind time id go to school in a city where i could get an internship in the field. it has lots of good aspects but i wouldnt go to scad for CG after my experience. Its amazing but some of the faculty actually made fun of me for using lightwave. I always had a draw towards effects in 3D and when i went to scad i felt that i had to pick between game design or character animation.

they also drill specialization into your head. I had 5 different guidance counselors because of the turnover rate and somehow i ended up "advised" to take class that didnt count towards my degree. I graduated, walked the walk, got a diploma, sold all the stuff i couldnt fit into my car and moved out. only to get a letter 2 months later telling me that i have to go back and take another class. they refused to count the class i took erroneously (under tutelage of my academic "advisors") so now after all this money spent, i dont even have a scad degree. and you know what, im still so pissed about it that i said **** scad and refused to take that final class.

now im a VFX supervisor on a lw feature. **** their diplomas. I dont need it and i refuse to give them another cent. I heard nightmare stories similar to mine by the way, apparently im not the only one that had similar issues.
it almost smells like a scam to me to charge students tuition for classes they dont need. Lol a few students made a website called "scad sucks" that basically tore into scad not sure what came out of it but rumors are there was a settlement of some sorts.

Sure there were some good aspects of going to the school, the social networking, the friends. I just went to echo park to celebrate new years and saw a bunch of classmates. but you know what, thats true with any school. count me as a "burned" student. Im glad im not nearly as deep in the hole as the rest of my classmates. especially the guy still working at a gas station...

ouch.

mr rid has some very useful advice. I spent all my highschool years playing with LW and came to school with more knowledge then i took out of it. all of the stuff that i get money for right now is essentially stemming from those 4 years of tinkering with LW on my own. Moral of the story is, if you dont have the motivation to do this before you even step into a school then maybe CG isnt for you. think long and hard before signing off on all those loans.


p.s. most cg teachers are teachers because they cannot get a job in the field. its a fact people must realize.

Mr Rid
01-01-2008, 08:06 PM
Erm... you can learn as much about software, but there is plenty of other skills that you'll miss out on that are crucial oin bigger productions. Such as how to work in a team - and gather experience with the different roels in production. The so-called soft skills.
And you can just pick up a lot more in a (well motivated) group.

Cheers,
Mike

You can learn all that on the job. School doesnt really prepare you for the politics specific to each facility. Management from house to house or pipeline to pipeline will each handle it things differently anyway. It will be explained to you, or passed over the water cooler, and it aint exactly rocket science. On the job, you pay attention in dailys and you'll pick up on certain common sense discretion when giving and taking criticisms (or you wont because you are a terminal dufas who annoys everyone before they let you go, that school didnt cure). But mostly you just need to be able to solve problems on the task assigned that really has little to do with teamwork. Knowing other aspects of production has greatly helped myself, but it isnt essential.

I had worked with one experienced rigger and character animator (knew expressions like a demon) for a few months who turned to me one day and asked, 'How do you render something in LW?'
I was shocked to discover he knew absolutely nothing about lights or the render panel. Weird, I know, but you may get along just fine with only certain specialized skills (the legendary Doc Bailey also comes to mind). I sat next to one extremely talented generalist who almost never said a single word all day, or ever took breaks. He sat erect in chair, worked like a machine 9 to 6, and went home, always came thru in flying colors, and after 4 months I didnt know a thing about him. On another 3 month project, my CG super never said one word to me the entire time, but the project turned out fine. The 'team' aspect is just usually not all that complicated to figure out.

Have never quite figured out what this teamwork is that some employers go on about. Mostly you sit quietly at a desk with headphones on, solving problems by yourself (a couple of places Ive worked were silent as mausoleums). There may be people seated nearby that you can ask the occasional question or gab about what how miscast the lead of Bionic Woman is, but its not like we are gathered around one monitor, each with a mouse manipulating one license, 'Ok Jim, you've got the X. Steve, you're on the Z. And I'll handle the Y as best I can while making keys. Jim, you may need to keep your spare hand near the Return button since its on your end of the keyboard. Ok team, lets animate!

StevieB
01-01-2008, 08:11 PM
I'm going to make it clear that I'm not going to use 'any' student loans at all, going into debt isn't an option. So far it looks like college is a no go simply because the cost is not worth the possible benefit. I've got 2 and a half years before I head of to college so right now I'm with Stooch, I'm just learning all I can and asking questions like these to feel out a few years and make some decisions ahead of time. If I learn lightwave to the best of my ability for the next 2 years I will learn much more then the average person learns in 2 years especially because I don't have to worry about a lot of deadlines. This is my time to explore and think and learn and save for college. The best part is IF I don't go to college then I will have a lot of extra money in the bank because right now even though I think I'm not going to go I'm saving every penny I get (besides the 211 dollars for LW). Any further thoughts?

Titus
01-01-2008, 08:25 PM
Any further thoughts?

College is not the only path to professional life but the other ways are harder, beleive me.

I went 5 years to college to study physics and astronomy, now, 15 years later I'm studying business, not because I want but because I have the need to run a studio.

Mr Rid
01-01-2008, 08:35 PM
College is not the only path to professional life but the other ways are harder, beleive me.

I went 5 years to college to study physics and astronomy, now, 15 years later I'm studying business, not because I want but because I have the need to run a studio.

But we were talking about CG. I was just thinking back... of all the really talented LW people Ive worked with, none of them went to school for it. They were all self-taught. You dont need school to become any kind of artist.

Titus
01-01-2008, 08:45 PM
But we were talking about CG. I was just thinking back... of all the really talented LW people Ive worked with, none of them went to school for it. They were all self-taught. You dont need school to become any kind of artist.

I have complete respect of everyone's opinions and history. My comment was to show you never knoiw what are gonna do in 5, 10, 15 years (15 years ago I was programming CRAY supercomputers). Having some foundations helps, specially if the CG labor becomes the new "design" career, with low salaries and a gazillions of artists working in the field.

StevieB
01-01-2008, 09:26 PM
I get that. But certain things like chemistry for example. Sure it might happen that one job I get I need to know exactly how a chemical reaction works, so instead of searching it up, I already know it. One that saves me very little time and two the chances of me needing to know that are slim. So is it really a good idea to spend time 'and' money learning crudloads of things that I'm not going to end up using for the most part and could find out with 5 minutes of searching on the internet when I need it later? Time + Cost vs Benefit once again don't balance out.

Mr Rid
01-01-2008, 09:55 PM
...
So, there's no doubt about it, going to a good, reputable college with a very thorough Animation program would be beneficial on several different levels...

As would teaching yourself.



it's just that the cost can be intimidating and downright prohibitive.

Not to mention unnecessary.



Going to school, as someone stated earlier, does allow you the benefit of applying yourself for a few years to nothing but the task of training for this career field...so you are more focused.

Which you can do on your own if so motivated and can put down the Xbox controller, the Dos Equis, or the bong.



It also allows you to have classroom instruction where you are free to ask as many questions as you need without some jerk telling you to read your manual!

Anyone really should hit F1 before asking obvious questions. There are also books, and tons of free tutorials online. There must a thousand of them referenced here- http://members.shaw.ca/LightWavetutorials/Main_Menu.htm
And there is a thing called the Newtek forum.

When I started in LW, I didnt know any other animators and didnt have internet (or cable, which helped with the focus). But I found the best way to learn was by picking up the Best of Lightwave Pro tutorial compilation. Skipping around, I hit about half of the tutorials before starting to get freelance jobs. Cost me $40 to begin a career in CG (using a roomate's Toaster). I rarely looked at the manual, but also bought three books on LW and never had time to read any of them as I became too busy working in CG.



It allows you to collaborate with other students on projects and in the process you will form relationships that you will be able to network with in the future. This may be the best by-product of getting your degree.

That unfortunately wont do much good (just like your degree) without a decent demo reel.




More importantly, though...you will learn a number of things that you won't likely learn on your own...valuable things like Typography (rules that are critical to know if you are doing ANY design related work or Motion Graphics)....

A flying logo aint all that tricky. Hopefully you wont get stuck doing those for too long.


Design principles that play a large role in CG work...like learning the rule of thirds and why that's important. It will help you learn how to use objects people or type in your work to frame the shot or direct the audiences attention where you want it.

I just had to look up the rule of thirds in wikipedia. Yep, now I know what it is. Took about one minute and didnt cost a dime. How did I ever get along without all these rules?



If you just rely on dvd CG training...you CAN still produce an impressive reel, but you will likely be bereft in many essential elements necessary to know in CG work.

Now I have to look up 'bereft.'

Am still wondering what a school will show you for $30k that you cant land a job without knowing and you couldnt possibly learn otherwise. After first learning LW on my own for about a year, I was hired at my first house working with a great bunch of people and a brilliant lead who taught me a lot. Some months after I started, I was told later that when the lead first saw my bereft self-taught demo, he had voiced concern that I might show up and take his job. In the next few years I saw all the demos that came in. Without fail, the ones with the most impressive schooling were the most boring demos. The company expanded on hiring self-taught artists.

One thing Ive noticed is that every good CG artist I ever got to know had some artistic/illustrative talent before they picked up CG, except one who wound up not sticking with it. I think it helps a lot to already be an artist before committing to CG.



Thereby you will have to learn on the job, through trial and error over a longer period...

Trust me, a real job is going to condense learning like no classroom.




So, to sum it up...yes you can train yourself sufficiently, with a good deal of effort and diligence, to ultimately land a job in the CG field, and do well...but it's more advantageous to go to school, naturally. That's if you can avoid having to rack up a huge debt load to do so.

School and debt is more 'natural' than learning for yourself? You stand a better chance of standing out from the herd by teaching yourself instead of following instructions and rules, or paying off debt instead of setting yourself up with a devastating workstation and maybe freelancing from home.

Mr Rid
01-01-2008, 10:22 PM
Mr. Rid,

You are of course correct. My favorite Lucas is THX 1138. His first.

I agree. Although he couldnt help but go back and muss it up with the special addition. Amazing where Lucas didnt understand the style or tone of own film by adding this big ridiculous, modern shwooping CG camera car chase to a such an otherwise somber film. Just stupid.

Return of the Muppets (Jedi) was the single most disappointing movie experience of my life. I was stunned to see the special edition only managed to multiply the insanity. Lucas desperately needs just one person telling him, "Uh, NO George, that's DUMB." George, "OK, then how about Cup Cup Binks?"



On the other hand i've watched people crash and burn trying to make an indie film. As I'm sure you have. Or worst, the "rich kid" with a bunch of new gear that doesn't know what he/she is doing. You've seen that one too, right?

Oh yes. Am avoiding working with one of those right now.



Or that movie that could have been great except that... Not saying that formal education would have rescued the situation, but i've seen, on occasion, where a GOOD school might have made a difference.
I think good experience might have made a difference, whether it came from school or otherwise. I think they just need to learn from it and move on to the next glorious mistake.

AbnRanger
01-02-2008, 10:48 PM
...its location is career suicide. If i could rewind time I'd go to school in a city where i could get an internship in the field.
I believe they have a major campus in Atlanta as well, and if the animation program is taught there, then there should be at least a handful of small and midsize studios there to do an internship with. Perhaps the reason you raised was one reason why they opened up a campus there, in a metro area.

Its amazing but some of the faculty actually made fun of me for using lightwave.Funny you should say that...as hard as you have been recently on LW and users who recommend it. :D Did they know then what you know now?


p.s. most cg teachers are teachers because they cannot get a job in the field. its a fact people must realizeThat may be the case for some...but most of the ads I see for instructors require a degree and at least 3-5yrs in the industry. Maybe some embellish their resumes, and the college staff doesn't thoroughly check their creditionals....but many have simply decided that they just like to teach. Many guys who put out DVD training series also continue to work in the industry as well.
If you said "some" teachers....instead of "most," it may very well be a valid statement...but truth be told,most are in the classroom because they are indeed qualified and they simply enjoy teaching.

hard8
01-02-2008, 11:28 PM
p.s. most cg teachers are teachers because they cannot get a job in the field. its a fact people must realize.

I have to disagree. I took summer courses at WSU in VFX and the instructor was Kim Singhers who was a VFX supervisor at ILM on many films and TV shows.

Now in my case, where I did a stint at the local community college as an instructor, I would agree with you. I was not qualified to teach, but I did it because I was the most qualified.

You get what you put into it.

AbnRanger
01-03-2008, 12:03 AM
p.s. most cg teachers are teachers because they cannot get a job in the field. its a fact people must realize.Just wait til Cresshead reads these words :twak: ....you just stomped on his toes with both feet! :D

Greenlaw
01-03-2008, 01:45 AM
But we were talking about CG. I was just thinking back... of all the really talented LW people Ive worked with, none of them went to school for it. They were all self-taught. You dont need school to become any kind of artist.

I'm with Mr. Rid on this one. He and I discussed this very subject years ago, and we learned that a lot of us did visual effects or animation way back when we were kids, in some situations long before personal computers were available. In my case, I started out doing animation flip-books when I was 7, and gradually moved up to 8mm film by 11, and in a few years I pretty much shot every type of animation or effect I was aware of with it. Granted, some experiments were only a little more successful than most, but I learned from my mistakes. (And my dad still doesn't know how all those scorch marks got on the camera.) :)

I didn't get my first computer until I was about 22 or 23, and then I went straight to work with it as a graphic artist and illustrator.

I'm not saying school isn't important, but if you're truly interested in this type of work I would think you'd be driven to do it in one form or another long before you even start thinking about school (if you think about it at all.) Nothing teaches better than the experience from solving your own technical problems.

Just my two cents.

DRG

Greenlaw
01-03-2008, 02:01 AM
I didn't get my first computer until I was about 22 or 23, and then I went straight to work with it as a graphic artist and illustrator.

I should clarify that I was already working as a non-digital artist long before getting that computer. I went to work straight out of high school in fact, and never really had time for college.

DRG

Steamthrower
01-03-2008, 06:57 AM
College is for many a hangout place for kids with rich parents. You know: cool, let's go get a major in...communication...before the trust fund kicks in.

Yet for many I think it really is a valid place for learning - in some colleges. Whereas many state colleges aren't worth the time and money spent, I believe many private ones can provide an education well worth your efforts.

I wouldn't ever bother going to college to major in something computer related. But I would definitely consider it for something related to the liberal arts.

Lightwolf
01-03-2008, 07:09 AM
You can learn all that on the job.
You can learn everything on the job... get rid of school and kindergarten I tell 'ya ;)
After all, artists don't need to wast their time to learn maths either :D

Cheers,
Mike

Greenlaw
01-03-2008, 12:15 PM
After all, artists don't need to wast their time to learn maths either :D

Well, I wouldn't go so far as to say that. Though, sadly, I have to confess my math skills are pretty poor. :p

DRG

Lightwolf
01-03-2008, 12:20 PM
Well, I wouldn't go so far as to say that.
Well, I was exaggerating... then again, I do expect interns to be able to tell me how many pixels high a 16:9 image with a width of 1024 pixels should be... (surprisingly many fail that).

Cheers,
Mike

Steamthrower
01-03-2008, 12:30 PM
We don't need no education
We don't need no thought control
No dark sarcasm in the classroom
Teachers leave them kids alone
Hey! Teachers! Leave them kids alone!
All in all it's just another brick in the wall.
All in all you're just another brick in the wall.

"Wrong, Do it again!"
"If you don't eat yer meat, you can't have any pudding. How can you
have any pudding if you don't eat yer meat?"
"You! Yes, you behind the bikesheds, stand still laddy!"

:D

Titus
01-03-2008, 01:19 PM
College is for many a hangout place for kids with rich parents. You know: cool, let's go get a major in...communication...before the trust fund kicks in.


College here is free and with good quality, it's a shame this is an expensive option in another countries.

Steamthrower
01-03-2008, 01:42 PM
College here is free and with good quality, it's a shame this is an expensive option in another countries.

I'd say, more accurately, that college there is not exactly free; since you pay for it with taxes. The best liberal arts colleges here are private, though there are some exceptions. You pay for what you get here. A good college can run upwards of $20,000/yr.

Stooch
01-03-2008, 02:57 PM
Just wait til Cresshead reads these words :twak: ....you just stomped on his toes with both feet! :D

i did say most, not all.

Stooch
01-03-2008, 03:06 PM
Funny you should say that...as hard as you have been recently on LW and users who recommend it. :D Did they know then what you know now?

well it was 1999, quite a long time ago. Fast forward to 2008 and im rocking it professionally. Yet i know quite a bit of maya graduates that arent in the field. so it goes back to the notion that its not the tool its the artist using it.

something any faculty member should have known.

Mr Rid
01-03-2008, 03:55 PM
You can learn everything on the job... get rid of school and kindergarten I tell 'ya ;)
After all, artists don't need to wast their time to learn maths either :D

Cheers,
Mike

I am a hopeless right-brainer who took Introduction to Algebra each of my four years in high school. Never passed it. But I find that I can instinctively solve practical problems that math majors would never dream of. My approach to a Gordian knot.
53542

I see how left-brain, techy types tend to think within restrictive mathematical boxes. Good CG artists are problem solvers who find solutions that didnt seem possible within the currently determined paramaters. Programmers LOVE to argue that which can not be done due to perceived limitations dictated by math.

"Argue for your limitations, and sure enough they're yours." -Richard Bach

I slept thru many high school classes, failed sophomore and junior years (went to summer school), didnt finish my senior year, yet somehow I scored A's on most exams and my SAT qualified for Harvard entry. I just care about or do do any of the daily or homework. Didnt need any of it since it had nothing to do with what I wanted to do in life. Wanted to learn filmmaking and FX, so I learned. Without school.


More quotes of Einstien-

"Imagination is more important than knowledge."

"The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant. We have created a society that honors the servant and has forgotten the gift."

"It is better for people to be like the beasts...they should be more intuitive; they should not be too conscious of what they are doing while they are doing it."

"Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts."

"The gift of fantasy has meant more to me than my talent or absorbing positive knowledge."

"As far as the laws of mathematics refer to reality, they are not certain, as far as they are certain, they do not refer to reality."

Lightwolf
01-03-2008, 04:08 PM
Wanted to learn filmmaking and FX, so I learned. Without school.
The problem is... what works for you doesn't work for anybody. Especially not if you are Einstein (or think you are ;) - who was a very good student by the way).

(Hey, I never graduted either, never did sit down to learn at school either - but looking back there's a few opportunities I missed because of that).

Cheers,
Mike

Stooch
01-03-2008, 04:20 PM
I slept thru many high school classes, failed sophomore and junior years (went to summer school), didnt finish my senior year, yet somehow I scored A's on most exams and my SAT qualified for Harvard entry. I just care about or do do any of the daily or homework. Didnt need any of it since it had nothing to do with what I wanted to do in life.

holy crap mr rid. we have alot in common lol. i slept through most of my high school classes and skipped as many as i could, just so that i could stay home and play around with a certain piece of software hah. I also felt that learning chemistry and advanced calculus was a waste of time for me. Pretty much at every parent teacher conference, the recurring theme was "your child is obviously intelligent enough to excel in our classes but he refuses to apply himself. he constantly sleeps during class and doodles on every piece of paper laid in front of him."

My cad teacher complained to my mom that he was disturbed that instead of following the curriculum, i used the software to illustrate a finely detailed handgun. I was shocked at that comment because this was coming from a guy that openly talked about going hunting and shooting animals.

lol i literally had battles going on all around lines of text in my class papers and even my text books. I went through my entire history book and used the eraser tip of my pencil to make all of the people in the pictures have "glowing" eyes and/or shooting cycloptic beams that destroyed various objects in the environments. (lol i didnt realize it back then but i guess that was my inner effects artist trying to break out) It looked cool as hell though! hahahaha.

same with the SAT too. First score was 1260, second score was 1370, nothing special i know but not bad for a "lazy sleeper".

Stooch
01-03-2008, 04:21 PM
The problem is... what works for you doesn't work for anybody. Especially not if you are Einstein (or think you are ;) - who was a very good student by the way).

(Hey, I never graduted either, never did sit down to learn at school either - but looking back there's a few opportunities I missed because of that).

Cheers,
Mike

Einstein was a C level student. he was hated by his teachers, in fact one developed such a grudge against him that he tried to sandbag his career.

Lightwolf
01-03-2008, 04:31 PM
Einstein was a C level student. he was hated by his teachers, in fact one developed such a grudge against him that he tried to sandbag his career.
http://www.abc.net.au/science/k2/moments/s1115185.htm
http://nabeelzeeshan.blogspot.com/2005/10/einsteins-high-school-diploma.html
5 As, 4 Bs, 3 Cs and one D. Not exactly C level...
(The As in history, algebra, two types of geometry, and physics).

Granted, his french grades sucked...

Cheers,
Mike

Mr Rid
01-03-2008, 04:40 PM
The problem is... what works for you doesn't work for anybody. Especially not if you are Einstein (or think you are ;) - who was a very good student by the way).

(Hey, I never graduted either, never did sit down to learn at school either - but looking back there's a few opportunities I missed because of that).

Cheers,
Mike


Like I've said. If you want to go to school, then go. But if someone is asking the question, 'Do you need a degree too enter or succeed in a career in CGI?' The answer is, 'Absolutely not.' It isnt just what works for me. Ive given examples of the majority of artists Ive worked with and of examples and advice of much more succesful creative figures, and I'll give dozens more if still unconvinced... you dont need school in the least to be successful in any creative field. Every good CG artist I have ever worked in the last 12 years was self-taught. It is only the last year that I have started to see some people coming out of the Dave School. But I didnt see that they brought anything particular to the table that the self-taughts didnt. The driven ones tend to have beneficial experience outside of CG as illustrators, sculptures, or have been shooting little movies at home and the like. Each artist knows some stuff and doesnt know other stuff, but they all learn the most on the job.

As Greenlaw mentioned, a creative path always begins outside of school and continues on its own regardless. As Alan Rudolph once said, 'You do it because you have to.' And just wanting a job in CG is different than being driven as a CG artist. If you dont feel all that motivated on your own, then pay someone else to lay out a curriculum for you. Dont listen to me or anyone else, follow your own muse.

Lightwolf
01-03-2008, 04:46 PM
... you dont need school in the least to be successful in any creative field. Every good CG artist I have ever worked in the last 12 years was self-taught. It is only the last year that I have started to see some people coming out of the Dave School.
We are working in a relatively new field though. When I started (shite.... 16 years ago...) there was no adequate place to learn in the first place. And they've only just come up the past few years.
Now the question is... has it changed? Have the requirements changed? Or does education now offer benefits (Benefits it couldn't offer 10 years ago - except for networking that is)?

Cheers,
Mike

Mr Rid
01-03-2008, 05:11 PM
...Pretty much at every parent teacher conference, the recurring theme was "your child is obviously intelligent enough to excel in our classes but he refuses to apply himself. he constantly sleeps during class and doodles on every piece of paper laid in front of him."

Yep! I heard the 'intelligent but doesnt apply himself' thing every year.


i literally had battles going on all around lines of text in my class papers and even my text books. I went through my entire history book and used the eraser tip of my pencil to make all of the people in the pictures have "glowing" eyes and/or shooting cycloptic beams that destroyed various objects in the environments.

I favored the eraser as well for ethereal glows, lasers and eyeballs of the possessed. Jr High and High school I had flipbook animations going on the edge of many books (loved Marvy markers),
http://www.box.net/shared/static/9d1sgopsg0.mov
http://www.box.net/shared/static/vuvary2gws.mov
and galactic wars playing out on every folder. I charged $5 to draw on other kids' folders- a popular theme had something to do with skulls, snakes and demonic warriors. Was always the shortest kid in school (shot up at 18), but I saw how my drawing ability kept me from getting picked on. Got the attention of a few cheerleaders as well... arguably, the real reason for art.

Mr Rid
01-03-2008, 05:55 PM
We are working in a relatively new field though. When I started (shite.... 16 years ago...) there was no adequate place to learn in the first place. And they've only just come up the past few years.
Now the question is... has it changed? Have the requirements changed? Or does education now offer benefits (Benefits it couldn't offer 10 years ago - except for networking that is)?

A degree alone wont get you hired anywhere as a CG artist (maybe as an intern). A good demo reel could get you hired anywhere in CG. I see no connection whatsoever between how kickass a demo reel may or may not be, and the extent of formal education. Any aspect of 3D can be learned by reading, watching and doing tutorials, or by a book, or by forum advice. You can learn skills, but the creative part wont ever come from school. You either have the drive or you dont. Spielberg said the same thing about film school, how it was just a big sandbox to play in. They dont teach you how to be an actual filmmaker. It is a chance to play with big expensive toys that you perhaps could not normally afford on your own. But these days it is way easier than ever to do it all on your own. Ive seen genius with nothing more than a webcam.

If you have NO money, you can use learning editions and cracks until you get your chops up. I see dual Athlon 64 stations for $450. Shoot 24p HD for $500. Capture and edit with Premiere Pro for $700. There ya go. All you need for feature quality work for a few grand. For inspiration, look no further than Rebel Without a Crew- http://www.fvi.org.uk/books04.htm or How a 23-Year-Old Filmmaker With $7,000 Became a Hollywood Player.

Just do it.

StevieB
01-03-2008, 09:24 PM
We don't need no education

'

Yes, as a matter of fact. You DO need education, you've just used a double negative :D.

StevieB
01-03-2008, 09:34 PM
Alright, here's just one more thing I have worried a bit about. I'm okay at 3d art. But with 2d I'm bereft of natural talent and my drawings are laughable. Trust me, I'm practicing drawing just as much as I'm practicing Lightwave, and I do see improvements in both areas. But just to be clear do you think that you need 'natural' talent in art to be a 3d artist. I think the answer is obvious but what have been your experiences?

voriax
01-03-2008, 10:15 PM
Alright, here's just one more thing I have worried a bit about. I'm okay at 3d art. But with 2d I'm bereft of natural talent and my drawings are laughable. Trust me, I'm practicing drawing just as much as I'm practicing Lightwave, and I do see improvements in both areas. But just to be clear do you think that you need 'natural' talent in art to be a 3d artist. I think the answer is obvious but what have been your experiences?

I used to be crap with 2d drawing .. until I did a graphic design course that had an illustration subject. Taught me a lot about how to draw. 2d helps majorly when it comes to 3d stuff, because conceptualising an object or a scene in 2d is a heck of a lot faster than in 3d. If you're creating something, making it up as you go along in 3d is a bad way to go. You don't have to be a master at drawing, though...

I'm not sure what you'd classify as a natural talent in art .. if you mean an eye for art or aesthetics or proportion, then yes you do. Some people just cannot see flaws in something no matter how long they stare at it, whereas another will look at it and within a second see major problems. Seen a few "3d artist" resumes come by my desk just like this; they've been at it for years, but their work is pretty poor, and you can tell from looking that they aren't going to improve in the near future.

I reckon a major part of becoming a 3d artist is the drive to learn, and to teach yourself. Like a lot of people on here, I'm self taught, and one of my biggest irritations is when a person gives up on a problem without really pushing themselves to work out a solution on their own. Or those who sit there waiting for someone else to teach them how to do something. Never get far that way...

There's a big difference between "art" and "design".. I've seen artists who can't design, and designers who aren't artistic. At the same time, a lot of 3d artists can't compose things very well in 2d. In my job I need both .. I design toys, but I also design the packaging and print advertising for the toys, hence the graphic design requirement. That kind of all-round stuff comes in handy.

mrpapabeis
01-04-2008, 01:14 AM
Hmmnnn,


Much has been said here. Some thoughts as follows.

1) Mr. StevieB,

Observe (learn) > Practice > make corrections > more practice > Practice becomes habit > Habit becomes your character > Your character becomes your destiny.

My guess is that your 'rents are flipping out by now. You might consider a "certificate" program instead of going for a four year school. Check out;

http://www.gnomon3d.com/

I'm not endorsing the school itself, but the "in and out quickly" approach. Keeps the costs down, and keeps the folks from having a complete melt down. Of course you could be 50 years old, and I'm completely in the weeds...

2) Mr. Rid, your talent, hard work, passion, and imagination have made you a knowledgeable person.

3) Mr. Stooch, you are right. Most history teachers are clueless. Or burnt out. History should be taught as a great adventure. I was fortunate to have a great history teacher in 5th grade. He would have us read the book and then explain to us what was really going on at the time. It was storytelling. My favorite history book is "A short history of the world" by HG Wells. It only goes up to WWI. Worth reading.

4) Mr. inigo07. Policy at many private schools is driven by the stock holders. Both private and public schools have inherent problems. The rest takes too long to write and I don't want too. A buddy of mine is a high level public school adim. His take;
" Yeah we are teaching the kiddies to be good government employees."

5) And to add to Mr. Ridd's most excellent (cue power chord) advice, public access television will teach you to use their gear for free. I've met a few up and starters that ended up with their own TV shows (like "Born to Ride").

Ok,

I'm all done now,

happy pixeling to all.


GP

archijam
01-04-2008, 01:56 AM
'Yes, as a matter of fact. You DO need education, you've just used a double negative :D.

A musical education (http://www.pink-floyd-lyrics.com/html/another-brick-2-wall.html) is also important ... ;)

Greenlaw
01-04-2008, 09:53 AM
Alright, here's just one more thing I have worried a bit about. I'm okay at 3d art. But with 2d I'm bereft of natural talent and my drawings are laughable. Trust me, I'm practicing drawing just as much as I'm practicing Lightwave, and I do see improvements in both areas. But just to be clear do you think that you need 'natural' talent in art to be a 3d artist. I think the answer is obvious but what have been your experiences?

In cg, particularly for productions that lean towards photorealism, it's probably more important to have a good eye for detail, composition, and lighting. This might come as a natural ability for some but I think many self-professed 'non-artists' can train themselves for it. Even the best artists learn through observation of the world around them, from making mistakes and understanding them, and of course, practicing their skills--all of which 'non-artists' can do if so compelled. It just might take them a little longer.

A background in art, intuitive or otherwise, does help. A lot. And it's because the rules for creating good art is the same for creating good cg. Cg is just another artistic medium, like painting, photography, music, and sculpting. If you've developed skills in one medium, it's going to help you work better in another, and this is especially true in cg because a variety of skills come to play in it. Conversely, getting good in cg will certainly improve your skills in other mediums of art.

DRG

Greenlaw
01-04-2008, 10:14 AM
One more thing: it's also extremely important to be able to handle criticism of your work, constructive or otherwise. Hopefully, you only get the constructive kind, but you have to be able to listen to what others say about your work. You can learn from or dismiss what you hear, you shouldn't completely ignore it. You can learn a lot from how another person sees your work.

(Unless that person is just being mean and spiteful. That's not a real critic, that's just a jerk. Him you can ignore.)

Here at the Box, the whole crew attends dailies and we openly critique each others work. The session is kept civil so there are no hurt feelings, and the results are positive. I'm always amazed by how much each of us will improve our work after these sessions.

DRG

StevieB
01-04-2008, 12:32 PM
One more thing: it's also extremely important to be able to handle criticism of your work, constructive or otherwise. Hopefully, you only get the constructive kind, but you have to be able to listen to what others say about your work. You can learn from or dismiss what you hear, you shouldn't completely ignore it. You can learn a lot from how another person sees your work.

(Unless that person is just being mean and spiteful. That's not a real critic, that's just a jerk. Him you can ignore.)

Here at the Box, the whole crew attends dailies and we openly critique each others work. The session is kept civil so there are no hurt feelings, and the results are positive. I'm always amazed by how much each of us will improve our work after these sessions.

DRG

I'm with you all the way on that one. I activly ask people to be brutal when giving me crits so I can fix every single bit of it. But if someone came and said, 'thats crap, do better', that woudn't fly with me. However I will even listen if someone says, thats crap, and this is why and this is how to fix it. I'm actaully glad if someone crits my work that much. The key to critisism is don't only tell them what the problem is but also how to fix it and at the same time try to tell them something thats good about it. Anyways, I'm all for a bunch of crits.

Steamthrower
01-04-2008, 12:58 PM
I'm with you all the way on that one. I activly ask people to be brutal when giving me crits so I can fix every single bit of it. But if someone came and said, 'thats crap, do better', that woudn't fly with me. However I will even listen if someone says, thats crap, and this is why and this is how to fix it. I'm actaully glad if someone crits my work that much. The key to critisism is don't only tell them what the problem is but also how to fix it and at the same time try to tell them something thats good about it. Anyways, I'm all for a bunch of crits.

Your post was crap, Steve, get over it. :D

Just kidding.

Truly, the ability to take critique is an important one, in whatever field one ends up. The lack of critique is not much else than flattery. I know that without critique, I could never model as well as I can, play guitar as well as I can, drive as well as I can, or do anything.

You can tell a lot about someone's character by how they take comments. I know that once in the WIP subforum I suggested how someone could improve their renderings...basically the simple stuff like adjusting AA and adaptive sampling...and from the response the guy gave ("dude, looks fine to me, bug off!") you'd have thought I told him to go jump in the lake or something.

Anyway...slightly OT...

Greenlaw
01-04-2008, 01:38 PM
Hi,

Yeah, I guess I was starting to veer OT. But I felt these were points that may help one learn the craft and improve their skills, with or without a college education. (Whew! Good save, I hope.) :)

DRG

GATOR
01-09-2008, 06:23 PM
I'll admit I haven't read all the posts in reply, but skimmed through them. But here's my take (this is from University of Florida Fine Arts grad, who has worked for many companies but has run my own 'freelance' company for the past 12 years. I've been in the 'professional art' world for well over 25 years.

You asked two questions. Your post subjects says "College importance in Freelancing" and your poll question asks "Have you Ever been asked for college credentials."

Let me hit the second one first. No, nobody has ever asked for my college creds. And I work (and have worked) for some heavy-hitters as a freelancer. My portfolio and client list is all that I need to get work. Period.

Now, back to your subject headline "College Importance in Freelancing. In my personal opinion, I think that going through college will expose you to a great many disciplines and force you to think in different manners than you're used to. This is a good thing. So, in short, it isn't "Important" to land jobs, but to be a better artist so that you can land jobs? My experience says "yes." Somewhere in there you'll also take classes in everything from Philosophy to Geometry and it will actually make you smarter. Plus, you'll meet some cute (insert desired gender here). That alone was worth half the price of admission.

If you can't afford college...that's cool, just do whatever it takes to make a buck. If that means working your way through college, fine. If that means just starting your own company and passing on school, that's fine too. Rent and beer must be paid for, one way or the other. I worked my way through college pasting-up newspapers and advertisements at just above minimum wage. I hated it. Now half the staff is still at the company I first worked for 25 years ago, most in their 50s and stay to feed their 401ks, and I work about three for four hours a days and live on the beach and work out of my home studio with a nice SEP/IRA. If they quit, they lose their pension. Golden handcuffs. No thanks.

So, I'm not a proponent of "College Degree to get a job with a company" I'm a proponent of "College Degree, if you can pull it off, to be a better rounded artist."

If you just want a short-cut to life and go from High School into Real Life, good luck with that. Maybe you'll pull it off. Anything is possible. I've met some great talent that did pull off...oh, wait, never mind, they all went to college.

I have two friends I've known for decades. Both are on top of their fields, both are much more talented than I am. Both are incredible pain-in-the-asses that nobody wants to work with. Neither has a college degree and I have no doubt that if they went through school they would have learned, like I did, how to get along with others and play nice. And, as someone else noted (and I often state) you learn to survive a daily critique of your work.

This said, I also have a dozen other friends who are also very talented, also the tops in their fields, all college educated, and all respected individuals who are great to work with. Which came first, the chicken or the egg, I don't know. It could work both ways. Both my friends in the first category tried college, but dropped out. I have no doubt that both would be better served by anger-management classes than college because they already have the talent.

Every case is different. I've interviewed art school kids (Ringling, SCAD, RISD) and haven't been particularly impressed compared to state schools. I honestly don't know (meaning...I could be wrong) if it's worth the extra cost. Maybe I didn't see the best examples of these schools.

But if one of my kids (both in High School) wanted to go into art, I would not have a single problem shipping them off to a 4-year school to round-out their talents. I've already pre-paid their tuition for a Florida University. If they wanted to go into pet-grooming I'd still sent them to college.

Again, in case the point is missed, it's not about the degree, but about the experience, and yes, maturity, that will come from the experience.

But it's nice to have a degree too. We artist be a prideful lot!

Don

Sarford
01-15-2008, 07:54 PM
I couldn't agree more with GATOR, and I don't think this can be stressed enough. If you anyhow can aford it, go to college, realy, go.

And from my many years as a freelancer (7+), freelancers get the worst jobs. Its the inhouse art directors and designers which get to conceptualise and design from the start of a project. Only when they can't do the job anymore because of time constrains, is a freelancer called in, and mosty for production tasks. And IF on design and concept tasks its mostly small parts of a bigger project and always under close supervision of the inhouse art directors and/or designers.
Don't get me wrong, it's not a bad job, but as a freelancer you are a hired grunt, not a rock star.

Mr Rid
01-15-2008, 08:16 PM
I couldn't agree more with GATOR, and I don't think this can be stressed enough. If you anyhow can aford it, go to college, realy, go.

And from my many years as a freelancer (7+), freelancers get the worst jobs. Its the inhouse art directors and designers which get to conceptualise and design from the start of a project. Only when they can't do the job anymore because of time constrains, is a freelancer called in, and mosty for production tasks. And IF on design and concept tasks its mostly small parts of a bigger project and always under close supervision of the inhouse art directors and/or designers.
Don't get me wrong, it's not a bad job, but as a freelancer you are a hired grunt, not a rock star.

I would say this is a razor thin perspective. Freelancers are grunts?! I first started my own company so I was immediately supervising on and off set. Within one year on a staff I was supervising. All the supervisors Ive worked under were self-taught. Staffers usually start out as freelance. Have no idea what you are talking about.

mrpapabeis
01-15-2008, 09:27 PM
I would say this is a razor thin perspective. Freelancers are grunts?! I first started my own company so I was immediately supervising on and off set. Within one year on a staff I was supervising. All the supervisors Ive worked under were self-taught. Staffers usually start out as freelance. Have no idea what you are talking about.

Hello Mr. Rid,

I just checked out Sarford's site. He's in a different market and a different part of the world.

BTW thanks for the RF tip that you gave in another thread. Veeeery helpful. ;)


GP

Stooch
01-16-2008, 01:30 AM
Alright, here's just one more thing I have worried a bit about. I'm okay at 3d art. But with 2d I'm bereft of natural talent and my drawings are laughable. Trust me, I'm practicing drawing just as much as I'm practicing Lightwave, and I do see improvements in both areas. But just to be clear do you think that you need 'natural' talent in art to be a 3d artist. I think the answer is obvious but what have been your experiences?

Yes. People who arent good at drawing often get a natural reaction to defend themselves and claim that inability to draw doesnt preclude you from being a great 3d artist. Dont fall victim to such a dismissive and defenstive attitude.

The truth is - being a good illustrator will make you an even better 3d artist. So its totally possible to get there with 3D alone, but you will find that after you learn all the buttons, you still have to create art. illustration = observation < this is critical for successful 3D

Chris S. (Fez)
01-16-2008, 03:08 AM
I personally would prefer to work with someone who can draw. By draw I mean clearly express an idea/concept on paper. Having said that, I have sketchbooks with scribbles that even I can barely decipher.

Ha. I will never forget a usually calm/professional art-director completely freaking out behind a closed door when an outside artist turned in a stippled story board. Paraphrasing:

"What the...! Is that...is that...stippling? Stippling?! On this deadline?! Stippling?!! JFC! Save the advanced ******* technique for the ladies...you are a GD graphic designer, not ******* Divinci!"

So yeah, for a first pass at a composition/concept, stick figures is where it's at :).

mrpapabeis
01-16-2008, 04:12 AM
[QUOTE=Chris S. (Fez)

"What the...! Is that...is that...stippling? Stippling?! On this deadline?! Stippling?!! JFC! Save the advanced ******* technique for the ladies...you are a GD graphic designer, not ******* Divinci!"
.[/QUOTE]


Beautiful......


This made my morning commute.