View Full Version : Gnomon Graduate Reels Fall 2008

02-03-2009, 09:11 PM
I got an email from Gnomon showing off their recent graduating class' reels. I thought people might be interested in what $50K gets you (especially if you ever thought of going there):


The good: Obviously the students are really talented and I'm really impressed (and jealous) with the creativity of the material in all of the reals.

The less than good: It seems most of the graduates were modelers and a lot of the reels were really similar. I didn't see much material for visual effects, dynamics, animation, etc. It was mostly hyper-creative creatures.

Overall it's pretty great stuff. But they definitely pay $$$ for it.

02-03-2009, 11:26 PM
The students have good work. Problem is that paying 50k just to learn to do that is way over the top. I see great work all the time...easily as good as that produced by people using free software and no formal training. With the economy the way it is and how competitive this industry can be it doesnt pay to enter the job market starting out with such a large debt.
For the amount of money they spent it seems like they would have been trained to more then whats in those reels.
Ive known several ppl who have gone to Gnomon and was always surprised as to what they had to pay vs what they were taught.
They are also trying to learn Maya and a few other apps at the same time. Ive also yet to meet anyone who was a generalist with maya that way someone might be a generalist with LW. In the end few places care if youve had any schooling or not.

02-04-2009, 12:14 AM
The benefit of self-training is that YOU, the artist, get to choose what software you like instead of being force-fed Maya, Maya, Maya, Maya....
XSI is extremely deep and more modern than Maya, yet you're hard pressed to find colleges that teach it. I understand that it's based on the industry footprint, but there are plently of studios that use both Maya and XSI. So, if you prefer XSI, you almost HAVE to train yourself.
Same goes for LW.

With the economy the way it is, I can see art colleges and their exorbitant costs start fading away. It's just way too cost-effective to learn the same material you'd get in a class room on a DVD or download instead.

I took some evening classes at the Art Institute here at the San Bernardino campus, and it was/is largely a gross waste of money. There were a few classes where I really didn't learn anything (no instructions in technique or theory) I didn't already know, they just gave you projects to complete.
You can find similar or better training online.
I also noticed that for the most part, you have to learn the programs they use on your own time.

If someone is going into graphic design or web design, it perhaps helps to go to school...but I can't see it in 3D animation. There is just WAY too much valuable instruction available online to make it a viable decision, financially speaking.
The DAVE School model may work for some, but I'm not sold that other art schools make much sense in this regard.

02-04-2009, 12:16 AM
Yeah, I think its great to have someone to help guide you through software but 50k?

Thats like licenses for all the packages a few 3rd part render engines and plug-ins and quite a few computers to set up a render farm with.

I am self taught, so I can't imagine but, I suppose having the school on the resume or a teacher that has friends at fx houses ofr recommends is probably what the students hope to get for the 50k though, on top of a good reel.

02-04-2009, 12:47 AM
They are quite nice. Some great sculpts. But i probably wont go for it, unless i were total beginner.

02-04-2009, 08:22 AM
School may reduce the time to aquire the basic skills yo need to break in. It took me several years as a self taught to get my current level of expertise. Now, 10 years after starting doing 3D I'm going to attend Animation Mentor, and am really happy for this decision.

02-04-2009, 08:48 AM
When I was thinking of attending about three years ago it was about $38K. Now it's about $47K. (Not quite $50K).

That's just too much debt to start off with. The payments on that kind of loan were what deterred me. On top of that, you can't work while you're in school full-time, so you have all the living expenses too. For being a "creative" professional, that's just too much money. I could see that kind of money if you were working in a more objective field like IT or nursing, a field that's going to pretty much get a great starting salary.

However, I do think the networking that particular school provides, right there in LA, is a great way to kick-start your career.

I've visited the school and it's pretty nice. I thought about maybe just taking a few courses in subjects I'm interested in, and see if I could get in on the networking in just a few classes versus the whole $47K certificate program.

02-04-2009, 08:56 AM
50k plus expenses is a lot of debt IMO esp when competing against others in a bad economy. Plus theres no guarentee of a job or a good paying job.
Salaries in this field are generally better if your potential employer doesnt know that youre a recent grad. This simply gives them a reason to talk you into a lower salary. I see it happen all the time with graduates.
The networking may or may not be beneficial at the school. Networking is something you can and should be doing anyways by attending user group mtgs, trade shows, online forums etc etc. Youll meet far more people that way and its a lot less costly. I know a lot of people who also take occassional evening classes in human figure drawing etc to keep their skills hones. Those are fairly inexpensve and also another great way to meet others.

02-04-2009, 10:33 PM
I veiwed all of the reels and although I admit there is Quality there, I had to ask myself is that all. $50 K and your a Lighting and texture artist ?
$50 K and your a modeler only ? $50 K and I would want to graduate as Expert Lighting, Texturing, Modeling, Compositor and Character Animator at least.

I always try to keep in mind that learning in an informal manor, I.E. books, tutorials, and the kind advice of forum users here I have not taught myself anything. My Teachers are among the best experts in the world. Dan Ablan, Timothy Albee, The Staff at NewTek who created the video tutorials etc. etc. Oh yea and Spline God too.

The cost of a book like Dan Ablan's (under $50 dol) Inside LightWave series, if diligently followed must be worth $10 or $15 grand. By those results.

Best of all the expertise is at my fingertips and the cirriculum and schedule I can set for myself.