happymat27 - thanks for the input
yeah I know what you mean about somewhere sucking you dry. Sounds like you did the right thing and got out there doing something like you want.
I might have seen you around if I'd have stuck with one of my choices in September which was the Masters computer animation course at Bradford! As it was I was commuting from Sheffield to Leeds for my job and it seemed (at least at the time) an easier option to go to Leeds Met and do the course there. The only course (masters that is) in sheff is very much down the programming side and altho I do programming, its probably quite a bit different getting into the pyhsics and maths side that is needed in things like games programming. Whereabouts in Sheff are you then? I'm over Nether Edge way
Pure_Morning - thanks for the 'insider' view, its much appreciated. Sounds like you did well in getting straight into the industry as I hear tales about it sometimes taking people years of trying before they luckily make the break (if at all). Part of the aim of doing a course was so that I could solidify the main areas of interest I was after and to give me time to work on the start of a portfolio. Maybe it might be time to start consolidating all those things now and at least get a version1 portfolio in production and seeing what comes of it. When I get a porfolio in development you'll be one of the first to get a link to crit it (if you dont mind that is
petrol - thanks for the rundown on the escape course you're on, I've been all over the net and back finding out info about the various normal and online courses that are on offer and escape still does have appeal.
With regards to modelling I *think* I've got 'the eye' tuned in so that I look beyond the actual software to get the job done and treat it like an object that needs to be constructed/moulded well. Saying that I'm seriously looking at mudbox or zbrush to really push for a realism edge to the stuff. I can be a bit perfectionist and think that you need lots of really high quality models to push for that kind of job.
I'd really love to push the animation element at the minute and see what comes of that as I can be very critical of human style movement in CG and quite often things make me cringe and think 'surely I can do better than that!' - and there's nothing worse than somebody saying that but not doing it
Thanks again for the advice and input from you guys, it really does make the big questions and challenges seem more like an exercise in focus than anything else. There's no end of the world scenarios, just paths to bigger and better things