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Old 23-01-2007, 08:10 AM   #1
t1ck135
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Hi Guys,

I've just been thrown in to a pretty bad state of affairs and would appreciate advice from guys in the industry (and anyone else doing 3D) as to what they think.
Basically I was due to start a Masters in 3D animation next week but have just been informed that the specific course has been cancelled. The main aim was so that it gave me a year's worth of full time experience in modelling and animating and working in teams doing that - the qualification at the end is just an added extra but really isnt half as important as the experience I'd get during that time.

So I have a few options which may or may not be beneficial, let me know what you think:

1) accept an alternate course which may not have much animation content and may or may not be adaptable to give me what I want
2) give it all in and go back to doing web development of which I'm bored of but pays the bills
3) look for a paid course like at escapestudios or similar which is only a short period of time and expensive but will help to push my 3D development
4) Work as hard as possible to produce enough work for a portfolio and try and get a bottom level job in the 3D industry

Now I'm fairly much a realist when it comes to life so would really appreciate views on what people think so I can really analyse the options instead of choosing the 'usual' thing that I'd do.

Thanks in advance for any advice/info people throw my way

Si
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Old 23-01-2007, 11:09 AM   #2
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hey tickles

id go with either 1 or 4 because it seems like 3d is what you really want to do. i'd say more towards 4 because it seems more towards what you would want,whereas 1 "may not have much animation content and may or may not be adaptable to give me what i want".

just my opinion

BTW why was the course cancelled???
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Old 23-01-2007, 12:10 PM   #3
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use this piece of corny advice
"follow ur heart"

do wat u would enjoy dont have money and be miserable

a masters is a ad on the a BA(Hons) ect so wat ever u do it in will look good

if u want experience which it will provide so will work and you get paid
fair enough it might not be a lot at first but companies prefer to hire from within
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Old 23-01-2007, 03:33 PM   #4
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cheers for the input guys, its much appreciated

I get what you mean acid44, thanks
option 1 'may' give me some team based experience if it is animation based whereas option 4 will help hone my skills but it wont be 'professional' based experience. I'd like to think 4 as I've saved up and can go for a year fine (more without paying for a masters course) but that might be bad on the CV if nothing comes of it. Its a hard cookie to crumble.
The course was cancelled due to lack of numbers but there was a problem with communicating that to the potential students for some reason...

cheers pbman, its not corny at all, it can just depend on the situation. I do believe in a job you enjoy, not in one that may give you lots of money but you hate/are bored with or feel unfulfilled with.

Lots more consideration to do....
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Old 23-01-2007, 05:00 PM   #5
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Hey Si,

Bit of where i'm coming form on my advice..

I quit my job when I realised my heart wasn't in it (and it was nicely paid) mainly when they wouldn't train me further than I got too, so I decided to quit it and go and do a degree, in something I was interested in, whilst I was young enough not to have much tie downs. After passing it I got offered a Phd which (obviously) I took, and I've never looked back!

Theres a lot of may's and maybe's on the first option, have a good look in to it, if your going to start a course i'm sure that they are gonna start in sept (assuming that yours was due to start in March??), which gives you lots of time to look into other courses, on this note if your "based" in an area and cant move you might be a bit stuck for the places that you can study.

On 2, I would try to go for what you want to do, the way I looked at it was "its better to regret something you've done that something you aint", end of the day it's only money following what you want to do, and your gonna be happy (hopefully) doing somethinng you want rarther than something you dont, and hey if it all goes skywards you've still got it to fall back on anyway so wheres the loss!

As for 3, One of these might be more benificial than doing a masters, not too sure but to me it might be like a CISCO course for networking, hence on the back of that and a good portfolio you can get in at a higher level than a degree/Masters graduate?? Not too sure on this just my thinking might be worth a the stamps, time and emails???

4 - If you go with your option 2 then i'm sure youll be doing this anyway??

Hope this makes sense.

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Old 23-01-2007, 05:34 PM   #6
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Hey t1ck - sorry to hear that mate - that really sucks. :angery: The same thing happened to my girlfriend and it's just not on.

Obviously I am not in the industry, but here's my two cents anyway - as others have said, if you are not into the web developement than I would definately not go with option 2. It sounds like you have made up your mind on that anyway.

If you are not sure about an alternate course than I would probably leave option 1 as well as you might just end up feeling cheated.

So that leaves 3 and 4 - if you can afford a course at escape than I would probably go with 3, as it may be expensive , but should push you forward.

Personally, I am stuck with 4 - due to my schedule I can't take a course, so I am just trying to get my crap together and hoping that I can get my foot in somewhere.

If you are not happy, don't stick with your day job - You can always fall back on that, but if you don't take the risk than you will just turn into one of those old annoying gits who goes around saying 'I could of done that'.

Hope that helps.
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Old 24-01-2007, 03:31 AM   #7
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thanks for the advice guys, it's helping me to focus on what is right and what will be best in the long term.

gster123 & arran - yeah I was torn between a course that started last september and this one that starts february. In the end I held out for this while I could get everything together and sorted but it hasnt come off. I agree with you about finding as much out about the alternative course as it might not end up pushing me in the right areas.

Holding off till september (again) seems a long way off at the minute but it is a good consideration as it'll give me another 8 months of experience and work. I'm based in sheffield but have no problems commuting quite a lot to other places such as bradford, leeds, manchester, birmingham, nottingham, derby etc as the train system is central and I've been using it to leeds and back every day for the last couple of years.

Doing a course at escape (or similar) does sound good on the surface but I dont know whether it justifies the amount of money you pay and then for temporary accomodation/living during the time too. Especially as I'm thinking that in some areas you will probably end up going over some things you have already self taught yourself. If you are really good then it *may* get you into contact with someone who is looking for what you can deliver but its like gambling with your money - a high risk endeavour...

arran - bad luck with your girlfriend and the same thing happening, it really hits hard when you've prepared for ages to put your all into it to then have it removed at the last minute hope she's sorting herself out and getting back on track with things.

I'll go and have a look at the alternative course on Friday and see if it hits any right notes and think things over more.
Thanks again guys, you are definitely a big help!
Si
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Old 24-01-2007, 11:30 PM   #8
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Hey there Tick,

I have to say that I'm with pbman on this one, follow your heart. I'm sure you really know what option you're going to take but other peoples opinions are good to help you on your way. I was stuck in a job that was sucking my soul so my wife suggested that I get a degree in something that I was interested in. It means being skint for at least 3 years but hey I'm happy and I get to spend a whole load of time with the kids while I'm studying.

Out of interest where was the course that was cancelled meant to take place? I'm commuting from Sheffield to Bradford for my degree, it was the closest place that offered a BA hons course in Computer Animation at the time. It could save me a whole bunch of time and money if I could take the same course locally.

Later,

Mat.
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Old 25-01-2007, 03:57 AM   #9
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well speaking from an "industry" point of view a degree helps but it isn't the be all and end all of getting a job. If you have your heart set on this industry the best thing to do is get experience in whatever way you can! Do you have a reel together? Have you sent it out? Have you checked all the big studios? How old are you (just checking you're not 15 or anything so you get taken seriously!) You could apply for runners jobs (they suck but at least you get into the company). From what I can see we hire people very much on potential so if your reel shows potential then you never know what could happen, your degree wont help you there.

I've been to Escape for a one day session through work and it was good. I think any sort of formal training is great but it's no guarantee of a job!

I got my job through going to Bournemouth Uni to do a MSc in computer animation and I was hired straight from that. But only because I took a chance and sent a, very crappy I have to add, reel and the right person saw it at the right time. Im still here almost 4 years later!

Do you have a link to your portfolio / reel?


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Old 25-01-2007, 10:04 AM   #10
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Hi tickles,

I'm actually on a 12 week course at Escape as we speak. I'm on one of the comprehensive courses. Obviously for that reason there's little point me telling you what i would do.

I would say if your heart is really in it, you need to judge with critical eyes on your own work. Do YOU think you're good enough at the moment? If yes, then seriously just get together as good a showreel asap and get it off to the 'usual suspects' and also a few studios you'd love to work at.

If no, I can only vouch for Escape. I'm sure you've done your research but the tutors there are fantastic. They dont just come with a great wealth of 3d experience, they're really friendly and welcoming people too who will stay hours after classes just to help you and chat about the industry. They really make you feel comfortable, and the environment is spot on. It's expensive but imo you get what you pay for. I've learnt so much in 4 weeks it's almost daunting. It's kinda like a crash course in a way.

Like someone else said, you do need to follow your heart on this as only you will be making the sacrifices. Whatever you choose just go 110% on it, and you can't go wrong.
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Old 26-01-2007, 05:47 AM   #11
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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

Si
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Old 26-01-2007, 03:53 PM   #12
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Yeah,

when I was looking around for courses I found that Sheffield was more games and programming oriented, not really my bag. I can't remember what Leeds had to offer but Bradford must have been better for me as I chose to go there instead.

There are some masters students sitting in the advanced character animation module with us, I think that their marking criteria will be somewhat stricter then mine though!! It'll be interesting to see what they produce at the end of the semester.

I'm in sunny Hillsborough, we've lived here for about 3 years now and I still don't know the areas of Sheffield, my wife said that Nether Edge is a nice part!

Take it easy,

Mat.
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