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What does your 3D modeling curriculum look like?

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I'm in a shit university, so I'm interested how fast the introduction to 3D modeling class progresses in your place.

3 weeks have passed and here is what we """learned""":
>1st week
Basics of 3ds Max - drawing basic shapes + move, rotate and other tools
>2nd week
Basic edit poly tools
>3rd week
Literally just went through all the object creation tabs and did some animation with default particle systems

1.5 hours per week (keep in mind that's just one and only 3D class for now, though)

Meanwhile, I'm learning by myself:
>watched only first 5 videos by Arrimus 3D and learned more tools in less than an hour
>proceeded to some digital tutors tutorial
>modeled container, backpack and a machete with moderate amount of details
>didn't even work that much until now

If the class continues like this, it will be a complete waste of time. So, once again - what does your curriculum look like and what models are you expected to make during your lessons? I'm really interested so I can compare programs. But basically, every 3D education in this country sucks.
I learnt about Quixel on youtube. My school is free, and I am the president and CEO
What school are you attending? Because all of that was half of the 1st week.
Eastern Europe. How many hours did you have per week? 1.5 hours is not much, but it is still going way too slow.

What were your assignments?

Anyway, I'm learning by myself, it's the only way.
Typically you would choose a school/program that has good results. So checking the works students from that place produced during at the end of their time there. This will give you a generalized idea of the competence in the school.
Fyi I'm in a digital media (multimedia) course. There are no 3D exclusive programs where I'm at. The program is relatively new (6-7 years old) and it has good ratings, but that, ofc, doesn't mean anything.

So basically, this is just one of the classes, and the only 3D class atm. But spending 4.5 hours in 3 weeks on basic shapes doesn't look good.
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Bananamancer here. I'm doing "Game Design" at FUMEC, BH. This'll probably mean very little for 90% of the folks here, but for other soccerball whisperers, I'm going on a bit of a multipost rant/forewarning in case you love games, play games every day and want to get into game production as a job:

Don't fucking bother with this one. Go to PUC or even SAGA. Don’t go to FUMEC.

I'm not jumping into the "College/University is completely useless and you should just learn from home, anon." bandwagon because I do think that some of the input I had from my peers and teachers was invaluable, and the communal aspect of universities combined with the unique development team architecture of game design is a type of raw experience you can't get by yourself sitting at your computer. Some universities also have a tighter finger on the pulse and will inherently have better curriculums to offer their students. However, 90% of the curriculum of this university is lackluster, given to you at the wrong time or straight-up a waste of cash.

Pic related has been my curriculum over the years, along with my grades if that matters at all. It’s obvious from them that I gravitated towards 3D and modeling, and the thread is about 3D and modeling curriculums, I will focus on those. The course lasts three, though soon to evolve into a bachelor and become four years, and every division represents a semester, so six months.

> Introduction to 3D

An introductory class into Maya. You learn basic things like moving around the viewport, creating objects, doing basic mesh operations like extruding, bridging, welding verts. You model a few things together with your teacher AT A VERY SLOW PACE like little dungeon rooms, small houses, a very rudimentary spaceship. You play around with materials a bit and have a final test where you’re given the textures of a Warcraft 3-esque well and must then model that well, UV it and texture it.

All in all, this class is… okay. Though you’re not given enough to do at home and the class goes at a glacial pace due to the number of students and complex software, it’s a good introduction into the area and gets you comfortable with the interface. It’s very arguable whether students who will be meddling into 3D production only at their final two semesters need this class right at the start of the course.

> 3D Environment Modelling

A class by one of my favorite teachers, who unfortunately got shitcanned for “not sticking to the curriculum enough”. You build small props, learn to use NURBS primitives and curves to adorn stages, learn a few more in-depth tools and intricacies of Maya, learn to build a stage in a specific scale with measurement tools, get used to the different types of lights Maya has and how to light said stage properly, and how important properly naming your assets is. It culminates in the class having to join up in one mega-studio, build and present a 3D environment by themselves. The students have leaders dictating tasks for specific things like props, buildings, etc., and they have around three weeks to present that environment, finished and textured.

Usually, this ends up in a disaster. Things are way too high poly, aren’t combined or grouped at all, their transforms aren’t frozen, the construction history is still all there, they aren’t named properly, among a myriad other problems. It is a very eye-opening experience on how difficult it is to coordinate large teams though, so it’s a valuable learning experience, which I think is what the whole point of the exercise is. More importantly, this class had you do assignments every week so that you actually practiced the things you learned in class.

> Creation and Modelling of Characters

Largely, a pointless waste of time class. I came into this one very excited, thinking that it was going to be a more freeflow experience, that we were going to get our hands dirty with our own character concepts, chosen or made. But no. We learned how to create image planes to set up our own references. And then we got set on copying the teacher with very little creative input of our own.

I get that it’s hard to do this. It wasn’t easy for me either. This was the point, however, that I was starting to notice that class speed was just too slow. I wasn’t modelling the characters I wanted to model, and I wasn’t enjoying myself in my favorite field thus far. I went home that night, got a reference sheet off of google, and spent all night watching youtube tutorials and learning how to model characters. My first attempt was a disaster (and my stuff is still pretty crappy), but I learned everything that class had to offer in six months, in a mere three days. I also got ahead of myself and learned how to do basic rigging, which trivialized the next discipline pretty immensely.

The last test we had was to model some cartoon character off of an internet concept. I did that in half a day. Other people who were only following the class, did it in a month and some still had to ask for help towards the end. Almost no assignments, almost no homework, almost no reason to get dirty with the software.

> Sculpting:

A very cool class, from the teacher that got shitcanned. You buy some clay, a lazy susan, some basic tools, bring something you want to model, and then you model that shit in class with everyone else. You could spend a whole semester in that one sculpt, or you could do several, but the teacher helps you all the way and has got your back if he sees that sculpting isn’t for you. You learn some techniques, you see some works by famous sculptors, the teacher himself brings some of his works (guy is a clay guru I tell you). There’s an air of creativity and positiveness on this class, something you wouldn’t be able to get with a stricter curriculum, which is incredible.
When I did this class, it was amazing. Now, it’s garbage. The new teacher expects you to do specific sculpts for most of it. Most of the class is spent watching videos. The air of creativity is mostly gone. It’s become pointless.

> Rigging and Character Animation

A misleading title for a class: we only did rigging the whole semester. Not as pointless as the last class, we did learn about joints and joint hierarchies, joint orientation, weight painting, driven keys and blendshapes. We spent FOUR FUCKING MONTHS skinning one of our teacher’s characters, and again, not our own, and nothing related to gaming either. We had two assignments that whole semester, one where we had to rig a freaky lemon with legs and arms, giant mouth and rapist eyes (I still have the nightmares), and another where we had to skin a weird bird character called serenitas or something.
No class input, no room for creativity, just sit down and follow the teacher like a robot.
> Motion Capture:

The worst of the worst. Our university has a bit of an oddity where it has a motion capture studio, which the course coordinator claims “is the only one in this entire city and one of the only ones in the whole country!”, which I sincerely doubt to this day.

This course coordinator is the reason so many classes are shitty at our college. He ruins everything he teaches. You’d think that we wouldn’t waste time, get down and dirty with some prefabs right away at the studio, but no, we’ve had to sit down for two months now and learn the theory behind the stuff. And we’re having a test, a written test, with fucking pen and paper, on motion capture, when we could be at the laboratory capturing and editing motion data, learning first-hand what the theory behind it is.

This is a class with huge potential behind it, ruined by this guy. We don’t get to learn how the software works because only he is skilled enough to use it, apparently. We don’t get to learn how the cameras are assembled. We just dress up in the suit, dance like a monkey for him for a few seconds and then put that in a character, that we have to model in our own time mind you, then put that character in a scene and hand it to him. Fucking waste of time and potential.

> Digital Sculpting:

Yet another class that used to be good, but has been hamstrung by the course coordinator, for also not following the curriculum enough. It used to be free-flowing, you would bring your characters and ideas to the teacher, and he would in turn help you execute them in Mudbox (the original plan was to license zBrush but the Mudbox licenses were already there, soooo….). Now, we sit down and watch Youtube videos that the teacher prefabbed, while she watches us like a hawk in case anybody is accessing something more interesting during her class. We then paint a few stencils onto the T-rex mesh preset. That’s it. No assignments, no nothing to do at home. It’s pathetic.

This is already way too huge, but I will reiterate: if you live in this city and you’re interested, don’t be fooled by the MEC rating of 4.5 or whatever. It’s a waste of money. Go to SAGA if you’re looking for something on the creative side. Go to PUC if you’re looking for the programming side of things. Don’t go to the half-baked, lazy FUMEC course. I may have given a somewhat good impression of certain 3D classes, but I’ve omitted all other classes, one of the teachers that actually bothered to do a good job is long gone, and 780 Brazilian coconut shavings a month aren’t worth it for this trite.

Feel free to ask me anything about the classes or curriculum. I think I can scrounge up some examples of what we had to do over the years. I’m not going to have any excuses for it being shit besides “I was new at it” but keep in mind, that was the case when I made them.

That was a great write-up, I came back here just while you were writing it.

I don't really know what to say, it is what it is. I just wonder how "good" colleges/universities for 3D look like. I believe Gnomon is one of the best? That's the one I've heard about often.

But yeah, not every country has those kinds of educational programs. 3D is at the moment just one of the areas I'm studying, so I'm not sure if I'll focus on that (and the job market here is questionable, but there is always an option to go out, though), but I'll learn by myself constantly anyway, and not care about the classes.

The only thing that bothers me is that other students don't learn anything by themselves at home, and they wait for a teacher to tell them everything instead. One student asked how to do some simple shit and he didn't even get an answer, because "take it slow, we will learn about that later". Literally WTF?

And there is plenty of information on the internet, the biggest problem is just finding the best source to learn from.
There are some shit schools, and I'm slowly beginning to believe a big part of the 3D industry is a joke (would at least explain all the shitty indie games).

I go to a school specialized in 3D (it's the only thing it teaches). For the first two weeks of our 3D class, our teacher didn't even want to introduce us to the concept of poly-modeling. He had us take two weeks to build a building out of 3ds max primitives (cube, cylinder, torus etc.) so we "could get used to the idea of working with 3D shapes" (he specifically referred to it as a "minecraft-like" assignment).

It took us half a year to even learn about normal maps (in a game-concentration program). And this is supposedly one of the most reputed 3D schools in Canada.
don't get in to this shitstain industry in the first place. we have enough artists to last for another 10 years before we can re-train others to do work.
Is that true? I have no idea what is the state of this industry and where are the jobs. Given that companies like IKEA now want all the furniture in 3D, then there is 3D printing and finally, video games, I'd say there are a lot of places where you can find a job in 3D (if you are good, ofc). But maybe I'm wrong?
A friend started at Gnomon last semester. All I know is I've barely heard a word from him, when we talk all he can say is that he works his ass off night and weekends, and he produces incredible shit.

I guess that gives you an idea of what a top tier program is like. It pushes you too hard, makes you strive past your limits and completely consumes you to get you into the creative lifestyle.

If you're serious about it and don't want to change schools then I recommend just keep doing what you're doing, get your A's in the stupid coursework and try to git gud and develop a portfolio in the meantime
it doesn't mean anything.
for example. im part of a local game developer group and they have this wanted document that anyone who needs work to game related things post in that document.
about 95% of the people that post there ask for C#/unity developer, about 5% need a UI/UIX designer and none actually need art.
this made me think, do people usually commission a programmer to make their games, and then make some shitty art themselves? do they post on other job sites?
im also on another freelance (general) website and a person only commission some 3D model or animation once every 2 weeks, and about 30 people bid on his offer everytime.
so i don't know. maybe people are afraid that art costs too much, maybe they only hire people that they trust, people they don't want other people making art other then themselves. who the fuck knows.
the only thing i know is that unless you are shooting for big industry and know people you don't stand a chance to get stable work or any kind of work
Many schools are shit for 3D/animation and you would be better off learning at home. Hell, I dedicate around four hours every day to continue to learn after my job. Lesson learned, don't pick shit universities - demo reels are key.
Well, I don't know if it's 100% true, though I would have some anecdotal evidence for that.

A guy called Mike Hayes, one of the many modelers for the Need For Speed franchise and teacher at Vancouver Film School, once came to my crappy banana university to give a small modeling extension course, a taste of what they do in the big leagues.

He imparted some fascinating insider knowledge: it would seem that, once you've "made it" into a big studio, retention is incredibly high because, more often than not, people that aren't in leading positions don't really have that much accountability in case something goes wrong. He told us a story of how one of the subsidiaries of EA was dissolved so they could come out in the black for their shareholders, so he was let go. As he was going down the lobby with his stuff, one of his friends was on standby in the lobby and asked him if he wanted a new job. Three weeks later he was working again on another EA subsidiary of all things.

When you've actually made it into the system and you've worked at a studio for a year or so, apparently it's quite effortless to stay in the system and jump from job to job in case your studio dissolves for whatever reason. So I imagine fields like this do have an abundance of 3D modelers.

Not saying you can't find a job since new studios and positions spring up like wildfire, but there you go, you will find no shortage of competition.
i don't want this post to discourage anyone. if you are a person that is naturally good with 3D and progresses fast then you might stand a chance.
look at your own work right now and examine it, try to draw and model much as possible.
im telling you the truth from my own personal experience, you also gotta keep in mind that the average industry artist usually works on several titles, they rotate constantly between companies for some reason.
not trying to sugarcoat, 3D is very competitive. and just because the 3D industry is growing rapidly doesn't mean much to artists. your best chance is to become an FX/animator because that's slightly more in demand than modeling or sculpting
>going to university for 3D

wtf? do people actually do this? why?
because 3D is a technical subject
since this thread turned into 3dcollege discussion, i was wondering if anyone here's had any experience with going to college specifically for 3d animation?
I'm having trouble finding schools that offer anything that specializes in that specific field of study.
It's usually either a modeling related set of courses with one or two animation classes, or 2D animation/drawing/illustration oriented.

Anyone have any experience with schools out here in burgerland for animation? Do any exist, even, or is it all just generalized 3D courses?

Also I've always wondered this since I have no fucking idea how the college system works in this country.
What would a bachelor's degree in this field (animation, or just 3d in general) even be called? Is it just a BFA?

Fine Arts, or computer science.
I am studying Computer Science in Czech Republic, 3rd year in we had two optional classes that had to do with graphics. First semester we had Principles of CG, basically the theory of OpenGL rendering, starting with some math, ending with a shitty C++ renderer, pic related. We mostly used random stolen meshes.
Second semester (right now) we got into modelling. First lesson the teacher showed how to work around Blender, proper normals for nice shading etc. Fast forward to lesson 6, baking textures, then importing and using in UE4.
I already knew all this stuff, but I really like the way it was taught. The teacher is pretty much in charge of the curriculum, he can do whatever he wants, plus there are only a handful of students in this course.
OP here, anyway, just want to mention that if anyone was thinking about going into multimedia/digital media/mixed media or whatever it is called in your country - DON'T.

>positive things
I learned a lot about my passions and got a wide range of basic to moderate skills in different areas, as well as a view in different industries.

>negative things:
This shit is the ultimate "jack of all trades" degree. We were having classes in programming (actually, mostly web development, and that's what most people do after they finish), graphic and web design, audio production (complete trash, I'm producing music for a few years and learned inifinitely more, we even had practice in a real studio and did nothing), video production and post production (loved that desu, but it could have been better), some light marketing, and now 3D modeling and animation.

A lot of people there don't learn anything outside of the curriculum. And if you don't learn anything outside of the curriculum, that means you won't know anything after 3 years.

I'm in a 4th year, and due to some circumstances, I will be here for the next 3 years and get my masters degree. I'm heavily thinking about going out or just getting into another study on parallel next year, though.

It seems that masters will be focused on 3D, but I really doubt in it and don't know how good it will turn out to be. But I'm stuck in here, and now have to get my paper. I'm learning on the side and as I said, I really want to get a second degree.
Back in my place, we're only taught Solid Edge (using bootleg software no less) and Ansys.
I'm pretty sure this is the norm for art classes in general unless you're in an atelier/direct path to employment situation (see: Calarts, VFS). Those are the only places peoole choose to teach, rather than teach because they can't get a real job.
I studied Architecture, so its not exactly the same, but we had a module on digital tools. Basically a quick introduction to Max, CAD, rendering, rhino+grasshopper ect. Showed what you could do with them and how to get started.

Then just advised us to watch tutorials on youtube and try shit it out and keep practicing. So many people didn't get it though, and they'd go to them, not do any further work, then wonder why they found it so hard / didn't know how to use software.

> maybe you should practice you fucking idiots
What's that

Also, what's with that unchamfered edges?
so is knowing how to fix your air conditioner, but who the fuck is spending money on a degree when nobody in the industry cares about a piece of paper, and when you could be honing your skills 500% more efficiently by teaching yourself online?
well you do need a license for 90% of things you gonna do even if you can learn them on youtube.
people still think this is the case with 3D
Well, that is kinda true for every creative field, be it music, film or painting, but people still go into colleges for those. Even if you can learn everything by yourself, you are surrounded with like-minded people, have opportunity to get some connections and mentorships. And also (I don't know if that's the case in Murica), you really want to get a university level of education, because it affects salaries.

You can get a job in programming/web development without a degree too.
I'd like to add to what you said, don't take a school's student work at face value. I went to a school that I later found out weren't showing everything they let graduate. My class, there were 18 of us, I think like 15 of those passed in the end, and only 4 demo reels from my class made it onto the school's site. They let some really bad students pass either for money, or to make sure they are hitting their quotas. One of those students, whose demo reel was featured, actually got a job. Meanwhile the other 3 did not get one, and some of the people who aren't featured actually got a job. But because their reels were focusing on animation, they weren't super flashy to sell a lie to new dumb kids looking into their facility.

Try to find demo reels on YouTube or Vimeo instead, or see if you can find posts on forums from people going to said school and try to find their Artstation or whatever they post to. Judge from final and current course flow to see if you think the school is setting people on the right track. Don't be afraid to be too critical.
>History of Game Design
That should be a red flag to anyone, my course had that and it was there just to get more money out of our loans. It's a useless class that doesn't actually help you to understand game development if you are going into this shit to me a 3D modeler or an animator. You can learn about fucking Mario from Did You Know Gaming instead, FOR FREE.
Yeah, that class wasn't great. It's interesting because everyone who was in that class with me had alarm bells going off in their heads from day one but I didn't for some reason. They knew that, since gaming history is only about 30 years old or so, that you could go through the entire class' curriculum in about one hour-long youtube video.

I certainly learned about some interesting things. The whole history of gaming before the NES was a total blank to me. Tennis for Two on an oscilloscope, Asteroids, the Magnavox Odyssey, Atari's rise to fame with arcades and the 2600, SEGA's first forray into the arcades with the Model 1 and 2 boards, that and much more blew my mind at the time.

Ultimately I have to agree that you really don't need to go through this for six months, you barely need a Saturday afternoon and an internet connection to learn all of it. I don't remember much of it now but it's hard to feel bad when you can re-remember it so easily at any time you want. It's a cash grab through and through.
Is it true you can get a job about a week after leaving VFS? Even from their super intensive 1-year courses?

They offer scholarships to my university but 40.000 CAD is still a hefty price to pay on my garbage currency. But if it's so easy to get a job, I was thinking of going anyway just to get off this shit country.
some college around here says they got 70% placement rate and most of the students they put out.. lets say i wouldn't let them model a toilet for me..
so really if you wanna know just contact some students who went there
>go to uni
>pay top dollar to google stuff

implying everyone gets into crippling debt if they go into uni. not everybody here is murican, believe it or not.

also, because of paper.
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