Seek Professional Opinion for Environment Artist Career Decision


Our son wants to attend college to become a game environment artist for games such as Call of Duty and Divinity. We will be paying for most of his education. We spent a lot of time researching the video game field before contacting several schools and discovered this site.

We understand that “portfolio is crucial” to get a job as a game artist. We’ve narrowed our choices down to two colleges.

We requested examples of graduate artwork, instructor portfolios, and completed games by students and instructors. School A (farther away/more expensive) sent us a link showing student artwork examples as well as examples of completed games. Two instructors at this school worked for Riot Games and Blizzard Entertainment. We have no concerns about School A’s credentials.

School B (closer/costs less) required repeated requests before some student artwork was provided. The instructor at this school eventually sent a link with examples of his video game artwork. He claimed to have co-founded a studio and made a game, but we could find nothing about the studio nor any examples of any game. He told us that he signed an NDA for an educational game and could not show any artwork. He linked a simple puzzle game that a few students made during a Global Game Jam, but we wanted to see examples from graduates that were actually hired full time as game artists besides his own game artwork.

Attached, is portfolio artwork from a public link that the instructor from School B provided. We would appreciate feedback from game artists about it. The portfolio does not appear to showcase professional game art. In fact, student artwork from School A appears to be of higher quality than the artwork from the instructor from School B.

Our son prefers to attend the college that is closer to home, but we have reservations about it based on what we’ve seen.  We can't afford to waste $20,000 plus.

Your opinions about the attached artwork and any recommendations would be much appreciated. 

Thank you in advance,

Jeremy

Replies

  • JordanN
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    JordanN greentooth
    Schools are happy to take money from you, but they don't guarantee they'll get all students a job. 

    Those examples you posted is proof of that. Students can submit anything during class and a teacher has no choice but to pass it along. In reality, those renders are very far away from getting noticed by a professional studio.

    And while the instructor's background is important that they have actual employment experience, don't be fooled that it means the experience will rub off on your child. You have to go above and beyond what the school teaches or what grades your assignments are worth, to actually get inside the industry.

    That's a lesson I'm still paying for after I graduated school. Art jobs are not like other jobs where having a diploma or bachelors means you're hired.

    If you want a job at Call of Duty or Divinity, your son must find actual employees of said games and match their work. For example,

    Environment Artists:
    https://www.artstation.com/nickcomeau
    https://www.artstation.com/timmyen

    Anything less and that's $20,000 burned away.
  • CrackRockSteady
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    CrackRockSteady Polycount Sponsor
    Yeah if that is what the instructor's portfolio looks like I would count that as a big red flag
  • JeremyJDickes
    JordanN said:
    Schools are happy to take money from you, but they don't guarantee they'll get all students a job. 

    Those examples you posted is proof of that. Students can submit anything during class and a teacher has no choice but to pass it along. In reality, those renders are very far away from getting noticed by a professional studio.

    And while the instructor's background is important that they have actual employment experience, don't be fooled that it means the experience will rub off on your child. You have to go above and beyond what the school teaches or what grades your assignments are worth, to actually get inside the industry.

    That's a lesson I'm still paying for after I graduated school. Art jobs are not like other jobs where having a diploma or bachelors means you're hired.

    If you want a job at Call of Duty or Divinity, your son must find actual employees of said games and match their work. For example,

    Environment Artists:
    https://www.artstation.com/nickcomeau
    https://www.artstation.com/timmyen

    Anything less and that's $20,000 burned away.
    JordanN:

    Thank you for your reply.  The art posted is work done by an instructor from School B.
  • crawl
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    crawl null
    Hi @JeremyJDickes

    Have y'all looked into any online schools? I have been researching them the past few months and I narrowed down the solid options to Kingslien's Game Art Institute, CG Spectrum, CG Master Academy, Mold 3D (character/organic focused) and Think Tank Online. The latter was my pick, maybe we could be classmates! Cost wise, these are all waaaay more affordable than the brick and mortar alternatives. If you haven't yet, I would seriously consider these options. They seem to exclusively be staffed by top notch professionals. I went the community college route for a while and it was... disappointing. Anyways, good luck and good parenting!

    PS check out http://www.therookies.co/ for some more schooling ideas
  • Kwramm
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    Kwramm greentooth
    I can't imagine that any studio would hire someone as an artist with this portfolio. The portfolio is, at best, freshman work from someone who never touched 3D before and didn't spend much time honing their skills. If that instructor is really a game art teacher, then forget about this school.

    As mentioned, online school could be an option. Although, those too have perils. You should ensure that any such school offers a solid art education before jumping into the digital realm. For example, a good campus based education would include studio time for life drawing, sketching and painting classes to train student's abilities to perceive form and volume, and to allow them to sketch out their ideas. An online program will need to find a way to make up for this.

    Be wary of any school which will jump right into digital 3D. Those are often schools which teach how to use a software, but not necessarily how to be a (digital) artist. Art skills are the foundation, and they stay with you all your life - software skills, on the other hand, become obsolete all the time. A student needs software proficiency, but that should not be the core of the education.

  • sacboi
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    sacboi polycounter lvl 2

    @JeremyJDickes - has your son any artistic ability/aptitude, whether analogue or digital? I only ask because this online workshop on another renown CG site, CGSociety might interest you and by the way is substantially a less expensive option than a academic pathway you're currently researching: 

    Becoming A Better Artist – Critical knowledge and techniques for today’s artists

    As an all-round foundational arts solution, I'd strongly recommend at least giving this course some serious consideration or even contact the instructor, Robert Chang for further relevant info. Too be clear I'm not affiliated in anyway with the site's admin organisation or for that matter EDU component, other than holding a long time standard user community membership.

    Now my suggestion is purely based upon personal experience as a partime professional digital artist of some 13yrs and 30+ yrs traditional Painter/Carver, so from that stand point I've yet to encounter another Internet tuition avenue approaching a wholly encapsulated curriculum condensed in such a user friendly experience where there is also ongoing 1:1 feedback post course completion available for all current and past students, which in my opinion speaks volumes.              

  • pmiller001
    Online / Send Message
    pmiller001 polycounter lvl 3
    @JeremyJDickes
     I'd suggest online classes now. I dont know where your son is at technically, or artistically, but if money is the issue I would go with online classes. I've had good results with gnomon online (unfortunately they dont serve anyone outside of cali). And I"m currently having great success with the VFX course from CGMaster Academy. 

    Now if you have to go to a school, I wouldn't go just to learn a certain program, or workflow. You can learn all of those with time. I would learn a fine art, ie: painting, graphic design, architectural design, etc. In my case I got a BFA In animation, and that has given me way more advantages than I ever thought it would. 
    short answer, Learn a skill not a program. 
  • Sigmafie
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    Sigmafie polycounter lvl 4
    @JeremyJDickes - You should definitely give this a listen: Should You Go To School - What Nobody Tells You.

    At the end of the day, you should have a discussion with your son about this passion and whether he understands the opportunity cost of going to school for a degree in game art. Particularly when you consider how many other students are already on the path, at home or at a school, and for him to realize that not only are the current artists who makes the games/films he enjoys his competition, but those students will be too (eventually). Earning a living in this field can be difficult.

    Another thing I would mention, for the sake of mentioning it, is that perhaps your son should take a gap year. Let him work a job at a cafe or something (good experience anyway for learning teamwork, work ethic, money management), and in his off-time have him work through online tutorials like those found at Chamferzone. There are many options, and he may end up producing as high-quality work as a professional in 1 year of undivided attention following tutorials than he would at a school, for far cheaper. There are many online communities such as this one that I would argue can get you industry ready (or nearly there), and that with a little push/refinement from the community will definitely make you industry ready.

    If he doesn't know what the process for 3D art in games can look like, he can take a look at this infographic that I am working on (please note it is currently incomplete and needs a lot of information filled out still, it is high level only). But, this will give him some idea of what topics he will need to learn about and just how much information there can be on the technical side, not even including concepts such as color theory, composition, post processing, and more.
  • JeremyJDickes
    Kwramm said:
    I can't imagine that any studio would hire someone as an artist with this portfolio. The portfolio is, at best, freshman work from someone who never touched 3D before and didn't spend much time honing their skills. If that instructor is really a game art teacher, then forget about this school.

    As mentioned, online school could be an option. Although, those too have perils. You should ensure that any such school offers a solid art education before jumping into the digital realm. For example, a good campus based education would include studio time for life drawing, sketching and painting classes to train student's abilities to perceive form and volume, and to allow them to sketch out their ideas. An online program will need to find a way to make up for this.

    Be wary of any school which will jump right into digital 3D. Those are often schools which teach how to use a software, but not necessarily how to be a (digital) artist. Art skills are the foundation, and they stay with you all your life - software skills, on the other hand, become obsolete all the time. A student needs software proficiency, but that should not be the core of the education.

    Kwramm:

    Thank you for the reply.  We will look into the online options.  We were hoping to choose School B because of the convenience of its location to where we live.  Frankly, we are shocked that any school would have an instructor with such poor skills teaching in this field. 

  • JeremyJDickes


    crawl said:
    Hi @JeremyJDickes

    Have y'all looked into any online schools? I have been researching them the past few months and I narrowed down the solid options to Kingslien's Game Art Institute, CG Spectrum, CG Master Academy, Mold 3D (character/organic focused) and Think Tank Online. The latter was my pick, maybe we could be classmates! Cost wise, these are all waaaay more affordable than the brick and mortar alternatives. If you haven't yet, I would seriously consider these options. They seem to exclusively be staffed by top notch professionals. I went the community college route for a while and it was... disappointing. Anyways, good luck and good parenting!

    PS check out http://www.therookies.co/ for some more schooling ideas


    crawl:

    Thank you very much for your excellent ideas and suggestions.  Online may be the way to go!


  • JeremyJDickes
    Sigmafie said:
    @JeremyJDickes - You should definitely give this a listen: Should You Go To School - What Nobody Tells You.

    At the end of the day, you should have a discussion with your son about this passion and whether he understands the opportunity cost of going to school for a degree in game art. Particularly when you consider how many other students are already on the path, at home or at a school, and for him to realize that not only are the current artists who makes the games/films he enjoys his competition, but those students will be too (eventually). Earning a living in this field can be difficult.

    Another thing I would mention, for the sake of mentioning it, is that perhaps your son should take a gap year. Let him work a job at a cafe or something (good experience anyway for learning teamwork, work ethic, money management), and in his off-time have him work through online tutorials like those found at Chamferzone. There are many options, and he may end up producing as high-quality work as a professional in 1 year of undivided attention following tutorials than he would at a school, for far cheaper. There are many online communities such as this one that I would argue can get you industry ready (or nearly there), and that with a little push/refinement from the community will definitely make you industry ready.

    If he doesn't know what the process for 3D art in games can look like, he can take a look at this infographic that I am working on (please note it is currently incomplete and needs a lot of information filled out still, it is high level only). But, this will give him some idea of what topics he will need to learn about and just how much information there can be on the technical side, not even including concepts such as color theory, composition, post processing, and more.


    Sigmafie:

    Thank you for your reply.  My son has some natural pencil art talent.  He also has dabbled in digital art (even teaching me a thing or two about Photoshop).  I have done some project managing for a few board game and toy companies so I am aware of the difficulties in landing a job in the industry and have discussed this with our son.  He is passionate about art and games so we are supportive. 

    We are willing to invest in his education, but our concern is the skill of the people who will be teaching him.  I have always believed that the skill of the student will only be as good as the skill of his teacher.  Some people blindly send their kids off to college not knowing a thing about the instructors!  Based on the poor quality of the instructors artwork in the image I posted, I wonder if School B knows a thing about this instructor that they hired, who is teaching these poor skills to unwary students!

  • JeremyJDickes
    @JeremyJDickes
     I'd suggest online classes now. I dont know where your son is at technically, or artistically, but if money is the issue I would go with online classes. I've had good results with gnomon online (unfortunately they dont serve anyone outside of cali). And I"m currently having great success with the VFX course from CGMaster Academy. 

    Now if you have to go to a school, I wouldn't go just to learn a certain program, or workflow. You can learn all of those with time. I would learn a fine art, ie: painting, graphic design, architectural design, etc. In my case I got a BFA In animation, and that has given me way more advantages than I ever thought it would. 
    short answer, Learn a skill not a program. 


    pmiller001:

    Thank you for taking the time to reply!

  • pangaea
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    pangaea polycounter lvl 4
    https://3d.cgmasteracademy.com/programs/environment-arts-program/

    You should get your son to look at this. Good luck and try to not spend that much money on education.
  • Brian "Panda" Choi
    @JeremyJDickes ;
    SchoolB's artwork is terrible.  That's a super large red flag
  • BrianShray
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    BrianShray polycounter lvl 2
    @JeremyJDickes ; >>  First and foremost, I think its awesome of you to take the initiative as a parent to come on here and get more information first hand, regarding this career field. 

    I remember when I went to school,  the first thing i was asked by the staff before even applying was.. "Do I truly love to MAKE video games or to PLAY video games. There's a huge difference." It's absolutely imperative that you establish this with your child. 

    In any case, no matter what school you pick, the school can only take you halfway. It takes alot of discipline and self-learning to make up the second half and to become successful (and a little bit of luck). Education wise, I'd go with the recommendation of some artist here, If your son has never held a job before, I'd highly recommend having him take up a part-time job. Plus while he is doing that, you can have him take an online course on the Foundation of 3D (e.g. https://www.tttc.ca/online/ ) that can expose him to the intricacies of this field. This should give your son a better idea and make a more informed decision before jumping feet first into a career path that may not necessarily be for him.

    With all that said, those images from School B are, for lack of a better word, Garbage. The quality is comparable to someone who had just started using a 3D software for the first week in their life. I'd avoid the school like the plague. 

  • PixelMasher
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    PixelMasher sublime tool
    I definitely will echo what others have said, the example provided looks like a first year high school students 3d portfolio. 

    I'll chime in from the perspective of someone who is self taught, I never went to college/university, but have been working in the industry for 10+ years. It's great you are already aware that the portfolio is the make it or break it for getting in.

    A degree is not super relevant to getting hired, they do come in useful if you want to work abroad and tick the gatekeeper requirements for a work visa, but if you are already in the states, there is plenty of opportunity there.

    Online resources can be great, like the CGMA courses listed above. You are learning and getting feedback from industry experienced instructors, and the courses are a lot more focused teaching relevant job skills for those who already know what they want to do. Most college courses give you the opportunity to "taste" everything from characters, animation, environments etc. This can be a good way to find something you are passionate about, but if he already knows he wants to make environments, then having a more focused education and building those skills could help him break into the industry faster. spending 3 years making environments vs 3 years dabbling at a bunch of different areas of art, well, you can probably guess who's going to have a stronger environment art portfolio.

    Regardless of whatever you choose, it will be the effort and work he puts in during the hours after school and on weekends building his own projects that nets him a job. I tell most game art students to throw away their student portfolios, they are usually weak because it is the first time they were learning to make something, and it shows. It's the repeated consistent output of having mastered those skills where the really gold portfolio work comes from. 

    finally, I would recommend you encourage him to take some time to travel. That is my biggest regret from my early 20's is focusing too much on getting a career going and not experiencing more of the world. I am making up for it now, but there is something special about backpacking around europe or southeast asia when you are young. Every time I travel I am recharged and inspired to make art. There would be no real downside to getting into the industry a year or 2 later vs the upside of those experiences. of course that's just my own opinion :)
  • JeremyJDickes
    @JeremyJDickes ;
    SchoolB's artwork is terrible.  That's a super large red flag

    @Brian "Panda" Choi:

    Thank you and others here seem to agree with your opinion.  It's a shame really because the school (B) is only a couple hundred miles away!  


  • JeremyJDickes
    @JeremyJDickes ; >>  First and foremost, I think its awesome of you to take the initiative as a parent to come on here and get more information first hand, regarding this career field. 

    I remember when I went to school,  the first thing i was asked by the staff before even applying was.. "Do I truly love to MAKE video games or to PLAY video games. There's a huge difference." It's absolutely imperative that you establish this with your child. 

    In any case, no matter what school you pick, the school can only take you halfway. It takes alot of discipline and self-learning to make up the second half and to become successful (and a little bit of luck). Education wise, I'd go with the recommendation of some artist here, If your son has never held a job before, I'd highly recommend having him take up a part-time job. Plus while he is doing that, you can have him take an online course on the Foundation of 3D (e.g. https://www.tttc.ca/online/ ) that can expose him to the intricacies of this field. This should give your son a better idea and make a more informed decision before jumping feet first into a career path that may not necessarily be for him.

    With all that said, those images from School B are, for lack of a better word, Garbage. The quality is comparable to someone who had just started using a 3D software for the first week in their life. I'd avoid the school like the plague. 


    ;BrianShray:

    Thank you for taking the time to reply with such an excellent post!  I will show my son your post and ask him if he thinks he would love making games more than playing them.  Of course, he may not be able to answer that question until he gets a taste of the training.  This is WHY it's so important that the instructors be not only good at making games, but GOOD teachers as well.  A bad teacher, or someone like the author of the images in my post could destroy the desire of a prospective talent. 

    When we compared the work of the instructors from the two schools, it was obvious to us which was the better choice.  However, we have to weigh the cost and distance factors.  I guess I never realized just how BAD the art from the instructor from School 'B' really was until now.  

    School 'B' does have other instructors (who I have not contacted as of yet, although I probably wont,) and one of the other instructor's work is extremely good.  The problem is that the better instructor won't be teaching all of the classes!  I have asked the author of the artwork in my original post to provide ANY example of a game he has made.  He claims he has made games, yet he can't or won't provide us with even a simple example of one.   We just want to see the quality of any game he has made. 

    My guess is that he probably has not ever made one!  He keeps making excuses and avoiding the request.


     You know the old saying: "Garbage in, garbage out."  We don't want our son to be taught garbage.  We want our son to be taught by experienced, trained professionals who have actually MADE GAMES in the real world. 

    Thank you again!
    Jeremy  

  • BIGTIMEMASTER
    finally, I would recommend you encourage him to take some time to travel. That is my biggest regret from my early 20's is focusing too much on getting a career going and not experiencing more of the world.

    Maybe this is a grass greener type of thing. I spent my youth "adventuring". I had many great times and I won't say I regret anything, but being almost 30 and just now getting serious about building a career kind of sucks. 

    I think a person goes through phases in life, and right now the phase my mind is in is something like I expect to have a certain level of stability and, also, some respect. So it kind of clashes with the fact that I'm in the same boat as annoying 19 year old's who have a lot of talent but can't stay focused. 

    Anyway, for OP: 

    I think what you are doing is great, and I think enough relevant opinions have been shared that my random voice won't add anything. But please make sure that you are not doing all of this planning and consideration apart from your son. Even if he doesn't get it now, having that example of responsibility, intelligent research, and planning for the future is invaluable. Something I think my parents may have tried to impart on me but it didn't really stick.
  • crawl
    Offline / Send Message
    crawl null
    @JeremyJDickes this is worth a watch 
  • JeremyJDickes
    crawl said:
    @JeremyJDickes this is worth a watch 
    Thanks!  Good stuff!  My son and I watched it.  WOW!  At 8:50 it really hits home: "Bad schools and bad instructors can make you worse!"  That's it in a nutshell.
    crawl said:
    @JeremyJDickes this is worth a watch 

    pangaea said:
    https://3d.cgmasteracademy.com/programs/environment-arts-program/

    You should get your son to look at this. Good luck and try to not spend that much money on education.

    sacboi said:

    @JeremyJDickes - has your son any artistic ability/aptitude, whether analogue or digital? I only ask because this online workshop on another renown CG site, CGSociety might interest you and by the way is substantially a less expensive option than a academic pathway you're currently researching: 

    Becoming A Better Artist – Critical knowledge and techniques for today’s artists

    As an all-round foundational arts solution, I'd strongly recommend at least giving this course some serious consideration or even contact the instructor, Robert Chang for further relevant info. Too be clear I'm not affiliated in anyway with the site's admin organisation or for that matter EDU component, other than holding a long time standard user community membership.

    Now my suggestion is purely based upon personal experience as a partime professional digital artist of some 13yrs and 30+ yrs traditional Painter/Carver, so from that stand point I've yet to encounter another Internet tuition avenue approaching a wholly encapsulated curriculum condensed in such a user friendly experience where there is also ongoing 1:1 feedback post course completion available for all current and past students, which in my opinion speaks volumes.              


    sacboi:

    Thank you for your reply.  Yes, he has a natural drawing ability and is currently trying to master Photoshop and  a couple other programs. 

    Many thanks for your excellent suggestions.
  • JeremyJDickes


    Our son wants to attend college to become a game environment artist for games such as Call of Duty and Divinity. We will be paying for most of his education. We spent a lot of time researching the video game field before contacting several schools and discovered this site.

    We understand that “portfolio is crucial” to get a job as a game artist. We’ve narrowed our choices down to two colleges.

    We requested examples of graduate artwork, instructor portfolios, and completed games by students and instructors. School A (farther away/more expensive) sent us a link showing student artwork examples as well as examples of completed games. Two instructors at this school worked for Riot Games and Blizzard Entertainment. We have no concerns about School A’s credentials.

    School B (closer/costs less) required repeated requests before some student artwork was provided. The instructor at this school eventually sent a link with examples of his video game artwork. He claimed to have co-founded a studio and made a game, but we could find nothing about the studio nor any examples of any game. He told us that he signed an NDA for an educational game and could not show any artwork. He linked a simple puzzle game that a few students made during a Global Game Jam, but we wanted to see examples from graduates that were actually hired full time as game artists besides his own game artwork.

    Attached, is portfolio artwork from a public link that the instructor from School B provided. We would appreciate feedback from game artists about it. The portfolio does not appear to showcase professional game art. In fact, student artwork from School A appears to be of higher quality than the artwork from the instructor from School B.

    Our son prefers to attend the college that is closer to home, but we have reservations about it based on what we’ve seen.  We can't afford to waste $20,000 plus.

    Your opinions about the attached artwork and any recommendations would be much appreciated. 

    Thank you in advance,

    Jeremy

    UPDATE!    Thanks again for the valuable feedback.  I wanted to update the thread about an alarming discovery related to the instructor's artwork referred to the images above. 

    I did not originally include a couple of the 2D art examples in this instructor's online portfolio, but one of the pieces, a painting of a frog, initially appeared to be good art.  However, I thought I recognized this frog image from somewhere,  I eventually remembered where I had seen it.  I was helping our older daughter with an Earth science project several years ago.  The project involved creatures that lived in rainforest.  She needed images to complete her project so I helped her search online. 

    I found a photo of a tree frog that was taken by a professional photographer.  The frog in the instructor's portfolio is the same frog in the photograph, except that it was obviously manipulated using Photoshop to look like an original painting.   The instructor did not credit the photographer and is passing off the frog painting as his original artwork.  The site clearly indicates that the photograph must be credited if used.

     Here are both images for you to compare.  The top frog in the following image is the original photo:
    https://imgur.com/7QD4eQQ

    Here is the link to the actual photo:

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/rainforest_harley/232636845/?ytcheck=1&new_session=1
    We find it incredulous that this guy is teaching full time video game art at an accredited college.

    Thanks to the help of this forum, we have averted a costly mistake!

  • JeremyJDickes
  • beccaanthony003
    I'm currently taking classes at CG Master Academy, right now it's in their 2D Foundation Design program but I am very interested in their 3D classes. I'd like to take the texturing classes they offer. But I would say try it out! It's been really good so far and I'm learning a lot! You should look at their student gallery! https://3d.cgmasteracademy.com/student-galleries.html The stuff I'm seeing is amazing in both programs. If your son wants to be a 3D modeler, I would definitely recommend CGMA! They keep adding new classes and they're taught by professional artists. I get to interact with the instructors and other students through a forum. 

    If that is teacher work from a University, I wouldn't feel so confident in learning from them. That is a huge red flag!

    I wish you the best of luck!
  • JeremyJDickes
    I'm currently taking classes at CG Master Academy, right now it's in their 2D Foundation Design program but I am very interested in their 3D classes. I'd like to take the texturing classes they offer. But I would say try it out! It's been really good so far and I'm learning a lot! You should look at their student gallery! https://3d.cgmasteracademy.com/student-galleries.html The stuff I'm seeing is amazing in both programs. If your son wants to be a 3D modeler, I would definitely recommend CGMA! They keep adding new classes and they're taught by professional artists. I get to interact with the instructors and other students through a forum. 

    If that is teacher work from a University, I wouldn't feel so confident in learning from them. That is a huge red flag!

    I wish you the best of luck!

    @ beccaanthony003  Thanks!  I agree with you.  A huge red flag.   The instructor (and author of the work I posted in this thread) not only has poor technical skills, but also equally poor customer relation skills.  I am not surprised by the latter because I emailed the Dean of the college with a complaint regarding the instructor and all I got was a two line reply that claimed he would "look into it."  

    As seen in my previous post, the instructor in question had created a "water color" image of a tree frog using a photo of a real frog.  The problem is that  the frog photo belongs to someone else.  The photographer was not given credit by the instructor despite this being clearly outlined as a "must" on the photographers website.  The instructor is passing this frog off as his original work and this is called plagiarism.  I exposed this deceit in my email to the Dean  but  I see the "frog" is STILL on the college's website despite me exposing this as fraudulent!  


  • JeremyJDickes
    sacboi said:

    @JeremyJDickes - has your son any artistic ability/aptitude, whether analogue or digital? I only ask because this online workshop on another renown CG site, CGSociety might interest you and by the way is substantially a less expensive option than a academic pathway you're currently researching: 

    Becoming A Better Artist – Critical knowledge and techniques for today’s artists

    As an all-round foundational arts solution, I'd strongly recommend at least giving this course some serious consideration or even contact the instructor, Robert Chang for further relevant info. Too be clear I'm not affiliated in anyway with the site's admin organisation or for that matter EDU component, other than holding a long time standard user community membership.

    Now my suggestion is purely based upon personal experience as a partime professional digital artist of some 13yrs and 30+ yrs traditional Painter/Carver, so from that stand point I've yet to encounter another Internet tuition avenue approaching a wholly encapsulated curriculum condensed in such a user friendly experience where there is also ongoing 1:1 feedback post course completion available for all current and past students, which in my opinion speaks volumes.              


    sacboi:

    Thank you for your reply.  Yes, he has a natural drawing ability and is currently trying to master Photoshop and  a couple other programs. 

    Many thanks for your excellent suggestions.
  • JeremyJDickes
    pangaea said:
    https://3d.cgmasteracademy.com/programs/environment-arts-program/

    You should get your son to look at this. Good luck and try to not spend that much money on education.
    @Pangaea,  I showed my son the link you posted.  Wow!  Good stuff.  Thank you.

    sacboi said:

    @JeremyJDickes - has your son any artistic ability/aptitude, whether analogue or digital? I only ask because this online workshop on another renown CG site, CGSociety might interest you and by the way is substantially a less expensive option than a academic pathway you're currently researching: 

    Becoming A Better Artist – Critical knowledge and techniques for today’s artists

    As an all-round foundational arts solution, I'd strongly recommend at least giving this course some serious consideration or even contact the instructor, Robert Chang for further relevant info. Too be clear I'm not affiliated in anyway with the site's admin organisation or for that matter EDU component, other than holding a long time standard user community membership.

    Now my suggestion is purely based upon personal experience as a partime professional digital artist of some 13yrs and 30+ yrs traditional Painter/Carver, so from that stand point I've yet to encounter another Internet tuition avenue approaching a wholly encapsulated curriculum condensed in such a user friendly experience where there is also ongoing 1:1 feedback post course completion available for all current and past students, which in my opinion speaks volumes.              


    sacboi:

    Thank you for your reply.  Yes, he has a natural drawing ability and is currently trying to master Photoshop and  a couple other programs. 

    Many thanks for your excellent suggestions.
  • Square_Triangle

    Jeremy:

    Opening this thread was a major déjà vu.

    You received a lot of practical feedback already. I agree with everyone else that the teacher’s artwork is ludicrous. I know exactly what school you are talking about.

    My nephew (cousin’s son) was a student at “School B,” but he and a couple of his friends dropped out before the end of their first year. I have some relatives in Ames and I have a friend that works at a game studio in Omaha. I had a discussion with my nephew about his experience when I flew in for a visit during the holidays in 2016.

    He told me that he and his friends switched to self learning. He said they learned more watching free YouTube videos than they had at that college. He showed me the site with that instructor’s portfolio as well as student artwork and I recognized some of the images that you posted. He mentioned that two of his teachers were obese guys in their 30s that mostly polished chairs with their asses. One taught scripting and the other taught game dev/art. My nephew said that students usually had up to four weeks to complete simple assignments. My nephew also told me that both of his instructors were recent graduates of the college that they were teaching at. That is a major red flag.

    He also showed me a couple of training videos made by the same game art teacher demonstrating UVing and making normal maps for games. The videos were pathetically bad, off the wall and simplistic.  I told my nephew that his teachers probably never made an actual video game and were just teaching bad habits. The video linked above noted that bad teachers teach the wrong standards and that will set you back. I agree 100%. Definitely a good reason your son should consider online courses taught by artists that have actually made games and know what they are doing. He will need a lot of practical critique and polishing to get a job.

    He said only one graduate from that place got a full time job, a programming gig at some VR outfit. The college had no students working full time in game dev positions as of December 2016 and you don’t have to be Sherlock to figure out why. Photoshopping a photo and passing it off as one’s own artwork is another huge red flag. There is definitely something amiss at that college. Sounds like a diploma mill.

    I asked my friend that works at the game studio about that college when visiting with him about my nephew and he said that they had not hired any graduates from that school even though it is close by. I hope your son finds his calling. I can message you with the studio info and contact name if you want. It might be an eye opening experience if your son and you could visit an actual studio and visit with the artists.






  • JeremyJDickes

    Jeremy:

    Opening this thread was a major déjà vu.

    You received a lot of practical feedback already. I agree with everyone else that the teacher’s artwork is ludicrous. I know exactly what school you are talking about.

    My nephew (cousin’s son) was a student at “School B,” but he and a couple of his friends dropped out before the end of their first year. I have some relatives in Ames and I have a friend that works at a game studio in Omaha. I had a discussion with my nephew about his experience when I flew in for a visit during the holidays in 2016.

    He told me that he and his friends switched to self learning. He said they learned more watching free YouTube videos than they had at that college. He showed me the site with that instructor’s portfolio as well as student artwork and I recognized some of the images that you posted. He mentioned that two of his teachers were obese guys in their 30s that mostly polished chairs with their asses. One taught scripting and the other taught game dev/art. My nephew said that students usually had up to four weeks to complete simple assignments. My nephew also told me that both of his instructors were recent graduates of the college that they were teaching at. That is a major red flag.

    He also showed me a couple of training videos made by the same game art teacher demonstrating UVing and making normal maps for games. The videos were pathetically bad, off the wall and simplistic.  I told my nephew that his teachers probably never made an actual video game and were just teaching bad habits. The video linked above noted that bad teachers teach the wrong standards and that will set you back. I agree 100%. Definitely a good reason your son should consider online courses taught by artists that have actually made games and know what they are doing. He will need a lot of practical critique and polishing to get a job.

    He said only one graduate from that place got a full time job, a programming gig at some VR outfit. The college had no students working full time in game dev positions as of December 2016 and you don’t have to be Sherlock to figure out why. Photoshopping a photo and passing it off as one’s own artwork is another huge red flag. There is definitely something amiss at that college. Sounds like a diploma mill.

    I asked my friend that works at the game studio about that college when visiting with him about my nephew and he said that they had not hired any graduates from that school even though it is close by. I hope your son finds his calling. I can message you with the studio info and contact name if you want. It might be an eye opening experience if your son and you could visit an actual studio and visit with the artists.






    @Square_Triangle:
    I appreciate you sharing that valuable information!  I find it interesting that the teacher at School B claims to have placed around 15 graduates in full time positions in the video game field, yet after reading your post, I find that there have been none!   Not only is the teacher in question a poor artist, it's obvious he has an issue with fabricating facts!   Of course considering I discovered that he has plagiarized others' work, I'm not in the least bit surprised!  

    He also did not disclose that he was a recent graduate from the college.  I am so glad we found the Polycount forum where we have received helpful advice that has saved us a lot of money!   I spoke with my son and he's excited about visiting an actual studio only a few hours from where we live! 

  • JeremyJDickes

    I'm happy to report that my son has decided to take the advice provided by the members of the forum.  He will be taking two online workshops this summer.  He decided to attend a local university part time this fall to take art classes.  He is also going to work part time while going to school.  We really appreciate the feedback that everyone gave us and that it sunk in with my son.

    On a sour note, I recently discovered that my son had been doing online research, looking for workshops and had accidently clicked on the link that opened the school B's instructors portfolio.  I was shocked and dismayed that the plagiarized frog image was STILL on the website!   I emailed the Dean of the college back on March 19th, informing him that one of the school teachers had plagiarized an image and had posted in it on a school supported website.  The Dean replied to me the next day with the following text:  (I have removed the name of the teacher).

    "Dear Mr. Dickes,

    I am sorry to hear of your experiences with Mr. ******.  I appreciate your concerns and will further investigate some of the items addressed in your email.   I do wish your son well as he pursues his career goals."

    ----------------------------

    This was four weeks ago!?  And nothing has been done?  To me, this is unbelievable.  We are so glad we did not commit to School B.

    My son is looking forward to eventually posting his future artwork on this site!

    Thanks again!
    Jeremy


  • Eric Chadwick
    Great to hear the community was able to help!

    We do hear a lot of bad stories from grads who didn't get the education they needed.

    We try to get the word out, but as you've found it's still quite a bit of "buyer beware" out there.
  • dropyhop
    Offline / Send Message
    dropyhop polycounter lvl 4
    I think you made a super cool decision to post on Polycount, so cheers on that!

    Schools and Degree are only for VISA's whereas Company only cares about Porfolio in most cases. PixelMasher has already touched on this but I would to second it. However if two person with similar skill set, one having a degree and other not. The one having it can be priorized since Company think in long term goals. I personally am from Asia and if not for my degree I would'nt be interning at my studio.

    Looking forward to posts from your son! Goodluck :smiley:


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