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3D Training Institute - any good?

Battlecry
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Hi!

This is my first post on Polycount! I have some prior 3D modeling experience in Wings3D and modding games - nothing good enough to share - and am interested in developing my skills further with the ideal goal of working in the game industry. I realize that is not always attainable and would be fine working in less glamorous industries that can make use of 3D skills.

My main interest is hard surface modeling like vehicles and weapons. The 4-month program for 3D Studio Max offered by the 3D Training Institute (3DTi) sounds really appealing but I can't find much information and reviews on it.

Does anyone have any experience with this institute or the 4 month "production-based course" they offer? Will a program like this provide a solid foundation for breaking into the game industry? And are the program features - the post-graduate alumni support - actually beneficial?

http://www.3dtraining.com/asp/programs_3dsmax.aspx



Replies

  • Brian "Panda" Choi
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    Brian "Panda" Choi high dynamic range
    Do they define "post-graduate alumni support" or is that left vague as well?

    Sounds like promises Art Institute has made as well.
  • Aydhe
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    Aydhe polycounter lvl 3
    I'd say, it would be very beneficial for you to post portfolio so people can get idea how good you are and recommend appropriate stuff.
  • Battlecry
    Do they define "post-graduate alumni support" or is that left vague as well?

    Sounds like promises Art Institute has made as well.

    From their website, "post-class support" includes:

    Alumni community access - Access to community site and webinars to keep you in touch with the industry.
    Project assistance - Review and feedback on portfolio/client projects by our supervisors
    Access to the platform for up to 1 year after completion.
    And the vaguely worded "assistance in finding work".

    Post-class support aside, is a class like this even worth considering if one is serious about getting their foot into the industry? Or is it not much more useful than teaching yourself through cheaper/free resources online?


  • samnwck
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    samnwck polycounter lvl 7
    I'm always super wary of companies that boast those types of claims, but looking at their curriculum I don't think it's anything that would be particularly good in a game production environment. Four months is not a lot of time, and a novice can progress a lot in four months but I doubt they could progress to a hireable standard in that time unless they had some pretty good working knowledge on most of the software that game companies use already. 

    The reason I say this is that they have 4 different areas of the program: Interior design, motion graphics, advanced modeling, and character animation. 

    Most game companies have modelers and they have animators with very little overlap. So for two out of the four months you might not be working on things that are particularly useful to you to getting hired. 

    If you want to get into games, there are other courses out there that focus on a specialization such as environment creation, character creation, animations, FX, etc. 

    If you're still interested in their course, I would ask what type of instruction you will receive, will it be primarily watching videos? Will there be 1 on 1 with your instructor? I would also ask who teaches the classes, that is really important. Personally though, if the aim for you is to get into games I'd probably focus your efforts (and dollars) elsewhere. 
  • Battlecry
    samnwck said:
    I'm always super wary of companies that boast those types of claims, but looking at their curriculum I don't think it's anything that would be particularly good in a game production environment. Four months is not a lot of time, and a novice can progress a lot in four months but I doubt they could progress to a hireable standard in that time unless they had some pretty good working knowledge on most of the software that game companies use already. 

    The reason I say this is that they have 4 different areas of the program: Interior design, motion graphics, advanced modeling, and character animation. 

    Most game companies have modelers and they have animators with very little overlap. So for two out of the four months you might not be working on things that are particularly useful to you to getting hired. 

    If you want to get into games, there are other courses out there that focus on a specialization such as environment creation, character creation, animations, FX, etc. 

    If you're still interested in their course, I would ask what type of instruction you will receive, will it be primarily watching videos? Will there be 1 on 1 with your instructor? I would also ask who teaches the classes, that is really important. Personally though, if the aim for you is to get into games I'd probably focus your efforts (and dollars) elsewhere. 
    The instruction is a mix of video tutorials, live online classes once a week, and project assignments with deadlines.
    The biggest omission I find in this course is texturing using Zbrush, Substance Painter and Photoshop.

    Are there any other courses or programs you would recommend that are geared toward 3D modeling and texturing for game development?
  • Marshkin
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    Marshkin polycounter lvl 7
    I'd say check out 3D CGMA - I took courses with them and found them very valuable.

    As for this website... this is going to sound shallow but based on their website design (from a template circa the mid- 2000s by the looks of things), I question the quality of the education. I think the website is a good first indicator. If a company puts time and care into it, they are more likely to have done the same for the server you are actually paying for as well. 

    They make grand promises, selling you on the idea of learning how to do things "in months, not years!" which is another red flag to me. 
  • Biomag
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    Biomag sublime tool
    CGMA and Game Art Institute have online courses for environment and character art. Typically though those courses make only sense once you have a very solid grasp of all the programs involved. You don't want to pay several hundred dollars to learn the programs UI instead of using your lecturer's time to critique your work based on where you need to improve to be hireable.

    CGMA should also have some basic lectures about Maya and modelling for beginners, at least they had previously.

    Yet don't expect to do a course or a handful of them and go from zero to industry professional within a year. Having a solid foundation before taking those advanced courses can help you really make big jumps in your quality. Key to make most out of those courses is to be at a stage where you can focus on training your eye and learn what industry vets are looking for in their work. This mainly requires you not struggling with the software nor basic anatomy or other foundational knowledge.
  • fusedgore
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    fusedgore polycounter lvl 11

    This school is nothing more than a sham , you would learn more from digital tutors and gnomon , They know 0 and never pay employees

  • Sandra68

    I found 3DTraining Institute (3DTi) the only school that gives you a solid foundation in 3D.

    Their courses are well designed and cover all topics. I took the 3dsmax course in 2020 during the pandemic helped me to learn the software and techniques to create 4 in-demand portfolios i.e Architectural Interiors, Logo animation, Car advance modelling and Character animation. Each project is for a month and the videos cover the software tools and project techniques on how to use the tools to create the project.

    The architectural Interior project teaches you to create a floor plan, create wall, floor, ceiling, doors, windows etc. Then you learn to model the furniture and other props like flower vases, tv, lamps etc. using lathe, extrude and other polygon modelling tools. You learn physical materials and UV mapping for texturing sofa covers, photo frames, floor tiles, wooden textures, glasses, mirrors and rugs. Use cloth for creating bedsheets and curtains. Photometric light, shadows, camera, exposure and Arnold render. In one month I had created a photorealistic render of the room and was super excited and proud of my work.

    Next month we started with Logo animations. Here I learnt keyframe animation, paths, and trajectories. I learnt to animate modifiers like bend, taper, ffd and create cool object animation. Draw logos with splines, create 3D bevels and animate them. Next, we learned to mix materials, and maps and create colourful backgrounds. I leant to animate the materials and lights. Use particle system to create glitter and blob animation and added effects like glows and flares. Animated camera movements, motion blurs and did a 10-sec logo animation. Here I learnt a lot about materials and texture and had fun as it was the most creative of projects.

    The following month the Car Modeling project was the most tedious project. First, we had to create a virtual studio to outline the car. I had to first model the outer body using polygon modelling and turbosmooth modifier. Here I learnt in detail the sub-object components like vertex, edges, polygons, elements and techniques how to mirror, symmetry, clone, etc. Then we got into details like hood, grille, windows, handles, exhausts, interior, steering wheel etc., Modeling the tire, using array, grips, and rim. Texturing the names on its sides, bump map, displacement maps etc. Textured nameplates. Final the materials car paint, chrome wheels, tinted glass windows and uvw mapping the car hoods decals. Rendering using HDRI lighting and backplate to put the car in a scene. My family couldn’t make out the difference if the car render was real or computer-generated. It was a lot of hard work but was rewarding to see the final result. Now I can model anything from alien characters to gaming vehicles. The techniques learnt in architectural and car modelling projects were very helpful for creating landscapes, and interior and exterior scenes which am going to export to the game engine Unity to create my first VR project.

    The fourth and final month Character animation project was easy. They provide a complete rig to animate. An introduction and resources for rigging, skinning and biped, facial morphs are provided but the project focuses mainly on animating the rig using the principles of animation like easy in and out, anticipating follow-through, and primary and secondary movements. You have to take a real-world clip and animate your character to match the actions and lip-sync the audio. I learnt planted and sliding keys, morph modifiers, hand constraints, eye controllers etc. It was fun bringing the rig to life.

    The training videos are easy to follow and you learn at your pace. I did pause it for a week when I had other commitments.  But I made sure to attend all the labs held twice every week which I made full use of to get all my doubts cleared by the instructors and also see other students progress and how they solve the problems they face.

    I think for the cost this was a steal and the staff is always encouraging and supportive.

    Now I am learning Revit for half the cost as you can learn the other softwares for half price. Here too they have 4 projects, interior room modelling, resident house, commercial building and urban planning. I am on the 2nd project, a Residential house, but I can see how easy it is to model a cityscape in Revit compared to 3dsmax, which I planning to use to create an alien world for my portfolio.

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