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New student - looking at options.

Hello all, I am 30 years old, I have been a full-stack developer (C#, Python, PHP, Javascript, MYSQL...ect) for about 6 years now, this is not were I wanted to be though, I have a AA in graphic design, and my dream from the time I could conceive the idea of being an adult and holding a job has been working in asset creation for movies or games. I have an opportunity to go back to school, and I have settled on a few options Think Tank, Gnomon, or CGMA, using online method. I am leaning towards Think Tanks online program, I like the student work I've seen, I like the way the course is presented, and most of all, from the few reviews I've read, it's the one that comes off as the most challenging. I know enough of this industry that education isn't the end all...dedication, hard work, and skill seem to be the path forward. A few questions I have are...
  1. Is this assessment involving think tank correct? I want to be challenged.
  2. Has anyone here attended the think tank online program? Any pointers or info I could find handy?
  3. I currently live in Orlando, FL and while there seems to be a 3D/CG scene here with quite a few companies, namely a branch of EA, Universal and Steamroller Studios to name a few. Should I still expect to have to move out west to find entry level work?
  4. I've seen some job post involving pipeline/tools work involving languages such as python and C#, does having a web developer background look good/applicable for roles that involve this?
Thank you in advance and I sincerely look forward to getting to know everyone!

Replies

  • Taylor Brown
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    Taylor Brown ngon master
    If you know nothing, I would start with quality paid tutorials and joining some art communities. Dinusty and polycount are good to start.

    If you're intermediate looking to level up, go with CGMA. Cheaper, more focused and modular curriculum, excellent instructors. Or look into mentorships.

    I did Think Tank online for a bit but it wasnt anything special in hindsight.
  • Eric Chadwick
    On #3, be prepared with significant savings if you want to stay put in one location. Or get other work to tie you over until a nearby opening appears and you win it.

    Moving is the name of the game for most entry level artists; game dev is highly sought and therefore highly competitive.

    On #4 if you want work as a tool dev or tech artist, you must show relevant examples. Fullstack webdev is not the same.
  • c_conroy
    If you know nothing, I would start with quality paid tutorials and joining some art communities. Dinusty and polycount are good to start.

    If you're intermediate looking to level up, go with CGMA. Cheaper, more focused and modular curriculum, excellent instructors. Or look into mentorships.

    I did Think Tank online for a bit but it wasnt anything special in hindsight.
    Thanks for the info! Can you give any recommendations on quality tutorials? I just bought FlippedNormals intro to maya, really good thus far!
  • Barbiturat
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    Barbiturat polycounter lvl 8
    What kind of game art style do you prefer - realistic or stylized ?
  • c_conroy
    What kind of game art style do you prefer - realistic or stylized ?
    I would lean towards realistic
  • sacboi
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    sacboi ngon master
    As a self imposed rule, I don't usually recommend free youtube tutes for anyone too learn from but it appears, especially over recent months a few content providers have up'd their game and made or suggested particular informative channels to follow so here's my tip for Maya instruction material, that's assuming you're working with a 2016/17 EDU licence:

     
    Plus if at the moment paid content is an affordable option, then also checkout Gumroad and Udemy, as well.  
  • Taylor Brown
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    Taylor Brown ngon master
    Paid: Gianpetro Fabre for texturing.

    Simon Fuchs for advanced modeling and hard surface in maya and max/ zbrush as well as texturing in painter

    CGShrimp hard surface modeling in blender

    Artstation Learning: Joe Seabuhrs realistic hero prop lesson

    Free content to check out:
    Polycount wiki and the How the F Do I Model This megathread
    Artuism for texturing techniques
    Michael Pavlovich's zbrush series is the best if you want to get into that
    Ayi Sanchez's texturing fundamentals blog on his artstation though its work in progress
    Tim Simpson's youtube series on environment / trim creation
    Malcolm341s youtube channel has alot of helpful tips... best video out there on texel density which is fundamental. if youre a maya user, his scripts are incredible
    Any articles / tuts you can find by Clinton Crumpler
    Taylor Brandenburger's youtube channel though he doesnt really create much content anymore
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