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Old 05-25-2008, 02:31 PM   #1
TimEdwards
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Default Nervous About Comparing!

Well I've been in these forums a bit in the past bit and I've noticed everyone saying it's all about portfolio. If you don't have a standout portfolio, you'll find it near impossible to get a job. So I stopped what I was doing and decided I needed to get working on new things for my portfolio to keep my skills up.

Now, my degree was an intro to animation, and also only a year long... but I am realizing that 5 months after graduation I didn't forget what I was taught, but I wasn't taught anything exactly. Reading directions and following those is easy, however the more vague the directions, the less I can fill in the details. So that means I was "taught" how to do those particular things but not why or the reasons behind the choices for most of those. For example, I decided I wanted to model my favorite car, the Nissan Skyline GT. I set up my viewports, and began modelling, but as soon as I smoothed the car it had obvious mistakes. Suddenly, I'm starting to wonder... I had an average of 95% and graduated pretty easily... now I'm wondering just how easy it was.

I suddenly feel like I paid $8500 for a computer, 3d studio max and adobe photoshop and some very kind support... but I don't feel like I've learned anything. Perhaps I didn't retain any information, but I really just think I wasn't taught the reasoning or methodology behind making cuts here or editing a polygon there. Wahoo to head aches. Anyone have any suggestions on where I should go to learn more about 3D Studio Max 8 (despite 9 being out now) or even a book?

Anyway thanks guys!
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Old 05-25-2008, 03:10 PM   #2
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I'm a bit dubious about my Computer Science degree myself, since it seems far too easy and basic. Although, at the end of the day, it's just a piece of paper that employers want to see and in the long run it will net me more money than I would have saved if I never went to university.

I think the skills and portfolio you develop in your free time is what will demonstrate your enthusiasm and differentiate you from the crowd. So, I guess there is no point worrying about that when you could focus on something else.
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Old 05-25-2008, 04:08 PM   #3
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I think everyone has had doubts about their program, Tim. I certainly have. What you have to realize is that very rarely is a school program going to give you something 100% new; something you didn't possess - at least in part - before. And certainly not something you couldn't get for free elsewhere, in terms of training and education.

But the main thing a college degree teaches you is the value of hard work, perseverance, and finishing what you start. I barely graduated high school, but have learned to use my passion to help motivate me. That's what my program has taught me most - that if I want something, I can absolutely get it; I just have to work for it.

Sure it's a bit corny, but look a bit deeper. Do you have something now that you didn't have before, aside from knowledge of Max, and some debt?

As for Max, I'd just start off by looking for tutorials on the web. Have you visited 3DTotal?
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Old 05-25-2008, 06:50 PM   #4
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I have checked out tutorials online. The part that is bugging me is when I'm trying to follow a car modelling tutorial, I find myself asking, "Why did they put that there?" "How did they work that flow into the design?" and the questions keep coming... but now there is no one to answer my questions really like I had while taking my course.

One of my friends told me about Animation Mentor, but again that is so expensive. I can't justify shelling out that much cash in general, but especially in mid move across the country.

Other than beginner's knowledge of Max... I honestly can't say I learned any more than that. The thing is I was already working full time and decided to do school in my spare time. Prior to this I made my attempt at Computer Science to which bored me to sleep. There hasn't been a time where I wasn't working and trying to do school at the same time. So all I really learned was my limit. I can't do 2 full time (or more) things for a year straight.

I suppose the only reason I feel very shaken in my degree's credibility is mostly due to the marks I received and the other projects I've seen from students in the same program only a few months later. It's frustrating to know I got great marks, but I don't compare to someone else who obviously excelled. It was like seeing the difference between night and day for the first time and understanding what you see. I feel like I received the destination to which to travel and the tools to travel with... but no actual road or directions to travel with. Those it seems will be an extra investment.

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Old 05-25-2008, 07:19 PM   #5
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3Dbuzz have quite a selection of video tutorials. Perhaps they will be better for you?
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Old 05-26-2008, 07:37 AM   #6
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You could also take a look at some of the Gnomon workshop DVDs. Try and catch them when they're on sale. The instruction given is generally quite good.
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