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Peter Mike Corrigan

what to major in college?

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Hello everyone, I'm an aspiring game developer in new york. I'm looking for a college that will teach me a skill - set that is most applicable to character design and 3D modelling. My GPA is a 3.6, I've dabbled a bit in blender and I've toyed with unity. What major in college best suits my goal and what are some esteemed colleges that have it and are recognized in the industry?

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I'm looking for a college that will teach me a skill - set that is most applicable to character design and 3D modelling. ... What major in college best suits my goal


Art. Go to an art school.

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Er... This is actually a hard one really.

 

A number of artist I had spoken to had told me that it wasn't worth it to go to College for art. As art is subjective and it's really paying over 100,000  for practice and a LOT of work. They don't really teach you. The degree doesn't open much in the way of options for a contingency plan.

 

So... Take my suggestion with a grain of salt as I am not a professional in art, nor do I probably have a right to give advice. But I do have some experience with it.

 

If you only dabbled a bit in blender and toyed with unity. Than you'll need to step up your game. I'm a computer science major. My degree requirement is just one semester in art. Though I'm also required to take an elective. So I took a second semester.

 

The first semester was easy. It was Drawing 101. I got fairly decent yes. But that was from drawing from actual life rather than from imagination.

The second semester... was a nightmare. This was more time consuming, and more difficult than my Assembly class. Not to mention expensive.

 

So here was one of my works from drawing 101. This was done in five minutes. This was a quick sketch assignment just about two weeks into the class.
http://tangletailpro.deviantart.com/art/Charcoal-Drawing-413054487

Then came drawing and painting 2. Which... had a more technical name. But this allowed for more creativity. You were on your own on how to approach assignments.
This work took two weeks of working on it for 5 hours a day. And six on the weekends.  This is on two very large pieces of loose canvas without gesso. Using Pastels.
http://tangletailpro.deviantart.com/art/RogueLike-433439380

 So after a few weeks my warm ups became much better. Acrylics and pottery stains.
http://tangletailpro.deviantart.com/art/WTF-451131222

 

Attention to detail improved as well. This painting is of a picture I have taken at night in a city in texas, while it was POURING on a razor flip phone. Year 2014. Still Pastel. Using some sort of high quality paper.

http://tangletailpro.deviantart.com/art/Happy-Afternoon-448764132

And then finally came expressive story telling..which was a lot like doing heart surgery on yourself. Still Pastel. using brown paper you can find at lowes or homedepo

https://onedrive.live.com/redir?resid=F7BFC85C24456A23!6630&authkey=!AMTrcBEyyJkRLxE&v=3&ithint=photo%2cJPG

https://onedrive.live.com/redir?resid=F7BFC85C24456A23!4547&authkey=!ACYmJ-z1oxyOHvA&v=3&ithint=photo%2cJPG

This thing is 7ft tall 6ft long

 

That was the final project for that semester. Now did they teach me anything? Not really. It's more like a concentrated setting for practice. Hince these quick studies down low. Keep in mind these were done after the class was over. 9 months later without any real practice in that time. These are all done digitally.

http://tangletailpro.deviantart.com/art/Material-Practice-Cave-Stone-No-Reference-494393186

http://orig11.deviantart.net/0f4c/f/2014/172/9/f/sample_4_by_tangletailpro-d7nf926.png

http://orig09.deviantart.net/753a/f/2014/344/e/7/sleepy_by_tangletailpro-d89fdd6.png

http://orig02.deviantart.net/1f7c/f/2014/171/4/6/ghostly_blob2_by_tangletailpro-d7na7ba.png

 

For all painted images, I did not use an eraser tool. Nor did I use layers. This is just everything I picked up from practicing to a finished product.

 

Now... this is not saying I wouldn't have these if I did it on my own time. I think the environment and pressure were factors that helped a lot as well. But remember that you are expected to devote a LOT of time for this.

So... do you really want to go through art school? Are you willing to devote HOURS of your time to art, no exceptions. Are you willing to stand up to the harsh scrutiny of professors as they grade your work? Are you ready to experience someone who drew a line receive more praise than your HOURS of hard work? I'd say go ahead if you are truely sure art is something you want to do. If you wish to play it safe and discover yourself a bit more, than try some other things.
 

Edited by Tangletail

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told me that it wasn't worth it to go to College for art. As art is subjective and it's really paying over 100,000  for practice and a LOT of work.


Okay. OP should get an art degree but should not spend a hundred thousand dollars. There are less-expensive schools (state schools, community colleges...) that offer art degrees.

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This might be a helpful link to read. Don’t go to art school

 

A degree is always a good idea for a possible life outside of game development. In the industry i have never seen much focus placed on the school you are from, all everyone cares about is your portfolio. I suggest you also start by getting maya from steam (montly cost) and starting doing tutorials :).

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For reference, several junior colleges around here costs around 1500-2000 / year. That's good for the first two years. Moving over to a bigger non-profit college for the bachelors degree is around 3000-6000 / year depending on the school.

That's around $20,000, not $100,000.

Although, you CAN find schools that cost much money. Car analogy: Some people can afford a garage with multiple Ferrari, but the cheap reliable Honda Accord has been a mainstay for decades for many people. You CAN spend a lot of money on a school. That usually isn't recommended.

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This question in its basic form comes up frequently in these forums, and I always give basically the same answer.

 

You are not a career.  You are not an entry-level job.  When choosing your post-secondary education, persue the studies that you're most interested in.  If you like visual art, study visual arts and art history.  If basketweaving is your dirty little secret, there are degree programs in which that is prominently featured.  Just finish your degree or diploma.

 

You're probably going to have a lot of jobs (maybe multiple careers), but you're only going to have one life and most of it is going to not be spent as a worker cog.  When I was choosing my post-secondary education, the gamedev industry didn't exist; heck, the PC industry didn't even exist.  Life is short, make it wide and base your long-term decisions on that.

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told me that it wasn't worth it to go to College for art. As art is subjective and it's really paying over 100,000  for practice and a LOT of work.


Okay. OP should get an art degree but should not spend a hundred thousand dollars. There are less-expensive schools (state schools, community colleges...) that offer art degrees.


Mm... well it's more to it than that. And I did say that I probably have no right tongue.png, as it's not my decision. This is a life decision he must make.

Like what the guy above me said, he gets a plus one for some awesome advice I have never seen or heard of, your main goal is usually a bachelors. To get a bachelors degree in America, that's the assumption here, you will be required to take a variety of other classes. A bachelor degree is usually four years in school.

So... going to an art school at a university can cost 15,000 minimum for tuition for just that semester. Then about what ever their cost is per credit hour. Let's say a 3hr course is 220, which is the price of the Jr. College I went to. (Barely remember what it costs at UNT) 12 credit hours is a "full load". So 4 classes in total per semester. 880 in total.

Our total is now 15,880. Lets go ahead and throw in... costs for a dorm. Here it's 4,100 for a dorm. 1,200 for a meal plan. That's per semester. 5300 + 15880 = 17,180 per semester. That is excluding additional fees such as books, parking, lab materials, required software ect.

Two semesters in a year. 2*17,180 = 34,360.
Bachelor is typically 4 years for a non-science degree = 4 * 34,360 = a whopping approximated 137,440 dollars for a bachelors degree. Keep in mind that I am not attending one of the top tier schools. That is actually incredibly cheap.

Annnnd... when I do a search for Art School I usually see Universities pop up. So... no escaping that I guess.

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Okay. Let's just say, then, that a degree is widely recognized as an integral part of preparation for a professional career. Some disagree (the term "widely" acknowledges the lack of universal agreement). And let's say that the choice of degree is indeed up to the individual, and that the individual should study the subject the individual is most interested in. Some might disagree with that as well, I suppose. And let us say that there are varying costs for that education and that it's a good idea to choose one's educational institution(s) based on a variety of factors, cost being a very important factor. It's interesting to note that the current president, and at least one of the candidates for future president, have talked of late about making public college free (and even extending that back retroactively, for those who've already incurred loans). But of course the future is uncertain.

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So... going to an art school at a university can cost 15,000 minimum for tuition for just that semester. ... Our total is now 15,880. ... Two semesters in a year. 2*17,180 = 34,360. ...

Annnnd... when I do a search for Art School I usually see Universities pop up. So... no escaping that I guess.

So don't look for the schools that use pop ups! :-)

 

Seriously, search with better tools. There are many amazing schools that cost far less than 15,000 per semester.  Even if you are paying out-of-state rates, there are still over 1400 big schools in that tool that cost less than that.

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