What is a good game design school (3-d modeling and animation)


Ive read several reviews of schools (art institute of vancoover and l.a., S.c.a.D, and full sail) and they seem to have nothing but bad things to say. I was wondering where the Devs got their education and what should i be looking for in these schools?


I don’t go to SCAD, but I’ve known a lot of people that went there and I know a teacher or two there, often satisfied with their choice.


With art, school isn’t as important as doing. For art things, it is normally best to find someone you really enjoy and trying to copy their style while developing your own in the process. I’d recommend simply watching tutorials online from bunches if different people, and find a game whose art you really enjoy.


aye but a collegic level education looks good on a resume. I might end up going to ringling


While college level education is required for most places, a good portfolio speaks much, much more. I’d recommend creating a website once you get a bit further in, and put all of your works there.


xdflames is right.

So long as you don’t become a tyrannical dictator and wage war with half the world after being rejected, what art school you go to is mostly irrelevant.


Hey Payton, I graduated from Ringling in 2004. I can’t speak highly enough of the school, faculty, and quality of education.

Recently they created a game design major, but I don’t know much about it. If you’re interested in 3D Modelling and Animation I’d go for the computer animation degree over the game design because you’ll be more flexible.

Either way the best part of Ringling is that you are taught as an artist first and a computer user second. You’ll come out understanding composition, color, film making, animation, life drawing, and most importantly critique skills.

That being said…it is a very expensive venture and now more than ever there are a ton of online resources that could teach you the programs very quickly and cheaply. If you can afford a 4 year school experience I think its totally worth it, but I have met several people in the past few years that have no formal education and can create digital art better then someone with a degree.

Good luck man!

PS, I don’t know where you live, but I’m going to be participating in Ringling’s portfolio day at the Cal Arts campus on October 11th if you can make it.


“heavy breathing” i actually live in Alabama which would make that a distant dream. I could send you my fine art portfolio to sift through via email if you want! But yes id be doing the computer animation,i have no interest in programming. I want to do characters and environments and animate them.


I went to visit Full Sail’s campus while I lived in Florida, and while nice I’ve heard nothing but horror stories about it from some graduates and would suggest avoiding it at most costs.

While some people get great things from it, the extreme curriculum and advanced schedule seems to burn alot of people out leaving them to either fail to complete full school work and drop out or the like. The work they put in far exceeds the amount they’d like and having to juggle the huge load on top of trying to pay bills and survive there is very tough.

There are other avenues out there that far exceed places like that and some have been touched here, also there is a plethora of online courses you can attend along with dvd coursework and demonstrations.

I really like CGSociety too and their outlets. They have alot of data for all kinds of things and is a great hub for meeting people in the Industry and finding out more information about schools and online courses as well


@KabukiTV Bro, I went to UCF.

but seriously @Payton_Dennis, Full Sail, SCAD and Ringling are all great schools, albeit very very pricey.

I went to UCF for their Digital Media Visual Language course, which covered all aspects of 3D media creation. It was a very cool course.

Most of my classmates who were successful, however, were one of the following:

  • Highly motivated (often learning things in their free time as well)
  • Highly talented (but not lazy)
  • Moved to a place with opportunities
  • Went to Graduate school (such as FIEA)

The above are useful with any degree from anywhere. 3-D Modeling and animation both require a high degree of dedication, and time spent learning the art. I’ve had friend who went to Full Sail and wasted about $100K in money just to work at a bar for years. Passion is a huge part of the equation :slight_smile: that and the willingness to take risks and step beyond your comfort zone. OH and network network network. Who you know gets you the interview, who you are gets you the job.

Maybe @GentlemanSquirl can add his two cents!



thank you all for your input, ive reached the point in my life where its time to make the big decision on what i want to do with my life and transfer to a school that teaches it. Ive always had a passion for video games and art so it is just natural i combine the two. Here are a few things from my portfolio that i will be submitting to Ringling, tell me what you think

(im gonna need some human anatomy classes)


Ringling likes real life :slight_smile: So the top one is perfect! I would spend some time sketching rooms, landscapes (or anything with perspective, really) to include. More figures/self portraits. From my friends who attended, they told me Ringling prefers a mix of art but they especially like life-drawing.

Which, as an artist is very hard to come to terms with, believe me.

Here is one of my (unfinished) pieces, if anyone is interested in my artwork, btw! (edit: just so no one thinks I’m full of it for giving art advice >.< )


An artwork thread would be a good idea! we have alot of talented artists in here i think


(yeah they said they want half of your portfolio needs to be life drawings and i’m like @_@. so that’s what i need to work on. Ive wanted to try digital art so i can get that really clean painterly look w/o the mess but the tablets and software are soooo expensive. I figured the school would get me into it.


For sure they can! I know a lot of them have Cintiqs in their labs :slight_smile:


Ive seen the cintiqs in dev videos at ea and bethesda and they look STUPID expensive with my grace id probably drop one. But they look soooooooo cooll i cant wait to try one.


btw i really like the looseness of the hair in your drawing. It has a really nice natural flow to it.


The marginal amount of talent that I was proud of, now depresses me.


They are stupid expensive. Wacom is the gold standard though. There’s a hefty Wacom tax levied against every Cintiq. It’s always driven me crazy because Wacom lags so far behind where today’s tech is. Took them forever to get LED backlit screens and HD resolutions.

There are plenty of alternatives that are nearly as good! Both drawing tablets by other brands and tablet PCs with Wacom pens can do the same thing for less money. Personally, I use a Fujitsu T902 for drawing. It has the added benefit of having enough horsepower to work when doing 3D sculpting too! Microsoft Surface Pros, Samsung Galaxy Notes, and Huion GT models all immediately come to mind as capable alternatives too.

Yay, art! Here’s something I threw together months ago. Just something I doodled for me for once! https://dl-web.dropbox.com/get/feralMyr1440.jpg?_subject_uid=270551828&w=AABTvx-icSsrlOKIPoah3Q-3RJxjC1xpasldVmZEV0v9Ww


I am on the fence if the high end art schools are worth it. The amount of debt you get is pretty overwhelming and sometimes that can stay with you for most of your life. It is good to have a place that will nurture and support your growth. But sometimes the cost is too much and you don’t necessarily need to pay so much for it.

As a start, I would make sure you have a couple key things before even heading out to a school (some of these Jess also listed.).

  • Don’t see lack of skill as a personal failure. There was some quote I read recently that went something like, “The only difference between a master and yourself is the master has failed more than you’ve tried”.

  • Keep at it. If what you are working on didn’t come out right or just plain was stinky. Take a break and then come right back at it. The only time you really fail is when you stop trying.

  • Don’t be lazy. Nobody is going to give you a break, there are too many good artists looking for work. Bust your butt and it may take you a bit, but you’ll get where you want to be.

  • Learn how to take criticism. If someone doesn’t like your work, thats fine. Figure out why and see if you can improve because of it. Ego gets people fired and can stunt your over-all growth.

  • If you arte going for a career in Character or environment art… don’t touch 3D for the first half of your schooling. The basics are way too important. Draw, paint stuff and learn to sculpt with clay. All of those will inform your 3d skills. 3D can be a crutch :confused:

One last thing, get really good at one aspect of 3d develpoment (at first). This one contradicts what I see a lot of schools push. They try to over generalize your art skills in hopes that you’ll be more marketable to more studios(It helps their placement numbers). In my experience that is counter to what a studio is really looking for. If we get someone who is ok at everything but not up to our studio standards, we won’t hire them. They’ll take too much time to train up and while we are doing that, we aren’t making progress on our project. Now if someone applies and shows us that they are good enough at one portion of the pipeline, then they can come on do that work while being trained on other aspects.