Thought I would share about my 1 year program and how I ended up with a demo reel. Hopefully this may be of use to readers. Wirting this I miss my time there at Clarke Quay Central.
(At the time of this post my time at 3dsense I graduated in Nov 2018)
Starting with Why?
Some thoughts about why I wanted to go back doing CG. Yours may be different but I feel its important to know why you do what you do. (For Reference see Simon Sinek Start with Why).
I was previously doing Architecture Visualisation and Web Design. Due to changes in my Job I felt it was time to upgrade my old CG Skills where I used only 3dsmax and photoshop.
Started to recount some of the old games I played and the CGI used in the cinematics. But I realised that I was not at a very good starting point. But still it was what I felt when watching movies that got me interested in filmmaking and VFX in the 1990s. My favorite CG film was Jurassic Park.
This lead me to have a curiosity about film and games and wanting to create my own animated shows, where I can tell my own stories and share experiences.
Whatever it was I felt the passion and curiosity coming back and need to do it. Looking at myself back then in late 2017/2018 I felt that might not be another chance to do it at a later age and with other life obligations.
Starting the Registration process
After searching for options I decided for 3dsense media school as the next intake was in Nov 2017. I registered my interest on their website and submitted some portfolio samples for an interview.
Next was the course counseling interview. Off I went to Clarke Quay Central. I had a long 2 hour session about the course and industry. Mostly many student graduates would have to work overseas.
Next I was given a brief overview about the course and what the year long porgram would entail as well as some successes of alumni.
Thinking back now it was a strange place to locate a 3D School in the midst of a Tourist place.
The course is divided into 3 Terms. Term 1 starts off with learning many of the software you will need in Term 2 and 3 depending on your specialisations Animation, Modelling and VFX. You will specialize on one of the techniques in creating CG Images in the later terms.
Software you start off with Maya Fundamentals, Zbrush, Photoshop, Nuke, Substance Painter and Marmoset. These are the main software you will learn. Though I think some Houdini is thrown in in the newer batches.
Techniques you learn are:
- Animation basics from bouncing ball to simple walk cycles And the rice sack.
- Modelling Hardsurface
- You make stuff like houses to props and texture them using substance painter.
- life drawing and portrait drawing
- digital drawing Using photoshop
- Creature Modelling(Zbrush)
- Figure Sculpting and Anatomy (Zbrush)
- Nuke compositing, rotoscoping and rendering
- Basic Houdini
- Rigging in Maya you will make a Biped human rig
After doing a lot of mini assignments and projects ranging from compositing basics in Nuke. Zbrush modeling and Animation basics in Maya. you make a short portfolio for reviews.
Everyone here learn all the generalist skills that are brought over into each specialisation.
Term 1 Projects review.
Everyone will come up on stage to present their works and get feedback on their strengths and weaknesses.
After this you will get to choose your specialization whether it’s Animation, Modeling or VFX.
I decided to go do animation since it was the less software technical demanding on I can’t comment much on the other specializations as I was not in them but I will give a brief summary about it at the end.
Term 2 Animation
This stage we focused on body mechanics purely. You will build upon the basics of a walk cycles and weight shift.
We do animation exercises like making a character getting up. Run cycles, Wall run and Parkour and sports type actions. There were some game animations thrown into show how to make combat animations.
Every 4-5 weeks you get to have a review 🙀
Here for animation you keep building up on the Body mechanics and start to work in some animation action without dialogue this helps to teach how to communicate without dialogue.
Learning about mouth shapes and how to animation a character with dialoge in context with a scene.
Lastly once all that is done you will attempt to animate a dragon.
That’s it for the animation track and a bit on the course.
The other specializations
Modelling focused heavily on Anatomy and Hardsuface. It will be more in depth than term 1. Students will have to build more higher res details models and props.
There is also an enviroment model scene such as a full interior house or exterial street scene.
at the end of the Term 3 you will create 1 full character design sculpt of your choice with armor and clothing. It will be exported to Marmoset or Unreal engine.
VFX in term 2 focus more on Houdini and Advance Nuke compositing this track is the hardest as you have to learn Houdini which is massive.
VFX in term 3 will be focusing on a group project.
The whole shot is created from scratch all digital.