Blender College?

Hi all,

Like many of you, I’ve played around in blender and putsed around in python, did a bit of work in the gimp and possibly gained a few other skills along the way. And again like many of you I want to get a bachelors degree with the knowledge I have.

Schools don’t teach or allow blender to be used for university work. - this might have come as a shock to many of you, they also show no love for python or the gimp either.

Colleges have sided with the game and animation industry and created maya and 3DS Max as the industry standards, there is no such thing as a blender animation bachelors degree, or a blender game design degree.

This is something that needs to be changed.

I have been enrolled in several game design/computer science bachelors degree programs, and didn’t finish more than 1 semester in each, but since then I’ve gone browsing through game design and computer science degrees and found that if a not for profit organization (such as the blender foundation) wanted to do so, they could create a degree program for animation or game design so long as the program includes so much of a percent of liberal education (examples and suggestions of liberal education are; psychology, calculus, linear algebra, drawing/art, music/sound design, history, foriegn language) and is comprised of no more or less than 128 credits (some institutions get away with more credits, but the accredidation organizations don’t like it and would reject it for a new organization).

So, the main problem is, the blender devs have little time as is to work on blender, having them moderate a degree program with lots of students would probably be too time consuming.

Fear not, I’m not suggesting they switch to teacher mode or anything. So long as the degree requirements are proven by each student, then everything is fine. What could be done is for the devs to issue a list of required proofs for several degree programs.

Then students will bassically perform the required tasks and write essays about topics, examples of performing a task are, make a 5 minute animation involving human like creatures with some special effects, or create several calculus level complex object-oriented mathematical calculations, or demonstrate a knowledge of complex linear algebra, or make a 12 level 2D game that shows the following interactions (list of interactions) or make a 12 area 3D game that shows the following interactions (list of interactions) and has at least a high level of graphical art.

some examples of topics to write about would be, if you used someone else’s python script; write an essay explaining each statement and what it does, or Write an essay that displays a full knowledge of a specific period of any foriegn region’s history (such as medieval europe, or for some people; ancient china ETC.), or Write an essay showing you know how to communicate in a foriegn language (supply the essay in two languages and make an audio recording of yourself reading the foriegn language version), or write an essay about the psychology of designing a videogame including marketing to players.

the Devs/peers wont need to view anyone’s work till they submit the whole finished program. meaning once a person completes all requirements they would let the devs know and send them all files for review, OR we could allow peers to check the work but I’m not sure the accredidation institutions would go for that, unless we provide specific grading criteria and a certain number of required reviews before a final grade can be given, then we’d have to worry about trolls too. But with every problem comes a solution, trolls could be averted by forcing the reviwer to cite portions of the works and explain why they think what they think based only on the academic grading points.

The genreal guide-lines for any creations would be
1: they are entirely creations of your own ownership
2: they are entirely created from scratch not from anyone else’s work (unless it’s stuff like python scripts, which then demand an essay showing a person knows what each statement means.)
3: all portions of the development process are released and categorized for ease of other users.
4: all portions of the creation were made in Blender 3D, the GIMP, a free to use Sound development software (including free trials with no time limit, EX: Midi maker) or the Python API through a text editor.

Either way, Students would be awarded so many credits for each completed task, once done with all tasks they could be supplied a degree by the blender foundation.

In accordance with these tasks it will be required for all materials created for the purpose of completing these tasks to be liscenced under the GPL and released in an editable(source) format and finished (rendered or executable) format for free. Not only is this so the works can be properly graded by peers/devs but also to create a large and extensive blender/python/gimp repository.

the repository is important for any degrees that the blender foundation issues, after all, a degree is a piece of paper that tells employers that you AND the programs you work with are highly capable of fulfilling thier needs, for this reason a large high quality repository will interest alot of animation/game studios into picking up blender as primary development utility which in tun creates a demand for more professionals with a knowledge of blender, and if people are generous means more donations to the blender foundation.

I’ll be letting the devs know of this idea tomorrow to see what they say.

Additional qualities necessary for a game design degree, from knowledge;

A demonstrated knowledge of the inner workings of computers, operating systems and files.

A knowledge of networks

A knowledge of image file compositions (image programming)

A demonstrated knowledge of programming languages Python and C, C++ isn’t completely necessary but recommended.

You should discuss on the bf-education mailing list

I’ve always thought it would be nice if the Blender Foundation and the UK’s Open University would do a basic level 1 module with Blender. As we use videos tutorials, imagine what an educational institute such as the OU could do video wise, especially with their BBC connections. The OU has a Linux short module, so a Blender module would be a great companion to that. Throw in some GIMP and some Python scripting, it would be a very attractive 9 month module. Hell, I’m done with my education now and even I would sign up for it!

Oh well, that really is just dreaming I suppose. So dreaming a bit further, I’ve said for years that Patrick Stewart should voice all video tutorials!

“And this can be done by pressing the ‘Render’ button…MAKE IT SO! ENGAGE!”

There is one person involved in research in this area and this topic was discussed already on BF-Education list and after the BCon13. We are still waiting for research results, so let’s keep this proposal on top and see what is coming from BF.

Thanks, I did contact the BF-Education lists and there has still been no reply from the previous researcher, I voiced my method amongst a bit of concerns by others, I have since begn my own research deeping into the specifics of this topic.

As they say; if you want it done right/fast do it yourself, I’m not big on waiting on other people, I’ve done that before and the fact is, people slack off, people get busy, people get bored and many other conditions that cause people to disappear for months or more with no actual work done during that time, including and not limited to; people die (there have been alot of natural disasters lately…)

besides it never hurts to have more than 1 person research a topic, afterall, one person may look at a paragraph and think to themselves “oh, dead end. guess we can’t do it” where another person thinks “meh I can work around that.”

In fact I’d encourage lots of people to research this as far as they can and report thier findings along the way.

So far in my research I have navigated my way through the USA government pages regarding accreditation institutions, I did not yet look at the government’s full criteria that demand what accreditation institues do, but I have seen an overview.

Apparently in order to be an accreditation institute you merely have to prove without a doubt that your board completes any one of the given articles the federal government supplies in thier regulations… though additional information must be supplied as well in accordance with a specific list.

Found the recognition criteria, I’ll be reading through all the articles to determine if there are any problems for my Idea on the federal level.

I have also anonymosly contacted an accreditation institute. (we’ll see what they reply)

I had a brain storming Idea for dealing with credibility issues, rather than just supplying Grading Rubriks; Allow random already certified persons (persons with a bachelor’s or higher in that area) to grade peoples work based on the rubriks as if they were a teacher.

For this to work students could offer a small amount (set price) of compensation (like $2 a task) to said certified persons as payment for grading the work. in this way college professors could make money on the side when they have nothing to do. In return we get credibility.