VFX Education Discussion

I’m trying to learn as much as possible about schools that teach vfx and the industry in general before I put any serious money towards it. I thought it wouldn’t hurt to ask around here about the various schools and jobs people may have experienced, and get some different opinions.

So in the interest of starting a discussion, I’m very curious to hear your opinion on the subject. What did you like/dislike about a school, do you believe a formal education is required to get into the vfx industry? What jobs have you done, what do you think about the industry in general? ect…

I’ll try to start, but my opinion is lmited since I have only looked at a few schools, and lack any kind of professional experience.

As a Canadian, it looks like the best schools are in Vancouver BC. Schools like CG Masters and Lost Boys offer specialized courses that focus on a very specific area of the industry, like compositing or 3D modeling. I think these schools are more attractive than something more general like VanArts or Seneca in Toronto. The big downside is that these schools are expensive, with tuitions upwards of $34,000.

I can’t chime in on traditional schools where you go and sit behind desk with a teacher, but I have spent a considerable amount of money on fxphd.com courses and they have been worth it. They are probably not good for overall introduction, you’ll get better intro material free from web or for small fee from lynda.com, but for some more specialty stuff, tips/tricks and really high level technical information it is a very good source. I’m personally mainly onto compositing, so I have watched forwards and backwards most of their Nuke stuff, but they have more general vfx related material also. Matte painting, comping, 3D, finishing, grading, color science, simulations, you name it. The price is currently 99$ per month, but you can download all the videos and material for later use.

Thanks for the reply kesonmis. I’ll admit I have been biased towards online education, but I suppose this would be one of the best fields for it, since all the tools are on the computer anyways. I’m focusing on compositing as well, though mostly because its the only field I’ve worked with before. Blender is like my intro to 3D, and so far I’m enjoying it. I guess online stuff would be way cheaper than in person classes too. Lost Boys has an online course for Nuke, which is apparently very in depth. It costs like $400 if I remember right.

I’ll take a look at fxphd.com. Can’t hurt.