Should You Go to College to Study 3D (3DS Max Houdini Maya)?

The big question I get asked a lot is “What’s the best 3D school?” or “Should I go to college to study 3D?” I’ve asked a lot of people both in the industry, as well as teachers at VFX schools that I trust about what their opinions are on this. Because I have my beliefs around this but I wanted to get others takes on this as well.

Now I wanted to dive into the PROS and CONS of these 3 options:

1) Go to 3D College to study Visual Effects

2) Study online on your own – using free content

3) Study online doing paid courses

I am excited for this episode! I’m keeping an open mind and an unbiased opinion about all 3, as well as sharing my own experiences. As I personally invest tens of thousands of dollars every year into learning and studying myself. There are some great options out there from Gnomon Workshop, FXPHD, Digital Tutors, Lost Boys, Vancouver Film School (VFS), Sheridan College, Full-Sail University, SCAD and others. Just as there are great options online ranging from CG Spectrum, Gnomon, and dozens of courses on Gumroad and more.

I, of course, have my FXTD Mentorship which is open once a year. And that has given me a lot of insights into what works in studying online, as well as the struggles some people have as well. Like I said I want to keep this completely unbiased and I think I’ve successfully done that in this video.

Questions also come down to whether you’re studying 3DS Max, Maya, Houdini, Blender or Cinema 4D, After Effects, Photoshop, Nuke, Fusion or many others. Or whether you want to be an FX Technical Director, Character Animator, 3D Modeler, Character TD or so much more. So what do you do!?

I’m excited to answer that in this video – so let’s dive in!

Youtube comments:

Max Fkh
Hey ! The livestream was really nice, I'm gonna watch that video now :) again, thanks a lot for everything you're doing for us Allan ! 😁
Bruce Wayne
Hi Allan! How can I get your mentorship? Where? Please give links
60% of people working in the big VFX companies have a degree in VFX. Many recruiters are now picking people with bachelors for junior roles over those without . unless you have experience . Sure you can do it but you'll be working years just to get to those jobs that pay good in a high end studio.
Fuck it I’m going to gnomon
it comes down to passion. If you go to art school you have a program developed that will spoon feed your passion gradually building up your abilities and talents. If you study online and make a lot of tutorials you basically have to drive your own passion and self development which can be easily interrupted by friends, work, schedules, other life things that force you to constantly keep your skill building a little hobby that develops much slower. But some people can do it. Maybe try it for a couple of years see how far you get. See what your work looks like. If it aint looking super amazing I would suggest getting on the art school train and accelerate your learning.
Esdras Alvarado
Thank you for all the information sir. this really helps me out! Greetings
Mark Garcia
Awesome video! Such great advice and perspective! Everyone wanting to get into this industry needs to hear this! Appreciate all you do and all you share! Keep it rockin!
Gabriele Stefanelli
this is what i've been searching for! AWESOME MATE
Xuan Ngoc Nguyen
hi, i would like to go to virtural college of art and design[vcda] is this a good college for virtual effect
Sergio Diaz
What does “dema real” mean(i think thats how you spell it)? You said it in 23:20 part of the video
Kirill Khomenko
Can you recommend paid VFX courses , please?
Amruth Desaraju
How to make a mini Render Farm out of a Dell Workstation?
I am 34 and just started learning particle systems in my spare time. I will learn it by myself - online tutorials, maybe a paid course, time will tell. At this stage I just want to learn and not to speculate if I could live off it. p.s. What software & plug in is a good combo to start with? What is the standard. I am using 3ds max and fume fx.
Kooper Hval Animation
Really appreciate all the information! Thank you. I’ve been considering going with an online course. I’m very new to 3D. Is there any course you would personally recommend? I’ve been planning on starting with animation mentor, and move on from there. Thanks again!
stuart Bunkell
I live in scotland, university is free. But the courses arent as good as the best but.. i look at it in the way it gives me a few years to work on my craft every day.... :D i could be living at home but in the end this course will give me a degree hopefully helping in visa applications. I dunno still noob :D
Hi i have a question, some times to work to Canada for example, they require you have a degree to stay and work there, it's easy for Americans to work there for the American Visa i suppose, but, for people who are in other countries the reel it's not the guarantee pass to work there, or what you can do instead? You have a great reel but not a degree.
Yes yes..!
Hey! Love from India. That really helped. Watched completely 56 minutes and found it really worth. Keep making more coz no one is gonna tell us all this information the way you did. Really appreciate all the efforts from your side. Thanks.
Marvin Francisco
yeah gnomon is like $180,000.00 with room and board now that is super crazy to me holy shit lol. just like 10 years ago i think it was around 50k but the price of school is insane now . I kinda feel bad for younger kids getting into college now . there are a lot of great online courses now though so that is a good thing if you are starting out and dont have a lot of money you can still learn a bit of it online. To me though I would not pay 180 k for a school unless i was going into the medical field because most artist dont make over 60 k a year in the usa.
Pls prefer best college... Is it is best college to study in van arts Canada