Tuesday, April 14, 2009

School of Hard Scripts

Gonna open this up with a bang.

Everyone knows about Animation Mentor. It's all backed by Pixar, people rave about it, you learn really cool things, yadda yadda.


That's right, there is a TD College! Started by some of the leading TDs in the industry, it's still in its early stages, but already they've got quite a lineup of classes to offer, and all online, and they're quite reasonable price wise. Whether you're into character, effects, or rendering, they offer everything from math to scripting to specific software packages, and you're taught by someone that, simply put, knows their stuff. This is what I plan to do for graduate school, because really - no one offers a MBA in Character Rigging. This is as good as it gets, and it looks good. I can vouch for these guys, as a professor at Cogswell knows the people who started it, and he himself is quite excited by it. Also, it's not a set program - if the Python course is the only thing that appeals to you (because you're already a master at everything else) then you can take just that.

TD-College is the first and only school that truly prepares the students for the realm of CG-production by personally pairing them up with the artists behind movies like The Day After Tomorrow, King Kong, The Matrix and many more. TD-College's personalized mentor system will put each student 1-on-1 with artists from major studios like ILM, Dreamworks, Weta Digital, Disney and Digital Domain. Mentors credits include all blockbusters in recent memory.

TD-College's curriculum has been designed by industry veterans and is based on years of experience in the high-end visual effects industry. Advanced courses (so called "Production Techniques") explain in detail how a specific shot in a movie was created, which problems were encountered and how they were solved. All course material consists of detailed and illustrated notes and an accompanying video.

Our individual courses are for those individuals who are looking to expand their skills in specific areas or for artists looking to become savvier on the technical side of CG production. Individual courses are 6 weeks long and anyone can enroll providing they have met the pre-requirements for that course.

Once you have been admitted into TDC you can enroll in any desired course. On they day the course starts you will immediately receive access to the relevant course materials and assets (scene files, background plates, textures, scripts and plugins) for that week's assignment. You will then have a group session with your mentor and course mates to review the course outline and establish the schedules, goals and procedures for the course. From this point on, you will have weekly, personal sessions with your mentor who will review and critique your work and give you pointers on how to improve. Aside from the 1-on-1 sessions, there will also be a weekly Q&A session with your whole class, where you can ask your mentor questions and interact as a group. On top of that, there is also a private channel of communication with your mentor, through which you can ask questions if you don't understand certain elements of the course.

The TD-College online experience consists of a sprawling community that closely mimics the production environment. Some of its features include: a dailies system with instant peer feedback, weekly Q&A sessions and assignment-based deadlines.

Students can enroll any time of the year, because TD-College offers courses on a constant basis and does not follow typical academic cycles like quarters or semesters.

In short, TD-College offers CG education with REAL production value. Based around a production-designed curriculum, a personal mentor system and an online production environment."

Rigging may be still small, but the force is growing! I'm glad to see something like this happening, and I hope they do well. I plan to enroll as soon as I can.

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