Frequently asked questions
"What are the program's credentials?"
Think Tank Training Centre Ltd. offers their Diploma Program in 3D Computer Animation, Visual Effects and Game Design.
"Do I need to know how to draw to get in the program?"
Drawing is a plus but not at all a prerequisite. In fact we spend a good deal of time teaching drawing and design techniques. Anyone can learn to draw better with a basic understanding of simple drawing principles. That being said, there are many very successful artists working in this field that have very limited drawing skills. Don't let this hold you back.
"When do the semesters start and how long is the course?"
The semesters start in early February, early June, and early October. Our program runs for three four-month semesters. Remember, with the "Think Tank Advantage" you can stay indefinitely free of charge after the year is up!
"Do you accept international students?"
Yes we do accept international students. We have had students from Brazil, Venezuela, Russia, Sweden, Mexico, USA, India, the UK, Israel, South Africa, and many more. You can get a Visa/Study Permit* from the Canadian consulate in your home country. You will need an official letter of acceptance from Think Tank in order to apply for the Visa/Study Permit
*Some countries require a Visa to enter Canada. All countries require a Study Permit to study in Canada. You must have an official letter of acceptance, as well as a passport valid for the full year of study at Think Tank in order to get your Visa/Study Permit.
"How much is the program for international students?"
Please view our TUITIONS page for more details. Our 12 month ( 3 semesters ) intensive 3D animation, visual FX program/Modeling course is $40,900USD for American students, and $41,900USD for all other international students (February 2014 semester tuition rate). Canadian citizen and permanent resident tuition is $39,900CAD (February 2014 semester tuition rate).
Your Tuition includes everything you need to study for the year including books, drawing supplies, a portable harddrive, and a wacom tablet (all yours to keep). Please see our TUITIONS page for more details.
"Will I be able to work as a 3D Animator/Modeler for video games?"
This question is a good one! In the past "video games" and "film and television" were miles apart in quality and production methods. However with the advances in game consoles and new CG techniques, they have become very much alike. Today the skills needed for animating and modeling for film and television are the same skills needed to produce video games. The short answer is yes, our program will prepare you for a career in video game production. At this time we have instructors from United Front Games, Piranha Games, Nerdcorps, Capcom, Bardel, Digital Domain, Rythm and Hues, MPC and many more
"What software do you use?"
We teach Maya, Softimage, Nuke, ZBrush, Mudbox, Mari, Toonboom, Photoshop, and a host of peripheral programs.
"Do you supply housing? Is there inexpensive housing close to Think Tank?"
No, we do not supply housing, however there is plenty of inexpensive housing nearby the school. Here is a link to a local paper that has ads for housing: http://www.van.net/classified go to "Newspaper" (on the left), "North Shore News", "Rentals", "Apts and Condos". These are places very nearby to us. You can get a furnished room in a house with shared living room and kitchen for about $600-$700 Canadian a month.
Also check http://vancouver.craigslist.org/.
"I want to be a modeler, can you describe the modeling path?"
We specialize in modeling and animation. They represent the bulk of our students' paths. The path for modeling students is very integrated and thorough. In first semester you learn the basics of complex poly modeling in modeling 100. You will also begin to use your tablet to model with Mudbox.
In Second semester you have several courses that focus primarily on Modeling. Advanced Modeling 200 is the backbone with support courses in Digital Sculpting 200 that focuses on ZBrush organic sculpting, and Traditional Sculpting 200 that involves building models with Super Sculpey on an armature.
After that you'll be let loose to model for the entire third semester. During that time you will have a personal mentor to advise you every step of the way.
"Can I start without any knowledge of 3D?"
Yes, it's not necessary to have any prior training. Most people know a little Photoshop or a similar program but it's not essential. We start with the basics.
"I have previous training. Do I need to start from the beginning?"
No. You should look in to our "Mentorship" program. It is specifically designed for people with prior training that haven't yet made the jump to the industry.This program also qualifies you for unlimited access to Think Tank after the Mentorship is over.
"Do you have online training?"
At this time we do not train online. There are many websites that do.
"How do you decide who is accepted?"
We strive to find students that display a passion for this field. We require applicants to submit a PORTFOLIO of work to give us an idea of your current level. We are looking for any aptitude for artistic expression. It can be 3 or 4 drawings, sculptures, photographs, or even a movie you shot on video. Your ability to draw is not the most important thing. We can teach you that. We are looking for students that will strive for excellence and be great additions to the school. A good work ethic is essential. In a nutshell we try and project ahead and decide if you will be job worthy after training. If the answer is yes you will likely be accepted.
"If I am an international student do I need Health Insurance?"
Yes! If you will be studying in B.C. for over 6 months, you are required to enroll for MSP (Medical Services Plan) immediately upon arrival.
Application forms are available at: https://www.health.gov.bc.ca/exforms/msp/102fil.pdf.
The waiting period to receive MSP coverage is approximately 3 months. During the waiting period you must obtain basic coverage from a private health insurance provider. You can choose a provider in your country of origin, or you can enroll with Student Sure. As Think Tank is a preferred school with this provider, you are able to receive extended coverage. To apply, please visit: http://www.studentsure.com/.