Specialized CG Training Program – 16 Months

Asset-Column-Intro (live)

What Is It:

Asset Creation is a term used in the CG industry for the creation of all bits and pieces, both big and small, used in Film and Games.  Our Asset Creation program is designed to train working artists in the CG Industry for these roles:

  • Props & Environments for Film (making hero props and environments for film)
  • Characters & Creatures for Film (making the characters that star in film)
  • Environments for Games (making immersive real-time environments)
  • Characters & Creatures for Games (making the characters that star in video games)

Please Note: All required software is provided and licensed for you (Maya, ZBrush, Mari, Substance etc).

FOUNDATION

Lay down the groundwork and acquire core skills

INTERMEDIATE

Career oriented, specialized training begins

ADVANCED

Learn upper level techniques with additional project supervision

MENTORSHIP

Work with a professional mentor to create and polish your demo reel

Asset-Column-Intro (old)

How It Works:

Our Asset Creation Program is a full 4 terms. 16 months in total, each term is 14 weeks.  Term 1 Foundations, anyone can apply (if they meet the system requirements etc). Upon completing Term 1 Foundations, you then move on to choose your career specialty listed above. You do not need to know your specialization prior to applying as you can discover your abilities as you work through our Foundations Term.

  • As a student you have access to our online learning Portal where you connect with other students and working industry professional mentors: ask questions, share portfolios, receive professional art direction and feedback – all online!
  • The Foundation Term has 4 classes – Maya, Modeling, Texturing and Look Dev to begin! In addition, there’s a fifth class for your term project.
  • For each course, you’ll receive access to a weekly training video.
  • Near the end of the week, you will have a live Q&A session with your instructors.
  • Each week, there will be assignments due per class built upon the lessons – contributing to your term project.
  • At the end of each term,  you will walk away with a term project that you could add to your portfolio – Foundations, Intermediate, Advanced and Mentored.

Term Breakdown

  • Term 1: Foundation (14 Weeks)

    Term 1: Foundation (14 Weeks)

Today’s CG industry is very demanding, so having a diverse set of skills and being able to understand the core foundation of the production pipeline is essential. Think Tank’s Asset Creation Foundation semester tackles these requirements. From ground zero, you will be guided through every aspect of the building blocks that make up the basis for all career paths related to asset creation. This includes:

  • A broad understanding of Maya
  • The basics of texturing in Photoshop and Mari
  • Digital sculpting in Mudbox
  • Comprehensive understanding of  3D modeling theory
  • Shading, lighting and rendering in Vray
  • Looking at the overall big picture and planning for what is to come

Prerequisites

  • All you need is a Windows desktop computer, a tablet (Wacom etc) a webcam, a headset and the time to focus and work hard. (See the FAQs for required specs, we provide all software)
  • 18 years of age or high school diploma

Breakdown

  • Term 1 – 14 weeks
  • Four core courses + Project Class
  • Class size of 5-8 students


  • Term 2 & 3: Choose Your Career Path

    Term 2 & 3: Choose Your Career Path

Every Asset Creation student that completes the Foundation Term gets to pick their specialization:

Foundation - 14 Weeks

  • Asset Parent Placeholder

    Asset Parent Placeholder

Specialization - 42 Weeks

  • Props & Environments for Film

    Props & Environments for Film
  • Characters & Creatures for Film

    Characters & Creatures for Film
  • Environments for Games

    Environments for Games
  • Characters & Creatures for Games

    Characters & Creatures for Games

The Environments & Props for Film career path produces job-ready Hero Prop and Environment artists. Building on the skills learned in the Foundation term, students will begin their specialization in hero asset creation all the way from blocking out to polishing and sculpting their models, texture painting them in the highest fidelity and look developing them in terms of materials and renders, the focus on this would be throughout the Intermediate and Advanced semesters. Each one provides new challenges designed to enhance their knowledge-base in preparation for their one-on-one mentorship. The primary objective of the final term is to guide students through the production of a professional demo reel demonstrating the skills needed to land a position at a top studio.

This path is designed for students who wish to become Prop artists, Environment artists, Texture Painters, Look Development Artists, Modelers and Lighting Artists for Film.

Intermediate Term (14 Weeks)

In this Intermediate term, students focus primarily on the creation of hero props with an emphasis on fidelity and quality. Students will learn modeling in Maya with a special focus on topology, lighting and rendering in Vray, sculpting in ZBrush, texturing in Mari and the Substance suits as well as enjoy extra courses such as in Marvelous Designer. All of these new skills will then be applied to a final a final project of choice between creating a hero prop or an environment for film.

Term Project Example

Advanced Term (14 Weeks)

In the Advanced term, students are very much focused on high-quality projects that are relevant to the industry. Outside of the supervised live classes, the courses now include a deep dive into environment creation as well as texture painting on a massive hero prop asset among extra courses on various subjects such as vehicle creation, compositing, rigging and more. Students will go over advanced techniques in modeling for visual effects, detailing, lighting, rendering and post processing. Supervisors will critique and advise students throughout their projects so that every detail is pushed to the highest standard and the term will end with an advanced final project focused on either the creation of an impressive environment or a hero prop.

Term Project Example

Prerequisites

  •  TTO Foundation term (or equivalent prior training to be assessed via application portfolio)

Breakdown

  • Term 2 – 14 weeks, Term 3 – 14 weeks
  • Four core courses + Project Class
  • Class size of 1-8 students

The Character Creation for Film career path produces job-ready character artists. Building on the skills learned in the Foundation term, students will entire process in character art creation for film and gain the necessary knowledge to take on this chosen career path during the Intermediate and Advanced terms. Each semester provides new challenges and levels of feedback designed to push the potential of each student in preparation for their one-on-one mentorship. The primary objective of the final term is to guide students through the production of a professional demo reel demonstrating the skills needed to land a position at a top studio.

This path is designed for students who wish to become Character artists, Creature artists, Texture Painters, Look Development Artists and Modelers for Film.

Intermediate Term (14 Weeks)

In this Intermediate term, students will learn all about volumes, anatomy, likeness and the film production pipeline. Students will focus on modeling in Maya with a an emphasis on topology, lighting and rendering in Vray, sculpting in ZBrush, texturing in Mari with a touch on the Substance suits as well as enjoy extra courses such as Marvelous Designer, hair creation using XGen and basic compositing using Nuke. All of these new skills will then be applied to a final a final project for the term as they create their first character or creature.

Term Project Example

Advanced Term (14 Weeks)

In the Advanced term, students are very much focused on high-quality projects that are relevant to the industry. Outside of the supervised live classes, the courses now include more sculpting, anatomy, body and facial types, pore detail, realistic texture painting as well as hard surface modeling, hero prop texture painting, rigging and more. Students will go over advanced techniques in modeling for visual effects, detailing, lighting and rendering. Supervisors will critique and advise students throughout their projects so that every detail is pushed to the highest standard and the term will end with an advanced final project focused on a more complex character fit for portfolio.

Term Project Example

Prerequisites

  •  TTO Foundation term (or equivalent prior training to be assessed via application portfolio)

Breakdown

  • Term 2 – 14 weeks, Term 3 – 14 weeks
  • Four core courses + Project Class
  • Class size of 1-8 students

The Environments for Games career path produces job-ready artists. Building on the skills learned in the Foundation term, students will begin their specialization in environment modeling for the video game industry. They will learn the full process of real-time environment creation during the Intermediate term, leading to their first demo reel quality piece by the end of the Advanced term. Each semester provides new challenges and levels of feedback designed to push the potential of each student in preparation for their one-on-one mentorship. The primary objective of the final term is to guide students through the production of a professional demo reel demonstrating the skills needed to land a position at a top studio.

This path is designed for students who wish to become Environment artists, Prop Artists, Texture Painters, Look Development Artists, Modelers, Lighting Artists and Material Artists for Games.

Intermediate Term (14 Weeks)

In this Intermediate term, students focus primarily on the creation of game ready environmental pieces and hero props with an emphasis on real time placement and look development within the Unreal game engine. Students will learn modular modeling in Maya with a special focus on poly efficient topology, hero prop creation, texturing in the Substance suits, learn a variety of tips and tricks made for game engines such as vertex painting, trim sheets and others as well as enjoy extra courses such as Marvelous Designer. All of these new skills will then be applied to a final a final project of choice between creating a small environment or a hero prop for games.

Term Project Example

Advanced Term (14 Weeks)

In the Advanced term, students are very much focused on high-quality projects that are relevant to the industry. This term is slightly similar to a future mentorship term and is split into milestones. Each milestone covers a different stage in an environment creation pipeline and the courses are covering all the steps while the weekly supervised live sessions are made to overview progress and keeping students on track as they are creating an elaborate and complex environment fit for portfolio.

Term Project Example

Prerequisites

  •  TTO Foundation term (or equivalent prior training to be assessed via application portfolio)

Breakdown

  • Term 2 – 14 weeks, Term 3 – 14 weeks
  • Four core courses + Project Class
  • Class size of 1-8 students

The Characters & Creatures for Games career path produces job-ready artists. Building on the skills learned in the Foundation term, students will begin their specialization in character modeling for the video game industry. They will learn the full process of character creation during the Intermediate term, leading to their first demo reel quality piece by the end of the Advanced term. Each semester provides new challenges and levels of feedback designed to push the potential of each student in preparation for their one-on-one mentorship. The primary objective of the final term is to guide students through the production of a professional demo reel demonstrating the skills needed to land a position at a top studio.

This path is designed for students who wish to become Character artists, Creature artists, Texture Painters, Look Development Artists and Modelers for Games.

Intermediate Term (14 Weeks)

In this Intermediate term, students will learn all about volumes, anatomy, likeness and the game production pipeline. Students will focus on modeling in Maya with a an emphasis on topology, sculpting in ZBrush, texturing in Substance Painter, texture projection using Texturing.xyz maps, look development in Marmoset Toolbag as well as enjoy extra courses such as Hero Prop creation and Marvelous Designer. All of these new skills will then be applied to a final a final project for the term as they create their first character or creature.

Term Project Example

Advanced Term (14 Weeks)

In the Advanced term, students are very much focused on high-quality projects that are relevant to the industry. Outside of the supervised live classes, the courses now include more sculpting, anatomy, body and facial types, pore detail, the Unreal game engine as well as extra courses such as rigging, scan data and others. Students will go over advanced techniques in modeling for games, detailing, lighting and rendering. Supervisors will critique and advise students throughout their projects so that every detail is pushed to the highest standard and the term will end with an advanced final project focused on a more complex character fit for portfolio.

Term Project Example

Prerequisites

  •  TTO Foundation term (or equivalent prior training to be assessed via application portfolio)

Breakdown

  • Term 2 – 14 weeks, Term 3 – 14 weeks
  • Four core courses + Project Class
  • Class size of 1-8 students

  • Term 4: Mentorship (14 Weeks)

    Term 4: Mentorship (14 Weeks)

We started mentorships back in 2005 and have been perfecting them ever since. In this final semester, students have one-on-one sessions with their chosen mentor to guide them through the production of their demo reel. This is the ultimate objective of the entire course, and something we take quite seriously since the demo reel is your golden ticket to landing a job. You may choose to take this semester either online or by coming to Vancouver and doing it in person (for an additional fee).

  • Environments for Games Demo Reel Examples:
  • paradise island mansion zoom out
  • Characters for Games Demo Reel Examples:
  • Organic Modeling for Film Demo Reel Examples:
  • Hard Surface Modeling for Film Demo Reel Examples:
  • Modeling for Film Demo Reel Examples:
  • Texturing and Look Dev Demo Reel Examples:


Prerequisites

  •  TTO Advanced Term (or equivalent prior training to be assessed via application portfolio)

Breakdown

  • 14 weeks
  • Personalized Mentorship

Weekly Schedule

Beginning of the Week

Beginning of the Week

The week, as a Think Tank Online student, begins with the release our professionally produced training materials which include video, software screen capture, exercises, resources and assignments. There are 4-5 courses per week. A supervisor will review how the previous week went for each student based on their performance and metrics, derived from Portal, our revolutionary learning system. Specific concerns and Q&As are addressed at this time, as well as advice and direction. The supervisor will also prepare students for the upcoming week.

Middle of the Week

Middle of the Week

The middle of the week is for working on assignments and exercises while interacting with fellow classmates. Our learning platform, Portal, makes it easy and intuitive for student discussion. Students submit their work for mid-week reviews and feedback. If students have any questions during the week, they have access to our full-time support system, staffed by industry professionals.

End of the Week

End of the Week

At the end of the week, assignments are handed in for assessment and you will receive instructor video feedback. It is then time to get ready for your next week.

The Think Tank Advantage

Project Driven Curriculum

When designing the curriculum, we started with the end goal in mind: a job at a film or video game studio. We know what makes a demo reel stand out because our students are consistently getting hired and studios tell us what they are looking for. With this in mind, the primary goal is preparation for the demo reel semester. We work backward and design projects in each term that prepare students for the subsequent terms.

Director Led Learning Paths

Upon finishing the Foundation semester, students will be in a position to choose a specialized learning path and further hone their skills. Each path is developed and maintained by a director. All of our directors are esteemed working professionals in the industry and have been selected based on the strength of their teaching and mentoring abilities. Check out our directors and know you are in good hands.

The Tank Advisory Board

Our Advisory Board consists of recruiters, supervisors and lead artists from the most progressive and respected studios in the world. We are constantly evolving our program to ensure it serves the future success of our students, and the Advisory Board helps to keep us ahead of the curve.

Tuition

Foundation
Intermediate Advanced Mentorship
^^
  • 16 months of training
  • Pay per term or all at once
  • Director-derived curriculums that allow for job focused demo reels
  • Weekly live lessons and Q&As with seasoned industry professionals
  • Access to Think Tank’s comprehensive resource centre
  • 5% off $15,840 total tuition when you pay for all 4 terms upfront
  • Online Mentorship

NEXT START DATE:
February, 2021

ADMISSION ENDS IN:


(January 15th, 2021)

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