Post Magazine

December 2010

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OUTLOOK LEARNING Face-to-Face With post production technology constantly evolv- ing, the value of a formal education cannot be understated. Still, challenges face the education market in the form of quality, high tuitions and the availability of so many resources online. Here, a number of educational institutions comment on why their brick- and-mortar campuses remain relevant, and what the market might see in the year ahead. JOHN MCINTOSH Chair,Computer Art,Computer Animation and VFX School of Visual Arts New York City John McIntosh has been at SVA for 13 years, and as a chairman, oversees more than 60 professionals each semester. He came to the school from Digital Domain, where he was involved in training/artist de- velopment. SVA instructs students on many of the tools used in post production today, including the entire suite of Adobe applications. Stu- thing that is cheap. With an institution like SVA and the computer art department, the advantage is that you are living in the situation and working at it full time presumably. It’s a different experience than an online experience or a limited residency.” OPPORTUNITIES: “I am nothing but optimistic about the digital post production industry — even in the face of the general eco- nomics we all face and the challenges we have in the face of wage- based outsourcing.The more extreme the challenges the greater the opportunities, particularly for younger artists, as well as for the smaller, more efficient digital post production and computer anima- tion companies.” THREATS: “I don’t see a threat. Every resource that is available to anybody who’s seriously into looking at this kind of media is avail- able to a student. I don’t really see online as a threat. I see it as an augment of what we do, and I think it’s a great thing. I think it could be a threat to an institution that feared it, but you can’t fear knowl- edge. If you see schools like MIT delivering all of their classes online for free, it does kind of speak that this is an information age and is something that we should embrace. I honestly do not see any threat in it whatsoever. dents studying motion graphics and visual effects are trained in After Ef- fects, Nuke, Shake and Digital Fusion.Autodesk Maya is the main appli- cation for 3D animation. STRENGTHS:“We have one online program MPS (Master of Professional Studies) in Digital Photography. Everything else is a traditional school. It’s all about the face time and the ability to col- laborate with fellow students to work on projects together and to exchange ideas.That ultimately is the advantage of a brick-and- mortar institution.” WEAKNESSES: “I don’t [see] that there is a weakness, per se. I think the cost of it is a challenge for everybody, but I don’t know that any education is inexpensive, other than what you learn on your own. Everything that is put in a semester or any kind of time- frame that has an instructor has an initial cost. I’ve never seen any- 38 Post • December 2010 One of SVA’s labs: students work on Maya,After Effects, Shake,Nuke and Fusion. “A lot [of material] online makes tough to filter. I see the tradi- tional education as more relevant, not less relevant. All of these on- line tools are simply tools. But as a business model, I feel they have more to fear than we should actually. I see everything that comes available online or through DVDs or CDs as an asset, not a threat.” OUTLOOK FOR 2011:“We’re very excited to see applications like Nuke stabilize within the industry.We don’t see any great changes, but we see things get better.We see better capture and better tools for capture, but the actual application space seems to be improving but not incrementally jumping.We don’t see a revolu- tion at this point.We see skills being established that are being ap- PHOTO:ARTUR ELSON SCHOOLS By Marc Loftus

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