Currently I am working in a 20 people mobile game team as an Assistant Lead Artist. As a next step in my career I wanted to go more into the technical side and have been accepted to Technical Arts program from British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT). I was wondering if this is a correct move, the program will cost about $11,000 (15,000 CAD) everything included. BCIT Technical Arts program will last a year with full-time studies on weekENDS only, which would allow me to continue working full-time.
During that program I will learn Python, Maya scripting, Houdini basics, Substance, Unreal. Projects will include a procedural terrain generator, top down shooter game (in unreal), a character taken from concept art to modeling, texturing, rigging, and animating, an autorigger for construction vehicles, a script that creates a folder structure that allows importing and publishing assets, UI that animates objects based on music, UI for applying materias and connecting the nodes, a destruction scene in Houdini.
On my work I have tried making shaders with node system creators as well as writing them (from tutorials). I do a lot of simple pipeline stuff, like creating environments in Unity and setting up assets so they work in the game. Lead work takes a lot of my time and we are not as large of a company to really need any automation tools. I have never programmed in Python or C, but I am pretty confident I can learn it on my own if need be. The main purpose for me for this program is to get some contact with the industry (teachers are current tech artists) and spend my weekend the most effective way.
It seems the prolific idea about tech art is that you should learn it on your own, and I wonder if it could be as effective as going to such a program.