I thought I would write an update, and maybe it will help people who are in the same situation I was in.
First of all, some good news! In the middle of the program in March I got an offer as associate technical artist at EA Vancouver! I am 3+ months in, and it is very exciting. I learn a lot on the job, which is heavily geared towards a lot of communication with artists and fixing their issues. If you have any questions about TA interview process , feel free to reach out https://www.linkedin.com/in/tjorlova/ But it is not the point of this post.
I have continued the program from BCIT and have completed about 80% of the program, as it runs from September 2020 until August 2021.
I think it is a good refresher on Maya, Unreal, Houdini, Substance Designer. General Python can be learned online; but the program takes a Python in Maya direction and is going deep in what quirks does Maya have. Courses that I really enjoyed taught visual scripting in Unreal (Game Assets course), Substance Designer (Visual Scripting course), Data Structures, shaders (Tech Arts 2), and Houdini (Effects and Dynamics course). Most courses are also taught by teachers who are actively working at EA, Sony Imageworks, and The Coalition Studio which allows to ask questions about industry and think about the course using lens of how would that be applicable on the job.
Here is a more in-depth structure of the program. Most courses run 6 weeks and have 6 full day classes plus homework.
Runs whole semester: Project Management (only recorded videos) - this is very useful if you haven’t had any exposure to project management concepts before or need a refresher.
First semester Part 1:
Scripting Class (intro to Python, Python in Maya) - learn python in a visual way by interacting with objects in Maya and writing tools for it.
3D Application Class (intro to Maya ) - if you haven’t used Maya before, this is a must.
First semester Part 2:
Visual Scripting (intro to Houdini\Substance Designer\Unreal Bluepints)
Tech Arts 1 (creating a character from scratch, rigging it, animating \a bit of scripting in Maya)
Runs whole semester: Team Project (where as a team you create an autorigger for vehicles, simulate destruction in Houdini and bring everything to Unreal)
Second semester Part 1:
Game Assets (making a game in Unreal Blueprints - awesome)
Scripting in 3d (scripting an autorigger in maya)
Second semester Part 2:
Effects and dynamics (destruction\pyro in Houdini\Unreal vfx)
Technical Arts 2 (shaders\a bit of scripting in Maya)
Runs whole semester: Capstone Project (individual project that you work on for 12 weeks)
Third semester Part 1:
Advanced Scripting (python) - the final project is to create a city generator.
Data Structures - very useful for those who want to become a pipeline TD. We create an asset management system that is software agnostic, and we also augment maya to make import and export ofassets streamlined.
Third semester Part 2: haven’t started this one yet
Team Skills - it looks very promising as it teaches how to effectively communicate between departments and teams, and about conflict management.
Tech Arts 3 - (advanced rigging with squash and stretch, procedural animation, and bringing character into a game engine)
Overall I would highly recommend this program, it is a good use of time and money. The most learning will still be done on a job, but this program teaches a lot of great concepts, tools, and teachers are very up-to-date with their knowledge.
If you have any questions about this program, or just want to connect you can reach me here https://www.linkedin.com/in/tjorlova/