By Ali Ismail
Note: I have a somewhat translated version of this article in Arabic, I highly recommend you read the English version which is better than the Arabic one in so many ways, but either way you can reach it here.
Before going into details or tips, please do check this other blog I wrote: 3D Animation Careers and Education. the general information there applies to you in Jordan as well.
Before we start, lets state few things:
I- Studios and clients only want you to do the job and help them make money, they really do not care about college degrees or certificates.
II- The way 3D artists are screened by employers is with work samples, what projects you worked on and what you exactly did, as displayed in your website, portfolio or demo reel. The quality of the work you produce or take part in is everything.
III- You can learn absolutely anything related to our industry online! everything is out in the open, software manuals, tutorials and makings of.
IV-Tools and techniques, change constantly, with exception of the fundamentals, what you learn few years ago could be obsolete later on.
V-Even though all of our work is on the computer; human relations, and how well you get along with people is still an extremely important skill.
3D Animation Courses in Jordan
OK, just a quick wrap up of some of the places you can study 3D animation in locally:
Disclaimer: This is only my personal opinion which I have formed by knowing some of these places, instructors or interviewing students from there.
(Princess Sumaya University for Technology) 3D animation course , this course has been the source of misery of an untold number of students! the course title indicates that they teach you 3D or at least something related to it, but from my talks with students I come to understand that, PSUT animation course basically teaches you some programming and mathematics, with couple of subjects in 3D where the instructor just repeats a quick video from youtube to the unwitting poor students, who have no idea what a waste of time they are engaged in.
The numerous job applications we receive from PSUT are the reason I wrote this article, too many students simply believe that having a PSUT animation degree on their resume, entitles them of work, they usually have never used a 3D application, or only used Maya for a short period of time with introductory skills, (for people who know a bit of 3D already, PSUT students rotate the camera with the view cube in Maya!). I know this will sound very harsh, especially so if you are nearing the end of your course or have just finished it and can't find a job, but you still have your whole life ahead of you, and you can learn anything starting today.
Working in 3D animation does not require a degree, only a set of skill sets demonstrated with a portfolio, if you spend 4 years studying programming; you are not qualified to do 3D modeling or animation.
But, all is not lost, you can still use that degree to get a job, but not animation related. You could get into marketing or sales or try to find a job in an advertising agency.
- SAE Amman
SAE 3D animation course, is at least better than PSUT, The subjects are practical and focused on application.
You can call them up yourself and ask for their course fees, I might be mistaken but the last time I checked I was given astronomical figures!
For what it offers, in my opinion it's extremely overpriced. and from the applicants we have received so far, we didn't see any demo reels that justify the cost even remotely.
Before enrolling there, please ask about the:
2-Past students demo reels.
3-Past students employment.
4-Most importantly, ask yourself could I learn this quality at home in 2 years? Hint: Yes!
- Ebal Studios
Yes, this article is written by the founder of Ebal Studios Ali Ismail and this is self promotion! We encourage learning on your own (you can visit our tutorials page here), but if you have problems on knowing where or how to start; please do get in touch and we will help you out.
We need to hire 3D artists with specific skills, which we unfortunately can't find easily locally, we will be making courses in the future with the purpose of hiring few of the top students, if you are interested, again please get in touch and we will keep you informed.
No information yet and we haven't seen any students work or testimonials.
- Trixel Academy
Rami Al-Fuqahaa is a good friend of ours, and we frequently interview his students, they try to help the students in a short time period, teaching some practical skills.
Similar to learning anything, please do understand that learning to be a 3D artist will take a considerable amount of time and effort on your side, software buttons and techniques are not everything.
- Pioneers Academy
Maybe not enough to make a judgment but we have met one colleague who have taken a course there and was very unhappy with it. But they seem to have very good marketing and advertising.
- Red Team Pro
They "claim" to be the only VFX studio in Jordan! (which BTW was the reason we didn't add them to our Jordan animation studios list).
Just like each other course out there, read the "Things to Watch out for" section and apply it before enrolling to this course or any other course. Make sure you are actually learning something that has value in the real world and you can't get by learning videos on-line.
There isn't a huge demand for VFX in the middle east, but if this is something you love and want to take to a proffisional level; maybe a better option would be to consider fxphd, not only are on-line course more affordable, they are usually of a much higher quality and caliber.
- Jordan Gaming Lab
These guys "supposedly" help you learn about making games and starting a career in gaming, unfortunately though; we tried contacting them by E-mail and phone multiple times to hire 3D artists or to know more about their activities they never replied to E-mails or answered the phones.
Things to Watch out For
Always ask to see the instructor work samples and portfolio. Don't be shy, if your instructor is no good how can you hope to learn anything? also ask for past students demo reels or employment. If the place is brand new (very first course) you can skip the past students demo reels but you really can't skip on the instructor, and it's not enough that they tell you what they can do. Your mantra should be Show Me Your Work!
Educational institutions are usually a commercial venture, they are out to take your money and make a profit for themselves in exchange for helping you learn something either for self improvement or so you can go out and take other people's money; hopefully through a beneficial mutual exchange. There is nothing wrong with that, we might one day jump on the bandwagon as well. But what is really wrong is deception, and not offering anything of equivalent value in exchange of your money.
Note: In the case of "Jordan Gaming Lab" because it's not a commercial enterprise, they hardly function or even pick up the phone.
Things you will hear:
1-We are accredited, certified, authorized, etc.. : This really does not mean anything, there are no rewards for having such a title, as we said in the beginning, certificates do not matter in this business and anyone can get certified anyway.
If you still don't take my word for it, check this post!
2-We are a university: Who cares! again same as previous point.
3-We are going to teach you 3ds Max, Maya, Mudbox, Zbrush, VRay all in 3 months for only X amount of $ ! I don't know where to begin! but you really need to take 3D animation seriously, it takes years to sometimes master one skill. If what you want is a basic software introduction, maybe you have heard of something called Youtube?
4-Pay us now! seats are limited, if you don't pay and make a final decision at this very moment you are going to lose out on an opportunity of a lifetime! there is technically not much of a difference between some faculty members and used cars salesmen.
Don't expect to get back any down payments if you change your mind the next day and decide to pull out of a course, it's very easy to pay but getting you money is a totally different matter. Make sure you are absolutely commuted before paying for the course.
5-We have the best and most specialized equipment and hardware: Wow! good for you, but nowadays anyone can make any CG shot with very modest equipment.
6-After you graduate or take our degree, you are going to have so much opportunities and job offers: really? show me your past students and not just your top two students from 5 years ago.
7-You can't learn what we teach on your own: a complete fabrication! everything is available on-line from the very best artists of the industry.
Quite honestly, with all the learning material available online, why do you need someone to teach you? and why waste your money on something that most certainly does not require a degree? being a doctor, a lawyer, or an engineer will need a degree, but an animator? Absolutely not!
Please note that the title says in Jordan, basically yes, it's not an oasis for 3D animation, games or VFX (BTW I did make a humble list of local potential studios over here: 3D Animation Studios in Jordan). But
"To hell with circumstances; I create opportunities." Bruce Lee
From what I understand, the local market is architecture, motion graphics, the odd low quality commercial or animation, the occasional company trying to make a "humble" game, architecture and more architecture.
So basically you are very limited in where you can work locally, BTW, the work we do at Ebal Studios is quite unique because we do not work with local clients, and we are considered somewhat an exception. But, the whole world is open for you! If you make a good demo reel, you can find a job anywhere, also there is always a chance of working online and making a niche for yourself, if you are after quality opportunities and work, raise your standards, compare yourself with people here: ArtStation, and go for it, it will take time but it's worth it.
And yes, being good enough to land a job outside Jordan, or to make a name for yourself is a monumental task that will take a lot of effort and is most certainly not for everyone!
But how much time? people go to medical school, study/train for 7 years, then specialize for 2 more years, then work very hard in a hospital just so that after few more years they can enjoy "so called success". If you are welling to put half as much effort as a medical student, I can assure you of results.
While this post, Where to Find 3D Artists is intended for people looking for artists, you can use it to have a better idea on the platforms you can use to share your work.
Also check out people who worked in big places and have made a name for themselves, and try to learn from them; guys like Allan Mckay and Neil Blevins or podcasts like The Collective Podcast are great resources of information.
Tasmeemme by Noor El-Fadl is also a good place to post your work to for local job posts.
Bottom line, try to learn 3D on your own as much as possible, educate yourself, don't compare yourself to the local crowd, find out about the possible career paths you have. If you are interested in a career in 3D and in skills that could take you to work in any place in the world; please read the blog we linked at the beginning of this article, and follow the links there and learn more.
If you have a basic portfolio and are interested in some arrangement of learning/working please do contact us and we might consider an internship. Also if you are completely fresh and really want to take a course, do get in touch with us and let us know, to include you in any events, free seminars or complete courses.
I personally have taught myself all the skills I know of for free, and so can you!
If this article has been any help to you, please help spread the word to help others, Thank you.