Skip to main content


Posted by Freefall on Wed, 09/04/08 - 10:33 AM

Just wanted to get the word out about whats up at Lifeway College in New Zealand - the top CG education provider in NZ (I would say that though I'm kind of involved at Lifeway :D )

They are not known as well as others and they are not the biggest (yet) but they really are turning out people with some pretty impressive work. Also to mention they don't teach a specific coursein game development - but teach a highend CG qualification that would provide a foundation for going into gaming. The course is two years long and gives students opportunity in many different disciplines of CG - lifedrawing, traditional animation, matte painting, editing compositing and special effects (in After Effects and Premier) and then all aspects of 3D in Maya (modelling, animation texturing, lighting & rendering) In year two students develop thier own character on paper then sculpt in clay and model and sculpt in Zbrush and Maya. They cover advanced character rigging and MEL then character animation, dynamics etc. and some high end rendering in Mental Ray. Students use Maya Unlimited in the second year. Each student ends with 3D compositing and post production for thier own showreel. (Check out to see some of the projects thus far)

Its a pretty tidy program and students (most of whom live onsite (read *in the lab* - open 24 hrs most of the time)) are pushed to come up with some cool stuff - the facilities are good (recently done up) - and students get access to a 150 node renderfarm as well as some cool people - to name a few (so far) Tim Johnston, Director of Dreamworks Animation (Antz, Over the Hedge....) Tony Bancroft (Director of Disney's Mulan, Supervising Animator for Pumba on Lion King)....

Also there seems to be the thinking out there that you have to be like the Pope or Joan of Arc to study 3D at Lifeway - not so at all - there is NO faith test to get in.... I spose it is because the college is values based and has a christian foundation (they have a separate school that teaches ministry as well) - so I think that message got mixed down the line

Anyway point is - before you choose a school to go to JUST GO AND CHECK IT OUT FOR YOURSELF (NOT JUST ON THE WEB ACTUALLY GET UP THERE) even if you decide on someplace else you really should have a look - the *cough* long trip to Snells Beach is worth it.