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AIE vs Qantm

Ok let me start by saying as far as I know I am the only student that has started and passed both game courses at the AIE and Qantm. With this I belive I am the only one that can truly comment on which is a better insitution. Let me start with Qantm first

I Started attending Qantm in 2000 in around August. We had a rushed programming course to the end of the year at the BIT. We resummed in January after a month our teachers quit and for 3 months we didnt even have any. We got teachers and things greatly improved.

Question for current Qantm students have situations improved or do you still experiance set back like rushed courses and lack of "teacher" skills?

As for the AIE. For day one I could tell it was a more professional setup. It is run like a school and not a tafe which makes a big difference. The Teachers are teacher not people that happen to know max or how to paint pretty. One big advantage is you dont have to learn both programming and art side (When I was at Qantm you had to dont know if this has changed). Instead of breaking uo into small groups *3 or four ppl, like at qantm) you work as a class as a team.

Thats said with what Ive seen coming out of Qantm this year I belive they have got their "shite" together.

Can I get some feedback from you Qantm ppl what change it the last 3 years there?

I hold alot of dark feelings for Qantm and how it was run as when I was there is was a blood sucking leech!

Submitted by LiveWire on Thu, 11/11/04 - 4:03 AM Permalink

yes qatm has changed a great deal since then. it's a lot better now i guess (though i cant compare it first hand). the teachers really know their stuff which is great. ther are four games courses now: aniamtion or programing diploma and animation and programing degree. i did the dip last year and it was great as yo spent most ofthe time doing your own project and the teachers were a huge help. this year i'm doing the degree, it's not as good as most of my time i'm doing assessment and trying to find time for my project. i realy only came back for the piece of papper. i figuered i'd only spend the year improving my skills anyway, so i might as well do it here where i can get the teachers help again and a degree at the end of it.

as for project sizes, our current group is 10 people, and i think that's the largest. they didnt really want us to go any bigger, and i wouldnt want too. our team were all dedicate to the task. we did a whole class project earlier in the year for asessment and it was a dissaster. so many people were slack meaning other people had to pick up the slack. obviusly if your not getting paid for it you'd only want to do what you have to do for the marks and that's it. at least i this assessment project. the major one is a little different, but our small team allows us to focus and organise more.

Submitted by Jacana on Thu, 11/11/04 - 5:37 PM Permalink

Every school has slackers, AA. By saying there are slackers it is not a pick on the school itself.

Submitted by ScORCHo on Thu, 11/11/04 - 7:20 PM Permalink

Down with QANTM.....BOOO!! HISSS!!

Good too hear they are better now and run a good course....its a shame they had to rip off many a young person to get there.

Submitted by Malus on Fri, 12/11/04 - 12:40 AM Permalink

quote:We dont have slackers at the AIE.

AnarchyAngel: What point are you trying to make? AIE students are better than QANTM? Why?
As far as I know we don't have any ex AIE guys working with us but we have a few ex QANTM, myself included.

The respective courses and the city they are in don't necesarily define the intial or final skills or the level of drive in those who attend.

Alot of those who choose to leave either, find they are in it for the wrong reason, are interstate or international students who leave to go home, have financial or family troubles and of course a small minority drop out through laziness, I guess AIE students are above all that?

Why don't we stop the AIE fanboy stuff and give some real helpful perspective to the discussion, what was it about AIE that you found better and what was it about QANTM you disliked?

Can I just say I get sick of ex QANTM/AIE students blaming them soley for not having a job, yeah granted they may have screwed alot of us around at times but if its been longer than 6-12 months since you left its all on your shoulders.

Submitted by palantir on Fri, 12/11/04 - 2:38 AM Permalink

Originally posted by LiveWire in the gamer or game developer thread:
quote:And as for quality of student work, i put it down to training. at qantm most of what i learn in terms of real practical modeling skills is what i learn myself. we dont have any classes to teach us exactly "what is polyflow", "how to construct a face for lipsyncing", "how to rig a freaking sholder of rcorrect defformation" (i'm still perplexed about that one). the tutors are a great source of help for these problems, but the problem is it's not taught in class in the first place! they have into like "this is how you extrude a polygon, great, not you know how to model a character". there is a difference between teaching how to use the tools and how to realy model.
texturing i wont even start on cos that's not even mentioned in the course outline :?
animation is not so bad, as seeing as though that's what the course is based on we have a fair bit of lecturing on that.

Very interesting about the qantm degree. Since it?s primary focus is animation, how good would you say the course is from an animation perspective? Would you recommend it?

Submitted by Blitz on Fri, 12/11/04 - 3:38 AM Permalink

quote:We dont have slackers at the AIE.
LOL Good one! [:D]

AnarchyAngel: What point are you trying to make? AIE students are better than QANTM? Why?

Hey now, no need to get so agro, he's obviously joking! least i hope so...i'd be worried if he truly believed that... :P
CYer, Blitz

Submitted by Malus on Fri, 12/11/04 - 9:08 PM Permalink

Obviously joking you say, well I I don't know how you could tell from just 7 words, it just read as selfrighteous and baiting to me.

As for agro, I was mearly questioning a strange and pointless comment, can't see how that agressive. [:P]

Submitted by LiveWire on Fri, 12/11/04 - 10:31 PM Permalink

everyone needs to use emoticons more often [:D]

palantir: i havnt done any other course than qantm's so i cant compare it to any others. so based on my experience there alone, i probably would recomend it for animation. but animation as it's related to games. it might be focused on animation but do modeling and such as well (though not much). ther are probably better courses out there at a UNI or something for hard core animation, but i have enjoyed my time at qantm. i spend a lot of my time in labs doing things other than animation. so it's good if you want to get into games.
guess i cant really give much of a recomendation, as i said above: i havnt don any other course to compare it too.

quote:Can I just say I get sick of ex QANTM/AIE students blaming them soley for not having a job, yeah granted they may have screwed alot of us around at times but if its been longer than 6-12 months since you left its all on your shoulders.
i agree, you cant expect them to get you a job, i dont. i do expect them to teach us more though. most stuff i have learnt i have discovered on my own study. i should be taught most of this in class and then left to practice doing it well in my own study. eg: we never learnt about polyflow in class, and i feel is critical mistake bassed on a lot of the work i see around class.

Submitted by unknownuser2 on Sat, 13/11/04 - 12:52 AM Permalink

I'm Also an EX QANTM student from 2002 - 2003

For someone like myself being an artist doing a programming course, it was hard enough to grasp what the heck was going on inside the DirectX SDK having no prior code experience, and 6 months into the course our DirectX Tutor left [:(] and because the new tutor did not have the same skillset, we had to pay the price and basically start again.

Not cool at all in my oppinion.

What I did find is that the tutors new their shite - If i had a problem someone was on hand to fix it and help me through [:P] - and in more cases actually helped me to learn why that came about - not simply provided an answer without in fact learning anything.

Submitted by Coralon on Sat, 13/11/04 - 12:31 PM Permalink

I am thinking on signing up at Quantm next year, doing the Programming Degree. I have read every post on this forum regarding the pros and cons of most major institutes around the country that offer a "Games" type course, Quantm seem to be pretty good.

Now I am not really qualified to comment on the AIE vs Quantm debate, but, I have teaching experience in private education orginisations and I can tell you this: If a kid straight out of school wants to pay 13K per year they WANT to learn, that means they ask questions, try new things and generally bug the hell out of everyone until they leave or succeed. An adult on the other hand doesnt pay money unless they think they will get something out of it, the misguided souls that they are, no one gets what they want from this type of course unless they really want to do it with a passion. I have watched my students pay upwards of 15K for 6 months of M$ development courses then find out that they prefer system admin for the social interaction or the technical challenge.

Me, I have worked in many industries and after nearly a whole lifetime of programming (C64 Basic anyone) as an amature I have finally found what I want to do, make games. This decision took years to come to, mod after mod and just coding something because I could. Does this make me different from others ? I think so, I WANT this, really want it. When I studied for my MCSE I spent countless hours at home practicing, not the labs we did in the course, not some cool stuff that old mate had mentioned but real world things. In that branch of IT its easy to do this, just jump on google groups, find a scenario that had some sys admin stumped and recreate it. If you can fix it then you just learnt something more valuble than any tutor can give you.

With game dev, its the same, sure you gota pass the course, but dont whine about what you didnt learn because you didnt ask, this is a common misconception about tertiary education. The tutors are not there to hold your hand until you can cross the road, they are there to show you where the crossing is and lend support if you feel you need it. Give em a break, people generally dont teach for the money, they do it to watch the light bulb come on, it is very disheartening as a trainer to see a promising student fall by the wayside because they just couldnt put the effort in to be good at what they want to do.

It sucks that some have experienced the pain of a good trainer leaving mid-course, I know what that feels like, but you get that on these big jobs. A student is not as good as the institue they attend, they are as good as their attitude will let them be, raw skill is a bonus, but its not the be all and end all. You gota try in this world if you want to succeed.

My 2 cents.

Submitted by palantir on Sat, 13/11/04 - 10:15 PM Permalink

Hi Coralon, welcome to the forums [:)]. Reading your post I see many truths and it occurs to me that considering self motivation and self learning is by far the most important aspect of education, then perhaps it really doesn?t matter that much which course/institute someone attends. Provided the student has the right ?stuff?, success can occur with any institute in any learning environment.

I?ve completed the games programming Diploma through TAFE (based on the QANTM curriculum), and that course was seriously lacking lecturer/tutor guidance, even compared to other TAFE courses (of which I?ve done several). It was compulsory to be self driven and determined to succeed, and because of this only two of us made it through. However, I feel this is the way it should be, as only the fully motivated students have a shot at the industry anyway.

I plan on studying an animation Degree (after I finish my arts course) and I?m considering all the institutes, though QANTM seems to be the most likely for me. The Uni courses look very detailed, though would take longer to complete, and because self-motivation is the most important thing, I think QANTM is the best choice for me personally. They also sound like the best choice for anyone aiming for the games industry. I get the impression that the strength of technical training institutes like QANTM is in the human resources ? these courses give students access to people in the know with industry experience, whereas possibly a university?s strength is more to the theory side of things with more well designed lectures. So the choice seems to be practice vs. theory. Would this be a correct assumption?

With regards to the thread topic, I think it?s impossible to say that one institute is better then another, since it?s all up to the student to succeed. The institute is just a means to an end, but it?s the student?s attitude that?s the most important factor in determining success. It?s what?s within that counts.

Submitted by Jacana on Sun, 14/11/04 - 7:04 AM Permalink

quote:Originally posted by palantir
With regards to the thread topic, I think it?s impossible to say that one institute is better then another, since it?s all up to the student to succeed. The institute is just a means to an end, but it?s the student?s attitude that?s the most important factor in determining success. It?s what?s within that counts.

There are a few other factors to add to that as well.

*While each course has a "set" curriculum, you will find that each teacher for that course will interpret the curriculum differently and you may find that you will come away with a different knowledge then another person has from the same class with a different teacher.

*Each year the students? abilities will vary. If you have a class of extremely talented individuals you may find that you end up moving on to more complex subjects where as with a group that may be more varied it may not stretch as much to ensure that everyone had equal time to learn.

*Over time - be it new teachers for classes or through evaluation of the Curriculum - the course itself will change. One school may be quicker to determine what areas it may be lacking in and fill those gaps.

Submitted by LiveWire on Sun, 14/11/04 - 10:57 PM Permalink

or like at QANTM you'll get a few of us who are anoyed at the lack of teaching real practical stuff in the degree and begin bitching until they do something about it (which they have)!

Submitted by Coralon on Mon, 15/11/04 - 10:08 AM Permalink

palantir: Thanks for the welcome and support, self-motivation is what its all about in adult education. TAFE courses really lack good teachers for specialised stuff, mainly because they are snapped up by uni's, private sector like Quantm or they get locked away by some giant company never to be seen again.

Jacana: I agree with all three points, trainers will always put their own spin on a curriculum, be it through interpretation or someone elses example. This is not neccessarily a bad thing as different classes emerge from the courses with different mindsets and some wacky skills, this breeds diversity and competition, both healthy things.
Student skill levels do vary, trainers are usually aware of this and try to compensate by spending more time with those that struggle but there is always going to be those that cant be helped, as palantir stated, only the best will get a shot anyhow. Getting a leg up is as simple as downloading a free language and compiler like Python which isnt that far off C/C++ and practicing for a couple of months before you start.
Different institues do change things in the curriculum from time to time as a course evolves, this is one of the problems many are finding with the QLD TAFE course based on Quantm's Diploma, it is in its infancy and at 1/6th the cost what more could you expect. When uni's start to offer a Games Programming Major as common place we may see an increase in quality flow down to lower level courses but that is a little while off yet.

LiveWire: That is how you get results, to many people today just lay there and get kicked in the guts liked the proverbial dog because they didnt stand up and voice their opinion.

Submitted by lorien on Tue, 16/11/04 - 3:40 AM Permalink

Pointed refrain from flaming [:)]

LiveWire, would you mind changing that sig? Everyone needs sleep or their body breaks down: mine did at 24- full-on carpal tunnel syndrome in both wrists and three slipped discs in lower back. The cause was too much programming and bad sitting posture.

Completely better now, though it took around 4 years. IMHO it's best to start healthy habits (like sleep) as a student.

Submitted by LiveWire on Tue, 16/11/04 - 6:50 AM Permalink

ahh but i am a student, hence i dont sleep :)

Submitted by mcdrewski on Tue, 16/11/04 - 8:15 AM Permalink

Perhaps "IMHO Sleep is for the weak!" :)

Submitted by palantir on Tue, 16/11/04 - 9:33 AM Permalink

I don?t sleep, I pass out.

Just about ready to pass out now, actually...

Submitted by Mdobele on Sat, 20/11/04 - 10:34 AM Permalink

I am a degrre student at QANTM doing programming. I am extremely happy with the course so far. I did the diploma there too in 2003. Hopefully the buy-out from SAE will make it an even better place in the future.

I wish QANTM would promote their students a bit more though. I look at the AIE website often and its literally plasted with student news and work, wish we had that.

Submitted by Jacana on Sat, 20/11/04 - 6:16 PM Permalink

Suggest it to them - or even offer to help do it yourself. It's hard to have things happen when people don't even know you would like them to happen.

Submitted by AnarchyAngel on Thu, 25/11/04 - 4:13 AM Permalink

Livewire it was the same with us we had to real fight with the Qantm admin to get stuff done? Who the guy in charge now? When I was there is was a Balding guy with glasses and pot bell (no offence intended in discription). Cant remember his name though?

Side note we even had a Lawyer in our class that threatend to sue lol!

Submitted by LiveWire on Thu, 25/11/04 - 5:22 AM Permalink

i dont know his name so i cant help you there. we have been trying to get funding for AGDC seeing as we feel we have a good contender for the comp. QANTM however dosnt seem to want to help us at all. they have said they will pay for two people's flights and accomidation (better than the first deal of one person's flight) - but only if we win.

Submitted by davidcoen on Thu, 25/11/04 - 5:52 AM Permalink

ignorant i know, but i have difficulty looking at cources like these (quantum, AIE, etc) I would not do them as i would perfer to keep my money and teach myself the skills (and use the money on software/ hardware)

feel that they smell a bit of 'pay for praise', though then again i spent quite a bit of money studying architecture and was surrpised at the number of people who had a highschool 'sit down and get parrot taught information' mentality rather than what i would consider a university 'go find the books and ask questions when stuck'.....

appoligies for being flamebait, guess my situation is a bit different from most people?

Submitted by palantir on Thu, 25/11/04 - 6:28 AM Permalink

That?s a very good point actually, and certainly worth considering.

When you think that the QANTM animation degree costs something like $13000 (not sure of the exact price), and lets add another $5000 for hardware/software/study necessities; so that?s around $18000 to basically teach yourself how to model/animate and have someone around to help you out when you get stuck. But at the end of the course, your still only as good as the work and effort you put in, and judging from what people have said about qualifications, the piece of paper isn?t going to help get that job very much either.

Alternatively, you could put that $18000 into your own hardware/software and any training tools you think useful, as well as the occasional private tutor to help when your stuck, spread out over two years (the length of the QAMTM course), and quite possibly come out a much better artist (or programmer if you choose that direction). And if your skills are at the necessary level, you?ll have a chance at a job, even without the Degree.

I suppose it all depends on the individual and what?s right for you. Some people need the motivation of having assessment due to make progress, while others are far more constructive working in their own time. Then there is the community aspect of formal education, though these days the net offers enough community access that the private student can get the same community interaction that an educational institute offers.

I think for programmers, formal eduction is essential because you would tend to concentrate on the fun stuff and ignore certain important areas. Though for artists, maybe some formal training in traditional art is enough, and the technical side of things can be learnt in you own time? Maybe spending a couple of years working hard teaching yourself at home would be more productive then attending a specialised instituted like QANTM?

What do other people think about this? Can self-training compete with formal technical training? Considering the cost of education, this is an important issue.

Submitted by LiveWire on Thu, 25/11/04 - 11:01 AM Permalink

at qantm we pretty much do teach ourselves. myslef the only way i improve is to do my own study/practice, as it is with everyone no doubt. however, personally i learn best by being shown how to do something (and then going off to practice it). that's why labs and tutors at qantm are great for me. i've tryed learning for web tutorials and books before, and while i can do it, i find it harder, and i really need to have some basic understanding from the begining to get it. it it's something completely new i struggel unless there is someone i can ask help from. which is why somone sitting next to me showing me how to do it is so much better for me.
that's just me ofcourse.

Submitted by Jacana on Thu, 25/11/04 - 5:47 PM Permalink

It really depends on what you want at the end of the day.

I am more like Livewire where it's nice to have the human contact. To have someone there to ask questions to or show you. I find I generally learn by watching and understanding then doing myself - rather then just jumping in with no clue.

As for why to pay what you pay for school. It depends on what you want. I think a lot of people looked at the courses as being cheaper and shorter then Uni but then found that the trade-off was having to spending more time learning outside of school.

The other thing that these schools can afford you is information on what is happening with local companies, contacts, and given the small number of students (based off uni size) the ability to stand out and be an individual.

Submitted by Mdobele on Thu, 25/11/04 - 6:56 PM Permalink

I certainly dont regret doing the two courses I have done at QANTM.

Best thing I got for my money was CONTACTS. Making friends with all my fellow students some of which are now currently emplyed in the games industry. To me thats just Gold.

I too learn better myself but beeing surronded by people with the exact same interest and pashion is the best motivational tool you can have.

Submitted by Jacana on Thu, 25/11/04 - 7:15 PM Permalink

quote:Originally posted by LiveWire
i dont know his name so i cant help you there. we have been trying to get funding for AGDC seeing as we feel we have a good contender for the comp. QANTM however dosnt seem to want to help us at all. they have said they will pay for two people's flights and accomidation (better than the first deal of one person's flight) - but only if we win.

For what it is worth AIE students have to fund themselves as well. I am not saying that we have it hard - stuff like PC's will be taken care of by the school - but each student had to find their own way to get down there.

It's a pitty that you are not getting much support for it. It's too late for this year but have you thought of talking to them about trying to help students organise fund raising opportunities and such?

Submitted by Blitz on Fri, 26/11/04 - 6:08 AM Permalink

quote:Originally posted by Jacana
For what it is worth AIE students have to fund themselves as well.

Although, from next year, AIE (melbourne and canberra) students will get entry to the AGDC absolutely free. Offsets transport/accomodation costs a little. Lucky SOB's :P

I would doubt that people would go to these courses instead of uni due to uni costing more, considering uni fees can go on HECS, and these other diploma/cert courses etc. generally are paid upfront, and unless you get a funded place, i'm not sure if it's even cheaper than uni at all! $8000/year is more than my uni course cost/year when i did it, but i hear fees have increased since then :P I can't remember exactly what my cost was, but i think around $16,000 for 3 years...(including a couple of extra subjects i had to make up, so a "standard" 3 year course would have been slightly less).

Also, i don't think the internet can quite give you the same community experience as talking to people face to face...

Finally, one last thing i'll say, if you do plan to take a year or so off to study/learn by yourself, don't end up getting a full-time job. Do it right, take the time to focus on your learning. You can live ok on a 20hr/week part time job if your lucky, or live with your parents for free even better :)
CYer, Blitz