Odd School in Lisbon, Portugal, has an array of advanced courses covering everything from 3D to concept art. Students share their impressive finished work and experiences…
Odd School is a CG school in Lisbon, Portugal, created by a group of professionals and the production company Até ao Fim do Mundo. David Dias, the co-ordinator for the advanced courses, explains that the goal was to create the specialized workers that were needed for the Portuguese VFX, animation and games industry and, with this, help their industry grow and evolve.
"Traditionally,” he explains, "professional artists in Portugal were self-taught or started with small courses in technical schools, or more generic courses in universities, so there were never enough experienced artists or more focused education. Odd School was created to change this, and because we were starting from a blank canvas, we had the freedom to make it as we wish and try to make it the best we can, based on our experiences and needs of the market.”
Some values that they epitomize are:
• A good art foundation, with classes covering Traditional Drawing, Painting, Sculpture, Visual Culture, Photography, and of course Digital Painting and 3D Classes
• Having a direct and close contact between students and teachers/artists, working together to make everyone evolve and grow
• Bringing the industry to them, inviting Supervisors, Directors, and Artists of other studios to be guests or Jury's for the final projects
"Right now,” continues David, "we have the advanced classes "Compositing for Cinema" (6 months), "3D Modeling and Texturing" (1 year) and "Concept Art" (2 years), plus our Foundation Classes of 1 month, that you need to get a grade of 75% minimum to get to our advanced programs. The classes normally have a maximum of 10 students, and are 4 hours a day, 5 days a week, and during each year we invite international artists to come here and give a week's workshop and lecture for our advanced classes.”
What kind of students do you attract?
"At the beginning we attracted students that came from universities with degrees, or that were already working, mostly in graphic design and traditional arts related, but this has been changing in the last years, and now we have students that arrive at 18 years old that didn't go to university and begin their path right here. Nowadays a class of students have an age range that can go from 18 to 45, creating a very interesting mix of experience and youth in class. We also have what we call "satellite students," like architects, graphic designers, industrial designers, and so on, that come here just for the foundations classes, and use those skills as a complement in their work.”
What does Odd School excel at?
"The evolution and quality of the works by our students, made possible by the relationships created between teachers, students, guest artists, and even administrative workers. Being a small school, with small classes, and ending up spending so much time together, everyone helps each other and pushes others to improve.
What did you enjoy most about studying at Odd School?
The sense of teamwork, even in our individual projects, as a class. It was really cool to see everyone progress and get better every week, and much of that is because of the way we shared information and resources. The people at Odd School are always ready to help you, and David Dias was there late hours working with us many times.
Where do you think you improved most?
All around honestly, I had no idea what I was doing in September 2016. I remember not being able to snap two boxes together for more time than I'm comfortable admitting. If I had to choose one it would be my material creation workflow. All the staff at Odd School are really talented and know how to push the right buttons to make you improve your skills.
What's next for you and your art?
Improving my real-time skills, as our focus was on pre-rendered stuff; I REALLY love videogames, I have since I was a kid. So I'd like to be able to have my shot at making art for videogames. I'd also like to transition out of 3ds Max for hard surface and explore some other packages.
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