Questions about Qantm

Hi there,
I'm considering to go to Qantm in Brisbane
( I'm living in Germany), from what I've read on their webpage it looks solid, and the course outline seems to be good.
There seem to be some Qantm students around here, maybe somebody can describe to me what the schedule is like, how many hours of lectures a week, how many assignments, all that sort of thing. I couldn't find any info about that on the Qantm site. This is kinda a major, because I don't want to suddenly find out that all the different topics aren't thaught throughly.

Please help :)

lorien's picture

Sorry peoples, but I can't help noticing how quiet it is here... Are you guys/girls under an NDA?

Edit: how about the staff?

lorien's picture

I've seen QANTM flamed by their graduates on sumea before, though it was long ago, and I understand they are under new management.

Tranquil83's picture

Hm..really no one willing to share some insight?
This is not ment become a "I want to know that Qantm is not good" thread, I'm just curious how many lectures they give. I can't really
get that info from the material they provide at their site, e.g. the course outline says "Intro to Programming" or "Principles of Design"..all of this sound good to me, but it makes a huge difference how many hours of lecture you get.
If there's really an NDA, which I doubt, I'd appreciate if somebody could contact me via mail or msn.
I tried to get those infos directly over Qantm,but all I got back was the registration form(maybe they are just busy ;)

mcdrewski's picture

I did part of an online course through QANTM which I have decided not to complete, but I've never been to a lecture there. I know there are some visitors on the boards here who are officially "in the industry" now having gone to QANTM, and they still have very close ties with the people there. From all reports the course is like most study, you get out what you put in. There's the good and the bad, but in the end if you put in the work you can shine.

Pithy sentiment perhaps, but true.

LiveWire's picture

sorry, i've been meaning to reply to this but i just hav't got around to it.

First of all, what course are you looking at doing? Altogether There are people here that have done the programing/animation dip, and the aniamtion/programming/mulitmedia degree.
I myself did both the animaton dip and degree, so i'll comment a bit on them and the institute in general.

Firstly, you only get out what you put in. Pleanty of people went through and came out with nothing, thinking they could do the coursework, pass the courses, cruise through and come out with a job. NOT THE CASE. the few people that got jobs at the ends of their courses (including me) put every spare moment we had into further study and practice. QANTM says they cater for everyone, which really means they only teach the basics, because anything mroe advanced would only be understood for a minority of the class. The advanced stuff is what you need to learn though if you want a job, and that you'll have to learn on your own. Though i found many of the teachers very willing to give advice on it if you track them down outside of class or during a spare moment in class.

As for the courses, the i've heared that the diploma has changed a lot since i did it (2003). I found it to be very hands on, and i learnt far more practical skills in the dip than i did in the degree, and many coders i spoke to seem to agree. However i think it's changed now to be more like the first year of the degree, which i found stupid, as it seems that rather than making the degree better, they simply made the diploma worse. i could be wrong on this thorugh, you'll wannt to get more oficial information than that.

As for the degree, having previously completed the dip i was given credit for several degree courses, so i was often in both first year and second year classes. I was shocked though when i first started a second year course. 'advanced animation' began with "here's how to animate a biped" and i found that many second year students knew little more 3d than i did when starting my dip. It turns out the degree is mostly theory, and has a lot of crouses related to film and business (such as scripting and story boarding, IP and contral law, and other such stuff) - all very important (except of a few exceptions which were stupidly irrelevant - communication design: WTF?? that course was just random "we want you to do a talk on the conceptual meaning of the word 'structure'". sounds more intelegent than it actually was, and what it was was just a waste of time).
anyway, my point is the degree teaches a lot of different things, and first year's only get intro to 3d, (i.e. the stuff we learnt in the first month or so of the dip) and dont get into anything more advanced until the second year. only thoses that realy applied themselves and dedicated loads of time outside of class produced any quality work though.

the final projects are the highlight of the course though. where you get to apply everyhting you've learnt thoughout the course into a final game or film project. provided you've actually dedicated yourself, you could created something that will find you work (mine did, as did a few other peoples in other groups). if you havnt, well, too bad. also, you should listen to the advice of past students with reguards to final projects. our project was a sucess because we had done one previously in our diploma and bumed it up, so we knew what we were getting ourselves into with the degree. we've been trying to pass what we learned from both on to current students, but from what i've seen and heard so far they arnt listneing (or they are, but not seriously enough). oh well, they'll see what i was talking about come industry night...

anyway, overall QANTM is a good place to learn this trade, the teach you all the basics, but you only get something out if you put every waking moment into it. The teachers are great and are willing to help you with any questions or more advanced stuff. completing either the dip or degree will probably leave you with equal 3d skills (which is sad considering the degree is two years verses the diploma's one), but the degree teaches you more associated skills. in that case you're probably best off doing the degree for the extra subjects, and also since you also get two years to hone your skills. there is no reason why you cant match end of year diploma work after only one year in the degree, though if you put in full effort you should achieve much more than that.

oh, assessments and hours: the course is full time, about 3 to 4 days a week of classes (so it's possible to hold down a part time job aswell, though i wish i didnt have to, i would have rather spent the time on my 3d - but i had to pay the fees somehow)
assessments are usually intrusive on what you would rather be doing - 3d. and jsut when you get that other damn weekly tute assessment out of the way another comes along. which is probably why most people dont advance much in 3d outside of class. it's irritating (particually during final projects when you're trying to give it all you've got but you're being forced to spend hours on some random subject's stupidly long assessment). There were only a few exames too, which was cool, and many assessmnets are practicle, as opposed to written (though there a a lot of those aswell).

that's all i can think of for the moment. i'm sure someone else here will have other things to say which both agree and differe greatly from my oppinions, so maybe the'll say something aswell.

Tranquil83's picture

Thanks alot for your helpful reply,
afterall Qantm sounds fine to me.
I've been working in Gamedev here for about 2 years now, my primary reason to go to Qantm is to hone my skills,learn some new things and get a Degree.
I've only been doing prop modeling and texturing,so I want some insight into character modeling and animation.
I've gone three months to SAE here..which I'm glad to give up now,because it did not deliver what it promised. The course ( Diploma leading to BA Degree in Film and Animation) promised alot of topics to be covered,but every single topic would have been done within like two days ( And I'm talking about major topics..like texturing or compositing. That's why I asked how much lectures there are..because I want it to feel like studying something ;)
I know Qantm is now run by SAE,but it sound a whole lot different.
Sounds like there will be a good chance to meet some dedicated students at Qantm, which I appreciate as much as a good education.
Btw, what kind of 3d and compositing software is taught primarely?
How's the facility itself? How's the interaction between the animation and code students? How's the ratio between students with former experience in 3d and those with none?
I think I allready decided to apply, those questions are just out of curiosity. (unless somebody has something really bad and shocking to say about Qantm ;)

Thanks alot again :)

spudbog's picture

I have heard not good reports from ex-students, BUT thats before they were under new management, with all courses, no matter where u study, you get what you put in.
If the course goes for say 25hr a week(im guessing the hrs) and you only do the 25hr, I would say that it would be hard to get a job after, BUT if you live and breath 3d, and pump out work, it should be a lot easyer for you. Again you get what you put in.

LiveWire's picture

i was at qantm before, during and after the change in management, but since the cahnge came right at the end of my course i experienced very little different, though improvements could be seen beginningto come in. So i guess what i'm saying is my coments reflect the old management (which was good, all in all), and i think the new management will make it better still.

you do four courses each trimester, a trimester being about 12 weeks. each week you usually have one lecture and one tutorial per subject.

most students starting at qantm have no prior experience, or those that do come from other fields (graphic design for instance)

during the degree you will do Major specific courses with others doing that Major (animation, programing, multimedia), but generic courses re a mix of students from all thre Majors, so you get to interact with students from other Majors easily. Then during final projects you have specific Project Classes where your team gets together and works solely on the project.

the software most taught is 3dsmax - and that's pretty much it. 2D uses flash, and i cant answer for programing and multimedia. there used to be teachers there that wanted to teach maya more, but i don't think they work there anymore. You can still use maya, but you wont be able to get as good help from teachers since it's not their specialty.
i think there are short subjects on compositing, but i had credit for this during the degree. in the dip we used combustion, though i heared that for the degree they used Adobe Premier (which people were not happy with, so i wouldnt be surprised if they change that, but it's only one subject so you dont get very indepth with it).
and they dont teach photoshop - which is unbelieveably stupid. occasionally a teacher will get a few demos of it in a couple of leassons, but it SHOULD be a course of its own. i'm completely self taught in photoshop - i had to learn it all from friends and the web since qantm seemed to think texturing wasnt an importantpart of 3d. (granted, it's primarity and animation course, but if you're going to get into games - as the majority of animation students are trying to do, and is a mjor part of qantms advertising and appeal - then photoshop is an absolute nessessity).

finally, you say you have two years of experience, so i doubt you'll be honing any skills at qantm, certainly not from the classes. The piece of papaer saying 'degree' is inticing, but the quality of your work is worth a lot more, and although many Australian companies advertise that they want applicants with degrees, that's really a way of saying "if you've got a degree it means you have some knowledge of how this all works". but it dosnt realy mean all that much. I dont know about other countries.

i havnt seen you work though, nor know what kind of work you have done in the industry, or know how much you know of things other than straight 3d modeling, so i cant really give you advice on whether you should attend qantm or not in that respect.

neo an anomaly's picture

I am goin' to QANTM feb 2006 for the diploma in game programming. I've gotten enough feedbacks and reviews abt the school from a lotta people except that they were art students there and I am a programmer. I would love to know if any programmer that graduated from the QANTM diploma landed up a job in a nice company or is it even more tougher than an artist to break in ?

TheBigJ's picture

neo_an_anomaly: I graduated from the Qantm Games Programming Diploma in 2002. There are a number Qantm Dip.IT grads working in Brisbane game studios, such as redwyre, who you may have seen on these boards. I myself have been working in a field closely related to games programming since late 2002. Certainly, the hire rate is relatively small, but this reflects the state of the industry, not the quality of the education.

There are mixed reports about Qantm. Overall, I'd say that I got a lot out of my studies there; however, most of the stuff I learnt was extra-curricular. Like most institutions, you get out what you put in.

LiveWire's picture

During the two years I was there, at least eight coders that i knew got jobs during, upon finishing, and/or almost emediatly after finishing. There were very likly several more amougst thoses it didnt know, and more still who have or will get jobs after a bit of further study of their own. Six of those coders were in one or another of the two projects i was involved in, so i can say from experience that they did indeed put A LOT of effort into their respective courses.

Eight from such a small group of the ones i actually knew is a pretty good number too.

neo an anomaly's picture

Thanx for those feedbacks ! It helps a lot. I am in in to learn and if done well , am sure I won't hv any trouble findin' jobs ! I dun mind waitin' a few months before I land a game programming job. I guess it's natural :) !!

unknownuser2's picture

Not sure about how things are now - but during my diploma time at qantm - the class began with some 25 - 30 students and only maybe 10 - 15 people were showing up at the end if that. Of those people i know of 3 programmers + myself who went on to do something to do with the industry.

My best piece of advice is choose your course and attack it with every ounce of energy you have! and if your lucky - (dont make the mistake of taking it for granted) but *IF* your lucky you might be staring at a job offer or two. [:)]

Tranquil83's picture

To put every ounce of energy into it is exactly what I want.
I've gotten into a 3d artist job shortly after graduating from highschool, but I finally want to get some degree, + have 2 years to develop my skills on my own.
(..something I found very difficult,alot of work you do when working can be repetive.. and I just have three weeks of crunch time behind me, where I barely modeled and textured anything, but only was involved with polishing and fixing problems)
Oh,not to mention that I want to get better in 3dsmax,it's good to hear that it's taught almost exclusively at Qantm. (been using maya and c4d)
That they don't teach Photoshop is a bitter pill(at least for those who haven't picked up Photoshopskills on their own).
Btw, which engines do you coders use at Qantm? Are you encouraged to develop your own or work with engines like Ogre or Nebula?
(or is do you get to work with Renderware,etc?)

LiveWire's picture

the last two years Ogre has been used, though i believe that's optional, but it's probably best to go with the 'standard' one for the year since the treachers will be able to help your coders out more easily, not to mention QANTM's framework is designed to work with it (which further sugests Ogre will continue to be used into the future).

inked's picture

hi guys,

thought i'd put in my 2 cents here since i just finished the Diploma of animation a few weeks ago.

As many people have already said, you get what you put in basically.. Make the most of your time there and work, work, work. What they teach is pretty basic (i knew absolutely nothing of 3D before QANTM and i'm still saying that), and they went a bit slow for my liking, but you can always get a lecturer to show you whatever you need to know privately, out of class time. But do that as much as you can at the start of the year, end of the year is hectic.

The lessons unfortunately seemed to go the speed of the slowest learners, or those not interested in learning. I got so pissed off watching people chatting on IRC/MSN and forum posting while the lecturer is teaching something, and then having to wait for an hour while he individually shows them all again because they weren't paying attention. I assumed mummy and daddy were payin for the course.

They were really unorganised for a lot of the year. The first Trimester of Wednesday afternoons was pretty much wasted watching animations such as 'Ice Age' or 'Iron Giant'.. and not discussing them, just watching them..
I have nothing against these movies, they're great. i do have something against paying $10,000 to watch these movies when i could be learning so much that they didn't cover, that they should have, during the year.

Some lecturers left a lot to be desired. One example, i was having trouble with mirror mode in skin working. One lecturers reply was, 'it could be because meshsmooth is at the top of the stack'.. That was most certainly not the problem, that was exactly where it was meant to be.. I had no desire to weight a few extra thousand vertices.

Group game level projects, and working with OGRE was interesting, as noone seemed to know what was going on, most lecturers included. We busted our ass's to get the level complete, to get it to the programmers to be finished with triggers and whatever else, and i never saw the level again..

Another point, make sure you get your own BIG external HDD. They supply 1GB of space, yes, 1GB for student storage.. Lets be honest, HD space isn't exactly expensive.. I think a lot of the student fees goes to fixing the elevators every week. The end of the year projects required a lot of rendering to desktop, without being sure they'd still be there when you go to retrieve them the next day. Not fun. And external HDD doesn't come in handy here as i wouldn't trust leavin an external overnight.

And the final projects.. i ended up staying home mostly to do mine.. they have a severe lack of decent machines to work on.. We had about 50 animators this year, fighting over 25 or so decent machines.. Almost every time i went in, i would be stuck on some slow ass PC that can barely handle my scenes, let alone trying to get some cloth simulation or anything a bit more resource heavy going. Also, lecturers at the end of the year, seemed almost non-existant. And quite often when were there, they had no idea how to help anyway. =I

and also, they did touch on Photoshop earlier this year, very basic stuff, but very useful stuff too. More would have been good, but that goes for all lessons and topics in general. They do unfortunately go at the speed of the slower people in the class.

Don't let me scare you off though, of course in this post i'm focusing on negatives, not positives, there were some positives too! Overall, i had a decent year, i learnt a lot, and i think i got my moneys worth but only cuz i put in a lot of work and hours, doing as much, if not more, out of uni hours. The actual facilities, lessons, and some lecturers, aren't really worth it. However, in saying that, i would still go back and do the Degree, if i could afford it, although i'd probably research some other institutions as well. Having the knowledge of what to expect is a big advantage to making the most of it.

Also, they plan to change the course outline again next year so who knows what they'll do..

=I