My main concern would be who actually recognises them. I cant see any point in doing the coruses if the are not recognised by Industry in general and does your National Education System recognises them.
To many bogus uni's online as it is that are not valid except for sponsoring companies that may limit your employment options in the finish.
as far as shared consoles are concerned I use them everyday to do remote support to about 300 clients. They're no problem security wise. You would need a pretty big pipe though as the first thing I do is turn off wallpaper and al the other XP candy.
I have seen this site as well and have joined some discussions in their forum. It interested me, because sometimes a more interactive way then writing tutorials can be very useful to share knowledge with other users (just look at the positive response Nick got on his video tutorials here).
I don't think it is a rip off, I have talked with some of the people behind (and I know the names from a few fora as well). But the website is indeed not very clear (is that an understatement? ). The last time I visited them, the offer of course was still rather limited as well, as they were still looking for more people to teach other things.
Last note, I don't think some sort of official recognation is needed. After all FS is a hobby, so it would not really help if someone recognices that you can make new scenery for FS.
I found it interesting as well, and went so far as to sign up as an instructor of modelling. I withdrew because there was a strong focus on the organizational structure, communication style was slightly more authoritative than is my comfort, and I found it not my kind of environment.
Perhaps this idea does fit some people. From a standpoint of using their services for a given class, it may work. From the standpoint of joining forces with them to bring their vision forward, I found the solution didn't fit the problem as I saw it.
The model being imitated is that of a university degree, yet the needs are different.
The problem is, teaching a random class is hard to organize. The idea of the university was likely hatched as a way to "matriculate" people....get them into the system as establish them as students against which you could base your future planning. Without that, its hit and miss.
Its a difficult business model to see working out thru the transition. Its also a bit hard to sell the need for a university style approach to learning when every teacher learned in a very different way.
Thanks Bob for sharing your views on it. I must say that I have not had that much contact with them yet, but are you saying that the name is not just university, but that they are really trying to model it like a real university? I thought it was just named so to sound interesting .
I think learning scenery design is not a one way traffic thing of just telling how you do it. It should be some sort of 2 way traffic. I do learn and get new ideas very often from people on forums. The fact that they do not know have to make the actual scenery, does not mean they can't learn me anything with their ideas. But it might also be that that is the kind of environment I feel nice in.
Now... The technology is here... it may be a great idea to do some webcasts on specific subjects. What do you think?
Nick, sounds like a good idea. For certain things such an interactive approach is indeed a lot better then writing tutorials only. And I have thought before that it would be cool to have a more interactive way to learn scenery design. I think we need to share some thoughts on this .
<<but that they are really trying to model it like a real university? >>
One can't know how serious they've been on this tack...but it was said several times in a strategy discussion I had with the two main guys. In fairness, they're trying something new and I'm sure they'll go with the flow as things work or don't work. In our discussions, they discussed curriculums covering all the aspects of design, having grades, issuing some form of diploma...kind of creating a big structure but little to put in it. At the time, it was before they had much in the way of instructors or a bulk of students.
Not that a sprinkling...like a brush on everything wouldn't be fun...it would...and I suggested it...but assuming everyone wants a full course on everything is missing the mark imho.
I think there is something nice about the informal way and sharing way in which designers have taught each other our craft.
Course its a big world...perhaps fsdu will fill a worthy function for folks that otherwise would miss out.
I'm trying to imagine the need for a university for model railroaders.
This is a hobby and supposed to be a passtime ( F U N ). The whole thing seems to be a way to make a buck off of wouldbe designers that are confused where to start.
Truthfully, there are not that many scenery designers... and fewer still that have graduated ( pun intended ) to FS9 design techniques. There will always be newbies that want a quick and easy path for learning both scenery and aircraft design. But for the most part, it is a passtime that is done alone for amusement. Many are called, but few are chosen. And probably a good thing, or we'd all be swamped in scenery.
I'm a little turned off by the idea of taking the "advanced mesh 201" course. Just not for me, I guess.
There a couple of odd aspects to our hobby. Just note the hundreds ( thousands? ) of aircraft repaints available for downloading. Repainting is pretty easy... making an original aircraft is not.
Also, we have many "collectors" for our hobby. They will collect anything... Gigabytes of planes and scenery that they will never use.
Perhaps we might do better to take university courses on psychology.
You made some good point (and gave me a morning laugh, so that is always good ).
I still think that the fact that they are trying to use more interactive way to learn scenery design (or aircraft design) is a great idea. That certainly has added value.
But you are right that the main part about this is that it should be a hobby and thus fun. For some that fun is in collecting as you said or flying in FS. Others like to build new stuff and again others like to make tools and share what they know (humm, that must be me ).
I also had been signed up as an instructor of this 'school' - back when they first organized(I think they went away and came back at least once since then) but it seemed to me that all they were interested in was collecting the registration fees and then turning the student over to the professor who may have put little or no time into the class at all. I dropped out shortly after my friend Mike Stone decided to drop out. Not sure why he did, but his name was the main reason I agreed to teach in the first place.
Just wanted to say that I took the first class on Gmaxy . Was very happy with the class and Sonja was a good teacher. Before the class I just couldnt make head or tails of Gmax and now I am comfortable working in it. I am slow with it but am learning all the short cuts and how to do things with it (still have a lot to learn) As for the cost it was $15 to resister and $20 for the class not bad considering that i would spend that much for a plane or what ever for flightsim and I like to make scenery and I can see were learning Gmax would help me out a lot. and as for being recognized I dont care I am not looking for a job in designing anyway just want to learn how to use and make better scenery so I can put better scenery up for us to use.