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Art and Animation Schools

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Art and Animation Schools

A brief list of the many art and animation schools in alphabetical order.

Academy of Art University
San Francisco, CA USA
www.academyart.edu

The Animation Academy
Burbank, CA USA
www.thaanimationacademy.com

AnimationMentor.com
Berkeley, CA USA
www.animationmentor.com

The Art Institutes International
Minneapolis MN, USA
www.aim.artinstitutes.edu
-other branches
Atlanta, GA USA
Boston, MA USA
San Bernardino, CA USA
Santa Monica, CA USA
Santa Ana, CA USA
San Diego, CA USA
San Francisco, CA USA
Las Vegas, NV USA
Philadelphia, PA USA
Pittsburgh, PA USA
Portland, OR USA
Seattle, WA USA
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Vancouver, BC Canada

Bristol School of Animation
Bristol, UK
www.uwe.ac.uk/amd/bristolanimatoin

Brooks College
Long Beach, CA USA
www.brookscollege.edu

California Institute of the Arts (Cal Arts)
Valencia, CA USA
www.calarts.edu

California State University Fullerton
Fullerton, CA USA
www.fullerton.edu/arts/art

The Dave School
Orlando, FL USA
www.DaveSchool.com

Ecole Des Metiers Du Cinema D’Animation
Angouleme, France
www.angouleme.cci.fr

Edinburgh College of Art
Edinburgh, Scotland, UK
www.eca.ac.uk

Ex’pression College for Digital Arts
Emeryville, CA USA
www.expression.edu

Full Sail Real World Education
Winter Park, FL USA
www.fullsail.com

The German Film school of Digital Production GmnH
Wustermak/Elstal, Germany
www.filmschool.de

Gnomon School of Visual Effects
Hollywood, CA USA
www.gnomon3D.com

Gobelins, l’ecole de l’image
Paris, France
www.gobelins.fr

The Illinois Institute of Art-Chicago
Chicago, IL
www.ilic.aii.edu

La Poudriere Animation Film-Directin School
Valence, France
poudriere@wanadoo.fr

Learn 3D Autodesk Media & Entertainment Training Centre
Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa
Gustavo@touchvision.co.za

Loyola Marymount University
Los Angeles, CA USA
www.lmu.edu

Max the Mutt Animation School
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
www.maxthemutt.com

Media Design School
Auckland, New Zealand
www.mediadesign.school.nz

New York Film Academy
New York, NY USA
www.nyfa.com

North Carolina State University, College of Design
Raleigh, NC USA
www.ncsudesign.org

Platt College
San Diego, CA USA
www.platt.edu

Ringling School of Art & Design
Sarasota, FL USA
www.ringling.edu

Savannah College of Art & Design
Savannah, GA USA
www.scad.edu

San Francisco State University
San Francisco, CA USA
http://msp.sfsu.edu

USC (Animation and Digital Arts)
Los Angeles, CA USA
http://anim.usc.edu
www.cntv.usc.edu

Vancouver Film School
Vancouver, BC Canada
www.vfs.com

Vancouver Institute of Media Arts (VanArts)
Vancouver, BC Canada
www.vanarts.com

Woodbury University
Burbank, CA USA
www.woodbury.edu

Animated Ape's picture
See more of The Ape @ http://onetwoclicksmile.blogspot.com/ and https://vimeo.com/40270147 "...we must all face a choice, between what is right... and what is easy."

See more of The Ape @ http://onetwoclicksmile.blogspot.com/ and https://vimeo.com/40270147

"...we must all face a choice, between what is right... and what is easy."

@mindseyes40 . why did they deny u into the animation? any particular reason?

I lacked a lot of "drawing in motion" and was told that if I wanted to be an animator, to drop out and re-apply for the next year...
Mostly I went up against a lot of talented people, and they hand pick their animation majors. I'm not sure if this helps but I have a lot of film experience, and have my assoiates in film studies, also helped make a lot of student films, and helped with numerous projects...but I was told that they saw me more as an illustrator because of my portfolio than an animator...if that makes sense?

Where did you get the idea that because it's referenced, it's not valid? Professional artists use reference materials all the time. If you're saying you can't draw from life - only from reference - then you have to work on that, because that's not good :) But reference in and of itself is not a problem.

Of course you still have a "shot". As long as you're working at it diligently, you have a shot. Not everyone progresses at the same pace, and art skills are difficult to obtain at best.

You may want to consider doing something like Ringling's illustration program coupled with something like Animation Mentor to give you a good drawing foundation as well as the animation skills you'll need.

I was told by one of my counselors that if I reference a lot then it would be hard to succeed. But you're right though I have issues drawing from life, and only my referenced work has potential. I was told that taking a strong foundation at a professional school would help because as I was developing myself as an artist I was never shown the technical skills, and basically had to teach myself, which started from tracing, then small reference, then combining materials making my own works. I'm just trying to break free of that because I want nothing more than to be able to create, its all in my head but has difficulty coming out onto paper. I'm not looking to be super sucessful, I just know this is something I want to do, and being able to capture whats in my mind and make it come to life is more of a goal to me anyhow, though establishing a name for myself wouldn't be so bad either. :)

Thanks for the words of encouragement though, it really is appreciated hearing from professionals and artists.

I want to work in animation but already have a BA, what are my options?

So I want to work in animation but already have a BA in digital media. I'm American but an interested in doing this abroad, preferably in Canada. America is fine too.

My preference is 2d animation, but I mostly want a 2d AND 3d program, and not something that falls within a niche as that limits my skill set and makes me less marketable.

Anyways, my top pick in Canada is Sheridan, known for its highly lauded animation program. The problem? It is four years and is a bachelors program. It isn't worth getting another bachelors degree so Sheridan is out. On the other hand I'm seeing a lot if schools that offer certification. Certification is fine, it's all about having a good school that matters. The problem is that I'm having trouble finding a good one that suits what I want. On the other hand, there IS a grad school program for animation at Emily Carr and originally my plan was a MA anyways, and they DO have some decent 2d work in their 2013 graduates demo reel. America-wise, my pick for an MA is Academy of Art University, they have a lot of good classes for digital illustration for that too and I could easily fall back on that if animation doesn't work out, but I'm dead set on it working out but you know how things are and life isn't guaranteed.

I'd preferred to go with a two year program.

Right now, I'm joining up with the Americorps and practicing my butt off so I can be professional or have near professional skills before I go to school to ease the process.

So I'm stuck here with:

- Two bachelors degrees are pointless, so BA programs are out.
- 2 year programs with emphasis on 2d AND 3d preferred, though I do like 2d more. Also, the ability to take some illustration and life art classes.
- Of 2 year programs, master degree or certification are fine, though I'd prefer master as it'll allow me to teach classes in the future.

Thoughts? Help a sister out. I'm American, Texan, and I like to draw. Let's do this shit. :cool:

Help me find a good school. I'm lurking this this thread - very long ass - thread for ideas. A good online animation school? Mak2005, remind me to blow you a kiss, darlin'.

edit: SCAD would be my choice so far. Looks like a spiffy school.

edit 2: never fucking mind, SCAD is perfecto. An animation program with emphasis in a well rounded palette of classical art skills including spacial awareness, life drawing, perspective and not cartoony 3d bullshit? SIGN ME THE FUCK UP.

True to a point-

Thanks DSB,

It is best to have the tech and the animation/artistic...but given the choice, the studios are used to teaching software and updatng their tech side. for the most part they don't have the time to teach a pure tech
person to animate...better to teach an animator the tech side.

My main point withthe last post was...I just don't see how some of these schools are rated....

There are two or three at the top and then it gets really blurry...

I think my list still holds up very well...

The facility should the last consideration.

Thanks

Another thing....
I dont mean to sound like a feminazi but is this field dominated by men? Or is it pretty level?
Ive always got the impression that there's more men in the film and animation bizz than women.
the majority of the peolpe on this post seem male.....
I mean, It doesnt really matter to me.....I just hope it doesnt affect job chances if its out of the ordinary in the business.

Men dominate the field still, but its not the numbers it used to be.
When I started years ago, the numbers were around 95% men to 5% women.
Now, its probably around 70% men to 30 women, and the equalization of those numbers is happening more and more.
And those are artists I'm talking about.

As far as job chances go, no. Gender is NOT an issue.
Ability is the only issue, followed by attitude.

Just make sure you are the best going, and you'll have no problem getting work in the field.

Eh Im just tryin to stay the hell away from television classes.
I hate television.

Then you'll be cutting down your job opportunities by an easy 75%.
TV work makes up the bulk ot the industry opportunities, followed by games and features in the distant third place.
Higher-profile features have what's considered to be the cream of the crop ( in a fair number of cases), and lower profile or direct-to-video feature have the same calibre of work as TV anyway.
Given out picky and sporadic the industry can be, denying yourself a medium to work in is an invitation to spells without work.

IMO, the smartest philosophy to take is to become fully functional. I prefer the term cartoonist over animator, someone so versed they can animate ( adapting to any medium), work in immediately related tasks like design, layout or 'boards, and to branch out to related mediums like comics, illustration etc.
And then there's the various genres of subject matter....

As intimidating as that is to a lot of newcomers, my advice always has been to NOT get into this biz unless you are prepared to, at least, consider working in any and ALL aspects of it.

There's plenty of niche talents out there, but niche talent only leads to niche opportunities, I say.

I know this sounds absurd, but what do you recommend to a person who wants a job at a company that doesn't actually outsource....maybe the company which animation is outsourced to?

Just about every studio is gonna outsource at some point these days.
There's various reasons for this, not just economics.
The simple fact of the matter is that if a company gets busy and work comes in that exceeds the number of hands that can work on it, some of that work is going to get sent elsewhere to be done.
Everybody wants a slice of the pie, if the pie is offered to them, and if they cannot handle the whole thing, they'll take their slice and pass it on to someone else to do. That's how its always been done.
Despite the best efforts of all these schools pumping out all these students into the biz, the industry still needs genuinely talented people to do the work. Pairing those people with those projects remains difficult most of the time.

"We all grow older, we do not have to grow up"--Archie Goodwin ( 1937-1998)

I agree with Max

Back in my day... (always wanted to say that)...drawing counted, skills counted. I have no idea why someone would get an MFA unless they wanted to teach.

To be honest, with over 30 years experience - an MFA would a backward step.

I agree with Max - skills are the most important element - with costs at certain schools up to 40,000.00 a year.

I never hired anyone because of a degree - the bottom line, it is all based on the portfolio and the reel. If I like the portfolio- then, I look at the reel.

Max, if I head up that way I will let you know...thanks!

I was told that they saw me more as an illustrator because of my portfolio than an animator...if that makes sense?

Yep, it does. The drawings I saw looked more posed, like an illustration, than poses for animation. There is a big difference, and if you're working from photo reference, that's probably why.

Do some life drawing - short poses, quick sketches. You probably need to stop laboring over each drawing and work on capturing the essence of a pose in a few lines.

Search the AWN database for "Glen Vilppu". There are a lot of drawing lessons from him on here (at least there used to be), and they're slanted toward the type of drawing you'll want to hone to get into an animation program.

Hello Art Learner?

Sorry, my German is rusty!

You asked about Phil Young and Glenn Vilppu and their teaching at a SCAD campus.

Sorry to say Phil Young has left SCAD and is teaching at a school in New Mexico.

Glenn was a visiting artist at the SCAD campus in Savannah the Spring terms of 05 and 06 and at the SCAD campus in Lacoste, France in the Spring of 07.

I spoke to him yesterday and he hasn't spoken to SCAD about 08 but it is a possiblity.

Gary Goldman is slated to teach the Winter term at SCAD in Savannah in 08.

I left SCAD in June of 2005...time to move on... and too many things to do.

Thanks,

the studios are used to teaching software and updatng their tech side. for the most part they don't have the time to teach a pure tech person to animate...better to teach an animator the tech side.

You're missing the point - studios aren't used to training anyone on software anymore, with the exceptions I mentioned previously. It's just not necessary anymore; the talent pool is too full of people who know both the 12 principles and which spline handles to adjust to achieve them.

If a studio hires a "pure tech" person these days, it isn't to be an animator. It's more likely to be for a TD position. In those cases, they aren't teaching them to animate because that's not part of their job.

I have no disagreement with your list, but by the same token it's important to give information that's up to date and relevant. Telling people "studios will teach you the software" just isn't true anymore, and could give someone unrealistic expectations.

I don't mean to be rude but I was just surprised by the difference between one post saying

“I'll second that. If you feel there's a place or need for traditional skills in your repertoire there's no replacement for them”

And the second one that seemed to point out the nessecity of learning traditional skills

Ah. That's because the first quote is still referring to the traditional skills. Something like “I'll second that. If you feel there's a place for traditional skills in your repertoire there's no replacement for traditional skills.”

It's not rude. I asked, because I was confused. Basically I was saying if you're willing to give them a go, it IS worth it because you're getting something valuable. I was supplying an out because an earlier post had made it seem like it wasn't a choice, or that the path being chosen wouldn't allow their inclusion.

Getting wrapped up in the medium is only relevant if you demand certain medium-specific things, yah. But it's those characterisitics which keep the look and feel of how a project is carried out inherently distinct. I think there used to be a saying among programmers, that they need to "do less making of software and more writing of software." The main idea is the biggest thing, but it also needs to be "told well" with the proper serving method of production.

I'm sorry if it isn't being clear but I really agree on all the other points.

Let me try to give you my unbiased opinion even though I am a one time graduate of Ringling and now am a member of the Computer Animation Department.

First I can guarantee you that the program or the school is not in a decline. I think people see that we are letting more students into the program and now see that as a problem. All it’s doing is giving people who might not have come from the best high school art program a better chance of proving themselves if they get in the program. Plus that larger group of students will eventually be split up between the computer animation track as we know it now and the new Gaming major that starts the year after next.

If people think that the quality of the work is not as good as years past all I can say is once this years senior work starts getting out there I would put it put against any Bachelor (if not most Masters) program out there. I think people now compare us with European schools like Supinfocom that have a team of students on a project where in 99.9 percent of the time we only have one student per project; start to finish.

Even as we grow the class sizes will never be more that 15 to 1 in the 3D classes and usually by the time you get to senior year they are about 12 to 1 do to attrition. The students here are great, they want to be here and they want to be the best which really makes it hard to be a slacker around here for a student and yes faculty

As for the campus it is confined to about 35 acre which is about 3 blocks. We do have a new building going up right now due to be finished for this fall and one of the floors will be the new home of the Computer Animation Department, the two more with be new dorms and the other two will be student life and things of that nature.

To be honest the biggest “con” is the cost of Ringling, it isn’t cheap and being a smaller school we don’t have much in the way of scholarships. Unfortunately that sometimes hurts when trying to get the best students but the ones that know our reputation are willing to pass up such temptations and come regardless.

Speaking of reputation it’s still golden when it comes to the industry and we aren’t about to let anything tarnish our good name. Name a major company and I can bet you they were on campus this year; for example Blue Sky just left Pixar will be here next week.

Like someone said earlier come on down and check out the campus. I would come when there are still students around (until May 1st) to get real favor of the school. After that they clear out and you don’t get a chance to feel the energy and all you see are empty labs with big beautiful 30 inch monitors.

If you have any other questions please don’t hesitate to ask.

ed

Department of Computer Animation
Ringling College of Art and Design
Sarasota Florida

If all that you want to learn is animation - not rigging, not modeling, texturing, etc. - then I'd suggest saving your money and proceeding directly to Animation Mentor. I've not been to the Dave School, I don't know anything about the Dave School, but I've seen their commercials and I've taken a bit of Animation Mentor myself and my infamous intuition tells me that there can be no possible comparison between the two in terms of animation education. AM is on the same level as the best regarded 4-year-schools.

Yep, it does. The drawings I saw looked more posed, like an illustration, than poses for animation. There is a big difference, and if you're working from photo reference, that's probably why.

Do some life drawing - short poses, quick sketches. You probably need to stop laboring over each drawing and work on capturing the essence of a pose in a few lines.

Search the AWN database for "Glen Vilppu". There are a lot of drawing lessons from him on here (at least there used to be), and they're slanted toward the type of drawing you'll want to hone to get into an animation program.

Awesome, thank you for your help. I've done fast sketches of people at coffee shops and bars not too detailed, just getting the form and shape, maybe I should put some of that in my portfolio...

Thank you for taking the time to look at my work, it is really appreciated!

Heyyo.

I too was looking into SCAD and Ringling. I decided to go for Ringling and am now a freshman/rising sohpmore. So I guess I'll tell ya 'bout my experience here.

First year is Core year. You'll only have one animation class (Traditional Animation) on your 2nd semester. This year is mostly to fine tune you as an artist and learn new things. Very, very talented people come here, which is a great thing. (I think I was lucky to get in. Some people are awesome artists...little intimidating.) Everyone's friendly and willing to teach you stuff, though, and mostly everyone's down to earth. It's a nice place to be in.

But we're discussing animation eh? The traditional class is fun, and the instructors are great (Tammy is awesome!). We don't have flashy stuff to show yet as we've been just learning the Big 12. I can show you stuff if y'want to though, so you can know what to expect 1st year.

As for Rsads work declining? Just wait till these peeps graduate. :D I've seen a couple of them and they are really, /really/ polished. Especially a certain one which I can't discuss till..it's.."released" I suppose. :)

Why didn't I go to SCAD? Well, I have a brother in FL (I'm from Colombia, so having family close by is always a plus). Some rumors about SCAD's acreditation kinda erked me..and the electronic theater at Siggraph, 2003. Wow. Poor Bogo? Great thesis project. :)

SCAD has some good stuff too, but it would seem that Rsad shoots out more quality projects at a steady rate. But remember college is what you make out of it. If you go to college to party and play videogames, then it won't matter if it's an internship at Pixar, you won't learn. If you apply yourself and practicaly decide not to have a life for 4 year, I'm pretty sure you'll be great no matter where you go.

But having a great faculty to help you out (and force you to work harder sometimes) is a great help. ;)

Have you gone to both websites? Just compare the work coming out from each and decide which style is more fitting for you. I guess I'll hush now since Im biased towards Rsad. :>

Good luck!

-Jorge Garcia
RSAD Animator in Training.

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Guest's picture
Academy of Art University, San Francisco

Hi.

I am looking at Academy of Art University to pursue animation. Are there are any AAU graduates here? And if you know anything about the curriculum, or how the direction of the 2d and 3d programs, I would appreciate any input.

Nope - you asked a question I'm sure Larry will want to answer.

Back in my day... (always wanted to say that)...drawing counted, skills counted.

Oh lord - not the old "to draw or not to draw" argument again...

While I personally feel that drawing skills are an important part of an animator's toolkit, I've worked with far too many excellent CG animators who couldn't draw well at all to be naive enough to think drawing skill is required for success in the industry.

Back in Larry's day (30 years ago, according to him), the bulk of the work in the business was 2D (and CG didn't exist), so you had to be able to draw in order to work in the field. So the notion that "drawing skills counted" back then is a circular argument at best, and one that I'm sure would be contested by more than a few stop-motion animators from that era.

Animation is about movement and bringing a character to life, not about whether or not you can do that with a pencil.

One of the things I saw on RSAD's campus was a map of where people have gotten hired. Considering that it's been up for a relatively short time, it's pretty tight space in some regions like NY/LA/SF...so those recruiters have actually snapped people up too.

Sometimes the best of what's available is just that and nothing more though, so remember (and you'll be told here quite a few times) that it's SO much up to the individual effort to dictate where you end up.

haha okay cool, thought i was missing some inside joke there...:P I didn't realise who Larry was til I checked the members list, it's nearly his birthday! w00t happy early birthday Larry :)

But hang on...it says his join date was 01-01-1970...haha, wow is the internet even that old ? ;P

You missed MY focus

Hello DSB,

You missed MY focus...which was to point out that the recent [B]rankings of schools can't be accurate.
[/B]
Then I proceeded to list the elements I thought were relevant to folks looking at some of these schools.

I see way too many schools that push the tech stuff and have wonderful computers but no one with the animation substance to teach.

That's why I provided my list...you don't have to agree with it...I think its relevant and the hundreds of former students- working in the 2D and now 3D areas think it is relevant.

Thanks...

By the way, Pixar still says you don't need to be a computer jockey to work in animation for them...they will work you into their system.

Perspective on Ringling from Student

Greetings and Salutations!

I am a senior Computer Animation major at Ringling. Most everyone thus far has commented on the high quality of the program, so instead I will give your the reasons I chose RSAD over SCAD:

- Ciriculum. I can't say for sure if this is still true, but when I was looking at thier programs, I notices that SCAD had their program broken into two majors: "Sequencial Art" and "Character Animation". Judging by the classes and work, Sequencial Art seemed to be pre-production and concept design (storyboarding, character and environment design, script, etc.). Ringling's program includes that in their Computer Animation major. At the time, I didn't know which side I wanted to go into, so that was the main deciding factor for me. Additionally, having gone through the program and talked to companies, even if you "just want to animate", companies perfer well-rounded animators who understand the other parts of the pipeline.

- Size. Ringling was much smaller, and for me personally, that was appealing.

- Cost. The cost was touched on in previous posts. Again, I must insert the disclaimer that this was my situation 4 years ago when I was looking at the schools and my not be true today. SCAD offered me a $7,000 a year scholarship where Ringling didn't offer any. However, after cruching the numbers, it turns out that Ringling would have cost around 28 thou a year and SCAD 35 thou, so when you take out the scholarship, the cost was almost the same.

- Reputation and student work. I looked on both schools' sites at student work pieces. I suggest anyone interested in either school do the same. I think that more than any other factor is the real measure a school's program. SIGGRAPH: Ringling has had 2 to as many as 5 (2003) pieces into Electronic and animation theater every year for the past 4 years. No other school can claim that. On that note, you mentioned asking about other schools. Though again I must strongly recommend Ringling, Vancouver Film school has had 1 or 2 pieces in SIGGRAPH every year since I started watching them, but I don't know much more about their reputation than that... The companies that recruite here also speaks volumes: PIXAR, DreamWorks, Sony, BlueSky, ILM, LucasArts, Activision, Midway, IDT,...

You seem to have several really good insights from people at these schools; I recommend trying to talk to someone at a company that you would like to work for. Few companies will actually recommend a school (for legal reasons), but if you could interview someone there, these companies do know which schools have strong programs. Look at the work that is being produced, but keep in mind in what amount of time and by how many students. RSAD, for example, has excellent work, but the best solo senior thesis will obviously have trouble competing with a project done by a team of 8 or 10 people. And as someone mentioned earlier, no matter where you go, you get what you put into it. The reason my school has the reputation it does is from talented, dedicated students and talented, dedicated faculty.

Good luck and best wishes!

I just wanted to post some info on a new college opening here in Chicago. It's going to offer a two year program in computer animation.

http://www.flashpointacademy.com/

Oy...

Larry, I'm not commenting on your position regarding school ranking; I'm trying to correct a misperception about "studio training". Whether or not that was your main point is irrelevant; you brought the topic into the conversation, so it's fair game to comment on it.

What you said about studios training in-house is out-of-date information; I can't say it any clearer than that.

Your Pixar example proves my point. Pixar is one of those places that uses proprietary software to animate, so naturally they'll have to "work you into their system" - just as I said two posts ago. Again, your comment reveals a lack of current knowledge about the topic.

I don't know why you keep insisting that I "don't need to agree" with your list when I've said that I don't disagree with it. Trotting out "hundreds of former students" is a cheap ploy to reinforce a point no one's disagreeing with.

Since the topic seems so important to you - what school ranking, specifically, are you referring to? I'm sure some of the "hardware/software ho" schools would like to know.

In SCAD's defense....

- Ciriculum. I can't say for sure if this is still true, but when I was looking at thier programs, I notices that SCAD had their program broken into two majors: "Sequencial Art" and "Character Animation". Judging by the classes and work, Sequencial Art seemed to be pre-production and concept design (storyboarding, character and environment design, script, etc.). Ringling's program includes that in their Computer Animation major. At the time, I didn't know which side I wanted to go into, so that was the main deciding factor for me. Additionally, having gone through the program and talked to companies, even if you "just want to animate", companies perfer well-rounded animators who understand the other parts of the pipeline.

- Size. Ringling was much smaller, and for me personally, that was appealing.

- Reputation and student work. I looked on both schools' sites at student work pieces. I suggest anyone interested in either school do the same. I think that more than any other factor is the real measure a school's program. SIGGRAPH: Ringling has had 2 to as many as 5 (2003) pieces into Electronic and animation theater every year for the past 4 years. No other school can claim that. On that note, you mentioned asking about other schools. Though again I must strongly recommend Ringling, Vancouver Film school has had 1 or 2 pieces in SIGGRAPH every year since I started watching them, but I don't know much more about their reputation than that... The companies that recruite here also speaks volumes: PIXAR, DreamWorks, Sony, BlueSky, ILM, LucasArts, Activision, Midway, IDT,...

Huh?

Curriculum - It used to be true that Ringling had the better faculty but crappy facilities, and SCAD had the better facilities and not as good faculty, but its not that way anymore. Granted, SCAD's animation program has been constantly evolving, but it's way better than you've painted it to be. Sequential Art and Animation at SCAD are two completely different majors in two completely different departments. Look at SCAD's Animation major of study again. Take a look at the faculty and what they've done. SCAD has an amazing facility and an impressive faculty.

Size - Just because SCAD is a bigger school doesn't mean it doesn't have small class sizes. Small class size at a big school to me is a positive. Besides, that's the more students you can learn and grow with.

Reputation and student work - What are you talking about? A SCAD grad was responsible for those GREAT effects with Elastigirl from The Incredibles. SCAD grads worked on the new Star Wars films. SCAD grads worked on the Spider-Man films. There are SCAD grads at every major studio, really, whether it's movie or television production. Oh, and SCAD grads have recently won Student Emmys and Student Oscars.

I think SCAD has an okay reputation. Good luck at Ringling, but make sure you chose that school for the right reasons. Besides, it's REALLY about the effort YOU put into your studies.

Follow @chaostoon on Twitter!

Thank Ken for the reply and the support.

Maybe discipline wasn’t the exact word I should have used. Being hauled over the coals for not going back and improving early stuff is more what I need. Some of the backgrounds I’ve been working on, there has been a steady improvement as I increase my knowledge and technical ability, and I’m dragging my feet at having to redo some of the earlier ones. I’ve got a couple of books and am reading everything I can find on the net. I’m also using Serif Drawplus8, (started with 4 – free) which is very cheap.

I’m working on a project that (to me) has a deadline of 2011. It’s only 6167 frames long. The family are well aware that I need to work, and I’ve given up ironing to make more time – the tumble dryer is my friend.:)

Hmmmm Good Question

Hello.

What a good question! I can't answer because I work at one of those places and I am a moderator of this forum.

I will say that at THIS moment- we are very good maybe even excellent in the intro to 2D classes. I have 30 years experience and Phil Young has 24 years as a lead animator for Disney Feature.

Ringling is a real force in 3D - their project teachers are tops..they have my respect.

These things I know to be true...

We do have the Don Bluth Archive with it's 1.5 million pieces of artwork.

I wish ALL programs had more drawing in them like Gobelins in Paris...

We are about the same distance from the beach. Ringling to Lido Key and SCAD to Tybee Island.

Thanks.

've done fast sketches of people at coffee shops and bars not too detailed, just getting the form and shape, maybe I should put some of that in my portfolio...

You definitely should. Pick a few of your best and photoshop them onto a page or two together.

how schools are ranked

To achieve the rankings for the animation schools, recruiters were polled to ask about the best prepared students. the results were compiled/ averages taken....when schools kept being mentioned, the curriculum was looked at/ prizes for the students (academy awards/ Rhythm & Hughes scholarships/ etc.) If, as you suggest, Larry/ schools bribe for their ranking/ you're wrong.

Pixar may say that they'll work with a traditionally trained student, but the economic reality is that training is expensive, labor intensive, and doesn't have guarantees that the (classically trained) student can negotiate within the 3D softwares/ or that (conversely) the technical students can learn good motion/ timing/ s&s, etc. that's why their contracts are for the period of training initially. A students that's good at both will always have a better chance at getting hired. (just saying....)

Which brings up a good question. With all those good 2D people over there*, where do they go off and work? Is it more 2D-centric outside the U.S., or do some come over here to do television?

*France

Holy Jebus...!

Larry taught in Ballyfermot! LMAO i didn't realise!

Hey Larry if you read this, any information you could give would be amazing, i'm undecided between Ballyfermot and IADT...

Are you one of the Disney animators they keep bragging about?

Made this for my own thread, and almost posted too. :D Luckily I caught this giant thread I didn't click submit like an idiot. Anyway, here's my situation..

So I finished my first year at Columbia College of Chicago. Going for a bachelor of fine arts degree w/ a concentration in traditional - along with a basic knowledge of computer animation hopefully. Not neccesarily where I split it half and half, though the learning curve suggests dedicating quite a bit of time to it, but having a grasp of how to do it. I want to make a job reel of both 2D and 3D.

But anyway, the first year was.. ok. I learned a ton, but almost all of it on my own - drawing, animating, and studying. The school was a little less helpful and inspiring. It's very hands off, with a very small animation department and group. What particularly put me off was a short created by a bunch of graduates and their instructor apparently. It was to put bluntly, horrible. Really bad stuff, with traditional and 3D blended at parts, and a really bad coloring job. Just.. not good. There was a couple seconds here and there of decent stuff but on the whole abysmal.

The department's very quiet compared to the rest of the school's departments. They have a thriving live action film department, and some good departments in other divisions. But the animation department is downright bleak. The instructors don't even seem entirely knowledgable and I don't really have the confidence to lean on them. I'm trying to stand on my own but I don't think it will help me in the long run. I'm not cancelling out the idea of staying another year, and doing most of my studies individually on the side, using dvds and animation books as my instructors.. But I am looking to leave for a school to push me and downright intimidate me. I need that. I need to be around well taught and inspired people in the field.

So that being said, what schools do you recommend? I know of CalArts reputation, and concentration in character animation. That really excites me, as I tried to base my work around character this year, instead of the abstract design I seen a lot. I also know about the professional lectures and attention given to the school by studios. That's perfect. One option I'm considering is the last 2 years going there. I'm a little bit reluctant to go this next sophmore year, but I could also make that leap if it's the best option. I don't want to have too little time to grow there, only going the last 2 years. I'm already worried I'd be behind in some fundamentals learned in year 1. But I have a lot of good things going here at home that on the other hand I don't want to leave too soon if it's not neccesary. So is this school as good as is said? It's definitely in the equation for upcoming years

Another option for this next upcoming year is The Art Institute of Chicago. Right down the same streets of Columbia College where I go now, so there's convenience, and it's reportedly a better school for animation. I'm looking to take a tour there soon. What do people know about the Art Institute? Is is good in both traditional and computer, and can you tread the water between the 2 learning both? How's the instructors and the work output? How's the attention it receives? Is it a reputable school for getting a job later

Any other recommendations of schools that are good for animation would be very helpful. I'm looking for specific stories and advice, with so many schools listed on the first post. I'm not too knowledgable in that. The closer to Chicago, the better, but convenience is certainly not the deciding factor. Be as opinionated as is your conviction.

Thanks for the time. :) (and hopefully responses :P)

My DAY is not done.

I was just using a figure of speech that I always wanted to use....sorry, but my day is still here and kicking...and yes, if thats what you want to call it..."that draw or not draw " agrument...then let us go around the bend again.

For someone waning to learn or in a student situation it would be irresponsible to relegate drawing to a back seat.

Beside animating for over 30 years - and to teach folks for almost 25 years I say drawing is oe of the top skills you can have - even as you ,DSB, yourself admit... and the even the non-drawing animator you produced last time we did this "go round" admitted to wishing they drew better.

My expereince is that non-drawers have a very low rate of making it without drawing- whereas, someone who draws has a better chance and a larger repetoire to "draw" from in their work.

The colleges that have animation programs and that express the virtues of drawing have a much higher rate of folks in the industry than those that don't- take... or Ringling and SCAD.

Thanks.

I'm shocked - shocked, I tell you - to hear that a 2D animator feels that drawing is an essential skill. Why, that's as surprising as the notion that the sun rises in the east.

I'm sorry, but forming an opinion about drawing based on 25 years of teaching drawing just isn't the same as current work experience in a production environment. Out here in the real world, there are lots of excellent, working animators who possess only rudimentary drawing skills. Would they maybe like to draw better? Possibly, but that doesn't change the fact that they're damn fine animators as it is.

Anybody going into any field is best served by having a diverse skill set and as many tools available as possible. Ultimately each individual decides for him- or herself what they want to have in their toolkit. Excluding something you think is important doesn't mean they'll be unsuccessful. Because, as I mentioned before (and you managed to ignore), animation is about bringing characters to life, however they're produced; pencil, pixel, clay, or whatever.

Hope this school hasn't been mentionned yet...
Emily Carr Institute
Vancouver BC, Canada

It's an art school with an animation program. I'm hoping to attend it after high school.:D

re: Tisch Asia

Scholarships at NYU Tisch Asia are awarded based on both need and merit. Graduate school is a big investment, but Tisch counselors are there at every stage - We work with students individually to help them fund their education. 70% of our students last year were recipients of scholarships, FYI.

While I personally feel that drawing skills are an important part of an animator's toolkit, I've worked with far too many excellent CG animators who couldn't draw well at all to be naive enough to think drawing skill is required for success in the industry.

Okay, this might be the time to get some clarification on something:
These CG animators that "do not draw": how good are their creative skills, as opposed to their animation skills?
Are these folks generating the designs they work off of, or are they just working off of stuff designed and rigged by someone else?

See, moving around a rigged CG construct is not that hard--as its just like virtual puppetry. Timing can be learned some some simple principles, and once the axis points on a virtual armature are found...away ya go.

Creating images from imagination takes skill and drawing ability--how are these folks on that score?
If they were directed to create an appealing character from their head....could they do this.

See, this has been my own point of contention expressed about lack of drawing ability.
We agree that having it is an asset, but there's this conundrum about it being necessary.
I firmly believe it is necessary--simply because if one considers it an "asset" then one is considering expansion of their work opportunities.

See, years ago, when I started out in the biz ( a few years after Larry) they advice I got was to "not bottleneck" mt career.
So I learned all kinds of things.

I do not see that kind of ideal promoted an awful lot these days.
A LOT of prospective talent in these forums, in the schools I have taught and the younger colleagues I have worked with have a "bottleneck" mentality with their careers and skillsets.
Quite a few I have encounter can not do strips, illustration work, comics, caricatures, designs in multiple genres etc....often simply because they have not considered those things.
Niche talents abound, I have found.....the industry is full of such people.
This is why I have personally pushed drawing ability to both 2D and 3D media artists--simply because it increases their options.
Its up to them to absorb that and act upon it though, and I see a lot of people taking the "easy route" and shirking this in spite of the "wisdom" of the advice.
If a young talent wants to grow beyond just pushing pixels for a living, wants to get into more creative streams in the productions they may be a part of, then having drawing ability is, I believe, the key to that. Without it, they have pigeon-holed themselves into that "niche" I referred to before.

"We all grow older, we do not have to grow up"--Archie Goodwin ( 1937-1998)

Hmm.. after reading through about 7-8 pages of this thread, I noticed that I probably screwed up big in taking a school like Columbia College for a year of my college career - in a way wasting it. I wish I knew more a year ago and took the leap. I want to make up for it. I also realize it's already too late to sign up for fall semester 2006 at a lot of schools as well, and the likes of Ringling is closed to animation.

So, where should I go from here? I'm worried about not transferring smoothly and missing crucial development time. I'd be willing to work as many summers as possible and dedicate all my hours to the field to measure up. Anything. Now, considering that remains true, where do I go from here? Squeeze into a better school, best available for this next semester, and make the jump from there to Ringling or Scad or CalArts? I'm hearing about freshman classes dwindling, not growing. What do you recommend to a finishing up Freshman of 19 years of age who doesn't want to screw this up?

Ecec,

As a SCAD grad living in San Fran right now, let me say that they are both good schools are good programs.

However San Fran is a lot more awesome than Savannah, and there is more film/game/televsion industry here, which savannah has....um, NONE. :) But find some AA grads and talk to them, find some more SCAD grads and talk to them, email me questions if you have. Just don't do it in the forum because you will get a lot of emotion. Plus all the general stuff has been pretty much said already.

www.MattOrnstein.com
Character Animator - Lucas Arts

Okay, this might be the time to get some clarification on something:
These CG animators that "do not draw": how good are their creative skills, as opposed to their animation skills?

It depends. Some are good, some not so good. Just as there are people who are excellent draftsmen, and others whose skills are lesser by comparison.

See, years ago, when I started out in the biz they advice I got was to "not bottleneck" mt career.
So I learned all kinds of things.

Couldn't agree with that advice more. I did the same thing.

Niche talents abound, I have found.....the industry is full of such people.
This is why I have personally pushed drawing ability to both 2D and 3D media artists--simply because it increases their options.
Its up to them to absorb that and act upon it though, and I see a lot of people taking the "easy route" and shirking this in spite of the "wisdom" of the advice.

Yep. I do the same thing myself, and you're dead right that you can't do much more than provide the advice. You can lead a horse to water...

If a young talent wants to grow beyond just pushing pixels for a living, wants to get into more creative streams in the productions they may be a part of, then having drawing ability is, I believe, the key to that. Without it, they have pigeon-holed themselves into that "niche" I referred to before.

I agree completely.

The only career I have to worry about is my own. If someone else wants to consciously limit their options, that's their choice.

I just tire of the "animators must draw" rant. It comes off as rigid and dogmatic, and ignores the realities of the industry today.

I've been told it is, and I've had my ups and downs with doing both.
Teaching is like a performance art, after class it can take a while to come down enough to concentrate enough to work on drawings.
Its also exhausting--as any occupation where you have to deal with people is--and that's always a pain.

If the teacher has only part-time classes--say one or two a week--then its manageable with a freelance gig. A full slate of classes makes it impossible to do anything but the smallest/simplest of freelance assignments, imo.

Some people can juggle both, but it IS hard.

I've left teaching ( at least for now) to "re-fuel" myself artistically. I want to find my muse again, and create for the sake of .......well..creation.
Its time, and I have the means to do just that.

Of course, I'm sure that once I truly sit down to start something the damn phone will ring with a offer of freelance work.

That ALWAYS happens.........

"We all grow older, we do not have to grow up"--Archie Goodwin ( 1937-1998)

Thanks !

Thank you very much for all the help ! I will look at De Anza College in Cupertino and Cosgwell in Sunnyvale as well :)

Have you heard about Expression College in Emeryville (next to Pixar actually ...) ? (http://www.expression.edu/)
They have a 2-year program that seems to be interesting ...

By the way, why do you think a 2-year program is not recommended ? Isn't it sufficient to get the basics ? I actually have already a Master degree in software/network computing and I don't know if I can afford another 4-year student life ... that's why these 2-year programs are pretty interesting for people like me who are considering a career change (well, I think ...). Do you have any suggestion ?

^_^

Thanks Harvey. I didn't know threads could be merged.

Mahalo,
the Ape

See more of The Ape @ http://onetwoclicksmile.blogspot.com/ and https://vimeo.com/40270147

"...we must all face a choice, between what is right... and what is easy."

I think (besides a lack of funds) that already having covered a lot of education previously is one of the strongest reasons you can have for going to a 2 year school if you wind up picking one. I don't know that I would solely have picked where I am at as the one and only place I went after high school for example, but having gone away to school and done gen ed and had studio art courses, etc....It's nice that there's one singular focus I can worry about that's independent of everything else.

If that didn't make sense, I am TOTALLY gone...I fell asleep today basically from my body shutting down in mid-sentence...real life seems like the dream haha

In my experience the basics can certainly be done in 2 years, but by that same token the basics all the way on to bigger and more advanced concepts is a lifetime of learning....(not even trying to sound cliche either)

25 years of Teaching

okay DSB - what a _ _ _ _ _...

For some reason you love to pounce on anything I say. Well,- the over 30 years of animation stays including having directed 2D, stop motion, CG on feature, TV, commercial and interactive projects.

The 25 years of teaching is from having to train my staff and mostly teaching part-time at nights and on weekends to give back to the industry from having learned from folks like Benny Washam, Chuck Jones and Ward Kimball and many others...including Tex Avery, Lloyd Vaughan and Phil Monroe....

Even when I have taught full time - I have worked on films and other professional projects.

...and, to that end I have always been and will be a student of animation. ...so now maybe you can bash me for wanting to learn.

I am sorry I didn't spell everything out for you - I thought you might be able to make the leap.

Thanks,

Anyone heard any good/bad things about University of Advanced Technologies (UAT)? They happen to have an animation program and I'm deciding between them and Art Institutes.

Any ideas?

It's sad that you felt it necessary to curse to get your point across - at least that's the only reason I can think of for leaving out parts of words.

I'm sorry you feel that I'm "pouncing" on anything you say. I was under the impression that this was a forum for sharing ideas; sometimes that means people will disagree with you, and actually say so. I've disagreed with lots of people here without many of them - most, actually - taking it personally.

The irony is we agree on the value of drawing skills (just in case anyone's lost track of what we were actually discussing). Apparently, though, the fact that my opinion differs slightly from yours is justification enough for you to drag out your years of experience and use it as a cudgel.

Yes, we've all heard frequently about your copious experience and seen you repeatedly drop names of animators you've met and learned from. We're all very impressed. But you're the one who keeps bringing these things up, and it's fair game as conversation fodder if you keep injecting it into the discussion. Heck, you've done it twice in your last three posts, not counting the most recent one. Having stuck around for a long time doesn't automatically make you right, and your experiences are not universal. All of that should be obvious without having to point it out.

Take all the parting shots at me that you want ("spelling it out", etc) - it says nothing about me and volumes about you.

I apologize to the rest of the AWN community for this regrettable sidetrack.

So, where should I go from here? I'm worried about not transferring smoothly and missing crucial development time. I'd be willing to work as many summers as possible and dedicate all my hours to the field to measure up. Anything. Now, considering that remains true, where do I go from here? Squeeze into a better school, best available for this next semester, and make the jump from there to Ringling or Scad or CalArts? I'm hearing about freshman classes dwindling, not growing. What do you recommend to a finishing up Freshman of 19 years of age who doesn't want to screw this up?

Better late than never. :) I started Ringling last fall semester and Im 22. I studied graphic design and then fell for the trap of technical colleges in regards to animation. Im happy I got into Ringling and are making the most of it.

If you do want to change schools then work on a great portfolio..go ahead and apply to all schools you might consider. The way I chose was to look at student work and each school´s syllabus, and I asked students from all of these schools how they liked it and how it worked.. I havent been to SCAD or CAlArts, but I know they´ve had good results (especially CalArts :D), but I decided on Ringling for their quality of work and dedication of the staff. I'm not going to restart the flame war trying to say one is better than another, but it all depends on what your learning style is and where you´d like to end up. If you wanna ask stuff about ringling, send me a PM and Ill share my 1st year experience there. Ask other students in other schools for the same. :)

And don´t be afraid to start over. Better to get a good education and follow the career you are really passionate about than to..do something you dont love? XD

G'luck!

-Jorge Garcia
RSAD Animator in Training.

Having stuck around for a long time doesn't automatically make you right, and your experiences are not universal.

I know you were referring to Larry, but this bears some discussion, I think.

Its not that long-timers in the biz have universal experiences, its that quite a few of us have seen the trends and patterns from the business side of it.
The "pencil mafia" touts the drawing thing because time and again its been seen as an asset.
I said as much before and you've agreed with me.

This is strictly what its about, being an asset.
Can a newcomer talent get work without solid drawing abilities?

Yes, they can.

Will they last in the biz without?

Not unless they are prepared to do the same thing for years that they started out on in the biz.

I have friends/colleagues/former students who are weaker at drawing...but they have gotten work doing things like colouring backgrounds on FLASH productions.
Hey, its work, right? These folks do it off and on when ever the studio has that kind of work....and its about all they can do--because their drawing skills remain weak. That's the connundrum an artist doesn't want to fall into.
Since the biz is so performance based--theonly way to break out of that kind of pigeon-hole is to demonstrate ability doing something else.
That's how I was able to break out of 6 years of doing tweens and get into boards.

Now, I'm sure that a body could, in theory, jump from something like colouring bgs to other non drawing tasks in the production line and work their way up a ways.....but the real meat in the biz is the creative stuff. That's what most folks have their eyes on--that's where most of the satisfaction appears to be.

There's always going to be a need for the "peons" ( excuse that term, but it fits) to support the creative end. BGs need colouring, models need rigging, all manner of technical jobs abound......they are not as sexy as the creative jobs, but they are just as necessary.

Trouble is.....everyone seems to want the sexy jobs. Not everyone get's to climb into that elite stratus, and yet alot of us long-timers feel that everyone should aim for it anyway.
As I implied before, it makes the craft stronger, makes the industry stronger.
There's too many niche talents in the biz as it is, and too many artists falling prey to a lack of job opportunities because of specialized needs.

I mean, who here has worked on a FLASH production? I'm not even sure I can call that stuff "animation". FLASH was chosen with the idea of making animation more viable domestically, but its a shortcut in terms of the craft.
A weak shortcut.
Look at the shows that are animated using FLASH. They are treated as paper cutouts. Builds swinging about on hinge points trying.......desperately.....to convey something from traditional 2D animation......and failing.
Personally......I despise FLASH and what its done for the craft of animation, but its become a defacto standard in the local scene where my work comes out of.
In having to adapt to its limitations, its mud-sucked people into become weaker animators--because they are no longer animating volumes--they are just swingin' them builds around.

Now, I know.....I know......people will tell me that FLASH can be used to animate just like 2D. It can be done.

But its NOT being done like that in the biz. Its too time consuming to work the stuff that way.
IMO, its killing the craft at the same time as giving animators work....but they are not "animating" as they once were. The skill set needs have dropped because of the use of FLASH.

What if a 2D feature comes to town? What is n animator who's only done FLASH going to do? They better have solid drawing skills, solid 2D animation skills under their belt if they want a shot at that feature.

Like Larry, I've pulled my hair out (actually literally done that twice, in fact) in expressing art skills to deaf-eared newcomers. They bought into the quick-fix idea, the shortcut, and the line that "someone got a job without being able to draw"........and it defeats everything we've been trying to sell the kids.
The pencil mafia idea is to build the craft. Its less about preserving the traditions ( draw on a tablet or Cintiq, fer cryin out loud--its still drawing!) than it is about preserving and building opportunities.
Too many ( even ONE being too many) voices say there's a quicker fix, and easier route and new talent are buying into it wholesale.
The only guard there seems to be against it is the "weighty cudgel of years of experience" speaking out to these kids.

When these topics come up, it makes me think back to a few of my students, one in particular:
A quiet kid, very focused.......but obsessed with anime. That's all he'd draw, but he'd draw only one kind of thing from anime.
I'd say to him to expand his range, try different stuff.
He'd say he'd get right to it...........and when he came back, what would he show?
The same ole anime thing he's drawn time and again!
This young fellow has no future in the biz, unless he changes his procedures.
It chokes me to think that a kid like him is spending ungodly amounts of thousands of dollars at an art college, only to mud-suck himself.

But at least he's drawing something, right?

I used to express the idea to my students that if the power goes out, the deadline still remains. If they do not have the hand skills with other media, they will not be able to deliver---something, and their jobs depends upon being able to deliver. That's not a universally applicable reasoning, but I think there's a small kernel of smarts still in there.
I dunno......I think its worth listening to.

"We all grow older, we do not have to grow up"--Archie Goodwin ( 1937-1998)

First of all, take a deep breath and relax. There is no expiration date on learning animation ("You're 21? Forget it...":D).

Take some art classes wherever you can, or wherever you're going. Life drawing, basic drawing - whatever will help you hone your skills. Put together a portfolio and start submitting it to the schools you're interested in. Use this time to look into different aspects of the animation process and think about where you might fit into the process (story, character design, animation, TD...). Research those jobs to find out what skills are desired to land the position, and start exploring those areas.

Again, relax. You're plenty young enough to get started now with no detrimental effect to your (long-term) career.

Animation schools in California

Hi all,

I looked through your forum to find out more about renowned schools in California.
I currently live in San Francisco and I am a little lost in deciding which school to go to :confused: : Art Institute ? Academy of Art ? ... or simply San Francisco State University ?
AI and Academy or Art are way too expensive for me ... Is it worth to put that much money in animation education ? While, after all, the thing that matters is talent ... And this is what you show in your reel, right ?

If you have any recommendation and feedback to give me, I would really appreciate.
Thanks in advance :)

MLeen -

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