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Researching animation colleges...?

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Researching animation colleges...?

I'm beginning my research on colleges now, and trying to build up an initial portfolio. However, I'm finding it difficult to start somewhere in my research - I want to study animation, preferrably traditional and then maybe computer animation later. I went to, hit animation, and recieved 200+ Listings.

Are their any specific animation courses I should be looking for? Do you know of any school that exceeds/fails in this course? Did you study it, and like it at your school?

So far, the only places I've started looking into in depth is Sheridan College in Canada, Seneca in Canada, and SCAD in the US. Any moer tips?

When trying to figure out what school you want to go to research the companies you want to work for after you graduate. On their websites many will list schools that they recruit from; if they don't you can always call their human resource department and ask.

Good luck.


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

Good suggestion Ed.

Though given there are hundreds of animation programs, many good programs don't make the top five list of many companies. And it seems to me these companies are doing far less recruiting directly from schools, which has put the onus on graduates to make contact with prospective employers.

I think talking to prospective employers and asking them what skills and knowledge they're seeking, and matching that information to what a school is offering, is a good route to take. In a lot of cases all you need to do is read a few company career ads, and they will state very clearly what they are looking for in an applicant.

Also, talk to people in the industry, and see what the trends are, and what skills are in demand. The industry is going through many changes. The advent of computers (not only in production, but in all areas of the business) has created a significant shift in required skill sets. And those requirements are being redefined everytime there is a new development ... which is about every six months;)

But the thing to remember is, no matter what tools and processes you learn, the most important aspect of your training will always be the creative training. Animation is film making, and film making is visual storytelling. Make sure the program offers courses that will teach you how to effectivily communicate a story visually.

Look for schools that teach:

Life Drawing; composition, design, aesthetic appeal, sense of three dimensional space, observation, etc.

Story Boarding; film language, story structure, mechanics of shots, sense of entertainment, etc.

Animation; this may seem like a given, but many schools only teach you how to use a particular type of software, and don't teach the principles of animation, or the subtleties of acting achieved through staging and timing.

Layout; staging, creating a feeling of depth, composing the frame, blocking, focus, etc.

Animation History; there is no quicker way to improve your abilities than being introduced to the wide array of work that has already been created. It's absolutely astounding.

In addition, talk to as many students and graduates from the program, as you can. The more you talk to, the more accurate impression you'll get.

And finally, remember the most important factor in getting a good education is your commitment. You get out of it, what you put into it ... so stay focused.