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please crit my mfa portfolio

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please crit my mfa portfolio

I am applying to Scad's animation MFA. In addition to 2 animations (a finished film and a sample reel) I will also be including a bunch of 2D images, as follows. I need honest critique from animators and animation students, but please don't be too mean to me! :o I'm especially wondering about the last three images- sketchbook pages. I feel the illustrate my interest in experimentation and ability to darw in a variety of styles. But, they are not very finished and I've had some feedback suggesting I cut them. My cartooning ability is demonstrated on my reel, but almost none of the characters on these pages is in my reel. I know it's bad to expand your portfolio just for variety's sake..... Let me know if I should cut them, change them, replace with something else, etc. Advice on portfolio as whole would be appreciated as well. Thanks!!!

Good luck in getting into Scad Meleponine. I don't know what Scad's criteria is but from what I remember of your animation you should be fine. Looking at your illustrations I would loose those last three images you were talking about, along with colored drawing on the first page. They are your weakest pictures. I think your portfolio is strong enough to get in.

Aloha,
the Ape

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

You may also want to cut the more finished image of the man's back it's not on par with your other work, many people attempt those straight on the back angles to their figure drawings and you rarely see one that comes out well, it is very difficult to draw. Also maybe take out the one of the man with his legs crossed and hand on his foot ( the pencil hatching one not the first one), no matter how nicely it is rendered you don't want a stiff drawing in your portfolio for an animation school. So long as you don't show them otherwise they will think all your drawings are like that.

You may also want to make some more layout drawings w characters, just to show that you can compose a shot well ( rather than the standard figures floating on the page), it is very important to understand that even (especially) if you are doing character animation.

In general it may be a good idea to use the approach you use in your cartooning and apply it to your figure drawings. Simplify and generalize the shapes, see how one 3D shape interacts with another, and construct your figures out of shapes the same way you would an animated character. Don't think of them in terms of "blobs" of light and shade, if you work out your drawings first laying down planes of light and shade will be easier.

But if you are looking for suggestions based on what you have got there, I would just focus on tightening it up a bit. You know what the strongest images are in there, keep the best two thirds of your images. And remember for an art school they will look at your entire portfolio so don't front load, put all the best stuff first, like you do with a demo reel when applying for a job. Put your best piece first and your second best piece last. That's at least my suggestion anyway, see what others think.

I hope that helps. Keep us updated with your progress and tell us when you get in.

Hey meleponine. I wouldn't worry about getting into SCAD. Unless they've changed the rules, you dont need a portfolio to get accepted. There are plenty of people at SCAD who didn't send in anything and got it anyway.The only thing the portfolio is used for is the possibility of getting a scholarship.

If thats what you're after, then I'd remove the cartoon sketches and the 3d screenshot. You would want to show off the final versions of your pieces, and the sketches are obviously just that. I'd just submit all of your life drawings and see what happens. I hope that helps and doesn't come across as harsh.;)

"Animation isn't about how well you draw, but how much to believe." -Glen Keane

Hey meleponine. I wouldn't worry about getting into SCAD. Unless they've changed the rules, you dont need a portfolio to get accepted. There are plenty of people at SCAD who didn't send in anything and got it anyway.The only thing the portfolio is used for is the possibility of getting a scholarship.

You are right about undergraduate admissions, but they do require a portfolio for graduate, which I am going for. ...scholarships would be nice, but really I'm just trying to get in!

How few is too few drawings for a portfolio of this nature? I don't want to cut all the ones that are not as strong, and then have so few drawings that they think I don't have a substantial amount of work.

Thanks everyone for all the advice!

Although having too few drawings is a drawback, I don't think it is as much a problem as having varying quality between your drawings. I haven't submitted to this place so I don't know what they expect, maybe you could give them a call and see approximately how many works they are looking for, I'm sure they would be more than happy to give you a range. You also may want to ask them what they are looking for in a portfolio, they tell you things like "A lot of people come in with this... but we really like to see this...." which is helpful. If they are not helpful ( I would be suprised if they weren't) then call other schools even ones you don't plan on applying too. What they are looking for and what they think you should avoid doing should be pretty similar school to school. Then post it up here, it would be useful to all of us and also could guide us a bit in giving you suggestions.

Good luck.

I have left a follow up to this post at http://forums.awn.com/showthread.php?p=48666#post48666