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Speak up this year's aspiring applicants!

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Speak up this year's aspiring applicants!

Hello Forum,
I'm wondering how this year's applicants to the almighty animation schools are doing.

Here's my personal experience:
This will be my 2nd time around for CalArt's character animation program and first try for Ringling's computer animation. I'm also considering USC's MFA in animation. I've built my portfolio around figure/animal drawing and quick gestures, but am concerned about whether I'm showing enough movement & creativity.

Since the deadlines are closing in and the stress level rising, I for one would love to hear from others in similar situations or those who's been there before. So please share your experience, concerns, insights, suggestions, etc.


hey i saw you posted on mine:) Well I am going to try to get into ringling. You should show me some of your work and we can critique each others to help give pointers etc.. maybe what to put in what not to put in. and what to do next before the deadline!

Yeah for sure! Like I said, Ringling will be in my area for national portfolio day tomorrow. So I'll definitely post some of my stuff and what I've learned from the Ringling staff.

I got some helpful feedback from portfolio day with Ringling today.

I brought a lot of quick figure work, some animal gestures, and a few pieces with color. Most of what I showed is observational except for a few character designs & paintings. After looking through my stuff the advisor said that she liked the variety she saw and that I had a competitive portfolio (that's a good thing right?). She especially liked the movement in the gestures and a few of my colored/non-observational pieces. For suggestions she said I should do a few longer drawings and be selective with my work--only send in the best. I asked her if I should submit a few animations. Her response is to be careful with that. She said to think of animations in the same way as 2d work, only send the best. They get tired of looking at bad animations.

Here's some other facts about Ringling:
1. About 300 people apply to the CA (and game design) each year. They accept about 95 people for both of the programs.

2. CA and game design take the same classes for the first two years and then branch out during their jr. year.

3. For portfolio, 10 is the minimum. There's no max but only send in the best of your work.

That's all I can think of right now...

Does anyone know how CalArts' portfolio requirement compares with Ringling?

Hey, I'm a first-year Calarts student.

While every portfolio is different, what the department says to include in a portfolio is around 30 drawings from life. Many people included more, and many included less. Typically these life drawings are from live models/animals, although they do encourage still lifes/landscapes. They also are very interested in seeing you experiment. Many people who draw beautifully don't get admitted because they're too locked into a certain style or medium. If you want to apply to Calarts, have fun and experiment, but show a balance between craziness and draftsmanship. And definitely be true to yourself. They also take into consideration any sketchbooks that you have or fine art, but only submit these if you think they improve you're portfolio. Like with any portfolio, mediocre work will kill it.

As far as statistics, I think last year around 800-900 people applied to Character Animation and only 36 were accepted. Crazy. This is only what I hear floating around the department though, not hard facts.

Also, and I'm sure you know this, Calarts is almost entirely dedicated to 2d, which is perhaps the biggest difference from Ringling. While you're encouraged to experiment with 3d programs, you are not required to do so. It's something to consider in this day and age. Most students I know of are still dedicated to producing work in 2d, but I personally want to experiment with 3d, just for flexibility purposes.


Thanks for your reply Moot, it's really helpful!
How are you liking CalArts? Valentia=Pooptown huh?
Does CalArts focus mostly on observational drawings? Should I even bother with non-observational pieces?
Last year I asked Dante how many people apply to the character animation program at CalArts, he said that they receive about 225 but every year is different.