Search form

Advice in Education?

9 posts / 0 new
Last post
Advice in Education?

Hey ya'll,

Made this account mainly to ask this question.

Im currently a junior in high school with a real passion for 2D animation. I'm in a visual arts academy within my school and take multiple art classes a year, as well as a special class for building portfolios that I will be taking in the fall. I'm an A+ student in all advanced classes and I also take computer graphics and media productions classes. That being said, I think I am preparing myself to be a prime candidate for a top notch animation school.

I've been doing research, however there's so much information on the web that contradicts other info. I don't know what to think. So I'd like some honest opinions on which schools are best for animation.

I'd like to study 2D but I heard 3D is a better choice monetarily. So ideally I'd like to go to a college where both aspects are included in the computer animation program.

I've been looking mostly at Ipax schools because that's the direction my teachers are steering me in, but does this accreditation really matter?

CalArts, SCAD, Ringling, Carnegie Mellon, SVA, Pratt are what I've been researching. I've heard CalArts is the best, SCAD nickels and dimes, Ringling and Carnegie are respectable, SVA is either a great school from a student standpoint or the worst from what I've heard, and Pratt is a good choice but not as good as CalArts, Ringling, etc.

Confirm or Deny?

Thanks, sorry for the essay:p


Can I be completely and utterly candid and blunt with you?

All that you've just written is just bullshit.
Now, I'm not saying that to be rude, but to make a point that none of it is very relevant if your goal is 2D animation.

Do you draw?
Do you draw well?
Do you do animation drawings?
Those three things matter more than all the rest you have written about.
If the end-goal is 2D animation, then animate 2D. The choice of school or all these other foundational things aren't going to make that goal any more attainable than the physical/mental work of actually drawing and animating.

Don't get me wrong......schooling can be an asset, but if you are weak at drawing then its likely going to be a fool's errand to pursue 2D animation as a career choice.
Opinions differ on whether drawing ability is an asset in 3D animation as much, but I sit firmly in the camp that says it is. Understand that kind of bias and also understand that my reason for it is this: with solid drawing ability, a 3D animator can bring more to their career choices and job slots than someone who cannot draw well.
Going to Calarts if you are a weak artist isn't going to help you any more than being a stronger artist and going to a school with a lesser rep. The school doesn;t matter as much as the artist does in their development.

My advice is you are still a junior in high school--and things can change. You are still young and biology can kick in and you can discover the opposite sex ( or the same sex), carousing, and/or other diversions in the course of your years in high school. All of these things can certainly change your goals in life and your outcomes. What might be the keenest interest today, can literally be cast aside for something else ( of equal interest) tomorrow--because your teen years are still you defining who YOU are as a person.

Unless you are already producing art at a professional, or near-professional level......then you can rein things in some and enjoy life a bit.

On the other hand, you might be one of those relatively rare individuals for which this isn't just an interest, but an obsession, and perhaps one that defines you. You can tell if that is the case if its all consuming, all-encompassing about you--a passion that you HAVE TO pursue, rather than just choose to pursue. That's okay too, but strive for balance in life and pursuits rather than one-sided focus on the obsessions and you will not have regrets in relationships with family and others later in life.

Either way, you've got time to decide and to plan/plot your future and to develop your talent.

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

Hi Ken,

Appreciate the reply! But there's a way to be candid and blunt, without being completely harsh. I'm naive in the subject but that's why I'm asking the question.

And yes, I do draw, I can draw from life, and I draw well. Still honing my skills, of course, but yes I draw well.

Yes I do work on short 2D animations. I recently purchased Toon Boom Studio, looking forward to using it to create my first major project. Hopefully a short film.

I'm definitely not a weak artist, but I'm also not a professional. I guess I'm intermediate type, above average. College molds you into a professional, does it not?

Interesting though, that you say rep isn't important, I have heard this before but then what about job placement?

As for your advice, I know things can change. You don't have to be completely committed to inquire. But I do feel strongly in pursuing this field.:)

College molds you into a professional, does it not?

Nope. Not necessarily.
A student can complete the academic requirements of a college-level programme and still not be able to produce work at a level a studio demands--ergo: a "professional" level. Self-exploration/self-development is still going to be a requisite regardless of any college-level schooling an artist enrols in.

Interesting though, that you say rep isn't important, I have heard this before but then what about job placement?

Job placement by schools is rare, and where one goes to meaningful is the "paper pedigree" if the talent do not have the artistic chops that the studios need?
None of these schools can teach you how to animate at a "Disney-level" if you cannot already draw at such a level. So whether you go to a school everyone has heard of, or a school that no-one has heard of, its your portfolio that speaks of your abilities, not your schooling.

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

I agree with Ken that a great talent doesn't need a great school or even a good school. And someone completely without talent can go to the best school and just not make the grade.

HOWEVER - for the other 90% of us, yes, a good school can help you prepare and YES placement and internships are HUGELY important. You simply don't know what you don't know - including what level you're actually drawing at, what level of artists studios are looking for in their junior staff.

And you have no idea where you might fit in along the pipeline. I tell students there's what you WANT to do, what you CAN do, and what OPPORTUNITIES are open to you. If you're lucky you get all 3, sometimes you get 2 (what you're good at and opportunities - but it may not be what you want to do). But any foot in the door experience is necessary.

Best thing to do is to checkout the reels of student work most schools put on their website. Which one appeals to you? The 2D/3D dilemma is a problem for all students and only you can figure that out.

And what atmosphere do you like? Do you LIKE a big city like NYC? want something a bit more campus=oriented? I think you do your best work where you're comfortable. I can only speak for NYC and if you aren't comfortable in a city setting, look elsewhere.

Lastly, in my experience the best artists (and sometimes the most successful) are immersed in their art. They're the ones in the labs at 3am. They connect with other students - asking questions, answering questions, helping each other out.

Interests is a best teacher .A good school is only provide you a awesome environment .but more thing need own hard work .especially 2D or 3D ,it need you to do more practice .

At the same time ,I am agreed to the upstairs opinion.They is very awesome .:D

Happy life can't apply colours to a drawing of the render farm !

Hey Christa.

I don't believe you should aim for either 2D or 3D because of he Attitude to animation production. I want to be a 2D animator, And I do see the overwhelming attention to 3D but simply.

Don't let the industry determine what animation you create. Let yourself determine what animation you want to create and the industry will follow you.

Thanks everyone for the replies, all are being taken under great consideration. I'm raised in a household where prestigious schools mean successful futures. Nice to see this is not necessarily the case. I guess I'll just have to keep my eyes open and ultimately visit campuses to make my choice, as well as look at job placement rates.

I'll also try to dabble in 3D animation to ultimately decide whether I'd want to pursue it.

Thanks again!:D