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Rye
03-19-2007, 10:02 PM
DUUUUUUDE I'm FINALLY an AM student!!! See y'all in April! Don't know who my mentor is just yet. Watching Orientation now and gettin' stoked!

IestynRoberts
03-20-2007, 12:14 AM
Hey Rye! Same here man! Just watched those videos and boy am I excited!! Im really looking forward seeing the whole campus for the first time. The whole system kicks some major ass doesnt ti!

Venkman
03-21-2007, 10:06 PM
Hey guys, I see a lot of current and upcoming AM students here-

How realistic is it for someone to enroll at AM when working a full time job?

Thanks for any info.

The school looks insane. In a good way. ;)

gilgamesh828
03-21-2007, 10:44 PM
Hey guys, I see a lot of current and upcoming AM students here-

How realistic is it for someone to enroll at AM when working a full time job?

Thanks for any info.

The school looks insane. In a good way. ;)

Greetings - thought i'd respond to this one since i've been there...!

I just graduated from the program (in first class to do so) and i worked full-time throughout the year and a half. I do not, however, have a family of any kind, and luckily my job didn't require any extensive overtime or crunch during the program duration. It's very possible to do AM and work full-time, but be prepared to put in 10-15 hours a week on classwork to begin with and upwards of 25-40 hours a week by Class 6. That means no weekends or much of a social life for long time. That wasn't a huge sacrifice for me, but if i had a family, particularly kids, it's a serious consideration.

Was it worth it? Heck yeah!!!

Best of luck to you!

Venkman
03-21-2007, 11:18 PM
Greetings - thought i'd respond to this one since i've been there...!

I just graduated from the program (in first class to do so) and i worked full-time throughout the year and a half. I do not, however, have a family of any kind, and luckily my job didn't require any extensive overtime or crunch during the program duration. It's very possible to do AM and work full-time, but be prepared to put in 10-15 hours a week on classwork to begin with and upwards of 25-40 hours a week by Class 6. That means no weekends or much of a social life for long time. That wasn't a huge sacrifice for me, but if i had a family, particularly kids, it's a serious consideration.

Was it worth it? Heck yeah!!!

Best of luck to you!

That's kind of what I thought, except for the increased hours that are needed in class 6. I don't quite know if I can pull that. I may take some other classes first to see how I can balance night school (essentially) and full time.

I'm writing this at 7:15pm. At the office. ;)

AkaKico
03-22-2007, 01:43 AM
Venkman! Long time no see from the c4d forums :) I'm about to start class 2. I'm working full time, plus I teach 1 night a week. Class 1 wasn't too rough on me, had a few long nights, but I can see where it will get harder.

But if you can make the sacrifice of time... It's waaay worth it!

Chris

timeless3d
03-22-2007, 02:18 AM
I may take some other classes first

No worries if you pay for the first class and find out it isn't for you. You are under no obligation to continue, you can stop any time. Also, some people take a break for a term if they need to.

I think there is even a refund schedule if you stop mid-term.

Womball
03-22-2007, 02:58 AM
Is it possible to go for less than 18 months? I goign to be finishing up a 4 year art college with a major in animation so I do have some animation schooling experience.

Womball
03-22-2007, 03:08 AM
oops double posts - mod please delete?

timeless3d
03-22-2007, 03:43 AM
Is it possible to go for less than 18 months? I goign to be finishing up a 4 year art college with a major in animation so I do have some animation schooling experience.

Short answer = No.

Not-so-short answer = they are going to be offering Continued Education classes to professionals, but you have to have worked professionally for 3 years in games, tv, or film to be eligible.

many students in AM have animation-related degrees, some students are actually animation teachers at other schools. you might be a little bored for the first few weeks, but not for long, the level of education you receive at AM will most likely exceed anything you experienced before. I know that is a bold statement, and I can't say it will always be the case, but I am still waiting to hear someone tell me they received more in depth animation training at any other school.

jw0925
03-22-2007, 01:01 PM
Hey guys, I see a lot of current and upcoming AM students here-

How realistic is it for someone to enroll at AM when working a full time job?

Thanks for any info.

The school looks insane. In a good way. ;)

I have a full-time job, some side work, and a family with 3 kids all under six. Easy, no way. Doable, absolutely! I always find myself wishing I had more time but I can get my animation to a decent level. I know once I garduate I will go back and really polish my work off for my demo reel but a year ago I knew nothing. I honestly can't believe how much I have learned is so little time. Now I just need practice :) I am about to begin class 5, so I can't speak for classes 5,6...we'll see. My wife and I discussed the workload before starting and we both agreed on it in advance (critical to do this). If you think about it...it's only a year and a half. You can get thru it and enjoy it along the way. You will still have a life, time for kids, and wife, friends, etc. Just less than what you're used to. Get going!

Jim

Venkman
03-22-2007, 02:02 PM
Venkman! Long time no see from the c4d forums :) Class 1 wasn't too rough on me, had a few long nights, but I can see where it will get harder.

But if you can make the sacrifice of time... It's waaay worth it!

Hey, good to hear from you! How are you liking the move to Maya at Animation Mentor? I've been hearing nothing but good stuff about AM, and the other posts about taking one class at a time may be OK for me. The only thing that worries me are the last few classes that get more intense. I don't want to commit to AM without being able to give it the attention it deserves.

I'm about to start class 2. I'm working full time, plus I teach 1 night a week.

That's what I'm doing, too! Working full time and teaching 1 night a week. Hearing that you do what I do gives me hope that I can get my life in order and handle it. I've already put some family members and friends on notice: if I get into AM later this year they may not see or hear from me for quite some time.

They should call it Animation Hermit. ;)

jw0925
03-22-2007, 03:52 PM
The move to Maya was very smooth. Some growing pains but those go away pretty quickly. The students and staff at AM are a HUGE resource for Maya. If you have a problem, you won't have it for long :) Plus I've learned a lot about Maya besides just animation. I really enjoy it.

Jim

Womball
03-22-2007, 07:04 PM
So they wouldn't let you use XSI?

timeless3d
03-22-2007, 07:23 PM
So they wouldn't let you use XSI?

you can use whatever you want, but they support Maya. so, if you get stuck, there are people there to answer your questions.

with any other program, you might still get some help from other students in the forum or in the chat room

i am a big fan of blender, and would have stuck with that for AM but i figured it would be easier to switch to Maya in case i have any problems, i didn't want to get stuck because blender is not supported

another thing to remember is you can switch back and forth all you want. they don't care what you use, you can even do one assignment in stop motion and then next in 2d if you want.

Rye
03-23-2007, 03:03 PM
Hey Rye! Same here man! Just watched those videos and boy am I excited!! Im really looking forward seeing the whole campus for the first time. The whole system kicks some major ass doesnt ti!

it pretty much does. i keep checking to see if i've been assigned a mentor yet. I remember reading they start assigning them a week before class starts, but I check anyway cause I'm impatient.

see ya in school!

Rye
03-23-2007, 03:04 PM
Venkman, just do it. That's the only advice I have for you.

Womball
03-23-2007, 09:35 PM
I have been using blender for quite some time. Great program, although the animation is still not quite up to XSI's abilities, in terms of making a complex rig and rendering options. Although Jason Pierce can make some really amazing ones, great support from elysiun/blenderartists.

As for getting stuck, I guess I could switch to maya if i needed to. Not a big fan of it though. The interface turned me off it in version 7.0. Very cumbersome.

timeless3d
03-23-2007, 09:50 PM
The interface turned me off it in version 7.0. Very cumbersome.

I felt the same, and then I made myself learn it for AM and I have found it isn't so bad if you are just doing animation, there are only a few buttons I use. Or, maybe it was just getting past the learning curve that comes with any new program.

I miss blender, I don't seem to have time for it lately, it might be the end of my time at AM before I can get back to it. Since blender is updated so rapidly, I might not even recognize it by then!

Chris Bacon
03-23-2007, 09:56 PM
...I had a email this afternoon...I PASSED THE ONLINE EXAM.my application has been passed for processing.I cant belive this....WAHHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO...GET IN.....WITH ANY LOOK I'LL BE STARTING JULY 2ND WITH THE REST OF THE SUMMER BUNCH.....SEE YOU THERE

Nitefyre
03-23-2007, 10:29 PM
I love blender and was the first 3d package I learned. My suggestion is to learn Maya, its not too difficult to become familiar with just the animation tools. The tech support for Maya within AM is unbelieveable, there are often times you can get questions answered by fellow students at 1 in morning the night before you have to turn in an assignment (they've saved me a couple times!) I only use Maya for 3d animation with AM's rigs, everything else I pretty much have an alternate program. Such as, I still do all my modelling in blender and just export to Maya. It never hurts to become familiar with an additional 3d package anyway.

EDIT: Congrats Chris! Glad to see you made it in! Now just don't let the wait kill you before you start...

Chris Bacon
03-23-2007, 10:54 PM
Thanks Ryan

Ive been using maya for years, but Ive found (like alot of you have been saying) that the animation tools are the same with most of the main apps. the only issue is finding them on the interface.

Rye
03-24-2007, 02:20 AM
Chris: you need to change your job to "accepted to animation mentor". Congradulations bro! See ya in there

This may have been asked before...but I'm sure most every question known in the universe has been tackled in this thread. I'm a max user, and am thinking about using Maya for animationmentor simply for the support, but how well to they integrate together? Can I create animations in Maya, export them to Max and do all my lighting and rendering in there? Or would I need to do my character rendering in Maya? I'd hate to have to learn an entire new program, but just learning it for animation wouldn't be too big of a deal I think (and hope). I'd imagine I could learn how to model characters fairly quickly since it would be the same basic process, but lighting and effects and all that I'd imagine to be a different beast all together.

Chris Bacon
03-24-2007, 02:30 AM
cheers rye

what you have to keep in mind is your being acessed on your animation not the rendering. basic playblasts will be fine for assesment. you dont realy have to consider rendering until you put a reel together but even then its not a majour thing when applying for a animation job.

Rye
03-24-2007, 02:38 AM
right, but while of course i would LOVE a job where all i have to do is animate, I also enjoy doing other things as well. I'd like to continue using max in my pipeline just cause i know it, so if i can somehow merge the two programs, that would be ideal. I'd imagine there's a way, i just don't know what it is cause i've never touched another 3d program before.

timeless3d
03-24-2007, 08:29 AM
about this time 3 months ago, we put together a little flash meeting so the newbies could get some questions answered, or just talk about HOW FREAKIN AWESOME AM is.

anyone interested in doing this? I don't mind setting it up again, it would be cool to meet some of the new faces.

Chris Bacon
03-24-2007, 12:00 PM
anyone interested in doing this? I don't mind setting it up again, it would be cool to meet some of the new faces.

I dont want to jump the gun, Id rather wait till I got the email with my login..trying not to get ahead of myself....hehe

matterevis80
03-24-2007, 06:40 PM
about this time 3 months ago, we put together a little flash meeting so the newbies could get some questions answered, or just talk about HOW FREAKIN AWESOME AM is.

anyone interested in doing this? I don't mind setting it up again, it would be cool to meet some of the new faces.

I would definitely be interested in doing it.....I need to give my webcam a good testing out anyways :-) ohhhh BTW I was wondering......in AM when you do the live Q&A's do you actually talk to your mentor or do they just bring you up on the screen after you have typed your question????

d_jnaneswar
03-24-2007, 06:46 PM
flashmeeting would be awsome!
cant wait to get into AM!
DJ





http://djanimator.wordpress.com

AdFont
03-24-2007, 08:16 PM
Flash meeting would be cool! How can we get this going?
Font

mhayes
03-25-2007, 01:27 AM
Just wanna say what's up to all you Animation Mentees I will be starting next month and can't wait. See you all there and good luck to all

timeless3d
03-25-2007, 01:56 AM
FLASH MEETING SUNDAY

I have set up a flash meeting for anyone who wants to join, tomorrow at 6 PM EST, or 2300 GMT +0100. About 20 hours from now.

I will post a link here shortly before for anyone who is interested, I am sure it will be fun!

/travis

IestynRoberts
03-25-2007, 01:11 PM
Excellent Travis! I'll defiantly be there!

So is that 2300 for us here in the UK?

Only a week to go now! Soooooo excited!!!

JohnWest
03-25-2007, 09:26 PM
Yo Travis! Did I miss sth? Didn't u want to set up a QnA for the new ones? I was cuirous if I could help somehow, but obviously I did get sth wrong...

AdFont
03-25-2007, 09:49 PM
Any word on the location for the meeting??? Anyone....anyone??

timeless3d
03-25-2007, 10:12 PM
FLASH MEETING

[over]

matterevis80
03-25-2007, 11:14 PM
the flashmeeting was fun.......very informative...........for the guys that were in there. I posted a wrong URL for the drawing stuff here is the right one

http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=RivenPhoenix

sorry :-)

thanx again jonas and travis

IestynRoberts
03-25-2007, 11:26 PM
Yeah guys, thanks a lot for doing that was good fun. It was my first webcam experience - very wierd!

Thanks for the link Matt!

AdFont
03-26-2007, 12:01 AM
Same here guys, very fun testing out this setup here. Thanks for that link again Matt, I was just about to ask for it again.

Cool guys
Looking forward to next week!
Font

timeless3d
03-26-2007, 12:07 AM
Thanks for attending, those of you that could make it. sorry there wasn't more notice.

It was cool to meet Iestyn and Adam (i think that was you), and to put a face to Matt.

See you all on the inside!

Jonas, you sir are a rock star.

AdFont
03-26-2007, 12:42 AM
Yep, that was me

rag-man
03-26-2007, 09:12 AM
FLASH MEETING

[over]

hey travis,

please post the link again for all the people that missed the meeting

thx
manfred

timeless3d
03-26-2007, 03:45 PM
Ah, forgot they are stored:

http://fm-openlearn.open.ac.uk/fm/fmm.php?pwd=95cb22-357

Project813
03-26-2007, 08:18 PM
How far in advance do they assign mentors? Im a week out from starting class 1 and curious as to who I will be learning with this semester. Any day now, or do they typically assign the day before?


R

DigitalToon2
03-26-2007, 08:38 PM
How far in advance do they assign mentors? Im a week out from starting class 1 and curious as to who I will be learning with this semester. Any day now, or do they typically assign the day before?


R

You'll probably find out on Thursday or Friday who your mentor is and the site will go down Friday afternoon while they and do site upgrades and maintance to get ready for the new term so you won't be able to officially login till monday afternoon at the latest.

Welcome to AM.

ravvy
03-27-2007, 01:52 PM
I completed the first 2 classes of AM a while back (in the second intake) and had to leave due to financial difficulties. However thanks to my wonderful company paying for the rest of the course up front I shall be starting again (in the 3rd class) on the 2nd April!

So hello to any people going into the third class, hope to see you soon :)

d_jnaneswar
03-27-2007, 05:48 PM
Dave Burgess is my mentor for class 4!! woohooo!

Cant wait to get started!

Any one had Dave as mentor before? Any idea about what kind of a mentor he is, what kind of stuff he prefers (Cartoony vs pixarish)?

DJ

oliveUK
03-27-2007, 06:22 PM
he is a crazy mentor. I have bookmarked his Public Review page and he gives mini ecrits during the week.

Olive

IestynRoberts
03-28-2007, 12:14 AM
Hey guys - so does the course start on the Monday then? Is that when we get to know everybody/thing and get set our task for the week? For some reason I've got it in my head that we were starting on Sunday.

mttjss
03-28-2007, 12:19 AM
the new calss starts Monday. You might get some access before then.



Dave Burgess is my mentor for class 4!! woohooo!

Cant wait to get started!

Any one had Dave as mentor before? Any idea about what kind of a mentor he is, what kind of stuff he prefers (Cartoony vs pixarish)?

DJ
I had Dave for class 1 - really nice, laid back guy. He is definitely more cartoonish - he worked on Aladdin, Lion King, Beauty, Madagascar, Shrek and Over the Hedge among others.
Really nice guy.

DJ - How do you know who your new mentor is already. I cant seem to find mine..

Matt -

Project813
03-28-2007, 08:46 PM
Just read that I have Ray Chase for Class one. He's got a lot of great work and I can't wait to get started! :)

AdFont
03-28-2007, 08:47 PM
Sweet got my first Mentor assigned to me today. Looks like Elliot Roberts will be teaching me for my first class!

Anyone have him before?

Thanks
Font

matterevis80
03-28-2007, 09:09 PM
I just found out I got Sean Mclaughlin for class one...AWESOME!!! I am so pumped to get this thing started now.

anybody else had him or got him for class one?

timeless3d
03-28-2007, 10:06 PM
Hey, matt! I had Sean this past term for my first mentor! He is at Dreamworks and has some great experience to share.

You are going to have a blast!

Squash&Strech
03-28-2007, 10:53 PM
Ray Chace is a funny guy, great animator too, know him from back at DNA :) you can learn a lot from him.

IestynRoberts
03-29-2007, 02:05 AM
Hey guys, I've been assigned Eric Lessard for my 1st term, he's worked on Shrek 2 which is great!! I cant seem to find much information about him on the internet - has anyone had Eric as a Mentor, and knows a little bit more about him?

Junkoman
03-29-2007, 02:59 AM
Sweet got my first Mentor assigned to me today. Looks like Elliot Roberts will be teaching me for my first class!

Anyone have him before?

Thanks
Font

Hi Font,
I got the same mentor as you for my first class. Seems like we will be classmates :)
Looking forward to meet you and other classmates in our class.

Found some backgrd abt him. He works as an animator for Tippett Studios and ILM. His recent works include Charlotte's Web and Pirates Of the Carribean 2.

Can't wait for next week when the school starts :thumbsup:

mhayes
03-29-2007, 04:32 AM
Any one else got Paul Allen? It says he was supervisor for Jimmy Nuetron THATS SICK!!!

kudoyku
03-29-2007, 08:09 AM
Hey iest-rob, you r so lucky to have him for 1st mentor. He's one of the best. His way of teaching is excellent. He wants students to focus on basic, if you listen him carefully, you ll learn a lot of things.
Good Luck, I know you r gonna have so much fun.

Hey guys, I've been assigned Eric Lessard for my 1st term, he's worked on Shrek 2 which is great!! I cant seem to find much information about him on the internet - has anyone had Eric as a Mentor, and knows a little bit more about him?

IestynRoberts
03-29-2007, 01:49 PM
Hey kudoyku - excellent!! Thanks a lot for the info, that's great! Really looking forward now! Roll on Monday!!

AdFont
03-29-2007, 02:45 PM
Hi Font,
I got the same mentor as you for my first class. Seems like we will be classmates :)
Looking forward to meet you and other classmates in our class.

Found some backgrd abt him. He works as an animator for Tippett Studios and ILM. His recent works include Charlotte's Web and Pirates Of the Carribean 2.

Can't wait for next week when the school starts :thumbsup:

Hey hey Junko,
Yeah I dug around and found out the same info about Elliot as you. He's worked on some good projects it seems. I also found that he worked on Robots for Bluesky. Well, nice to see someone I'm in class with, can't wait to start and look forward to working/learning with you all!

Font

Solario
03-29-2007, 04:43 PM
Hey kudoyku - excellent!! Thanks a lot for the info, that's great! Really looking forward now! Roll on Monday!!



I was in that same class IEST....awesome mentor. Like Oyku said he wants you to nail down basics he is not crazy about students going overboard on assignments. I have nothing but the best things to say about him. His credits include Antz, Supervising Animator on Shrek 1,2,3 and Madagascar, and The Great Penguin Christmas Escape. Ask him to link you to his demo its pretty awesome. See you on the inside.

Wes

ravvy
03-30-2007, 02:17 PM
I phoned yesterday and my login details should be arriving with me today, but I wont find out my mentor until I log in on monday (they said they would be flipping the switch at around midday PST)

Can't wait :)

Junkoman
03-30-2007, 02:21 PM
Hey hey Junko,
Yeah I dug around and found out the same info about Elliot as you. He's worked on some good projects it seems. I also found that he worked on Robots for Bluesky. Well, nice to see someone I'm in class with, can't wait to start and look forward to working/learning with you all!

Font

I am also glad to find someone who is going to be in the same class as me :)
Anybody else in the same class?...

rag-man
03-30-2007, 04:34 PM
Welcome all new Students!
Be sure to participate in the AM Forums and get yourself known (always good for those extra spicy comments. .. and .. TAKE NOTES!! ;-)

timeless3d
03-30-2007, 04:40 PM
Be sure to check the site every 5 minutes from now till Monday to see if you get early access!

Just kidding, don't want their servers to blow before they term starts. Some of use did seem to get access a bit earlier then others last term though...

achavero
03-30-2007, 06:44 PM
Welcome to all the new students.

You will have the time of your life. =D

AkaKico
03-30-2007, 07:02 PM
Everybody else just lose the server? Time for the switch I guess!

lutonomy
03-30-2007, 07:05 PM
Yeah the site is now officially down until Monday for the new term.

Welcome to all the new students! You are part of the best school EVER! :thumbsup:

santosLord
03-30-2007, 07:14 PM
I just finished class 2 and I had tons of fun learning and animating. One thing that will stick with you from class 1 is research and plan out your shot, it just makes everything go by smoothly and K.I.S.S.

For all you class 1 students.. have fun and learn everything you can from your mentors ask questions even if you think there stupid. Trust me there are always 2 or 3 students thinking that same question, but just afraid to ask.

For Mr. Luhta, Congrats for being a graduate and Congrats on your trip to the great Blue Sky! :thumbsup: You deserve it man.

For everyone else.. if you love what you do then it shouldn't stop you from getting where you want to be.

AdFont
03-30-2007, 07:40 PM
Thanks for all the advice guys, can't wait to begin!
This is going to be pretty amazing, I can tell.

Luto, I dig your avatar.

Font

Junkoman
03-31-2007, 04:29 AM
Congratulations Eric :applause: I hope I could be working there one day too.
Oh ya... Pop over to yr website and boy was I shocked to see how messy the graph editor was. Think everyone will probably have a chance to get to that as the classes progresses.
Hope I could get some critque from u when my class starts :)

Mblanco
03-31-2007, 08:33 AM
anyone else got eric lessard?

IestynRoberts
03-31-2007, 10:37 AM
Hey AIness - yep, Eric Lessard over here as well!


Everyone got the email yesterday? Details about the 1st Q&A?! This is gonna ROCK!!!

lutonomy
04-01-2007, 07:09 PM
Oh ya... Pop over to yr website and boy was I shocked to see how messy the graph editor was.

lol, I forgot I posted that awhile ago. In the graph editor's defense, it was just a shot of all the controls curves (several hundred) instead of just one or two at a time. :) And that mess is nothing compared to my desk! :eek:

See ya at school!

HaroldCarr
04-01-2007, 10:16 PM
god i want to goto animation mentor it hard to find some one thats willing to talk about it thats a student. Can any one tell me how they teach and how classes go?
I goto the art institutes of california in sf and i kinda feel like we get a rushed "tour" of animation and not really get a whole lot of time to actually do it. 3 classes in a 2 year span..on top of learning other skills. We can be generalists but a great animator is kind of hard at my school.

timeless3d
04-01-2007, 11:46 PM
god i want to goto animation mentor it hard to find some one thats willing to talk about it thats a student. Can any one tell me how they teach and how classes go?
I goto the art institutes of california in sf and i kinda feel like we get a rushed "tour" of animation and not really get a whole lot of time to actually do it. 3 classes in a 2 year span..on top of learning other skills. We can be generalists but a great animator is kind of hard at my school.

If you are looking for specifics (like a syllabus), I certainly hope that is hard to find. But, I don't think it will be hard to find an AM student that is willing to talk about the school in general.

If you feel 3 classes over 2 years is rushed, you might find AM is more rushed in the sense that you cover 6 classes in 1.5 years. However, it is focused solely on animation. There are no attempts to cover anything else like lighting, modeling or rigging. Even the Maya-related studies are specific to 'how to animate in maya.' They won't tell you how to do anything else.

If you invest your time and money in AM, you certainly won't come out the other end as a generalist. This can be a positive or a negative, depending on what you are looking for. I (as well as most of the AM students) am not interested in any other part of the industry other then animation, so I think it is awesome.

If you want to get more students opinions, I suggest you head over to http://www.google.com and search for 'animation mentor blog.' I am sure you will find many students' experiences. There are some other students linked to from my blog as well.

Good luck, hope this helps!

HaroldCarr
04-02-2007, 12:21 AM
what i mean by rushed is that we only get 3 classes and we're out the door we work on quater system too at my school, so im used to that. We get all this side stuff and we're supposed to be about character animation but we get the sort end of the stick when it comes to 3d character animation classes.
i have to work full time so im worried that i might not be able to put the time i need and want into am

timeless3d
04-02-2007, 02:36 AM
If you are going to the art institute and working full-time, you might have some trouble with the AM course-load, it just comes down to how well you can manage your time I think. I was working part-time (around 20 hours/week) and taking classes at my University as well as AM this past term. This term I will be working full-time so I dropped my classes at the University just to save my sanity.

I am not going to say anything is impossible. You might be able to juggle all of it, everyone is different. Also, I am told that the course work take more of your time as the classes advance. I am going into the second class now, and I can say the first didn't take as much time as I had thought it would, so maybe that is the case.

If you care close to finishing at the art institute, maybe finish up there first? It was an easy dicision for me to drop my university because I hadn't been going long and wasn't really interested in the degree.

HaroldCarr
04-02-2007, 10:08 AM
i have 3 months left
i dont plan to start am untill oct

ravvy
04-02-2007, 11:46 AM
Well it all kicks off today then huh?

I'm still not sure if I'm going to be starting Class2 or Class3 yet - guess I will find out when I log in...

(I completed Class1&2 before, then coming back to the course they said I could go into Class3 but I asked if I could redo Class2.... so they sent me the forms saying I was starting Class3 which I agreed to, but I got an email the other day with my login details for Class2...)

Confused? Yep me too :D

Jiminy
04-02-2007, 06:09 PM
Does anyone know when login officially begins today?

I'm excited to get this semester started! :)

jw0925
04-02-2007, 06:11 PM
Does anyone know when login officially begins today?

I'm excited to get this semester started! :)

I believe it's 12PM PST.

Jiminy
04-02-2007, 06:14 PM
Cool! THANKS! Only 45 minutes! YEEE HAAAA!

d_jnaneswar
04-02-2007, 06:29 PM
AM seems to be open, but theres an error when I logged in.. Is it just me?

Hey Jim! see ya on the inside!

timeless3d
04-02-2007, 06:34 PM
I see the error too, check in again in about 25 mins or so, that is when it is supposed to be up

MadMax
04-02-2007, 07:06 PM
hmmm...12:06 no login.

AkaKico
04-02-2007, 07:09 PM
On the partial login I get it says that it opens at 2:00 Cali time

AkaKico
04-02-2007, 07:50 PM
I'm in! Woooo! Dimos3!

MadMax
04-02-2007, 08:26 PM
I'm in! Woooo! Dimos3!



Dimos rocks, consider yourself lucky, he is an awesome mentor.

ravvy
04-03-2007, 11:52 AM
I have Keith Sitay - anyone had him as a mentor before? :)

HaroldCarr
04-03-2007, 03:40 PM
Oh man im so excited about AM, I really would like to start asap but I need to wrangle up a loan first.

BobbyPontillas
04-03-2007, 05:28 PM
Hey Ravvy,

I havent had Keith Sintay as a mentor, but I can tell you that to me he was a super cool, helpful, energetic, courteous dude, and he wasnt even my official mentor.

ravvy
04-04-2007, 09:25 AM
Hey Ravvy,

I havent had Keith Sintay as a mentor, but I can tell you that to me he was a super cool, helpful, energetic, courteous dude, and he wasnt even my official mentor.
Awesome, looking forward to seeing him at the Q&A tomorrow :)

Xing3d
04-26-2007, 05:35 AM
I applied to Animation Mentors and took the test, now two weeks of waiting... The waiting is going to kill me. Its like waiting to open presents at christmas as a small child. I really hope I get in! I know they are probably fighting people away, now that they have had so much good press.

My hope is that next time I write in this thread that I will be a student along with all of you guys.

HaroldCarr
04-26-2007, 07:12 AM
uh theres a test you have to take to apply???

<Pino>
04-26-2007, 09:18 AM
... this is sooo many stuff to read, and sooo many less informative stuff, what about opening a forum and posting in different threads...

liquidik
04-26-2007, 10:18 AM
Hey guys, I know this is a lot of information to read, but look at the start date of this thread!

Anyway, I suggest you to phone at the school or write them by email, they're super supportive and really fast!!!

In any case if someone have question, you can mail me.

Gian

satooz
04-27-2007, 01:37 AM
now two weeks of waiting... The waiting is going to kill me.
I'm wating too. It is a total agony.

Could you guys give me an advice, Isn't Maya PLE enough to come through AM assignments?

DigitalToon2
04-27-2007, 02:22 AM
Could you guys give me an advice, Isn't Maya PLE enough to come through AM assignments?

I guess you could, but I don't think you'd want to. For one there's huge watermarks in the viewports that will get annoying and you have to think...do you want everything on your reel to have those giant watermarks?

mattmos
04-27-2007, 04:51 AM
Maya PLE is 'Personal' Learning Edition right? I don't think that you're really supposed to use it if you're attending a school - AM will qualify you to use the student edition of Maya though, which is only a few hundred dollars and pretty cheap compared to course tuition. Its worth the investment imo.

satooz
04-27-2007, 08:33 PM
do you want everything on your reel to have those giant watermarks?
No. Utterly undesirable.

which is only a few hundred dollars
Right. I have chedked the price in US. It is quite budget. I should get it at an US resaller.

Reflexx
04-27-2007, 10:46 PM
I took the test around the 18th of April and now it's the 27th and it's been killing me!

I'm so excited about starting, but I haven't even heard if I'm getting in yet.

Reflexx
04-27-2007, 10:49 PM
I applied to Animation Mentors and took the test, now two weeks of waiting... The waiting is going to kill me. Its like waiting to open presents at christmas as a small child. I really hope I get in! I know they are probably fighting people away, now that they have had so much good press.

My hope is that next time I write in this thread that I will be a student along with all of you guys.

I'm with you there. I spend my time reading blogs from students and checking out this thread.

rsousa
05-02-2007, 04:10 PM
i´m in for the summer term.

see you guys there

bliip-n-bloop
05-02-2007, 06:01 PM
Maybe you could post some interesting blogs for us ;)

I'm with you there. I spend my time reading blogs from students and checking out this thread.

timeless3d
05-02-2007, 09:38 PM
i´m in for the summer term.

see you guys there

congrats and good luck!

AdFont
05-02-2007, 09:44 PM
Hey guys congrats for getting in!! I'm in my first term now.... you guys are going to love it!! Keep waiting and the date will come fast enough. Good luck guys.

-Font

ravvy
05-02-2007, 09:53 PM
Look forward to seeing you guys in there - I'm only in class2 at the moment but am still extremely impressed :)

I've also got a blog for it up at http://jbury.shackspace.com if anyone is interested (I try to update a couple of times a week)

IestynRoberts
05-03-2007, 12:09 AM
Hey - yeah congrats for those who got in. Im currently 5 weeks into the course, and it's seriously the best decition Ive made with my life. Youre gonna love in there!

bliip-n-bloop
05-04-2007, 09:39 PM
For the people who are interested in getting into AM such as me. I personally enjoyed this blog the most of all (up till now) http://www.belligerentandnumerous.com/ (http://www.belligerentandnumerous.com/)
Just a wonderfull blog of that girl, very amusing, funny,...

Xing3d
05-05-2007, 01:46 AM
Well I'm accepted into Summer session. I am so stoked. Time to get ready now.. Can't wait. In the mean time I will play around with Maya.. I was a lightwaver before so it will be a transition. Thanks for all the info and comments.

robcat2075
05-05-2007, 03:00 AM
Wow, this thread has been going on continuously for almost three years. That's got to be an internet record, at least for a thread that doesn't mention ________.

Reflexx
05-05-2007, 05:59 AM
Well I'm accepted into Summer session. I am so stoked. Time to get ready now.. Can't wait. In the mean time I will play around with Maya.. I was a lightwaver before so it will be a transition. Thanks for all the info and comments.

I'm so jealous! I haven't heard anything yet.

Also... a blog to check out. http://www.keyframer.co.uk/blog/

yapyap
05-06-2007, 01:08 PM
Hello,

I've just been accepted into AM (Summer Term 2007) and I'm really
happy and excited. :)
So I'm going tom prepare myself a little bit ... learning some Maya basics,
buying "The Illusion of Life", improving my conversational English an so on.

And I will need a webcam, of course. Can anybody of the AM Students
here give me some hints what I should pay attention to? What do I have
to show during the sessions? Is it just to show my face during the chats
or will I have to do some "acting", too? Should my cam have auto focus,
face tracking or high resolution for showing scribbles etc.?
What Webcams do you use for AM?

Thank you very much for your tipps and recommandations!

timeless3d
05-06-2007, 04:09 PM
I've just been accepted into AM (Summer Term 2007)

Congrats!

...Is it just to show my face during the chats
or will I have to do some "acting", too? Should my cam have auto focus,
face tracking or high resolution for showing scribbles etc.?
What Webcams do you use for AM?

I use a Microsoft LifeCam. It does have a face tracking feature, but I turned it off after the first time I used it in a q&a. It kept zooming and tracking all over, I guess tracking the slightest movement (because I wasn't moving that much at all, and my background was a stationary wall). So, the face tracking is fun to play with, but not really all that useful. Now I just set the zoom and pan when I first start the q&a and leave it.

I would recommend finding a cheap video camera as well. I am in class 2, and we haven't had to do anything else on camera like acting in the q&a, as you say. If you don't have a digital video camera, you will have to use your web cam to record video reference. They say you can use your web cam but I can't see that always being practical, unless everything you shoot is indoors, without much movement.

The last video reference we did was for the gap or post jump and that required a pretty large space to shoot the reference. And you want good quality video so you can see the poses as clear as possible.

I also use my web cam to "scan" my sketches, as my scanner is hooked up to another computer and it's just easier. The quality is so-so, but seems to work. I don't do that as much anymore since I have started sketching with my tabletpc. If you can afford a tabletpc or even a small wacom, that would be very helpful as well.

Hope that helps, see you this summer!

Chris Bacon
05-07-2007, 08:55 PM
Hi everyone,

Ive had to ditch the summer term and go for the Fall term instead becouse my dad was getting married and I wanted to splash out on the wedding and had other comitments. but its just another 3 months so Ill have more time to save....5 and 1/2 months to go......CANT WAIT.

My bro helped me build a new pc with duel core 2.6ghz processing power, 2gb ram and a 250 gb Hard drive and a 20" moniter...Oh yes Im ready for anything. hehe,

I have a question about the one to ones you have with the mentor, are these pre set or can it be anytime your logged on, Also I understand that you upload your work for crit every week. roughly how long are the crits when you get them back. 5min ect

thanks
chris.

Chris Bacon
05-07-2007, 08:59 PM
I took the test around the 18th of April and now it's the 27th and it's been killing me!

I'm so excited about starting, but I haven't even heard if I'm getting in yet.

mate it can take a LONG time, I took the online test in feb, waited a month got a reply asking me to RETAKE it I was terrified. can you imagine how horrid it was waiting 2 months to get the all clear,

basicaly dont worrie, Im sure you'll do fine. watch in a few more week youll be posting about how happy you are to get in and looking back on this post laughing.

Chris

Mechis
05-07-2007, 09:13 PM
I have a question about the one to ones you have with the mentor, are these pre set or can it be anytime your logged on,

There is no "one on one." There is a QA which are at a set time and it's your whole class + mentor. And there are personal critiques of your work, which are pre-recorded by the mentor.


Also I understand that you upload your work for crit every week. roughly how long are the crits when you get them back. 5min ect

It varies by the mentor... I've seen some that go up to 20min. Mine were usually about 7-10min though.

~Mechis

Chris Bacon
05-07-2007, 09:16 PM
Cheers Mechis, 5 months 3 weeks 6 days and 2 hours to go......(thats just a randum guess by the way)



EDIT - Another question while Im at it, becouse the majority of the mentors are in the US there are obiouse time issues with the Q and A, if you in the UK like me for example, so I guessing theres gonna be planty of early mornings and late nights.

chris

Reflexx
05-08-2007, 01:34 AM
mate it can take a LONG time, I took the online test in feb, waited a month got a reply asking me to RETAKE it I was terrified. can you imagine how horrid it was waiting 2 months to get the all clear,

basicaly dont worrie, Im sure you'll do fine. watch in a few more week youll be posting about how happy you are to get in and looking back on this post laughing.

Chris

Thanks. I'm so excited about the opportunity it just makes things seem longer than they actually are. I swear that I check my email several times a day just looking for email from Animation Mentor.

Did you find out why you had to retake the test? I could see why that would have you worried. That would definitely catch me off guard. It's cool to see prospective students that are so excited about getting into a school that it keeps them up at night. I love the enthusiasm.

I figure that if things don't work out as well as I'm hoping I'll be moved to the Fall semester, and I'll meet you there!

Bill_nuts
05-08-2007, 09:25 AM
Wow I can't believe it. I'm in for summer semester.
I am so relieved and excited. I have been following this thread since it started, waiting for the best time to enroll.
I'm looking forward to getting to know some of you a little better.

Bill.

Blusoul
05-08-2007, 10:02 AM
Hey Chris, prepare yourself for a super summer with AM. I recently graduated from the course and I know you will enjoy every minute of it. And yes set that alarm for those US meet UK time zone live qnas, hehe!




My AM reel

http://www.trublusoul.com/Animation_DEMOreel2007.htm

yapyap
05-08-2007, 10:25 AM
Congrats and webcam info

Thank you very much for your congrats and tipps! Then I will go for a cheaper webcam,
so there is more money left for a camcorder. But thats the next problem: what do you think
I should spend for it? What camcorder do you have?

achavero
05-08-2007, 04:43 PM
Hi everyone,

roughly how long are the crits when you get them back. 5min ect

thanks
chris.

Is very variable, depends on mentor and the quantity of comments. I had like 10 critiques that were about 1 hr, but usually they're 30min long. Sometimes they were so long because the mentor use the time to give us some extra tips on how to do something.

T.S. Cosky
05-08-2007, 06:04 PM
I'm looking to get into AM this summer. I just finished my application the other day and I am waiting to take 'THE TEST'.

Can any AM students enlighten me as to what the test is and where I can find information on it? What does AM use it for? I heard it has alot of math on it, which is making me worry...

Thanks.

Chris Bacon
05-08-2007, 06:50 PM
Can any AM students enlighten me as to what the test is and where I can find information on it? What does AM use it for? I heard it has alot of math on it, which is making me worry...

Thanks.

its not realy a knowledge test. more a common sense and math test play on words ect...youll do fine

Chris Bacon
05-08-2007, 06:53 PM
Hey Chris, prepare yourself for a super summer with AM. I recently graduated from the course and I know you will enjoy every minute of it. And yes set that alarm for those US meet UK time zone live qnas, hehe!

hehe hey man, Im not doing the summer anymore Im starting fall, gives me three more months to save, its gonna be three months of dragging hell as well. But Ive managed to build myself a cool pc and get a sweet webcam, next on my list is a videocam and Ill be sorted.

edit: your reel looks good dude but man it takes forever to load my only crit in the shot where the bully is wrestling for the ball, he could so with alittle more expression, especialy when he knocks the kid down.

Imagus
05-08-2007, 07:48 PM
Maya PLE is 'Personal' Learning Edition right? I don't think that you're really supposed to use it if you're attending a school - AM will qualify you to use the student edition of Maya though, which is only a few hundred dollars and pretty cheap compared to course tuition. Its worth the investment imo.I was a student in the first Low-Polygon Modeling CG Workshop with Michele Bousquet. Maya and 3DS Max were the two packages Michele was familiar with and, as such, I had considered using Maya PLE for the course rather than the package I own (Lightwave 9).

However, when reviewing the Q&A section of the Maya PLE site, I ran across wording that caused me to suspect that it might not be acceptable to use PLE for an online workshop. I called Autodesk, and the person I spoke to confirmed my suspicions. Michele later got the same answer from a Maya rep she had spoken with previously.

Summary: Maya PLE is for Personal Learning only, and cannot be used to teach or participate in any educational programs.

However, since the educational version of Maya is available to AM students, it is definitely the way to go. It has all of the features, is completely acceptable to use, is definitely affordable, and will not watermark your renders.

Know this was all mentioned a couple of weeks ago, but just wanted to clear it up, lest the question arise again. Good luck to all AM students, and look forward to seeing the reels. :)

T.S. Cosky
05-09-2007, 03:31 AM
Well I took the eight minute Wonderlic test. I'm a bit worried about it though. I wasn't sure what to expect and feel I could have done it alot better. I wasted too much time with some of the math problems at the start before I realized I should skip them for questions I could answer quicker. Grrrr... (I'm horrible at timed tests)

How much does this test matter to the application process? Can you retake it if you request it? I'm positive I could answer alot more of the questions within the time limit if I had a second go at it.

Is there a minimum score they are looking for?

I think I answered 16 of the 30 generated questions and got 16 correct and skipped 4 or 5.

Is that bad, ok , or what?...

IestynRoberts
05-09-2007, 09:10 AM
Hey Tm! I too thought the test was really hard, it totally caught my by suprise! I think I only answered about 12 questions, and the wait to get my results was totally killing me, but it all turned out good in the end! Dont worry too much about the test, I think it's just to show AM that you have a little bit of knowledge - especially the English side of things, because the course is taugt in English.

I hoope you get the good news soon - you're absaloutley gonna love it in there, its an amazing place!
- Iest

Reflexx
05-10-2007, 04:40 AM
Don't put too much credence into what I say, but I would guess that the test isn't a huge factor in getting in. I'm guessing there is a pretty low minimum score that is needed to show you have a basic understanding of things, but I don't think you have to be a superstar. If iest-rob got in with just 12 questions, then I wouldn't stress about it too much. I would imagine that the essay would count as much more.

I think I did fairly well on the test. If I were to take a guess, I'd say that I got 24 or 25 right. I still haven't heard anything yet. Some people just take tests well. That doesn't necessarily mean that you will be the right fit for the school. It doesn't show that you have more animation potential.

I sent an email to admissions to see if there was any progress on my application, and they asked me about goals I had that weren't covered in the essay. This leads me to believe that they really want to know how passionate you are and that you really plan on devoting yourself to a career in animation.

It doesn't appear to be the kind of place that just wants to take your money. They want to make sure that they are going to help people that really want it.

So I'm keeping my fingers crossed and I'll be waiting with you for an answer. Good luck!

IestynRoberts
05-10-2007, 09:52 AM
Yeah I totally agree with you Reflexx, they just want to make sure that you are making the right desiction. I think that Esaay is the most important thing of the whole application, I think that's what sells it for you.

achavero
05-10-2007, 04:01 PM
As the voice spread about AM, many more people are applying; so getting in is becoming more and more difficult. So in essence it's like getting a job. You have to do you're best at the exam and be very intelligent with what you write in your essay.

The essay can say a lot about a person, not only talking about how passionate you're with animation, but also how intelligent and mature a person are. The kind of words you use, the way you express about things and mostly the things you consider important.

I think the exam is important because remember that you will be alone in you're home maybe far far away from an animation expert, so the exams serves to know you're knowledge of the english language but also you're capacity of how you resolve things when you face troubles. Yes, you will have all the help of many many students, alumnis and mentors that help you to succeed in the program, but sometimes some people freak out and doesn't know how to use the tools in their advantage.

So, my advice is try to do you're best and take very serious the exam and essay if you really want to be considered not just for AM but for any school.

We tend to look at the exam and essay just like a tramit to get into the school, but think about that the school want first the people with more potential and second the demand of getting into is growing every term. So taking very serious the exam and essay will help you to achieve the goal of getting into AM.

So good luck and don't get desperate. I remember I had to wait a month and a half to know if I was going to get into AM and that was 2 years ago... so I think now they have their hands full reviewing all the applications and will take some time to respond.

T.S. Cosky
05-10-2007, 04:03 PM
Thanks for the info. I guess I'll stop worrying about it now.

I must say Reflexx, getting 25 out of the 30 in 8 minutes is pretty impressive since some of those math questions must take at least 1min to figure out.

Yeah I figured the essay was really important so I worked really hard on that. I think I did a good job on it. My essay covers where I've been, what I'm doing, my interest in animation, my goals with animation, and why I think their school is right for me. The hardest part was getting the essay to fit into 500 words.

Hopefully I make the cut and get the acceptance letter soon, the wait is a killer. (looking to get in for july)

tmcasper
05-11-2007, 05:53 AM
Hey everyone,

My first post here. I applied to AM tonight and got the link for the test a few hours later. Pretty speedy IMO. I was expecting to get the link for the test within a week or so. Anyways, I was able to go through all 30 questions (there are 30 right?) and off the top of my head, I think I goofed on like 3 or 4 of them. It's funny, I knew I got them wrong immediately after submitting my answer...I guess I was so concerned with the timer that I rushed a bit. This thread has been extremely helpful in my research of the program, and the more I read, the more I am pumped about this.

-Tom

timeless3d
05-12-2007, 03:52 PM
Thank you very much for your congrats and tipps! Then I will go for a cheaper webcam,
so there is more money left for a camcorder. But thats the next problem: what do you think
I should spend for it? What camcorder do you have?

I have a Panasonic MiniDV Palmcorder. I actually went to Sears a few years ago to buy some camping equipment and then I saw this camera on clearance. I don't remember really, but I want to say it was around $200 - $300. I guess now you can get a new one for that price. Just make sure you can hook up whatever you get to your PC. Mine came with a firewire, but it was the bigger one (6pin or whatever) and my laptop has the smaller connection (4pin i think, no power) so I had to buy another cable but it wasn't to expensive.

Reflexx
05-12-2007, 04:35 PM
I'm in!

Man, that wait was torture. I was so excited that I had already bought a new computer and books before even hearing if I got in.

There's still admissions paperwork that has to be completed before June 1,... and then there's the loan. I don't know how long the loan paperwork takes to process. If all else fails, I'll pay for the first term out of my savings. I'm hoping that I won't have to do that though. I just started a new job that pays pretty well and I'll have a lot more money coming in, but I'm still not too comfortable with my current savings amount right now. I'd like to build that up to a certain point first. But this is an awesome opportunity and I'm so excited.

I'll see you guys there!

tmcasper
05-12-2007, 04:39 PM
Congrats reflexx! I just got word yesterday that I passed the test. Good news...now I guess I just have to wait. Keep us posted on the financial aid thing will you? I will be applying for that also...on top of my already piled up school loans...:rolleyes:

Reflexx
05-12-2007, 11:34 PM
Congrats reflexx! I just got word yesterday that I passed the test. Good news...now I guess I just have to wait. Keep us posted on the financial aid thing will you? I will be applying for that also...on top of my already piled up school loans...:rolleyes:

I've got some piled up student loans too. One was from a 3D Studio MAX course that was pretty expensive, but didn't teach much. It was 6 months long and consisted of a bunch of tutorials from books that were already on the shelves. That was quite a few years ago.

I know that this will be a completely different experience now. I'm more mature and committed. Also, the teachers/mentors are actually people that know what they're talking about.

I hope to see you in class.

!Chucky!
05-13-2007, 12:35 AM
Im BACK! after a long long time of research and thanks to the help of these forums i have made my descision on a school.

But before i actually did the research i signed up to westwood college online. DONT DO IT! luckly for me i only lost $25 bucks in total, It could have been much much worse. All they care about is your money.... and it's sooooo Fake....I will give you examples from emails...

" I would like to set up an appointment for you to speak with our Director of Admissions" - There is no way i would be able to talk to the dean, that is RARE! no no i called and i talked to him, All he kept saying is, Ohh your advisor wrote a great recommendation letter, ( Lame ) But yea.... It was annoying he kept saying stuff about financial aid and all this. It was stupid.

"Now all we have left is for you to finish up your Financial Aid. It looks like you need to still add a cosigner" - All they care about it the money....

and lastly, Dont mean for this to be a long read, But i just wanted to share all this so incase anybody was thinking about it.
"Imagine yourself working for Pixar or Dreamworks and then ask yourself how you are going to get there. I know that 3D animation is a passion of yours and it is an education you can take seriously, The decision is ultimately up to you, but I wanted you to know that I will do what ever it takes to get you into college. If you think you have asked everyone to be a cosigner, ask them again. Think of new people who might be willing to support your dream. I am happy to talk to anyone if you think it would help your chances at getting a cosigner. Sometimes if a person has more information on the school they will be more likely to support you. After all of that, if you are still unable to get a cosigner you need to ask yourself what you can do to afford $150 a month. Does it mean you need to work more hours? Cut back on other costs? Will you be happier continuing down the same path you’re on now, or making a small short-term sacrifice to get your education that is going to change your life? Its easy to say you will do it in the future, but its even easier to put it off forever." - Completely PATHETIC! All this about money, and he tries to say stuff about pixar and dreamworks, with a degree from westwood...HAHAHA nope....

Now what did all this have to do with Animation Mentor? Well i just wanted to show the path that i almost took before i found Animation Mentor....Like i said after a LONG LONG time of Research, This is the School i want to go too.

Well I finished the Application Last night, so now all i have to do is wait....and wait...and wait.... Hopefully all goes well... I am looking forward to Starting July, I am estatic just thinking about it. I hope to see all of you that made it there..... Animation Mentor 4 LIFE! hahaha lets all get tattoos now ...Hahaha Just kidding...

Thanks for reading through all this, if you did. Thank you...

- ChuckY!

timeless3d
05-13-2007, 03:05 AM
westwood college online.

Been there! I, too, was going to go with Westwood. But I think I am out $75. They assured me if I changed my mind I would get it back. When I eventually did withdraw my application, they said I would get the check in a few weeks. That was like 9 months ago or something, I don't remember. It was before I started AM which was this January.

The reason I originally chose westwood was simply because it was a degree program and I could use the federal aid I was receiving already. I had been going full time to UC here and always got a residual amount back AFTER they coverer the term's tuition. With westwood, I was it didn't matter if it was full time or part time, they still insisted on the additional loans (and that who cosigner thing).

Way overpriced, and so not worth it. Of course, withdrawing my application when I decided to spend my money on AM was way too difficult. After withdrawing with my first contact (the admissions lady or whatever) I was called BACK by the dean, told her the same thing, and after that call, the first lady called me AGAIN. Every call and harassment made me feel even better about getting out of it early.

I will stop now, so this doesn't turn in to a westwood thread (i've seen others here on that already) anyway, yea, glad you got out. I hope our experience helps others to make informed decisions.

Reflexx
05-13-2007, 06:49 AM
I know what you guys are talking about. I tried a different school and am out several thousand dollars for just a few months. It was an online degree program in multimedia and animation. It didn't cover 3D stuff, but I hoped that the principes I would learn would eventually translate.

I'm glad I found AM before I was in even longer.

mhayes
05-14-2007, 06:34 AM
I don't think Animation Mentor is all that. I was in it and didn't like it much for one the students are the one giving you most of the critiques and then when your mentor gives his or her critique it's not much help they will say things like your timing is off or you need to fix your spacing and don't really tell you how to fix anything,(thats why I enrolled) on top of that its a recorded critique and when they have the Q&A's its an hour long for like 20 students if everyone had a question it's not enough time to get answers,they basically just point you to some link on the web or book, the lectures were not that great either some only 20 or 30 minutes. I think the students there are the real; backbone of the program but if you go through Sallie Mae to get financial aid I think its not worth it you'll end up paying like 30k.Now I am not trying to knock it, if its your thing by all means go for it I just wanted to put in my two cents and AM definitly wont garuntee that you get in too pixar or dreamworks.

ravvy
05-14-2007, 12:01 PM
I don't think Animation Mentor is all that. I was in it and didn't like it much for one the students are the one giving you most of the critiques and then when your mentor gives his or her critique it's not much help they will say things like your timing is off or you need to fix your spacing and don't really tell you how to fix anything,(thats why I enrolled) on top of that its a recorded critique and when they have the Q&A's its an hour long for like 20 students if everyone had a question it's not enough time to get answers,they basically just point you to some link on the web or book, the lectures were not that great either some only 20 or 30 minutes. I think the students there are the real; backbone of the program but if you go through Sallie Mae to get financial aid I think its not worth it you'll end up paying like 30k.Now I am not trying to knock it, if its your thing by all means go for it I just wanted to put in my two cents and AM definitly wont garuntee that you get in too pixar or dreamworks.
Hmmm I don't really agree with you there, my mentor goes through my critiques and tells me how many frames to drop and where to drop them - he doesn't say things like "fix your spacing", not only that he explains why they should be dropped. Admittedly maybe not every mentor is like that

The live Q&A sessions are only an hour although the one I'm in always overruns for those who hang around, everyone gets their questions answered and we normally have time for a live demonstration of anything we're unsure of

As for the lectures, I've found all of my lectures to be interesting and I've learnt something from every single one of them - just because a lecture is 30 minutes long doesn't mean it isn't useful

Your opinion is your own though, I just wanted to comment as I think you are being a bit harsh... I think the graduates work speaks for itself really

MartinK
05-14-2007, 12:28 PM
I don't think Animation Mentor is all that. I was in it and didn't like it much for one the students are the one giving you most of the critiques and then when your mentor gives his or her critique it's not much help they will say things like your timing is off or you need to fix your spacing and don't really tell you how to fix anything,(thats why I enrolled) on top of that its a recorded critique and when they have the Q&A's its an hour long for like 20 students if everyone had a question it's not enough time to get answers,they basically just point you to some link on the web or book, the lectures were not that great either some only 20 or 30 minutes. I think the students there are the real; backbone of the program but if you go through Sallie Mae to get financial aid I think its not worth it you'll end up paying like 30k.Now I am not trying to knock it, if its your thing by all means go for it I just wanted to put in my two cents and AM definitly wont garuntee that you get in too pixar or dreamworks.

Cool to hear different opinions about the school.
I'm currently in class 6 and to me Animation Mentor has been totally awesome! It is the students that are the backbone of the program, because AM has created the online community like that. I think the lectures are great, but it's nothing compared to the all the feedback from the other students during the week, and of course the recorded crit from the mentor.

Different mentors run their classes different, but all my mentors has been very spesific in the critiqes and the q&a's has often been 1.5 to 2 hours long so that everybody gets their questions answered.

I don't think any school can garantuee you a job. Only hard work gets you there. You'll get out of AM what you put into it. It ain't easy, thats for sure. It's 18 months of blood, sweat and tears, but I've learned more than I ever could imagine during the last 17 months at AM, so to me it's been totally worth it!

Martin

jugger
05-14-2007, 12:34 PM
@3DADDICT (http://forums.cgsociety.org/member.php?u=171128)
i think if you let the guys at the headquarters know about your pain, they would have solved it.
being in the first class we exeprienced some bumps, but AM was reacting always superfast, professional and better than anybody expected.

your learning experience is closely connected to your mentor. with some it fits better with others not so well. still i everyone who taught me was more then eager to give me proper critiques and a helping hand. i didnt had or saw ANY mentor who would have given less or, like you said, unusable critique.

in the last two classes it was not unusal that we where sitting 4 hours in a q&a with our mentor. just so he could give everyone the same indepth analysis and aid.

i dont remember a 20minute lecture either.

yapyap
05-14-2007, 12:37 PM
I have a Panasonic MiniDV Palmcorder. I actually went to Sears a few years ago to buy some camping equipment and then I saw this camera on clearance. I don't remember really, but I want to say it was around $200 - $300. I guess now you can get a new one for that price.


Hi timeless3d,

thank you for your answer. Probably I'm going to buy a new panasonic miniDV for about
300 Euros (http://tinyurl.com/3xyh52), as soon as AnimatinMentor confirms that its
webcam function is ok for the courses. So I would save the money for a separate webcam.

mhayes
05-14-2007, 02:36 PM
I don't meen to be harsch I am just telling it like it is my Q&A never ran over an hour 30min lectures can be good but you have a week to understand that principle and try to apply it to your work.The community is good but so is cgtalk and its free,I think I just wanted more bang for my buckand Ravvy said the students work says it all,sorry to say but not all of thier work is good quality alot of the people that have good work are already real good when they join.Also A.M. does not show people who are new to 3d how to do anything,well actually they do for an extra 300.00 bucks thats not cool considering your paying 18,000 plus dollars.It wasn't that amazing for me I don't know why anyone would take offense to that but oh well that's life and I am just stating my opinion

timeless3d
05-14-2007, 02:50 PM
Wow, not often you hear an argument against AM. It is cool to hear a different opinion, but I don't think you are being very fair. In fact, the post smells of trolling, and I feel stupid that I fell for it if that is the case. Oh well, here is my $.02 anyway.

AM helps those who help themselves.

It's that simple. My first mentor didn't measure up to the teacher I had expected going into the school. It was a little discouraging because it was clear that he was a new mentor to the school and wasn't too comfortable. After a few weeks, people in the class voiced their concerns and he improved! He started showing us practical examples of what we were learning from the assignments and lectures. Additionally, I found incredible value in watching OTHER mentor's critiques. Even if you feel your mentor is lacking or you just want some additional information, you can pull up ANY OTHER CRITIQUE in the school. It won't take long till you find certain mentors that you want to check it with on a regular basis and see what sort of stuff they are sharing with their students.

Also, some of the more ambitious mentors will post an Overall Critique which can be a video about anything, but usually is some general advice to the whole class related to the current week.

Don't get me started on the forum, Featured Mentors, Alumni Tutors, etc. The bottom line is even if I had been in for just 1 term, I dropped over $2000 for that term and I would milk it for all the information and insturction I could get. I work full-time, so it's not always easy for me to do that, but I try the best I can.

I'm sorry you had a bad experience, but sounds to me you just didn't try as hard as you could have.

timeless3d
05-14-2007, 02:57 PM
Hi timeless3d,

thank you for your answer. Probably I'm going to buy a new panasonic miniDV for about
300 Euros (http://tinyurl.com/3xyh52), as soon as AnimatinMentor confirms that its
webcam function is ok for the courses. So I would save the money for a separate webcam.

If you want to use a firewire digital camera as your webcam, you can try this:
http://www.trackercam.com/TCamWeb/download.htm (the free webcam software download)

It worked for AM, but I found it much eaiser to use a simple web cam. I don't know about the camera you are looking at there, but with my miniDV I had to use a tripod, and position it very far away from me because it wouldn't zoom out far enough. Also, the audio didn't work through trackercam, so I had to use a mic. With the web cam, the internal mic worked fine and it was a much more simple set up. And I have seen webcams as cheap as $20, so for me it is well worth the cost.

But I understand trying to save anywyere you can. I have so been there. Good luck! I am sure you will make the best decision for you.

mhayes
05-14-2007, 03:00 PM
Wow, not often you hear an argument against AM. It is cool to hear a different opinion, but I don't think you are being very fair. In fact, the post smells of trolling, and I feel stupid that I fell for it if that is the case. Oh well, here is my $.02 anyway.

AM helps those who help themselves.

It's that simple. My first mentor didn't measure up to the teacher I had expected going into the school. It was a little discouraging because it was clear that he was a new mentor to the school and wasn't too comfortable. After a few weeks, people in the class voiced their concerns and he improved! He started showing us practical examples of what we were learning from the assignments and lectures. Additionally, I found incredible value in watching OTHER mentor's critiques. Even if you feel your mentor is lacking or you just want some additional information, you can pull up ANY OTHER CRITIQUE in the school. It won't take long till you find certain mentors that you want to check it with on a regular basis and see what sort of stuff they are sharing with their students.

Also, some of the more ambitious mentors will post an Overall Critique which can be a video about anything, but usually is some general advice to the whole class related to the current week.

Don't get me started on the forum, Featured Mentors, Alumni Tutors, etc. The bottom line is even if I had been in for just 1 term, I dropped over $2000 for that term and I would milk it for all the information and insturction I could get. I work full-time, so it's not always easy for me to do that, but I try the best I can.

I'm sorry you had a bad experience, but sounds to me you just didn't try as hard as you could have.












Hey man don't try to judge me and knock me for my opinion I had an A when I left and you say I wasn't trying hard,I actually seen your work on A.M. and It sucked so if your trying your hardest you might wanna find something else to do your just brainwashed and animation isn't for you.To everyone else reading this post sorry for that rude statement I just made but this guy tried to judge me and doesn't know how much effort I put forward or how hard I worked so he had it comin.

tmcasper
05-14-2007, 03:16 PM
Well, considering I've been researching this school for quite some time now, reading everything I could, blogs, articles, reviews, etc...and the first 'less-than-favorable' review comes from one person on this forum, I would say that is still an excellent reputation. I would think that with the many hundreds of students past and present who have attended this school, there would inevitably be more negative reviews, but I am hard pressed to find them. Hell, I have been actively trying hard to find negative reviews, because this place almost seems too good to be true. Nothing can please everyone. With the possible benefits of a school such as this, I personally believe that it is at least worth the tuition for the first session to evaluate at the very least. If I do get in and find that I am not completely satisfied after this first session, I will then re-consider my options. But right now, it still seems the positive outweighs the negative by about a zillion to one.

-Tom

mhayes
05-14-2007, 03:58 PM
I'm not saying its bad I'm sayng it wasn't for me what I'm saying is not negative just my experience on it,thats all just giving a different outlook on it,some people just wanna be a part of something and that's fine,the best thing to do is make your own decisions I myself seen about 3 people in my class alone leave,so I know it's not for everyone

fluffybunny
05-14-2007, 03:58 PM
Hehehe, Gentleman, Gentleman, please!!!
You may both be a little harsh, but I guess there's nothing wrong with that as long as you stay civil. :D
Any school will only give to you what you put into it. AnimationMentor seems to amplify this and I think it's partly because of the online nature of things and also because that's the very nature of animation itself....it's not a skill you can just give someone.
I don't recall looking at any of your work, Mike, but I'll take your word that you put in good effort and got high marks. I'm sorry that AM didn't work out for you. I've had my share of ups and downs, but I'm happy that I've hung in there....only 5 more "assignments" :)
Travis' work might not be stellar, but it is obvious he is puting in alot of effort and I anticipate he'll be making great strides. My work isn't even remotely close to stellar, but I'm the only one to blame for that.
Most things take Time, Talent, and Training. Each person has/needs different amounts of them. It sounds like perhaps AM didn't meet your expectations in the training area, I'm sorry. The guys at AM start everyone out at the same place so they can make sure everyone goes through the basics and many people may not need that. They also make it clear that their primary focus isn't to teach software...though they have a few tutorials...and the "extra $300" class that you mentioned.
Good grades don't necessarily mean a good student/good work and poor grades don't necessarily reflect that someone didn't get all the concepts and doesn't know how to implement them.
I received a BSEE almost ten years ago with a 3.4-ish GPA and don't feel like I really learned all that much...already knew much of it from work experience and independent study. But I wouldn't have the job I do now without the degree. I have a co-worker nearing his PhD in Electrical Engineering and his stated goal was to get a PhD without learning anything...kinda tongue in cheek, but I think he is succeeding for the most part since he only has the dissertation left...he did say that he learned one or two little things in coursework...hehehe :)
AM can't be everything to everybody. I went into it knowing that I couldn't get as much out of it as other people were since I wasn't able to devote as much time as other people, but I'm still very happy with what I've learned and will continue to learn and improve based on the foundation I've been given.
I'm not so jaded or such a fanboy that I think everything is perfect or there aren't many places for improvement....but I know that results speak for themselves and with many people who have never previously touched animation pumping out high quality work and getting good professional jobs I don't think I need say more.
I wish you the best, Mike.
And Travis....keep working hard...you've got a challenge to hold up ;)

eric

mhayes
05-14-2007, 05:00 PM
I just wanna appologize thats not in my character to put someone down I by far not a good animator,as a matter of fact I don't consider myself an animator at all yet but I will get there I just felt I was getting attacked for voicing my opinion,again I appolgize for offending anyone

T.S. Cosky
05-14-2007, 07:09 PM
While I'm still waiting to find out if i'm in or out for July, I decided I would comment on the recent posts.

Considering the various alternatives for getting a quality education in animation, AM ranks at the top I would think. Cal Arts is too expensive to be worth it in my opinion, and most other schools range from OK to pathetic. That gap in quality or the lack of it was one of the primary reasons for the creation of AM. Quality animation education for a great price.

Networking is truly vital in this industry and AM seems to have that in spades. Most art schools are not going to be able to offer the networking that AM provides.The most effective art education I have ever recieved always seemed grounded in

1. Hard work and sacrifice on my part when it comes to studying
2. A teacher that can communicate well
3. A teacher that can help you understand the principles you need to know
4. A teacher that can demonstrate the principles and techniques
5. A teacher that can help you understand how to improve your work.
6. Helpful students and good networking

Based upon what I have researched it would seem AM requires and provides what I listed above on a regular basis. A great critque is golden and the more those you can get the better. It's great when you have a wonderful Art teacher in College that can give you the time of day and provide a critique or two. With AM you have access to hundreds of critiques which is probably worth it alone. It seems that AM has an environment that is conducive to a spetacular learning experience, at least thats what the last 20 blogs I've looked at seem to let me know.

I would say if anyone has any doubt take a look at the large number of AM blogs out there to determine if AM is for you. One thing that is certain that I've noticed is that anyone who actually applied themself in AM came out a MUCH better animator then when they started.

Like someone said before it's kinda hard to go through the whole program and not come out the other end compentent. Not everyone can become awsome after 18 months of study, but the amount of improvment I've seen from peoples blogs from begining to end is freaking amazing. Not many schools can do that for you.

In conclusion I must say no one education method is good for everybody, some people will ultimately do better on their own or require a more traditional teaching method and others will find they do better when supplementing their education with other resources.

jw0925
05-14-2007, 07:22 PM
I would say if anyone has any doubt take a look at the large number of AM blogs out there to determine if AM is for you. One thing that is certain that I've noticed is that anyone who actually applied themself in AM came out a MUCH better animator then when they started.

Very well said. I absolutely agree with your entire post. I'm in class 5 right now. When I started I didn't even know how to make a ball bounce. Now I'm animating with full rigs, multiple characters and having a blast. (All while having a family of four and a full-time job). I have a lot more learning to do but I'm set as far as how to go about doing it.

jwoo

timeless3d
05-14-2007, 07:29 PM
Wow, I run out to lunch and come back to see I have been bashed! Fun stuff :)

Mike, relax man. My assumption that you didn't take full advantage of your resources is based on not seeing any evidence of you participating in AM except one post asking for an XSI rig. You insult my work, but I don't see any of yours other then a 2 poses and a walk cycle. As far as mine goes, I don't feel I need to defend it; that's not what this thread is about. I can't know much about your activity since you are no longer a student. I responded to your opinion of the school with advice on how I feel you could have a more fruitful experience, based on the evidence that was available to me.

Thanks for the PM apology. As it was mentioned, no one method of education is for everybody and I wish you luck in your path.

@eric, thanks! I try to challenge myself every week, not in response to a slam like this, but because I am paying a lot of cash and I have a dream to achieve :)

Reflexx
05-15-2007, 03:22 AM
The value of the school isn't just the lessons. It's the community, during AND after you graduate.

Not everyone is going to come out an excellent animator. But those who apply themselves should come out much better than they started.

There is no guarantee that your work will be of a professional quality as soon as you graduate. But if you continue to work hard and take advantage of the resources available to you then you will eventually get good enough. It's about hard work, patience, and a positive attitude.

ravvy
05-15-2007, 02:55 PM
I totally agree - the point of the course isn't to come out capable of being a feature film animator, the point of the course is to improve the quality of your animation... and by that I think the course is an incredible success.

3DADDICT, you really don't help get your point across by insulting somebody else and saying their work is rubbish - all you've done is taken an opinion and made it look instead like you are trolling

The community on the course is fantastic, and I agree you get out what you put in. Some weeks I'm too busy to take part in the community much and some weeks I have loads of time to chat on the forums and watch other peoples critiques etc. All I know is that I started the course as a beginner, and after 6 months I had a junior animation position at a company (including a huge payrise) *shrug*

mhayes
05-15-2007, 10:35 PM
3DADDICT, you really don't help get your point across by insulting somebody else and saying their work is rubbish - all you've done is taken an opinion and made it look instead like you are trolling




Hey ravvy did you read my appology?Anyway what is it to you? That's my opinion do you go along and agree with what everyone says? I am stating my personal experience if you don't like it that's tough,I appologized to the guy when actually I had nothing to appologize about that guy make a judgement about me and knows nothing about me,and I don't care what you or anyone else got out of the course,my judgement stands as I didn't care much for A.M.

timeless3d
05-16-2007, 02:03 AM
We really need to drop this. This has been an awesome thread and has been around for an incredible amount of time. I would hate to see it closed, but it has happend before and it had to be requested to be reopened. I am not sure that would work a second time.

So please, no more on the subject.

So, lets get back to something positive. Welcome to all the newbies, the next term is right around the corner!

Reflexx
05-16-2007, 02:56 AM
We really need to drop this. This has been an awesome thread and has been around for an incredible amount of time. I would hate to see it closed, but it has happend before and it had to be requested to be reopened. I am not sure that would work a second time.

So please, no more on the subject.

So, lets get back to something positive. Welcome to all the newbies, the next term is right around the corner!

You're right. Let's keep this positive.

Ideally, any opinions or feedback that is expressed should be done in a polite and respectful manner. However, we don't always get what is ideal.

If someone is rude or disrespectful, it's not going to help to jump down their throat. It will just cause the thread to spiral down into negativity.

MadMax
05-16-2007, 03:02 AM
For those reading some of the complaints about AM here, let me say this:

I am currently in class 4. To date, I have only had one mentor who held to a strict one hour QnA session, and that was Victor Navone. Outside of class 3 QnA sessions, the shortest I have had so far has been around 90 minutes. That was class 1. Those often ran 90 minutes to 2 hours.

Class 2 with Dimos Vrysellas often went 2 hours +, in at least 3 sessions, Dimos passed 2.5 hours and came very close to 3 hours.

In class 4, we have been averaging 2 hours. Last week was over 2.5 hours.


The suggestion that critiques are flawed, is strictkly a matter of personal opinion. The majority of students do not share that opinion. Neither do I. While it is true that critiques are pre recorded, they are generally pretty in depth. There is ample time to discuss your critique with your mentor in QnA.

And there is ABSOLUTELY NOTHING WRONG with getting critiques from fellow students. Many of who, work at major studios, games studios etc. It is a benefit, not a weakness. Add to that, there are a number of mentors who will engage in the community chat area with students, and offer suggestions and opinions that greatly help strengthen your work.

As to the pre recorded lectures, sure.. not all of them are amazing bits of ultimate knowledge. A few of them are kind of lame. Hell any college student at any university in the country wikll tell you that you occasionally sit through god awful boring lectures that do absolutely nothing for you.

Most of the lectures are exceedingly useful.

Another complaint I saw was the lack of technical training from AM. They never claimed otherwise and in fact, their policy simulates the real world. You want it, you work for it. It makes you stronger. They have a fair amount of very basic training videos to get you started. For many, that is more than enough to get by and get started.

I will agree that their Maya class sucks. For 300.00 you are far better off buying Gnomon, or Digital Tutors videos to learn from.

But like with anything, you are going to find people with sour grapes no matter what you do. thats just the way things are.

Reflexx
05-16-2007, 04:01 AM
Question to some of you students...

Do you use a graphics tablet? The last time I tried animating was several years ago with 3D Studio MAX 2.5. Things have changed a lot since then.

Would using a graphics tablet make things easier, or does it just mainly help texture artists and such?

timeless3d
05-16-2007, 04:04 AM
i use a tablet pc, and it does help alot. i haven't gotten too used to it in maya yet, but i use it alot for sketching and drawing on my video reference. it would add alot to your experience (a tablet pc, or a tablet)

achavero
05-16-2007, 02:22 PM
I started with a mouse in class 01; but since buying my wacom, I can say I'm very very happy. I feel easier to tune the curves when you have to move the keyframes just milimeters.

yapyap
05-16-2007, 10:59 PM
I will agree that their Maya class sucks. For 300.00 you are far better off buying Gnomon, or Digital Tutors videos to learn from.

Hi MadMax,

I've thought the Maya courses are included. They really cost 300 Dollars in addition?

MadMax
05-16-2007, 11:09 PM
Hi MadMax,

I've thought the Maya courses are included. They really cost 300 Dollars in addition?


sorry, it's true.

If you already know how to open and close files, set project and open the preferences menu, the Maya class is a waste of time. It is Maya 101 in the extreme.

At 30.00 an hour, 6 of the 10 hours are going to be a waste for all bu tcomplete Maya noobs who have never touched the program.

And for the cost, there are better sources of training for a hell of a lot cheaper. Gnomon or Digital Tutors Intro to Maya videos, or 3D Buzz DVD's.

achavero
05-16-2007, 11:13 PM
I didn't took the maya class, but some friends that did really help them to save the course. The difference between the assignments with and without the extra maya class were very notorious.

I don't know if the classes are worth or not, but I saw great results with my classmates.

My Fault
05-16-2007, 11:19 PM
sorry, it's true.

If you already know how to open and close files, set project and open the preferences menu, the Maya class is a waste of time. It is Maya 101 in the extreme.

At 30.00 an hour, 6 of the 10 hours are going to be a waste for all bu tcomplete Maya noobs who have never touched the program.

And for the cost, there are better sources of training for a hell of a lot cheaper. Gnomon or Digital Tutors Intro to Maya videos, or 3D Buzz DVD's.

What? I'm sorry but I really doubt that is the case. I know when we ran the beta of the Maya class (I was one of the beta mentors for that) we did waaay more then that. We went through individual problems each student was having and each class covered something different. Yeah we went over some rudimentary stuff, and the beta was fairly wild and wooly, but that was just a small part. Plus it was run like a Q&A where the students ask questions.

When did you take the Maya class that was like what you said? I have a hard time believing they went backwards to a Maya 101, especially considering that AM's normal Maya training videos (free) cover most of that stuff. I could be wrong of course, but it still seems unlikely.

MadMax
05-16-2007, 11:38 PM
This was less than 6 months ago, and it was extrememly basic. The Alumni Tutors sessions were by far more useful and free.

I talked to other people who took the same class and came away also feeling that it wasn't worth the expense.

I feel there are far better resources for learning Maya than spending 300.00 for 10 hours worth of basic lessons. And the free tutorials in the library are more in depth than the Maya training was.



What? I'm sorry but I really doubt that is the case. I know when we ran the beta of the Maya class (I was one of the beta mentors for that) we did waaay more then that. We went through individual problems each student was having and each class covered something different. Yeah we went over some rudimentary stuff, and the beta was fairly wild and wooly, but that was just a small part. Plus it was run like a Q&A where the students ask questions.

When did you take the Maya class that was like what you said? I have a hard time believing they went backwards to a Maya 101, especially considering that AM's normal Maya training videos (free) cover most of that stuff. I could be wrong of course, but it still seems unlikely.

!Chucky!
05-17-2007, 05:10 AM
Just an Update, I finished and turned in my application friday, and today i got confirmation that it has been received. Also i got the test link, Let me tell you i was not expecting that. That test was not all that easy, i thought i would do it no problem. Well yea dont be fooled, it's actually difficult. I hope i make it though, i really wanna be in the July classes, and not have to wait till october. So heres to hoping.


"I feel there are far better resources for learning Maya than spending 300.00" - MadMax

and i agree with what madmax said, *points to the above quote* there are better places to learn maya and cheaper to free as well...Like Cgtalk for example, search the forums, im sure you are bound to find all if not all the information you will need.

- Chucky

Reflexx
05-17-2007, 05:40 AM
I think I'll pick up a Maya intro book or something from the book store as soon as I'm able to get the student version of Maya.

Anyone know long until I get the info on how to get Maya at a student rate?

!Chucky!
05-17-2007, 08:23 AM
Reflexx - Check out free tutorials, on 3d buzz or elsewhere first. Dont just jump into buying a book, books on maya arent all that cheap and some really dont do you justice. As for when you get the Student Discount well as it says "After enrolling in the program" So if your still in the application/financial aid process your not really enrolled yet. So you wont see anything about it, and i think it might be on there site once you can log in.. ( Just a guess )

- Chucky

^Abe^
05-18-2007, 12:29 PM
Hi there.
I was quickly glancing at the animation mentor website and noticed that they no longer say that you can do your assignments for AM in hand drawn or stop motion, you have to do them with the computer now. I tried sending them a message asking them why this was but I havn't got a reply and I sent the message ages ago. Do you guys know what this is all about? Why have they stopped supporting mediums other then the computer in AM assignments?

Thanks
:argh:

DigitalToon2
05-18-2007, 05:48 PM
Hi there.
I was quickly glancing at the animation mentor website and noticed that they no longer say that you can do your assignments for AM in hand drawn or stop motion, you have to do them with the computer now. I tried sending them a message asking them why this was but I havn't got a reply and I sent the message ages ago. Do you guys know what this is all about? Why have they stopped supporting mediums other then the computer in AM assignments?

Thanks
:argh:

I haven't heard anything about that and there's plenty of students who do their assignments in 2d. I was looking at the main site and I didn't see anything that said you have to do your assignments in cg. As far as I know you can use whatever medium you choose.

^Abe^
05-18-2007, 06:39 PM
On the main AM site click on the admissions tab at the top then click on the FAQ button on the left. Scroll down till you see the 'MediumofChoice' headline and click the question under it "Do I have to use the computer to animate..."

it says "At Animation Mentor our approach has nothing to do with forcing students to become software experts... With that said our school and curriculum does require using 3d animation software as the tool to complete the weekly assignments..."

Also in the AM catalog they've taken out the section near the beginning mentioning hand drawn and stop motion animation as possible mediums of choice.

Perhaps you can do hand drawn animation in your assignments but they certainly aren't making that clear to prospective students. Maybe they allow people to do hand drawn but no longer openly endorse it? I don't know. The reason I came here was because they haven't replied yet to the message I sent them a long time ago asking them about this. A heads up about what is actually going on would be awesome!

Thanks
:thumbsup:
Abe

fluffybunny
05-18-2007, 07:11 PM
Hmmm...well, the 2D and StopMo videos on the AM site are still there so I would guess they're just officially discouraging it.
I can think of two 2D films that got completed off the bat and both individuals worked their butt's off in what is already a time consuming proposition, i.e. making a short film.
If I had to venture a guess it's because 2D and StopMo are more challenging and there are less mentors available who can help with it.

..my 2 cents

--eric

mhayes
05-18-2007, 10:09 PM
you can only do your assignments in 3d now,a couple of people in the class I was in withdrew because they no longer support 2d or stop mo, you can call the office to confirm or ask questions

My Fault
05-18-2007, 10:26 PM
you can only do your assignments in 3d now,a couple of people in the class I was in withdrew because they no longer support 2d or stop mo, you can call the office to confirm or ask questions

What the? What possible reason could they have for this? I really hope this is a simple misunderstanding as I can't really see a good reason for it. Time to bug support....

Reflexx
05-19-2007, 01:44 AM
If that's the case, I would guess it would be because it was difficult to give enough expert help with people that use other mediums.

The focus is on being a quality school giving a quality education. Maybe they think that when it comes to mediums that are not 3D, they might feel that they don't have enough expertise to feel justified in taking the tuition money.

Then again, I really have no idea. It's just a guess.

timeless3d
05-19-2007, 02:09 AM
Assignment pages all still include this:

*Equivalent: If you are using another medium such as hand drawn animation we'd like you to take and refine this pose using your medium of choice. If you are using another software package, "equivalent" is meant to represent that you do the assignment using a simple bi-ped character.

It says "pose" but similar text is on each assignment page. I have tons of respect for anyone who pursues 2d or stop mo, to me it would make my education that much more difficult to use those media. I'd imagine they are deliberately not encouraging those forms because they might be observing others struggling with them? (I haven't seen this personally, but I haven't seen a lot of 2d or any stop mo yet) I bet if you decided to continue with those mediums, and the technical aspect (e.g. your draftsmanship or whatever) doesn't impede your learning the skills being taught, they won't have a problem with it.

Chris Bacon
05-20-2007, 04:26 PM
Personaly Ive always prefered well done drawn animation to 3d, especialy when you can still see the planning lines....theres a real charm to it, you can see the planning and comitment.

I think the of the issues today is that people who are starting in animation spent too long using 3d applications and not just drawing. when you draw your not limited to what you can do, no rigs, not high poly counts that fry your cpu, and it makes you plan and realy focus on what your doing.

thats just my 2 cents anyway.

thanks

ShifterPark
05-21-2007, 10:11 PM
Hey Everyone! I applied to AM about a month back, still waiting to hear some type of reply. I had a question mainly for the people aready in AM.

I know that alot of the people enrolled are already established in the industry somewhat and want to improve their skills. Now I know that they are going to have more experience than many others when classes start, but based on the AM curriculum, does the quality of work even out on average between those with prior experience and those without by the end of the course.

I'm learning what I can now before class starts in Fall, but this is only a year and a half we are talking about, which is very little time to catch up to the 5+ years experience of some of the others there.

So is it the ones with prior experience usually in the spotlight at AM? The student showcases look great, but they dont tell you which of those are by experienced individuals or those just starting out at AM. Good advertisement, but a little misleading....You also see their home page articles of the people getting into ILM, Disney, etc... , after reading a bit they all have prior experience in the industry.

If and when I start classes, I plan on busting my ass getting out the best work I can, no question there... But how is it really on the inside of AM? Experienced people getting all the attention? Or can someone with no experience bust their ass for a year and a half and still get some attention from the recruiters?

Btw...an answer such as "it all depends on how much time you put into it, your desire, etc" is not the straight-up answer I am looking for in this case. I am well aware of desire and time.

Sorry for the long post! Either way, Maybe I'll be seeing some of you for the Fall class!

achavero
05-21-2007, 11:03 PM
I can tell you that people are treated by mentors in same way and the same amount of time for everyone, nobody is on the spotlight. Maybe you can say that people are atracted to funny animations and that are the students that everybody talks about, but still i don't think anybody is in the spotlight. Having people with experience has been great, they can help you a lot to improve your work even before the mentor check it.

People without experience before AM has been hired by companies like ILM, Disney and Blue Sky for example. They started from zero (tried to learn by themselves) and now are in the elite of animation. For example the person in ILM was a computer programmer before starting AM.

The examples of the showcases are more or less 70% no experience or little and 30% people with experience. Most of the people that have experience work in videogames companies, at this moment there's only one student (class 6) that I know works in a big studio and he started this april.

So you can be sure that most if not all of the work in the showcase is from non experience (in movies) students. Of course some of these people are gifted in animation, but still most of them had to sweat to have that kind of work.

Hope this answers your question.

ShifterPark
05-22-2007, 12:52 AM
It did, I appreciate that. Thats exactly the info I was looking for from someone with first hand experience of the AM curriculum.

!Chucky!
05-22-2007, 03:01 AM
Another Update: I got in! Today i got an email saying Welcome to Animation Mentor... Im all excited So now i gotta get the paper work done and turned in and im good to go for the Summer Term. Hope to see everyone there.

Im thankful for this thread it has helped me make this decision, Thanks guys!

- Chucky

wodagone
05-22-2007, 12:17 PM
Hi Guys , Yes me to, im in for July . Ive just got back from bank. the last hurdle was
borrowing money. Job done. Looking forward to seeing you all there.

T.S. Cosky
05-22-2007, 04:46 PM
Congrats guys, hopefully I will find out soon too. Though I am a little worried since Chucky sent in his application a few days after me and I still have yet to hear from AM. If they say no can you re-apply again for another term? Or is it a permanant no?

JayEpperhart
05-22-2007, 06:49 PM
Hey everyone! This is Jay, the student advisor at Animation Mentor, and I have an announcement regarding 2-D animation in our program:

We've done a lot of soul searching at Animation Mentor and found our program works best for people who want to be 3D animators. Doing 2D animation takes a complete understanding of anatomy and drastmanship. Our program focuses on the core of acting and to add what it takes to make it a full fledged 2D animation program would add another 2 - 3 years, easily.

We still encourage students to experiment with different mediums as it helps further one's understanding of the execution and process. However, it would be a disservice to say that Animation Mentor could take someone with no experience and make them a great 2D animator in 18 months. However, we do feel we can take someone with ambition who has little or no experience and make them a pretty darn good 3D animator in our program.

Drawing at animation mentor is still part of every assignment and will continue to be. We will keep the elements that help further the understanding of quick sketch drawing to help get ideas out of the head and down on paper. Some of our classes focus specifically on techniques for people animating in the computer. We do not focus on the software aspects, instead we focus 100% on the art and craft of character animation. We hope this makes sense as it is to your benefit that we be 100% honest with our students and future students. We want to give the best education to our students with the hopes that they will be solid candidates for studio jobs upon graduation. Our focus will continue to be on creating the best quality animation program, if that means we lose students who want to do 2D then we feel better to be honest with them, than to set a false expectations.

-The Animation Mentor Crew

!Chucky!
05-22-2007, 06:57 PM
T.S. Cosky - Have you even got a Link for the Test yet? Or any type of email or anything from animation mentor? If not maybe you should call and find out if your application even went through...

- Chucky

T.S. Cosky
05-22-2007, 07:06 PM
Yeah, I already did the test and they said I passed. My application is going through the review process. Just thought it was odd that someone who applied after I did would get the greenlight before me. Makes me worry that my application is somehow lower priority due to poorer quality or something, but I'll give it till friday before I bug them. I'm sure they are getting tons of emails from people asking about their application and when will they find out if they are in or not.

!Chucky!
05-22-2007, 07:17 PM
T.S. Cosky - Im sure you got the email that had "Your application will now move on to committee for evaluation. We’ve had a bigger number of Summer applications than originally anticipated—we try and give as much attention and care as possible to each person, and as a result, it will be a week before you know the outcome of our decision" in it...

My thoughts on this, If you did a really good essay, and answered there questions you should do fine. Like i was told there was alot of people that applied. Hopefully you make it in, If you have an Hotmail account, they have been having some trouble with emails. I dont know if thats the case for you or not, but it could be... But Good Luck none-the-less...Hopefully you get in...

see you there....

- Chucky

Opelfruits
05-22-2007, 07:18 PM
Hi Guys , Yes me to, im in for July . Ive just got back from bank. the last hurdle was
borrowing money. Job done. Looking forward to seeing you all there.

you can borrow money for it in the UK???????????????? pleeeeease give me more info :bounce:

T.S. Cosky
05-22-2007, 07:56 PM
Haha now I feel silly, AM just called me and said they saw my post here. They were wondering why I hadn't gotten my email too!

I'm in! Very excited for July, think I'm going to go do some prepratory studying now.

Lol, ...I just got the email. Must be a problem with yahoo mail.

See you guys in July!

tmcasper
05-22-2007, 08:46 PM
We’ve had a bigger number of Summer applications than originally anticipated—we try and give as much attention and care as possible to each person, and as a result, it will be a week before you know the outcome of our decision" in it...


This has me worried now...

tmcasper
05-22-2007, 10:40 PM
I'm in baby!*

*Pending successful loan acquisition.

Woohoo...images/icons/icon10.gif

timeless3d
05-22-2007, 10:57 PM
our program works best for people who want to be 3D animators.

Hi Jay! It's awesome to see offical reprensentation of the school here. For whatever my personal opinion is worth :) I think it's a very smart decision.

Keep on rockin!

Reflexx
05-23-2007, 01:02 AM
For those of you who are still waiting for answers, you might want to check your junk mail folders. Especially if you are using Hotmail. Check them every day.

Apparently I received a response several days before I actually knew I did. It went to my junk mail folder and I never saw it. I only found out because I sent a follow-up email and called and left a message, then they responded again. Again... it went to my junk mail folder. Luckily, I happened to be checking that folder that day. Otherwise, who knows if I would have ever seen it.

I'm sure they are very busy now, but there shouldn't be any harm in asking if an email was sent to you. They may have sent something and are waiting for YOU!

Reflexx
05-23-2007, 01:24 AM
Thanks for the post Jay. I'm sure many people appreciate the honesty of the school. There are a ton of other schools out there that will try to enroll as many students as possible at all costs. "Counselors" at many online schools are so interested in money that they may ignore the goals of the students.

The fact that there is so much honesty and character reinforces to me that I am making a good decision by enrolling.

timeless3d
05-23-2007, 01:41 AM
"Counselors" at many online schools are so interested in money that they may ignore the goals of the students.

*cough* westwood *cough*

wodagone
05-23-2007, 08:31 AM
Opelfruits, I dont know about uk student finance for this course. I have borrowed half course fees as a personal loan @10.3% and will be starting to pay it back straight away as
well as the other half from my wages. unfortunatly I have to work full time ( stage rigger + lighting tech, but it pays well ). Things will be tight but definetly worth it.

Opelfruits
05-23-2007, 06:56 PM
ah right, for a minute you got me all excited that we might be able to get student loans for it, but never mind.
anyways, welcome to AM :bounce:

wodagone
05-24-2007, 08:22 AM
Cheers, so your in as well. Yes its good to see more people from uk on course. How many other uk'ers have we got ??

timeless3d
05-24-2007, 08:06 PM
33 current students in UK, according to the site :)

yapyap
05-24-2007, 09:15 PM
Very nice to read all these "I'm in!"-Postings. We'll see us in July! :)

What are you guys doing the last weeks before AM? Learning some Maya,
learning how to sketch? Or do you enjoy the last holidays you'll have until
January 2009? :D

bliip-n-bloop
05-24-2007, 10:16 PM
33 current students in UK, according to the site :)
Can you also see this as "non-student"? Would be nice to contact some people of my country (Belgium) :)

timeless3d
05-24-2007, 11:20 PM
I see 2 Belgium students listed. but, no, i see this on the student site, not any place public.

IestynRoberts
05-25-2007, 12:38 AM
Hey guys, I'm currently at class one, and I'm currently trying to get a Career Development Loan to help me out with my money siuation, here's the website;


http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/EducationAndLearning/AdultLearning/CareerDevelopmentLoans/index.htm

You need to email AM for some details, such as their registered number with CDL, but its well worth it I think, intrest free loan for 18months, cant go wrong there!

wodagone
05-25-2007, 02:37 PM
yes YApYap, Im getting some overtime in, spending time with girlfriend and daughter. Plus a bit of heavy drinking. All things im not going to be doing so much very soon . ( wont miss overtime though or hangovers ).

Also keep thread update on progress of CDL, i was under impression AM would not qualify.

<Pino>
05-25-2007, 03:07 PM
... how it works if somebody study from europe with the time? Have he or she be online at an specific time ?

<Pino>
05-25-2007, 03:09 PM
... I like to join 1 class, is this possible? just to see if I can handle it, and than I like to decide if I want join more classes... is this possible? I think this question is alredy be asked here... but it is too many stuff to read here...

tmcasper
05-25-2007, 03:19 PM
Very nice to read all these "I'm in!"-Postings. We'll see us in July! :)

What are you guys doing the last weeks before AM? Learning some Maya,
learning how to sketch? Or do you enjoy the last holidays you'll have until
January 2009? :D

I just sent out all my paperwork and loan info, so it's official. I suppose I will brush up on some basics, and begin figuring out how I will balance my time over the next few months...must take it one term at a time. I will probably do some upgrading of my pc as well...

-Tom

Reflexx
05-25-2007, 03:42 PM
Very nice to read all these "I'm in!"-Postings. We'll see us in July! :)

What are you guys doing the last weeks before AM? Learning some Maya,
learning how to sketch? Or do you enjoy the last holidays you'll have until
January 2009? :D

I've been sketching more and also spending time with my wife. We're having our 1st year wedding anniversary next weekend, then I'll be going to Canada in a few weeks for my cousin's wedding.

As soon as I get the info for purchasing Maya at the student price I'll try to get some of the basics down before I start school.

DigitalToon2
05-25-2007, 03:50 PM
... how it works if somebody study from europe with the time? Have he or she be online at an specific time ?

Once a week you have a live q/a with your mentor and classmates. Your Q/A's and mentor's are assigned at the beginning of each term, and q/a times are usually the same day and time each week. Once and a while because of a holiday or a mentor's schedule your time might change for one week, but that's rare. Every new term you get a new mentor and new Q/A schedule.

Bill_nuts
05-27-2007, 10:31 PM
I'm spending my last few spare weeks finishing various video jobs I have to do and then clean up my computers a bit and make some room.

I'm also practicing some sketching and learning Maya as much as I can. My evenings are about to get very busy come July.

timeless3d
05-27-2007, 11:19 PM
... I like to join 1 class, is this possible? just to see if I can handle it, and than I like to decide if I want join more classes... is this possible? I think this question is alredy be asked here... but it is too many stuff to read here...

You can pay per term, you don't have to pay all at once. there is a $50 charge added to each payment if you go that route. At any time you can unenroll. I would say the eaisest way to do that would be to not pay for the next term and drop out, but you could also quit at any time and get a portion of your money back I think. Double check with the school before taking anyone's word for it from any other source.

For the past couple terms, I have done a flash meeting for new students to get questions answered (and to test their camera). If there is still interst, I would be glad to do it again. it's fun! it is more fun if more current students join in to answer questions, last time there was short notice and I hope to offer more notice this time. I will probably do it on a sunday night, maybe a week from now?

Bigalpimp
05-28-2007, 01:38 AM
Just applied for the Course I'm pretty excited about possibly getting in *crosses fingers*
Few questions though(keep in mind I'm a beginer to everything CG)

-assuming I complete AM smoothly and have a nice animation reel is it realistic to assume I can be able to get a animation job? Or am I gonna need be more well rounded(modeling,rigging ect)

-How have you guys payed for it? I honestly don't have $15,000(?) lying around (or $300) for that matter and wanted to know if some of you have gotten loans to get like a monthly payment for it.

-can you work fulltime (5 days) and still complete AM assingment easily or am I gonna have to cut back on work?

i know very lil about animation so any other tips to get my education started?

Please help me with the questions thanks!!!

timeless3d
05-28-2007, 02:17 AM
-assuming I complete AM smoothly and have a nice animation reel is it realistic to assume I can be able to get a animation job? Or am I gonna need be more well rounded(modeling,rigging ect)

no guarantees, but they offer assistance in your 6th term to help you find a job. additionally, there is a section of the forum where members and mentors post possible jobs. a lot of times, the mentor will offer to put your reel directly to the right people if you were one of his students, but, again, no guarantees.

-How have you guys payed for it? I honestly don't have $15,000(?) lying around (or $300) for that matter and wanted to know if some of you have gotten loans to get like a monthly payment for it.

you are in the US, so that is helpful. you can apply for a loan through Sallie Mae. the school will help you if you want to do that. that is pretty much the only option through the school as far as loans. you also have the option to pay per term which is what i am doing. there is an added $50 charge to each payment.

one thing about the Sallie Mae, i have heard the interest is very high and the $15,000 will cost you closer to $30,000 if you finance the whole thing for the whole term of the loan. that might be an exaggeration, but i'm just telling you what i've heard (gap girls jeopardy, snl). if you have a credit card with lower interest, or can get a bank loan, that would be better.

once upon a time, AM was going after accreditation that would qualify them for federal funding. i have asked about the progress of that once each term, and last time i asked (a couple weeks ago) they said they are no longer pursuing it at that time. they are accredited by the California Bureau of Private Post-Secondary and Vocational Education, but to get the additional required accreditation would mean they would have to add general studies to the curriculum (and who wants THAT?! -blech-)

-can you work fulltime (5 days) and still complete AM assingment easily or am I gonna have to cut back on work?

i started working full time this term. and i have been working about 50-60 hours a week. that should go down to 40 soon, but it's been hard on me this term. i have been able to get my assignments in on time, but i always feel i just stop working on them, not that they are done. but, i've heard it said that 'art is never done, it just stops in an interesting place' so perhaps i would feel that way no matter how long i had.

what has suffered most is my availability to other students. a big part of the experience in AM is giving and receiving feedback on our work. I don't always get to leave as much feed back as I would like to.

if your work is limited to 40 hours, you should be ok. many people do it. even if it is more then 40, it is still possible, just means you have to try and schedule and plan your time as best you can.

i know very lil about animation so any other tips to get my education started?

watch lots of movies and cartoons! the two books i recommend for class 1 are
"Animators Survival Kit" - Richard Williams
"Simplified Drawing for Planning Animation" - Wayne Gilbert

not many told me about the Gilbert book before i started and I wish i had gotten it early. i struggle with my planning sketches, and you do more of that in class 1 then anything (and you keep doing it for the rest of the classes). so, if you want any advice on drawing *for animation planning,* pick it up here. (http://anamie.com/pagesample.html)

if you can, get this as well:
"Illusion of Life" - Frank Thomas, Ollie Johnston
it is an animator's bible. with the Kit, they are an unbeatable pair. however, most (if not all) of what you need to learn from it is covered in the first class. so, if money is tight, hold off for a bit on this one (just my opinion)

If you don't know much about 3d programs, i would suggest Maya. It is the only software AM supports. you can use other programs if you want, but the official support is not there. there are some other students that use other software so any problems you have might be covered in the forums, but it would be safest to go with Maya. (and a lot of studios use it)

download the PLE, it is free and will let you mess around with anything you want. you want to try to learn the graph editor as best you can as soon as you can. that will help you a lot. the PLE watermarks your renders, and that gets a little annoying. once you are able to log in, you can get access to a full version of Maya and a reduced student price (about $300).

shew! long reply. can you tell i am waiting on a render? :)

good luck, i hope to see you inside!

Bigalpimp
05-28-2007, 04:27 AM
no guarantees, but they offer assistance in your 6th term to help you find a job. additionally, there is a section of the forum where members and mentors post possible jobs. a lot of times, the mentor will offer to put your reel directly to the right people if you were one of his students, but, again, no guarantees.



you are in the US, so that is helpful. you can apply for a loan through Sallie Mae. the school will help you if you want to do that. that is pretty much the only option through the school as far as loans. you also have the option to pay per term which is what i am doing. there is an added $50 charge to each payment.

one thing about the Sallie Mae, i have heard the interest is very high and the $15,000 will cost you closer to $30,000 if you finance the whole thing for the whole term of the loan. that might be an exaggeration, but i'm just telling you what i've heard (gap girls jeopardy, snl). if you have a credit card with lower interest, or can get a bank loan, that would be better.

once upon a time, AM was going after accreditation that would qualify them for federal funding. i have asked about the progress of that once each term, and last time i asked (a couple weeks ago) they said they are no longer pursuing it at that time. they are accredited by the California Bureau of Private Post-Secondary and Vocational Education, but to get the additional required accreditation would mean they would have to add general studies to the curriculum (and who wants THAT?! -blech-)



i started working full time this term. and i have been working about 50-60 hours a week. that should go down to 40 soon, but it's been hard on me this term. i have been able to get my assignments in on time, but i always feel i just stop working on them, not that they are done. but, i've heard it said that 'art is never done, it just stops in an interesting place' so perhaps i would feel that way no matter how long i had.

what has suffered most is my availability to other students. a big part of the experience in AM is giving and receiving feedback on our work. I don't always get to leave as much feed back as I would like to.

if your work is limited to 40 hours, you should be ok. many people do it. even if it is more then 40, it is still possible, just means you have to try and schedule and plan your time as best you can.



watch lots of movies and cartoons! the two books i recommend for class 1 are
"Animators Survival Kit" - Richard Williams
"Simplified Drawing for Planning Animation" - Wayne Gilbert

not many told me about the Gilbert book before i started and I wish i had gotten it early. i struggle with my planning sketches, and you do more of that in class 1 then anything (and you keep doing it for the rest of the classes). so, if you want any advice on drawing *for animation planning,* pick it up here. (http://anamie.com/pagesample.html)

if you can, get this as well:
"Illusion of Life" - Frank Thomas, Ollie Johnston
it is an animator's bible. with the Kit, they are an unbeatable pair. however, most (if not all) of what you need to learn from it is covered in the first class. so, if money is tight, hold off for a bit on this one (just my opinion)

If you don't know much about 3d programs, i would suggest Maya. It is the only software AM supports. you can use other programs if you want, but the official support is not there. there are some other students that use other software so any problems you have might be covered in the forums, but it would be safest to go with Maya. (and a lot of studios use it)

download the PLE, it is free and will let you mess around with anything you want. you want to try to learn the graph editor as best you can as soon as you can. that will help you a lot. the PLE watermarks your renders, and that gets a little annoying. once you are able to log in, you can get access to a full version of Maya and a reduced student price (about $300).

shew! long reply. can you tell i am waiting on a render? :)

good luck, i hope to see you inside!

thanks so much man! you dont know how much you just helped..thanks for taking the time to help :D and yes i recently downloaded the maya its a lil overwhelming lol but ill find some tuts to learn some stuff. also i recently graduated (monday) and asked my mom ( :p ) for the animators surival kit since it was recommned from a freind as well so im waiting for that to be shipped in. so the plan is to cross my fingers to hope i get in AM. and while im doing that ill learn maya,read up my new book and sketch a lil sound good? do alot of people not get accepted? i had very lengthy and insightful replys in my essays and am 100% determined so i dont see why i wouldnt be....

JayEpperhart
05-29-2007, 07:16 PM
-assuming I complete AM smoothly and have a nice animation reel is it realistic to assume I can be able to get a animation job? Or am I gonna need be more well rounded(modeling,rigging ect)
The Animation Mentor curriculum is designed so that when you are finished you will have a competitive reel for an animator position. So yes, if you "complete AM smoothly and have a nice animation reel" then you will be able to get a job as an animator. But the trick is applying yourself and focusing on your animation while using the resources and tools Animation Mentor provides. Just going to a school, any school, does not guarantee someone a job. You have to work for it.
Most companies are interested in specialists, not "jack-of-all-trades-master-of-none", so you don't need to know how to rig/model/light/etc. Hone your animation skills in order to become a professional animator first, then learn those other crafts in your free time if you are still interested in them.


-How have you guys payed for it?
As mentioned, you can get a loan through Sallie Mae. Personally, I used them and was thankful they helped pay for my tuition at AM. But as with all loans (and credit cards), use your financial sense and pay the loan off as soon as you can. As mentioned, your debt can go from $15,000 to $30,000+ if you follow payment plan Sallie Mae provides. Just because they don't require you pay for the loan while you are in school doesn't mean you shouldn't. Each month you are accruing almost $100-$200 of interest on that loan, so try to pay at least that much (if not more) each month you are able.

-can you work fulltime (5 days) and still complete AM assingment easily or am I gonna have to cut back on work?
Yes, you can still work fulltime and complete the course, but you will need some decent time management skills. Each week I work 40+ hours a week (plus commute), spend time with my wife and daughter, and still have time for my animation. It is not easy, but it is doable. A few months ago I wrote a weekly itinerary that shows my process in Animation Mentor and how I'm able to fit it in my schedule each week. I haven't incorporated it into my website yet, but you can read the Word doc here:

A week in the life of an Animation Mentor student (http://www.jayepperhart.com/StudentWeek.doc)

Hopefully these help answer your questions! I'm sure you will get many more answers from other students!

IestynRoberts
05-30-2007, 12:26 AM
Hey Jay! I had no idea you were a student over at AM as well! You must be super busy! Good stuff!

tmcasper
05-30-2007, 02:43 AM
I am attending the Summer session to begin my journey...Is there some kind of orientation or something a few days before hand, or a better question would be, when exactly can we log in for the first time? Thanks to any current students for answering this.

-Tom

Bigalpimp
05-30-2007, 03:20 AM
The Animation Mentor curriculum is designed so that when you are finished you will have a competitive reel for an animator position. So yes, if you "complete AM smoothly and have a nice animation reel" then you will be able to get a job as an animator. But the trick is applying yourself and focusing on your animation while using the resources and tools Animation Mentor provides. Just going to a school, any school, does not guarantee someone a job. You have to work for it.
Most companies are interested in specialists, not "jack-of-all-trades-master-of-none", so you don't need to know how to rig/model/light/etc. Hone your animation skills in order to become a professional animator first, then learn those other crafts in your free time if you are still interested in them.


As mentioned, you can get a loan through Sallie Mae. Personally, I used them and was thankful they helped pay for my tuition at AM. But as with all loans (and credit cards), use your financial sense and pay the loan off as soon as you can. As mentioned, your debt can go from $15,000 to $30,000+ if you follow payment plan Sallie Mae provides. Just because they don't require you pay for the loan while you are in school doesn't mean you shouldn't. Each month you are accruing almost $100-$200 of interest on that loan, so try to pay at least that much (if not more) each month you are able.


Yes, you can still work fulltime and complete the course, but you will need some decent time management skills. Each week I work 40+ hours a week (plus commute), spend time with my wife and daughter, and still have time for my animation. It is not easy, but it is doable. A few months ago I wrote a weekly itinerary that shows my process in Animation Mentor and how I'm able to fit it in my schedule each week. I haven't incorporated it into my website yet, but you can read the Word doc here:

A week in the life of an Animation Mentor student (http://www.jayepperhart.com/StudentWeek.doc)

Hopefully these help answer your questions! I'm sure you will get many more answers from other students!

thanks alot man you really cleared up everything for me! you guys on this forum have just been great man i couldnt ask for any better advice thanks!!!

on a totally other subject though i was wondering this questuion . Will (hand done )animation ever die? that might be an uneducated question but i was just wondering. i was reading 3d world magazine and they have budgeting for some short films and stuff and for one it said that to cut production $$ they used Motion capture amd less hand animation..also i was just reading the spiderman begind the scenes and it was the same thing they use alot of motion capture. i dont really know the animation proccess when motion capture is used and am worried about going to school for something that might not be needed...once again im very new to computer animation so i just might be sounding dumb right now but some feedback would be awesome..

Reflexx
05-30-2007, 03:40 AM
You can pay per term, you don't have to pay all at once. there is a $50 charge added to each payment if you go that route. At any time you can unenroll. I would say the eaisest way to do that would be to not pay for the next term and drop out, but you could also quit at any time and get a portion of your money back I think. Double check with the school before taking anyone's word for it from any other source.

For the past couple terms, I have done a flash meeting for new students to get questions answered (and to test their camera). If there is still interst, I would be glad to do it again. it's fun! it is more fun if more current students join in to answer questions, last time there was short notice and I hope to offer more notice this time. I will probably do it on a sunday night, maybe a week from now?

That sounds fun. I'm going to be out of town next Sunday though. :(

!Chucky!
05-30-2007, 05:54 AM
Wow, A quick update... I thought i was at a loss, but i got this letter in the mail and... Well the picture speaks for itself....

http://img244.imageshack.us/img244/849/checkherexa5.th.jpg (http://img244.imageshack.us/my.php?image=checkherexa5.jpg)

Hope to See you Guys in the July Term....It's Gonna Be FUN!

- Chucky

Howitzer
05-30-2007, 06:12 AM
You won't be seein me. I have no credit, which means no loan. (and no one to co-sign) Now that I know the interest rate, I don't think I could handle it even if I qualified.

lutonomy
05-30-2007, 06:20 AM
on a totally other subject though i was wondering this questuion . Will (hand done )animation ever die? that might be an uneducated question but i was just wondering. i was reading 3d world magazine and they have budgeting for some short films and stuff and for one it said that to cut production $$ they used Motion capture amd less hand animation..also i was just reading the spiderman begind the scenes and it was the same thing they use alot of motion capture. i dont really know the animation proccess when motion capture is used and am worried about going to school for something that might not be needed...once again im very new to computer animation so i just might be sounding dumb right now but some feedback would be awesome..

Keyframe animation isn't going anywhere, don't worry. MoCap has its place, but even when something is done with only that (very rare), animators need to clean up movement at the very least, and usually add to a lot of it by hand. And a lot of the articles about the technology tend to hype up the mocap aspect of things because it makes for flashier articles to the average reader. At least that's what I've heard from a number of professional animators. Behind every successful "performance capture" project is a large team of highly skilled animators.

Also, mocap only works for things you can actually capture. Any kind of creature/character that doesn't exist in earth, which tends to be a lot of them in movies/games/etc, needs to be animated by hand.

Bigalpimp
05-30-2007, 07:13 AM
Keyframe animation isn't going anywhere, don't worry. MoCap has its place, but even when something is done with only that (very rare), animators need to clean up movement at the very least, and usually add to a lot of it by hand. And a lot of the articles about the technology tend to hype up the mocap aspect of things because it makes for flashier articles to the average reader. At least that's what I've heard from a number of professional animators. Behind every successful "performance capture" project is a large team of highly skilled animators.

Also, mocap only works for things you can actually capture. Any kind of creature/character that doesn't exist in earth, which tends to be a lot of them in movies/games/etc, needs to be animated by hand.

thanks alot man this makes alot of sense:thumbsup:

timeless3d
05-30-2007, 09:51 PM
Wow, A quick update... I thought i was at a loss, but i got this letter in the mail and... Well the picture speaks for itself....

http://img244.imageshack.us/img244/849/checkherexa5.th.jpg (http://img244.imageshack.us/my.php?image=checkherexa5.jpg)

- Chucky

wow, that's a surprise. i never got mine, i figured it was a myth :)

Bigalpimp
05-31-2007, 12:02 AM
You won't be seein me. I have no credit, which means no loan. (and no one to co-sign) Now that I know the interest rate, I don't think I could handle it even if I qualified.

Sucks man. Same thing for me I don't have any credit but I'm gonna ask my mom or uncle to co-sign with me.(if I get accepted) They have great credit.
Good luck bro

A lil update: I just finished the wonderlic test last night and got the email conformation saying I passed. Now I have to play the waiting game.... she said its gonna be up to a month :(. but that's cool I got plenty of time to save up money and learn more in maya and read some animation books I bought.

Thanks a lot to those have gave me advice and help!

On another

mlmiller1983
05-31-2007, 03:45 AM
You won't be seein me. I have no credit, which means no loan. (and no one to co-sign) Now that I know the interest rate, I don't think I could handle it even if I qualified.

I'm was in the same boat so I went another avenue. Since I already went to a local state college I took a loan through the federal stafford loan to pay for Animation Mentor. If your an independent(23+), qaulify (make little $$$$), and fill out the FASFA form you can borrow over $10,000( part subsidizied & unsubsidized) a year for up to 4 years. No credit check needed. The only downside is that you will have to combine Animation Mentor with a regular college education. This basically how I am paying for Animation Mentor.

thedaemon
05-31-2007, 06:13 PM
I should be joining the ranks this summer 07! I can't wait.

Garrimation
05-31-2007, 06:34 PM
HI Everyone,
Am new to the forum and wanted to say hello to everybody. Will be starting this summer with the program and am just estatic about getting back on track, and back to a life long dream.
Anyone from the seattle, washington area?...I'm from the lake stevens area specifically, and am just curious if there is anyone else in the area attending to maybe connect with. If not then no worries, would still like to connect with all of you guys as well.

To the students currently inrolled, how are things going for any of the grads you may have met thus far with success. and is there a site or link that we could go to and see some demos of the alumni besides the AM site.

Nice to meet you all

timeless3d
05-31-2007, 08:00 PM
I should be joining the ranks this summer 07! I can't wait.

oooh! another blender user joins AM! (saw it in your sig) i think i am the only one right now, and i don't use it FOR AM because i was afraid i would get stuck and have no one to help me :-O

but, it will be awesome to have another blender advocate in the community. see you this summer :)

hiasakite
05-31-2007, 10:54 PM
Hi guys,

I'm in as well. Can't wait for it to start! I'll be working full-time next to the study as well, that's bound to become fun... ;)

As for those people who can't afford it but also can't/don't want to work full-time next to it, why not work for the next 3 or so months and save, then pay for, i dont know, half the time and do some part-time job next to it. Then after Term 4 take a break for one teram and work to get the rest together. I read of quite some people who took a break for one or two terms and I'm sure AM will understand.

Apart from plenty of people from the UK, how many Germans are studying at AM right now?

Anyway, see you all in July!

Nitefyre
05-31-2007, 11:06 PM
oooh! another blender user joins AM! (saw it in your sig) i think i am the only one right now, and i don't use it FOR AM because i was afraid i would get stuck and have no one to help me :-O

but, it will be awesome to have another blender advocate in the community. see you this summer :)

Don't worry your not the only one :D, we're just a little low key.

thedaemon
05-31-2007, 11:34 PM
I love blender, but not sure if anyone has made AM rigs for it. I am not learned well enough in rigging in blender to create them I bet. Probably going to use maya, but we shall see ;)

JohnWest
06-02-2007, 02:43 PM
Apart from plenty of people from the UK, how many Germans are studying at AM right now?

13 german students, me included :)
Congrats to all those who will start in a few weeks. You will have an amazing time!!! And congrats to those who will do AM full time, which is really an advantage coz you can invest way more efforts -> you'll get a lot out of it... well it sure depends on personality... ok, let me put it this way: you have more time to polish your stuff, to learn and to soak up things!!! Just keep in mind to force yourself to get off your butt and study the world around you, instead of becoming a freak in front of your machine, hanging around on the campus, haha! Another tip for full timers: Keep your luck secret, the others are super jealous, hehe ;)
Have fun guys...

timeless3d
06-02-2007, 02:45 PM
flash meeting in 28 hours (or so), 12 PM PST Sunday (tomorrow), 3 PM EST

http://fm-openlearn.open.ac.uk/fm/flashmeeting.php?pwd=19aa32-557

we've done this before the start of the past couple terms. good opp to try out your camera, meet other new students and maybe some current students.

hope to see you there!

mattam
06-03-2007, 09:00 PM
Thanks for organizing the chat timeless3d, learned a lot of good info :)

timeless3d
06-03-2007, 09:11 PM
not sure why, but i always seem to start getting a cold right before i do one of these things :/

glad you can make it, i will get back to your pm's as soon as i can

thanks to the current students that could attend, and for the students that are starting, welcome, look forward to seeing more of you inside :)

thedaemon
06-03-2007, 10:40 PM
Hate I missed it. I had a family reunion to attend. blah. Anyways. Hope to meet you guys soon.

tmcasper
06-04-2007, 01:49 PM
I stumbled upon (and subsequently acquired) a great book from Amazon. It's called Animation From Pencils To Pixels: Classical techniques for the digital animator, by Tony White. Not sure if any of you either have it/heard of it. The page can be found HERE (http://www.amazon.com/Animation-Pencils-Pixels-Classical-Techniques/dp/0240806700/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1/104-3388455-2336715?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1180964456&sr=8-1). This book runs the gamut not only on animation and the usual technique stuff, but also the entire industry and offers advice and practical tips on how to produce a project from conception to final render. I've only just begun reading it, but I have skimmed through most of it, chapter by chapter and I'm glad I found this book! Just FYI. See you in July!

-Tom

AjaBogdanoff
06-04-2007, 04:50 PM
Hey cool, congratulations to alumni Emanuele Pavarotti and Dan Segarra for both getting their AM short films on the front page! :D

Bigalpimp
06-04-2007, 05:08 PM
I stumbled upon (and subsequently acquired) a great book from Amazon. It's called Animation From Pencils To Pixels: Classical techniques for the digital animator, by Tony White. Not sure if any of you either have it/heard of it. The page can be found HERE (http://www.amazon.com/Animation-Pencils-Pixels-Classical-Techniques/dp/0240806700/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1/104-3388455-2336715?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1180964456&sr=8-1). This book runs the gamut not only on animation and the usual technique stuff, but also the entire industry and offers advice and practical tips on how to produce a project from conception to final render. I've only just begun reading it, but I have skimmed through most of it, chapter by chapter and I'm glad I found this book! Just FYI. See you in July!

-Tom

Thanks a lot man!

HaroldCarr
06-05-2007, 08:41 AM
so do you guys know of the characetr animation books by a guy named George Maestri?
theres like 4 of them or something.
Right no wi could use all the help i can get with my animations

Garrimation
06-09-2007, 06:21 PM
HI Guys

Just curious if anyone thats attending this summer at AM, has heard anything yet about orientation. I have been learning what i can with maya ple edition as far as the overall program goes, but was wondering from everyone thats already been attending the school how much does the school cover as far as the animation module is concerned for classes. Is it more or less just the basics, or will we go further into the overall module to know the IN's and OUT's of it for the future. Just curious???????

Other than that, how's everyone else doing with getting ready to start?

Talk later :thumbsup: