PDA

View Full Version : www.animationmentor.com


Pages : 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 [40]

BrianHarris
01-13-2010, 03:39 AM
This is part of an email i got


That's good news then. Wonder if it would help Dren's situation. As of now, what I've read, it's pretty hard to get the loan without a co-signer, one with an income that a student generally would not have to begin, seeing how they are probably starting their career by going to AM.

bramvq
01-15-2010, 09:58 AM
Congratulations Summer Student!

You have been accepted into the Summer 2010 Term for the Advanced Studies in Character Animation program at Animation Mentor!

Best...mail...ever!
Yay! :bounce:

phantomworkshop
01-15-2010, 04:53 PM
Congratulations Summer Student!

You have been accepted into the Summer 2010 Term for the Advanced Studies in Character Animation program at Animation Mentor!

Best...mail...ever!
Yay! :bounce:

Congrats! :)

pstrick30
01-15-2010, 07:50 PM
congrats bramvq!!

hey for those that were at the last Q&A (derrick lol). They recommended a wacom and alot of people had a bamboo. Do you know which bamboo version might be best. i was thinking the basic bamboo...??

BrianHarris
01-15-2010, 09:09 PM
congrats bramvq!!

hey for those that were at the last Q&A (derrick lol). They recommended a wacom and alot of people had a bamboo. Do you know which bamboo version might be best. i was thinking the basic bamboo...??

There was a recent update to the Bamboo line so now is a good time. When it comes to a bamboo with a pen, the specs are really the same across the whole line-up (I figure they all have the same level of pressure). Paying more gets you features like both the pen and touch, or a larger bamboo, extra buttons. The new Bamboo line is also widescreen, so the surface area fits the shape of most monitors today.

Looks like the cheap pen model still comes with atleast Corel Painter Essentials 4.0, nice deal. If you upgrade to the Bamboo Fun or Craft model, you also get Adobe Photoshop Elements and some Nikon program, plus a training DVD with 26 lessons.

The "Pen and Touch." the Fun and Craft, also have 4 buttons on the tablet itself, which can be pretty handy.

So overall, the Pen and Touch for $99 looks like a good deal. Double check what functions the buttons can do, plus the multi-touch (like an iphone), can do for quick panning, zooming, rotating, to see if it's worth the extra $30 compared to the normal pen model. Or look into the Craft model if you want the extra software, then the Fun model if you want a larger tablet.

Wacom is pretty much the brand to get, and Bamboo is their main consumer line these days. Anything above, like the Intuos, it gets rather expensive, but nice features. You are looking at $199 for the small size, but the extra feature might be important to some over the same priced Bamboo Fun that's larger.

EDIT: The $69 Bamboo Pen might only have 512 levels of pressure, while the $99 "Pen & Touch" has 1024 levels of pressure, not to much the 4 buttons, touch, etc.If you are only going to sketch, or control a 3D interface, can't imagine that extra pressure being noticeable.

pstrick30
01-15-2010, 11:57 PM
ay brian thanks for all the info!! i appreciate it alot, it was very helpful!! :) thanks again:bowdown:

DreamThinkLive
01-17-2010, 06:19 AM
congrats bramvq!!

hey for those that were at the last Q&A (derrick lol). They recommended a wacom and alot of people had a bamboo. Do you know which bamboo version might be best. i was thinking the basic bamboo...??

Your Funny Paese! :) I use the Intuous4 Small. and its great for me and it also has more features. than the bambo. Also the Intous4 comes with a 5 button mouse just in case you you want a change. And its $199us

phantomworkshop
01-18-2010, 04:09 AM
I'm just curious, any other AMers in the Maya Workshop that don't know who their Mentor is yet or when their QA times/days will be yet?

Just making sure it's not an error on my side...Thanks!

DreamThinkLive
01-18-2010, 04:28 AM
@phantomworkshop.

If, your in the Workshop now. I think we are supposed to find out who our Trainer is next week. As for the Q&A's, if you check your calender, they will show up when it comes closer to the date. But there is a Office Hours Q&A coming up Wed. at 12pm Standard Pacific time. Which is a general Q&A where all of the students can join anc chat about there course work, but thats not a MS specific Q&A. but i think we have one next week. I guess you can email them and ask.

Hope this helped :)

phantomworkshop
01-18-2010, 12:43 PM
@phantomworkshop.

If, your in the Workshop now. I think we are supposed to find out who our Trainer is next week...


Thank you! That definitely helped. I just wanted to make sure I wasn't the only one. I still find it kind of strange how we don't have any lectures/assignments/mandatory QAs till Week 4.. but oh well, I'm excited to start!

DreamThinkLive
01-18-2010, 01:13 PM
The reason they are doing it like it that is because they don't want us to be overwhelmed with everything at once. That's why they are giving us access to each area slowly. Like last week we got access to the News letter from 05 until now.

So its just to give you time to adjust to the site before they start with the GREAT Assignments :applause:

Ibeechu
01-20-2010, 10:20 PM
Man, I am so damn excited about this school.

I found out about it a couple weeks ago and immediately decided it was exactly what I needed. So I applied for the Summer about a week ago. They say it takes up to 3 weeks to see if you were accepted or not, but I'm way too excited to just wait that long without asking you guys: How long does it typically take for them to tell you if you're in? I know that they say 3 weeks, but in my experience estimated timelines like those usually overshoot quite a bit.

Also, it's almost making me nervous. The essay questions were a minimum of 70 words but I really went overboard on some of them, having at least several hundred per question. I doubt that would detract from my application, but how hard is it to get accepted? It seems like it wouldn't be, since they didn't ask for a portfolio or anything. I hope that my overachieving essay questions showed them how freaking jonesing I am about the school, but I'm still nervous. Has anyone here applied but failed to get in (aside from reasons like, you're under 18, or you put in wrong information, or whatever)?

BrianHarris
01-21-2010, 12:25 AM
Man, I am so damn excited about this school.

I found out about it a couple weeks ago and immediately decided it was exactly what I needed. So I applied for the Summer about a week ago. They say it takes up to 3 weeks to see if you were accepted or not, but I'm way too excited to just wait that long without asking you guys: How long does it typically take for them to tell you if you're in? I know that they say 3 weeks, but in my experience estimated timelines like those usually overshoot quite a bit.

Also, it's almost making me nervous. The essay questions were a minimum of 70 words but I really went overboard on some of them, having at least several hundred per question. I doubt that would detract from my application, but how hard is it to get accepted? It seems like it wouldn't be, since they didn't ask for a portfolio or anything. I hope that my overachieving essay questions showed them how freaking jonesing I am about the school, but I'm still nervous. Has anyone here applied but failed to get in (aside from reasons like, you're under 18, or you put in wrong information, or whatever)?

I sent in my application on Dec 12 or13 (on a weekend). Then I did the wonderlic test on Dec. 17th. Could of done it sooner, but I was brushing up my skills with practice tests on the weekend, most of which were a fraction what I practiced for.

Later, on Dec. 22nd I received an advertisement e-mail for the Maya Workshop, Spring, with a link to the sign-up sheet. This was odd to me. I haven't been accepted yet, so should I be signing up for this? I e-mailed Victoria that I was interested in it, but should I wait to sign up. She pretty much said you sign up after being accepted. Bringing up the workshop, she mentioned it might be a good idea based on my application. On my application, while I make it clear I've got some experience in 3D, I technically had to put zero experience for Maya.

They've had issues with students falling behind trying to overcome Maya and not focus on animation as much as they should, one reason the workshop was created, plus something about the grading system being tightened. So it would look favorable to the admissions board if I had her pass along that I plan to take the workshop to be better prepared for the course, or train using Digital-Tutors before then. One note, on my application, I put down I work full-time, so maybe this was more true in my case where I'd have less time to troubleshoot Maya between work and assignments.

So, I asked Victoria to pass this along, but due to the holidays and weekend, the replay came on Dec. 28th, Monday. In that reply, she mentioned she hopes I'll get an answer for my application that week.

With the short answer questions. I figure that's what really helps them decide. With no portfolio asked for, they don't have not much else to gone to fill the limited spots for students. So the answers might reveal how committed you, if this is right for you and your goals, etc. I wrote everyone over the word limit, just happened, but not too much so I wouldn't accidentally cover a later question in an earlier one. Probably a tough one was short term and long term. Not knowing what the industry is like, how most people start off, I wanted to keep realistic, and how AM would get me there, followed by long term, getting to where we all dream to work or move up to higher positions, but also never quitting to improve.

A few days later on Dec. 30th, I got a congratulations e-mail as a Spring Student. Though, if I am to take the workshop that starts the same time as the Spring term, then I'd have to start on the Summer term.

So roughly from Dec. 13th, to Dec. 30th, about 17 days. Though, I sat on the Wonderlic test for 4 days to prepare, then there were the holidays that meant they were closed a bit. Right now I'm waiting for Feb 6th when they'll get new details about the loans.

If you get a no, I hear there's really no answer as to why. Could be anything, not even your fault, but one thing to keep in mind is to not let it discourage you from trying again. Good luck.

JordanBornholdt
01-21-2010, 03:24 AM
Man, I am so damn excited about this school.

I found out about it a couple weeks ago and immediately decided it was exactly what I needed. So I applied for the Summer about a week ago. They say it takes up to 3 weeks to see if you were accepted or not, but I'm way too excited to just wait that long without asking you guys: How long does it typically take for them to tell you if you're in? I know that they say 3 weeks, but in my experience estimated timelines like those usually overshoot quite a bit.

Also, it's almost making me nervous. The essay questions were a minimum of 70 words but I really went overboard on some of them, having at least several hundred per question. I doubt that would detract from my application, but how hard is it to get accepted? It seems like it wouldn't be, since they didn't ask for a portfolio or anything. I hope that my overachieving essay questions showed them how freaking jonesing I am about the school, but I'm still nervous. Has anyone here applied but failed to get in (aside from reasons like, you're under 18, or you put in wrong information, or whatever)?

I applied on December 24th. They were closed all weekend but I received my invitation to do the Wonderlic exam on the 29th of December and I completed it that same day.

I received my letter of acceptance for the summer of 2010 on January 8th. All in all about 15 days but 3 of those days were holidays so they were pretty quick.

:thumbsup:

Ibeechu
01-22-2010, 07:58 PM
Thanks for the answers :D

It's now been 8 days since I took the Wonderlic and, I know it's still early, but my adrenaline rushes every time I get a new email. Ughhhhh, AM, why do you make me wait RAGGLE FRAGGLE

I'm considering emailing Victoria but I have no idea what I'd say. "Hi, I applied to AM a little over a week ago. Can you look at my application right away, because I don't feel like waiting. Thanks!"

pstrick30
01-22-2010, 10:04 PM
hah, hang in there Ibeechu!! ;)

they'll get back to you soon enough. It took me about two weeks approximately to get my email of acceptance:argh: -it was torture! lol

JordanBornholdt
01-22-2010, 10:04 PM
Thanks for the answers :D

It's now been 8 days since I took the Wonderlic and, I know it's still early, but my adrenaline rushes every time I get a new email. Ughhhhh, AM, why do you make me wait RAGGLE FRAGGLE

I'm considering emailing Victoria but I have no idea what I'd say. "Hi, I applied to AM a little over a week ago. Can you look at my application right away, because I don't feel like waiting. Thanks!"

I know the feeling, just be patient. Don't forget the Winter term just started. I imagine the first month of each term must be the busiest for them since they have to deal with so many new students.

Ibeechu
01-22-2010, 10:47 PM
Oh, man, I think I just died. 2 minutes ago:

Congratulations Summer Student!

You have been accepted into the Summer 2010 Term for the Advanced Studies in Character Animation program at Animation Mentor!
:buttrock: :buttrock: :buttrock:

OK, my day's "good" level just officially went to 11.

JordanBornholdt
01-23-2010, 03:20 AM
Congrats Ibeechu! Now we just have to find a way to pass the time until the Summer term.

:beer:

pstrick30
01-23-2010, 07:08 AM
woo hoo! congrats ibeechu! lol, yeah jordan's right. you thought that was hard waiting a week or two for an answer...your patience is really put to the test now when you have to wait till the summer!! hahah good luck to the both of you:)

Ibeechu
01-23-2010, 02:57 PM
Thanks :P

But, really, as long as I know I'm in, waiting won't be a problem. It was just waiting to see if I was accepted or rejected, and plus, I didn't know exactly WHEN that would happen. But now I know I'm in, and I know when I start, so I'm all good :D

The trouble now is taking these college classes I have exactly 0 use for. My parents made me take 12 credit hours in order to keep my student loan but the loan is only good for schools here in Michigan anyway, so I don't see what the point is now. :/

Ibeechu
01-25-2010, 07:52 PM
Now I have another question. The acceptance email said that "Information on tuition and payment assistance will be sent out at a later date. Please feel free to contact us with any questions you may have." So I did, and I asked if they had an estimation on when it would be. I was reading these recent pages in the thread and saw some people having trouble with getting a student loan. So I'd like to apply for it as soon as I can so I have enough time to work out any problems before the summer term starts. I haven't heard back yet.

How did you guys who are already enrolled go through the loan process? How long did it take them to send you information about it? I'm afraid to apply for a loan directly through SallieMae until I hear back from AM because their student loan page says "Note: Prospective applicants must be accepted into the AnimationMentor.com program prior to beginning the student loan process". That makes me feel like if I don't apply for the loan through AM, something bad will happen. I wish it were clearer exactly what I'm supposed to do now. It's painful not knowing what the next step is.

EDIT: Got an email back from the loans department saying the loan applications won't be open for Summer students until April 1st because they can't process them more than 90 days in advance.

BrianHarris
01-27-2010, 05:56 AM
EDIT: Got an email back from the loans department saying the loan applications won't be open for Summer students until April 1st because they can't process them more than 90 days in advance.

That's annoying. It would be more practical if they could do some kind of pre-approval thing right away. If the worst happens, like being rejected or the loan seems unreasonable, you wouldn't have wasted months sitting around that could of been used to find an alternative.

So April 1st they said. That means 90 days from when the Summer term starts, but is the payment due 30 days before that? So really, that gives only a 60 day window to figure this all out.

I wonder, if I want to do the Spring Maya Workshop, and start on the Summer Term, then that means I'd be starting the Workshop before I can even start the loan process for the Summer Term (a few days later)? And what about the Workshop sign-up e-mail that mentions pending loan process?

Right now, even for Spring, it won't be until Feb 6th to start since AM is waiting to find out what changes have been made to the loan product. Wish I got more info from the e-mail beyond that, just to have a better perspective to what to expect, but I guess anything they say could be outdated soon. I just feel a bit in the dark.

HenryA
02-01-2010, 06:10 PM
I’m sorry for the delay but the loan changes seem to be an improvement on the old loan, so I really think it may be in your best interest to wait and apply on the 8th once we have discussed your situation. Because the loan is all done online, I think we should be able to get your loan completed before the payment deadline."

this is what i got in the email

BrianHarris
02-05-2010, 04:16 AM
I'll be talking on the phone with Rosie (if I recall the name right) for pre-loan counciling this Monday (8th). I mentioned I'd like to start Summer instead of Spring, to do the workshop first. So I brought up the concern about it being too early to apply for the loan for the Summer term. Luckily with the new loan changes, you can now apply 180 days in advance now instead of 90.

Still don't know much beyond that right now.

Ibeechu
02-05-2010, 02:32 PM
I decided it would be better for my schedule to try to get into the Spring term so, very luckily, I asked them if I could switch from Summer to Spring and they said I could. So I now have about a month to get the loan. I emailed Rosie about it earlier and hopefully, fingers crossed, stroke your rabbit's foot, eat some Lucky Charms, I'll be able to get it in time and whatever these new loan changes are will help me to do that.

BrianHarris
02-05-2010, 05:24 PM
When I was still set for Spring, Rosie said in a e-mail Monday that I should be able to complete the loan before payment deadline if I applied on the 8th. So try to get a hold of her today or on Monday (8th) for counciling to apply right away just to be sure.

Ibeechu
02-05-2010, 05:36 PM
Well my biggest worry is that my parents' credit will be too bad to get the loan. If my mom's doesn't work, I'll try my dad's. If his doesn't work, I could ask my brother. Hopefully this will all work out, though.

BrianHarris
02-08-2010, 06:46 PM
Ok, just got off the phone with Rosie from loans.

I'm not sure this isn't taboo to post here, since it's generally hard to find any info on the AM loans, but here's some details about the new loan, and how I might proceed. Plus these notes will help me remember what I just discussed :)

NOTE: If you have any concerns, questions on the loan, please contact Rosie and don't make any decisions based off what I list. She was very friendly and can help diagnose your situation.

Key points:

Loan length: The new loan is for 10 years, no longer 15 years. So this can make the payment higher than before, but my save you money.

Interest only: It seems it's now standard to have interest only payments during school. You can still make extra payments. Just make sure to put in a note that any extra payment goes to the principle, otherwise they may count it towards the next month payment. Interest only payments may range from $90-$180 a month.

180 days: Again, now you can apply 180 days in advance, no longer the short 90 days.

Income to loan ratio: If I recall right, some areas at AM it was said your income needs to be 3 times the amount of the loan. When I brought this up, the new loan requires 2.5 the amount of the loan.

Interest rate: I've done very few loans, so I don't know exactly how points work, APR, ect. The loan interest rate is not based on Prime Rate, but on the Libor Rate, which is 5 1/2 percent. From there, points are added based on your application. Unfortunately, these are considered high-risk loans, being there is no collateral, those points are probably impossible to avoid. Meaning, you may be looking at 8.9-15% depending on your situation.

Borrow for extra expenses: There's an interesting way this works. The way the loan is paid is in at least 3 payments to animation mentor over time. Say if you applied for an extra $1,500, then what would happen is that too would be split over those 3 payments. When AM receives the payment, they'll send you the difference, so that $1,500 is dispersed at $500 at a time. If you end up not needed the money, just put in back into the loan as an extra principle payment.

My plan with a down-payment to reduce the loan total: I'd rather not apply for a loan for the full amount, especially due to that 2.5 times income requirement. So I figure I'd pay a little upfront. Here's what I was told I could do, which I think is a good plan so I didn't go into any other options. What I could do is just pay for the first class at the start of the Summer term, then later as the Fall term approaches, apply for the loan totaling the remainder of the tuition. I swear she mentioned after that first payment, the loan would be $14,750. So that means my total is still as if I paid in full, not that higher amount if you did the installments for the whole school.

Concern with that plan: Now, I did bring up a concern about waiting to apply for the loan. What if after I've paid for Class 1, then can't continue if I have trouble with the loan? At that point we went over my financial situation. Overall I'm in a good spot, would make it under the 2.5 times amount, I have good credit, little debt, which I plan lower or wipe clean that could improve my credit by then, etc. It was still suggested I have a co-signer lined up, to tell them it's not likely, but just in case.

Extra note on Maya Workshop: I plan to do this, and pay the $495. One concern was if my High School diploma needed to be submitted to start the workshop. I've misplaced mine and need to request a new copy. So if you are fumbling around like me, you don't need it to start the workshop.

HenryA
02-09-2010, 05:29 AM
im ready to apply to the loan tomoro , quick question is the sallie mae the only way of getting a loan through animation mentor? or are they promoting that loan service because of the convenience and the great offers they have? what are some of the other ways of getting the loan

BrianHarris
02-09-2010, 06:23 AM
I figure loans AM advertises are ones they have carefully worked out with the loan provider to make it easier for students to apply. There's probably nothing stopping you from checking out local credit unions and banks, except AM will be new to them and I'm not sure what type of loan services they'd have to fit something as large of a tuition as AM.

I hardly have any experience with loans or student loans. But I figure this type of loan is difficult, since you can't get a regular student loan, and this not like a loan for a car that could be used as collateral. it's just as much money as a car, but nothing to physical to show for it, so your financial situation needs to be great for them to do a high risk loan. Looking at a local school credit union offers for loans, I kept seeing services for like toys, such as boats, rvs, etc, but nothing that was like a career loan with a longer payment plan. Try to look for career development loans.

Ibeechu
02-09-2010, 08:32 PM
Henry, I spoke with Rosie earlier and, as far as I know, Sallie Mae is the only loan they offer. Though you certainly don't have to use it. The Sallie Mae loan, she said, requires at least a FICO score of 720, which we just will not be able to do. So I'm looking into getting a loan through a credit union around here. They also offer 3 payment plans. One where you pay all at once, one where you pay around 3000 every 3 months, and one where you pay about 1000 per month. As long as you're able to get the money, it doesn't matter which loan you get (or if you even get a loan. My parents and I will probably have to pay quite a bit out of pocket).

BrianHarris
02-09-2010, 09:42 PM
I wonder, if you apply for a loan that doesn't pay in full, say it's split into 3 payments to you or the school, but are you charged interest on the full amount. Seems odd if you start paying interest on the full amount even though they've only given a 3rd or less in the beginning.

HenryA
02-10-2010, 07:27 AM
Henry, I spoke with Rosie earlier and, as far as I know, Sallie Mae is the only loan they offer. Though you certainly don't have to use it. The Sallie Mae loan, she said, requires at least a FICO score of 720, which we just will not be able to do. So I'm looking into getting a loan through a credit union around here. They also offer 3 payment plans. One where you pay all at once, one where you pay around 3000 every 3 months, and one where you pay about 1000 per month. As long as you're able to get the money, it doesn't matter which loan you get (or if you even get a loan. My parents and I will probably have to pay quite a bit out of pocket).

how do i look into credit unions also? i have really no experience or knowledge about them , im going to give myself a few days to find a co-signer maybe a distant relative because i can make monthly payments ...i just need a co-signer with credit..

fig
02-19-2010, 08:34 PM
So Maya Springboard workshop people, what are your thoughts on the course so far? It's looking like I'll be taking that starting in April if all goes well.

DreamThinkLive
02-19-2010, 10:10 PM
Hey Fig,

I must say im loving it! I dont think i could have gone into class 1 without the training im getting at the moment. I would have been lost seeing i didnt have any maya training at all. But they trainer i have it great.

BrianHarris
02-20-2010, 03:54 AM
Just finished my registration for the workshop. Can't wait to start. I've seen some student projects for the workshop online, all seem simple enough. As in you are still able to focus on learning the program without being given something too complicated on the animation side.

DreamThinkLive, with the two days you chose, for the live Q&A, what were the times they eventually picked out? Don't know what time difference there is from where you are and California.

DreamThinkLive
02-20-2010, 05:20 AM
Hey brian,

I chose Tuesday and Thursday. and My time Is 7:00pm Local and 4pm Animation Mentor's Time each afternoon.

But they try to keep the people who are roughly in the same time zone together if they can.

fig
02-22-2010, 05:05 AM
Hey Fig,

I must say im loving it! I dont think i could have gone into class 1 without the training im getting at the moment. I would have been lost seeing i didnt have any maya training at all. But they trainer i have it great.

Good to know, thanks man. Looking like I'm going to start the workshop at the end of March then Class 1 in July. Looks like I'll see you there Brian :)

DerDude
02-25-2010, 12:46 PM
Hey Derrick, i´ve seen you yesterday ^^

DreamThinkLive
02-25-2010, 12:59 PM
Hey DerDude,

You seen me? where?

Hey Derrek, i´ve seen you yesterday ^^

DerDude
02-25-2010, 03:13 PM
at the coffee-talk with victoria

DreamThinkLive
02-25-2010, 03:19 PM
ohok, are you currently attending AM? or will be starting in the spring Term on the March 26?

DerDude
02-25-2010, 03:32 PM
starting in the spring Term on the March 26

DreamThinkLive
02-25-2010, 03:34 PM
ohok, Well ill look out for ya man :) But so far i love it at AM :) And i know your gonna like it once you in as well.

DerDude
02-25-2010, 07:05 PM
i´ll already started loving AM ;)

fig
02-25-2010, 08:06 PM
How was the Coffee Talk? I was planning to participate till I saw the "doesn't work on a Mac" note, going to download and watch.

DerDude
02-26-2010, 10:44 AM
Hey Fig,
it was nice, general questions has been answered :) Victoria is very energetic ^^

willi4m
02-26-2010, 12:40 PM
Hi guys,
Nice to meet you all and i will be starting in the spring term :).you guys is in the spring term as well?

fig
02-26-2010, 10:17 PM
Good to know, thanks, she seems really helpful.

And I'll be taking the Maya Jumpstart course in the Spring then starting the full AM program this summer.

JordanBornholdt
02-27-2010, 03:01 AM
Hey Guys,

I've been gearing up for the summer term (very excited!) and I just got the book How to Cheat at Maya 2010 by Eric Luhta. He is an Animation Mentor grad that has worked on some pretty cool films.

It's a great book for beginner/intermediate level aspiring animators and I recommend it for those of you that are about to start in the spring and summer. It's cheap too - $30.

Check it out here
How to Cheat at Maya 2010 (http://www.amazon.com/How-Cheat-Maya-2010-Techniques/dp/0240811887)

Ibeechu
02-28-2010, 01:29 AM
RE: How to Cheat in Maya 2010

I was worried, going into AM, that, even though I have a solid background in Maya, that it'd be difficult for me to master the animation tools and workflow quick in enough in order to keep up. I thought that the video lectures would cover those sorts of things, showing you stuff like how the graph editor works (from what people have said about the Maya Springboard, it sounded like ti was REALLY basic. Like, for people who have never even touched a 3D package before. I wasn't sure it covered too much about things like the graph editor). But, at the recent Coffee Talk with Victoria, she hinted that the lectures don't have anything in them about the technical aspects. This would have really worried me had I not already bought How to Cheat in Maya 2010 a few days before.

Honestly, my biggest fear going into AM was that I'd get bogged down in the technical aspects and that would hinder my work. If you feel like me, stop reading this immediately and buy the book, seriously. It's almost like it was written as a primer for AM, at least that's how I feel. ANd, according to the reviews, it also has a lot of little nuggets of information that even advanced users wouldn't have known about. I'm really, really glad I didn't put off buying it.

Romanthony
02-28-2010, 05:31 AM
Ibeechu, I'm a current student there, and while they don't cover technical aspects in the lectures, they do have specifically tailored technical Maya tutorials in the training section (all about the graph editor and anything else you'll be required to handle for the assignments). Trust me, you have nothing to worry about. I wish I didn't worry so much about that aspect before I got in. They've got you covered.

BrianHarris
02-28-2010, 05:37 AM
In the sign-up page for the Workshop, they do say in the last eight weeks there's graph editor techniques. Still, I have a gift card at Amazon, so I think I'll check out that Maya book to have some good reference at hand. Also, the last 8 weeks they have two Q&As a week with your mentor, so I hope that means if you are having trouble with a Maya feature, you can get help there too.

But here's a list I pulled from the sign-up page:

Four weeks focusing on learning your way around the Animation Mentor online campus tools with a focus on:



Live Q&A (video conferencing) tools
Giving and receiving feedback
Important time management techniques to maximize your effectiveness
Important community etiquette: dos and don’ts
Techniques for how to get the most out of your experience
Eight weeks focusing on dedicated Maya training including:


Important and efficient workflow habits
Hierarchy basics and how to set them up
Basic modeling, shading and lighting concepts that all animators need to know
File referencing
Animation tools and an introduction to important animation concepts
Graph editor techniques, IK/FK, timeline editing, constraints and more
Important tips on how to work in the Animation Mentor “production” style using the tools and skills the professionals use within the animation industry

stjons
02-28-2010, 12:23 PM
Hey, I've been in two minds for a while now about weather or not to apply to AM. My other option is to try get onto a masters degree at uni in the uk, which is a lot cheaper and teaches you to be an all rounder and not just an animator.

I really want to animate but my main concern is the level of excellence coming out of AM. I've read that certain people who do the course have worked in the industry for years, and thats making me think I wont be able to keep up.

Has anyone else had these concerns and then been proven wrong?

Cheers
Jonny

Ibeechu
02-28-2010, 04:57 PM
@Romanthony: Thanks a lot; that's really reassuring!

@stjons: I've talked to a few people in the industry who went to AM either as a refresher course, or whatever. They've all said (along with people here) that it's the BEST place to learn character animation for this price range. A few have even said so regardless of price. Really, if you have the money, the time, and the drive, go for AM. Big studios will not hire one animator over another just because he knows how to rig. They have riggers for that. They will, in every case, hire the best animator. Period. Small studios, maybe. But still, if you spread yourself too thin, trying to become a jack of all trades, you'll be an expert at none.

If you want to animate, do it, and focus everything you have on it. You can't expect to get a job at a big studio (or even a medium, like, game company) if you go into this half-assedly. And you CERTAINLY can't expect to graduate from AM if you go in half-assedly. Here's a great, great blog post form Aaron Hartline about the importance of drive: http://www.animationtipsandtricks.com/2010/02/its-all-about-drive-if-you-really-want.html

If you're passionate about animation and you give AM everything you've got, there's no reason you'll fail.

micgaz
03-02-2010, 05:24 PM
Hi Jonny,

yeah, I had those concerns too.
I am currently in class 5 at AM, and prior to starting there I had no professional experience as an animator, no experience at all actually, apart from a couple of months trying to get up to speed on my own.
In every class I have been in, I have worked alongside people who are pros already, I do understand your concerns. Thing is, even starting from where I did, I have managed to keep my head above water, even surprised myself! :)
I am not going to lie to you, I did feel daunted, particularly in class 1 before I really found my feet... It will be a lot of work.
But here is the thing... it is an absolute privilige to be studying with these guys, and you will learn almost as much from seeing how they tackle things as everything else here. We each learn at our own pace, and we are not in competition with each other. We are all here to make the best that we can of ourselves, and its great to be able to get advice from a pro peer, as well as a pro mentor.

Good luck with your decision mate. AM is the best choice I have made for a long time.

stjons
03-02-2010, 05:43 PM
Thanks for the replies, they have been really good to read.
I would love to goto AM as character animation is what I want to do. I just need to have a serious think about the money. Also look into what loans are available over here in the uk.

I'm now graduating with a degree in animation so I already have a fair ammount of debt to my name. Its just a shame I didn't look to AM before I started my degree

Cheers
Jonny

BrianHarris
03-04-2010, 05:13 AM
14 days or so until workshop orientation. Which I hear is when you get your login to the campus and a ton of information. Such as how to purchase Maya, which I've been worried about so close to the start. I guess there's plenty of time since the first 4 weeks are about the campus and not Maya. I'll see you there Fig :-)

I can't wait for it to all start, going to be so exciting. Just checking out 11secondclub I get so amped up viewing all the entries, thinking about what I would of done, listening to the new clips and imagining the possibilities. Not sure if I'd be creative to come up with some twist or joke in the scene, but I love trying to picture what the characters would do. The new sound clip for march had me cracking up: http://www.11secondclub.com/competitions/march10/

fig
03-09-2010, 08:47 PM
Well, I'm officially signed up for the Maya Jumpstart starting at the end of the month. I've already talked to DreamThinkLive a bit, how are the rest of y'all liking it so far?

MoisesBonilla
03-10-2010, 04:50 PM
Hi, everyone my name is Moises. I'm just waiting for orientation so we can get our education started at AM. Does anyone have any recommendations for a web cam for Macs. (I heard that a vision pro is a good one) Well, I can't wait to start and meet all you spring termers.

andyfactor
03-11-2010, 12:47 AM
I am a prospective student from Sydney, Australia and have been following the AM website and blogs for about 3 years now - tossing up the decision whether I should apply or not. I have already graduated from college with a BA in Creative Technology in Sydney but was disappointed with how broad and unfocused the course was and how little time it spent on my passion: character animation. I am also currently paying off a hefty student loan as a result of this course.

Since completing that degree I have found it difficult to land a job here in Australia as an animator. I think this is because (as well as the global financial crisis) the course I attended did not provide me with the specific and focused animation skills really required to work professionally as an animator. Because of this I have been working other jobs while doing personal animation excersises and working on a short animated film.

After recently coming back to the AM website and going through all the material (again!) I have decided that studying with AM is the one and only path I wish to take and I am extremely excited about my future studies in the program.

I just wanted to get some perspective from any Australian students/alumni that may read this. There are a few questions I would like to ask:

1. With no financial institution support provided for Australian students of the AM program, how did you go about paying the course fees?
2. Have Australian students found much success regarding employment rates after finishing the course?

I'd basically just like to hear the perspective of an Australian student/alumni, so that I know I am making informed decisions. Any information you guys can provide is so appreciated.

Cheers,
Dan.

DreamThinkLive
03-21-2010, 06:34 PM
Hi, everyone my name is Moises. I'm just waiting for orientation so we can get our education started at AM. Does anyone have any recommendations for a web cam for Macs. (I heard that a vision pro is a good one) Well, I can't wait to start and meet all you spring termers.

The web Cam on your mac works just fine.

MoisesBonilla
03-22-2010, 12:32 AM
Thanks Derrick, are you using a MacBook Pro, because I was looking to get one to do the Live Q & As, maybe on the go. Thanks for the response.

DreamThinkLive
03-22-2010, 01:21 AM
No Problem, Yes i am using a MBP and i have used it in coffe shops and at home and at family homes. So the built in Cam on the macs are fine. They even tell u that you dont need to buy a cam if your computer already has one.

But i guess if you would like to buy other thats fine as well.

Thanks Derrick, are you using a MacBook Pro, because I was looking to get one to do the Live Q & As, maybe on the go. Thanks for the response.

Polg
03-26-2010, 08:02 PM
Hi guys!
I'm considering to sign up to this amazing school on next year, but I have two things which I'm worry about:
1. I don't know maya at all , I'm working on 3ds max like 7 years already.
2. My sketches are horrible
Any sugestions about prepare path, books for read, before I'm gonna sing up?

Thanks !

hiasakite
03-26-2010, 08:37 PM
@Polg

1. no problem. You can use whatever you want really, there are usually rigs for most major apps around in the AM forums. However you obviously won't get support and can use the specific tools AM provides. Otherwise it really doesn't matter, you only ever deliver playblasts, where they came from nobody cares.
That said, for what you need to do (basically just setting keyframes and working on curves) you should be able to get familiar with within a few days tops, if you're familiar with max.

2. no problem again. they are not about looking good, they are just about conveying an idea and helping you block out animations. stick figures are enough.

books: get the Animator's Survival Kit. a must have. if you find it cheap, get the Disney Illusion of Life book, but imho that's no must have.

DreamThinkLive
03-26-2010, 08:48 PM
Hey Polg,

let me try to answer your 2 questions. Very simple answers :)

For your question about Maya. They have a Maya Springboard class you can take where they teach you to use Maya. I have just completed that course and going on to class 1. I dont think i would be able to concentrate on animation in class 1 and on if i had to worry about learning Maya and animation at the same time. So i would advise you to take that because it would make you time much easier at AM onwards.

As for sketching, i can't draw to save my life :) But right now alot of the great CG animators can't draw well. But they can draw very good stick figures.Only thing you have to do is make sure when you sketch you can tell exactly what your trying to convey in your drawing, with strong poses. ]

But! :) I'm just learning animation my self so they will ease your mind with all that when you do decide to start :) the school is an amazing place and all the people there and welcoming and always willing to help.

As for books The Illusion of Life is a great book, The Animators Survival Guide. There is a new one called How to cheat in Maya and it was done by a past AM Alumni called Eric Luhta and Character Crash Course is other great one i can go on but you can scan this Am Forum and there will be also of suggestions :)

Hope this helps. Sorry of there is any typos. Im at work and i was rushing to answer your questions. If you dont understand anything Please free to ask. And i hope you decide to attend AM :)
Hi guys!
I'm considering to sign up to this amazing school on next year, but I have two things which I'm worry about:
1. I don't know maya at all , I'm working on 3ds max like 7 years already.
2. My sketches are horrible
Any sugestions about prepare path, books for read, before I'm gonna sing up?

Thanks !

DreamThinkLive
03-27-2010, 02:01 AM
Hey Andy,

What i can do for you is Copy you question and post it in the AM forums and see what your fellow aussies says. Is that ok with you?



I am a prospective student from Sydney, Australia and have been following the AM website and blogs for about 3 years now - tossing up the decision whether I should apply or not. I have already graduated from college with a BA in Creative Technology in Sydney but was disappointed with how broad and unfocused the course was and how little time it spent on my passion: character animation. I am also currently paying off a hefty student loan as a result of this course.

Since completing that degree I have found it difficult to land a job here in Australia as an animator. I think this is because (as well as the global financial crisis) the course I attended did not provide me with the specific and focused animation skills really required to work professionally as an animator. Because of this I have been working other jobs while doing personal animation excersises and working on a short animated film.

After recently coming back to the AM website and going through all the material (again!) I have decided that studying with AM is the one and only path I wish to take and I am extremely excited about my future studies in the program.

I just wanted to get some perspective from any Australian students/alumni that may read this. There are a few questions I would like to ask:

1. With no financial institution support provided for Australian students of the AM program, how did you go about paying the course fees?
2. Have Australian students found much success regarding employment rates after finishing the course?

I'd basically just like to hear the perspective of an Australian student/alumni, so that I know I am making informed decisions. Any information you guys can provide is so appreciated.

Cheers,
Dan.

andyfactor
03-28-2010, 12:37 AM
dude that would be amazing!

much appreciated.

andyfactor
03-28-2010, 12:46 AM
Hey Andy,

What i can do for you is Copy you question and post it in the AM forums and see what your fellow aussies says. Is that ok with you?

that would be massively appreciated. still haven't been able to get an aussie perspective.

cheers man.

DreamThinkLive
03-28-2010, 03:02 AM
your welcome. Will do on monday when the site opens back up for the new term.

that would be massively appreciated. still haven't been able to get an aussie perspective.

cheers man.

DreamThinkLive
03-30-2010, 02:50 PM
Hey Andy,

I have posted your question. Just waiting on replies. As soon as i get some ill put them together and post them here or send you a Message.

dude that would be amazing!

much appreciated.

andyfactor
03-30-2010, 10:32 PM
i owe you one! :beer:

DreamThinkLive
03-31-2010, 05:42 AM
Hey Andy,

Here is an answer from one person so far. See below...

Hey Derrick



I can't answer part 2 yet, but for the first question: i funded it by working fulltime from terms 1-4, took an LOA to catch up on finance too. for class 5 to 6 i'm not working at all, just doing AM full time and living an extremely frugal lifestyle. I also sold off most of my worldy possessions, but it was always my plan due to moving overseas.

Hope your friend comes to an informed decision! Best of luck to him.



-i


Here is other one:

I paid for the course by living at home and working part time. I pretty much spent every dollar I earned on AM til it was paid for but only because my parents where nice enough to feed me in the meantime :PI found it easy to get my first job but then again I was the only AM graduate on the continent looking for one at that time. Things are tougher now but I've managed to be employed most of the three years since I graduated but I definatly owe that to the skills I picked up here. Although I should say I've spent about half my time working OS and thats currently what I'm doing because I couldnt get a job in Australia.

Hope that helps : )

Other:

My answer to part one is that I already had the money sitting in the bank from my previous 10 or so years of employment. The answer to part two is that I'm still looking for work. I would probably have more luck getting a job if I were able to move away from Melbourne, but Melbourne is where I want to be. I've been looking for a full-time job since the start of February, but I'm also targeting roles that are 3D but not necessarily animation related.

I agree that the aftermath of the Global Financial Crisis and the current high value of the Australian dollar compared to the US dollar is putting a dent in local companies ability to gain contracts and hire people.


_____________________________________________________

Hope this helps but i will still post info once people comment.

HamsaPaksham
04-08-2010, 08:09 PM
Congratulations Summer Student!



You have been accepted into the Summer 2010 Term for the Advanced Studies in Character Animation program at Animation Mentor!

JordanBornholdt
04-09-2010, 12:23 AM
Congrats Hamsa! Only 2 and a half months to go till class 1! :bounce:

MoisesBonilla
04-09-2010, 05:59 AM
Well, Luke and Jordan all you have to do now, is prepare yourself for the experience of a lifetime. You can do this by sketching people in parks, malls or airports, practicing using Maya, reading up on animation ( Chapter 3 in the Illusion of Life and the Animators Survival Kit) and working yourself up in a frenzy until you start. I'm in class 1 and so far it is as great as everyone says and then some. See you guys on the other side.

Cheers

Moises

fig
04-09-2010, 03:52 PM
Good stuff guys, I'm in the Maya Springboard class now and will be starting Class 1 in the Summer term as well.

micgaz
04-09-2010, 06:33 PM
Hey Chris,

how's it going then man? Settling in ok? Having fun?

fig
04-09-2010, 08:38 PM
Hey Michael, doing good but nothing too exciting yet, it's another week till we start actually doing Maya stuff. For now it's browsing the message boards and waiting impatiently :)

JulesFitz
04-12-2010, 06:43 PM
Got accepted last week to be in the Summer 2010 class. It will be my pleasure to work with all of you guys in the near future. Very excited!

timbernature
04-16-2010, 12:19 PM
Hi people! I'm interested in animation and considering applying for animation mentor, but I'm not sure about the prospect of a certificate from AM here in Singapore.

A little on my situation. I just finished a 1-year-long Higher Diploma in the gaming field, but I do not find that it has benefited me much, and therefore I'm looking for alternatives to continue my studies, preferably animation-related. Bachelor Degree courses are rare in the animation field, so I'm looking to see if there is a reliable diploma course for me instead.

So, if I have no other certificates related to Animation except for this one from AM. How will my career path looks, both locally (Singapore) and overseas? I know that AM doesn't teach you how to draw, and my drawing is no where near professional standards, will this affect my career as an animator in the future?

On a side note, I don't mind working in other countries like, maybe, USA if the job prospect is good (just that I have no idea how to even apply for overseas job, but this should come later).

Thanks in advance for any advices.

JulesFitz
04-16-2010, 04:00 PM
Hey Timber, I am not sure about the circumstances of visual effects and animation in singapore, are there alot of studios? However I have been working in the industry, here in the US, for a couple years now. All I have to say is it doesn't matter if you have a degree or not, its all about your demo reel. If you can show that you are capable of making quality work whether it be modeling, texturing, lighting, compositing, or animation then it doesn't matter if you have a diploma. Now I am taking animation mentor because I have always been into character animation however the school I went to didn't really teach animation very well and the class was 3 months long (not really long enough). By the way I went to school at Digital Animation and Visual Effects, in Florida. Fantastic school, a year long, pretty much a jump start to get your career going in visual effects. Now what you need to decide is whether you want to do strictly character animation or if you want an overall knowledge of everything. If you want to do strictly character animation then I would say go for Animation Mentor.... well worth it if you ask me.... however if you want to have an overall knowledge of all aspects of visual effects then I would suggest finding another school. There a lot of school in the U.S however I am not sure about Singapore. Also if you cant draw don't worry about it, yes it is a useful skill to have but its not necessary. Now that I am done rambling I hope that helped answer all your questions.... :)

timbernature
04-16-2010, 04:37 PM
Thanks for the quick reply Jules!

Well, I find myself getting amazed over those small thoughtful animation done to characters in a CG movie like the recent "How to train your dragon". Up till now, I've only been pondering whether I want to specialize in modeling or animation, not so much into what kind of animation. However, seeing that what amaze me is the way characters are brought to life through many detailed animation would put in the spot for character animation.

Here in Singapore, there are a few relatively more well-known schools like Egg Story, 3D Sense, Digipen, etc. But their fees is really high, and they have foundations in drawing. I'm considering Animation Mentor because it focus purely on animation alone for the good 18 months. If drawing will not affect my career so much in the future, then it brings me one step closer to applying to AM.

One more question, how often are the lessons conducted? From looking at their website and PDF file, I concluded that once a week, you have a Q&A session with the mentor, you submit assignment, and get opinions from the mentor, all on weekly basis. Does that mean that lesson videos are to be viewed on your free time? Will there be a lot of free time or will the classes occupy most of the time already because there is just so much content to pick up?

I'm asking because I'm thinking of getting a side job (and most likely unrelated to animation) to see me through those 18 months as well as hopefully save up some money so I can clear my study debt more easily later on.

MaxMarkus
04-16-2010, 09:12 PM
Hi peeps! Just signed up here.

I'm starting AM this summer :D Can't wait :D It looks SOOOO awesome!

But... simple question. At the school i'm currently inn, i'm using 3ds max.
And i know my way around max pretty well know. But... AM is using maya. So i'll have to do a transition. Is this an easy transition or...?
I've read people say you basicly only need to know fcurve and animation tools. And i really don't see the reason to pay 425 dollars for the maya workshop and use 3 months extra on that. Any1 here who has done the transition without doing the workshop?
I have a maya beginners book... shouldn't that be enough?

thnx :D

rekaaradi
04-17-2010, 03:33 PM
I think the "How to cheat in Maya" book by Eric Luhta would be enough to learn the animation tools.

JordanBornholdt
04-17-2010, 07:46 PM
Hi peeps! Just signed up here.

I'm starting AM this summer :D Can't wait :D It looks SOOOO awesome!

But... simple question. At the school i'm currently inn, i'm using 3ds max.
And i know my way around max pretty well know. But... AM is using maya. So i'll have to do a transition. Is this an easy transition or...?
I've read people say you basicly only need to know fcurve and animation tools. And i really don't see the reason to pay 425 dollars for the maya workshop and use 3 months extra on that. Any1 here who has done the transition without doing the workshop?
I have a maya beginners book... shouldn't that be enough?

thnx :D

Hey Max,

Download the free trial of Maya 2010 (you could get the trial of Maya 2011 but they just changed the interface and it will not match any books or tutorials you find) Spend some time getting to know the program, if you have experience with a 3D program already then it won't overwhelm you at all.

And the poster above me says to get "How to Cheat at Maya 2010". I agree you should get it, it's a great book only costs like $30 and was written by an AM grad. The beginner sections will be all you need to transition into the AM program.

MaxMarkus
04-18-2010, 10:58 AM
Ok. thnx for alot for the tips. I think i will buy that book then. :D :applause:

And to everybodu else who is starting AM this summer. June 28th. Looking forward to seeing you there :D

My heart is racing, i'm so freakin excited about this : :applause:

vinodh89
04-28-2010, 02:45 PM
Submitted the application for Summer. Gave the Wonderlic test that was emailed the very next day.

I kept my essays really short, exactly to the minimum of 70 words ! I hope I wrote it good. Now I've to be worrying for the next couple of weeks and is gonna be a torture !

olbc
05-04-2010, 01:24 PM
Not sure if this has been asked already, but can I combine classes at AM and a full-time job? Or the classes designed in a way that people are dedicated to the program 100%?

mirkoj
05-04-2010, 02:11 PM
Well up to class 3 it is fairly easy to balance work and AM. Depends of how much are you into animation already and how much time do you need to pick up everything.
But from class 4 and especially 5 and 6 it is really hard and a lot mroe time is needed once when you get into finer polishing.
If you have possibility to dedicate yourself fully to AM, or at least half of the week for AM only I would highly suggest it. In my last two classes I had only 2-4hours per week for AM and my Am work suffered a LOT!
I hope that this helps you.
In any case AM is fantastic experience!

olbc
05-04-2010, 02:43 PM
Thanks Mirkoj. If it's tough to combine, it may not be a place for me.

KangtheMad
05-06-2010, 01:36 PM
Hi Oleg,
I'm in class 3 right now, and most people that I communicate regularly with are holding down a full time job while in AM. I usually put in 45-50 hrs/week at work. It's difficult, but it's doable. If it starts to get really difficult in class 4, then I may have to do something about it, but for now, it's manageable.

AMRosie
05-06-2010, 10:08 PM
it's Rosie from Animationmentor.com. hadn't been in here for a bit and thought I'd drop by. If you would like to have a quick chat to answer any questions you may have on the time commitment for AM, feel free to email me at rosie@animationmentor.com and I'll be glad to help.

Cheers!

SplineMax
05-15-2010, 04:58 AM
Just got accepted into Animation mentor for the Summer term ! Any other Summer students here ?

pixarfangirl
05-15-2010, 06:00 PM
Hey everyone, congrats to SplineMax and the other people who will be starting in the summer! Very jealous ;D

I was wondering if anyone knew the answers to the following questions:

-Do you have to take the Wonderlic test if you've already got a bachelor's degree and/or GRE scores? I'm in grad school right now (getting a masters in an unrelated field) and my GRE scores are reasonably good. I don't know why I'd need to take yet another test when I'd think that the GRE would be sufficient :D

-What does AM actually provide to their students? I know we get models/rigs, but when I see their student demo reels, the characters have hair and clothes and they're in settings and stuff. Do students have access to, say, a "storage closet" of sorts, where they can get things that they need for their work, or do they have to model that stuff themselves? Based on the fact that AM doesn't teach modeling, I would hope that they provide the models that I see in demo reels. I'm only interested in animation and don't want to spend hundreds of hours modeling when I could be animating :)

Thanks so much for your help :D :D :D

SplineMax
05-16-2010, 01:47 AM
Hey everyone, congrats to SplineMax and the other people who will be starting in the summer! Very jealous ;D

I was wondering if anyone knew the answers to the following questions:

-Do you have to take the Wonderlic test if you've already got a bachelor's degree and/or GRE scores? I'm in grad school right now (getting a masters in an unrelated field) and my GRE scores are reasonably good. I don't know why I'd need to take yet another test when I'd think that the GRE would be sufficient :D

-What does AM actually provide to their students? I know we get models/rigs, but when I see their student demo reels, the characters have hair and clothes and they're in settings and stuff. Do students have access to, say, a "storage closet" of sorts, where they can get things that they need for their work, or do they have to model that stuff themselves? Based on the fact that AM doesn't teach modeling, I would hope that they provide the models that I see in demo reels. I'm only interested in animation and don't want to spend hundreds of hours modeling when I could be animating :)

Thanks so much for your help :D :D :D

Pixarfangirl, The wonderlic test is mandatory, no matter what. Its a test comprising of very basic maths and english questions. Some students here have said that they prepared for a few days before going for the test. But really the test is a breeze, that i felt few questions were very stupid :D

And AM provides you all the 'vanilla' character rigs. Modifications like adding clothes, hair, glasses, facial hair is upto the student and it isn't tough to do it.
Of course, AM is razor focused on Animation alone.

Hope this helps

BrianHarris
05-16-2010, 05:18 AM
-Do you have to take the Wonderlic test if you've already got a bachelor's degree and/or GRE scores? I'm in grad school right now (getting a masters in an unrelated field) and my GRE scores are reasonably good. I don't know why I'd need to take yet another test when I'd think that the GRE would be sufficient :D

Before they ask for proof of any education, you would have already taken the Wonderlic test and been possibly approved into the program by then, where you probably only need a copy of your high school diploma at that point.

I took every sample Wonderlic test on the web for fear I had gone soft over the years. I ended up with a page full of notes and formulas for all kinds of math problems. The AM test ended up much more simple the practice tests, plus all the notes I took were not needed. They test will request you not use a calculator, just a piece of paper.

With a clock ticking, it might be hard to resist a calculator even if you know how to do it on paper, but don't want to waste the clock. You just answer one question after another until the time runs out. It's been six months, so I'm trying to remember if there was an option to skip a question if desired. Overall, I think others can confirm it, it's pretty simple stuff. Still not sure, try sample tests out there that I felt had higher difficulty.

-What does AM actually provide to their students? I know we get models/rigs, but when I see their student demo reels, the characters have hair and clothes and they're in settings and stuff. Do students have access to, say, a "storage closet" of sorts, where they can get things that they need for their work, or do they have to model that stuff themselves? Based on the fact that AM doesn't teach modeling, I would hope that they provide the models that I see in demo reels. I'm only interested in animation and don't want to spend hundreds of hours modeling when I could be animating :)

I'm in the workshop, so I can't see all the tools yet. AM might provide some basic stuff here and there, not 100% sure. Most the time, your assignments are just playblasts. Mentors might not like doing extra modeling to characters, just depends. I bet the work shown in student demo reels or showcase was polished to look nice after the class.

Like check out this class 1 reel I came across from a graphic designer:
http://vimeo.com/8579568#comment_2397889

It looks nice, but as you read his comments, he went back to do those polished renders during a Christmas break. So when doing an animation assignment, that's what you focused on, the animation. You turn in playblasts, which is just animated preview in Maya. No modeling, lighting, texturing, or rendering. They usually won't want students to modify much or turn in renders with lighting and textures that can ruin a good animation. In demo reels, often all the fancy stuff was done after. Not sure about final class projects.

Many students do build their own props and clothes ass seen, even rig them. My workshop teacher, who took AM in 2008, people share their props in the AM community, and you can always find free models. Sometimes students might trade or offer their skills. Where one person is a great modeler, but poor scene lighter, so a trade could be done with some that knows how to light, but not model. Often it can be simple to get what you want. Like my teacher's bishop characters for his short that he's still working on and off. One has clothes that are basically painted on the model's skin with texture. A woman's hair was a simple shape on the scalp with bumps, and hair tied in the back looked like donuts rotated together.

I've modeled before, but still I took the Maya workshop, and it might not be my modeler of choice. Our first 4 sessions were basic Maya interface, hierarchy with simple shapes with a figure as an example, basic modeling for scene props, then materials and lighting. We are not graded, and not asked to create anything fancy, but now many know how to make a simple prop. No one is going to be a great modeler from this unless you took extra time to push yourself with more info online, or even lighting, but a good foundation.

The body character with hierarchy was simple with no bones, just moving the pivot point. Just a sphere for a head, boxes for the body parts. Then we built a simple scene with props, finally set up lights and render. We all did something different. Here's how mine turned out: http://picasaweb.google.com/110770522098089364518/AnimationMentor#

But no way would I want to have to worry about getting lighting like that, props, while trying to animate for something that's due. Now we're finished with that and onto just basic animation.

BrianHarris
05-16-2010, 05:26 AM
Just got accepted into Animation mentor for the Summer term ! Any other Summer students here ?

Oh hey, congrats. I'll be starting this Summer term. See you there.

fig
05-16-2010, 04:24 PM
Good answers from Brian here, I'm in the Maya workshop as well and I'll be starting in Summer term.

As per the Wonderlic question, I've also got a Bachelor's and have taken the GRE but it's not that sort of test, it's done totally online and will take you maybe 15 minutes start to finish. I've taken one or two in job interviews before and they're all pretty much the same.

SplineMax
05-17-2010, 02:42 AM
Anyone getting an additional monitor ? Its been recommended by AM to have an additional monitor of similar resolution.

SplineMax
05-17-2010, 02:55 AM
Anyone getting an additional monitor ? Its been recommended by AM to have an additional monitor of similar resolution.

pixarfangirl
05-17-2010, 08:11 PM
Hey everyone, thanks so much for answering my questions :) Especially Brian--your response was really helpful! I had actually looked at that guy's videos the other day. He's really talented, and the fact that he's been animating for less than a year really gives me hope for myself :) I love that blueprint design, too. I hope to be able to come up with something that clean-looking and clever for my animations as well :D

My masters is in sociology with a focus in law and child abuse. It's really depressing and I don't know that I can handle doing that stuff for the rest of my life. And I've always dreamed of being an animator. I know dreams aren't enough, and you have to work incredibly hard, but everyone starts somewhere! I'm doing the Digital Tutors introduction to Maya classes right now, just to see if it's something I actually enjoy. I hope that's a good way to figure it out :D

Best wishes to the folks who are starting soon--I hope it's everything that you dreamed it would be :)

rblitz7
05-17-2010, 09:31 PM
Hey everybody! quick question. This may be old news but I noticed on AM's website that the last class is Polishing & Portfolio. Didn't they used to have a Short Film class instead?

fig
05-17-2010, 10:06 PM
You are correct, it's been recently revised. I think they felt like the short film class was putting too much emphasis on the short film production and not as much on the animation, so Class 6 is now focused on tweaking previously animated shots to be used on your reel.

SplineMax
05-18-2010, 02:54 AM
Got an invite email for the Coffee talk event with Victoria. Just registered. Anyone attending it ?

fig
05-18-2010, 04:28 PM
I'm on a Mac so I won't be able to do the CoffeeTalk (not compatible), but I viewed the recording for the last one and it's really good. Definitely worth going to to get more info, Victoria is great and super helpful.

TimothyB
05-18-2010, 08:23 PM
Anyone getting an additional monitor ? Its been recommended by AM to have an additional monitor of similar resolution.

A 2nd monitor has been a big help for me just in the workshop. We watch the mentor's desktop using GoToMeeting service, which is like you're looking at his monitor. So I have that on one screen and the AM Q&A on the other.

Most video cards support dual displays these days, and are so easy to setup. Once you've done it, you'll wonder how you ever lived with one screen.

Maya forces a ton of windows to access a lot of features over and over. Graph Editor, Dope Sheet, Hypershader, Tool settings, Attributes, dragging some to another screen can help, or a high resolution display.

I recently bought a new monitor for Maya, wanted a larger screen with 16:10 ration and 1920*1200 resolution. These days most larger screens have gone the 1080p route for computers, like some big plus for movies, which makes no sense, you actually get less resolution for your money and a wider screen that's awkward for 99% of PC use, 1080 horizontal lines instead of 1200.

In the past, upgrading from an old 20inch with 1680*1050 to a 24inch 1920*1200 was a nice upgrade. Now you only find 1920*1080 displays that's like half the resolution upgrade from before. Expensive displays like Dell Ultrasharp IPS displays still have the better resolution, but again are costly. Luckily I found a nice display that's large and cheap with 1920*1200.

This display:
http://www.costco.com/Browse/Product.aspx?Prodid=11503005

A whopping 27.5inch screen, full 1920*1200 resolution with low price (especially considering how rare that res is). Despite the higher resolution, the size generally displays things larger thanks to the 27.5inch size. That makes it easy to sit back comfortably and make sense of the dense Maya interface, which I was going for. It's not an IPS display, so viewing angles suffer, but not bad considering the size, and I don't need a studio quality display for using Maya.

SplineMax
05-20-2010, 07:02 AM
Good then, I'll setup a dual display soon.

And regarding the payment, As anyone paid through the credit card method ? I'm getting my payment transaction rejected. First of all the payment page doesn't ask for a CVV/Verification code !
How in the world is it supposed to accept payments without asking for a CVV number ?

bramvq
05-20-2010, 03:00 PM
Good then, I'll setup a dual display soon.

And regarding the payment, As anyone paid through the credit card method ? I'm getting my payment transaction rejected. First of all the payment page doesn't ask for a CVV/Verification code !
How in the world is it supposed to accept payments without asking for a CVV number ?

First I had the same problem that the payment was rejected. But after calling the bank I found out that they didn't clear enough money to pay the full amount. There is a monthly limit on the credit card that the bank has to change in order to pay for AM. I hope this is why you got your payment rejected also.

About the CCV Verification code, they also didn't ask me for it, and the payment got accepted. But yeah, it is kinda weird that they don't ask for it.

dren
06-04-2010, 05:02 AM
-What does AM actually provide to their students? I know we get models/rigs, but when I see their student demo reels, the characters have hair and clothes and they're in settings and stuff. Do students have access to, say, a "storage closet" of sorts, where they can get things that they need for their work, or do they have to model that stuff themselves? Based on the fact that AM doesn't teach modeling, I would hope that they provide the models that I see in demo reels. I'm only interested in animation and don't want to spend hundreds of hours modeling when I could be animating :)

Hi, pixarfangirl! :)

You'll be happy to know that AM does provide all kinds of props and sets for your animations. Here is the official word on this via Rosie Varela who got a concrete answer from us over on Facebook:

"All rigs for the AM program are provided, and we also have a prop library. I checked with our amazing tech/alumni Alexiss and she said there are a few sets there as well. She also mentioned something neat that I didn't know- she said that the folks taking Maya Springboard workshop are working on modeling some sets in that class. Maya Springboard is an optional workshop for accepted students to take prior to starting the core program if they need more skills with Maya."

Hope this helps!

SplineMax
06-04-2010, 04:34 PM
Alright, I was emailed the link to setup my AM Account. Spent the whole day messing with the site and watching all the orientation videos.

BrianHarris
06-05-2010, 02:34 AM
As Dren said, the does seem to be a props library. My workshop teacher showed us where it was in the library section under props, which even had spot showing you can submit your own to grow the library. Some are simple, like a table and chair made of cubes, some more detailed with full shaders. Though, when it comes to what you actually turn in for your work, nothing fancy is needed, just simple enough to get the idea across for the playbast to assist the animation.

Though, later, you can go back and refine your animations with shaders, lighting, better props and sets to make more presentable for your demo reel. Which I keep hearing is the focus now at the end of AM, to polish and prepare all your work, compared to the intensive short film project that some people still are working on long after the AM.

Some modeling skills can go along way to help you. As my workshop mentor said, a studio might get a flood of AM grads with demo reals all featuring similar characters, which can become boring and bland. While dressing up your scene and character makes it stand out and shows more of your creativity, as simple as say a cowboy hat. If you can't find that cowboy hat, sometimes a request in the forums will do just the trick, where an experienced modeler or friend could whip it out at a moments notice.

I'm looking forward to Class 1. The workshop will help your get well settled into the moving around maya, organization, preparing your scene to animate and settings, simple simple modeling (I did well since I had experience prior), script editor to create custom shelf buttons, playblasts, graph editor, etc. So I already feel like I have a head start would good inside knowledge.

BrianHarris
06-05-2010, 02:35 AM
First I had the same problem that the payment was rejected. But after calling the bank I found out that they didn't clear enough money to pay the full amount. There is a monthly limit on the credit card that the bank has to change in order to pay for AM. I hope this is why you got your payment rejected also.

About the CCV Verification code, they also didn't ask me for it, and the payment got accepted. But yeah, it is kinda weird that they don't ask for it.

When I made the Class 1 payment, it went through, but right after my BofA account was frozen until I called to verify recent transactions for fraud security. After I called confirming everything was okay, there was still a 2 hour wait for the status to be lifted. So take precautions if you got any other payments to make.

BrianHarris
06-15-2010, 05:30 AM
Don't know if anyone posted this already, there was an Animation Mentor panel at the first CTN Animation Expo November 2009, and recently they were gracious enough to post the 38 minute session online:

http://www.ctnanimationexpo.com/animation-mentor/

The link includes a description for the panel, bios and more. I was in the audience there and entire expo was what finally got me to apply at AM.

KangtheMad
06-22-2010, 05:23 PM
I'd look through the forums in AM, but they are temporarily closed for the break.

I'm deciding on a new phone. Anyone been able to use their iPhone apps to view the flash videos? If so, what apps are you using?

Or, anyone know if the AM site supports HTML 5?

Much thanks!

fig
06-23-2010, 07:29 PM
Hey Tim, my guess would be no on both counts. Pretty sure the videos are all flash which would mean the iPhone wouldn't support them, and at this point the AM site wouldn't be HTML5 as it's not a very universally supported standard yet.

I can let you know for sure next week when the site reopens and I'll give it a shot on my iPhone. Class 1 here we come :)

KangtheMad
06-24-2010, 02:40 AM
Hey Tim, my guess would be no on both counts. Pretty sure the videos are all flash which would mean the iPhone wouldn't support them, and at this point the AM site wouldn't be HTML5 as it's not a very universally supported standard yet.

I can let you know for sure next week when the site reopens and I'll give it a shot on my iPhone. Class 1 here we come :)
Thanks Chris. Yeah, that's what I thinking. I know the AM site is all Flash videos, but I was hoping someone figured out how to convert them into mp4 or something... dang Adobe and Steve Jobs can't come to an agreement...

You must be excited about starting class 1. It's gonna be a blast.

Khare
06-24-2010, 11:24 AM
Hey guys! I just got accepted into AM for the Fall Term 2010 and I'm really excited. Coming from a generalistic 3D school gave me a lot of trouble and made me doubt my ability and almost made me quitt animation in this past year, but I believe I'm ready to give it another shot 100%. This time I gotta hold down a full time job which will make it more difficult, but certainly not impossible. I know this has been asked before but can anyone share experiences with combining a full time job and AM, specifically from class 3 and onward. What is your typical week like?

Regards,
Khare

micgaz
06-24-2010, 07:04 PM
Hi Fredrik,

great that you are soon to start at AM, you are in for a hell of a ride!

I can tell you a bit about the workload on you with AM and a full time job... I just graduated after 18 months doing that. Its doable, but it does get increasingly hard as you go up the classes obviously. In the first 3 classes I was able to get my AM stuff done during the week by putting in 5 or so hours a day after work. This got me the weekend free pretty much, which I think really helped to keep me fresh for the latter classes. Of course this is just the way I juggled it, you could find any number of ways to cope in those early classes.
Not to underestimate their importance of course, but not too harsh.

From 3 onward things really get going. The advanced Body Mechanics class is so important, and so hard that I just threw myself at it and had to say bye-bye to free weekends.
I was starting from scratch as an animator beginning AM, and had never tried an acting shot before... so classes 4 and 5 were even more challenging. I was easily spending more time on AM than my paid work by here.

Class 6 is another step up. But the good news is that by this time your eye will have improved a load, and you can see (and know a range of tricks to fix) a whole heap of things wrong with the shots you pick for your reel. I worked through 5 shots in C6. Its exhausting.

I am really not trying to worry you, the opposite really. The truth is that AM is such a buzz that you'll just happily knuckle down and get it done. I absolutely loved it.

AM and full time work, bloody tiring yeah, but an incredible and life changing experience.

Hope thats some help.

Polg
06-25-2010, 06:51 AM
Hi,

I'm curius that anyone who finished AM, his carier was changed because of that.
I don't know maybe some new job propsal or something becuase of AM graduation.
Also freelancers , do they get more interesting projects because of AM graduation ?

Paul

Khare
06-25-2010, 01:00 PM
Hey Michael, thanks a lot for sharing your experience with me. Congratualations on finishing AM with a full time job! You got the drive for sure :-)
I fully expect it to be challenging but hey, what doesn't kill you only makes you stronger right? I saved up for a year to afford it but with dept on my back from a former school I just think I should maintain a job.

So how's your life been after AM Michael? It must be exciting I'm sure!

fig
06-25-2010, 08:56 PM
Tim, I don't know that there's a way to convert the vids as they're somewhat copy protected. I've had the same thought though, it'd be great to have them available in another format. If I figure anything out I'll let you know.

Fredrik, I'll be working fulltime though at least Class 1 and 2 so I'll keep you updated on how things go, feel free to drop me a PM.

Paul, a lot of AM students have gone on to work at major studios on a variety of projects. There's lots of info on the website, some of the alumni are mentioned here: http://www.animationmentor.com/community/alumni.html

LFT
06-27-2010, 07:43 PM
Only 24ish more hours!

Polg
06-27-2010, 08:34 PM
fig - yes I saw this but I was hoping that maybe some guy which finished that school will answer here.

Framed
06-27-2010, 10:58 PM
Hello,
I have a question.. considering enrolling the program while working with freelance projects to pay for tuition and it may happen (as it has before) that you find yourself in a position you're not able to make the payment because of lack of work, or a high workload at times. Is taking a break mid-program something that AM would accommodate or can I just forget about it?

LFT
06-27-2010, 11:36 PM
Lots of people take time off during the program. They call it a leave of absence. I believe you are allowed up to 2 terms off during the course of the program and they can be consecutive or you can break them up. From what I have heard it is a easy thing to set up all you need to do is email student care prior to the next term starting.

Framed
06-28-2010, 03:43 AM
Sounds good, thanks!

dren
06-29-2010, 04:10 AM
I'd look through the forums in AM, but they are temporarily closed for the break.

I'm deciding on a new phone. Anyone been able to use their iPhone apps to view the flash videos? If so, what apps are you using?

Or, anyone know if the AM site supports HTML 5?

Much thanks!

Apple will *never* support Flash. That's what sucks about Apple.... They don't support moving forward and they are set with their own practices and proprietary software. Look into Android phones. There's a lot of them. It's basically a Google phone and I am able to get AM to work just fine with them. The only limitation at the moment is Flash is not released YET. It's coming later this summer (July I presume).

KangtheMad
06-29-2010, 03:43 PM
Apple will *never* support Flash. That's what sucks about Apple.... They don't support moving forward and they are set with their own practices and proprietary software. Look into Android phones. There's a lot of them. It's basically a Google phone and I am able to get AM to work just fine with them. The only limitation at the moment is Flash is not released YET. It's coming later this summer (July I presume).

Thanks Dren. Yeah, i'm looking into the new Samsung Galaxy but I think it's going to be a couple of months before they come out.

There are ways to make a remote computer stream Flash videos to your iPhone via some apps like Teamviewer. I was wondering if there are other apps like it.

Khare
06-30-2010, 06:38 AM
I got a question for you guys who are already enrolled in AM. When you first set up your account, is your account tied to your computer like some software programs are? Or can I log into AM on my laptop and work from another location?


Also I overheard leigh saying that getting a work visa in USA would require a degree, will taking AM help in any way with getting a work visa for us international students?

Starting to get real excited right now, went on a bookshopping spree on amazon to secure some books from Preston Blair, Tony White, Ed Hooks and others! :]

@Fig: Cool man, I'm sure there are lots of others in the same boat as us. When do you start?

fig
06-30-2010, 04:09 PM
I won't delve into it too deeply, but Apple's stance is sort of split between being proprietary and believing in non-Adobe solutions (which I think is influenced by a number of factors). HTML5 is in fact an open standard, it's just still very up in the air as to whose implementation (Apple's, Google's, etc.) will become the standard. But that's a discussion/argument/flame war for another forum ;)

Tim, if you run across anything on the videos please let me know, even if you do get them running on another phone that'd be interesting to see.

Fredrik, I actually started Class 1 this week (Monday). The first week is pretty light for us new folks but I have my first Q&A with my mentor tonight, he's from Disney and seems like a cool guy. One thing I have already noticed is the overwhelming sense of community on the campus, even after just a few days it's amazing how friendly and helpful people are.

You can log into your account from anywhere btw, it's browser-based so it's just like logging into e-mail or any other web service. It will log you off if it detects a login from somewhere else though (which I learned when I was seeing what the site looked like on my phone and my laptop suddenly logged off :)).

Shanytc
07-05-2010, 05:19 PM
I wonder,

AM is awesome, but it seems like only american students has the highest rate of succeeding in the animation business.

For example, when a person from europe, middle east, asia, australia enrolls into the AM program, no doubt he can accept, but afterward (once he succeeds with the entire program), where exactly he supposed to go? Usually local studios aren't big/cool/amazing/fun like studios in the us (although there are some cool studios outside, like Weta)

though, does AM gives too much high-hopes for such students? while accepting them without too much of a problem?

Sapphire
07-15-2010, 01:54 PM
Hi all,

AM use Maya 8 and Maya 9, what about Maya 10 and Maya 11 users, can they join the class?

Thanks all.

fig
07-15-2010, 03:12 PM
Shany, I don't know enough about the way international jobs are handled to answer your question. I will say that there are LOTS of international students enrolled, something like 72 countries are represented in the program. Right now in my class we have students from the US, England, New Zealand, Australia, Poland, and Israel.

Sapphire, don't know where you're getting your information from. I'm currently using Maya 2010 in AM and they're just finalizing support for 2011.

Sapphire
07-15-2010, 07:05 PM
fig,

Hi :) , I got my information from here ( third line from down )

http://www.animationmentor.com/school/requirements.html

But now I am happy that even Maya 10 and 11 are supported, I was only wondering.

Any way thanks for good information.

fig
07-15-2010, 09:44 PM
Ah, interesting, they need to update that :) But yeah, I held off on getting Maya 2011 because it wasn't quite supported yet but there are a number of people already using it. I think AM policy is to support the three latest versions of Maya or something like that.

And glad to help.

elvis75k
07-29-2010, 08:51 AM
preview of the new bishop character: take a look (http://www.carlosbaena.com/2010/07/bishop-2-0/)

googboog8
08-07-2010, 09:39 AM
anyone else starting this fall??

AndrewCastro
08-08-2010, 01:10 AM
anyone else starting this fall??

I am trying to, but right now funds are short for me. I need to get a full time job and save up.

Cybersnot
08-08-2010, 03:55 AM
Yep, I'm all set to go starting in Sept.

googboog8
08-08-2010, 05:09 AM
Yep, I'm all set to go starting in Sept.
oh hey i commented on your dino fetch on the forum :P

Ani-MaX
08-08-2010, 08:29 PM
Can you use the bishop rig after your done at AM?

Cybersnot
08-08-2010, 11:00 PM
oh hey i commented on your dino fetch on the forum :P

Hah! Cool. (Thanks again btw). Just over a month until class begins. Man I'm counting the days. I want to get going.

mlappe
08-09-2010, 06:37 AM
I'm starting in sep too. It's going to be such a blast, can't wait...

fig
08-09-2010, 02:37 PM
Can you use the bishop rig after your done at AM?

I believe so. I think alumni pay a small fee to keep access to the site/forums/characters/etc.

Congrats to those starting in the fall, you'll have a blast :)

mirkoj
08-09-2010, 03:00 PM
Actually as Alumni you have life time access to your account page, you can watch video news, access forums... no fee for that.
What you can't do is look other people's public reviews and you have to pay yearly fee to be able to attend live Q&A with guest speakers.

AndrewCastro
08-09-2010, 03:18 PM
Hey guys,

Has anyone one here attended animationmentor from Canada? I am trying but I dont have the fee's so I looked into loans but it seems that the Canadian Government doesnt cover online courses.

-Andrew Castro

fig
08-09-2010, 03:33 PM
Cool, thanks for the clarification. Class 1 has been awesome so far btw, lot of work but it's been great :)

AndrewCastro
08-09-2010, 04:06 PM
Hey everyone,

Has anyone here taken the course in Canada? I am having a very hard time finding a way to get the fee in terms of loans. The Canadian government doesn't cover online courses apparently. Did anyone else come up with a different method?

hvanderwegen
08-24-2010, 12:19 AM
Has anyone here taken the course in Canada? I am having a very hard time finding a way to get the fee in terms of loans. The Canadian government doesn't cover online courses apparently. Did anyone else come up with a different method?

I am in the same predicament here (Vancouver) - the only thing to do is to save, save, save. Or, if you can handle the "risk", choose a more inexpensive option. I registered for iAnimate, which fits exactly within my monthly budget, and looks very good, though as a new online course start-up there are certainly risks involved. But I just want to start learning to properly animate now - I have tried saving for AM, but the limited funds available to me, in addition with (let's just call it) "life-happenings", I kept missing out over the last few years, so...

JordanBornholdt
08-24-2010, 01:40 AM
Hey Guys,

I'm from Vancouver and started AM this summer so I'm three quarters through class 1. I wish I could say there is an easy way to save the money but there is not. The only type of loan you could secure to help you out would be a bank loan, and that can have significant interest depending on the bank. It took me about 2-3 years to save the tuition. I'm still working full time until class three when I'll be working part time. I managed to pay for everything out of pocket but I can see how that is not easy for everyone.

AM is worth it, so start saving now.

Ianimate.net looks great. You can't go wrong with Jason Ryan.

Anyway I wish I had a better answer, I just wanted to say good luck guys and don't let money keep you from reaching your goals. If it's what you want you will find a way eventually. Even if it takes 2-3 years like me. On the bright side I'll be done school with no debt to my name.

-Jordan

googboog8
08-31-2010, 12:26 PM
less than a month to go.

i can't wait!!

ariff13
09-17-2010, 08:01 AM
thanks for the info. good site indeed

henriqueam
09-27-2010, 06:41 PM
Hello there,...

Well I just applied to AM, to start on winter 2011. I´ll have to wait for the confirmation that I got accepted, how long does it take?!
Is there any1 else here, that will attend to this class too?

Looking foward to the answer!!

That´s all for now...

leeTW
10-08-2010, 01:49 AM
Hello there,...

Well I just applied to AM, to start on winter 2011. I´ll have to wait for the confirmation that I got accepted, how long does it take?!
Is there any1 else here, that will attend to this class too?

Looking foward to the answer!!

That´s all for now...

Hello, I just accepted into AM today for semester 1 start (winter term 2011), and they replied so fast. I submitted my application form on Monday night ( 4th of Oct), and received/completed my
wonderlic test on tuesday night, and on thursday night, I got in! it's only been two days.
But I hope by the time you see this reply, you have already got in. Best of luck! and I hope to see you there :)

leeTW
10-08-2010, 02:13 AM
Hello guys,

it's so great to find out about this forum, i have got lots of infor and feedback about studying at AM from it. Really great.

I am quite concerned about my animation skills, well, I did art and design in uni, and also a postgraduate course in 3D animation technology, so i do have some experiences and knowledges of life drawings, Maya and 3d animations. But still, I am a beginner to character animation (i just can't do it right and great by myself! so frustrating!) , and I am just wondering if this is gonna be quite difficult for me to catch up to other's level as well as passing the course?

Also, how many people are in one group? I saw some information about One Mentor will deal with no more than 15 students in AM, do you think you get enough attention from your tutor?

Thanks a lot for the help.

fig
10-08-2010, 05:34 PM
lee, you start off with the very basics in AM so a prior knowledge of animation isn't required (although a lot of my classmates did have prior experience). Being able to get around well in Maya is a huge help, however, but as long as you can do that and are willing to put in the time to learn the animation part you'll be in good shape.

The classes do average around 10-15 students, I never felt like I didn't get enough attention from my mentor and he was really helpful in offering other help when needed. The real feedback you get doesn't come from your mentor, however, but from your peers. The environment at AM is incredibly supportive and interactive and you can get tons of feedback and critiques from students in your class as well as students in other classes that are more experienced. My mentor was good but I really learned more from other students and from my own experimenting than anything else.

aaalpin
10-09-2010, 01:51 PM
I want to go to Am to, but it's still about 2 years at least, now i take a course in my country, and i want to train my english speech to, i wish i could go to AM in 2012,
thanks for ur information guys

leeTW
10-10-2010, 04:35 PM
Hello Fig, thank you so much for the answer, I felt a bit relief now, but I think I will still try to read and practice the basics of animation before I start the course in three months. :D Really really can't wait! :applause:

freakbaba
10-13-2010, 05:48 PM
Being an Alumni of AMer, I have my own FAQ!

http://abtheanimator.com/blog/animation-mentor-faq/

Hope it clears some questions!



Anirudh

ARTzuza
10-13-2010, 07:08 PM
animationMentor, someday i will be there.
I like so much works of "alumni"s, great quality, i recommend it!

Nyro
10-19-2010, 11:06 AM
Just wanted to drop by and add that I'll be starting Animation Mentor in Winter Term 2011. Hope to see some of you CGS guys there!

fig
10-19-2010, 02:56 PM
I'll be there in Class 2, look me up :)

Sapphire
11-11-2010, 12:08 PM
Does the mentor speak to the student life once every week?
Could some one please tell me on what time this life speaking will be in GMT and on what day?

Thanks alot.

fig
11-11-2010, 02:21 PM
The mentor Q&As are on different days and at different times depending on your location. They do their best to put you into a class that fits with your time zone.

Sapphire
11-11-2010, 05:50 PM
fig,

That is great, thanks alot.

fig
11-15-2010, 09:14 PM
Glad to help.

Adamation
11-22-2010, 09:50 PM
Anyone thinking of enrolling in the spring 2011 term? - Adam

Jae1234
11-27-2010, 11:26 AM
i have been thinking about enrolling in the spring, but still not sure whether to take AM or ianimate. anyone have any suggestions?
also have a general question. for companies like Pixar or Dreamwork, if i only knew how to animate, and not how to model, render, or light, would they still consider me as a candidate? or should i learn all those other fields to improve my chances?

Adamation
11-27-2010, 12:43 PM
Hi Jae glad to hear your thinking about enrolling, i havnt really heard of ianimate but ive heard nothing but great reviews of animation mentor and seen great reels come out of that place. I know the cost is a huge problem for people and im not sure of how much it is for the full ianimate course but for me that would be the only factor that would sway me away from AnimationMentor.

With regards to the Pixar/Dreamworks question, if you only know how to animate you would absolutely still be a candidate for employment. They have a dedicated team for modelling/rendering/lighting so the animators really dont need to worry about that aspect i know ive fallen into the problem of trying to learn everything and it just hasnt worked out and im sure rarely does. If you applied for a job as a dedicated animator and your animation skills were superb but your modelling/rendering/lighting sucked your much more likely to land the job than someone with a reel that showed that they were only "good" over all aspects (animating/modelling/lighting/rendering).

Overall i think its handy to know the very basics of modelling/lighting/rendering but only for the purpose of "dressing" your reel to make it more appealing to the audience.

Hope this helps, Thanks - Adam

Jae1234
11-27-2010, 10:16 PM
thanks adamation,
from what i hear ianimate is also a good program and costs about 12000.
i was applying for AM today and it asked me if I wanted to take MAYA springboard course. This would be good for me since i have not used Maya before. Does anyone know how much this course costs?

Adamation
11-28-2010, 12:46 AM
Hi again Jae, as far as i know the springboard class is an 8 week course and ive heard its not as expensive as a term at AM im guessing itll probly be around half so id say about $1500 but thats just a very rough guess. To be honest if your applying for the spring term it gives you plenty of time to get to grips with Maya on your own, about 3 weeks ago i was in the same boat having never used Maya but now im really getting to grips with it by going through online tutorials - Adam

DreamThinkLive
11-28-2010, 12:53 AM
thanks adamation,
from what i hear ianimate is also a good program and costs about 12000.
i was applying for AM today and it asked me if I wanted to take MAYA springboard course. This would be good for me since i have not used Maya before. Does anyone know how much this course costs?

Hey Jae1234,

It cost $ 495.00 for the May Springboard class.

Adamation
11-28-2010, 09:29 AM
Wow I was way out, thanks for the info derrick, how's your AM course going? - adam

DreamThinkLive
11-28-2010, 08:46 PM
No problem at all.

Here is a link that tells you what too expect in the program.

http://www.animationmentor.com/mayaworkshop/winter11.html

Hope this helps!

DreamThinkLive

ragdoll
12-05-2010, 01:09 AM
Yay for January! :D

rastkos
12-07-2010, 03:10 AM
i have been thinking about enrolling in the spring, but still not sure whether to take AM or ianimate. anyone have any suggestions?
also have a general question. for companies like Pixar or Dreamwork, if i only knew how to animate, and not how to model, render, or light, would they still consider me as a candidate? or should i learn all those other fields to improve my chances?

I just wrote a comparison between the two schools. I don't want to post it here, I wouldn't even mention it if you didn't ask about it, it is biased but you can read it if you follow the link to my blog in my signature.

Regarding the Maya course, if you have some experience with any other 3D application and if you have the minimum of self discipline, you can probably save yourself $500 and learn a little bit about Maya yourself. There is a TON of material out there. You can spend $500 much wiser, for example on books and online tutorials that are animation specific. Keith Lango and Jason Ryan have fantastic tutorials that can complement the school work. You can get a year subscription for Digital Tutors or Gnomon that have a ton of videos about Maya and about animation in general. Those would be a much better investment in my opinion.

If however you are a complete newbie when it comes to 3D and you need structure then maybe a short course isn't a bad idea for you.

Rastko

KangtheMad
12-30-2010, 09:53 PM
I hope everyone's had a good Christmas. Best of luck to all new and returning students this winter term! See you around the campus.

KangtheMad
02-06-2011, 07:22 AM
ttt for an epic thread.

trence5
02-13-2011, 11:39 PM
Have they gotten any courses dedicated toward modeling yet?

fig
02-15-2011, 06:34 PM
I don't see that ever happening, the AM is pretty focused on just character animation.

You might check out AnimSchool (http://www.animschool.com/) as they have a track on character creation, the program is very new though.

BobbyGee
04-08-2011, 06:43 PM
Hello everyone,

I am thinking about applying to AM. I've read the last 100 pages and most of my questions have been answered. Although there's one thing I couldn't find any information about. Can AM students qualify for internships?

Any information would be greatly appreciated.

Bobby

BobbyGee
04-09-2011, 05:52 PM
Sorry about the double post. The first post took forever to show up.

Ibeechu
04-13-2011, 04:51 PM
Howdy Bobby,

Disclaimer: I'm a student at AM; I'm not a graduate (yet :D), so what I tell you is just hearsay from what the school says and what I've heard graduates say.

AM apparently has a really good job placement program. I think the numbers used to be 78% get a job in the industry within 12 months of graduating. That took a hit due to the economy these days, and last I heard, it was in the high 60s. It dropped, but this industry actually took a really small drop compared to other industries, so that's reassuring.

For internships, I don't really know what you're asking. Are you asking if an internship can be used for credit at AM? If so, then no, because AM doesn't give credit, and all of the training is done in the school.

Actually, this might be related (or most likely completely unrelated). I don't know if you're talking about unpaid internships but I'll comment on them anyway. We get a weekly video news at AM consisting of updates about the school and the industry and a few weeks ago there was one where someone asked about if it's beneficial to do unpaid work on, say, a project by a small studio or something. And Bobby Beck, the CEO of the school, along with the AM controller (comptroller?), answered "no."

Bobby's feeling was that you're spending a lot of money to learn a trade and while it's great to work on your own stuff on your own time, producing work for someone else and not getting paid for it isn't a good idea, and it actually devalues the market for animators. And I absolutely agree with him on that. In general, I wouldn't suggest volunteering your skills for anyone else unless you have a personal stake in it or you'll somehow benefit from it. If you're working under a bad director, that badness will show up in your work, so it's won't even be valuable to put on your reel. When you could have spent your time doing something that was completely yours, you'll regret not doing that.

And the other thing was (and this totally shocked me) is that most unpaid internships are actually illegal. The Fair Labor Standards Act forces businesses to adhere to certain standards. The Department of Labor developed 6 criteria based on the FLSA that must be met in order for someone to be an unpaid intern at a business:



The training, even though it includes actual operations of the facilities of the employers, is similar to that which would be given in a vocational school.
The training is for the benefit of the student.
The student does not displace a regular employee, but works under the close observation of a regular employee or supervisor.
The employer provides the training and derives no immediate advantage from the activities of the student; and on occasion, the operations may actually be impeded by the training.
The student is not necessarily entitled to a job at the conclusion of the training period.
The employer and the student understand that the student is not entitled to wages for the time spent training.


From my understanding, it turns out that if any of these aren't met, the person is considered an employee by law and is entitled to at least minimum wage. Unless, of course, they're volunteering their time.

So, I don't know if any of this answered your question or was even relevant (I don't know if you were talking about unpaid internships). But, maybe you got something useful from this post anyway.

Cliffs:
-AM has a job placement rate within 12 months of graduation of somewhere between 65 and 78 percent
-AM does not allow internships to count for credit because they aren't a credit-based program
-IMHO, doing any kind of unpaid work that benefits someone else is a really bad idea
-A lot of unpaid internships are actually operating illegally
-Unless you're volunteering, if you do work that profits someone else, you're most likely entitled to at least minimum wage

BobbyGee
04-13-2011, 06:43 PM
Hello Ibeechu,

Sorry if my question was unclear, I'll try to do a better job in explaining what I meant. A lot of the big studios offer paid internship but you must meet their requirements. An example from a studio

"For all other internship opportunities you must be in or have completed at least your Junior year of college, be a graduate student, or have graduated the year the internship commences."

So that is why I am asking if AM students get the same consideration as other students that go to CALARTS or Ringling because there is no Junior year at AM just 6 classes over 18 months.

Take care,

Bobby

rastkos
04-14-2011, 01:57 AM
Cliffs:
-AM has a job placement rate within 12 months of graduation of somewhere between 65 and 78 percent
-AM does not allow internships to count for credit because they aren't a credit-based program
-IMHO, doing any kind of unpaid work that benefits someone else is a really bad idea
-A lot of unpaid internships are actually operating illegally
-Unless you're volunteering, if you do work that profits someone else, you're most likely entitled to at least minimum wage


I'll chip in with my own opinion about these issues. Another disclaimer, I'm a student of another online animation school, not AM. About internships, it is best to call AM directly and ask. Being at AM for a while, I remember that a lot of students were applying for internships at big studios and some got them. A lot of AM students attend traditional programs in parallel. It is not uncommon for someone from AAU or some other university to complement their 'animation' education by enrolling into one of the online programs, so I am not sure if they qualify solely on being AM students or due to that other school. Ask AM directly and be very specific.


About the placement, what does it mean exactly in animation industry where most of the jobs are freelance/short term contract jobs. I say most because not a lot of places offer steady employment so placement is really a relative term. Does getting a 3 month freelance gig within a year of your graduation and then nothing for the rest of the year or two after qualifies as a 'placement' and does it go towards those statistics numbers? AM offers some level of exposure, if your skills are up to scratch someone may take a look at your reel while you were still in school, but do consider that there is around a thousand students at AM at any one time. You have some Cinderella stories, they are featured at the front page of AM's website, but those are really exceptions. You really need to focus on your skills and make sure your reel is top 10-20% or no amount of help from the school will land you any kind of 'placement'. I would venture to say that vast majority of animation graduates, from any school not just AM, will have a lot of problems getting jobs. The issue is not just the economy but the fact that majority of people never get beyond being mediocre. I am not saying this to discourage anyone, but to point out that only the most persistent and focused ones succeed, and a lot of people are not really aware of the level of commitment that is required to achieve that until they are well into their training. A lot of people complain that there is too many animators being trained at the moment, but the fact is that only the top 5-10% of those will actually achieve high profile employment in their careers. So be ready to work really really hard and make sure this is something you really want.


About unpaid internships, I agree and disagree. In principle, of course you don't want to allow to be exploited and of course you should be paid for your work. However, in an extremely competitive market like animation there are other things to consider. Even if you have a killer reel you will still have trouble finding 'good' employment without any experience. Everything counts in this regard and you have to weigh the pros and cons of the specific internship. If you think that the work you get there will benefit your skills or your resume I would consider it. If you are young it might be a good experience regardless of the project as you'll get to learn other things even if they are bad, like management, corporate culture etc. If you already have a similar experience from your previous life, you may want to consider on specific advantages like which project you would be involved with, is it something that you'll be able to put on your reel, how much will it take away from your class work, will it be a good networking experience etc. You need all the help that you can get in this field and you need to take everything into consideration, getting paid is only one of the aspects and it's pretty easy to sit on a high horse and dismiss unpaid internships if you don't have to face potentially grim prospects of looking for employment yourself. I am not saying it is a good or a bad idea, I am saying it is a bad idea to dismiss it without careful consideration of everything that is involved.


R

BobbyGee
04-29-2011, 03:23 AM
Is this thread officially dead?

Larry_g1s
06-23-2011, 04:55 PM
Ken Fountain (an AM alumni and DreamWorks animators) is coming out with training video. I've had the opportunity to have Ken as an instructor last Block at iAnimate.net, and he's amazing and great when it comes to acting through your character. I just thought I'd share it with ya guys/gals.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ObP6064QjGo

love4animation
07-03-2011, 02:36 AM
Hey All,
I tried looking through some of the threads because I remember this being on here, but I do have a question(s) that have probably been answered already. I apologize in advance for a repost.

So, I'm really torn about doing AM or ianimate. At one point I was all ready to go, and was accepted into AM. But I backed out due to personal reasons. So, after I got some stuff cleared up, I saw ianimate started up. And that got my ears perked up and torn on which school to choose. So here are my questions.

Does AM have a live Q&A or is it pre-recorded? I know ianimate's Q&A is live, and you are able to ask your mentor questions about your shot during the Q&A's.

When in your class at AM are you aloud to email or have communication with your mentor if you have further questions about a shot/assignment you are working on?

I'm trying to get back to one of these schools, and I know both are great. I just really like the idea of the live Q&A from ianimate. So, anyone who is currently enrolled or is an alumni from AM. Can you please post your feedback to my questions. Any cons you have with school?

Again, thank you all so much for replying to this thread.

rastkos
07-03-2011, 04:27 AM
Hey Darren,

QnAs at AM are live but the critiques are pre-recorded, at ianimate everything is live. The difference between the two programs is that at ianimate all QnAs are recorded so you can watch them again as much as you want and more importantly, you have access to QnAs from all other instructors and workshops since the school has opened, two months short of a year now. Another difference is the platform that ianimate uses for the QnA which is Adobe Connect. Unless something has changed at AM since I left, the difference in functionality between the two can best be described as a difference between a cell phone from 1999 and the latest iPhone. ianimate's QnA are full screen, everyone can tune in with their cameras at the same time if necessary and most importantly the instructors can share their desktops. Because of this, a lot of the QnAs take forms of lectures with shot analysis, live animation demos in Maya by the instructors etc. I haven't had access to AM for a year now so they may have changed something over there.

Another difference is that basically you have two QnAs every week, one is with your instructor which goes for about an hour or so, the second one is with Jason Ryan and goes for about two hours. The one with Jason is different because he does live animation demos every week, so you get to see his shared desktop and watch him animate live in Maya or do his planning in Flipbook and you are able to type questions using the messaging system. Again, all of these are recorded and downloadable. The amount of material is staggering, which is a two edged sword and it may not be for everyone. Some people can get overwhelmed but it's a heaven for the voracious ones.

As far as communication with your mentor/instructor goes, that's individual and the same applies to both programs. In general, since all mentors are usually working animators, and since the workloads in animation are the way they are, you are expect to be very respectful of their available time. Some are more open and like to communicate a lot and others keep it to scheduled times, it's individual.

All this being said, I don't think your choice should come down to the QnAs alone (and I am sure it is not, I am just saying). In my opinion variety and quality of rigs available at ianimate alone is good enough reason to consider alternatives to AM. Not to get too long here, you have a more detailed comparison between the two at my blog, I think it is still valid since I don't think much has changed at AM. I could be wrong, someone from AM could tune in here and share their opinion.

R

love4animation
07-03-2011, 05:18 AM
Thank you.I'm going to check out your blog. I remember you posting that awhile ago. So, I need to revisit it. Your blog was actually then one I was looking for....lol...anyways, Thank you again.....now it's time for me to make a decision!

KangtheMad
07-03-2011, 08:14 PM
The AM QnAs are real time. Yes, you can ask them questions about your shot. You're encouraged to do so. The mentors can show their desktops, at least they have been the whole time I was a student there. But yeah, the video resolution could be better.

The QnAs and lectures are NOT downloadable/recordable by design. It's part of the student policy that you agree to once you begin the program. It's inconvenient at times, but it's so that their lectures don't end up on Youtube. I've always takne notes on top of the summaries they provide for lectures, so it wasn't a big deal for me. Same as QnAs, but no summaries provided.

I can't really speak for ianimate, but from the sound of it, both AM and ianimate have great mentors/insturctors from various backgrounds/experience. AM is more expensive. It has a bigger student/alumni community, and good career services.

One thing that I've always told prospective AM students is that it's an intensive program, and you also have to be pro active to get the most out of the community. There are PLENTY of people available to critique your stuff, as a studnt or an alumnus, but you have to ask for feedback. To me, the peer critique is 50% of what I get out of AM.

I hope this helps. Good luck.

Sapphire
08-24-2011, 05:45 PM
Hi,

Could someone please give us more information about Wonderlic test.

Could you please tell us what to do to prepare for this test.

Thank you very much.

CGTalk Moderation
08-24-2011, 05:45 PM
This thread has been automatically closed as it remained inactive for 12 months. If you wish to continue the discussion, please create a new thread in the appropriate forum.