PDA

View Full Version : AAU vs Ringling?


rsharpey
10-09-2010, 02:30 AM
Which school has the better animation program or are they pretty much the same? The reason I ask is because AAU is alot less tution-wise than ringling is and my family and I want to save money. Also would having a double major in graphic design/ buissness managment help break into the industry? I'm going to college first.

Opinions are appreciated thanks.

dancgfx
10-09-2010, 09:23 AM
Try to find of the names of faculties who teach animation and google them. Look at their portfolio and resume. See whether they've got good industry experience and how long they've been into teaching.
Talk to the students and ask them about the teaching there. AAU often conducts chat session(sort of like a conference)with the faculties. Every chat session is recorded. Watch the previous chat session at AAU's website.

MrConterno
10-11-2010, 03:50 AM
Personally I say Ringling. Many say they are one of, if not the best in the world for animation.

CorranQ
10-11-2010, 10:59 AM
AAU has a lot of faculty straight from the active Film/TV/Gaming industry, right now. I've yet to have had a teacher that didn't have credentials to their name at some major studio or firm.

The Animation curriculum itself is also pretty strong. An additional advantage is the online degree program too, which can be done entirely online or partly online and part on campus in San Francisco.

I've heard about Ringling, but couldn't really offer much information on it. I can only tell you AAU is good, its industry contacts are great (they even do an annual Spring Show where they invite people from every art industry in to check out student work, but this is on top of conferences done year-round, amongst other industry-specific and related activities), and that all the Foundation Arts classes the curriculum comes with are pretty worthwhile though they seem torturous at first. The CG (3D/VFX/Animation) classes are all solid too.

You might find more of what you're looking for by going through here http://online.academyart.edu/resources/

Meloncov
10-16-2010, 09:52 PM
AAU has some very good teachers, but a lot of crappy teachers and poor administration tying the whole thing together. Here are the comments of one of their then top teachers who left in frustration:

http://splinedoctors.com/2008/12/academy-of-art-and-the-pixar-classes/

Ringling (at least in the animation department; the rest of the school is not as prestigious) has teachers than range from decent to very good, and has a relatively competent administration. Its one downside (and it's the reason I'm not going there, despite being accepted) is that there is very little freedom in the program; everyone has to take most of the same classes, and everyone is pushed to be a generalist with a slight specialization in animation, and if you decide you want to specialize in, say, modeling, the school can't give you a whole lot of support.

CorranQ
10-16-2010, 11:33 PM
AAU has some very good teachers, but a lot of crappy teachers and poor administration tying the whole thing together.

I'd say every school out there has a full range of teachers though: good, bad, in-between. I don't know if because I'm exclusively an online student I've had a more advantageous experience than the one described by the teacher writing the blog post linked above, but I just haven't had any of the problems described. Then again, I'm not specializing in animation, have no desire to work at Pixar (nothing against them, just not my style), and admittedly I'd hate to move to San Francisco and find myself in that particular boat of feeling like I'm behind the skills I ought to have while having every next teacher have to catch me up, ick!

I have on occasion had a bad teacher or two in three years so far, but at least in the online program, you don't have to rely on the teacher to get the support you need to keep going forward and learn, as most of the techniques and knowledge are provided by online class web pages, DVDs, and downloadable content that you follow along with on a weekly basis for the classes imparted.

Additional to this, they provide workshops that attach to the classes (for free) that you're actively taking, so there are "online tutors" that assist your teachers in case you need extra help that might be getting missed out on in the actual class, with your actual teacher. Those workshops also cover other aspects of the work we're doing (or may do in the future) that may not be getting covered in the more specific curriculum being followed in a certain class.

The teachers themselves just really concentrate on resolving problems/snags we hit in the process of developing our weekly or full semester projects, doubts about some technique we'd like to explore, and give feedback on our weekly progress and suggestions on how to improve. It really is more of a guided self-study program, with the advantage of having well-learned professionals from the industry on hand to help solve problems. Are they all expert teachers? Definitely not... but I suspect the online aspect helps in particular as it's more like talking to a buddy or coworker and asking for help in figuring something out, than nagging a teacher to do the work for you.

Plus, you do actually have classmates, and often some of them have a great knowledge of what's being done, and how it's being done. They're pretty open (usually) to helping out if you approach them too, not to mention class interaction's a part of your grade so you might as well throw your questions out at them anyway.

So yeah... that's the last of my two cents unless you've got questions, lol. I can't really tell you about the on-campus experience, but you at least have some information via Meloncov, although I don't quite agree about the administration being poor (but again, I'm only an online student). The Director has always replied to me when I've needed his help on something, and my academic advisor - though no expert on the degree - has usually been able to solve any issues I've had with class registration and figuring out the constantly evolving class offering (as no, they do not stay the same from semester to semester).

Meloncov
10-18-2010, 04:27 AM
So yeah... that's the last of my two cents unless you've got questions, lol. I can't really tell you about the on-campus experience, but you at least have some information via Meloncov, although I don't quite agree about the administration being poor (but again, I'm only an online student). The Director has always replied to me when I've needed his help on something, and my academic advisor - though no expert on the degree - has usually been able to solve any issues I've had with class registration and figuring out the constantly evolving class offering (as no, they do not stay the same from semester to semester).

I've met six former AAU teachers. All but one of them have complained about the administration in front of me (though being an online student probably does shield you from the worst of it).

CGTalk Moderation
10-18-2010, 04:27 AM
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.