11-08-2010, 08:40 PM
This depends on what area of CG you are looking to go into. Schools like Ringling, Gnomon, CalArts, SCAD, all have great reputations and are some of the best in the industry in their fields.
So if you could be more specific on what area you would like to focus on, that would help.
A few notes on what you have said. Don't judge a school by their website, unless their site is utter crap. If they can't make a decent website, how can they teach you art. For an example, check out Full Sail's website. It's pretty damn good as far as advertising goes and showing off. And yet Full Sail is terrible (It has its nick name for a reason, Fail Sail).
Take all reviews about schools with a grain of salt. Meaning, don't take every review too seriously. LOTS of kids out there go to these schools thinking they will be spoon fed and play video games all day. When that doesn't happen they go and wright a bad review on how terrible the school is. And keep in mind negative news outshines positive news any day.
VFS is definitely a good school capable of taking you to the places you want to go. But like any and every school out there, it is a risk, you won't be spoon fed information, and it's not going to be easy.
I've been searching for a school for almost 3 years now. In that time I've learned a lot about the available schools and what to look for. Personal when I look at schools this is what I look for:
1: Demo Reels - in the end, this is the only thing that matters, can you make a good demo reel. The site should have some on there along with the names of the students who made them. (keep the name part in mind for later)
2: Search for more demo reels - Schools are only going to display their best work. That doesn't stop the other students from posting theirs on youtube.
3: Curriculum - This is really important, make sure they are teaching you what you need and want to know. Also a class like career realities is a really good thing to have.
4: Teachers - What have they done, have they worked in the past 2 years, who have they worked for. If your teachers aren't good at cg, how can they teach you it! Example, Ryan Kingslien is a teacher at Gnomon. He teaches ZBrush classes. Not only is he considered to be one of the most knowledgeable users of ZBrush, he helped make it!
5: Use those names you found by searching for demo reels. Most of those people have websites, just google their name. Check their resume and current demo reel. Then e-mail them and ask them how the school was.
I have used those 5 steps to take my list of potential schools from thousands to 3. As a side note, VFS was one of those 3. ( just can't pay for it :/ )
Hopefully some of that is useful. Good luck finding your school, if you have any questions this is a great place to ask them.
Edit: Got a PM asking what the 3 schools are. They are Gnomon, VFS, and Ringling. The only 3 schools I feel confident are worth the money and have what I personally am looking for.
11-08-2010, 08:40 PM
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