View Full Version : Which School Is Better? Pratt Or Animation Mentors?

07 July 2008, 12:48 AM
Hi, I am about to move to New York to seek a job after graduation in animation from FAU, no need to say that it was hardly eduacation, but the point is, I need a professional's advice in my next decision.

I am aware that the institue of PRATT university has a high reputation its digital arts college, I am enrolling in their grad program under the animation department, I have checked out and made some homework on them and I must say it is not bad at all. The other is the very well know, is ANIMATION MENTORS, my goal is to become a master at animation, and I know that they offer an incredible program. My animation professor attends Animation Mentors and highly recommended it.
My inquiry is, which will help me reach my goal the best, with money not in the picture. If I end up going to PRATT, I want to be able to have a steady job on the side, to survive the NY taxes and housing, perhaps an internship positiong that pays maybe but that is of course if I get one, who knows, but I want to know for sure how beneficial it would be in the long run if anyone has any knowledge. Please help. Thanks alot

07 July 2008, 01:55 AM
Well, I honestly have no idea what kind of animation program PRATT offers, but I will say that from personal experience, AnimationMentor is one of the top animation schools for teaching you how to animate. However, it's very specifically focused on animation. Not rendering, lighting, modeling, texturing or any of that other CG stuff.

I can't really tell you which would better help you reach your goals though, it sounds like you know enough about both to make that desicion. I can certainly vouch for the quality of the AnimationMentor program, but it's possible to become just as good or even better at what you want to using other schools. I'm sure you've heard this before, but it's more about how you apply yourself and interact with the instructors/community in any given situation than the particular school or program you attend.
That being said, there are disadvantages to AnimationMentor as well. You need to be fairly self-sufficient and good at working on your own and avoiding distractions. The community is AWESOME! and if you look hard enough you can usually get someone to help you. But there may also be times when you will have to figure it out on your own. Of course if you do have problems or questions, write them down and ask your mentor during the Q&A.

Lastly, I would like to point out that you probably shouldn't say you want to "master" animation. It's a field where you never stop learning and even the best animators would probably never say they've mastered it. (even though they are Master animators!!)

Anyways, thats' the best info I can provide for now. Good luck with your desicions and if you more questions about Am, you can PM me.

07 July 2008, 05:43 PM
Hey, thanks for the response its very insightful and I understand what you mean, I dont mind working hard at home, the only problem is that I learn much better when someone tells me physically what I am doing wrong by pointing it out in front of me, or by me watching visually how to solve a problem. I guess I learn better through a teacher, than online comments and emails, its just me. I agree with you that through ANIMATION MENTORS i will be recieving feed back from amoung the best, and in no doubt will be benefical, however, like I mentioned before I am not so sure on how I will learn through reading material and feedback.

Zephyrpower, from your personal experience if you read this forum again, if you dont mind telling me, I want to know if you found it easy to find a job working through animation mentors for a animation field? Thats what I am basically shooting for, a animation job for a small game company in NY, I am not ready yet for a job like that, cause I lack experience and quality work, not to mention a decent resume and a personal URL. If I were to choose ANIMATION MENTOR over, a private institute, of course applying myself daily, do you think I would be ready to handle an animation job in video games? Thanks

07 July 2008, 10:19 PM
I assume you're talking about animation and not all areas of 3d/cg.

My personal view is that I would not recommend post-graduate schools like Pratt if all you want is a job/career. I think the life experience of post-graduate school is probably more valuable then the practical animation experience you might learn, but it takes years to "master" animation so a master's degree is almost pointless except for personal reasons.

Just looking at Pratt's Digital Animation curriculum, it seems like you'll spend some time trying to get better at animation on your own while having to take a lot of other 3d courses at the same time. It's good to be well rounded, but I'm not sure post-grad is the way to go for that if all you want to do is animate.

I'd say try the first course of Animation Mentor and see how you like it. Animation takes a lot of time and practice to get better at, and the two best things about A:M are one, all you'll do is focus on animation, concepts, and posing; and two, all of the mentors have worked in the industry. I just think it's the best way to go for people with little or no experience, especially if they've already done under-grad school and want more specific training.

It's not that I'm opposed to grad school programs, because I'm not. I just feel like you do them for more reasons then "to get a job."

07 July 2008, 01:59 AM
Dude, you saved me, I don't know how to thank you. That was...perfect *tear* *tear* lol seriously thanks man that was great. I will give it a go, and hope i get good at it.

07 July 2008, 02:05 AM
One thing though Brett,

Well, I need to find a job on the side when I am in NY to help pay for rent along with my girlfriend. She makes good dough, but I dont want to live off her you know? Heres, the question, if I apply myself in animation mentors, and within the first few months or if the project I am currently working on now, which has taken 2 months to do so far (my final project for graduation, a animation short), and make it even better, what are my chances of finding a job in a small company in NY to work, and then do ANIMATION MENTOR on the side?
I know that animation takes a ridiculous amount of time, believe me, i spent countless sleepless nights I know all about it and I am 22 years old, but do you think I will be ok taking Animation Mentors AND holding a weekly job, i mean it doesnt even have to be CG related I wouldnt mind working at a bank or something during the day lol. Please help, your last post was awesome and you seem to know what you are talking about.

07 July 2008, 02:12 AM
Oh I forgot to mention one other thing,

I agree with what you said, with the curriculum of PRATT seems like I am taking what I already done in FAU just with MAYBE a better instructer etc. I am pretty well rounded in modeling, compositing, rigging, and texturing. My primary skills ATM are modeling and animating, but I am much better at animating, and my professor KEN ROBKIN that attends ANIMATION MENTORS, even said himself that I am not bad at all at animation, just more application and I will become better and better. The only reason why I thought about PRATT was because I heard it was good for what I was aiming for and that it would help me in animating more, and a fellow classmate is going there and highly recommended it. But like you said, all I really want to do is concentrate on animating, so it seems obvious to me that enrolling to ANIMATION MENTORS is the way to go. I read that rigging is also a very important skill to learn as an animator, and currently I am learning how to at home with several tutorials. I want to thank you again for your help.

07 July 2008, 07:12 PM
Dang...double post

07 July 2008, 07:27 PM
Okay, you responded to my post asking how easy it was to get a job in the animation field via

Well, I actually have yet to find a job, but there are tons of factors involved in getting a job. The main ones are.... your skill, good timing and continually updating and sending your work out to different companies and of course knowing the right people! However, there is never a guarantee that you will get a job by taking a specific course...but I can tell you that AnimationMentor will definetely increase the odds in your favor.

If you just want to do Animation like you mentioned above...then I would definetely go for it.

Here are some bits of advice for you (based on your previous posts)

1. You can probably have a job while attending The busiest classes are Class 4 and Class 6. If you had to chose a term to take a break, I would reccomend saving it for those.
2. I wouldn't advise skipping sleep and spending countless sleepless nights doing work. Leading a balanced life is crucial to learning and not getting burned out on animation or anything else.
3. If you want to apply for a job at an Animation Studio...well it all depends on your skills. I wouldn't apply until your at least finished with Class 1 & 2! Those are good for the basics and if your mentor and everyone says you have outstanding work you could try to apply. But I would reccomend focusing on AnimationMentor until the end.

I know Ken Robkin! He's a really good animator...tell him I said Hi!

07 July 2008, 11:44 PM
THanks Zephry, awesome advice man, you helped a lot! I sure will tell him next time I see him.

07 July 2008, 11:58 PM
I have heard nothing but praise for the program that Animation mentor offers, but allow me to play devils advocate here for a bit so you can get the other side.

The main thing about Animation Mentor that makes it a bit uneasy, is that the "program" is not any kind of accredited program that you can take with you to other places. It is STRICTLY a "Lets make you better at animation" program and nothing more. So you will not get any kind of degree like a BFA or an MA by going through Animation mentor. I know you already have a degree as is, so it might not be as big of a concern to you, but I know its been a concern of a few, which is why I bring it up.

I know if your gunning for an Animation job, it might seem like a good idea on paper. But from what I've heard from friends that have gone through the program, is that it doesn't teach you anything that you WOULDN'T learn else where. It just has a better format of conveying the information then any other program out there. And while that might make it good for what its supposed to do, an Actual degree that you can walk away from at PRATT is something that you can take with you for the rest of you life into ANY FEILD. And not just be limited to Animation. Sure everyone out there will say to put in an "All or nothing" approch, but the reality is that going through the program will not guarantee you a job in the industry, so at the end of the day, what do you personally think is more important to you?

And just so you know, I'm not an Animator, I'm a modeler just speaking my mind from what I've seen as far as others say after going through the program. Although everyone I know that has gone through it has done it IN ADDITION to their traditional schooling, while they take Animation mentor on the side.

From what I hear, its a fantastic program, but just be sure you know exactly WHAT your getting into before you jump head long into it.

07 July 2008, 09:08 PM
Excellent advice, I want to be good at animating period. And I dont want to spend 60,000 to go to pratt learning stuff I could learn on my own through tutorials. SUre in my resume it shows "graduated from PRATT etc." but I think I can manage to learn rigging and other technical things outside of an institute. I think that if I go to ANIMATION MENTORS I will become better at animation, and on the side, I will be studing other arts, such as rigging, programming, modeling, and drawing.

I agree with you're advice, I just think that I would ONLY go to PRATT if my foot gets me THAT much further in the industry and if I become extremely better in animation, which is what I am shooting for. But because I know that PRATT doesnt soley focuse on animation, then I know that that is not my choice, even though I am turning down its repuation. As long as my demo reel shows great animation, I am happy. Graduating from a private institue is not my goal.

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