View Full Version : Academy of Art - pixar classes disbanded...

08 August 2009, 10:37 PM
I was wondering if anyone else had heard that the character animation classes taught by pixar at the Academy of Art University had been disbanded and if anyone knew why . . . I'm really bummed because that's a major reason why I wanted to go to AAU. Now I'm concerned with the character animation program because I'm assuming they left for a reason. I was wondering if anyone knew what was up.

I understand the school does not make the animator but I was going here to get a push in the right direction and if the school isn't fulfilling that, I wonder why I'm paying to be here . . .

09 September 2009, 03:37 PM
This might answer your question. I found it on the web
Many students have been asking what happened to the 3 classes at the Academy of Art in San Francisco that were taught by Pixar animators. I wanted to talk a bit about it, having taught there for 7 years and having many students of the program working here. I cant speak for Pixar, or the other teachers. What I am saying mostly comes from how I saw things. The basic problem is that the students that were coming into the “Pixar classes” were supposed to be the creme of the crop of the Academy, which in itself is a problem. The fact that the students were not getting a good education in animation unless they hit those classes really bothered me. I had the opportunity to teach all three levels of the class. One thing I have to say about the academy students is that they are driven. I have seen many students with loads of talent, but no drive. I never really had a problem with a student not doing the work. They were hungry. The problem was that we were teaching basics which they should have already had. It seemed to me as if many of the students coming into the class just wanted to be “shot animators” Animators who could be trained and then put on a film. Students that just wanted to work for Pixar. That’s fine, but we felt they were missing out on making their own films. Taking a pre-built character and doing exercises is important, and we have amazing animators here that were hired based on those assignments. The big issue is more about how the rest of the curriculum supports the student to not only be an animator but a film maker. We were not seeing those skills taught. I think a place like Cal Arts supports this. I have also heard from Calarts students that they wish they had more classes where they could learn more advanced 3d character animation skill, like polish and so forth… The good thing that has come out of this is that the Academy has taken notice and wants to fix things. Alot of it comes down to the quality of the teachers. I’m not sure how long it will take or when and if the “pixar classes” will return. In the end, we care most about the students. For me, I wanted to teach at a place where I could know every student, which is one of the reasons why I went to CCA. I personally also got a bit burnt out from teaching 3d. I can’t speak for the other teachers, but I have a feeling that some of the guys just needed a break and also wanted to see things change for the better. The thing that I miss most about teaching at the Academy is the students and the great work that was produced by them. They inspired me. All I want is the best for the students. I expect things to change for the better soon and look forward to helping them in any way I can.


09 September 2009, 06:56 PM
Basically, the Pixar Character Animation program went across the bay to CCA.

09 September 2009, 08:15 AM
I believe the instructors who left went on to found

09 September 2009, 03:39 PM
I believe the instructors who left went on to found

One of them now works for Animation Mentor, but did not found it (Animation Mentor has been around since well before the end of the AAU program). One went to Ringling. The rest either no longer teach or are at CCA.

09 September 2009, 07:37 PM
Well, both Shawn and Bobby did teach together at AAU at one point, so while they had already left years before AAU stopped the Pixar classes, 2 of the the founders of AM are technically former AAU teachers.

09 September 2009, 09:39 PM
i really wish cca had animation while i was attending there. i would of taken an animation class with every elective credit i had :( - heck, with the 7 years i spent at cca i could of double majored.

when i was in illustration we had a couple of teachers that came over to cca from aau also for different reasons. frankly i think auu is simply too big of a school.

eidt: it might actually be good for the students.

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