View Full Version : Full Sail -vs- Self Study

05 May 2010, 07:12 PM
Hello Everyone. This is my first post here and I'm looking for some help from the pros or even people in a similar situation to mine. I recently came across Full Sail and it's Online degree program and thought it looked nice. I wanted to go for the Animation degree because It looked like it would give me the broadest range of opportunities. I want to have lots of options whether it be in games, TV, movies, or just 3D stills for advertising. The more I look into Full Sail though I find potential problems for my goals. For one I currently would be limited to taking the online course and it does not cover the same topics as the campus course. The online does not include the courses in motion capture or effects. Those seem like pretty integral parts of animation to me. That makes me feel like i wouldn't really be getting my full moneys worth out of the program. I understand that those classes may be more hands on and so they cant be included in the online course but it seems like that would decrease my chances in starting my career. I actually filled out my FAFSA and talked to an admissions officer already but i'm on the edge here. The school is a lot of money.

So here is my big question, would Full Sail Online courses be worth it for the around $60,000 it costs or would it be better to forgo an actual degree for now and just go through a place like gnomon and buy teaching vids? I read in another thread on here that when it comes to 3D artistry degrees aren't exactly a must have. Full Sail online would basically be the same as just buying the teaching vids I think.

If I did go another route I would still have to buy all the high dollar software and put together a machine to run it. It would be a lot but not near as much as going through Full Sail. My only problem then however would be coming up with the money for it all without student loans.

As you can see I'm stressing a lot about this situation so I would very much appreciate anyone's thoughts or even tips on other avenues i could try. Thx in advance everyone and i hope to see some replies soon.

05 May 2010, 08:41 PM
Hey Matt! First, I want to say that I'm in a similar boat compared to you, so please take my advice with a pound or two of salt, because I definitely don't have all the answers :)

That said, you say that you are wanting a degree in animation, but that you want a wide variety of skills. This sounds like slightly conflicting goals! My understanding is that most of the medium-sized and large studios are looking for people who are really good at one thing (e.g. character animation, particle effects, whatever), as opposed to people who are kinda good at lots of stuff (aka 3D generalists). I think you are right to be concerned that Full Sail won't teach you everything you need to know, based on what you wrote, but I think it would also be good if you decided what, exactly, you want to know, and what your specific career goals are, and go from there!

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, if you're interested in character animation, you might want to check out Animation Mentor! They are a fraction of the cost of Full Sail, and their grads are putting out amazing work and getting great jobs. I plan to go there myself in Fall 2011 :D

I hope this was a helpful reply :D

05 May 2010, 03:48 AM
Hey pixarfangirl. Thx for the reply it was very helpful. I added you on AIM. I never really gave much thought to specializing. I actually would like to have a pretty good understanding of all of it but I want to specialize in modeling. I think that Animation Mentor might be right for me. I'll look into it more. It's probably one of my best options since I'd qualify for student loans so i can buy all the expensive tools of the trade.

05 May 2010, 03:56 PM
So here is my big question, would Full Sail Online courses be worth it for the around $60,000

Holy shit. No course is worth that. Seriously. What a waste of money.

05 May 2010, 04:00 PM
Hey Matt! :D If you want to be a modeler, then AM isn't right for you! AM only teaches character animation...and they do mean *only* ;) You won't learn modeling or rigging or anything, just how to be a really good animator. :) If you think that modeling is what you really want to do, then maybe someone else can jump in and tell you what some good schools for modeling are. I don't know, but I've heard Gnomon is good for that. But they're a bit pricey, so...

Modeling seems like one of those things that you could get pretty good at on your own with tutorials, and then you could take a couple of courses to take your work to the next level (i.e. make yourself hire-able). Then again, I'm not a modeler, so I don't know for sure! :D As far as self-study goes, I have really enjoyed Digital-Tutors and I would recommend them to anyone who is starting at the beginner level. They build you up from nothing and no prior experience is required to learn from them.

05 May 2010, 04:07 PM
online course? no its not worrthed!

one advantage going to such class is you got access to top notch computer on their labs and ofcourse comfortable place to study/work.

05 May 2010, 06:56 PM
I think I understand what ur going through.Truth be told,being self taught takes almost twice as much time learning,and since being self taught is a matter of trial and error,a solid knowledge or foundation wouldn't be achieved.I also would have said purchasin dvds n teachin yourself,but that also over time,takes your steam away.Put simply,schoolin,provides am opportunity to mingle n gain ideas or better methods of doing stuff quickly n efficiently.Remember: a dvd tutorial only covers d scope of whats being taught wit rarely room for experimentation.Your best bet would be schooling,n not online.I'm a Nigerian,done with college,but want to go study animation n vfx cos that's what I discovered makes me tick,4 years into doing an unrelated course.I simply would have chosen d option of teachin myself n all,but why delay,when I could achieve so much in such a short time if I had another go at school?Just my two kobo worth of insight.

05 May 2010, 08:13 PM
60k!!!? for an online degree course from Full Sail? that is insane. Animation Mentor is only 18k and the results from their program are far superior to Full Sail.

Watch this : it's only an hour long, but will hopefully give you a little bit of insight into what you are getting into and how a "school" like full sail views you.

05 May 2010, 10:21 PM
Don't waste your money on fail university . animation mentor is better.

05 May 2010, 08:52 AM
Greetings, I'll try to make this short and to the point. First off, Full Sail has a terrible reputation for being a total scam. I looked into them, and I agree 100%. They are MUCH more interested in your check than if you ever go anywhere. Personally I find it absolutely disgusting for them to pray on young peoples dreams.

Anyways, in addition MOST online programs are pretty bad. The only online program I have seen that is any good is Animation Mentor. It's much harder to learn online and you don't get some of the biggest advantages of going to a school. I'd highly recommend going to a school rather than online or self teaching. But between the two, if it's Full Sail vs self, self all the way. If online is some thing you want to do, check out animation mentor.

In addition make sure animation IS what you want to do! If you have never touched Maya or any of it's fellows, I do not suggest spending any kind of money on schooling before you try it out. There are lots of people who come in to this industry thinking it's what they want to do, and some of them get a stiff smack in the face when it doesn't turn out to be what they imagined.

Do try to think about going to a school rather than online or self taught, it is a much better road. And be sure you are doing as much research on these schools as possible.

05 May 2010, 12:44 PM
Don't fall prey to Full Sail's advertising. They can make a lot of promises on things, but they may not be able to keep them.
Also understand, in my honest opinion, Full Sail's computer animation department is the least funded department at the school. It felt like the Recording Arts and Film programs had the biggest budgets and allowed more access to needed equipment. This will tie into your online program, for example, the professors and lab instructors at the school will be too busy with their "real" students. If you're taking online courses, I feel as though the professors do not have enough time to deal with online students while teaching their real human body students.

If you do decide to go, I would greatly suggest actually going to the school so you have a more hands on approach to everything.
However, if you've seen Full Sail's campus, you might notice it's pretty decked out with a lot of fancy lights and currently they are working on building a theatre for their film students. I'm not so sure how that is going to benefit anyone with the production environment of anything film. Besides watching movies.
I'm sure any school that looks good is definitely an eye appeal, just like Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel, but the cost of the purchase outweighs the actual value of the knowledge you'll receive.

Take the time and really think about what you want to do.

05 May 2010, 02:16 PM

Nicely said.

Any school that needs a rock band in their school tour, isn't a school you want to attend. Even if it is online.

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