View Full Version : Full Sail Animation Degree Suggestions

07 July 2011, 01:46 AM
I will start by introducing myself,
My name is Xander Shabe and I am a 19 year old painter, animator, writer and musician.
I have been strongly considering schools to study animation for film for the past 3 years as i view it as the final frontier for my creativity as it culminates all of my personal talents. I first discovered Full Sail University when I was about 16, I was still unsure of what I wanted to do with my future but was certain that it had something to do with the arts, as I have always had an intense passion for creating things.
As of now, after graduating high school I have worked very hard to earn money towards schooling, ( I currently have up to $64,000 I can use towards any school in the USA.) I have been intensely studying art and 2D animation and working on putting my self on a higher skill level than the typical aspiring artists my age. And I now know EXACTLY what I want to do.
I have been looking into many schools for CG animation including The School of Visual Arts, Ringling, Calarts and Vancouver Film School, as well as Full Sail. One thing i know for sure is that I do NOT want to get stuck in a standard 4 year education, I am looking at something very specific; an accelerated education such as VFS and Full Sail. (Only problem is that VFS is very pricey, where as i have $60k+ I can use in the USA.)

Now, I know I am rambling, I would just like some advice as to what the best option would be. I have read a lot of shady things about Full Sail and I fully understand that the education is what you get out of it, I most definitely do not expect to be spoon-fed information. I am looking to just go somewhere that will teach me the skills I need to be able to just create something beautiful and amazing and allow me to get a career in the film field.
I am currently still unsure if this school is the correct choice, I am just looking for advice as to the best option, I will be calling several professionals from the actually industry (Pixar, Blue Sky Studios etc.) on their advice and opinions on students who come out of Full Sail who are actually passionate and put everything into the education. Any advice, stories or suggestions would be amazing!
If you would like, you can check out my art HERE ( (I apologize for the sparsity, I am currently rebuilding my portfolio with my current work) send any suggestions on what I should work on along with animation and the such.

Thank you very much to all who read!

Xander Shabe

07 July 2011, 05:47 AM
Hello Xander, I identified very much with you because I was very unsure a few months about wich school I would enroll. I also didn't want a 4 year traditional college, besides the high costs a college has.

I've heard a lot of bad stuff about full sail university. I haven't been there and I dunno the program or any other stuff. But I've heard a lot of bad critics.

If you're searching for an accelerated program allow me to recomend you The Los Angeles Film School. They offer a AAS degree in computer animation, the school is pretty cool and they have the best of the best in computer technology. The program lasts 18 months and the tuition for the full program is 38 900 Usd. The program covers everything about digital animation and visual effects. I've personally been there and I've seen the student's work and it's pretty cool. Besides all that stuff, it's situated in the hearth of hollywood, so you'll have a lot of contact options there.

If you don't like L.A. film school the I suggest you to look upon Dave school, and gnomon, but this last one is too expensive and last 3 years with a heavy load of work.

Give it a look and tell me what do you think. ;)

07 July 2011, 04:35 PM
I am looking to just go somewhere that will teach me the skills I need to be able to just create something beautiful and amazing and allow me to get a career in the film field.

you need to be more specific...what do you enjoy doing most? animation, modeling, rigging? pick one and learn the others on your own time...once you've figured that...research schools that offer your important tip, try to find schools that include internship programs...not all schools have that but the few that do should help narrow things schools are also an option.

keep in mind, the school doesn't make a great demo reel for matter how popular or expensive.

good luck!

07 July 2011, 06:26 AM
Hey Xander. You said that you didn't expect to be spoon fed information, but your having some luck today. I am also a 2D and 3D animator and I just graduated from Full Sail a few months ago with a degree in their computer animation program. I am more than happy to share all of the information that I can about the school.

If I may first address the issues posted previously about Full Sail University. Generally speaking, the bad reviews about the school are merely the ranting of disgruntled dropouts. Full sail has an unbelievably high dropout rate. Specifically within the first six months. The computer Animation program alone has a 65% dropout rate. Of course, some people are unsatisfied with the situation. That is to be expected. However, the truth is that the vast majority of students simply are not ready for the workload. Their policy is, accept almost everyone. Let those who will succeed do so. The others will fail on their own accord. I have personally watched this happen more times then I can count.

Now with that said allow me to explain why so many people who attend Full Sail drop out. Semesters are 1 month long. You are expected to complete the same workload in that 1 month as you would in a standard 4-year college semester. Students never take more than 2 classes a semester and each class is 8 hours a day minimum. 4 hours of lecture, and 4 hours of lab work. Again, thatís the minimum. Other schools get 3 months off in summer, and a month in winter. We get 1 week in each. The entire 4-year bachelors degree is completed in 21 months at best.

It is overwhelming to say the least, but there are allot of benefits to this. Full Sail students are trained to work as quickly and efficiently as any potential students from any potential schools in the world. Any employer will tell you, this is a massive benefit for a fresh employee over another. I will admit that the quality of work from our average students is not quite up to par with Cal Arts, or Vancouver average student. I would, however, be willing to put our best against their best any time. I can also say that the school is on an upward swing. The students I see during my internship, have been getting better, faster every few months.

If there was one thing that I wish could be changed about the school as a whole, it would be the online grading, Email, and organizational system known as ďPropeller.Ē It is an unbelievably frustrating and poorly put together tool. They rely on it like it was the glue holding the school together. All the offices use it to communicate, and information is so often lost and misinterpreted that I must have spent a full weeks time in the student advisors waiting room during my undergrad. There are rumors currently that they are planning to rebuild it from scratch, but Iím not personally holding my breath.

Because the schoolís web sight is built around Propeller, it can be hard at times to get all of the information your looking for. So allow me to give you a heads up on the animation department. Go to Here is a list of some of the animation professors and course directors that work at Full Sail:

Sean Springer
Kathy Blackmore
Barry Temple
Anthony Michaels
Konrad Winterlich

I wish I could remember full names, because there are another dozen impressive animation resumes within the staff (note, thats just animation).

All in all, Full Sail is an excellent school, its growing, progressing, and developing, every year. It offers detailed education on every aspect of the animated film pipeline. I hope this has been helpful, feel free to ask more questions about my experience. Iím happy to share.

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