View Full Version : AAU,SCAD, GNOMON or? [Important]

08 August 2011, 07:16 PM
Hey guys sorry for posting this thread here but in the other section no one answers me.
So, after spending so much time in animating and VFX i found out that im more passionate to Visual Effects.I have been looking up in the Net for some info about all of the best USA's universities and schools but right now i am very very very very x1000 confused.Can you tell me which school or university gives the best knowledge (visual effects not animation)

08 August 2011, 01:24 PM
Hey there...

Personally I think Gnomon is the best out there for any type of education in the CG industry. I base that opinion on the quality of work coming out of there, the members on their advisory board and who is teaching their classes. The downside is, to focus on Visual Effects (and be one of the best), you're looking at either a 2 or 3 year schooling commitment based on their available options. Also, they're expensive, not to mention the fact that they're in Los Angeles where the cost of living is high.

There are also the Art Institutes (San Francisco, Fort Lauderdale, etc.) that have great programs, but they're pricy as well. Full Sail is an option (they have a online degree program), but I wasn't impressed with them (a lot of worthless courses like english and history that waist your time and don't make you a better artist).

Depending on your money situation and timeframe, there is the DAVE School in Orlando, FL that has a 1 year program that covers all of the basics from modeling through VFX and 3D Steroscopic work. It doesn't concentrate on VFX per se, but you can probably get a lot more out of it based on the way they set up the courses and projects there.

Hope this helps.

08 August 2011, 02:00 PM
THanks for your reply but what about SCAD ? I heard their VFX program is very good

08 August 2011, 12:46 PM
SCAD is a great school, but when it comes to a focus on CG work, they're kind of new to it. I've met a few people from SCAD and it didn't seem to me that the cirriculum was up to par with other institutions. They're a more "well-rounded" school which means you'll still be required to take classes that have nothing to do with VFX. If you want to be a great VFX person, taking English or Art History won't help you get there.

Like I said, it depends on your money situtation and your career goals. You just have to find the right balance for your money and time versus the skills you'll be taught.

Good Luck

08 August 2011, 02:57 PM
The money is not the problem,i just need opinions so what is yours if not SCAD? Btw thanks for your reply

08 August 2011, 03:28 AM
Hands down...Gnomon.

1) Look at the people teaching their courses - all industry pros (some of the best anywhere I might add)
2) The coursework is all about making you better at becoming a professional CG artist. They have coursework centered around VFX, which is what you're looking for.
3) If you want to get into the movie business, you need to be in LA. Not that you cant find work elsewhere, its just that your odds of getting picked up go up dramatically by being there.
4) You'll be learning along side other people who are really amazing artists. You'll work together and make connections there that will open all kinds of doors for you.

Just my two cents...

Hope it helps

08 August 2011, 07:56 AM
SCAD is in Georgia, a million miles away from the visual effects industry, located primarily here in the Los Angeles, CA area. If you are not concerned with getting a degree, then Gnomon is the better choice. If you need a degree then AAU will give you a degree but you will find that a lot of people have reservations about their program.

Edit - I see that you are from Bulgaria. If you want to stay to work in the US after school, you will need to get a degree (BFA - Bachelors of Fine Art) etc.

08 August 2011, 07:27 PM
So you are saying that if i go directly in gnomon after my high school i cant work in the vfx industry?

08 August 2011, 11:07 PM
To stay in the US and work, you'd need a visa (I'm not a visa expert by any means) but visa requirements are a whole different ballgame. Pretty typically for ANY country other than your own that you will want to work in, you will need a degree to satisfy that country's visa requirements. I have definitely known of instances where students have studied at non degree granting programs and then have been surprised to discover upon completion of their program that they could not stay and work in the US because they did not have a degree.

As an international student, it is your job to research visa requirements for the countries besides your own where you will want to eventually work. Don't ask schools these questions, because their job is to recruit you as a student. It's not in their best interest to let international students know that they could end up screwed without a degree.

08 August 2011, 01:00 AM
I agree with what Oharats is saying about the quality of CG education being superior at Gnomon. However, I also want to emphasize what Rebeccak has already said about degrees and international students and if you need a degree, SCAD is your best choice. They really aren't new at focusing on CG work (they've had a computer arts program since the 90's) and while some of the student work coming out of there is not great, I know TONS of people from SCAD that graduated around the same time as me and went to work at Pixar, Dreamworks, Disney, R&H, Digital Domain, Method, the list goes on.

As long as you go to the Savannah campus, the location is not that big of a deal. It's actually nice because the cost of living is so low. SCAD has a lot of recruiters from big companies come and do interviews so the location is not as much of an issue as people might think. When I was there, we had recruiters from R&H, DD and Pixar coming every quarter or two and many others coming at least once/year. I know a lot of people who got internships or full time positions straight out of school because of this.

Also, most of the classes at SCAD are not fluff/time wasters since a solid fine arts foundation will only help, not hurt you. The few unrelated classes (one math, two english, a couple others) are only taught because they HAVE to be in order for SCAD to award a degree (the main reason Gnomon doesn't offer 4 year degrees - they don't want to teach these classes.)

I do want to be sure to clear up the misconception some people have that you need a degree from a US school to get a visa, which isn't true. A bachelors from a non-US school will work just as well for visa purposes.

08 August 2011, 12:04 AM
You never know what job requrements will be needed in the future. Although I do like Gnomon and had a daughter who took some courses there, I don't recommend that you go there instead of getting a degree.

My strong suggestion is that you get a degree in fine art, animation or illustration. Gnomon should be considered an advanced school after you get a degree and NOT in lieu of it.

YOu could major in animation. There are some fantastic choices such as Ringling. SVA, Pratt or even SCAD. USC also has an animation major as does CalArts. In Canada you have Sheridan.All of these , in my opinion, are superior to that of the choices that you posted.

Bottom line: Go to any of the ones that I suggested before you go to Gnomon.

09 September 2011, 05:34 PM

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