full sail

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  03 March 2006
full sail

hi, new guy here, first post. awesome site btw, tons of info.
anyways, i'm in the military and have 2 more years before i'm out and I was planning on going to Full Sail. I don't have experience with 3d but it's something i've been wanting to do for too long. i do love to draw and paint. in these 2 years i have i wanted to do some training on my on as well. but the question is, is full sail a good school? on another site i've seen mixed feelings about it but i haven't seen anything here about the subject. any info would be greatly appreciated. Tnx
  03 March 2006
hey man..I went to fullsail. It was pretty challenging, and a hell of a lot of fun. You'll meet a lot of inspiring people. But mainly, you can leave the school without much concept of traditional art skills. So it's always suggested that you take art classes before/after the schooling. However if you can't handle the debt it puts on you, and be a skilled 2-d artist, then think twice. It just gives you the run down on all the technology you could want to know about. And they squeeze a few months for art classes, and if you listen can grow in them a lot. but it's really what you make out of it. successful people have come out of it.
  03 March 2006
cool, thanks for your info.
  03 March 2006
I'm not going to come on here and hate on FullSail but, their program is very fast paced. You don't really get time to develop your skills. You're always busy with your current class and it usually doesn't have a lot to do with what you really want to do. I suggest looking into other schools that give you more time before looking into FullSail.
  03 March 2006
thanks for the info again. I am doing some training right now on my on and i am thinking about buying some gnomon or 3dbuzz training dvd's. I still have 2 years before I can go into any college i want to go so i figure i might as well do all that i can.
  03 March 2006
Views on Full Sail

I know it may be somewhat of a biased opinion. I am a Digital Media student at the University of Central Florida, which is literally a 5 minute drive from Full Sail. I have had several conversations between professionals in the field, and students that go to Full Sail. One of the essential things that I gathered that Full Sail lacks, that many professional jobs look for is the understanding of traditional art skills.

I've also seen that many of the jobs I've been looking at have required a bachelor's degree, which Full Sail will not provide for you. Full Sail is not an accredited institute either.

The most I've gathered from Full Sail is that you learn how to use some specific tools. Unfortunately, they do not seem to give you as much of a knowledge for problem solving within technical fields.

I'd suggest finding a Digital Media type major at an accredited university. Most are good for web development, and graphic design. Many also have music, animation, and game development tracks within those majors.
  03 March 2006
I graduated from Full Sail last March. I will say that it is a pretty challenging school to complete without failing at least one of the classes. This is due mainly to the extremely fast rate at which you are thrown into subjects and the timeframe you have to become experienced enough to complete final projects for each class. In my original 3d foundations class at the beginning of the course had around 35 people. By Demo Reel at the end of the course, there was me and about 5 other people that made it all the way through without failing a class. They weren't stupid, it usually came down to them not making enough time for themselves to finish the projects the classes required.

Basically you get about as much out of it as you put in. Personally, I spent nearly every waking moment from the beginning to the end, in class and at home developing my knowledge of the subjects. As a result I was far more advanced than 90% of the people there. I'm not going to say you are going to be a pro by any means when you graduate because you wont be. Not necessarily from the material covered, its just that the course isn't long enough to develope your skills. I've certainly done that since I've been out of school though. If you are looking for something more advanced, I would recommend maybe something like the Gnomon School. Perhaps VFS. Most reels I see come out of that place rock.

They do have excellent equiptment in almost all the labs. New Wacoms at every PC or MAC, brand new HPs in the Demo Lab (blazing fast), and projectors ect throughout the building. I'm sure they have a whole load of new stuff since I've been there.

If you consider it, I would recommend at least having some art skills to start off. If you don't you wont learn it there. The classes they have basically build on what you already know. And have at least a little experience with Maya.

Was it worth it? I feel like I got a lot out of my time there, and it certainly pushed me in the direction I wanted to go professionally.

Would I go there again? No, I'm far more advanced than the basic to intermediate stuff the classes cover.

Did I have fun? You bet. The time I had there was priceless. You meet so many different types of people. Everyone is awesome and every day is hilarious. Watch out for hurricanes though. We went through 3 that year.
"Hi Ho Tin Foil"
  03 March 2006
There are many four year programs out there I would consider first. Becoming a CG Artist involves the cultivation of many disciplines of art. Rushing that cultivation is not recommended. In my opinion, 4 years even seemed rushed.

Just my 2 cents..
  03 March 2006
thanks for the inputs everyone. I have more to think about than i had bargained for but that is a very good thing. i'll keep practicing for these next 2 years on my own and use gnomon and maybe 3dbuzz videos. maybe in a few months i'll be able to post some images to hear what you think.
  03 March 2006
I'm also a FS grad; oct 04'. All the other stuff said is true about the program being very rushed, and "getting what you put in". The thing that bothered me about FS is that their curriculum is not up to date. The hardware seemed plenty suffiscient, they just built a whole new CA building last year (05') and the associates degree program that I took is no longer in effect. Its a 23 month bachalors now-from what I understand.

What i will say, is that they did not teach me, poly modeling, photoshop textureing or zbrush to any amount of impact. But I got a pretty solid job now- and my studio has hired like 8 alumni from FS. So I guess i took what i needed, but i was a fairly adept traditional artist from the beginning. Also, the drop out rate is extremely high. I would recommend looking into VFS as well.

Last edited by clodhopper : 03 March 2006 at 11:29 PM.
  03 March 2006
I'm a senior and graduate in May. I've been considering Full Sail as well, but its just sooo expensive. I talked to an art teacher the other day who is probably the smartest person I personally know, and she advised me that I need to take all that money and put it into a school that will give me a real degree. Perhaps professionals here will disagree with this, but she also said something else that made sense. If I'm sitting in a job interview, me, a Full Sail grad, next to a guy capable of the same stuff, but has bachelors... What they really care about is what we can do, not where we come from, but if they interview the guy with the degree first, and like what he has, why waist time interviewing the next guy who doesn’t even have a degree?

A lot of people who come from Full Sail fail in what they planned on doing. Some people are extremely successful, but most fail. That doesn’t bother me much though, because I know in this industry its not just a matter of knowing a thing or two, or wanting to do something, it’s a matter of having talent. And a lot of people go into Full Sail because they think they want to do something, and have the money to go there, but that’s only the first step, and few are capable of taking the next.

I know Full Sail is like right at the top as far as what they have to offer with technology and everything else. But the question isnt ‘was it worth it’. The question is, is it really worth all the money? With all they have, what you learn, - a real degree… is it worth the money?
  03 March 2006
This is a lot of interesting information, some of which i didnt know before. Thanks Mobious and Brazuka.
  03 March 2006
I'm currently half-way through the program (don't know why I'm typing this, I have 3 projects due in the next 3 days), and I'll agree with what everyone else is saying here for the most part.

If you go to Full Sail now for Computer Animation or Digital Media, you WILL graduate with a Bachelors. They've given both programs an extra 9 month shot in the arm to include more time to work on your demo reel and get further into tools like motionbuilder and Z-Brush. I'll be completing Associates and going back if I can't land a job within a few months. Full Sail is definitely a challenge for the reasons already stated; you really have to push yourself to accomplish everything asked of you, and I've learned more in 6 months than I did in 2 years at a local college back home taking animation courses.

As for success rate, they boast about 78% placement, so I don't know where you get the notion that "A lot of people who come from fs fail in what they planned on doing" unless you're talking about the dreamers who want to be built into something. You have to use this school as a launchpad to build yourself, but everything you need to do it is here.

  03 March 2006
My thoughts on success rate comes from the fact that most people that i talk to about FS have bad things to say about its success rate. Some of the bad is people who got a job quickly, but it didnt last and after that they got nothing. And most of these people came from the art programs. It seems that most of FS's success stories come from their music programs. Seems... You go there, so you're word is better then average people. But the reason I'm even involved in this discussion is because I've herd negative things from both current, and past students, and even instructors. But I've also herd great things from both students and instructors. One of my best friend's dad is a teacher there and has nothing but good things to say. My aunt is a gradeschool teacher and knows FS instructors who have nothing but bad things to say. But like I said, out of all (or few) of the people who dont make it, I can understand why.

I noticed 2 people mentioned "VFS", what is that? I know what Gnomon is...
  03 March 2006
VFS- vancouver film school
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