Options for Animation?

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  04 April 2010
Smile Options for Animation?

Hey guys, I need help finding out more about animation schools/colleges. I live in Egypt, and I want to attend a decent animation school since there's none here, so location is no problem. I've heard mostly about Ringling and Sheridan, but I've read some strange reviews over the internet. What other decent animation schools out there?

And, Ringling vs. Sheridan? I looked at some of the work of both, and Ringling's look a bit more.. refined. Even though money is not a big problem, 40k a year is a hefty amount to throw around. However, I don't know anything about other colleges or their student work so I don't want to judge now.


Extra, useless info:
I want to transfer from my current university (applied sciences and arts) next year (I'm a first year), but my dad wants me to go through five years(!) then start over abroad because I'm "too young", I'm seventeen, and I DON'T want to spend nine years in college.

Another problem is that the college I attend right now is the best in the country, but overall, is terrible. I'm only a straight A student because the courses are a complete mess and are very easy, so I have no way of actually figuring out if I'm any good.

Help?
 
  04 April 2010
For pure character animation, look into Animation Mentor. It's completely online so you wouldn't have to leave Egypt. I'm in my third week in it and it is just unbelievable. Here's a (600-page) thread about it: http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthr...56&page=1&pp=15

As far as I'm concerned, this is probably in the top 5 places to learn animation in the world. Maybe even higher than that. I definitely, definitely encourage you to check it out. What sold me on it was just browsing the site, seeing what they had to offer, and being shocked by the fact that it was exactly what I was looking for in an animation school.

EDIT: By the way, they aren't accredited. You won't get a degree or credits or anything like that. But in the animation industry, a degree is useless. These two threads are very eye-opening when it comes to degrees for 3D, and most schools with 3D courses in general:
http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthr...?f=283&t=861936
http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthr...?f=283&t=843414

Last edited by Ibeechu : 04 April 2010 at 02:44 AM.
 
  04 April 2010
Ibeechu; Thanks, I'll check it out.

However, I don't want to limit myself with a course that focuses on one thing and isn't even accredited. I'm also not keen on the online courses thing.
And it's not about wanting to stay in Egypt, trust me, I want to get out of here as soon as I can. I'm just worried about not being able to find a decent job once I graduate.
 
  04 April 2010
This post is a few weeks old so I'm not sure if you still need this info but I highly suggest Ringling. I know a girl that went there (kinda friend kinda not) and she was set to work for Dreamworks after school before she even graduated. They definitely have their stuff together and they seem to work extremely closely with Pixar and Dreamworks. I know they also have intern programs which can be a HUGE help. Their teachers are all respected professionals and know their stuff. I also know the director of that program is very intent on getting the ideas from students and being sure the course stays interesting and you aren't taking any B.S. classes. Sarasota (the city Ringling is in) is a pretty place to live and one of the best beaches in the world is probably 30 min drive away. The sand feels almost like mini balls of silk.

The school it self is a bit iffy looking (kind of old and beaten down) but the Animation area is absolutely great. And I should also note that Ringling is in Sarasota which is known for being a higher middle class area so stuff isn't exactly cheap. Another notable bad thing about Ringling is the Ghetto of Sarasota (rather small but very bad) is literately right next door. You walk out of the gate and turn left, walk for two or three minuets, you are in a not so safe area. The school it self is gated and is totally safe but they highly stress to avoid going down that road at all costs and never under any circumstance go down there at night. Their buildings are all swipe card locked and they have security on campus 24/7 so on campus you are totally fine don't get me wrong on that part.

As you noted the school is extremely expensive. The school also only has a few scholarships which are only around 5 grand (can't remember exactly).

So a little of good and a little of bad for you to consider. I have lived in Sarasota for almost 10 years now so if you have any questions about the area feel free to contact me. I have also been to the school many many times so any questions on that are also welcome. Good luck on your education.
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  04 April 2010
MrConterno, thanks; I appreciate all the info I can get.

The idea of Ringling is very appealing to me. However, I've read some reviews and it's said that it's not worth it. What do you think?

Do you think I can devote time for a part-time job and my school work at the same time?(goes for other animation schools as well) And when you say stuff isn't exactly cheap, you mean like, food, or stuff like, clothes?

Now, a little more general question, I think. What's the general age for freshmen? 18? 20?
 
  04 April 2010
I think most un-happy students from most schools go in with false expectations. They either think this business is all fun and games, or they don't understand you are going to have to eat, drink, and breath your program. I think it all comes down to initiative (spelt right?), you can slack off and only do what is required, or you could go to all of your classes, go to all of the optional classes, go to the extra events, and ask your teachers loads of questions. I think as long as you are going in understanding that at times school is going to suck, and is going to be a lot of hard work, you should come out happy and with a decent job.


As far as the part time job, MAYBE your first year. After your first year you won't have the time. In general most of the good programs are the same way. You might be able to work one time deals, like help paint a house on a free weekend or some thing for some extra cash, but other than that I think it would be to much. As far as the costs in Sarasota, everything seems to be a bit more expensive, food, cloths, rent, everything in general. Not like NYC expensive but still a bit more than normal. Nice thing is that you can get on campus housing (and the rooms really aren't that bad), and they have decent meal plans too. Their cafeteria is rather large and has all kinds of food, they are bound to have some thing you'll like. Also the food is decent quality too, not your typical school food.

From what I have seen on the campus most of the students seem to be in the 18-25 range. I have seen a few older students also.
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Last edited by MrConterno : 04 April 2010 at 07:43 PM.
 
  04 April 2010
Originally Posted by LittleMissBossy: However, I don't want to limit myself with a course that focuses on one thing and isn't even accredited.


So what exactly do you want to do? Roles can be pretty specialized depending what field you're wanting to go into.

I think nailing down what you want to do will (or should) be a big deciding factor in where you go to school.
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  04 April 2010
Originally Posted by LittleMissBossy:
However, I don't want to limit myself with a course that focuses on one thing and isn't even accredited.


I must have missed this line. If you aren't sure that you want to do animation I would encourage you to go to some where like Vancouver Film School. They give you kind of like a crash course in 3d in general and then you specialize shortly after. Only draw back is that the program is one year. But they definitely put out good work. You could also get a student version of Maya (or 3ds max or w/e you want) and get subscription to a place like digital tutors so you can get the basics of the different areas of 3d and that could help you decide.

If this isn't what you meant dismiss this message lol.

http://www.digitaltutors.com
http://www.vfs.edu/fulltime.php?id=7

in case you want to check them out.
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Nicholi Conterno - Gnomon Student

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  04 April 2010
Originally Posted by LittleMissBossy: Do you think I can devote time for a part-time job and my school work at the same time?(goes for other animation schools as well) And when you say stuff isn't exactly cheap, you mean like, food, or stuff like, clothes?



If you will be coming over on a student visa, paid work is out of the question.

Also just because a school isn't accredited, doesn't mean it's garbage. It means that school doesn't play politics with the state and academic establishment so they can feed off of student loans subsidized by the government. Accreditation can actually lower the quality of art education. The traditional methods of art instruction are more like apprenticeships than attending a university. Accreditation typically destroys the apprenticeship style of learning and puts in it's place a rigid system of credit hours and grades that doesn't really lend itself very well to developing artistic talent, Primarily by replacing face time with your instructor with homework. Considering that in art nobody cares where you went to school, a piece of paper from an accredited institution means next to nothing.

I say all this having a BFA from an accredited university.
 
  05 May 2010
Originally Posted by Lyr: If you will be coming over on a student visa, paid work is out of the question.

Also just because a school isn't accredited, doesn't mean it's garbage. It means that school doesn't play politics with the state and academic establishment so they can feed off of student loans subsidized by the government. Accreditation can actually lower the quality of art education. The traditional methods of art instruction are more like apprenticeships than attending a university. Accreditation typically destroys the apprenticeship style of learning and puts in it's place a rigid system of credit hours and grades that doesn't really lend itself very well to developing artistic talent, Primarily by replacing face time with your instructor with homework. Considering that in art nobody cares where you went to school, a piece of paper from an accredited institution means next to nothing.

I say all this having a BFA from an accredited university.
Thanks, that was very informative.
 
  05 May 2010
Originally Posted by fig: So what exactly do you want to do? Roles can be pretty specialized depending what field you're wanting to go into.

I think nailing down what you want to do will (or should) be a big deciding factor in where you go to school.
As much as animation, I'm also pretty interested in character modelling.
I admit, I'm not sure which is the one for me.
 
  05 May 2010
Hi LittleMissBossy
I may recommend Animation mentor for specialized character animation course, it is convenient and less expensive plus the quality is of the highest.

to attend a school for degree though, beside Ringling I may suggest RISD and SCAD (my graduate school) they both have great animation and related 3d Art programs.

depends on what your plan is. professional training or a degree you may consider all the factors like time and costs before taking any of the courses.
 
  05 May 2010
Originally Posted by majiX123: Hi LittleMissBossy
I may recommend Animation mentor for specialized character animation course, it is convenient and less expensive plus the quality is of the highest.

to attend a school for degree though, beside Ringling I may suggest RISD and SCAD (my graduate school) they both have great animation and related 3d Art programs.

depends on what your plan is. professional training or a degree you may consider all the factors like time and costs before taking any of the courses.
True, but I'm also interested in the connections these colleges/schools offer as well. I'll keep the online courses in mind as well, since more people are suggesting them.
 
  05 May 2010
A note on online learning, just make sure you are disciplined enough to sit down and do your work. Being that most likely you will be working from home you can find endless excuses not to work.
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  05 May 2010
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