Confused about what college to go to

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Old 08 August 2010   #1
Confused about what college to go to

Right now I will be a junior in high school and want to become an animator for video games, maybe movies. I have a student license for 3Ds Max and Maya and have been learning that for the past four months. I have been looking at colleges that have game art or computer animation, but one after another there is a problem. I heard Full Sail is a waste of money and they don't care, Academy of Arts changes their program every year, the Art Institutes are really bad, I have heard so many bad things about these colleges. Then I saw Gnomon School of Visual Effects and it looked great and had good reviews, but it doesn't offer degrees. I really would like to get a degree as I have seen on many company websites that they are required for most of the jobs like Lucasfilm. I really want to work at Lucasarts, ILM, or Lucasfilm Animation. So I am really confused how to find a good, accredited college that have degree programs that teach you a lot. Any suggestions?
 
Old 08 August 2010   #2
I think any program is a waste of money if you don't put in the effort. As far as the AI schools go, it has been mentioned several times that these schools actually quite differ from one another. There are really bad ones and really good ones, you just need to find out which is which. A great place to start looking for schools, especially if you want to work at Lucasfilm, would be to check their employment page for a list of schools they visit. You might want to consider crashing one of those info sessions and have a talk with them after. These people are really friendly and will more than likely have an answer for you or give you the contact information of someone who does. You can also try finding out who at Lucasfilm works in the position you want to work in and either find their portfolio website to see their resume or find them on linkedin.
 
Old 08 August 2010   #3
Hey normar. You may want to check out Expressions College for Digital Arts. I've heard some great things about it. One thing you really need to consider though is that this is what you want to do. Four months really isn't that long and these schools are very specialized. Two years ago I was in a similar situation and choose to go to the University of California Davis for a degree in Computer Science and so far I absolutely love it. I still use Maya everyday though and just this past week I was even hired for a job creating models for motion capture. What I'm trying to say is to keep your options open. I hate to sound harsh, it just seems a bit like you're following the "I own at Call of Duty so I wanna make videogames" path. But hey, if this is what you really want to do go for it. Good luck.
- Jon
 
Old 08 August 2010   #4
This is something I have been wanting to do since I was a kid. I was only able to get a student license four months ago and I do love it. Another thing, would a school like Gnomon be better because of the training even though you dont get a degree?
 
Old 08 August 2010   #5
Ah ok that sounds better then. I really don't know so my best suggestion is to find someone who's graduated from there and talk to them. From what I've seen here people generally steer away from Gnomon just because it's so damn expensive. I've heard though that a lot of grads do get jobs in the field. But unless your parent are helping you out or you have some serious scholarships, it's going to cost a fortune. There's a thread here called the path to Pixar. Read that it may be useful.
- Jon
 
Old 08 August 2010   #6
If you want to get a degree, look at the AICAD accredited schools with majors in animation, visual effects, game art and design, and the like. They are all fairly expensive, but some offer very generous scholarships.

http://www.aicad.org/
 
Old 08 August 2010   #7
Quote:
Originally Posted by nomar289
Right now I will be a junior in high school and want to become an animator for video games, maybe movies. I have a student license for 3Ds Max and Maya and have been learning that for the past four months. I have been looking at colleges that have game art or computer animation, but one after another there is a problem. I heard Full Sail is a waste of money and they don't care, Academy of Arts changes their program every year, the Art Institutes are really bad, I have heard so many bad things about these colleges. Then I saw Gnomon School of Visual Effects and it looked great and had good reviews, but it doesn't offer degrees. I really would like to get a degree as I have seen on many company websites that they are required for most of the jobs like Lucasfilm. I really want to work at Lucasarts, ILM, or Lucasfilm Animation. So I am really confused how to find a good, accredited college that have degree programs that teach you a lot. Any suggestions?


I would strongly suggest to go to a non profit college. The irony is that right now, they cost about THE SAME as a for profit school.

For the ranking of the best schools in the US go here:

http://www.usnews.com/sections/education\

According to their ranking the best graduate schools are:


  1. Carnegie Mellon University Pittsburgh ,
  2. California Institute of the Arts Valencia,
  3. Rhode Island School of Design Providence,
  4. School of the Art Institute of Chicago Chicago,
  5. University of California--Los Angeles Los Angeles,
  6. Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Troy,
  7. School of Visual Arts New York,
  8. University of Southern California Los Angeles,
  9. Virginia Commonwealth University Richmond,
  10. New York University New York ,
  11. Rochester Institute of Technology Rochester, NY
(I would check their undergraduate programs)
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Last edited by RobertoOrtiz : 08 August 2010 at 04:47 PM.
 
Old 08 August 2010   #8
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