DAVE School (new info?)


[color=white]Digital Animation Visual Effects (DAVE)
[color=white][size=2]First I’ll start by saying I’m not a forum newb :slight_smile: Yes I’ve searched, and every directly related DAVE School information thread is a year old and locked. And I’m certainly not going to waist my time pospting in the “CG Schools” thread, only for my post to be lost in its pages and never replied to… So, I’m creating a new thread to get current, and relevant information.

Back on subject

I live in Orlando Florida. The 4 schools I’m looking at are DAVE, Full Sail, and I’ve done a little research on the Art Institutes in Tampa and Miami.

I’m leaning toward DAVE, but only because Full Sail is, well, Full Sail
And the two local Art Institutes haven’t really jumped out at me as being great 3D animation schools. One concern I have is their lack of an emphasis on 3D animation, and a broader curriculum of all visual effects. This isnt at all a bad thing, unless I find myself just touching on 20 different subjects, and not really learning any of them completely.

So does anyone have any credible and relatively current information about DAVE?

A few important questions I would have for a graduate of DAVE would be: whether or not they think they got their money’s worth in pure education, was it the education they wanted? And out of the skills they have gained since DAVE (or during) how much is really credited to DAVE, or was it due to forms of self teaching

For those who may reply with “I haven’t seen anything recently, but the demos I have seen weren’t too impressive”

Take a quick look at the recent ones:


Nothing too spectacular, but certainly [/color][/size][/color][/color]impressive[color=white][color=white][color=white][size=2] I think. That’s another reason for creating a new thread. As new as the school is, all one has to do is look at the recent demos compared to the older ones and you can see how far the school is progressing.

Thanks[/color] [/size][/color][/color]


I’ve worked with a few DAVE School grads and I can honestly say I’ve been very happy with all of them. They know their stuff. DAVE School definitely provided them with a great opportunity.

The only word of warning I would give you is that the amount of effort you put in directly affects how much you get back out of it. If you’re not prepared to exhaust yourself there, there are no guarantees of success.

I’m not saying that to be preachy, just pointing out that simply graduating from any of these schools isn’t enough to get you into the industry. :slight_smile:


I too have worked with a couple grads from the Dave school, and know several of the instructors there as well.

As nano said, teh quality is directly related to what you put in to it. That said, the people i worked with were pretty good for first timers, although they only knew how to use Lightwave. That is the only handicap there, they only teach LW as the main software package, although they teach maya for graduates from the school.

But its a good place to learn a lot of generalist skills, from what I have seen.



there is also the digital media degree at the Univeristy of Central Florida. i am in my senior year there. the visual fx portion (aka Visual Language) is held downtown across from the former TD Waterhouse Arena.



I would highly recommend you consider a 4-year program such as the one snipa101 mentioned. UCF is within the same geographic area as DAVE school.


this dave school thread is pretty recent, don’t know if you checked this out



Thanx for making this post as I too, have looked, and still looking, at DAVE school. But I’m also looking the Art Institute online, but I haven’t seen much on that one either.


Thanks for the informative replies. They are appreciated.

I remember when that FX program opened at UCF. I tried to track down a website and couldn’t really find much info at the time. As I understood, it was mostly geared toward game design, and EA was heavily involved in the development of the program and keeps a watchful eye on its grads. As of this point, I’m leaning more toward film than games (but sometimes it feels like it depends on the day of the week with that decision) as I am a gamer and the field does interest me greatly. At any rate, thanks for that link, and I will be seeking some more information there.

And to ghDude: No, I seem to have missed that in all my websearching. But that’s not only recent, that’s current! I greatly enjoyed reading all he had to say, and will continue to watch it incase he posts again, thanks for sharing that.

Trence5, the only thing I would say (which I’m sure you have herd) is online courses are very hard to keep up with. I was told this time and time again but figured “ya gotta do what ya gotta do, and I’ll do it” and I took an online course in high school. Sure enough, I nearly failed. Granted, the subject wasn’t a favorite, it was English in fact. When your learning about your passion like CG, things are a bit different though. But if you haven’t already, if I were you I’d really make an effort to talk to some AI Online alumni to see how they coped with it. I’ve considered online courses too, including AI’s. But that hellish high school English course is always lingering in the back of my head

So far this information has helped me greatly, and is pushing me further in the direction of DAVE.

If anyone else has more info, please share :slight_smile:



hi, im bumping this rather than making a new topic since it falls along similar lines.

im trying to decide between DAVE and AI in ft. lauderdale, and im just curious too how close DAVE curriculum is to sayyy Full Sail. From what ive read i should stay far away from full sail, but cant find too much on DAVE. Since they both offer training in around a year im wondering if DAVE is a similar “rip off” when it comes to money vs hands on training. Would i be better doing the 3 yr sting at the AI of Ft lauderdale?



having been a student there, and having had worked there for about 6 years. I’d say it’s worth the money if your a serious student. If your going thier cus momma said that you need to go to a school and you though that “this looked easy” then I would say it’s not for you.

Like any place I suppose it’s what you put into it. If your a slacker they don’t want you because you’d just be a waist of space, those who have gone through the program ,worked hard, and have really tried to get jobs have them, and with some really big name directors, and on some high profile projects. You can see on the website where they have gone off to.

My own experiances at the school were some of the best experiances of my life because of the people I got to meet, and where that directly related to what projects I got to work on. could that have happened without my going there? maybe, but most probably not.

In the end it’s not what software they teach as much as it’s helping you develope skills and habbits that will take you from software to software program, and from job to job. The school it self only lasts a year but the community you join will last a life time because about 90% of the people who have gone off to be sucsessful all still talk to each other and by and large were all pretty decent freinds.


ahh thats good to hear. thankyou for your reply BMB.


I would HIGHLY suggest you getting a complete 4 year education as opposed to just a one year course. You’d be surprised how much you need to know about world history, writing, speech, physics, psych and all of the other gen ed classes from College.

I was also between UCF, Full Sail and Dave, and now there’s FIEA (which is a grad program)

I went with UCF and went to their Visual Language program which has a few Disney veterans and the curriculum is VERY production oriented (it was harder then what EA is now =)) It was as real world as it gets and I felt leaving it I was incredibly prepared to the “real world”.

UCF is more focused on feature animation contrary to what some people may’ve said, FIEA which is in the same building is more game related, and there’s I think 4-5 people that graduated from the first class that are now at EA and they’re kicking arse, so I would also recommend that.

I cant say anything about DAVE or Full Sail because I didnt attend them, but I can definetly give the thumbs up for both FIEA and UCF, also a 4 year degree in UCF is about the same cost as some of the one year schools and it looks a helluvalot better when you’re applying for credit =)


Hey lkreul,

I have a few questions regarding the UCF program as I am a senior in High school and am seriously considering going into the Digital Media program at UCF. I have already been accepted etc. to UCF and also UF. I tried to PM you but it wouldn’t let me, maybe because I just registered, but I wanted to know the basics cause if Digital Media isn’t for me, I need to realize this now so I can go to UF to pursue my secondary goals.


I cant send a PM to you either, feel free to IM me on one of the 2 IM things I’ve posted on my profile.


4 year programs make no difference in this industry …

   if u know who the general was in the invasion of some war and great in quantum physics and your reel sucks...well u aint getting the job regardless of your accomplishments in school.

   the more u know the better for you as a person, of course, but dont ever think that will really benefit u in a field where the proof is in your portfolio..

hell i cant do my timetables past 6
and i dropped out of highschool.

   carreer seems to be doing just fine..
   my advice is get out of florida for your education , u gotta leave it if u wanna work in this industry anyways (with the exception of tiburon) so u might as well learn at one of the schools where the teachers actually work in the industry and can actually help u get in to their own companies.


like i mentioned above, i am a senior in the digital media program at ucf. there are some great oppurtunities available with the program. however i have been told that if it is visual fx, california is where it’s at. you can certainly get education here in florida, but that could hurt you somewhat for getting your foot in the door. if you make contacts and work hard you can do well here.


I recently took a trip down to florida to check out the DAVE school with my girlfriend, and i was very very much impressed. Like previously stated, it’s a 1 year program, but from what I was able to gather, it was extremely intensive, plus, it’s all real world stuff. Working with actual clients, working in actual production teams, and working with industry professionals makes it an easy choice for me instead of other graphics programs.

Also, from my tour, it was made very clear that they take care of you after graduating. I’m not just talking about placement, but free courses if new software comes out, new professors, or if you just want to spruce up your portfolio or reel, as well as hosting of your reel, as well as using their facilities for personal projects.

I actually have the application on my desk as we speak.
You may want to email or PM proton, as he can probably point you in the right direction if you need more clarification or have any other questions.


(keep in mind I don’t still work for the school :stuck_out_tongue: )

that’s very true, at any point in your life after graduating you can come back to the school and retake the whole program of just one block. I know several people who have done that years after I thought I would never see them again :slight_smile:

as far as placement goes, my friend who is graduating an about 2 weeks already has an internship at one of the better known LW houses in LA which (with his talent and ability to learn quickly) will most likely turn into a job pretty quick. That has happened to just about every grad who has found an internship somewhere.

The school is very well connected in the VFX industry. I owe the work that I get all the time to that relation ship.


Where did you end up going? I noticed this post was from 2006 and it is now 2007.


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