Author Topic: Advice on 3d Animation school. Need help from those who are in the biz  (Read 785 times)

Offline Smartypants1635

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Hey guys,
Long time no see. I come with an agenda, a (very important)question if you will. I have completed my first semester of college, and I am looking for good 3D animation schools(ones that you recommend). I have heard many good things about Collins in Tempe, UAT in tempe, Digipen in WA, Ringling in Florida, Cal art, and Vanart.

Affordability wise Collins and UAT are in my price range, while places like Vanart and Ringling are just way too expensive. My roommate at my current school is transferring to UAT, come this fall, at the recommendation of a few 3d artists at Blizzard Entertainment that work for a friend of his.
I haven't made my final decision if I want to do Game art, or Animation for movies or special effects. UAT focuses on the game art side of the field, where as I don't have any idea as where to go(besides Vanart, digipen, and ringling) if I want to do Movie animation. If I remember correctly a few people that frequent(ed) the forums work in this field. I've sent an email to Frank(niub niub) to ask him where he attended school to eventually work at ILM.(nothing on his site about his university, or if he attended one)

EDIT: I also realize that in the industry its not always where you went but your talent and skill. It's about how well you can do the job. However I want a school that can "help" accomplish this.

If anyone has some preferences or favorites lemme know, I would love to read your input. It would make a very nice Birthday present.
Thanks once again,

Adam
« Last Edit: January 1, 2010, 03:12 AM by Smartypants1635 »

Offline Rob

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Hmmmm... I worked at Reel FX / Radium (www.reelfx.com / www.radium.com) for 6 years and recently moved to Chicago to work at a place called Vitamin (www.vitaminpictures.tv)... I do a lot of animation, but it's mostly 2D Animation / Design / Motion Graphics type stuff and I do some light VFX work... I want to help out but unfortunately when I went to school I didn't go for this stuff, I learned on the job after I graduated with a film degree from UF.  

As you most likely know, art for gaming (which unless I'm reading you wrong sounds like character/environment design / previs), 3D animation, and visual effects are all completely different areas to focus on and people generally don't specialize in more than one of them.  Reel FX / Radium as a studio does though... they do a lot of visual effects (mostly for commercial work), they do a ton of 3D CGI type stuff for Dreamworks, and they have a talented art department full of designers.

I know you've said cost is an issue, but the one thing I can say is that Ringling is a hell of a school from everything I know about it.  I grew up just north of there in Clearwater and I've got a lot of friends who went there, some for animation type stuff, many for illustration.  Reel FX / Radium recruited heavily from there.  

You might check out Reel FX's Facebook page:

http://www.facebook.com/home.php#/profile.php?id=675668137&ref=ts

Then check out the RFXU (Reel FX University) page.

If you use Facebook, send them a message (I think a woman named Katherine runs the page) and them to ask if they could recommend good schools for the focuses you're looking at... RFXU works like a paid internship program and they take a lot of kids from various schools for a Summer or a semester... you can get a good real-world knowledge of the business doing that sort of thing and it'd help you develop an eye for professional work.  In any event, they might be able to tell you where they generally pull from and maybe at some point it'd be something worth applying for...

http://www.facebook.com/home.php#/pages/Dallas-TX/Reel-FX-University-RFXU/200141175201?ref=ts

We've got a page for Vitamin too, but we're a much smaller studio and don't do much in terms of straight 3D animation:

http://www.facebook.com/home.php#/vitaminpictures?ref=ts


« Last Edit: January 1, 2010, 03:41 AM by Rob »

Offline Smartypants1635

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Rob,
Thank you so much a thousand times over. I'll give them a buzz when I get back from work.
On the note of Ringling I would just die to be able to attend that school. The fact that Disney and Pixar pull directly from the graduating class before they have even finished their degree, is just outstanding.
RFXU sounds like a great program and like you said a way to get real world on the job experience. I will definitely check it out when the time comes.

Thanks a bunch

Adam

PS, if anyone else has some input that would be great, the more recommendations the better.

Offline name

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smartypants...are you adamsolo from once upon a time at the BHC?
This sticker is dangerous and inconvenient, but I do love Fig Newtons.

Offline Smartypants1635

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No, I'm that annoying little brat that came on the scene in 2004. >:D  :-*

Offline Rob

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Rob,
Thank you so much a thousand times over. I'll give them a buzz when I get back from work.
On the note of Ringling I would just die to be able to attend that school. The fact that Disney and Pixar pull directly from the graduating class before they have even finished their degree, is just outstanding.
RFXU sounds like a great program and like you said a way to get real world on the job experience. I will definitely check it out when the time comes.

Thanks a bunch

Adam

PS, if anyone else has some input that would be great, the more recommendations the better.

No problem.  Feel free to drop me a line if you have any other questions I might be able to help out with.

Offline speedermike

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Just some advice...Art school is about what you put into it.  When you graduate, your reel (or portfolio) will be more important than your grades.  Work hard, ask lots of questions, listen to advice, immerse yourself in the technology and theory, and stay true to yourself and what you want to do.

Also, a small, lesser known, school isn't always a bad thing. I studied film at the School of Visual Arts in NYC, and my buddy was at NYU.  I actually made more films than him during school, and had more experience when I graduated. 

One last funny thing about art school...you'll never know what you'll use your skills for eventually.  I ended up working as an illustrator, and have written 2 best selling children's books. Keep an open mind.
Children's Book Author and Illustrator   mikerexbooks.blogspot.com