Hi all! I have recently been looking into schools with reputable programs in animation and have heard that Ringling is very respectable for its Computer Animation degree, and in fact had the top number of student screenings at SIGGRAH this last year for USA based schools.
My situation right now is this: I am a sophomore at Iowa State University and am becoming very disheartened with the fact that I am essentially blowing money on a program that will not teach me necessary skills to succeed in the animation industry. They don't start even introducing animation until the third year, and have only a handful of classes. I will have a lot of liberal arts credits to work with, as well as foundation drawing, painting, and history classes so I was wondering how those would work out in a transfer. When I look at schools such as Ringling I see so much more potential in learning, and I begin to doubt my original intention of attending the state school, doing individual learning from books and dvds, and later attending a grad school. I just don't wish to get stuck of the position of having a large amount of debt, and not enough knowledge or skills to justify it.
My question for those in the know is how effective are schools like Ringling at teaching the necessary skills and knowledge for a gig in the animation field? I want to contact Ringling itself for some more information and specifics on the program, but I am looking for advice from anyone that is attending Ringling, has graduated, or for anyone who has had experience in the industry.
If anyone has any advice of any kind to offer me, please feel free to respond. I would really appreciate it. Thanks!
I'm not a Ringling student, but based on my research, their job placement rate is in the hight ninetys.
Meloncov: Yeah, I noticed that too. I suppose numbers like that kind of speak for themselves. Thanks for the input!
I applied this year myself! All I can tell you is that out of all the schools I've researched, Ringling was the only school I could find with more positive pros and small amounts of cons, the biggest con being the price. I love that it is difficult to get into their computer animation program (maybe not any of the other majors) which is a good sign. They also have you plunge into traditional methods before you even touch on animation (the first year!). If you're lucky you might be able to transfer as a sophomore since you seem to have already attended a university. My advice to you if you apply next year, work on figure studies. I can't stress that enough. Your still lifes look great by the way (looked at your sketchbook). Good luck! Hope my advice helped a little.
I think that percentages of job placement are very empty numbers. Those numbers may vary due to the amount of students who reported back to their school, and therefore, may also be easily skewed by the school. Also, industry demands vary from year to year, so there are years that have higher job placement than others.
With that being said, Ringling is definitely an excellent choice for industry preparation. Last semester we were visited by EA, Rhythm and Hues, Reel FX, Activision, and Dreamworks. It wasn't even recruiting season! This semester those companies (and others!) will be back to offer jobs. IMHO, if you want to be a character animator, your chances of job placement (with lots of hard work) don't get much better.
My suggestion is that you look into many schools, and then short list. Look for schools with working professionals teaching. Look for schools that value classical training in both drawing and animation. Try to get in contact with recent grads and current students. Visit, if possible, and see their graduate shows.
Thanks to all you guys for your advice and suggestions. Another question for you all: Have any of you gone to, or know people that have gone to USC's Masters program for animation. I saw a list of notable alumni and was impressed, as well as seeing that Robert Zemkis was an instructor there. I guess another option would be later on, but they don't offer a degree, so that is a little bit of a turn off.
Forget degrees. If you have the skills and are a good team player, no one cares where you went to school or what papers you have! We are a Career College offering Diploma programs: after the Disney recruiters saw the quality of student work and the depth of our program, our students were invited by Disney to apply for internships.Nothing was ever mentioned about degrees.