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Thread: Schools/departments with traditional 2D animation focus

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    Icon Schools/departments with traditional 2D animation focus

    I'm trying to find places where this art isn't side-swiped by the new emergence of 3D and Flash 'moving refrigerator magnet' animation. This being my primary area of study I want a place that doesn't group 2D together with other animation as being all sides of the same coin, because it isn't. Any recommendations on departments/schools etc., either in the US or Canada, would be welcome-- particularly those with good reputations for giving scholarships.
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    Acting pretentious is proably not the best way to get advice.
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    I'm no expert on that area, but I've heard some mentions of CalArts I believe. Try checking them out?
    It's a hard school to get into though.
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    Quote Originally Posted by t0po.inc View Post
    I'm no expert on that area, but I've heard some mentions of CalArts I believe. Try checking them out?
    It's a hard school to get into though.
    Yeah CalArts is about the only one I'm familiar with, but I'm not interested in pushing and shoving my way into an elite school-- just one that gives 2D its own fair consideration.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Meloncov View Post
    Acting pretentious is proably not the best way to get advice.
    What's so pretentious? I'm giving my attitude on animation today, and the one I would have schools consider-- Do you want to defend low standards? The simple fact is that everyone thinks they can be an animator these days because of software; I'm looking for schools that don't pander to these kinds of people. I don't insinuate that there is anything wrong with flash or 3d, but that it's the biggest target for techies that want to leap over essential skills to get to results.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cool Captain View Post
    What's so pretentious? I'm giving my attitude on animation today, and the one I would have schools consider-- Do you want to defend low standards? The simple fact is that everyone thinks they can be an animator these days because of software; I'm looking for schools that don't pander to these kinds of people. I don't insinuate that there is anything wrong with flash or 3d, but that it's the biggest target for techies that want to leap over essential skills to get to results.
    "Moving refrigerator magnet" is not exactly complimentary.
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    Max the Mutt (Toronto) hasn't removed any traditional courses, but we have added Toon Boom (used by Pixar/Disney to reintroduce classical animation).
    Check out the website and please feel free to leave a message on the Max the Mutt thread if you have any questions.
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    CalArt's Character Animation is the most 2d oriented program that I'm familiar with, although I think there may also be a couple more schools in California with 2d oriented majors, maybe usc or laguna, I'm really not sure. CalArts starts everyone off in 2d, but there are also some computer based classes to introduce students to flash and other programs. The really nice thing about the school though is they try to get you to find your own niche in the field and you get to pursue whichever medium you want further.

    A lot of other schools with good animation programs have not completely sideswept hand drawn 2d animation but use it more as a training grounds for the others, often requiring a year or so before moving on to 3d and other stuff. A solid 2d focus has become rather difficult to find though, at least in comparison.
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    SVA has a animation major and a seperate computer art major. Animation major is more geared towards 2d you should check them out.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lizzybeth View Post
    A solid 2d focus has become rather difficult to find though, at least in comparison.
    Might be because there is little interested in traditional 2d animation within the entertainment industry right now, at least in the US. A lot of companies are going the Disney way and firing all their 2-d animators, then outsourcing those jobs for cheaper labor. Not to be a downer or anything. I love 2-d animation as much as the next person, but most animation schools just don't think it's logical to teach one trade. Hints the flash, 3d, and cheaper/faster alternatives to animation.

    There's just not a lot of companies out there looking to hire 2-d animators, although that's not to say it's no longer used.
    This is just my opinion though.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lizzybeth View Post
    maybe usc or laguna.
    Laguna does have good 2d teachers and good foundations, but most of the work I've seen is 3d. USC is..exactly what he doesn't want

    Cool Captain, if you're "not interested in pushing and shoving [your] way into an elite school", then what business do you have trying to get into an elite industry (particularly 2d, which has so few people working professionals at the moment). This is meant to sound harsh because this industry is hard to break into and, all things considered, it is an elite field, so don't be so quick to put CalArts out of the running, it's probably one of your best bets.

    3d, 2d, flash whatever ARE the same thing, to the extent that they're based on the same underlying principles. What you need is a school that teaches you solid animation principles, not one that completely separates 2d from everything else (which you're unlikely to find anyway). The fact that a lot of flash and 3d animation sucks is because these people worry only about software and not the underlying principles of classic animation.

    That being said, check out Laguna as Lizzybeth suggested, tuition is lower than CalArts, and it looks like a good school, there is a strong focus on traditional principles.

    I studied with Glenn Vilppu for awhile (if you don't know who he is, well....he basically taught half the animation industry how to draw, including Glen Keane and a bunch of other disney people) and when someone asked him about good places to study animation, the only place he mentioned was San Jose State. This might be a good fit for you, the tuition is low since it's a state school, but it's run by one of vilppu's students, sheldon borenstein, so you'll be learning how to draw traditionally http://ad.sjsu.edu/pdf_forms/Q%26A_Anim_Illus.pdf

    That's probably the best value you'll find, but also check out Max the Mutt in Canada, as Maxine suggested, and Sheridan College also in Canada, which is still considered to be one of the best classical animation schools in the world.

    Hope this helps,

    -Ramon
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    Thanks for the replies everyone. Pancho, yes you're right, it is an elite field-- and I can't quite rule out Calarts. I just have a fairly strong aversion to living in California, and those tuition costs. San Jose and Laguna look like options however.
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    Disney has reinstated classical animation and Disney/Pixar has a commitment to traditional skills. My prediction is that because of new technology (Toon Boom), classical is about to make a big comeback. The animators who will do the best will be those with versatility.
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