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I've been browsing around for more information on Gobelins in France. It's been mentioned and suggested a couple times on this forum, but I haven't seen more than one person actually say they'd attempt to attend it themselves.
Information on this school seems pretty hard to find, so I'd like to ask: is there anyone out there interested in finding out more?
I'm curious on learning more about this school; it's standards, how it runs, what makes those French animators so damn awesome, so on. And if there are more curiously likeminded people out there-- whether you're serious about attending or even just toying with the idea, or above all if you just want to aim for such heights by figuring out their tactics-- it'd be great to get together and share our information and efforts.
So, that said, this post is as much as a request for more info, as it is a means to meet up with other people who are interested!
Last edited by CTseng; May 10th, 2009 at 07:06 PM.
Here is their site, in english
it's an excellent and very hard school, i'm sure there is already threads about it.
Animation is only one part of the different formations, though it's the more famous i think.
Thanks! Been there already, but I appreciate it
As for threads, indeed there are threads out there, but most just include single posts suggesting people to check out Gobelins, or posting about how awesome it is ( But for whoever is interested, here's a thread on AnimatedBuzz I found helpful, as well as some information from sebbonaparte 's sketchthread, such as a Gobelins entrance portfolio ) ... I would love to find more like this!
...And to dig even deeper. Things I'd like to know include what the chances are for international students to get in. Heck, especially international students who didn't have French as a first or even second language. If anyone has ever attempted this and succeeded. What the ratio is of applicants who have gone to art school beforehand. So on.
I'm pretty sure there's got to be SOME people out there who wondered similar things
Last edited by CTseng; May 10th, 2009 at 07:12 PM.
We visited Goeblins around 1998. They were just on the verge, as we were, of adding computer courses. I could be wrong, but my understanding is that you would attend Goeblins after you have developed basic skills in drawing, character design, perspective, layout and animation. In other words, they offer an advanced program (like a graduate school) and many of their students, at that time, had already been in the industry. We liked the serious, focused mood and the attention to drawing skills.
By the way, tuition is government subsidized.
Pfff.... I wrote a huge post and lost it...
Here I go again
Firstly, to go study there, you'll need your diploma to get evaluated in France. It's to find where your diploma stands in the French schooling system.
This is the website you'll want to consult for that:
Once you know what French diploma you ''own'', you can look at this board:
On your left are the entry requirements, on your right are the programs.
(BAC+2,+3,+4,etc. are diploma names)
As for the language, you'll have to take this test:
And get at lest a Level 3 General and Speaking French
All the classes are in French, you'll want to understand it pretty well.
Also, depending on the program you want to take, you might need a Working Visa. The reason for that is that some of the programs are more like internship
(ie. You work for a company for 2 weeks, doing actual projects for them, then you go back to school for 2 weeks, then back to the company, etc.)
If you have any specific questions about a program or whatever, please ask me. There's just too much to say in one post.
Imagine my surprise to see a thread about my number 1 school pick in the schools forum.
Then imagine my surprise to see my own sketchbook referenced, hahaha.
I've emailed an alumni of Gobelins who now works at Pixar, as well as a current student there (as you picked up from my thread). Here are the two emails copy and pasted.
Carlo Vogele (currently working at pixar):
Violaine Briat (Current Student):Hi Connor
sorry for the delay, I was pretty busy last week...
thanks for the compliments, I'm glad you enjoyed the sock film
You should know that the test for Gobelins requires fluent french and a very high drawing draughtsman level
As an example, last year I was the ONLY non french student in my class there
CALARTS is easier to get accepted in, but it is more expensive of course : 40 000 dollars, as opposed to 3500 euros a year at gobelins
but calarts is a wonderful place, i enjoyed it a lot, plus you can get scholarship like many of my friends there .
so good luck to you
keep drawing all the time, mostly life drawing and copying from comics, books, old masters etc
if you have any specific questions, do not hesitate to contact me
carlo's animation blog : http://carlovogele.blogspot.com
Tuition is extremely cheap as well, around 3,000-4,000 Euros yearly. That's quite ridiculous for the quality of education offered. I'm spending the next 6 months in France in a fortunate turn of events, so I will be getting my French speaking to a proficient level. I don't think it's too difficult to pass the French-language exam for entrance, but to get the full experience of attending you really do need to have a decent grasp on French from what I've read.Hey !
So you’re 15 and you’re already thinking of attending gobelins ? thats great actually because you have a lot of time to think about what you’ll have to put in your portfolio and what to practice ….
I dont know how much you’ve heard about gobelins (but you know one of the third years’ short animation was recently nominated to the oscars ! the school is really proud an is receiving a lot of visitors, we recently had a visit from san francisco mayor !) but it’s a 3 years cursus. First year is dedicated t 2D animation, we work a LOT by ourselves on small exercises (walking cycles, acting, lip synching … etc) then comes the second year that is mostly dedicated to 2D animation, but they start on FX and work in groups on the annecy openings. There is a little 3D, but all the 3D teaching will be during the last year ^^
Usually when you want to attempt the entrance exam, the first time wont work (some people got in right after high school but that’s pretty rare ….) because you have to take the test in order to really see how everything is going, and to grasp the reality of the exam.
The firs time i took the test -(it’s during a whole day : morning you start with logic and perspective, which is a pretty useless exam just to check whether you know basic physics rule or not (1h30 minutes) then you have the character animation exam. This one is 3 hours long and is really tidious. It’s the poart you ahve to do the best because it’s the first thing th ais getting corrected thus if you raise enough points on that step you have higher chances to get trhough all different steps of the written exam. Then there’s a break during which you can eat and relax. On the afternboon you’ll start with a multiple choice questionnaire and an essay to write in french. Well it’s more like you have to write a text, so they can see whether you can speak/write french correctly so people can understand you since communication is a really important quality to have in animation. After that you have the story board exercise that lasts for 3 hours )- I failed the first exercise (character animation) and I was really disappointed cuz I thought I would never have the level to get in. Thats why you have to try over and over again because sometimes luck can have a slight role to play. Some people in my class took the exam 3 or even 4 times before getting in.
The most important exam parts are first the character animation (you’re given model sheet and you have to draw them in actions they ask you ..) then the storybard and after that your portfolio is judged. Usually is you pass the portfolio test then you’re pretty sure you’ll be admitted to the interview.
The interview is a pretty nice part of the entrance exam. You’re given a movie to watch (5 minutes approximatively, we had a sequence of requiem for a dream) and then you’re going to see part of the teaching team of gobelins. They’re gonna ask for your portfolio and film analysis. It’s more in ordert to know what kind of person you are, to see if you’d fit well with the other candidates they chose and if you’d fit well in gobelins as a general thing.
This year we have a german student of the filmakademie with us (and she speaks french pretty well i must say !) and also a cal art student that joined us on january.
Now I’ll link you to some people’s portfolios …. :p you’ll see that most gobelins portfolios look the same, you have to kind try being a little original and to know how to draw a lot of different things ^^
this is my portfolio, you can click to enlarge (I think loadig up all pages will take some time :d )
here is the book of somebody in my class (thus who got in)
this is one of my friend’s. He didnt get in but he really had the level for it … well it’ll give you an idea ^^
mail me back if you have any other questions (=
If you wanna talk more about Gobelins or anything, feel free to PM me. Us guys shooting for Gobelins are pretty lonesome, considering now there is just you and me, haha.
Hum... I'm enrolled in another school right now, but Gobelins sure sounds amazing, and I'd love to study in France.
Just taking the exam means a trip to France and that's too $$$ for me right now.
In the meantime, anyone who wants help getting their french to the right level feels free to PM me :-)
Hiya, if i want to study illustration. do you think Gobelins is a good place? Thanks!
Thanks for all the input, everyone!
Xayasha- so I guess this means all international students MUST have a degree to apply? (dang, that's 4 less chances of applying!) I read that 18 year olds can apply, aka out of high school with no diploma, but I suppose that is only for French artists?
Also, thanks for the offer of help with French!
sebbonaparte- It's great to hear that you're still going for that goal (and starting from such a young age too! The odds are in your favor, keep going for it) And thanks so much for sharing those emails, it was very helpful (not to mention relieving to know that an international student has been accepted, even if it's just one success story!)
Also, exactly what you said-- there's so few of us out there that we really should stick together and motivate each other to stay on the right track and to work hard!
From what's been said about the entrance exam, it sounds as if the knowledge and background required for entrance is equivalent to several years of traditional fine art and animation training. I'd look for a program that will give you solid perspective and structural drawing skills, life drawing, and basics of classical animation including cartooning, character design and story boarding. At that point, you should have a solid shot at getting in.
For exemple, at 17 I already had the equivalent to a BAC, but I couldn't have entered a program requiring a BAC yet.
There's some program that you could enter with just a Highschool diplioma... those are:
Production Graphique ou Imprimée
(Prep) Communication et Industrie graphique
But like I said, you need to have your Highschool diploma evaluated in France to know where it stands in their school system. Depending on the school you went to and the classes you took, you might have an equivalent to a BAC wich means you could have access to:
Communication et Industries Graphiques
Réalisation de film d'animation (Animation!)
And even if you don't have the equivalent to a BAC yet, you might need only couple more classes, like a year at community college to qualify... you really do need to check it out.
The other programs require more schooling and beforehand experiences.
Oh and by the way, they get around 550+ candidates for Animation and they take 25 students/year. That tells a lot about the level required to get in
@Kristos: I'm afraid they don't offer Illustration.
Maxine- I will be seeking out those areas of studies. Thanks for your suggestions!
And, to confirm what Maxine said and to just share some info I got from a friend who went to the first Gobelins summer program:
"Well its more like most ppl who apply [to the three year program] have pretty strong illustrative skills, not really with animation. they just wanna make sure that whoever gets in has the draftsmanship and then they'll teach them animation from scratch"
Probably helpful for whoever thought that they needed an animation portfolio/strong ani background to get in to the first year.
And for those of us who can't read French, starshock12 on DA translated the test info page from the official website:
Contents for 2 files
The administrative and graphic files must be deposited into two separated and closed envelopes. Both need to have the candidate's convocation number to preserve their anonymity.
1. Contents of Administrative folder: A 4 format, must be sealed/closed.
-CV with photo identity; motivational letter; diploma photocopy
-Grade report of the last year of studies (they didn't mention high school, so I'm guessing for us it'll be College)
-TEF (Test of French Efficiency)
2. Contents of Graphic folder: A 3 format, must be sealed/closed.
-Photocopies or scanned images (no originals for April 1st)
-Maximum of 40 images in A 3 or A 4 format (these can be freely laid out and arranged by the candidate).
**These files will not be returned after the contest, they will be destroyed. (that's literally what they wrote)
Drawing Test Contents
1. Character Study (3 hours, 40 points) Two character models will be shown; one in cartoon style, the other in realism style.
-First Exercise: Three different actions are defined. The candidates must draw both characters carrying out the movements of these actions. The candidates must render a couple of dynamic sketches for each action while respecting the model and its construction.
-Second Exercise: A decor and an action is given. The candidates must draw both models in this decor (environment?) while doing the action. The second exercise must be cleaned, no sketchy.
2. Storyboard (3 hours, 40 points) Starting from a succession of events given in a simple synopsis, the candidates have a work of giving a scenario to carry out for the film cutting (storyboard) composed of a continuation of pencil sketches (8 minimum with 16 maximum). The score does not depend on the number of boxes filled.
3. Perspective and movement logic (45 minutes, 20 points) Exercises relating to perspective, the perception of space and light, the logic of the movement.
4. Questionnaire on Artistic Culture and Knowledge of global Animation (1 hour, 20 points, both parts go under the same time frame and points) The candidates must answer 30 questions(multiple choices and open questions). Some are directly related to animation: history, authors, techniques, ... Others are distributed between fields in relation to the cinematic animation (in a broad sense): data processing, cinema, multimedia, computer graphics, painting, music, cartoon.
Narration test (is the second part of the fourth category) The candidates must write the continuation of a story.
5. Graphic folder (--, 20 points) Plays an important role in the selection between candidates and must be carefully prepared by taking in account of all criteria listed below.
Total hours: 7h45 Total points: 140 pts
The evaluation for the graphic folder must follow these aptitudes:
- a great control in drawing: in perspective, volume, proportion,….
- an acute sense in observation
- an aptitude to express the movement in drawing for any type of drawn representation: sketch, study,…
- a good adaptability with various graphic styles
- a real capacity to communicate messages visually, in particular by the composition of an image and the sequence of several images
- an obvious aptitude to create characters and to develop stories with personal graphic universes
- a sensitivity to the color and a direction of light and space
In addition to drawing, a practice or a curiosity for various artistic techniques: modelling, sculpture, photography, architecture, data processing… are very appreciated.
It is about an interview of approximately 30 minutes with a jury made up of teachers and professionals. It is articulated around three main axes:
1) A film analysis:
- The candidate looks at an extract of a film once or multiple times before passing interview.
- A questionnaire is given to him to guide its reflection.
- The candidate can take notes for the fast talk of its analysis in front of the jury.
2) Evaluation of a graphic file: The candidate brings his graphic file made up of originals (any authorized format) of the same boards as those of the file given at the time of the written tests. In an optional way, it can be supplemented by other elements which enrich it, by 1 cassette VHS (STAKE, SECAM or NTSC), 1 CD (only Format QuickTime) not exceeding 5 minutes,… This file is examined by the jury without the candidate, before interview. Any candidate without graphic file made up of originals will be eliminated.
3) Exchange with the jury: Evaluation of the general culture, the experiment of the candidate, his course, its oral expression, its dynamism, its open-minded and its motivation in its project of formation, its capacity to be engaged in projects, to work in a team.
Last edited by CTseng; May 14th, 2009 at 01:52 PM.
Wow this has been great help, CTseng great your interested in Gobelins as well, I'm FillMarlo lol
Some of the Tools I'm using to learn french are:
Learning French with Michael Thomas (You can find it on Amazon or torrents)
My French Coach on the NDS
If anyone has a link to an old entrance exam of the school that would be greatly appreciated =)
I have the links of the admission tests of 2007 and 2008
It's in french though...
Character study test:
Cégep du Vieux Montréal 2009-2012 ♥
With students who can pass these entrance requirements....no wonder the work is at such a high level! To get those skills, the applicants had to have had good training, and a serious work ethic driven by passion. They already have a very developed skill set before they begin.
It's also interesting that you indicate that french secondary school education is much more demanding than ours. I've been worried about the watering down of education in North America for years. This is not about potential. It's about school environment, attitude towards learning, opportunity (meaning programs that are capable of and dedicated to teaching skills) and work ethic.
In a high school filled with empowered students who see teachers as "advisors" and are overly impressed with each others art, and want to be creative rather than having to learn the hard stuff first, the outcome will be mediocre. I must also add that there is sad lack of knowledgeable instructors since many were educated in the same system and don't have basic perspective, design and representational art skills themselves!
In our programs, we start with talented students some of whom already consider themselves "artists" rather than students. About 20% come straight high schools that didn't make demands on them. They are well meaning, but they have no experience at time management, heavy course loads or dealing with failure and seeing it as part of life and part of the learning process. Some of them can't make the adjustment.
By the end of four years, this year we had a great, professional group of 8 students. But we had lost many along the way who didn't realize what hard work excellence requires! If only we could change primary and secondary education norms, all of you would profit.
Please keep this in mind as you become responsible for the world your kids will inhabit!
Let's make it better.
Last edited by Maxine Schacker; July 11th, 2009 at 07:20 AM.
Just wanted to say that I've been told that the "Rosetta Stone" language programs really work! You might want to look into that if you need to upgrade your French.
www.RosettaStone.com 10% Off & Free 2-Day Shipping Six-Month Guarantee!
I haven't personally used them, although I've thought about it (trying to get my french back), so please research this for yourselves! I've HEARD from other people that this system really works.
I'm french and I've done a lot of research about this school, I'm very interested to study in this school. I've found lot of information about the test. Also, I've spoken to someone who has past the drawing test, thus he gave me lot of information.
This school search people who really know anatomy, how human body and percepective work. Also they are looking for people with a lot of imagination
here some graphics folder from students who have succeeded to the test:
(students often have to pass many times the test, they weren't almost people who succeeded the 1st time they passed the test)
also lot of person advice to buy this book : "The animator's survival kit" by richard williams (the film director of "who framed roger rabbit"
(you can also buy the french version if you want to improve your french, the french title is "Techniques d'animation")
here advices to prepare your portofolio: http://wearenoob.blogspot.com/2007/09/dossier-concours.html
(in french, if you want, I can translate it)
also the test are playoffs
for example in the first test (the Character Study) 60% of the candidates are eliminate, thus examiners won't correct the next test
If you want others information, ask ^^
I know this is an old thread... is anyone applying to the concours this year??
I'm still undecided but I may try anyway even though I know the chances are 0,001 percent. Did anyone from this thread end up going to Gobelins, or somewhere else??? I would be interested to hear the results if anyone still checks up on this thread.
I've heard Supinfocom is also a good alternative... I think it's more towards computer animation (after completing the prepa cycle). Any knowledge on Gobelins ou Supinfocom?
I know you asked it in october and it's a bit old but I am applying for Gobelins.
I haven't attempt the entrance exam yet, I'm 17 and I am going to graduate for highschool this year.
Supinfocom is only for 3D animation. I don't know a lot of things about this school, but one of my friends says it is more popular, professionals would prefer this school to Gobelins for 3D.
Some people say you more need to be a great draughtsman to pass Gobelins exam than Supinfocom. The prepa cycle will not enable you to get accepted in Gobelins unless you work hard alongside Supinfocom.
People usually go to Emca if they haven't succeed in getting in Gobelins, because there you can study 2D animation (or 3D, you specialise at the end of the 1st year). Emca is also cheaper (4000€).
I hope i didn't make lots of mistakes and that i am understandable..
wow, 2009 thread... sorry for the ress. Ill apply for les gobelins next year. I would love if some of you guys, that allready passed by the tests and stuff, could evaluate my skills, and gave me usefull tips. Ill also folow everithing that was said in thios thread. And, if nobody apears, ill try to make a new topic, and later put the link in this coment, so, if someone search on interent and found this out, can have somewhere to go. o/