Academy of Art College
 
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  1. #1
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    Academy of Art College

    Does anyone go to this school? I've looked at the catalog and it "seems" like a great school.

    Just wanted some actual student feedback.

    Thanks!

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    I'm also very eager to hear what people have to say, seeing as I am seriously considering applying.

    So anyone care to chime in?

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    i just enrolled at the American Academy of Art in Chicago and I start in may, i hear its a great school, but i havent even been there to see it, Alex Ross is an alumni there so it cant be to bad

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    i think what he is referring to is Academy of Art College in SF, but anyways, I went there during one summer and they offer some pretty nice classes there. Academy is supposed to be one of the best place to study for computer animation. The only downside is that it isnt very cheap, and it's open enrollment.

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    I go to this school. yes its very expensive. hopefully i can answer some questions you may have on classes and such.

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    Hmm, well I guess if you could tell us your general impressions that would be a good starter? I'll try to think of something specific, heh.

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    I'm a Senior 3d student at the Academy, and I've been through all the college shennanigans. First off - do not live in student housing past your first semester. Secondly, if you're here on student loans, make sure you are extremely talented to begin with, think top 5%. Companies do not hire people who are just 'ok'. Being $70k+ in debt is VERY serious. Student loans are easy to get because they're PROFITABLE. (Declaring bankruptcy after graduation no longer absovles student loan debts, btw.)

    The Illustration and Fine Art departments are very strong, with excellent teachers and a lot of student talent. They offer free workshops to students where you have access to other models and other students who are as serious about learning and excelling as you are. (Most of the best people at the academy fill up around 7-8 sketchbooks a semester, if you aren't prepared to do this, save your money and go to a 2 year program.)

    It is true that the 3d animation department kicks ass, with teachers from Pixar who take thier job seriously and are very helpful to students. However, one must test into these classes and have an excellent portfolio. I don't know about that process firsthand since I'm 3d modeling.

    The issues I have with the Academy are 1.) They dont take plagurism seriously enough, 2.) Most intro classes are a complete $2000 waste of time, 3.) A great deal of 3d teachers are very underqualified, or just plain dont give a shit and 4.) Outside of the Pixar Animation classes they do not offer any accellerated learning programs or offer portfolio required classes. It can be hard to focus and learn in a Maya class where most of the students dosn't even know how to use the UV texture editor at all, because they dont ever use the program outside of school.

    With the Academy, the time you put in to refining your skills means everything, the classes and teachers just guide you. Personally I suggest working on student projects as a student, they're a great place to meet people and learn how to work with others.

    The Academy tends to treat you like a number in every aspect outside of class. For example: you must pay a $400 lab fee even if you never use the lab.

    Keep in mind that just because you like Drawing or 3d dosn't mean you're cut out for it. It takes TALENT and DEDICATION. If you have just one of those, you wont hack it. Dont lie to yourself and wind up 6 digits in debt working at Starbucks.

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  9. #8
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    Originally posted by Hagac
    The Illustration and Fine Art departments are very strong, with excellent teachers and a lot of student talent. They offer free workshops to students where you have access to other models and other students who are as serious about learning and excelling as you are. (Most of the best people at the academy fill up around 7-8 sketchbooks a semester, if you aren't prepared to do this, save your money and go to a 2 year program.)

    The issues I have with the Academy are 1.) They dont take plagurism seriously enough, 2.) Most intro classes are a complete $2000 waste of time, 3.) A great deal of 3d teachers are very underqualified, or just plain dont give a shit and 4.) Outside of the Pixar Animation classes they do not offer any accellerated learning programs or offer portfolio required classes. It can be hard to focus and learn in a Maya class where most of the students dosn't even know how to use the UV texture editor at all, because they dont ever use the program outside of school.

    With the Academy, the time you put in to refining your skills means everything, the classes and teachers just guide you. Personally I suggest working on student projects as a student, they're a great place to meet people and learn how to work with others.

    The Academy tends to treat you like a number in every aspect outside of class. For example: you must pay a $400 lab fee even if you never use the lab.

    Keep in mind that just because you like Drawing or 3d dosn't mean you're cut out for it. It takes TALENT and DEDICATION. If you have just one of those, you wont hack it. Dont lie to yourself and wind up 6 digits in debt working at Starbucks.
    i agree with all that.. even though its open enrollment, the better you are going into the school the more successful you'll be and more you will get out of it... try to pick up good study habits quick..it took me about 2 years of going there to really start to work hard.. Its like every school.. you get out of it what you put into it.. id say im more dedicated than most students i know, but i can be doing more.. and there's always someone working harder... Oh yeah, hang out at workshops and make friends with the good artists.. itll help as far as motivation goes

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    I would take Animated Figure with Barbra Bradley if you can test into it. Any drawing class with Carol Nunnley.

    Basically all the good classes are ones that you have to test into.

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    Question

    sorry i can't offer any answears but i have a couple questions to add...

    i was thinking of taking a/some sculpture classes offered at the Academy of Art this spring, in particular Head and Figure Sculpture 1 (FASCU_234) and Ecorche (FASCU 270). does anyone have any feedback on either of these particular courses and/or their teachers, Jane Whitten and Steen Parkins (sp?) respectively? or for that matter any recommendation on other figure sculpting classes?

    thanks in advance.

    cheers

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    whattup

    I have echorche with Steve this semester. I had him for Still Life painting 1 last semester, also. He's a good guy, and he knows alot. Echorche is tight. Anatomical sculpture...don't waste your money with any other "anatomy" class.

    The Academy is pretty tight. Honestly though, from what I've seen, the kids that go here are pretty wack. There's only a handful of really dope kids. Alot of people are just geeks that have rich parents. Open enrollment sucks...but the teachers are really good. It's essential to hand pick your teachers before each semester & make friends with them. Also...go to all the free (!) workshops (I go to 5-6 a week) and draw your ass off. I'm a fine art (painting) major and I still draw like mad.

    The Academy is cool because it teaches practical artistic structure and not some artsy "express yourself" bullshit. Learn some solid foundations first and express yourself out of school later, you feel me?

    Anyways, let me know if you need more info. SF is a dope place to live. The homosexual scene isn't as bad as people claim it is...they basically chill in one area. SF has mad culture and personality. It's also very beautiful...a perfect city for inspiration. Plus the hip hop scene is about as fresh as it gets.

    pzz

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    I too am an academy of art student. This is my senior fourth 1/2 year and am also fast approaching the $70+ debt. BUT, it is well worth it.

    I was a 3D Visual Effects major for 1 1/2 year and found that I just wasn't as passionate with that as I was drawing. So, I switched to Illustration.

    For those of you who are thinking of coming here...try going to a JC first and get credits so you don't have to waste money paying for a $1650 English I class! Get as many credits to transfer over. Also, you don't have to follow the general major breakdown. Talk to your advisor, and you can tailor make your major. Take the classes you want!

    The AAC is open enrollment...many flock to this school and city, but the drop out rate is really high! Come knowing that you love this stuff, connect with other people (making connections with say a film major can get you storyboard jobs, etc) and stick it out.
    The first two 1/2 years are really hard because you are sturggling very hard to come to terms with style, consistency, time, etc and all those factors, but after a few years in the system, you'll learn it and then eventually learn how to break it. good luck.

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    Question

    Just dropped by these forums and saw this post about the school.

    I have a question about taking a degree online from the school... is there anyone who has or knows anything about it?
    Any info would be helpful. Thanks.

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    The Scamademy, huh?

    Don't don't don't don't don't don't don't don't and don't
    waste your money on the on-line classes.

    The Acadamy is a big-time business, and the on-line classes are all a scam. I'm talking about the art classes...but who would want to pay $1,500 for a liberal arts class? The Academy is a cool school, but please go to a J.C. and pay $30 a unit first for all of the gen. ed. As far as online art classes, that's a rip off for sure. You get no one-on-one benefit from the teacher, and no help from the students. It's a total scam.

    www.theconcol.com


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    yes, definitely take your liberal arts classes at a jc. there are some really awesome teachers in the illustration/fine arts department. if you are planning on attending the academy i would suggest taking teachers like zhao ming wu, james wu, henry yan, kazu sano, stephen player, and chuck pyle just to name a few.

    and actually you dont have to test in to classes unless you are trying to skip the prereqs.

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    Thanks for the info!

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    Time for a bumper on this thread...

    I was recently looking into AAC and I have a question myself:
    Do you know if the credits transfer to other colleges?
    I'm checking it out this Tuesday and I will e-mail the other colelges I'm applying to, but I just wanted to find out in case anyone knew already.
    I'm looking into a BFA Cinematography (I saw that both Humboldt, Western Washington, and Evergreen State University in Olympia, WA -the other colleges I'm applying to- have Theatrical courses with similar Cinematography classes) and BFA Storyboarding in Computer Illustration.

    Carpe Diem.
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    I am CURRENTLY enrolled in AAC san francisco.. I'd have to agree with most of what Hagac has said. I am pulling a double major in Illustration and 3D and I feel I have alot of potential that is bieng STOMPED on by lack of money. I am constantly wrestleing with the faculty when it comes to loans. It is not uncommon for them to make huge errors in loan ammounts and dispersal dates that can ruin you and make you late on RENT. They DO think of you as a number, with a big dollar sign on the end of it. If your lucky enough to get a good teacher the classes can be great but there is no in between with the school when it comes to help with supplies or financial aid. They don't offer any scolorships or assistance (screw poor people). My overall impression is FUCK THE ACADEMY.. the rare good class is not worth the hastle or CASH.. . there has to be a better alternative to this. If you find it, go there. This is my last semester here.. I'm going to look for a better school. Maybe the CCAC or the Art Institute SF.

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    also, Klev... you go there now right? you said some solid shit about the school... good luck in your studies bro.. If I stay here I'm switching to a full illustration major so maybe I'll be happier with that.. peace.

    oh, and gays are people too, it's all love! -a true SF opinion

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    Hey guys, can you point out how much is the cost per course/class and the cost of each credit/unit. I am considering of taking like 2 courses, and maybe I can complete a Associate of Arts degree in a couple of years. Also, what are mandatory fess for online classes?

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    There has been recent press coverage about the Academy of Art University (they recently changed their name). This story was featured front page on the SF Chronicle. here's the link:

    A Work of art or a harbinger of violence? Grisly short story gets student expelled from S.F Academy

    Here's what a teacher had to say:

    "Alan Kaufman, author of "Jew Boy" and editor of "The Outlaw Bible of American Poetry,'' teaches modern art and popular culture at the school and has taught sections of Narrative Storytelling. "The (school's) system is based on corporate greed,'' he said. "It doesn't even give the bare minimum to students in terms of psychiatric counseling or social services. It just treats kids like credit cards, like clients, basically. There is no artistic vision."

    To answer your question, each class is $1650 (550 per unit). This doesn't include hidden course fees which are about $65+, lab fees $100, registration $140 each time you register per semester (and online courses), supplies, and if you are doing housing (which i don't recommend) that will run you $1000 a month. Believe me, you will be buried in debt. And financial aid/administration is really not that helpful to your plight. You are a number.

    For an associates and BFA, I would not recommend taking online courses. They are a waste of money. You might as well go to class and try to get a teacher/student relationship. If at all possible, try transfering credits from another institution.

    for BFA: The catalog says you must take 5-6 classes to graduate in four years. LIES!! Advisors say, realistically, 4 classes is more than you can handle.If you really want a good portfolio, a life, and if you are planning to work part time to ease your financial troubles and the high cost of living in SF, you will graduate in 5 or 6 years...or maybe longer. I know plenty of students who have been there since 98 or 99. If you want to graduate in four years, you will have to take 5-6 classes every semester, summer school, and possibly winter intersession. Again, that will probably leave u with a shitty portfolio and an early death due to stress.

    hope this helps.

    "The love between a couple is expressed by the unity of two complementary colors, by their mixture and contrasts, by the secretive vibrations of similar tones."

    ---Vincent van Gogh
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    I go to AAC as well... They renamed the school Academy of Art University recently after getting their full creditials.

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    It's got some cool things going for it, reps from Blizzard North are giving a presentation on Monday, for example.

    Although some of the stuff that goes on in the school may appear unfair to us students, in reality it is no different at any other college. The difference is - in order for this degree to pay off, you have to be extremely talented. That is my warning to all new non-3d students.

    The 3d department is slightly different, as I've seen some insanely good modelers that could not draw or paint to save thier lives. However, they are extremely dedicated and focused, and often do more then is required of them by the school.

    www.Panzar.com - for new 3d students, this is at least what you should have on your senior demo reels, when you get there.

    www.GoodBrush.com - For new Illustration students, this is the quality of work you need to be putting into your senior portfolio, when you get there.

    Do not make the mistake of only comparing yourself to your fellow students, as they are not your only competition. Do not let this discourage you, as we all have to start somewhere, but excelling beyond those examples should be your goal.

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    hi all.
    been lurking about for awhile, but this thread made me register

    I was wondering, are there any thoughts on AAC's Transportation Design course? I'm contemplating mortgaging my life away with student loans, but wonder if AAC is worth it . . .

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    I've seen some amazing stuff come out of that department, and the teachers seem really qualified - but I've only had a few classes there.

    The best thing you can do is go on a tour. Ask students what they think about the program on the tour.

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  27. #26
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    yo

    Hagac makes a good point.. any school you go to is going to be what you put into it at the end... but be warned and prepared for money to be a constant problem at art school in general. If your dad isn't rich you are going to have additional struggles rich kids won't have... AAU isn't the worst school as a whole like I might have imlied.. but the financial aid department and counseling ARE the biggest disasters I've ever seen..

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    Thanks for the advice; it has been near impossible to find any thoughts online by AAC(U) students or faculty on the Transportation Design program.

    I agree that it all comes down to what you put in, and in my short experience with them, that thier financial aid department could be a bit more helpful - maybe that part will change for the better eventually :confused:

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    i attended academy for 2.5 years, and i think its a pretty good school. i got alot out of it, however i was very serious going into it. art school is not a magic bullet. if you wanna work hard and take it very seriously, then take the life drawing classes, heads and hands with james wu, is a must, dont waste your time on liberal arts classes,, and work hard. i would rush through my homework so i could do my own personal work or work on illustration gigs, and i feel i benefitted immensely from this. it also depends on your major. dont bother getting a ba in illustration if you dont have to. i have never had anyone ask me if i have a degree, your portfolio will speak for itself.when i look at portfolios, and i see somebody has a bachelors or worse yet a masters in illustration, i think to myself, they need this piece of paper, why? not to diss you degreed professionals out there, because there are a lot of very talented ones, but all i know is that i know alot of guys i went to school with who have bachelors degrees in art that are working landscaping and cashiers jobs, while i never even finished highschool, dropped out of art school a bit onthe early side, and work as a conceptual artist today. i'm not bragging or anything like that, but academy has a bad habit of misleading potential students into thinking they "need" a degree to work in the field, which is poppycock. so my advice to anyone considering academy is to get in , work your fucking ass off, and get the hell out before you owe them for the rest of your life. -c36

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    something i needed to hear, so Thanks C36

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    The flip side to El Coro's statement that if you want a Degree in art, then the Academy of Art University is an excellent place to go if you can afford it.

    If you want to work in games I humbly have a few suggestions based upon personal experience...

    Your best bet is to spend the first 2 years here drawing your ass off. Several sketchbooks a semester. Enjoy this time. It's low tech, and the people are friendly.

    The last two years you should spend learning technology, Maya, Zbrush, BodyPaint... anything you can get your hands on. Learn 3d and learn it well, this is your key to quickly entering the industry. All that time you've spent learning to draw and paint really comes in handy here, and those base artistic skills will help you greatly.

    Too many students think they're going to be concept artists. Be realistic with yourselves. How often do you think a concept art position at Blizzard opens up? Check thier website. See who they are hiring. http://www.blizzard.com/jobopp/

    Now that you've read what skillset they're looking for and what jobs are open... I hope you can see the light. If you are still unconvinced, check other companies websites.

    It is rare to find someone who can draw/paint well AND use 3d. Most of the excellent 2d students I know who dont know 3d are still jobless. Most of the excellent 3d students who cannot draw that I know are still jobless. My question to you is - Would you rather be the exception or the expected?

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