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I swear I tried to use the search engine but there are just too many matches for "Max the Mutt"
I've found a lot of info about the school from this site, however most if not all of it is from representatives of the school. Are there any graduates or current students out there? I'm mostly interested in the new Concept Art Major, and I would visit the school but its really, really far away...
I'm not really looking for suggestions on schools (already got a list made up), just opinions on MtM.
Hope that answers your question.
That makes a lot of sense...I was wondering why all the threads were locked.
Thanks for clearing that up!
Frankly, because Jason has locked them out doesn't make them bad, especially since they are competition for Jason's Atlier. Remember, he has a major bias here. I would bet that he never visited the school nor did any real in-depth investigation.
As for Max the Mutt,They seemed to have a very strong program in 2d animation and concept art from what I can see. They are also VERY inexpensive. You should check them out and decide for yourself.I'm sure they can show you drawings from each level of studies and show you their placement results.
Last edited by Taxguy; November 28th, 2009 at 11:15 AM.
http://burningmonster.blogspot.com/2...utt-entry.html <-- Interesting read about MtM
There's been people say Max the Mutt is a great school, and others say it's a total waste of time. The reviews are so mixed I decided the back away altogether.
Also Maxine's constant advertisiting was really annoying me. If the school is good it should be able to run on its own reputation.
I guess you'll need to talk to some MtM students to get a real good idea of the place. I wonder if there's any on here?
Check their website. I think their student work speaks for itself.
Cherry Cheesecake 100 notes,"Also Maxine's constant advertisiting was really annoying "
In terms of Max the Mutt's advertising, I really don't mind it. Using forums is MUCH cheaper than placing Banner ads. They are a small, very inexpensive school and want to keep it that way. I, for one, appreciate that they can provide the education that they provide at $10,000 per year! Would you prefer expensive advertising that will require them to charge $20K+ in tuition a year in order to recoup the high cost of advertising? If so, go to Ringling or Calarts.
I think it has more to do with the way she advertised. Some might consider it to be overly aggressive, redundant, and much of an annoyance.
Nothing to do with the cost of advertising here.
That said, I would like to point out to the OP and everyone reading this that Taxguy seems to be biased too in giving out information about Max the Mutt, as you might find out when checking his/her previous posts on here -most of them are about how good this school is in her opinion. I am leaning towards the suspicion it is Maxine in disguise but since I can't prove this I'll have to let it slide for now.
Last edited by yoitisi; November 29th, 2009 at 05:42 AM.
Yoitisi notes,"That said, I would like to point out to the OP and everyone reading this that Taxguy seems to be biased too in giving out information about Max the Mutt, as you might find out when checking his/her previous posts on here -most of them are about how good this school is in her opinion. I am leaning towards the suspicion it is Maxine in disguise but since I can't prove this I'll have to let it slide for now.[/QUOTE]
First, I am a guy and not a gal.
Although I probably have an admitted bias due to what I have seen and due to their pricing, I am NOT in any way, shape or form, affiliated with Max the Mutt. I am not part of their administration nor am I paid by them in any way. You can check this out by my address which is in the US. Max the Mutt is in Canada.
My bottom line is that folks should NOT take everything that is said here as gospel, even from me. They should check out the various schools themselves and form their own opinion.
As for Maxine's overreaching due to her marketing, as I noted, I really don't mind. She has to have a way to promote her school without resorting to expensive ads. Yes, maybe should should have toned it down since these are NOT her forums. However , personally, I really didn't mind her comments,which usually were fairly thought out ( with the exception of the fight with the supposedly ex-employee, who really started the dispute).In fact, I felt that banning her from posting was really a disservice to those that participated here. I don't believe in banning people who simply promote their schools as part of their discussion,but I am not the owner of the site.
Last edited by Taxguy; November 29th, 2009 at 01:06 PM.
Oh, when Maxine wasn't advertising her school, she often had interesting things to say. It's a shame I started to flinch every time her name popped up, bracing myself for another MtM advertisement, I liked her otherwise.
Taxguy, if it is not too rude or personal, may I ask your relationship with Max the Mutt? You seem to defend it quite strongly.
cherry cheescake 100 asks,Taxguy, if it is not too rude or personal, may I ask your relationship with Max the Mutt? You seem to defend it quite strongly."
Response: I have already noted my relationship to them in post number 11. I was simply a parent who looked at Max the Mutt for my daughter. Although we didn't feel it was right for her since she is primarily into 3d work, we thought that they had a very good program for what they offer. This was particularly true for their rather inexpensive price for non-Canadians. Places like Sheridan were very expensive for non-Canadians.
Taxguy is legit, I remember his posts on several forums when he was checking out schools for his daughter.
Also, Maxine's writing style was totally different, and she is neither that devious nor subtle (if she had been, she never would have gotten herself banned in the first place). If she were sockpuppeting, everyone would know it immediately.
**Finished Work Thread **Process Thread **Edges Tutorial
Crash Course for Artists, Illustrators, and Cartoonists, NYC, the 2013 Edition!
"Work is more fun than fun."
"Art is supposed to punch you in the brain, and it's supposed to stay punched."
I'll just ignore the rest of the thread as it seen to be derailing and answer the original poster.
I'm a student of the second year of the CA program at Max the Mutt. My name is Fernando, and if anyone is wondering if I'm Maxine in a disguise, well, just search for my oooooooold sketchbook from when I was applying to the school and you can see some pictures of me
I dont know exactly what the OP wants to know about the school but I'll give my impressions.
I moved from Brazil to Canada to attend the CA program at Max the Mutt when it the second group was starting. I got to know about it here on ca.org on these very own boards. I submitted my portfolio and once I got accepted I got everything together and moved up to Toronto (nice city btw, I really like it here).
In the first year we had all kinds of courses to get our basics down. Life drawing (all 4 years have LD), Principles of Drawing, Representational Painting (oils for the entire year and a second class in water based media, gouache and acrylics, in the second half), Perspective Drawing, Design and Composition, hope I didnt forget anything.
I had started to seriously applying myself to drawing and painting around an year before coming to this school, so I really needed those basics, and by the end of the year I felt like it all came together, and now in the second year I'm sure I needed all that lol. Its funny how each of those classes complemented the others.
We're now reaching the end of the first half of the 2nd year and it has been hard. We've got a bunch of intro courses. Intro to CA, where we're doing some group projects around a couple themes (everything from props and objects, char design, environments, etc..), we also had background painting (traditional and digital), cartooning, environment visualization, intro to animation, props and objects, and more life drawing
All those build up for the courses in the next half of the year.
In brazil you usually study part time and work parttime all around the year. The change for me here was kinda shocking hah. Study like crazy, study more, and more, and in the summer you work @_@ well, not me, got only a student visa hah. The thing is, its intense.
The teachers expect nothing from you but your best. Be awake, paying attention, having your stuff done in the deadlines, be respectful to everyone, dont dress like a hobo, in short, be professional about it.
I saw a bunch of people that just couldnt deal with the "be professional" thing, and ended up leaving the school. So, I dont know if youre coming fresh out of highschool, but if you are, expect a really different environment.
It has been a really rewarding experience to me, its hard, I dont know if I'll make the cut this year yet. I like most of the teachers, they're working pros, and can always give you some insight on how things really work outside the school safe zone
I understand that the experience with a school is not the same for everyone, but thats true for every school out there isnt it? So my advice would be to hear what people have to say, and decide by yourself. Angry people usually post more than happy ones lol.
If you have any questions feel free to contact me here in the forums. I dont come much here, homework!!!!, but it usually tells me by email if I get a PM
I'm glad your valuing your education there. I agree that they have some great teachers, with the exception of Maxine and Tina. Infact I remember her telling us that there hasn't been any good music since the 1920s while in anatomy class.
One of my favorite teachers there was Rudy. He was tough, but you learned a lot from him. Yeah I sort of upset over my time there. My advice, I'd go to Sheridan, it will show up on your resume better. I've been told that "Max the Mutt" looks like a clown college on my resume, so I removed it, and just placed "Studio M". Best of luck to you OP.
I'm a second year animation student at the program, and to be honest a lot of you guys are completely clueless about the whole progress here.
Fernando is dead on with the work load; they practically grind you retarded over here, and I mean it, especially those concept art kids.
Those poor, poor concept artist kids.
They average about three to four hours of sleep a night just to keep on top of their assignments, they get assigned three hours of homework for every class on top of their hectic curriculum, and if they don't understand a single concept fully the school will not let them move on to the next year until all of the criteria has been met. If you smart, pace yourself well and keep on top of things, you should be fine, but if not you're in for a world of hurt.
Trust me, the jump from first year to second is quite the fucking jump. Good God.
The thing you have to understand about Max the Mutt is that they will practically take anyone in. It's not like Sheridan who can get their pick of the litter, then once they've picked the students who are already very skilled, just let them loose; Max the Mutt will train any level-green beginner to someone who can function in a work environment, in comparison with schools like Sheridan, who only take people who already know what they're doing, then let them go hog wild or whatever. That's not the kind of school I was looking for, so I went here, and i've been very happy because of it.
Will they get hired once they graduate? Depends on the individual honestly. Like any school, the ones who put the time and effort into their studies will get the most out of it. Nothing is handed to you in this world for free.
You will not have freedom to do your own thing, which can be a double-edge sword for some people; you are so swamped with assignments from your classes that it's practically impossible, but when you do work on your assignments you begin to realize the importance and principle of what teachers like Ed teach you in Life Drawing, like line tactility and the purpose of an extended gesture. They beat the teaching if Nicholaides and Bridgeman so thoroughly into you that it's impossible to forget those methods. And you can't forget those teachings, because if you do, you don't move on, simple and clean.
MTM is not the perfect school; it's not trying to be, despite what you may have heard from Maxine. But it's doing a hell of a better job than 95% of the schools in North America, guaranteed, and you're literally paying a quarter of the price compared to what you would in the United States. That right there was enough by itself for me.
All the people who seem to bitch about it seem to be Canadians, and that's the God's honest. They think the school is expensive, and that the work load is too much, and yada yada yada. I have a room mate who says this very thing, and yet he never attends the life drawing labs, turns in his assignments as quickly as he can so he can sit around doing nothing in his room all day.
He never draws, he never goes out. He talks about the school costing money when he himself is wasting his parent's hard-earned dollar. Eugh.
But for an american, who's so used to getting royally screwed with tuition fees, and having teachers who don't really teach, just sit in the class spewing the regular bullshit, this school is a Godsend. There are so many concepts and insider-tips I would have never figured out on my own if it wasn't for this school.
Do I have problems with the school? Of course.
Because we have such an exausting work load, we never get the time to work on our technical skills, or much less draw on our own, because we're just burning through one assignment to the next. Right now i've got two inbetweens I need to clean up, an animation to polish up that's due tomorrow and about five other assignments that are due tuesday.
The work load can get maniacal at times, so when a teacher wants you to do the assignment again because your line quality is weak or you're not able to accurately do (insert whatever drawing element) in a piece of work, you don't really have the time to work at it because you have so much homework that gets in the way of things.
Your social life is MIA most of the time. If you don't get along with the group you're assigned in year one, you're in for a rough road ahead, because you see the same people for every class for every year.
That can grate on the nerves a bit if you're not too fond of them, trust me.
Time is the biggest enemy here at Max. Schools like Sheridan, Ringling, SCAD, whatever; they give you all year to work on your final film or assignment, and to be honest they sort of expect you to teach yourself a lot of these things.
We get, what, three? Four months to complete the thing? Of course our stuff isn't going to look as good as the rest of the competition. Plus, those students get free reign to do whatever they please; we have to get our ideas passed through the faculty before we can move on to working on it.
But in the end, it's just a final film. You can always make another one when you graduate.
So yeah, there's both good and bad.
Overall though, I feel like i'm getting my money's worth here. Definitely not a waste like some of you may seem. It's my kind of school.
EDIT: Also I just finished reading this blog that was posted a little while ago:
He sounds like he's got a solid arguement on some points, and a fair bit of fluff on other issues to be frank.
I am not in the Sequential Arts program, which focuses entirely on comic book art, so I cannot say anything on that degree plan. His biggest complaint was with the Anatomy course, and i'm actually a bit curious on that one because we have an entirely new teacher that we got fresh last year (his name is Steve) who apparently can really put you through the ringer. If anyone's curious, i'd be more than willing to post my reactions on how this goes, but i'd be lying if I said it was a waste of my time, because, hey, i'm an american who's been burned far too many times prior to this. Unless something drastic happens (like when I had life drawing with this one truly horrific teacher for an entire year), it's probably going to be an alright experience for me.
DOUBLE EDIT: I am going to see if I can snag a few minutes to chat with Richard, to get a more concise understanding of what he is saying. Although I am (for the most part) sound on my judgment, I believe it would be a terrific idea to get a fair view on both sides of the issue, if nothing more than to give me some perspective on things.
He looks like a good guy, and it's probably just a simple difference of opinions, which is perfectly alright!
Last edited by Bubs; December 1st, 2009 at 02:21 AM.
I'm currently doing my second year of their Concept Art program, though most of anything I'd have to say has already been said by either Argais or Bubs. I suppose I'll recap some points though.
1. The workload is insane. First year wasn't so bad as most assignments were finished in class, but that's because we were just getting into tools/techniques and classical training. Man, none of us were prepared for what awaited us second year. I'm sure that most of us are pulling 2 to 3 all-nighter's a week, and those who aren't are behind in assignments. Maxine reminds us that we should restrict our work to 3 hours per class, but that's a laugh. 3 hours,... I'm no Jason Chan or Marko Djurdjevic, if I'm going to pull out something half decent that can be put into a portfolio, I need a good 8-9 hours for those paintings, if not more. 9 classes, 3-4 hours per class, 8 hours of homework per class, you do the math. (My life, literally, is school > homework > work > and sometimes sleep. There goes videogames, parties, and relationships.)
I feel like our class is divided into three "categories" of people.
- Those who stay up all the time, drink coffee/energy drinks and finish all the assignments on time and with decent quality, with the expense of their health (and sanity).
- Those who get stressed just by thinking about the work load, need a break just to try to relax, and finish quality assignments but are falling behind in certain classes. Burn out, for sure.
- Those who can't take it and don't give a damn anymore. Either don't come to class, don't hand in homework, or they don't listen to the instructors... same same, but they sleep.
In the end, you really don't want to be any of these.
Although I've heard some people complain about it, believe it or not, I have no problem with the work load. Redbull gets expensive but...
- All of our assignments are motivating and fun. I look forward to designing characters for games, painting backgrounds, making compelling compositions and ideas, creating environment thumbnails... It's amazing. And then we have teachers to help us through and critique us as well, couldn't be happier.
- Skill and knowledge has been improving noticeably. I'm getting a lot better, really fast. It's just grinding and practicing, drawing over and over, and hell, it works! If we're expected to come up with quality artwork, industry skills, and become employable in 4 years, this is definitely the fastest way. Without being pushed this hard, it would've taken months more to have improved as much as I have now.
- Again, I LOVE IT.
2. In reply to Pink slip, Yellow slip... I think many people are just dodgy about them because of how we've been trained in school. By that I mean, getting a slip doesn't necessarily mean that you're a bad person, or did something wrong. They're a way for the administrators to keep track of who's struggling in what areas. If the quality of your work isn't satisfactory, you might get a yellow slip. If you get too many, then you should repeat the year/course to keep your skill up with what's expected.
- It's true, some people get a slip unjustly, and I find that there's not much point to argue if you do get a slip.
- You get a slip if you miss too many classes, don't hand in your homework, or the quality of work isn't good enough. It's a triple combo if you end up getting sick for a week. And then what?
- MtM will never try to mislead you into thinking that you can get through when you don't have the skill/knowledge. If you're not ready, you're not ready. Work harder, take another year, but they're not going to put a sheep in a lion's den. If you disagree with them and think your art is up to par, then you don't need to be in school, do you?
- This system works really well for stereotypical "good" students. It's something that makes sure that you attend class, finish your homework (and on time), and work hard to create some great work. I personally think it's motivated me more than once when I wasn't "in the mood" or "feeling like" doing something, and I'm glad I did.
3. It's a small art college with (what I think) is a goofy name and now, a bad reputation on ConceptArt.org. It's low tuition, but also low-budget but run by artists, for artists. The Concept Art program is new and we've never had any graduates yet, so course outline is still really... REALLY rough.
- There are quite a few courses that I find are unnecessary. Do we learn? Sure. But I still think they could've replaced History of Animation with Constructive Anatomy, Drawing Props and Objects, Location design, or numerous other courses that would've been great for our concept art group. I have the same feelings about other classes that I've taken, but hey, I guess it's better than taking English, a science, or other more unrelated topics at a university.
- From all the drama on these forums, I personally don't feel comfortable mentioning my school or putting it down in a resume. Not that it's all bad, but I don't want someone's pre-existing opinions to influence their judgement on me, or my work. But I suppose the education doesn't matter in the end, it's the portfolio.
- I believe that we have some of the most amazing teachers here. Bojan Redzic is one of my favorites. I really enjoy how direct and harsh he is, while keeping things constructive. As my friend said, he doesn't look at us as students, but judges our work as if we were working professionals. There's no fluff in that, and in such a competitive industry we need that kind of honesty. We also have Don Gauthier, Ed Shawcross, Sasa Radosavcevic, Scott Cameron, and I could truly go on. Where I am right now, I owe it to all of them. I'm not perfect, but I have a MUCH greater understanding of what I'm doing and where things are going. I can tell that a lot of these teachers want to be here, and they're not just going for the pay, which I feel would be a possible situation for other schools.
- The tuition is reasonable and low, especially for an art college.
- By the time you join the program, a lot of the courses and bugs will be fixed thanks to us Beta-testing it for you guys The first years have it so good now, I can't imagine how much better it will be later!
Yep, there are bad things about this school. There are bad things about every school. You just have to pick the right one for yourself. Personally, I think MtM is a great place to be. For me, it works.
I love my classes, my skills and knowledge are a lot greater than they were before, and the teachers are interactive and helpful. So what if I don't sleep often, or get time to myself? I love staying up and drawing, painting, coming up with ideas and compositions. This is what I love to do, and even though it feels like a lot, I wouldn't rather be doing anything else with that time anyways.
There are a lot of bad words going around about this school. I really wish some of the higher administrators would listen, I think that's the only real problem I have with it. It's not really the teachers, but when we have issues as a class, we feel as though we can't be heard. Really though, all the negative ideas, I believe, are caused by one bubble, and there's a lot more to MtM than that.
If you're ever nearby, check it out.
If you have any questions, just e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org or reply to this thread.
If you want to see how my work has progressed throughout the years, or ask about projects, I can help you with that too.
AND, if you want any rumors cleared up, I'll be honest with you.
Long post, sorry.
Tried to be as honest and helpful as I can.
(P.s. Time to whip out the redbull and pull another all-nighter for my Concept Art final. I'm sure I'm not the only one How's it goin', Fernando? Hahah.)
Last edited by feraltalent; December 10th, 2009 at 06:09 PM.
deja vu! I remember in the old MtM threads Maxine used to "rally the troops" so to speak, getting her students to come to threads to post positive things about the school.
Anyway, I don't have a problem with the student posts, as they list both the positives and negatives and provides good insight into the courses.
I think the problem most people had with the school before was that the work did not seem up to par with industry standards and the work coming out of other schools, which was not inline with what was being advertised online.
Does anyone have a link or page where prospective students can check out student work as one progresses from year to year?
Yes, although I really liked the Max the Mutt curriculum and their philosophy, I really didn't like the work that they posted online. However, I am not an artist that can evaluate that type of stuff.
Thats one thing I was talking to some teachers sometime ago.. due to the course being so intensive, nobody has time to really polish their stuff and go for that extra in their drawings.. let alone time to work on anything other than assignments.
I dare say that the 2nd year CA group has some good stuff done this term and it should be posted on the website sometime soon.
Last edited by argais00; December 11th, 2009 at 04:51 PM. Reason: making more sense now :P
I'd like to take note that unlike Max the Mutt, other schools probably get hundreds upon hundreds of entrants, choosing the most promising and talented who already hold a high skill base.
If you want to see some great art that has come out of MtM, check out vlda.deviantart.com, Andrew's work. He was employed in the middle of second year and came back because he found he wasn't ready without further education. BUT, to be fair, he already had a few years training in industrial design (?) and came in with a high skill level to begin with. He will be joining my 2nd year class this coming semester.Originally Posted by "bubs
The year 3 concept art group has improved since year 2, Year 2 is much stronger because we're getting more thought-out courses, and I hear there's a lot of talent in Year 1. I wouldn't doubt it if the 1st year Concept Art students are, on average, better than my class. Why?
- This is a new course. We only even have 3 years right now, and nobody has gone into the fourth year yet. First wave was experimental, second wave is cleaning out the bugs, third wave is getting into it a bit more.
I'm sure other schools have had their programs up and running for much longer, not to mention already having their name out there.
In the end though, it's really what you make of it. That's just how it always is. This is a school, not a magic shortcut. Most people know that to become good at anything, it's all practice. The people who go to this school and listen to the teachers, are open to education, do all the homework and draw/paint a lot on their own time have made massive improvements. Those who are laid back and just expect to get good because they are going to a school, have shown little improvement at all, and I doubt they're really learning anything.
If you give a good attitude, stop complaining and start learning, this school could be very good and beneficial. They will teach you techniques and ideas to help further your potential, and the teachers are always open to help and give one-on-one advice. If you walk in as a skilled artist and your ego gets in the way, sure, you're still going to have great artwork, but you wouldn't have learned anything. If someone who is a beginner walks in with an open mind, the change in knowledge and quality of work will be dramatic. It might not be as good as what an already skilled artist can work up, but those outcomes come with practice and experience.
Here's an example of what John (currently a third year) did after first year.
And here's an example of my artwork before entering MtM,
After first year...
And in the middle of second year (now)...
Note that none of these are class assignments, and because of that, they wouldn't be displayed on the site. Most of my class assignments aren't digital, so I don't have the means to get them online. Also, as Argais has mentioned, we don't get a lot of time to polish up our class work to make it look nice due to the intensive work load, but that doesn't mean that we're not learning and improving. Already, I can look at the work I've done first year and see all the changes I would've made to my work. I know my art still holds many, MANY flaws, but hey, I feel like I'm so much further than where I was before.
There are people in my class, and in other programs, who wouldn't be able to say the same about their own growth. The experience is different for everyone. I hope that this has helped in some sort of way.
Last edited by feraltalent; December 11th, 2009 at 09:42 AM.
Argais - That's a good point - it makes me wonder whether it's better to have such an intensive workload or let the students breathe a little? I can see arguments for both ways, how do you feel about it? And yea I'd be curious to see what the 2nd years are putting out now...
Feraltalent - Thanks for putting up the sample artworks - this is the kind of improvements that MtM should be showcasing on their website! It's a shame that they can't show off the best that their students have to offer, because of the workload, etc. But I'm glad to hear that you're getting a lot out of it and so are the other hard-working students.
BTW I don't have a strong opinion for or against MtM, I got accepted into their Sequential Arts program two years ago but turned it down because of financial and other reasons. I'm happy with my choice but still curious sometimes what would have happened if I'd made the move to Toronto... it's hard to tell because the school gets such mixed reviews, so I appreciate everyone's input.
I was at the school today and looks like the teachers are handing in the work from this term now to the office so you all should be able to see some new stuff soon on the website.
And now I'm off to the airport. time for some really nice sunny weather in Brazil
Hi, everyone. My name is Ryan, and i run a web game studio in Toronto called Untold Entertainment Inc. i've actually hired some MTM graduates, so i thought i could chime in with the view from an employer.
i hired one graduate of 2D animation to do some character designs, and one student who left the school, and was on his way back to complete the program in the next semester. He was in the concept art stream.
i asked the 2D guy to do some character designs. i was reasonably happy with the work, but i didn't end up using it. He took direction well and worked to my expectation.
The concept artist's stuff was MIND-BLOWING, but he took forever to get i to me. i definitely got my money's worth, but i wonder how much working and re-working he did on the pieces, and whether he was paid fairly. i asked him for two renderings, and they took him two months. To be fair, he was working a full-time job at the time.
Prior to hiring these guys, i hit up the Max the Mutt graduate show in 2009. Some work was good, and some work was terrible. There were very few students whose work blew me away.
What i found VERY INTERESTING though is that while most of the artists had passable-to-excellent 2D paintings, sketches, layouts, etc, their animation was uniformly CRAPPY. i couldn't believe that a school specializing in animation would turn out such weak animation. From the whole graduating class, not a single piece was even NEAR tolerable, and the films didn't come close to touching Sheridan's output. The 3D guys fared a little better, but still, they were miles behind Sheridan's post-grad course.
i would hire MTM graduates again, but not for animation. Never for animation. i might have seen a bad batch last year. i'll check out the show again this year, but MAN! i was really surprised. Maybe MTM should give students more time, or break assignments up into smaller motion studies? They might be focusing too heavily on fine arts skills - demonstration of animation ability there is definitely lacking.
First, students here spend a grand total of two years of 24 weeks of four hour animation classes on classical exercises like bouncing ball, take, water and fire special effects, sound synch, lip synch etc. Total education spans more, much more, like storyboarding, layout, traditional and digital background painting. As a second-year student, I may not know all the details of what is coming in the third year, but I think I may summarize the animation education as two short years of exercises.
It is in our third year that all of these exercises come together in a Final Film, which will for most students be their first complete film. As with so many 'first times', it will usually be less than impressive. Moreover, these films are to be produced in three weeks time, and as far as I know it is mandatory that these are Toon Boom 'cut-out style' animations. Don't expect too much.
On a personal note, I had already decided on a story for my final film, when I decided it needs a more delicate treatment: it is not going to happen in three weeks of Toon Boom. So, I will keep my project for later, and I am still searching for something simple that fits the retraints.
Second, I do not think it is necessarily bad that a school focusses on exercises, as opposed to completing full movies. In their future careers, most, if not all, students will work as 'specialists', i.e. as animators, background painters, character designers, layout artists, instead of full-fledged movie makers.
However, I do not think it is fair to compare the output of Max the Mutt students to the often impressive pieces of Sheridan, Cal Arts, Gobelins or Ringling, programs which are often twice as long, and require students to complete several movies during their courses. For instance, Sheridan has 1 year of Art Fundamentals, 4 years of Animation and 1 year of Computer Animation, as opposed to Max the Mutt's 1 year of Visual Art Literacy, 2 years of Animation and 1 year of Computer Animation. Now, there is no way I want to imply that Max the Mutt does in 3 years what other schools need twice the amount of time for, it just does not make sense to compare student output.
Third, and final, Max the Mutt has always been proud of its emphasis on professionality and employability, and it has always valued a strong link with the industry. As such, I appreciate your openness in a public forum as this. However, the school, and especially the students, can only benefit from your experience if you discuss your concerns with the school directly. Did you know you are mentioned on the Max the Mutt website as an employer who "has good things to say about Max the Mutt students." Now, there is no way I can sense what you communicated exactly to the school and in what context, it might very well be that some of the nuance are lost per email, but the current situation is that you are quoted as being exclusively positive on the school's website, while your posting here contains some downright negative comments. That is a lose-lose-lose situation, in that it does not work for the school, not for the students and, probably, not for you as a potential employer either: I believe we all want schools to offer the best possible education.
To close the bracket which was opened in the subject: I am a second-year Max the Mutt student and as such I do not represent the school. However, I am in it, and I trying to give all I can to make this a better experience for me, and the people around me. Feel free to keep the discussion going, here or elsewhere, and you are more than welcome to contact me personally.
Last edited by eezacque; March 7th, 2010 at 09:20 PM. Reason: This sounded a bit offensive and needed clarification