I have been looking at colleges for months now and I'm very close to making a final decision. Someday I want to make video games like final fantasy xiii for example and possibly work in Japan. I just need a little help. Here are the best schools I've looked through so far:
Ringling college of art and design: I'm worried that the computer animation program will be too cartoon/pixarish and I'm worried that the Game art program will be too foucused on envirornments
HAL: This is located in Japan. I would need to learn Japanese first but I'm already doing good with it.
Deciding my college has been very stressful. I would apreciate any sugestions on how to pursue a career in video game computer animation.
I've decided on going into Game Art and Design in Ringling, but I'd love to hear what some people really in the "know" have to say about the whole situation.
Animating realistically and animating cartoonishly aren't two different skillsets. Even if your end goal is to do realistic stuff, while learning, you still want to spend a lot of time--probably, most of your time-- doing broad, cartoonish stuff. It's much easier to develop a mastery of the principles of animation that way; if you only ever practice realistic animation, your work will end up feeling stiff and robotic. As such, any good animation school will give you the preparation you need.
Also, just so you know, working in Japan as an artist isn't, as a general rule, a possibility for foreigners.
Edit: That being said, one thing you do need to learn if you want to do realistic animation, and which many animation programs won't teach you, is how to work with motion capture data.
Last edited by Meloncov; November 19th, 2012 at 12:12 AM.
Why is it that a cartoon character is easier to animate?
I'm just curious because most things you are told you should learn how to realistically create and then once you've mastered (or at least become good) with the fundamental, usually observational work, you just easily skew it and make a cartoon. Wouldn't it be easier to learn how to make basic motions, and then push them with squash and stretch and exaggerated antiqs to make a more cartoon like movement?
I understand for the purposes of modeling and rendering, when you are focused on movement, that making a realistic character wouldn't be very necessary, but for motion, is it really taught "backwards" to other practices?
That's a good question. Part of the answer is that realistic animation means having to deal with either extremely careful drawing (for 2d) or a huge number of controls (for 3d) and that ends up distracting from the basics of movement. The second part is that broad animation is a way of clearly marking the subtle motions of a real body that would otherwise be lost to an inexperienced artist, in much the same way that someone learning artistic anatomy might clearly mark the position of a bone or muscle that is actually only hinted at in the body of the model.
but my two cents on that issue, I would gauge based on the entitled feeling most Americans have. I will use the term Americans, as in people in north America and below Canada, and foreigners as anyone outside of that area.
I wouldn't know the standings of what the industries are hiring, but I used to live in Atlantic City NJ and there every summer there would be an influx of "foreigners". Most AC locals looked at it like a plague because they would come in and take the jobs, and then go back to their country during the slow season. people would go months without a job, and some would have to resort to going onto government assistance, because as soon as jobs opened they'd be filled with foreigners, and when the foreigners left the jobs would go as well because the slow season had begun. People felt there was a big issue with this and I felt this way for awhile too; that was until I actually met some of the foreigners.
I found it was not uncommon to find an eastern European to be working as a valet, with a bachelors degree in engineering. The manager of the janitorial staff in Atlantic City high school was a Haitian man with a master's in engineering. when he came to this country that was all he could find and he took it at entry level and worked up to managerial. he now makes well above 60,000 a year. Last I saw of him, he was still trying to get his USA certification to work in engineering, and was applying to positions regularly. I met one woman who spoke 4-5 languages fluently, and was studying more. I know I personally only can speak one, and I think we've all met some americans whose ability to speak just one language is questionable. This woman worked at the steel pier which was pretty much a carnival located on the boardwalk, for those of you unfamiliar. In AC the jobs at the steel pier were only for the high school students, and maybe some burn outs, because no adult American would want to work for minimum wage in the conditions the job demanded. The woman, who was incredibly smart, did it happily.
I'm not saying this is the case always or in everything, but in general, many Americans are really unwilling to sacrifice, and this shows.
I saw a documentary showing that the majority of americans if given a test would test more poorly than those of other nations, yet they believed they scored highest. Americans score highest on self confidence. thats it.
Imagine for a second you are a manager/ director of some department of an animation studio. you need to hire a new character animator. you have the choice between:
A. a local kid who's interning at you place, just got his degree, but has a lacking portfolio.
B. A freelance lead currently in between projects, with a good portfolio, a good track record, yet you would have to pay well over budget in order to have her due to her experience, and to bid her out from working for your competitors.
C. A "foreigner" who has a decent portfolio, a list of work experiences, has interned for smaller studios, and all of their contacts give them great recommendations. as well as all of this his salary requests are decently below your budget requirements for a new animator.
Look, I don;t like it, who does? but besides maybe the more expensive choice of B, choice C sounds the best. A may wind up costing you far too much and you'd have to go with B or C anyway. as well, B may opt out for a bigger project at anytime- C would have a decent chance of longevity.
Besides, the united states of America is built on foreigners and immigrants. if it weren't it would be a nation full of native Americans. So just become better than anything a person not from the states can throw your way. If you are the best YOU WILL get hired. If you fight your way from the bottom (like most foreigners do) you can prove your worth and make it to the top.
Yes, you may have to get paid less, yes you may have to work long hours, yes you may have to hurt your pride, but I've seen people from other countries come here, with a whole family of 8 in a one bedroom apartment. I've seen them the next year, in a 3 bedroom. next year, running a business, next year, owning a house. and in a few years, they are very successful- but for how long did they sleep on the floor? how many hours did they work? how many days did their kids go hungry?
Success is hard, and you have to work at it. Art is a constant competition and the best wins. don't be jealous of the man who gets the spot, realize why he got it, and become better than him in it.
NO ONE IS SAYING THAT I AM ENTITLED TO A JOB JUST BECAUSE I WAS BORN HERE! If you read my first comment carefully you can see that I ask why studios bring people from other countries when there are plenty of locals with the skills to take the job. Megagod answered the question. I am not entitled to shit. If I was entitled to a job I would stop my education immediately and not push myself.
Lol sure, I got a little off topic there. I am continuing my education in NYC. Taking classes at SVA and the New York Academy of Art and I have seen some great Animation reels at SVA. I have been in the building where they teach 3D art and there are posters of student's work and it looks amazing. You might want to look it up on their website or ask people here what they think about their program http://www.svacomputerart.com/studentwork/2012.html. My friend is taking classes with that Animation mentor program and he always post his work for critique. We went to the same college and his work is looking better than before. So far he has no complains about AM.
I'm not convinced you have the ability to judge someone's portfolio, either.
I know the process these people come over. Work visas paid by the studios blah blah blah. I am not an idiot. I was just asking in my first comment why studios need to rely on foreigners when there is people who can take the job here in the US. I never said I am entitled to stuff just because we live here like that idiot said. I am not capable of judging a portfolio? And who are you? The greatest artist in the world or something? And can why can't Jarklor ask which college is best for him? Isn't that the whole purpose of this forum? Wow what a @#$%!
here's some information I received from a current Game art and design major when I emailed them
"I've got two friends who absolutely despise being at Ringling, even here in our senior year - but they don't want to be artists. One wants to be a graphics programmer, the other wants to be a game designer. Ringling is an art school, so the VAST majority of your time will be spent towards creating 3D assets (along with lighting, texturing and the like), with a decent amount 2d work thrown in. We only really get in to game design in order to better understand how our art can support and enhance a game's mechanic's or narrative points. If your goal is to be a game designer and you don't really like art, Ringling is not for you. "
So I'm not sure if ringling's Game art and Design would be best for you- not that you want to not do art, but I'm not sure how much you want to work on level design/ composure, and character creation, and much as working on the motion and the scene. From what I understand animation would be more like acting as the director and choreographer of a scene, behind the camera, and Game Art and Design would be more along the lines of being the set designer possibly a make up artist.
I think that the CA program might be best if you choose ringling. If you want more visual effects than animation, then maybe lean SVA. It seems CA at ringling is more focused on creating human movement and emotion. SVA seems more focused on... well according to saprissa's link, what ever the student wants to as long as it is dealing with computer art and looks beautiful in the end result.
I'm not sure if what I'm about to ask is accurate, but I've noticed a bit of a trend,
Aren't beautiful cut-scenes like you want to get into, sadly diminishing? I've noticed that a lot more games are made using in game graphics as their cut scene graphics- if the game even has any cinematic moments. just food for thought.
2. No. I know there are gaps in my knowledge. I leave judging portfolios to people who have more experience and skill than I do. I may give some advice if someone asks, but that's about it. When I was a student, I thought many individuals were absolutely amazing and didn't understand why they didn't have jobs. Looking back at their same work with a few years of professional experience, I can see that I didn't have the understanding, experience, and sensitivity necessary at the time to see that their work wasn't where it needed to be to compete professionally. I also understand that sometimes it's also about timing - the right person seeing the portfolio at the right time. (And that an understanding of one skill set - like storyboarding - does not mean I'm qualified to understand another skill-set to the same degree like character design.)
3. Because he's basically asking someone else to make the choice for him. I don't have any problems with people asking for their opinions on schools, but when it comes down to it he needs to make his own decision. he's also effectively asked this same issue in more than just one thread, which is annoying.
4. It's nice of you to resort to name calling. I hope we never work together.
Edit: If you want to show me that you have an amazing grasp of your field, then by all means, prove me wrong.
I know that it may be hard to get a job in Japan. But still, I want to try. There have been a few people who have done it. I'm going to study Japanese language in highschool for 4 years. Would you recomend that I major in Japanese online while I go to school? Or would that be too difficult? I could also go to college for Japanese then transfer to an animation school in Japan. The reason why I'm intrested in going to college in Japan is because it will connect me to internships in Japan studios and my Japanese speaking would improve a whole lot.
I appreciate all of the help from everyone!
MOD EDIT: Name calling is beneath these forums. Don't do it again.
Last edited by Star Eater; November 20th, 2012 at 06:43 AM.
let's agree to disagree?
I'm not saying that the discussion isn't a good thing, but we are verging on an argument here, and that doesn't have much to do with this thread.
There is an issue with the economy and this topic can lead to some heated debates. sure.
Everyone has a view on art, I personally hate 90% of abstract art- does that mean it's bad? does it mean I'm right? none of the above. It's just an opinion. Everyone has them, and art is built on it.
Let's agree, as long as everyone is trying they are a good artist. If they want to get better at one aspect or another then a good critique can help. If they want to just keep doing what they are doing, then they are the best at creating their personal art style. This doesn't mean you need to hire them, it just means they are good at what they are doing, even if one doesn't like the way it looks.
If I wanted to read name calling and petty arguments, I'd open my facebook- I'm here to read about art and art advice. please can we keep it at that?
jarklor would like to know the best schools for cinematic style animation for video games. yes he has recently made a lot of related threads, and perhaps they should be flattened/joined, what ever.
Personally I'm curious as to what some of the best schools would be for what hes looking at.
I recently saw a link to the DAVE school in florida. I think it's mostly a masters program, but maybe it's not. I really didn't look too deep into it.
If Jaklor's joint threads already have the answer he is looking for, could you provide the link to those threads? I'd love to read the answer.
In closing cant we all just get along?
Alright, this is getting a little heated.
Anyways, OP: Please make a backup plan. Working in Japan is a lofty goal, and I don't think you quite realize how slim your chances are. Just doing well in a competitive field like animation is tough enough anywhere in the world. Add to that needing having to learn a language that is very foreign to you along with all of the cultural differences and you have a vertical climb, pal.
I'm going to take what Saprissa9 has been saying and twist it around: Why should any studio in Japan hire you, a foreigner, when they have so many very talented artists with who they can relate and communicate with better? The answer is what Alice has been saying: You have to be stinking good. If you are fantastic then studios might be willing to try and hire you across borders. Might. But being in that top percentage is a lot of work years away.
The point of what I'm saying isn't to give up. Working towards a goal like this is a fantastic motivator and can provide much needed passion. The point is that you're going to be working in america for awhile and it's unrealistic to think you'll get that dream job right out of school. It's going to take you a long time. Research for a school that will teach you how to do most things, modeling, rigging, lighting, animation (especially cartoony), etc. You're going to have to be a valuable asset and know how to be flexible.
There are only so many jobs for final fantasy style cut-scene animators in Japan. Diversify your skill set and be flexible.
I would definetly want to study Japanese. Do you think it would be a good idea to take classes online for that while I'm at college? Or would that be too difficult to attempt? I could study Japanese after college but I'm afraid I would forget it over time. What do you sugest I do? (This goes for everyone)
I'm currently an 8th grader. I know it is too early too decide but it is a good idea to think about this.