School Angst
Join the #1 Art Workshop - LevelUpJoin Premium Art Workshop

Results 1 to 15 of 15

Thread: School Angst

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    18
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0

    School Angst

    I am a 2nd semester college student at a junior college, currently working at gaining my associates degree before I transfer to an art school. There are a few schools that I'm looking at currently, and I would like some input from all of you on them as you probably have a little bit more knowledge than I do. I have not visited any of these schools yet, and would like to narrow down my selection before I do so.

    1. Cal Arts
    The head of multimedia at the school I'm in recommended this to me. My issues with the school are:
    • Portfolio requirements: I'm good and I have a strong base. I'm just not sure that I am the level of quality they want at Cal Arts.
    • location: LA isnt my type of town i'm more of a NoCal type of guy at heart...less traffic and such
    • Length of course: I'll be at community college for 2 years, I"m not sure i want to spend another 4 years in study. However, i graduated from high school early so it would not place me behind others my age.


    2. Ringling
    • Location: florida sounds cool, but relocating cross country would be tough. I'd be willing to do it if the school is that good though.
    • Portfolio Requirements: Not to sound elitist, but I was really dissapointed by Ringling at portfolio day. The guy practically said everyone that came up to him as great and could get into the school. Alot of people's work wouldnt have gotten an A in my high school beginning art classes. So i am wondering how dissilusioned i should be by their level of acceptance.
    • foundation drawing: how much emphasis do they put on concept development and non cg approaches in their CA program?
    • General ed - i am willing to bet that I could test out of alot of their GE with the classes that I am taking or have already taken.


    3. VFS
    • 1. Duration: I'm not sure i believe in a one year program for digital animatin. But you look at the quality of some of the reels coming out of there and your jaw drops. They frequently make the front page @ cgtalk
    • Tuition: 40k USD is steep for a year
    • Other than that, I dont know much about the school


    4. Ex'pressions
    • Location: Its close to home. a 30 minute drive tops.
    • Tuition/Loans: They had not the cheapest tuition, but the loans were very agreeable.
    • Job Placement: Met with thier job placement coordinator, she seemed nice and had really good statistics
    • Facilities: Visited them and they have VERY nice facilites, really nice labs, mocap room, and more
    • 2 year program: I'm not convinced of a 2 year program, even though @ expressions the program is 2 years, no breaks pretty much. And they go from one or two drawing classes, through the basics of cinematography, to the animation stuff. I think they cover alot, but I'm not sure how much in depth. Their reels arent super impressive to me either.


    Also, out of these, I believe only Cal Arts has a reasonably good accredidation that would transfer to another college if I decided to pursue my MFA later.

    I can post some of my work later today, I'll take some photographs so you guys can give input on if you think I would have a shot of getting into any of these. Thanks for any input or insight any of you can offer about these schools. Cal Arts is my #1 atm. If you can suggest any other schools, I'll look into them as well, and do some more research.

    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Practically Sarasota.
    Posts
    3,282
    Thanks
    1
    Thanked 11 Times in 8 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    Bout ringling-

    At portfolio day- There was a guy? I remember like, 3 ladies, I know the CA was a lady, but not sure about the others really. But still, they also look for potential as much as skill. They take into consideration previous art rainging and all that shizz. That's all I know.

    Also, they ahve a whole Concpet dev class I believe in your Sophomore if your doing CA. Get the catalouge, it'll tell you alot. I live 15 miles from RSAD, so I can vouch for the beauty and inspiration you draw (no pun intended) from the surrouindings. Florida doesn't just sound cool- It is cool. Plus, look at all the career ops coming out. I think the last stat was 95% employed. And internships! =O Anyways... Well, yeah.. Whatever...

    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    18
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    as far as career ops, I would like to work in movies. And cal arts is well, pretty close to where alot of movies are made.

    As far as RSAD, would it be worth it to visit, just to see it? or should I apply (its only $35?) and if i get in visit?

    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    184
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    If you're coming from California I wouldn't go just to see the campus -- I'd stick around for a while and scope out the entire area...

    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    LA
    Posts
    554
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 14 Times in 10 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    I've heard CalArts looks for gestural type figure drawings and contemporary stuff as well as realistic. It has a great reputation with the cg industry and has plenty of connections. Not sure what they stress in their program however. The Experimental Amination program is self explanatory, but I'm not sure about the Character Animation one. I believe they do lots and lots of 2d animation before moving on to 3d animation.

    As for Ringling, that's odd that they would say that they could all get in. Although I'd have to see their work. Maybe they were good or had something that interested the interviewers. I've heard that they can be brutal, telling people how bad they were and making them cry and such. Not sure about that...when I talked to one of their representatives, they were nice and gave me a helpful critique. I remember them saying that I had a good chance, but that I had to render out my drawings more fully. Ringling also has great connections to the industry and has a great rep too. They emphasize story and strong fundamentals in all aspects of art and animation. You won't even get near a computer until your 2nd year. That first year is all about drawing fundamentals and a bit of animation. They like to see strong drawing skills in the portfolio, most importantly though is your ability to render something to its fullest. Make it look academically polished. Oh, and RSAD is NASAD accredited so they should be able to transfer no prob...

    VFS also has a pretty good rep. But, their program is accelerated. So it's wihtout a doubt, an intensive workout. From what my brother says though, Vancouver is basically "a city without people". The whole time, he was wondering where all the people were. I'm sure he was exaggerating though I've seen some of the work of their graduates and they are impressive. Downside though is, it's a certificate program and may hurt your chances should you ever decide to be a teacher or want to work overseas.

    And I've never heard of Ex'pressions so I can't help ya there .

    Check out the student work, teacher credentials, and stuff like that. That's probably the best way to gauge a school's worthiness. Try not to trust those job placement stats the admissions dept. gives you. Many schools have been known to artificially inflate that number far beyond the actual number of people in the industry.

    PS...post some of your work sometime

    "So now we have modeled something that will get us nowhere in life"
    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    184
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    I second the motion to talk to the schools, especially for transfer of credits. Especially between states. A friend of mine went to a school down here in Florida before moving back to Philadelphia, and after two years of people telling him "No, it's fine, these are both art schools of similar caliber, accredited by the same institution even" and it wound up being some sort of weird residency law and a new program they were instituting to compete with state schools accepting community college credit. Not a single class transferred back. Certainly not a widespread issue but that's a hell of a threat. Especially if your concern is having to take year after year of stuff you've already done or earned your way out of...

    Never trust placement stats unless they're from a third party and unless they're low. You'll get way too self-conscious about the validity of anything too high and you should be motivating yourself to be so freaking good none of those stats matter anyhow. Consider something with minimal bias (everything will have bias) like the U.S. News and World Report docs. And I say do watch for the low numbers because if there's a significant drop there, you don't care how they earned it, just that they did =)

    As far as Ringling portfolio people go, I've heard it both ways. I've heard the side that says they're so selective that you have to be world-class; it was actually one of the challenges that inspired me to apply. This whole 'potential' thing is a legitimate change. Now when I search, I get stories where either the portfolio day people got their spot blown up (kid was accepted already, shows them stuff, they tell the kid he's crap) or like was said above they eat up everyone.

    You can never know their real criteria, but I can personally vouch for some examples because I have seen in person people who applied and were accepted and rejected. I live in Melbourne a couple counties over - some of them had so many issues with fundamentals that it was almost sad, or that you kind went "Well maybe they do take into account what training you've had so far"...I was fortunate to have an artist's personality and go to good art-supporting schools (they had the classes, not the money necessarily haha) so it's weird to see the people get out of K-12 and not have the slightest clue what they're doing. Mangled self-portraits handed merit scholarships for half their costs. ON the other hand, I've seen people who've applied at each major on both sides of acceptance/rejection who were so good it almost made me cry in horrendous pain. It's a bit like the SATs. I got a 1310. Does that alone make me smarter than the people who got in the 1100s? Of course not, it means I did well at preparing for and taking the SAT. Stupid people have done better than I did, and smart people have gotten embarrasingly low scores.

    Same thing with portfolio submissions. Genuine bona fide crap gets accepted sometimes, and sometimes the genius stuff lives to see another day. It's not just about the art. Not remotely.

    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    18
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    Pixeldragon: I'm from CA so they most likely have region reps.

    And to clarify about Ringling, what I saw when i went up to their booth, was near the end of the day. There were 4 people in front of me, and I could see all their work as they showed it to the rep. one girl that particularly stood out was someone who had about half of their work as anime/manga, sketchy linework and incomplete renderings. It was something I would expect out of a high school sophmore or so and was surprised to hear him say, "You would have a high chance of being accepted with this." Some other people followed with poor figure drawings (not that mine are/were stellar), and outdoor scenes that I would not think of as admission portfolio quality. But he said almost the same thing to all of them.

    --------------

    As far as Job Placement, do you think that location of the school is important? I know that CalArts being near LA is a nice location as far as being in a movie production saturated area. how is the production scene in florida?

    Should I be more focused on getting a degree (from Ringling or CalArts that have a respectable accredditation), or doing something like VFS where the course is a year long, but you see people coming out of there with phenomenal skills? Does it really matter in the cg industry?

    Thanks guys, this thread is helping alot. I'll be posting a list of pivotal questions I'm planning on asking these schools when i talk to them soon, as well as some links to my work in another thread.

    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    184
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    Anime and manga? Cartoon/graphic novels aren't even supposed to be allowed. I called them in September because I was afraid of having too many pieces (I did) and she actually said "You know what, the biggest thing is that you don't have -- well, we get a lot of people that submit anime characters because that's a big thing nowadays. Aside from the fact that we don't want people sending them in, rarely are they ever even good regardless." I wonder if the people at portfolio days are hired by the same person that chose the girl to guide my tour. What might be more likely, is that the kid is naive and portfolio-day guy knows he won't change their desparation (does it change the kids on American Idol whose voices are unbearable to hear in just their conventional speech?) so he was like "Yay, five people left...I tell them they're all savants and I can get to Smokey Bones by six!"

    There are actually more media outlets every day covering Orlando's emergence as a new (second) entertainment capital. The area around south Orlando's got it made because of the theme parks, but aside from the nicer places to live in the north part of the city Orlando has mostly just been a name. They've made a few good moves, and also there are schools -- thanks to places like Disney -- who jumped on the interest bandwagon and started creating all of these relevant fields of study. Well when it comes time to graduate, not everyone can get to Washington or Vancouver or CA or NY, so over time a miniature extension of the industry has been emerging here with equally relevant talents. It's a lot more into gaming and especially television right now, but popular opinion is that with its projected growth this area could be a second Hollywood.

    To directly answer your question, I don't know from experience but to me if you get a job in Emeryville, CA, it isn't as if they'll be like "No thanks, we have a guy who's right here in San Fran...he sucks compared to ya, but...c'mon...we're a suburb!" You're probably well-aware of what being in that area is like, and the exposure to things you get that most of us are detached from, so I won't talk out of my arse. What I will say is that CalArts has done formal and informal connections feeding kids right into hiring/training at studios...it's almost like a flagship technique...who knows with Disney eating its own butt how that's going now, but if it can happen it can happen again, and they can't be the only ones. Barring that, it's the things that make you valuable that will get you hired. If school location is on that list, I don't understand why and so I'm placing it pretty freaking low. Think of the Californians that came here, or the Ringling graduates that go to Blue Sky, the Edinboro, PA folk that have gone to Pittsburgh, California, NYC, FL, Philly, and countless small-house productions in smaller cities across the country.

    What matters is what matters to who you're trying to get hired by. If your goals are clearly set, you get most of your answers by deduction. Simply put, if you look at student work and think "That's the kinda program I wanna be a part of...they took straw in and made gold!" and you think you wanna achieve or blow past those kids, and you think that school can do it better than any other? PICK THAT SCHOOL!

    Not to play the quotes game again, but it's probably pretty rare that an interview goes "My god you're fantastic! Best one I've seen in years...and I do this day in and day out. You probably know how to do this better than anyone already working here! It just floors me! Oh, wait...you didn't go to XYZ school? I'm sorry...but...without a familiarity for HOW you acquired these skills, the fact that you can do the job - extraordinarily well - is just not important to us!" Short answer: It doesn't matter where you go just so long as you are honestly able to do it, do it by yourself, and do it efficiently.

    All those other things like personality, drive, passion, etc. are important but when it comes to talent, pick the training that makes you the ninja you need to be to defeat the GettingHired Beast. As you're ready to throw your first punch, are either of you gonna hesitate because you haven't introduced the name of the dojo at which you trained?

    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Posts
    128
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    If your goal is to work in film, go to a film school, if you want to get into games, go to a game school. The curriculums are that different.

    Credit transfer? Art schools aren't noted for their excellence in academia (mathematics, etc), thus many schools snub their noses at them. On the flipside, art schools don't much care for the art classes taught at non-art institutions either. So basically they both snub each other. As for an MFA, the requirements for pursuing said degree are spelled out at the institution that is offering it. All that you need is a Bachelors of anything degree to pursue a Masters. Now getting into the program may require a portfolio or a written dissertation as to why you should be accepted over others, but I have never seen an MFA program turn someone away because they got their Bachelors at XYZ academy. The worst case scenario would be that you might have to take a few extra GE courses to make up for curriculum differences, that's about it. Curriculum differences as in you have more of a technical degree (BS) as opposed to a liberal arts degree (BA). Worry about the MFA when you come to that bridge... you have to get your Bachelors degree first.

    I personally would avoid an accelerated program unless you are just that talented. If you require time to digest and practice what you learn, stick with a normal curriculum. There's no point in getting from point A to B if you don't even know what happened at point A when you are finished.

    As for works shown, it is always some of their better works... just as many people pass through the doors that come away with a meager portfolio to show for all their work. If everyone could be a doctor, they would be, remember that when you enter into the program... not everyone will succeed at this, there are risks involved, but the greater risk is not having taken the risk in the first place.

    Again, if film is what you are after, you need to go to a film school. And on that note, there's no better place to be than in California if that is your goal. Ringling was positioned where it was for two reasons, one, it was started by the circus folks who are located there and two, Disney is there. Since the death of 2D animation, being in Florida is no longer as adventageous as it once was. Graduates end up migrating all the way back to the west coast because thats where most of the jobs are in film. California is crowded because a lot of people work there, you could set up shop in the middle of North Dakota and have no traffic at all... and probably no business at all too.

    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    184
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    Advantage has not been lost. It has changed form. These are guidelines anyhow, so take it with a grain of salt. How many times have you heard the story of the people who start out as psych majors and then wind up as civil engineers. I personally know a few animators who started out in left-brained stuff and even completed degrees in those fields (writers even) and have gone on to considerable success. As long as you want to get there bad enough (not being trite -- most people don't REALLY get what that means), and play your cards as right as possible you can compete.

    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Posts
    34
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    I think VFS is only 20k for 1 year and its not a degree is certificates or something.

    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Posts
    128
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    You would be surprised at how many top names in 3D today never even went to an art school. In fact, if you ask them to draw the human figure, you'd find that most of them draw at best at a high school level if at all. However these same individuals can make the software sing... they know MEL Scripting as if it were a second language to them, can write shaders like no tomorrow, and can interface two completely different apps together as if they were written by the same person. It's magical and it's what makes Hollywood movie magic. 3D is a different kind of canvas... that's why you don't need to be Michaelangelo to be extremely good at it.

    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    18
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    as far as I know, VFS is a 1 year program in computer animation and modeling, and costs roughly $39,000 USD according to a currency converter.

    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Posts
    128
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    Best to always go to the source... www.vfs.com

    Only offer diploma programs, 2 years the longest stint, total tuition due when school starts, meaning you have to pony up on day one unlike other schools which work on a quarter by quarter or semester by semester basis.

    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    18
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Follows
    0
    Following
    0
    your completely right pmiles. Here is where i was getting my information:

    http://www.vfs.com/admissions.php?re...ection=tuition

    Reply With Quote Reply With Quote  

Members who have read this thread: 0

There are no members to list at the moment.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •