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Best Animation School in the America+Canada?


Replies to: Best Animation School in the America+Canada?

  • taxguytaxguy Registered User Posts: 6,629 Senior Member
    Actually there are two schools that folks might want to check out after college:

    1.Gnonom School of Visual Effects,which has some of the best 3D specialty programs in the country. It was highly recommended by animation pros. It is a 21 month intensive program. Cost is about $6,500 per quarter. Thus, it would be about 20K per year.

    2.. Another less expensive choice would be Boston University School of Digital Imaging Arts,which has campuses in both Waltham, Mass, and Washington DC. This is a one year intensive program, which is 8 hours per day, five days a week. If I remember correctly, the cost is around 22K per year plus books and fees.

    3. Sheridan College has two one-year programs that cost about $21,000 per year plus books and fees. The first is character animation and the second is special digital effects,which is more akin to 3D animation.
  • taxguytaxguy Registered User Posts: 6,629 Senior Member
    I misspelled Gnomon in Post 17. Gnomom should have been Gnomon School of Visual Effects.
  • artmommy77artmommy77 Registered User Posts: 295 Senior Member
    MomPhd I heard that Ringling just increased the animation student slots by 100 due to demostrated interest, so that % number maybe hard to come by this year. Also a student told me that they may take more students, but many won't last unless they are very serious students willing to work very hard.
  • taxguytaxguy Registered User Posts: 6,629 Senior Member
    I want to add several more schools for Animation:

    1. Boston University School of Digital Imaging. ( one year intensive program)
    2. New York Academy of Film ( one year program)
    3. Digital Media Arts college in Florida
    4. Digipen
    5. Depaul University has a new animation program that looks very strong
    6. The Dave school ( one year program)

    Some of these are specialized programs that I would recommend in addition to any bachelors degree. Of course there is the more well known ones:

    Cal arts
    Sheridan college in Canada
    Leguna College of Design
    MICA (Experimental animation only)
  • Sirene2006Sirene2006 Registered User Posts: 13 New Member
    There is also Brigham Young University, which has a strong animation program and have won several awards of all scales for their students' work in the last 5-7 years. It is a lot cheaper than the majority of top animation schools in the U.S and is receiving recognition from Pixar, where it is rumour that talent scouts are sent to find prospect animators. Internships are part of the curriculum and they really emphasize team projects which is what the industry demands... the skills you need to work as a group. There may be a downside to some, and that is the fact that this is a private university owned by the LDS church, so keeping the standards there would apply to non-members. But it is a great program. It is highly selective, only 10-20 students get accepted each year out of about 75. I'm there now, as an animation pre-major, so hopefully I get accepted to the program.
  • taxguytaxguy Registered User Posts: 6,629 Senior Member
    Actually BYU is a good program but isn't in the top 20 noted by 3D world magazine or by other rankings that I have seen.

    The top in the US and Canada were in no certain order ( since I can't remember the order)
    Ringling, Academy of Art in SF, SCAD,SVA, RISD, Gnomon, Pratt, CalArts, USC,Sheridan College, and I think Vancouver Film School. See 3d world mag ranking? - ConceptArt.org Forums

    Of course, these may be for grad vs. undergrad. Moreover, the number don't show the percentage of those who get jobs etc.
  • BatoBato Registered User Posts: 1 New Member
    I am a recent MFA graduate from Savannah College of Art and Design, and I would recommend this advice to anyone who wants to get into animation.DO NOT GO TO A PRIVATE SCHOOLS. They are ridiculously expensive and they do not guarantee you the job, they are after all a business corporation.Your best bet is Animation Mentor...hands on animation with the pips in the industry. Costs $18.000 for 18 months of extensive training and close communication with the lead animators from DreamWorks, Pixar, Disney etc.I know a lot of people from SCAD who continued their education with A. M. and only then did they land the job.If I could I would do the same thing, but the SCAD farmer has milked me dry and now I am shy over $100K.
    Good Luck y'all.
  • taxguytaxguy Registered User Posts: 6,629 Senior Member
    Bato, you may be right. HOWEVER, Animation Mentor is strictly a character animation school. They don't teach rigging, modeling, shading etc. Thus, if you want the whole gamut of animation training, Animation Mentor may not be right for many folks UNLESS they are dead set on character animation...period. This was confirmed by their own admission office.
  • kiz137kiz137 Registered User Posts: 129 Junior Member
    I find it pointless to get a Masters in Animation.
  • taxguytaxguy Registered User Posts: 6,629 Senior Member
    kiz137, your closemindedness is unnerving. People get a masters in animation for many reasons:

    1. It will provide more honing of abilities that they should already have.
    2. It will allow for teaching in schools that require a terminal degree
    3. It will allow for more specialized training in various animation fields than a general BFA.
    4. Generally the best and most well-known instructors teach grad courses.
    5. It is a bit more prestigious than a basic bachelors
    6. For those that already have a bachelors in a different field, it allows for a lot of skill training without having to retake all those gen eds and other "irrelevant" courses.

    Trust me, a masters would be around, not to mention widespread, if there weren't some decent reasons for it.
  • artmommy77artmommy77 Registered User Posts: 295 Senior Member
    What does this mean?
    ''a masters would be around, not to mention widespread, if there weren't some decent reasons for it. "

    Sorry I don't understand.
  • 4R134R13 Registered User Posts: 23 New Member
    I think he meant to say that a masters degree for animation would not be around if there weren't benefits to it.

    Here are some statistics I'd like to share for people who are looking to apply to either CalArts or Ringling College of Art and Design.

    First off, both are the very best in their fields. CalArts is predominantly 2D animation while Ringling is 3D animation. For people worried about not being able to get a job by learning 2D animation, that's nonsense. 2D is still being used and the market actually has been getting a little larger if I'm not mistaken. Anyways, both are extremely good at what they do. Both are extremely competitive. Also, both schools focus on Character Animation. This is where they teach you how to use the character's movements and expressions to create a convincing, life-like visual. It's like acting through your drawings/computer.

    Here are some rough percentages you should look at when considering colleges at this type of level.

    The estimated acceptance rate for these two colleges for animation:
    CalArts: ~10% give or take. I would always lower your own estimate by a percent or two given its extremely high reputation as being the Harvard of Animation.

    Ringling: ~25% give or take. Ringling has been ranked the #1 college in America for 2 years in a row now so competition has boomed. For the 2009 applicants, there were well over 300 applications and they said they would only accept around 90. So if Ringling keeps it up, you can expect similar if not smaller odds next year.

    Anyways, those are rough percentages. the acceptance rate is quite small already so be prepared to work your butt off on life drawings. Here is another tip. Both colleges pay extreme attention to your style and form. You can bet that these two and other similar animation schools will be the same. So my hint is to experiment with your life drawings if you can. They get hundreds of applicants each year. Just because you can draw a human body well won't be enough. You have to give it that extra something that makes your work stand out. It also doesn't hurt to go searching through forums and whatnot and see if you can look at other portfolios. It helps give you a feel of what you're up against and what the college might be looking for if you can get a peek at a portfolio that got someone in. Also, submit your portfolio to the forums and get feedback before turning it in.

    I personally just started taking art classes in time to apply for Ringling's CA program. I did not get in but they did offer me a spot in their other animation and 3d design programs. I turned it down since I really want to be a character animator so I'll be applying to a larger number of animation schools next time including these two. Since I only took 2 days worth of life drawing in class, this summer I plan on doing a ton more.

    anyways... sorry for the rant but hope it helps some of you.
  • taxguytaxguy Registered User Posts: 6,629 Senior Member
    Yes, I meant that a masters degree would NOT be around if there weren't benefits to it" Sorry for the typo.

    Also Although Ringling and Calarts are considered the two top programs in the US, there are other very strong programs too such as RISD, RIT,( which also just implemented a 3d Digital Graphics program for special effects animation), and many others listed above. Ringling and Calarts doesn't have a lock on good animation training.
  • 4R134R13 Registered User Posts: 23 New Member
    of course, my apologies if I made it seem that way. I just decided to give out the information I had on those two in particular.

    there are a ton of good animation schools out there and you should definitely not limit your options.

    for animation, these are some of the schools that I have personally been told were strong.

    - CalArts
    - Ringling
    - Sheridan (Canada)
    - VFS(Vancouver Film School)
    - SCAD *not sure yet. some say it's good, some say it's so-so
    - Laguna CAD
    - RISD

    - Animation Mentor
    *I've seen their work and it's very impressive. a lot of their students get good jobs. Really depends on whether or not you're comfortable taking classes online or if you prefer going to an actual campus type college

    I actually think there were a couple more in Canada but unfortunately, those are the only ones that I could pull out of the top of my head
  • taxguytaxguy Registered User Posts: 6,629 Senior Member
    4r13 notes, "I actually think there were a couple more in Canada but unfortunately, those are the only ones that I could pull out of the top of my head "

    Response: Vancouver Film School.
This discussion has been closed.