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help with animation portfolio

autumnclouds67autumnclouds67 Registered User Posts: 2 New Member
I'm going into my senior year of high school and probably like a bunch of other artists my age, i'm freaking out about college applications. I've already put together the final list of colleges that i've started applying to but what i'm more worried about is my porfolio. although i've been interested in art my entire life, i have only just recently decided i want to go into the visual arts field, more specifically animation. now with a limited amount of time and lack of previously completed artwork to put in my porfolio, i'm stressing about what i have to do and what colleges want to see.

i'm hoping that someone who is in this field right now can help me with the porfolio process. at the moment i'm interested in claymation, stop-motion/pixilation, and 3D CA. i'm also leaning more towards character animation than experimental animation (for those who are familiar with CalArt's portfolio requirements). any tips on what to include/what makes the perfect animation porfolio will be much appreciated!

the list of colleges that i'm applying to:
Emerson
CalArts
RIT
USC
RISD
Pratt Inst.
SCAD
MassArt (more of a safety since i'm a Bostonian)
Post edited by autumnclouds67 on

Replies to: help with animation portfolio

  • 4R134R13 Registered User Posts: 23 New Member
    I'm not actually in the field right now but I'm preparing to apply for next fall myself. Obviously it'd be a good idea to go to each of their websites. they all have a general statement of what they'd like in your portfolio.

    National Portfolio Day starts September. Find a college that's hosting and you can show the colleges who attend your portfolio before turning it in for advise/critique.

    besides that there are bound to be forums or groups for each college. I know for a fact that Ringling which is one of the best for 3D animation now makes facebook groups. just type in the search Ringling 2010 and there will be a group for applicants. there you can talk to students and get portfolio critiques(but critiques haven't started yet). If you have any questions just PM me and I'll try to help you out. It's a lot easier than tracking down topics I've responded to.
  • SirensongSirensong User Awaiting Email Confirmation Posts: 963 Member
    I'm also not in the field, but I'm heavily involved with art and I know a lot of people applying to those same schools. As far as I can tell, schools really want diversity in your portfolio, and that you show some sort of vision/creativity that distinguishes you from everyone else. Maybe try to enter a few art contests before applying to help build up your resume a little bit. Also, I would suggest working hard to include in your essays that you've only recently decided to pursue art, and explain why. It may give you a little bit of leniency for your portfolio. Good Luck!
  • RainingAgainRainingAgain Registered User Posts: 699 Member
    Motion studies - even of the flip book variety. Do you understand the physics and dynamics of motion? This is everything when it comes to animation - so said Pixar to me.
  • 4R134R13 Registered User Posts: 23 New Member
    just curious, do you have any work you can show us?
  • taxguytaxguy Registered User Posts: 6,629 Senior Member
    My daughter applied to some of the schools that you mentioned several years ago.

    We went to both Portfolio day, which is a day that most art schools and schools with art programs, check out the portfolio for quality. She also attended Carnegie Mellon's portfolio review and interview for their design school at CMU. Let me share out experiences.

    First, do NOT do all or even mostly 3d work. Do NOT do all or even mostly 3d work. Did I say that enough times?

    Schools will tell you what they want for their portfolio. For the most part, they want observational drawings. Thus, you should have drawings of objects, buildings, people and animals. Drawing forest scenes and flowers is good too.

    Secondly, you want diversity in your portfolio. This has two meanings. You should draw a variety of objects such as people, animals, rooms, buildings etc. Secondly, you should use a variety of mediums such as pencil, pen, acryilac etc. Don't just focus on one medium..

    Finally, and this is the clincher, you need to really listen to what is said about your portfolio by the reviewers because each school looks for some slightly different stuff.

    For example, Syracuse wanted lots of color pieces. CMU School of Design, wanted a few pieces that show motion such as four pictures of a hand doing different phases of a magic trick or flipping a coin.

    RIT wanted strong drawing wth a diversified set of subjects. You can learn what each school wants by going to portfolio day. However, it is CRUCIAL that you read over the school's website, which discusses what should be in the portfolio for that school.

    You would be amazed at home many kids didn't follow the directions given on the web site. We were at CMU's interview and portfolio review. Even though CMU clearly requested drawings from observations with some diversification, at least half the kids did otherwise. One kid used only photographs. One gal only showed drawings of faces. Some kids only used one medium. One girl, who had really nice drawings, clearly copies her stuff from famous pictures and ads and weren't from anything observational.

    Bottom line: Follow the instructions on their web site.

    Finally, make sure that your portfolio pieces are professionally arranged and photographed. Don't just send it paper. Put copies of the pieces in a nice folder with a cover letter describing each peace. Number your pieces so that the reviewer can tell what description goes with what piece. Have your pieces professionally photographed. There are photographers who specialize in portfolio pictures. Be professional about everything you do and about everything you send the school.
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