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scadams
06-01-2011, 11:30 PM
Does anyone out there know about any good and reputable animation schools? I have been looking at the DAVE school in Florida and it seems to be top notch. However, it is a little costly. Anyone attended school there? If so, is it worth the cost? Did you land a good job to help off put the loan? The loan would put me in debt for quite a while as with most people. Or can you recommend a school closer to where I live like in the Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas region? Yeah, I realize I am asking a lot and your probably to hard to write back but I am serious. I have been taking a class in LW modeling and next semester I am taking the animation portion but it ends there. Just need some advice.

Thanks

3D Kiwi
06-02-2011, 12:07 AM
Have you considered self training. If you have the dedication there is plenty of training out there for Lightwave. Could save you a heap of money.

scadams
06-02-2011, 02:44 AM
Thanks for the reply!

To explain, the classes at my local school only teach hardware modeling. My goal is to get more into organic design for character developement, rigging and animation. I have tried inside lw and essential lw. But they don't really get into techniques or even tutorials on how to begin to create an organic character. If there is a book or website to help i would be very appreciative.

Thanks

Dexter2999
06-02-2011, 02:58 AM
A step in the right direction...
http://www.thegnomonworkshop.com/store/product/339/

RebelHill
06-02-2011, 09:42 AM
Are you wanting schools that teach you animation, ro ones that teach you lightwave??

If its the latter then you will probs want to look at Dave, as its probs the biggest for that, plus, as mentioned you can learn most everything from the many tuts (both free adn paid) kicking around the interweb.

If its the former, you should check out animation mentor or ianimate, where you'll get a level of animation training pretty much on par with the best of the brick nmortar animation schools (vfx, calarts, gobelins)

Larry_g1s
06-02-2011, 09:58 AM
If its the former, you should check out animation mentor or ianimate, where you'll get a level of animation training pretty much on par with the best of the brick nmortar animation schools (vfx, calarts, gobelins)Check out ianimate.net (http://www.ianimate.net) :thumbsup: It's been an amazing learning experience, everything is live, and the cost is more competitive then others.

Titus
06-02-2011, 10:09 AM
Animation Mentor is very good. You only learn how to animate, no modeling, no rigging. It's very good as a complement to college, their teachers work on different studios; Pixar, Dreamworks, R&H, etc.

scadams
06-03-2011, 10:07 AM
Thanks for all the great ideas! Financially it makes no sense right now to make a large debt increasing decision like this. I think I am going to finish my classes and self teach through all of your recommendations. Thanks again!

Larry_g1s
06-03-2011, 10:12 AM
Thanks for all the great ideas! Financially it makes no sense right now to make a large debt increasing decision like this. I think I am going to finish my classes and self teach through all of your recommendations. Thanks again!Understandable. You might want to also check out Jason Ryan's (head of character animation at iAnimate.net) webinar site (www.jrawebinar.com). He has a TON of inexpensive training, as well as some of our other instructors training material. It's all very reasonable price, and it covers things from fundamentals to more advance. It would be great supplemental training in the mean time that won't break the bank.

aaronbeyer
06-07-2011, 12:24 AM
Hi. I'm a graduate of the Dave school and I have to say, it's worth the money. I too have a loan from there and I am currently workin out in Hollywood. It all depends on what you want to learn. I would love to talk to you more about it but I have to get some sleep. I am currently in crunch on captain America. Feel free to contact me via my website at

www.aaronbeyer3d.webs.com

Unfortunately I have been working so much my real isn't up to date but I believe my resume section has all of my projects listed. I hope to hear more from you.

Steve Warner
06-07-2011, 11:46 PM
I have tried inside lw and essential lw. But they don't really get into techniques or even tutorials on how to begin to create an organic character.

Thanks
I can assure you that with regards to the Essential LW book, this is not the case. Kevin goes step by step through the process of modeling organic characters. And I go into exhaustive detail on using splines to model a head model with good flow. The Essentials book also has tons of material on rigging and animation. If you need me to point you to the right chapters in the book, just let me know.

In terms of the DAVE School, I am now the Executive Director so I can answer any questions you have about that as well, including connecting you to existing students as well as graduates like Aaron. The biggest advantage to the DAVE School over programs like Animation Mentor is that we teach you a massive variety of topics in the computer graphics field. And we don't just touch on them. We cover each in extensive detail. And our program continues to grow. We just implemented 100 hours of focused game development into our curriculum to ensure our students understand how to transition assets (models and animation) from film and television use to interactive gaming. Students in our third quarter are actually designing game levels in Unreal and making playable games.

Give me a call at the school (toll free) 855-DAVEVFX or send me an email if you'd like to chat.

Cheers,

Steve Warner

Dexter2999
06-08-2011, 12:07 AM
I am a big fan of both Animation Mentor and DAVESchool (although I haven't had the privilege of being a student of either.)

If I had the money I would do both. I would attend DAVESchool first. Some of what DAVE covers that Animation Mentor doesn't:
Modeling
Texturing
Rigging
Compositing
MOCAP
working as part of a team

Animation Mentor teaches you to animate. They have singular goal for their course and in my opinion they are pretty awesome at it. That focus comes at a cost, not just financial, but in how well rounded your education is.

Like I said, if I had the money I would do both, but I would do DAVESchool first. I think of it like getting your degree in animation then going to AM like getting your Masters.

That's just my take on it. Not like I am qualified to make judgements like this though.

3D Kiwi
06-08-2011, 04:42 AM
Keep in mind that animation Mentor work in maya. As far as i know all there rigs are maya. They are happy to have students use other packages but you would have to build a rig to suit there charactor first. They only teach animation so you would have to learn to rig on your own anyway.

IMI
06-08-2011, 05:12 AM
I can assure you that with regards to the Essential LW book, this is not the case. Kevin goes step by step through the process of modeling organic characters. And I go into exhaustive detail on using splines to model a head model with good flow. The Essentials book also has tons of material on rigging and animation. If you need me to point you to the right chapters in the book, just let me know.

In terms of the DAVE School, I am now the Executive Director...
<snipped for the sake of brevity>


I concur.
The Essential LW v9 book is one of the best LW books ever made. I bought it from Amazon about two years ago or so and it looks like it's ten years old now due to severe extensive use and abuse. :)

I didn't know you took over at DAVE. I live only about a 45 minute drive from there - I might have to stop by and say hello the next time I'm in Orlando, get you to autograph my copy of Essential. ;)

Titus
06-08-2011, 08:07 AM
Keep in mind that animation Mentor work in maya. As far as i know all there rigs are maya. They are happy to have students use other packages but you would have to build a rig to suit there charactor first. They only teach animation so you would have to learn to rig on your own anyway.

At the end this isn't an issue. They give you a student Maya license, and you can take a Maya crash class. But what you learn in Maya can be translated to any other package. I animate in Blender daily, and sometimes in LW :(.

rednova
06-08-2011, 11:33 AM
Hi:

check out:

www.desktopimages.com

the Todd Grimes complete character tutorials.
Includes character modeling, texturing, rigging and animation.
Is very inexpensive..and enough to get started into character modeling and animation.
I have it...and is amazing !!!

Rednova

Celshader
06-08-2011, 07:44 PM
Does anyone out there know about any good and reputable animation schools? I have been looking at the DAVE school in Florida and it seems to be top notch. However, it is a little costly. Anyone attended school there? If so, is it worth the cost? Did you land a good job to help off put the loan? The loan would put me in debt for quite a while as with most people. Or can you recommend a school closer to where I live like in the Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas region? Yeah, I realize I am asking a lot and your probably to hard to write back but I am serious. I have been taking a class in LW modeling and next semester I am taking the animation portion but it ends there. Just need some advice.

Thanks

I've had the pleasure of working with several DAVE School students over the years. One of the advantages I see to a school like DAVE is the opportunity for students to form networking relationships with their classmates. They can then use these relationships to find jobs and/or split the high cost of renting an apartment in Los Angeles.

Another advantage might be a faster learning curve than what you can get from learning software on your own. On my own, it took me two years of self-education (and books/videos/tutorials/weekend seminars) before I could qualify for a LightWave job, while the DAVE school training program is one year.

If you're looking at a VFX career, though, please consider avoiding student debt (http://janebryantquinn.com/2010/12/7-things-they-dont-tell-you-about-student-loans/). VFX work can get rough (http://animationguildblog.blogspot.com/2011/05/visual-effects-society-raises-issues.html), and too many young VFX artists I know are burdened with student loans. Last year I worked with a young compositing artist who had graduated from college (a different one than DAVE) with $100,000 in student debt. She said if she had to do it over again, she would not have gone into debt for a VFX job.

Again, please consider LightWave books, forums, mailing lists and training videos before getting into student debt.

rcallicotte
06-08-2011, 08:51 PM
Basic advice that works. I agree.




If you're looking at a VFX career, though, please consider avoiding student debt (http://janebryantquinn.com/2010/12/7-things-they-dont-tell-you-about-student-loans/).

Again, please consider LightWave books, forums, mailing lists and training videos before getting into student debt.

JeffrySG
06-08-2011, 09:26 PM
If you're looking at a VFX career, though, please consider avoiding student debt (http://janebryantquinn.com/2010/12/7-things-they-dont-tell-you-about-student-loans/). VFX work can get rough (http://animationguildblog.blogspot.com/2011/05/visual-effects-society-raises-issues.html), and too many young VFX artists I know are burdened with student loans. Last year I worked with a young compositing artist who had graduated from college (a different one than DAVE) with $100,000 in student debt. She said if she had to do it over again, she would not have gone into debt for a VFX job.

Again, please consider LightWave books, forums, mailing lists and training videos before getting into student debt.
:agree: this X1000.

Steve Warner
06-10-2011, 04:58 PM
I didn't know you took over at DAVE. I live only about a 45 minute drive from there - I might have to stop by and say hello the next time I'm in Orlando, get you to autograph my copy of Essential. ;)
LOL, please do! I'd love to show you around the new school and grab some lunch on the back lot of Universal. Just give me a shout. 407-224-3283.



Last year I worked with a young compositing artist who had graduated from college (a different one than DAVE) with $100,000 in student debt. She said if she had to do it over again, she would not have gone into debt for a VFX job.
That's really unfortunate, but I think that's a greater indicator of the failure of specific institutions than schooling for VFX in general. I know scores of students who would say that their schooling was well worth the money. But not all schools are created equally and the bad ones cast a dark shadow on the whole training industry. Fortunately, recent changes in the law are helping to address the issue. (http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/from-gainful-employment-to-lower-college-costs/2011/06/06/AGZpzEKH_story.html)

Schools that charge students more money than they can make in a single year are bound to yield graduates who have trouble paying back their loans. The DAVE School's program is $33,500. According to the Department of Labor (http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos092.htm), the average 3D/VFX artist earns $56,000 per year, with seasoned artists making just over $100,000 per year. I know that many of students who left our program less than a year ago are making between $60,000 and $75,000 per year working on feature films and television shows. They are having no trouble paying off their student loans, their new cars, or their new mortgages.

Anyone seeking training in a particular field needs to understand the market they are looking to get into. (http://www.visualeffectssociety.com/node/2425) These days, jobs in the Visual Effects market are rapidly being exported to other countries. (http://articles.latimes.com/2011/feb/01/business/la-fi-ct-visual-effects-20110201) This has created a more competitive market than ever before. Without a doubt, self-training was a viable option 10 years ago. Perhaps even 5. But today, the market has changed. It's more and more rare to see self-taught artists landing work - even entry level work. That's not to say it's impossible. But it's a lot more difficult than it was a few years ago. For this reason, attending a school (and in particular, the right school) can be very beneficial, especially when that school is keeping up with industry trends and ensuring the education they are providing is relevant. I can tell you that at the DAVE School, our curriculum is updated every 3 months and that we listen to employers carefully to determine what training is necessary to meet industry needs.



Again, please consider LightWave books, forums, mailing lists and training videos before getting into student debt.
The fiscal conservative in me would always tell someone to explore options which keep them out of debt. And as the author of one of the best selling books on LightWave, I would love to tell people that all they need is a handful of good books (mine included!). But no book, training video or forum can compare with a live learning environment where you can raise a hand and know that someone with 10+ years of experience in the field will walk over and assist you. Moreover, if you add up the cost of books, training videos and educational licenses for LightWave, Maya, ZBrush, Photoshop, Unreal Development Kit, Motion Builder, Blade, Premiere, After Effects, Fusion, Boujou, RealFlow, Mocha, Nuke, and Ocula (which are just a few of the applications we teach in our program) - then you factor in how much time it's going to take you to go through all of that material and fully absorb it - the value of going to school (even if it means short term debt) becomes more apparent.

I'm sure that my role as director of the DAVE School makes my opinion highly suspect in this matter. However those who are around me day in and day out know that I am an artist first and foremost. I continue to work in the industry and to share my experiences in the way of tutorials and videos. (http://www.zbrushcentral.com/showthread.php?t=91827) I am self taught, going back to my first computer animation in 1980. But being in an environment where I'm surrounded by students and am able to see their growth and success makes me realize just how powerful the right training can be in enabling aspiring artists to achieve their goals.