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marbla
06-03-2004, 01:06 PM
Hello,

I've been working with lightwave for over two years now. I just graduated high school; now I'm looking to further my education in the field of computer arts/3d modelling. Well, I've been looking at a few schools where I might be able to go - mostly art schools. Here's what I've come up with.

The San Francisco Academy of Art University - www.academyart.edu

and

The Ringling School of Art and Design - www.rsad.edu


If anyone here knows of any more schools, preferably in illinois, that would be lovely.

Oh, btw, I really don't mind if they teach programs other than lightwave ;)

jimmyboy1
06-04-2004, 01:34 PM
I went to Ringling and here is my 2 cents:

Pros:

great equipment, some amazing teachers, great student/teacher ratio (i've heard the opposite about Acad of Art), they teach Maya (probably most used in industry), very selective on admission (also the opposite of Acad of Art), some major companies recruit exclusively at Ringling, Sarasota is beautiful (I didn't want to leave), graduates usually get higher placing jobs than other schools (some friends are animation supervisors within 6 months of graduation), you will live/eat/sleep/breathe art at Ringling, lots of figure drawing required, traditional animation classes required.

Cons:

some of the staff that influence your projects have no industry experience, students not given a lot of freedom to experiment, you won't get much sleep, very little if any money available for scholarships, student's health and well-being NOT a consideration when meeting deadlines (a common "joke" in the labs when we hadn't slept in days and wondering why we were doing this was "we are just animating, it's not like we're working on a cure for cancer!"), there's no work in Sarasota after graduation - you'll have to leave whether you want to or not.

Ringling is very much a production oriented school which has it's good and bad sides also. They will work your butt off, but you'll be well prepared for working in the industry. It is NOT a school to expand your artistic horizons, but you will get skills that will get you a job. The school is definitely geared toward character animation and does a great job, but doesn't allow any time to experiment in other areas unless you do it on your own.

General stuff about schools:

Be sure to carefully research the schools in which you are interested. I received a very large scholarship from a school in the north east that advertised a 3D program. Luckily a friend in the business advised me to ask for THEIR demo reel. When I saw what they were turning out, there was no way I was going to that school. Remember, you are interviewing THEM too!

It gets exciting when you start getting acceptance letters in the mail, but be careful. Watch out for schools that accept you without a portfolio. Many schools will accept anyone with the money for tuition (usually around $20k per year!). I'm not trying to stir up any fights with this post (I'm only writing about MY experiences and MY opinions), but I was accepted to Academy of Art without a portfolio, yet Ringling turned me down the first time I applied because my portfolio wasn't strong enough. Not saying its a bad school - I have seen some very good work come out of there and some talented graduates.

Truth is, there are shining stars in probably every school program (not matter how good or bad). And, there is good and bad about EVERY school. Such a big part of it will be how hard YOU work in whatever program you attend.

Ok, that was about 4 cents worth.

DJinNY
06-05-2004, 08:31 AM
Do yourself a favor--get all of the gen eds you can at a community college first. There is no sense in paying 20 grand to a school, for the same class's you could take at a much cheaper cost per credit hour.
Then just transfer in to an Art school --that is what I did. I saved a good 1/3 of the cost! Of course, you will have to learn a new 3D program, as most Art colleges that do offer 3-D animation, do not use lightwave(sorry) Most use Maya nowdays!