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View Full Version : 3D/Animation Schools: DAVE? DMAC? Others?



AreDub_3D
05-02-2008, 11:06 AM
Hey all,
I've googled and googled and I can't find too much about these places. I'm most interested in non-undergraduate (non-4 year) programs MFA, associates, certificate whatever will best prepare me for a job in (hopefully) casual games. (Yes, you heard me. I have a lot of crazy ideas.)

Can anyone comment on DAVE or DMAC? Strongly recommend anywhere else?

I'm looking most in the southeast since I've lived overseas for several years and I have family in Fla. I could go elsewhere in the US (or the world), but if DMAC or DAVE have good reputations, that's where I'd lean.

And it doesn't really matter if they teach Lightwave or Maya, etc. Again, whatever's best for my future career.

Just as background so anyone who wants to can give me better advice: I'm 35 and have a fine arts and photography background, had a successful career as a print designer (art director of a semi-major newspaper). Photoshop / Illustrator expert. Quick on the uptake. Want to be challenged and learn this ... stuff.

Thanks in advance for the advice. If I missed something worthwhile on this on this forum or elsewhere, let me know.

RW

AreDub_3D
05-02-2008, 11:12 AM
Oh and I'm more than happy to be contacted someone offline if they have something to say, but don't want to broadcast. Thanks again.

RW

Larry_g1s
05-02-2008, 11:44 AM
If you're looking to learn just animation, why not do Animation Mentor (http://www.animationmentor.com/index.cfm)? That's your best bet. Another great choice for animation will be Jason Ryan Animation. (http://www.jasonryananimation.com/)

If you're looking to be more well rounded, then that's a different story.

AreDub_3D
05-02-2008, 12:28 PM
Thanks, Larry. I'll check both of those out. But I am looking for something immersing so, probably face to face. Of course I know that getting a job is ultimately all about your reel, but are these respected programs in the industry? I just ask as I'm a little skeptical of online programs. Did you use one of them?

And I am looking for more than Animation I think I'd want to become pretty well-rounded ... with time and effort. And money.

RW

Dexter2999
05-02-2008, 12:59 PM
DAVE school is pretty nice. I took the tour. I live in Orlando. I just can't give up my job to enroll.

It is full time for one year with an option of taking a Maya extention course at the end to translate your Lightwave experience. They have a motion tracking system and a green screen stage that are pretty impressive.
They cover modelling, texturing, animation, mocap, compositing, and editing. They teach all of this in an environment that helps you understand working in a team and in real world workflow situations.
The instructors are experienced. The facility is solid. You can learn a great deal in one year.

Another option which I grudgingly mention is FullSail. Not nearly as qualified a staff, but they have a game design specific curiculum, which has a heavy math base for coding.
It costs about the same as DAVE school and their timeline is similar. However they can have crazy hours for students to attend class or do lab work.

Larry_g1s
05-02-2008, 02:45 PM
Thanks, Larry. I'll check both of those out. But I am looking for something immersing so, probably face to face. Of course I know that getting a job is ultimately all about your reel, but are these respected programs in the industry? I just ask as I'm a little skeptical of online programs. Did you use one of them?

And I am looking for more than Animation I think I'd want to become pretty well-rounded ... with time and effort. And money.

RWLike I said, if you're look for more than just animation, these one's aren't your ticket. They're for people looking to become animators.

Just for your infor, or anyone else looking, if you want to know if they are respected...Animation Mentor has only been around for about 3yrs now, and already they've had graduates work on such films as Pirates of the Caribbean (2/3), Transformers, and had 20 I believe work on Horton Hear's a Who. As for Jason Ryan, he was one of the instructors in Animation Mentor, and he's currently an Animation Supervisor at Dreamworks. His site should be going live on or around Sunday 11th May.

BigHache
05-02-2008, 04:52 PM
For animation schools, Ringling in Sarasota, FL comes to mind. Also Vancouver Film School has an animation department. I have no personal experience with either, I just know they've been around for a while.

Surrealist.
05-02-2008, 09:50 PM
And it doesn't really matter if they teach Lightwave or Maya, etc. Again, whatever's best for my future career.
RW

I think the realistic projection is that you are going to need to learn Maya and XSI to really be thinking about your career goals because the bulk of the jobs are there. So I would definitely figure that in to your plan as well rather than just learn LW only. That would be for working out in the world. If you want to stick with LW, that would be fine, there are many places using it. It is just that the bulk of the work industry-wide seems to be in other apps from what I can tell.

Good luck with this. Sounds exiting. :)

AreDub_3D
05-02-2008, 10:03 PM
Thanks, BigHache. Yeah Ringling is a top school for fine arts and animation, but unfortunately they only have an undergrad program. If they had an MFA program, it would be at the top of my list.

AreDub_3D
05-02-2008, 10:09 PM
Thanks, Dexter. Yes, DAVE school sounds pretty great despite its lack of accreditation. I'm just concerned that it would be too animation (movie) driven. Pixar/Dreamworks is not really the direction I'm looking for. I don't want to invite trash talking, but as for FullSail, I've simply heard to many bad things about them to give them a try, I think.

Thanks again.

SplineGod
05-02-2008, 11:27 PM
If I were doing to focus on getting in the gaming industry then I would look closely for schools that focus on that. Are you looking at studios that demand a degree?

AreDub_3D
05-05-2008, 04:53 AM
Thanks, Richard I'm excited. I've actually been trying out Maya and like it quite a bit. DMAC teaches with Maya, while DAVE uses LW. Then there's 3DS Max, which isn't made for the Mac, but I could try running it in Parallels. That seems to be popular with game makers, too.

AreDub_3D
05-05-2008, 04:56 AM
Hi Larry it's not so much the degree I want, just an intense program that will prepare me for a job. The MFA, or whatever, would just be icing. I don't even know how much the industry values degrees in general, much less individual studios. I figure it can't hurt, though.

Larry_g1s
05-05-2008, 09:43 AM
Hi Larry it's not so much the degree I want, just an intense program that will prepare me for a job. The MFA, or whatever, would just be icing. I don't even know how much the industry values degrees in general, much less individual studios. I figure it can't hurt, though.I guess it boils down to what you want to do for a job/career. I think that will help tailor what schools would best suit those needs. Like I said above, if it's character animation, then Animation Mentor, or even Jason Ryan's animation vids. would be great. If you're looking for something else, like special effects, etc. one of the other schools would be better suited. It all depends on what you eventually want to do.

SplineGod
05-05-2008, 09:56 PM
You also need to be concerned with people wanting to bring you in at a lower pay simply because you just finished school and regardless if you are up to the job or not.
Then theres going into a lot of debt and then trying to compete with others who got the job without going into debt and are probably getting paid more.
Ive been working out here for years and not once has anyone asked me or anyone else I know whether they have a certificate of some kind.
Most students Ive seen who did graduate from some kind of program STILL had a lot to learn and didnt seem to know anymore then other people I know who were self taught and seriously motivated.
Im not knocking the education, just pointing out that there are a lot of alteratives and situations that you dont see.

AreDub_3D
05-06-2008, 12:21 AM
Interesting points, Larry. Well, I'm definitely highly motivated I'm 35 and married and don't have much time to mess around! So that's why I've decided to pursue a program. I tried learning on my own, but with respect to the depth of the software and the professional skills needed, I realize it requires more dedication than I could give while simultaneously running a newspaper art department which is/was my "day job."

I'm so pumped, though, I know I'll milk my tuition for all it's worth and learn as much as I possibly can over the course of the program. The question is, which program?

Seems DAVE really prides itself on its animation production house type atmosphere, in fact, the last quarter is spent making a finely crafted while DMAC seems to offer broader opportunities to specialize in areas other than animation. Both sound like they have top-of-the-line facilities, and solid faculties with industry experience. DMAC also tends to have smaller classes, which is always good.

We'll see how the job market is in about a year and a half, and what kind of reel I manage to put together!

As for employers trying to underpay because I'm fresh out of school I'll have to cross that bridge when I get to it, but I do hope my previous professional (management) experience and creative maturity will count for something. I know I'll have to pay my dues as I did in the newspaper biz, but I've gotta think I'd stand out a little from the young dudes (and dudettes) also freshly graduated. (And hopefully in a good way).

Anyway, let's hope that won't happen. My wife and I hope to have a kid while I'm in school! lol

Robert

AbnRanger
05-06-2008, 04:28 AM
The curriculum at some Art Institutes locations is very thorough, I think they have an accelerated program (if I remember correctly), and unlike Westwood College, they have some scholarships to apply for. Your design experience would likely put you at or near the front of the line for those.
Worth looking into...but DAVE school looks great too for roughly one year of work and instruction

AreDub_3D
05-25-2008, 02:33 PM
Hey all
Thanks to all who tried to help me out in my quest. I've just returned to Hong Kong after a visit to both DAVE School and DMAC in Florida and chose DMAC's MFA program.

I have good things to say about both schools, and my impression is that they both serve different purposes very well and DMAC suits mine best.

Anyway, as a way of thanking those who replied, and helping those who also have this question, I'll try to give you all some specific thoughts on both.

But not now! June 16will be my first day of classes, and I've got to move across the ocean asap!

geothefaust
05-25-2008, 07:45 PM
Hey there. You should check out Vancouver Film School. The class is 1 year long, and it's very immersive.

SP00
05-25-2008, 08:25 PM
I don't like the idea of going into debt, so if you have a family and all, going into debt is a bad idea, unless you have money just sitting around. Fastest way to get into this industry cheap is to specialize in 1 area of 3D and get a job in that area only. Of course being well rounded is more fun, but takes longer to get there.