A quick look at Animation Schools – Part 1


Its that time of year when everyone is finishing up their final projects and the end of the semester is coming to a close. I wanted to do a post about animation schools.As an animator I am biased towards schools that are doing character animation and also schools that have strong story or 3d. I also like schools that care about appeal and character. I can’t tell you how much I dislike seeing stock rigs or animated characters that are done with a rig that has been animated the same way. All of this is only my opinion

Calarts. Calarts is a great school and focuses on students producing films. Great animators and directors have come from there and I always appreciate the work. I think they could improve the 3d character animation department, but Calarts till remains to be one of the best Animation schools out there.

Ringling. Im always impressed by the 3d films that come out of this school. There is certainly a house style but many of the student films look very appealing. I love that they don’t work as much with stock rigs. You can see they teach students how to rig and animate which is important.

Academy of Art. – Having taught there for 7 years there are so many incredible animators that have come out of the classes taught by industry people… The big issue for me is what happens to the folks that don’t get into those classes? Its a giant school that you can easily get lost in. However, it does produce some gold. You just need to wade through the giant meat grinder that the school sometimes seems to look like from the outside.

California College of Art: Having helping start the animation program there it has grow in a huge way. The jury is out still but I do know that they have a great program director and great teachers. Just waiting for some great work to come out from the animators…

Animation Mentor. РThey are still the best online school in my opinion. They have the passion. Its a great place to go but I would suggest any student looking at them get a foundation of art or acting before they go online. Its so important to really have a diverse background as an animator.

Gobelins. Because of the stringent admission standards and excellent teachers, this school produces some great student films. The production quality of the films they produce is amazing.

Vanarts. I went to a school that turned into this place. They have great teachers and great programs of study. The people running the school really care about the students. A great place if you want to take a year long program.

San Jose State. San Jose has a pretty large animation program. They seem to be doing some really cool stuff. I do worry that with PDI closing they will not have as much access to animators who teach and work there but I could be wrong. (apparently I am wrong) – see comments

Keep animating! ¬†More to come…