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seneca animation

Do you know what to look for in an animation school?

In my capacity as Director of Animation Portfolio Workshop, the question I get asked the most by students and parents is, “How do I know if an animation school is good?”

When checking out animation schools, treat the experience as if you are shopping for a very expensive item. Make a list of the qualities you are looking for, do research and ask questions. Expensive items are also known as “investment pieces” – and animation school is an investment in your future.

I give my students a basic checklist with questions to ask when they meet with representatives of schools they are interested in.

 

Here are a few:

 

What is the quality of the work produced by recent grads of the animation program?

Most schools post examples of their recent grads’ animation portfolios online. If you feel unqualified to judge the quality of the work, find someone with experience and ask their opinion.

 

What kind of tech is being used by the school?

Animation is basically about two things: excellent drawing skills and current technology. Since production in the animation industry is so intimately tied to the use of specially-formatted software and hardware, all good schools should train their students using the most current technology so that their grads can compete and perform effectively in any studio job or environment that they choose to enter. Any good animation school will be more than happy to supply you with a list of the technology they are using in their programs. Try contacting an animator at a reputable studio about the types of basic tech required in the current hiring market.

 

Is there enough tech to go around?

If students are fighting over hardware, animation stations, or feeling rushed to finish assignments because their “time is up” on a particular device, then something is definitely wrong. Good animation schools are expensive, and it follows that the equipment they are offering should not only be current but also plentiful.

The answers to these questions can help you make informed choices when it comes to choosing an animation school.

Do you know what to look for in an animation school? 1
Choose your future animation school wisely!

We’ll focus next on whether the animation school you choose makes a difference to studios when they are hiring.

Werner Zimmerman’s kind words about APW

Werner Zimmermann is an artist/illustrator/life drawing instructor presently teaching life drawing to animation students at Seneca’s Animation Arts Centre in Toronto.  Werner offers his assessment of Animation Portfolio Workshop as preparation for animation students.

I’ve been meaning to do this for a while, but now with the the new semester at Seneca I’m compelled to finally say it: Animation Portfolio Workshop is really making a difference in the quality of students that come into my first semester Life Drawing classes.

Although I am speaking solely for myself and not on behalf of Seneca College, after over 25 years of teaching I have seen all levels of students entering the life drawing classes. Simply said, there is a difference. Solid understanding of drawing fundamentals is immediately apparent in their work. Whatever they are doing, I personally endorse the work they do to prepare students for the creative challenges of animation programs regardless of school. 

Animation study, as rewarding as it is, is very challenging, demanding and often exhausting. Any preparation, especially of the quality of APW is well worth seriously looking into.

Well done guys! Keep them coming!

-Werner Zimmermann

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