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Okay, here's the deal: I've been serious about art now for about three years, and though I've always leaned towards being a comic-artist... Lately I've been thinking about studying animation. I'm only 15, so I obviously have a while to think about all this, but I wanted to ask: If you go to an Art College, any art college, will they teach you how to animate? Or are there only particular schools that teach animation? Thanks for all the replies I know I'll receive, and God Bless!

PS: I know literally nothing about animation... Just figured I'd mention that.

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Yes, most ART colleges will teach animation. Make sure it IS an ART COLLEGE, tho. Not some community college.

Also try googling ART SCHOOLS/INSTITUTIONS/COLLEGE, and see what schools pop up.

But I also think ( I could be mistaken )that NOT EVERYONE can apply. You have to be able to show that you do have a good understanding of art/anatomy/theory/storytelling/design. So start working on getting better and learning all you can now and get a portfolio built by the time you graduate high school. It will put you further ahead when you start college.

Good Luck and post more of your work and ask for and be willing to accept critiques.
Okay... So do they all teach the fundamentals of animation, or am I suppose to know that before hand? As for colleges, I was thinking of trying to get into CalArts, I know it's kinda expensive... But a good school's a good school -- right? Thanks for the comment!

I can't make any recommendions other than Animation Mentor which is the worst decision not only because I'm not sure how well they 'equip' you for their school (couldn't be any worse than how Ai did me in), but that there still is no financial aid offered so you gotta pay everything outta pocket. Plus it's an online school, meaning you at least have to provide you're own computer of immaculate specs. I can warn you of this: beware of 2-year universities and "Westfield!"

You don't really need a school to learn how to "animate." Just read cover to cover all the books written by Chuck Jones, Preston Blair, Eric Goldberg, Richard Williams, and Frank Thomas with Ollie Johnston's "The Illusion of Life", and you'll be covered once you start practising what they preach. To get a job in the indusry is...impossible. [i]Kidding,[/i] but that's all any school that even AWN lists is good for aside from a few other perks...

(p.s. anyone remember who wrote "Timing for Animation?" That's also a great book to fall back on as well...)
So you'd just suggest learning outside of school?
I would definately recommend that you look into investing in the animation programs even before you get into an art college or institute. I believe if you have potential and a passion for animation, it doesnt really matter what college you go to, as long as you get acquainted with the requirements of your career and get that degree. You can learn the programs on your own, you would basically be going for the animation experience. Well, that's my two sense. Take it for what it is I guess.

God bless my friend,
My thoughts exactly. And that's why I decided to ask, because I wasn't sure if they all taught the fundamentals of animation... Thanks Levon!
One point of clarification/disagreement here...

Animation programs are generally so deep and difficult that they scare people off. One thing schools and job trainers are good at is teaching which buttons to press. I actually didn't know Maya until I started working in the industry. I knew some about other programs, but button-pressing can be easily taught, once you know for sure what your focus is.

If you (Baron) do finally decide to go into animation, it would be good to start learning programs prior to school, but it sounds right now like you're earlier on in that decision process.

I suggest you (Baron) try something less intimidating and expensive, before making those decisions. I gave some ideas in my other post, so I won't repeat it here.

My recommendation right now is to read everything you can on the process of animation, and maybe even try doing some flipbooks and short stop-motion pieces (i.e. with action figures and a webcam). That'll either completely energize you towards doing animation, or completely kill you with tedium. Doing animation (at least the character movement part) is a very painstaking process. It's a total jazz when you like to do it. It's a total downer when you don't. Some people would go crazy doing my job, I'd go crazy doing theirs.

Find out what you can about each step of the process. Right now you like to draw, but there are about a dozen different specific job titles within animation that require some drawing. Look into things like character design, environment design, storyboarding (you might be particularly interested in that), and color design, as well as the actual animation itself. See if any of thoe strike your fancy. There are also a ton of jobs that require more computer work, but don't require you to be a great drawer. Being a great drawer always helps, but for some jobs it's not a requirement.

If you want to get a job drawing, you have to practice, practice, practice! Don't let the fear of doing a bad drawing paralyze you from drawing and practicing. Draw loose, and focus on learning from your mistakes. Try to draw so much that a bad drawing won't bother you, because you can whip out another one and it'll be slightly better because you learned from the last one. It's bad to go long periods without drawing, because it takes a while to really warm up and get good drawings flowing. The longer you go between drawings, the more rust there is to shake off.

Glad to hear you're thinking about animation. I look forward to seeing your forays into that medium. Be sure to hit me up when you need advice or help with drawings, flipbooks or whatever.

Good luck, man!
Thanks Randy! To be honest, though I posted here on the forums, you're the only person I really wanted to talk too. Being in the field of animation and all... And it is as you said, I'm very early in this whole decision making process... I don't even know that I really want to pursue animation, though I have to admit I've been leaning that way for a couple of months now. Thanks again for your reply/suggestions!
Out of wild curiosity, how would 'one' become a character designer -- or any of those other job titles you mentioned -- for Cartoon Network? Just apply? Or would you need some sort of Fine Arts degree? Again, that question was purely out of wild curiosity...
Well, degrees are not really a requirement for jobs, but generally the people who do those jobs will have some kind of fine arts or animation art degree.
The Art Institute of Dallas, TX is a great place for learning a wide genre of art, from animation, comics, gaming, etc. If you want to start now, in practicing, start self-learning Flash Pro 8, and there are many animation books out there, for cartooning and others :D just google "Learn How to Draw Animation" books and you will more than likely find something :D


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