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Author Topic: Animation Mentor
Charles
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Member # 7

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We received a nice email today about Animation Mentor so let's start a topic.

Animation Mentor is an online character animation school founded by Bobby Beck (former animator and character developer at Pixar), Carlos Baena (animator, Pixar) and Shawn Kelly (animator, ILM).

The school graduated its first class in September 06, and more than 50% of its grads have landed
studio jobs as character animators. Many went straight from school to work on this summer's animation productions.

If you haven't heard of Animation Mentor, or even if you have, log onto the school's site and check it out.

www.AnimationMentor.com

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Eric Hedman
IE # 84
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The people I have worked with and next to who have gone to AM all have had a superior level of craft and were amazing assets.

Maybe I should sign up. [Smile]
I need to bust through a couple of roadblocks in my own process.

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http://www.radiodismuke.com
20's-30's music

Come see my Second Life Stuff
http://slurl.com/secondlife/Chilispoon/128/80/39

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D-Zyner
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I've actually considered Animation Mentor. It seems like a really great school with a fantastic staff. The main issue for me has been whether or not I should take the online course instead of going to CSUN.

I figure that if Animation Mentor is still around after I graduate from CSUN, that I'll continue my education with Animation Mentor or Vancouver Film School.

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Charles
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Animation Mentor publishes a monthly newsletter. Here's a link to the most recent one from May 2007. The author is Shawn Kelly. Recommended reading.

http://www.animationmentor.com/newsletter/0507/feature_geek.html#tipTrick

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Im2dGuy
IE # 25
Member # 1160

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I am among the 'first class' graduates of AnimationMentor. I must say that AM has been the best academic experiences of my life. The program consists of six intense classes that focus solely on animation. This concentration gives students a very competitive animation reel, as they are not dealing with rigging, modeling etc. My 3D skills leaped drastically during my time in the program.

All of the classes were online videos, and there were weekly online critiques with a mentor. All of the mentors were top-notch working animators from major studios; Pixar, Dreamworks, Disney, Sony, ILM, Blue Sky...They also offer a forum site for alumni to stay in contact, with job posts and other resources.

For many students, the question is one of having a degree. AnimationMentor is not a degree program. Upon completion, students recieve a 'Cirtificate of Animation'.

Hope this helps
clear up questions. [thumbsup]

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www.animationbrad.com

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rhinthell
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Thanks for the details Im2dguy. I actually applied to Animation Mentor last week and am still waiting to hear back. They didn't even send me a confirmation email or anything so I'm a little nervous. I hope the program isn't too popular for me to get in!
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devourax
IE # 275
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A co-worker of mine graduated from AnimMent...he learned alot and has only positive things to say about his experience. Although it is pricey... it may be a great way for some people to get into the bigger studios.

-dev

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Devourax
http://devourax.blogspot.com/

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acme
IE # 51
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I talked to some of the staff at the comicon last year and was real impressed.


Has anyone taken or taking the course while working full time?

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Zane Kohler

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rhinthell
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I spoke with someone on staff who informed me that they have professionals and full-time professionals as students. I imagine it would be quite a handful but apparently it is possible.

That's what I'll be trying to do if I get in to the fall term. They are starting up a continuing education program but that's still a year away it seems.

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animator-boy
IE # 54
Member # 442

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I've been mentoring with AM for about a year now and its been a pretty awesome experience. The students level of enthusiasm is really inspiring. There's a real sense of community on AM.

I would highly recommend the school to anyone wanting to get into animation. I tell my students if AM had been around back when I was trying to learn animation, I would have definitely signed up!!

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www.raymation.net

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Im2dGuy
IE # 25
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"Has anyone taken or taking the course
while working full time?"

Hey Zane. Yes I did, and many of the students are working professionals. I teach animation classes, and was going to AnimationMentor at the same time. It was killer, especially the last two classes. Everyone pushes everyones quality. Animation takes time, and you get what you put in. I estimate I put in about 10-15 hours a week, and wish I could have put in more. [cheers]

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www.animationbrad.com

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Thunder Man
IE # 106
Member # 2462

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Very Impressive!
I think A.M. will really make a difference; it takes away any excuses about "cant find an animation school"!
(And over the Internet, which was invented by
Mr Gore, as we all know. :-))
It looks like MAYA is the main tool here, and
there's a lot of skill on display in the
student showcase demo-

(Something that caught my eye was-
the hand-drawn animatic; it seemed a little
out of place with all the 3-D going on;
almost like it kinda sneaked in there when no one
was looking.. Contrasted against all the smoothly rendered, smoothly moving characters..BAM! Rough greyscale, hard blk sketchy lines, very rough, a lot of energy! Visually, very powerful.)

I'm wondering..nah.
3-D animation is the main focus of this school.
Looks good, and the networking aspect is
covered very well.

$2000.00 per course?
Hmm... if I get a second mort. on the house...

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My Fault
IE # 78
Member # 1427

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I'm another student at AM (first termer but had to take time off so I am graduating in 2 weeks) and can't say enough good things. They are very methodical at their training approach, breaking people in slowly at first and then really ramping it up as your experience grows. The difference in peoples work between when they start and when they leave is usually very significant.

And there have been a lot of hires of students full time and interns. We just had our first Pixar internship so people have ended up at all the major studios. And then there have been even more at various game studios and boutique shops.

As for doing AM and working, I am working animating on a show now and finishing up school and while it is tough, it is definitely doable. It is also much easier in the first 2 quarters to do both.

Like I said before, can't recommend it enough. The environment is great, you learn a lot and they really do a lot as well to cultivate both a great work ethic and an ego free zone.

Brian

ps Yo Brad! [Smile]

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My Fault
Sometimes I doubt your commitment to Sparkle Motion!

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acme
IE # 51
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Good to hear!
How about those with little to no Maya skills. I remember them saying they focus more on the animation than technical. Do you get a little training on how to use the program?

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Zane Kohler

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My Fault
IE # 78
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Absolutely. They have training vids that cover a lot of the basics of Maya that you'll need. They do also have an extra Maya class, but that costs extra. 3dBuzz and Digital Tutors have great Maya training that is cheaper if you really end up needing it.

Honestly if you do have Maya issues you only need to post in the forum and someone will try to help. The community is very solid and looks out for one another.

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My Fault
Sometimes I doubt your commitment to Sparkle Motion!

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Eric Hedman
IE # 84
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Hey, if you have the time and the money...I have yet to meet someone going through AM that didn't have some mad skillz. At the very least, even the young ones were ready to start becoming good animation actors.

Like anything else.
It's nice to study on your own, but to have someone who you are paying to listen and review and to tell you what to do to fix something to get it to a pro level.
THAT is invaluable.

I know a good animator who started out as a programmer, saved his money, quit programming, went to Sheridan for the summer programs, and then jumped into the bizness via games and making friends. Being that there are a lot of Sheridan, Cal Arts and Vancouver people around...and Animation Mentor is its own forming clique...its only a matter of time before hiring animation leads come from there. There are only 4 or 5 SFSU animation people I know working these days. So I am SOL on that one. [Wink]

The only thing that makes a better animation actor than animation training is life experience. That comes from living. And there is nothing wrong with doing both simultaneously.

Remember to live though.
It's not good to reach the end thinking you only lived inside your cube or office. Going from school to cube and dying there is no way to live.
Go see stuff, do things, learn to dance.
[Big Grin]

--------------------
http://www.radiodismuke.com
20's-30's music

Come see my Second Life Stuff
http://slurl.com/secondlife/Chilispoon/128/80/39

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Im2dGuy
IE # 25
Member # 1160

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'$2000.00 per course?
Hmm... if I get a second mort. on the house...'

This is actually really fair compared to the per credit cost
of current colleges offering animation as a major.

3D cgi animation is the technique/tool most of the students are using,
as thats seems to be the most viable and hire-able outlet
for our current American animation culture.
The content of the classes are about 'animation'
--movement, weight, balance, acting;
and the art involved in creating animation,
gesture, composition, design etc.
How students use that info is up to them,
students have worked in clay, on paper, in Flash..etc.

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www.animationbrad.com

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