On my animation journey

  • Two years ago I quit my full time job so that I could learn how to animate. People were skeptical about this career change. They said that it’s harder to change when you’re older and already established in your current profession. That was all fine, I still wanted to learn.
  • I will never regret taking classes online versus brick and mortar. Each school had its pros and cons.

Animation Mentor

I completed the Character Animation certificate. If you do it straight it would take 18 months to finish. However, I had to take breaks so it took me a little over 2 years.
  • PROS: I made the most friends here. Going to school online can feel isolating, so this aspect is super important. Although the file backup system (AMP) wasn’t perfect, it was great to not worry about losing all my work in a freak accident.
  • CONS: The recorded lectures and the student website are so very outdated. Rigs currently only work with Maya 2015.

iAnimate

Although they offer a variety of certificates, I only took one Creature Animation class here. If I had the funds, I would totally go back and finish out that certificate.
  • PROS: Lots of facetime with my mentor. Two live sessions (lecture + critique) really jive with my learning style. I like being able to ask impromptu questions and have a conversation. Also, they have a wide selection of rigs.
  • CONS: There isn’t that much of a community feeling. This may be due to my only attending for one class.

CGTarian

This school offers a la carte classes for whatever you feel like working on. I took Crafting a Believable Face┬áthis summer. It was the most challenging class I’ve taken so far.
  • PROS: This school had the best and most comprehensive recorded lectures ever. Hands down. The student website was my favorite and really user friendly. Additionally, I loved that the live critique was on a SUNDAY MORNING. This left me with such a manageable schedule.
  • CONS: When I took the class they only had one rig and I wouldn’t say he’s the friendliest or most appealing rig out there. I did appreciate that we got model sheets and lots of tutorials on him.

 

One final note

  • I went through periods where I fell out of love with animating. This happens when I’m overworked. While I learned a ton about how to animate over the past two years, the most important lesson I’ve learned is: WHEN YOU’RE TIRED, TAKE A BREAK.

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