Thursday, September 23, 2010

Introducing AnimSchool!

Q: What is AnimSchool?
A: AnimSchool is the new online school for the broader world of 3D animation! We offer two 21-month certificate programs. The "3D Character" program teaches modeling and rigging. The "3D Animation" program teaches animation. Both programs teach a broad skill set.

Q: Who are the people behind AnimSchool?
A: Over 30 instructors now working at Blue Sky Studios, Pixar, and other studios are teaching and lecturing at AnimSchool, from the modeling, rigging, and animation departments. They teach at AnimSchool after hours.
AnimSchool's founder is David Gallagher, former Character Development Supervisor at Blue Sky Studios, animator, modeler, and rigger.

Q: Who is AnimSchool for?
A: AnimSchool is for new students who want to learn the core skills involved in high-end 3D animation: 1. making 3D characters, and 2. making them move and act.
It's also for working 3D animators and modelers/riggers who need a boost in their career, and just want to take select classes from senior and supervisor-level teachers.

Q: What are the requirements to enroll?
A: Prospective students need to be 18 or older, be a High School graduate or equivalent, have a working knowledge of English, and show aptitude and eagerness to complete the program of study. Students must have a working knowledge of computers, Windows or Mac. Students should be familiar with Autodesk Maya or Softimage or another high-end 3D package.
They also need to have access to high-speed internet for class time.

Q: How long are the terms?
A: Each term is 11 weeks. There are four terms per year. Each program lasts 7 terms.

Q: How often are the classes held?
A: Classes are held one day each week, Monday-Saturday. Student can sign up for the particular teacher and class time that works best for them. For the class-listing, visit www.animschool.com soon.

Q: How long is the class time?
A: The classes are scheduled for 2.5 hours to allow time to review each student's work. Half of the students' work is reviewed, then the teacher gives a lecture, followed by a review of the other students' work. This way, a student is able to devote less than two hours for class, but may also stay for the entire session.
In addition, teachers are available for "Office Hours" a few days later to offer additional help as needed.
This system allows for maximum face-time with the teachers.

Q: How are the classes conducted?
A: Classes are held in your web browser at animschool.com, using exciting web-conferencing technology that allows the teacher and all students in class to see and talk to each other. During lectures, teachers enlarge only their video stream and switch between their web camera and desktop to explain concepts.

Q: Are there video lectures?
A: Each course offers videos either showing an animator/modeler/rigger doing the current assignment or explaining curriculum concepts. However, the most important learning comes from having the student's work reviewed live by the best 3D animation professionals.

Q: Can students pick their teachers?
A: Yes! Students can choose which teacher to take their classes from. The more popular classes will fill first, so sign up early.

Q: Can working animators just take individual classes?
A: Yes! For students who don't need to enter a full 21-month program, they can sign up for individual classes to give them a needed boost in their career.

Q: How big are the class sizes?
A: Classes are kept small to allow for comfortable interaction and maximum face-to-face time with the teacher. Usually 12 students or fewer.

Q: When will classes begin?
A: The first classes will start in January 3, 2011, but a small beta class will be held starting October 18, 2010

Q:When will the animschool.com website be available?
A: We plan on launching www.animschool.com November 8th.

Q: What time of day will the classes be offered?
A: Classes are designed to fit around the work schedules of the working teachers, and tend to be in the hours between 7-12 in the evening in the U.S. time zones, and on Saturdays. We will support Europe-friendly times by holding some classes on Saturday, and some midday U.S. time.

We would like to solicit your requests for the days and times when you are most available to attend the 2.5 hour class. Please email your request to requests@animschool.com

Q: Do entering students have to start at a particular term?
A: New students can begin at any term of the year. The exception is for classes held in other languages...

Q: Will AnimSchool classes be held in other languages?
A: Yes! Although at AnimSchool all administration is conducted in English we support programs in Spanish and Portuguese. Since there are fewer teachers, you need to start these programs at the right starting terms to be in synch. (The first class will not be taught every term)

Q: Which 3D software packages does AnimSchool use?
A: We support Autodesk Maya and Autodesk Softimage. Any high-end 3D software may be used, but AnimSchool provides characters, examples, and instruction using those two.

Q: Do 3D Animation students make their own character rigs?
A: AnimSchool provides exceptional character rigs for animators to use for each assignment. However, 3D Animation students also learn how to make characters on a simple-level, to give them a broader education and greater facility at their eventual place of employment.

Q: Do 3D Character (modeling&rigging) students have to learn technical things like scripting?
A: 3D Character students can focus on the aesthetic or the technical side of those skills. The 3D Character curriculum includes, but doesn't require, advanced scripting.

Q: Does AnimSchool offer student discounts for the 3D software?
A: Yes. For students enrolled in a program, they are eligible to buy Autodesk Maya and Softimage at student discount rates.

Q: What makes AnimSchool different from other schools?
A: 1. AnimSchool is the premiere online school devoted to teaching the broad range of 3D animation skills. And we plan to offer additional programs in the field of 3D animation in the future.
2. At AnimSchool, we are passionate about great 3D characters! Appealing, convincing characters are at the heart of AnimSchool.

Q: How many students will be accepted per term?
A: 120

Q: What jobs will a certificate at AnimSchool prepare the student for?
A: AnimSchool students will be qualifying to find employment as a 3D animator, 3D modeler, rigger (character TD), 3D artist, 3D generalist in the feature film, visual FX, television broadcast, video gaming, advertising, and web industries.

Q: How much does AnimSchool cost?
A: Tuition for each 11-week term costs US $1800. That is $600 per calendar month of participation (per 3.66 weeks of instruction). The 7-term program costs $12,600 plus an application fee of $125

Q: Are there other costs involved?
A: Students are also responsible for purchasing or having access to: computer, headphones, microphone, web camera, educational-discounted 3D software, and textbooks.

Q: Does AnimSchool offer financial aid?
A: Because AnimSchool is a new, unaccredited school, U.S. government-backed loans are not available. Students can arrange private loans themselves or participate in our Easy-Pay program:

Q: What is the Easy-Pay program.
A: The Easy-Pay program is a way to spread out the cost of tuition to bring the (per-month) cost down to $350 per month. Over 30 months, students take three one-term breaks from classes, during which they continue to access the AnimSchool website and improve their skills, but aren't enrolled in classes. Each month during these breaks as well as three months before and five months after classes, students make 36 total payments. Note that completing an AnimSchool program this way takes 30 months, nine months longer than the usual 21 months.

Q: What is the contact information for AnimSchool?
A: We'll be posting our phone numbers soon. Address is: 560 South State Street, Suite F3, Orem, UT  84058. admissions@animschool.com

Q: Is AnimSchool registered as a school?
A: AnimSchool is complaint with all state post-secondary proprietary school laws and is registered under the UTAH POST-SECONDARY PROPRIETARY SCHOOL ACT (Title 13, Chapter 34, Utah Code)

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