Savannah College of Art and Design: Animation courses
Why is Savannah College of Art and Design a key destination for animation students and what can you expect if you choose to train there?
As you might expect, North America is home to more schools and animation courses than anywhere else in the world.
Savannah has a general population of 131,510 and an overall student population of 40,594. Approximately 9,906 of Savannah’s students are enrolled in schools that offer computer animation programmes.
Attracting students from over 90 countries, Savannah’s largest computer animation school is Savannah College of Art and Design and it has been teaching the arts for over 30 years now.
In 2010, 218 students graduated with a computer animation degree in Savannah.
If you decide to attend a computer animation school in Savannah, you can expect to pay an average yearly tuition of $28,265.
In addition to tuition costs, you should plan on spending an average of $2,400 for books and supplies each year while enrolled in a computer animation programme in Savannah.
And if you live on campus, you will face an additional expense of $10,780 per year, on average, for room and board at Savannah-based computer animation schools. Students who live at home can cut this cost down to approximately $33,473.
On top of tuition fees, you should plan on spending an average of $2,400 for books and supplies each year while enrolled in a computer animation programme at SCAD
Computer Animation salaries and career outlook in Savannah
If you decide to work as a computer animator in Savannah, your job prospects are good.
By the year 2018, the number of computer animators is expected to increase by 25% in Savannah. This projected change is faster than the projected nationwide trend for computer animators.
Character technical director/rigger
Texture/lighting technical director
3D previz artist
Traditional 2D animator
Digital cel animator
2D layout and background artist
Stop motion animator
Storyboard and concept artist
With so many roles on offer in the CG industry, it’s important to know where your future lies.
Different skills are needed for different careers, so if you don’t know whether you want to be an animator, rigger or texture artist, take a close look at your skillset and check out our Getting started in 3D guide.
What SCAD expects
Having said that, SCAD’s dean, Peter Weishar, says, “We’re not looking for the same skill sets that we’ll be teaching. We’re looking for artists. If we see somebody with a sense of composition, lighting and story, then that’s the kind of student we want.”
Still from The Line, an animation by Savannah College of Art and Design BFA students
Savannah College’s school of Digital Media offers animators the opportunity to study for BFA, MA and MFA degrees.
At the postgraduate level, the MA program is designed for those looking to further their 3D prowess, while the MFA is more geared towards academic research and artistic problem-solving.
Work by Andrew Mitchell, studying for an Master of Fine Arts in Visual Effects at SCAD. Andrew gives a student's view of SCAD in our CG Training Course Guide in issue 154 of 3D World, now on sale in the UK
How the course runs
Animation students enrolling at the Savannah College of Art and Design first undertake a two-year core curriculum of introductory liberal arts and general education classes. Only then do they begin upper level study, developing skills in 2D and 3D character design and animation, look development, and on through a more electives-based final year through to postproduction.
Two postgraduate courses are also offered, with a one-year MA programme aimed at those looking for additional exposure to advanced 3D techniques, and an MFA that enables students to engage in academic research and artistic problem solving.
Still from Nightblooming by Bridget Underwood, Savannah College of Art and Design BFA animation student, Lake Oswego, Oregon
Top industry links
Weishar says extensive industry experience is a top priority for faculty – in the Savannah campus’s animation department alone, the wealth of talent includes ex-Blue Sky star Jan Carlée, Iron Giant and Beowulf TD Brian Schindler, Tina O’Haliey from Walt Disney Feature Animation ex-DreamWorks animator Scott Wright and Bafta nominee Jeremy Moorshead, plus veterans of Rhythm & Hues and DNA Productions.
The university also boasts an impressive advisory board line-up, featuring the likes of Blue Sky’s Carl Ludwig, Steven Chiang from Zynga and the legendary Phil Tippett.
Portfolio reviews are often given by representatives from studios such as Activision, Blue Sky, Blue Sky Studios, Digital Domain, Electronic Arts, Industrial Light & Magic, Lucas Arts, Pixar, Rhythm & Hues, and Tippett Studio.
Graduates work at studios including Sony Imageworks, DreamWorks and Nickelodeon.
The college also hosts the Savannah Film Festival, and participates in Siggraph.
Visit Savannah College of Art and Design for more information
The latest issue of 3D World features the Savannah College of Art and Design in our in-depth guide to finding the perfect college and qualification for you.
Get Ahead in Animation
We also have 25 top animation tips, rigging tank tracks in Maya, projection mapping in modo, and 60 minutes of V-Ray videos (on the disc).
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Tags: Activision, Animation, animation student, animation tips, blue sky, CG Training Course Guide, Digital Domain, Electronic Arts, ilm, Lucas Arts, Pixar, Rhythm & Hues, Savannah College of Art and Design, SCAD, Tippett Studio, top animation tips