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Kim Writes:

I am interested in the computer animation, game design field. My question is what is the best classes to take and what will I need to become a great future EA Games associate? What classes should I look for to make sure I am getting my monies worth?I am looking at the computer animation program and Full Sail in Orlando. But the tuition is $58,000. Is a full program like that recommended or could classes be taken at a community college or university individually? I am really interested in the artside of gaming, like character modeling. Also what is the average starting salary range of a EA Games associate with a bachelors degree. I’m sure some of these have probably already been asked sorry

Chris Replies:

Hey guys and Gals, your board Admin Scott asked me if I could suggest any help to you Animators of the future. Just to give you all a tad of info on me, My Name is Chris, I am an Animation Director here at EA I have been working as an animator in the industry for 9 years now and am currently working on my 13th project. I have to say I have a very mixed opinion on how to obtain a good job in animation. I really think it is more about the particular person than it is about the school you attend. Dont get me wrong though, I think a STRONG understanding of ALL the principles of animation and timing are crucial. These are things I feel are not always delved deeply enough into at these “quickstop” schools such as Full Sail in Orlando, or Expressions out here in the bay Area. (owned by the same group) However I think the right student with VERY strong motivation can make a good education out of pretty much everything, but expect to push yourself and not necessarily be pushed by your instructors. I general I would say depending on which School you attend you would be better off going to a full Bachelor program. Ringling School of Art and Design, Vancouver film school, Cal arts, all have GREAT programs. I would recommend going to each schools respective web page and look at some example so of work coming out of there, and compare it to work coming out of the 12 month or 18 month programs. The difference is easy to see. As for cost, any good art school will not be cheap. Full Sail and Expressions both floating around 40 to 50 k for 12 to 18 months. Ringling for instance will run you around 20k a year for 4 years, however your education will be MUCH more comprehensive. Anyways I can honestly say that nowadays it is hard to get a good job in animation, without a good education, but no matter where you go and what you spend keep in mind you only get out of it what you put into it, and as for cost.well lets just say a good job will easily let you pay off your student loans. Oh yeah, by the way, those of you considering Full Sail in Fla, might as well make the 3.5 hour drive south to check out Ringling Schools facilities. They are located in Sarasota Fla. and I think the difference in dedication and quality bestowed upon their students will be easy to see.

Updated on October 11th, 2013

Removed the link to Kim’s email. Added a link for Chris.