Sunday, April 29, 2007


Well it wasn't an easy decision and I certainly waited until the last minute (deadline is May 1st for both CalArts and Ringling), but I'm going to go with Ringling. I really wish I could attend both schools, but that'd involve me been extremely old and broke when I graduate. So, being realistic and after considerable scrutinizing the pros and cons of both schools, I've decided manatee**-sightings will be extremely important to my art career thus I will go to Ringling.*

* Once in while manatees will be spotted swimming through t
he bayou bordering the Ringling Campus.

**Trichechidae, genus Trichechus) are large, fully-aquatic marine mammals sometimes known as sea cows. The name comes from the Spanish manatí, which itself comes from a Carib word meaning "breast." They comprise three of the four living species in the order Sirenia, the other being the dugong. The Sirenia are thought to have evolved from four legged land mammals over 60 million years ago, with the closest living relatives being the Proboscidea (elephants) and Hyracoidea (hyraxes).[1]

Chris Harding: Best 'About' Page Ever!

Most hillarious bio page ever! Go to read it. Oh and check out the awesome designs/animation while you are there too.

Thanks to Mike Owen who's giving me all sorts of interesting things to look at and think about.

Monday, April 23, 2007

CalArts and Ringling

Here's a visual recap of what happened on the plane during my flight to FL

What I liked about Ringling-Illustrated

Figure Sketchies

An evening at the figure drawing lab. It's fun to break lose and not worry about proportions. The drawings seems more interesting in a bazaar way. Some of them look like they are melting, haha. Got much to do before school starts.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Jeff Drew

Robert (student accepted by Ringling and CalArts), showed me this today. Pretty cool, check it out!

United Airlines: Dragon

A commercial Todd and Soyeon worked on. I love it so much I had to post it here!

Friday, April 20, 2007

Main While, in the Land of Animated Advertisements...

I will be assisting Mike Owens on the series of spots for a bank starting next week! I stumbled upon Mike's blog through Illustration Friday before I started at Reelworks and now I'm working with him! What a small world!

I met Mike earlier this week. He seemed pretty laid back and easy going. He said to me, "I will either be your best friend or worst nightmare." Uh, hm....I guess I'll find out.

Anyway, go to to check out Mike's stuff. His characters are so funny! The clients loved his storyboards for the spot.

Some Ringling Student and Alumni Work:

Pics of art on the walls from my visit to Ringling. At this point I'm still leaning towards Ringling. I think I should just go with it 'cause I'm just dragging the decision process on and on. The truth is, both schools are so great and reputable that I can't go wrong with either--I could be a little less in debt though :-P

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Other CalArts Accepted Students

Yesterday was the CalArts accepted students online chat. I met some accepted students there and got a few websites of theirs. Some were die-hard 'go to CalArts' while a few others were like me trying to reach a decision. Anyway, there's some Amazing stuff so make sure to check them out! I've got some work to do.

Jeff Liu:

Uh not quite sure what her real name is:


It'd be cool to see the work of accepted Ringling students as well.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Ringling's Curriculum

Computer Animation Curriculum--

Seems like a good balance of 2D & 3D. If I can't get out of the Lib Art and Art His classes. I should be at least able to change some of them to other electives--except for art his of animation, want to keep that.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

On the other hand....

On the other hand...CalArts just offered $10,300 in financial Aid and scholarship for next year...which makes its tuition comparable to Ringling's.

Pics from Sarasota

I didn't take a lot of photos and most of them are pretty crappy. I only had about 30mins outside campus, haha.




Edwin cradling his subway!

Good enough.

Pics From Ringling

The brand new main building. The first level has a workout room, a cafe, the admissions office, and things I didn't find. Second level is home to the incredibly active career services and financial aid offices. The third level belongs to computer animation complete with one 2d lab, 3 3d labs, classrooms, and three or four video game centers (where new games will be set up for students to tackle).

I didn't expect a school known for its 3D animation to have a 2D lab like this. When they closed the Disney studio in Orlando, all of the drawing tables went to Ringling. Kyle says some of them even had left behind drawings from Brother Bear. There's about 20 tables and five (?) shooting stations.

What amazed me the most had to be the CA labs! HP comps (like the ones used in the industry) with 30" Monitors (puts the TV we had in Dinnaken to shame!) and 6"x8" Wacom tablets. There are three labs each with about 20 stations. I didn't get a chance to see what the actual class rooms are like but this definitely leaves a good impression.

The CA level of the main building is covered with posters of movies/games that Ringling grads have been a part of. Shown here with Kyle. Some of the titles include Mulan, Ants, Shrek, Monster's Inc, Cars, Over the Hedge, etc. It's a pretty impressive walk of fame.
Cafeteria. Food is probably more or less like UDS.
Inside the cafeteria.

On my visit I had the chance to talk with Jim MCampbell the CA program director. We chatted a long time about which school I should go to and which schools I shouldn't go to, un hum! Seriously though, Jim is passionate about the CA program at Ringling and has taken the time to constantly improve it according to changes in the industry.

I was also fortunate enough to be visiting right after the seniors finished their thesis. Everyone was busy applying to the big name studios and game companies. Industrial Light and Magic was interviewing a few of them on my last day. EA games was also on campus reviewing portfolios to decide which students to interview today. One of the Seniors has a phone interview with Dreamworks tomorrow.

One of the EA recruiters was talking with two of the CA teachers. Kyle and I were close by so someone started talking to them about how I'm trying to decide on a school. All three of them started to repeat "Ringling" over and over. It was quit funny. The two teachers seemed really excite and were trying to tell me all the good things about Ringling. Turned out all three of them graduated from Ringling, went on to work at Disney for years, then one went to EA while the other two came back to teach. The two teachers were really friendly and most importantly, very enthusiastic about the program.

Overall here's a list of what I liked about Ringling:
  • High-end technology and amazing labs
  • Enthusiastic Teachers
  • Motivated Students
  • Very organized and aggressive career services office
  • High employment rate after graduations
  • Program interactive with industry needs
  • Many Many recruiters
  • Lower Tuition (If there's room in the sophomore class, I can graduate in three years)
  • Balance of 2d verses 3d (many illustration classes possible for electives)
  • Beautiful Campus, Sarasota seems more happening than Valencia
  • Also, all incoming students will receive a Powerbook Pro thanks to a generous donation

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

CalArts vs. Ringling

Which one which one?!

I've talked with industry professionals, graduates from both schools, plus others and I'm getting things like:

"If you got into CalArts, why would you even think of any other school?"--MCAD Senior

"Ringling is the number one 3D animation school in the nation!"--Ringling Freshman

"CalArts focuses on more content than Ringling"--Pixar Director

"70% of my graduating class was hired before graduation...i've come across way more ringling grads than i have cal arts grads out in the field. "--Ringling Graduate

"Ringling is a rising star, especially specializing in 3D.
You know enough in 2d design and animation now and you can learn a lot more new things, IF you think that you would like working with computerized environment.

And Calarts is..
Well, was....based on 2d training with 3D on the side. I am not sure how they function now.

For sure, they go with more art school approach.
It all depends on what you want to learn."
--CalArts Graduate

"It now depends on what you want to study and where???"--CalArts Instructor

"Calarts would be a great experience for you, I'm sure! If you think
you'd like to focus on doing things all digitally (with Maya and such) and get training for what you would do on a feature film
type project, Ringling would be better, I think."--CalArts Graduate

And the list goes on. Both schools are great, it just depends on if I want to focus on character animation or 3D animation. Ringling is the best for 3D animation and CalArts is the best for character animation. So where does that leave me? What would be the best choice for finding a job in the future? The tuition is $22k/ year for Ringling and $31k for CalArts. Is the CalArts reputation worth the $9,000 on tuition alone?

The truth is I really want to go to CalArts but the facts are saying Ringling is just as good if not better than CalArts in terms of education, reputation, and cost.


Well I'll be down in Sarasota next week from Monday to Wednesday to see it for myself. Fortunately for me, the seniors are turning in their thesis right before I get there which means Kyle has time to show me around and introduce me to some other seniors. Should be fun.

Concept Designs for Reelworks

Here are some concept designs for an upcoming job at Reelworks. None of the design was chosen except for the phone :(. Soyeon the Great worked on this job too. She kicked my butt big time. I would show some of her stuff here but I'm not quite sure if that's legal haha, so just go to to check out her work yourselves. Every time I work on a design assignment I realize how much I still need to learn. There's a lot more to do before I enter school.

It's been going really well at Reelworks. Lately it's been so busy I haven't had any time posting. I've moved on from practicing with old Keys to actually tweening for a current job--a sequence that's about the controversy around Fois Gras in California. So my first paid tween is actually drawing Arnold Schwarzenegger. I've also been doing pre-production designs and color models. Overall Reelworks is giving me a lot of opportunities to hone my skills.

Two interns are coming from Canada and France this summer. The Canadian girl is from Sheridan (Ouuu) and the French guy has really great stuff on his site ( I'm pretty excited to meet and work with them.