Profiles of Computer Animation Programs & Schools

From the Cliffs of Moher and The Ring of Kerry to The Rock of Cashel and Trinity College, Ireland is home to awe-inspiring landscapes and some of the world’s oldest structures. In between, you will find a thriving art scene (check out the Irish Museum of Modern Art IMMA, National Gallery of Ireland, and National Museum of Ireland: Decorative Arts and History), world-famous shopping destinations such as Dublin's Grafton Street, Brown Thomas and Temple Bar Markets, and some of the best pubs on the planet. The Stags Head, McDermott’s Pub, and The Pavilion are just a few. 

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Italy is the center of history, culture, and art, making it one of the world’s most popular places to explore. Other major attractions such as amazing cuisine, world class sightseeing, and some of the best shopping in the world enhance the country’s appeal. When you consider global universities such as the University of Padua, Sapienza University of Roma, and University of Milan, and top art and design schools such as the Florence Academy of Art, Politecnico di Milano (Polytechnic University of Milan), and the College of Art and Design in Florence, Italy becomes one of the best places to visit and study abroad. 

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If you’re looking for a top Animation MFA program in the U.S., you won’t have any trouble finding a variety of options. UCLA, SCAD, and RIT are just a few. If you’re interested in an Animation PhD programs? Well, let’s just say your search will be a bit more challenging. True, USC’s School of Cinematic Arts offers an excellent option—the PhD in Cinematic Arts. But if you want to earn a PhD that focuses on animation, you’ll have to find a school that is willing to customize its PhD program in art, design or other similar area to suit your goals. If you can’t find a suitable option, that’s OK. America’s strongest ally has you covered. Just head to the UK! 

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If you haven't heard by now, Swiss director Claude Barras' My Life as a Courgette was nominated for Best Animated Feature Film at this year's Oscars. This stop motion animated film (also known as My Life as a Zucchini), is just one of many animated features produced in Switzerland during the last decade. In 2007, the first feature-length animated film made in Switzerland was released. At a cost of $25.2 million, Max & Co was one of the most expensive domestic productions ever and it put Switzerland on the map in the world of animation. 

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Just about every degree program available offers the opportunity to enhance the degree by adding a minor, concentration or electives to match students’ career goals. For example, students interested in cinema and computer animation rather than traditional animation might choose a degree in Cinema Art and Science with a Concentration in Animation.

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An introductory note from the editor:   

We started publishing US based regional and national lists in 2012 in response to myriad emails from aspiring animators seeking advice regarding the "best" schools in the US. The US-centric lists have been well-received, so much so that we now receive frequent requests to publish rankings of international animation schools. ACR staff writer and Social Media Manager Tom Fronczak managed and authored this year's Top 100 International Animation Schools rankings. In preparing this year’s list, we surveyed over one hundred animation schools across the globe. Our end-goal is to give students access to ample information so they can make an informed decision about the school they choose to attend and the program they pursue.

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Smith Micro Software’s Poser series has been around since 1995 and is famous for giving you a wide library of gorgeous 3D characters and props to use. Artists that utilize those assets can now hit the ground running and spend more time focusing on animation and advanced modelling and rendering techniques instead of spending hours just making a character. It’s been five years since I last wrote about Poser and a lot has changed! Let’s take a look at the new features that are in Poser Pro 11.

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Pixologic has declared that ZBrush 4R7 is the final iteration within the ZBrush 4 series, and that they are working on ZBrush 5.0. Instead of adding a few small updates, they’ve packed it with major additions to make ZBrush 4R7 one of the most extensive releases Pixologic has ever had. ZBrush 4R7 is also the first version of ZBrush that’s released with optional 64-bit support!

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Maya is arguably the most famous animation software in the history of 3D animation industry, so let’s take a look at what’s new in Autodesk Maya 2016! Please note that Extension 1 and 2 features are available only to current Maya subscribers as part of the extension releases for Maya 2016 software.

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Blender is one of the best things to ever happen in the 3D industry. It’s 100% free, with no asterisk. You can download the full version for free, you can use it for personal or professional studio projects for free, and you can even change the software and distribute it for free. Everything you make it in Blender is your own property, and it’s been used by famous game and movie companies as well as scientists performing research. The best part of all is how amazing it has grown to become over many years, with countless of award winning animations being made with it. Let’s take a look at what’s new in 2.77a:

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