Q. My aim is primarily 3d modelling, though I also want a solid foundation in 3d animation. I am also looking for a program that provides a solid foundation in the fundamentals of art. What program, if there is one at your school, would be best for this?

A. 3D Animation would be the program that you are looking for.  We cover pretty much everything in the first semester with the exception of M.E.L and Dynamics so you get a taste of everything.  We allow you to focus your demo reel during second semester on whatever aspect of the course you like. You will also take a Life Drawing class during first and second semester, which will help you train your eye for visual art.  Most people think of life drawing as making pretty pictures, while in fact its main purpose it to help you "see".

Q. Who are your instructors? Who does, or have, the instructors worked for, in what capacity? How long, what and where have they taught? Are there any especially notable faculty?

A. All of our instructors currently work in the animation industry accross various studios in Toronto.  The studio's range from Arc Productions, Optix, Rune Entertainment, PixoMondo, Pipeline, Easy Art House, and Big Splash VFX.  Some of the fIlm  work that I can name would be -Snow White and the Huntsman, X-Men II, Silent Hill, Shane Ackers 9, Gnomeo and Juliette, The Chronicles or Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Midnight Club 3, Fantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer, Blades ofGlory, X-Men: the Last Stand, Final Destination 3, Fantastic Four, Alice in Wonderland, Moby Dick (2011) to name a few.  Our faculty also have extensive experience in commercial, and television work. 

Q. What is this program best suited for?

A.  This program lends itself extremely well to the film, television, and commercial industry, but is not limited to only that.  Many people end up freelancing with the skills they've gained while being here.  You can work in Visualization for architecture, or product design.  Mobile gaming is really big right, now and this is another industry your skills will fit into to.  You can also work in the Motion Graphics industry to make station identifications, lower thirds for television programming or flying logos. 

Q.  What evidence do you have that graduates find success? Can you point out successful graduates? Do you have statistics on how many students out of the total number of students have been hired by what companies in different years of your program? Are there any especially notable alumni?

A.  This is a question that I get often, and its a good one to ask.  There is a graduate profile section on this website (in construction at the moment) where you can read about where some of our students end up after graduation.  The question of percentage of successful grads is tricky.  I can say that the rough percentage of each class that is hired into the animation industry is about 60 - 70 percent over the course of the first year out of school. This number will fluctuate with what is happening around town, and what kind of projects are coming into the city.  The animation industry is fueled by projects, so the need for artists is based on when the companies have the work.  Pretty much all of the work is contract. Full time positions are available, but usually go to senior staff who have contributed to the studio for a few years on contract.  Some times there is a big need for employees when April comes, and sometimes not. I have seen almost entire classes hired, and on the flip side, entire classes waiting for months before anyone gets a job.  What I say to individuals, is if you work smart, and work hard, you will be in a good place to find a job at the end of the school year.  I make no guarantees that you will find work, but I can tell you that we will provide you with all the necessary tools in order to succeed.  It really is up to how hard you are going to work.

Q.  What international/industry recognition can you show? Are there articles about your school I should read, awards you've received?

A. If you  Google "Ryan" and "Seneca College" you'll find a whole bunch of articles that outline our participation in the Academy award winning animated short Ryan.  Here is one link I found on the first page of Google. http://www.senecac.on.ca/media/2005/2005-02-28.html 

We have since worked with Chris Landreth on his two follow up shorts, The Spine and his latest which will premiere sometime this year TBA.

Have a look at www.skylight-short.com to see another short we made here at the college.  Another great one is call Ormie, and you can watch it here: https://vimeo.com/27256955

Q.  How long has the program been running?

A. This program has been running in its new location at York University for 9 years.  Previously it was a 16 week course at a different campus.  I'm not sure how long it was around there.

Q. What type of equipment do students of your program have access to?  What types of software are you using?  Will I get my own work station?  What about 24 hour access?

A.  We are running custom built workstations.  They run pro i7 processors, 12 gigs of ram, an nVidia GTX680 4GB cards and we run window 7.  They're pretty fast.  Each station also has a 24 inch HD cintiq.  A second 22 inch monitor sits above it for added workspace. Between each pair of workstations is a slave monitor, which shows what the teacher is doing up at the front on his/her computer.  We also have a 70 inch LED flat screen which also shows what the teacher is doing, so following along isn't a problem.  We're running the latest version of Maya. Currently our group is working on 2012, but we're upgrading to 2013 for the fall semester.  (We make sure to not update to a new version mid-semester because sometimes it can cause big problems)  The classroom can accommodate twenty students, but our classes are usually around 12 -15 students.  In the fall, you will have the station to yourself.  We also have an intake in January, so we bring in another group of students so we do share the workstations for second semester, but I have not seen students waiting to have a computer free based on the numbers we actually let in.  The facility is 24/7 with the exception of a week or two during the Christmas break, and stat holidays like the Easter Monday.

Q. How is time balanced between art foundations and 3d modeling and animation? How is the teaching of art foundations handled? What areas are covered, and to what depth? Are other, non art/3d related classes required? If so, how is this handled?

A. We don't have separate classes for teaching the art foundations.  We expect that you will have a solid understanding of the basics, which you will show in the portfolio that you submit for consideration into the program. 

Q. What is the location of your school, and more specifically, the location in which the program I would be attending? Does your school offer any assistance in finding living accommodations? Is on campus accommodation available?

A. We are located in the Seneca@York campus which is up at York University on Keele, between Finch and Steeles.  Our mailing address is 88 The PondRd.  Toronto On. M3J 3M6.  There is a Seneca housing website at https://yourfuture.senecacollege.ca/services/housing/index.ezc;jsessionid=8883616723DB2B35592D5DD8EAF1BEC0

Q. How long is the course? How many 'credit hours', weeks, years, etc? Why is your program that length?

A. The course is 8 months.  It runs from the first week of September, until the third week of April.  Our program is that length for a couple of reasons.  The first is that by the end of 8 months, you should be able to continue your learning on your own.  (You will never stop learning in this field)  The second is that anything longer would be more than is needed.

Q.  What periods of study are available?

A.  September - April, and January - August.

Q.  What do I graduate with?

A. Post Graduate Certificate.

Q.  Does the program offer a co-op program? What contacts within the industry do you have? What other help with finding a job does the school supply?

A.  We do not offer a co-op program.  Once again, the industry you will be training for is very contract driven, so setting up a co-op with a studio isn't easy.  We have many great contacts in the industry, through our staff who work in the studios, and our grads who continue to work.  We may have a few studio's over the course of the year come in and talk to our prospective grads about the work they
do, the upcoming opportunities and what they are looking for in an employee.

Q.  Does your school work or cooperate with particular companies in regards to the program in any way? What companies and how?

A.  Each year we have an advisory committee meeting, which consists of studio reps coming together to discuss what we've done over the year, and what we want to do in the following year.  They advise us on changes we wish to make, and they also suggest changes that they think will benefit our students.  We are just finished working with the National Film Board and CopperHeart Entertainment on "Subconscious Password" which is the next film by Chris Landreth.  This is not something that we expect will happen every year, but we have had a number of productions come through the school over the last couple of years that give our students the opportunity of working on. 

Q.  How does the program help me create my portfolio?

A.  The whole point of our program is the demo reel.  We don't make films here during the course, because it is way too much work to try and make a film, while learning the art and the software.  We want you to have a demo in hand when you leave.  Our curriculum is designed to help you create your demo at the end of the year.  The digital tools class is all about compositing and reel construction.  Portfolio and Presentation focuses on resume and cover letter writing, interview skills, networking etc.  It is a really great class, one I wish I had when I was in school.

Q.  How would I find out if any of my course credits from a previous University are transferable?

A.  You can contact the registration office at http://www.senecac.on.ca/registrar/index.html

Q.  What benefits will I have as an alumni?

A. We allow our grads four months of access to our labs after they graduate, so they can revise their reels while they're looking for employment.  You can find that information here. http://www.senecaalumni.ca/

Q.  What is the cost of the programs you would suggest for me, are there extra costs I would be expected to pay? If there are extra costs outside of the tuition, how much would those be?

A.  You can find the tuition costs  in the link on the left.  You will also need newsprint and conte/charcoal for the drawing class, whichs hould run no more than $100 for the year.  I recommend that you have a portable hard drive, which should cost no more than $100 -$200dollars.