Animation Foundation: how to pass the animation school competitive exams
If you want to be accepted at a major animation school, you will need to prepare to pass the highly selective entrance exams of these prestigious establishments. The aim of the Animation Foundation course is to train students to successfully pass these entrance exams.
In addition to the classes taught on the foundation classes, there is valuable advice that you should follow if you want to be one of the lucky few. A former student from the Animation Foundation course, who was accepted at Gobelins, sums up the essentials for passing the competitive exams.
Commit to this discipline as soon as possible and be productive
Drawing is very important in the world of animation, as it is its foundation. You will need to develop this skill as much as you can by taking, for example, life drawing classes as early as high school.
"To make a character’s postures and movements credible, the best thing to do is to practice life drawing as early as high school. There are more and more young people who only have a high school diploma on this course because they trained themselves in drawing from a young age," advises Moïra Marguin, head of the animated film department at Gobelins, in Le Figaro Étudiant.
An intensive drawing practice is also encouraged on the Animation Foundation and will enable you to develop your artistic sensibility, which is essential in order for you to be able to direct your work towards different styles. This is an extremely sought after quality for the major animation schools.
You will have to demonstrate this during your oral interview for the school of your choice. At Gobelins, for example, candidates must submit sketchbooks and up to 40 presentation boards. A certain pace of drawing is required: "In a profession where 25 images are needed to create one second of film, endurance in drawing is essential." –Moïra Marguin
It is also advisable to familiarise yourself with video equipment and at least one 3-D software programme. Be aware that some schools ask candidates for a motivation video during the entrance interviews.
Finally, make sure you find out about the different courses offered by Animation schools. At Gobelins, for example, while the much-coveted Animation Director and Designer course only accepts one out of every 20 candidates, there are also other less selective courses to choose from.
Why study on an animation foundation like the one at Atelier de Sèvres?
If you want to be sufficiently prepared for the entrance exams to major schools, it is strongly recommended that you complete an Animation Foundation year in order to maximise your chances.
At Atelier de Sèvres, classes and timetables are centred around thorough theoretical classes, intensive drawing practice and increased preparation for examinations via mock exams.
Workshops and conferences are also organised throughout the year at Atelier de Sèvres, which will help you develop your Animation skills, as well as your creativity.
During the Animation Foundation year, the teaching staff at Atelier de Sèvres also supports you in creating your portfolio. You will present this at the entrance exams for the major Animation schools. Make sure you find out about the requirements of the school to which you are applying.
▶ Joel, Atelier de Sèvres Animation Foundation alumni, accepted at Gobelins:
"Do not hesitate to confront yourself with your drawing and look for feedback and critiques. The foundation year is short and you have to prepare for several competitive exams in a few months. It's intense, but extremely enriching and formative."
The Animation Foundation at Atelier de Sèvres boasts an excellent success rate in preparing students for the competitive exams for the most prestigious animation schools. Check out the admissions results! And do not hesitate to come and visit us at Atelier de Sèvres during our open days to learn more about the Animation Foundation course.