Degrees for a career in 3D animation etc working for a company
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    Degrees for a career in 3D animation etc working for a company

    I'm looking for a degree or major that most positions like at Blizzard or Pixar are looking for to do 3D work. I'm certainly not looking to work for THEM anytime soon, but companies like them.

    What degree would constitute a job doing 3D animation or Digital Artwork of some kind for a company such as these?

    Currently I'm going to school for a BS in Computer Science.

    Does a degree not matter as much, like I've heard a portfolio and an interview is where it really counts.

    I'm basically looking to get a degree that can have me not working freelance and still be working with computers and art in some capacity for a company

    I've looked at some of Blizzard's offerings here -> http://us.blizzard.com/en-us/company...tml?id=12000D3

    They suggest majoring in game design and applying for a job as a level designer.

    Just post any degree titles or majors you think people like this would be looking for I'm open to all suggestions.

    Has anyone ever heard of DigiPen? -> https://www.digipen.edu/academics/

    their degree BFA in Digital Art and Animation sounds really interesting, anyone have any experience with them?


    Thanks in advance for your input!

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    Do you want to do concept art, animation, or game design? it isn't really clear in your post, and each thing is vastly different in terms of what you'd go to school for.

    "I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain."
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    No one looks for degrees, degrees don't matter at all. There has never been an instance of someone applying for an art job with a killer portfolio that was told we aren't going to hire you because you don't have a degree. That is a lie told to kids to get them to buy into thousands of dollars of debt. Companies are only interested in portfolios. If going to school helps you make a killer portfolio then go to school if not, no degree will help you.

    Last edited by dpaint; December 23rd, 2012 at 11:16 AM.
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    Agreeing with dpaint here. I'm currently studying for a BA in Character Animation - and I really want the degree because I need it to get into the US if I ever want to work there. The degree in and of itself doesn't mean jacksquat. I wouldn't miss studying at this school for anything, because I'm the kind of person that learns best in a structured school environment and doing crazy art experiments with my classmates in my free time, it's also excellent for networking. It's not, however, the only way to go and if you are dedicated enough to achieve the same through self-study, go for it!

    I also agree with ArtZealot, I'm not entirely sure what direction exactly you're going for. Maybe specify that a bit more.



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    Quote Originally Posted by ArtZealot View Post
    Do you want to do concept art, animation, or game design? it isn't really clear in your post, and each thing is vastly different in terms of what you'd go to school for.
    Animation has really been appealing to me lately, I've always loved it, but spent a lot of time I didn't have on it. Animation requires that kind of time obviously right? but yeah, it also seems more versatile than the other two, meaning I could do more with it. Yes? No?

    Quote Originally Posted by dpaint View Post
    No one looks for degrees, degrees don't matter at all. There has never been an instance of someone applying for an art job with a killer portfolio that was told we aren't going to hire you because you don't have a degree. That is a lie told to kids to get them to buy into thousands of dollars of debt. Companies are only interested in portfolios. If going to school helps you make a killer portfolio then go to school if not, no degree will help you.
    Yes thank you for confirming this, I noticed this when looking at website pages for applications and whatnot. This makes a lot of sense! But it complicates my plans.
    It's going to be harder to convince people paying for my schooling to let me stay at home and work something like this... However it seems like an art degree in that structured environment would be a waste for me personally... I'd like to at least try it out though.
    Thanks again though guys, this helps.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kjesta View Post
    Agreeing with dpaint here. I'm currently studying for a BA in Character Animation - and I really want the degree because I need it to get into the US if I ever want to work there. The degree in and of itself doesn't mean jacksquat. I wouldn't miss studying at this school for anything, because I'm the kind of person that learns best in a structured school environment and doing crazy art experiments with my classmates in my free time, it's also excellent for networking. It's not, however, the only way to go and if you are dedicated enough to achieve the same through self-study, go for it!

    I also agree with ArtZealot, I'm not entirely sure what direction exactly you're going for. Maybe specify that a bit more.
    This also makes a lot of sense, the networking and peer environment. I'm glad it is working for you that sounds great! Sounds like a cool experience.

    And again probably animation seems like what I want to do.

    In the BS for Comp Sci track i'm on right now after two classes: "data structures" and "intro to linear algebra" i'll be able to take a class called "computer graphics" I hope that'll help me transition or turn my degree into something I'll want to do for a living. Being able to create is my interest ...i know that is broad and vague but I know coding isn't doing it for me and I'm not good at it.

    Would a degree play a higher role in the field of animation, 3D animation?


    Thanks a lot guys for your input!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shahan View Post
    Animation has really been appealing to me lately, I've always loved it, but spent a lot of time I didn't have on it. Animation requires that kind of time obviously right? but yeah, it also seems more versatile than the other two, meaning I could do more with it. Yes? No?
    Animation requires heaps of time, just like any other craft. It's a highly demanding art form - the thing that you need to come to terms with is that you can't draw your way out of an animation problem. Of course a solid drawing foundation is paramount and the more time you spend solidifying your drawings, the better. But animation is not merely the art of drawing, first and foremost it's the art of timing and spacing, those are the things that make animation good, be they 2D, 3D, puppets, sand animation, or what not. Your drawings don't have to be pretty, they can be ugly and messy as fuck, and still work brilliantly as conveying motion. (You'll do some batshit crazy inbetweens to make zippy movements work, believe me.)

    I'm not sure how much more versatile it is than game design or concept art. A lot of people from my CA line go on to be concept artists as well, but that's because my school puts great value in teaching design and versatility, not only animation. I think the field for animators is smaller than for designers, though. I think concept art is more versatile, but this is more of an assumption. I think it depends greatly on the things you compliment your animation studies with.

    Quote Originally Posted by Shahan View Post
    Would a degree play a higher role in the field of animation, 3D animation?
    Nope. As far as I'm aware the same thing applies as with other creative positions: it's your portfolio/demo reel that counts.



    Check these out too:
    Rotor - GoGoJoJo

    "Limited drawing skills are OK if they are offset by a fearless commitment to putting images on paper."

    "I mean, What is a chair? It's an anti-gravity device." Glen Keane

    "The difficult part is continuously realizing when you've stopped enjoying the process, and re-aligning yourself. It's kind of like meditation/being an art ninja..." ceddo
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    Please don't misunderstand me. Going to school if someone else is paying for it, can be a worthwhile and rewarding experience. I'm not against schools, I'm against the myth of a degree as a panacea. Going to a good school that will teach you the skills you need and help you make a good portfolio is worth its weight in gold. The focus needs to be on the portfolio though, not the degree.

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    its a lot easier to build a good portfolio and network if youre at college than it is while also working some shit job, which is the alternative.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kjesta View Post
    Animation requires heaps of time, just like any other craft. It's a highly demanding art form - the thing that you need to come to terms with is that you can't draw your way out of an animation problem. Of course a solid drawing foundation is paramount and the more time you spend solidifying your drawings, the better. But animation is not merely the art of drawing, first and foremost it's the art of timing and spacing, those are the things that make animation good, be they 2D, 3D, puppets, sand animation, or what not. Your drawings don't have to be pretty, they can be ugly and messy as fuck, and still work brilliantly as conveying motion. (You'll do some batshit crazy inbetweens to make zippy movements work, believe me.)

    I'm not sure how much more versatile it is than game design or concept art. A lot of people from my CA line go on to be concept artists as well, but that's because my school puts great value in teaching design and versatility, not only animation. I think the field for animators is smaller than for designers, though. I think concept art is more versatile, but this is more of an assumption. I think it depends greatly on the things you compliment your animation studies with.



    Nope. As far as I'm aware the same thing applies as with other creative positions: it's your portfolio/demo reel that counts.
    Yes I have a lot of work to do... I just turned 20 and I really want to end up doing something I love, but also provide enough... The money doesn't really matter for me, but I can say that because I haven't really faced any economic hardship in my life yet, not directly.
    But this sounds great! I love motion more than still drawing and spending time on one piece. I mean I'd spend time on an animation piece y'know? Thank you for the great advice.

    Quote Originally Posted by dpaint View Post
    Please don't misunderstand me. Going to school if someone else is paying for it, can be a worthwhile and rewarding experience. I'm not against schools, I'm against the myth of a degree as a panacea. Going to a good school that will teach you the skills you need and help you make a good portfolio is worth its weight in gold. The focus needs to be on the portfolio though, not the degree.
    I totally understand, it would be great if someone else was paying for it! Man i'm afraid of half assing my academics AND my art hobby.

    Quote Originally Posted by Velocity Kendall View Post
    its a lot easier to build a good portfolio and network if youre at college than it is while also working some shit job, which is the alternative.
    I totally understand, it would be great if someone else was paying for it! Man i'm afraid of half assing my academics AND my art hobby... Looks like I'll be staying at my current college, Rutgers, it is a school with a lot of wiggle room for changing majors and what they offer.

    I'm going to try the Undergraduate Computer Science program and do their "Graphics and Vision" track which offers courses like "Intro to computer graphics" but I have to take some tough courses before i get there.

    And hopefully, over the summers and in my free time if I get my priorities together and manage my time I can make a portfolio specific to what I major in...



    Thanks a lot again guys, very useful. I have you guys for input and some other websites and relatives in the comp sci field. This is a big help for me personally.

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    I dont think school is a bad idea at all. A lot of people seem to be saying it's worthless, but i dont think it's without it's value. When i left for school, i literally had no idea at all how to get from being some kid in high school wanting to do art for video games, to actually doing it.

    School filled in every single gap of knowledge i had, and forced me to work my ass off for 4-5 years focusing on entirely my artwork, and ended in me getting a great job at an awesome studio a year before i graduated. But yeah that's what i feel like i got my moneys worth from, was being forced to focus on something and the kick in the ass to apply at places and where to apply and how to focus my portfolio. I know if i wasn't in school for those 5 years i would have been a lot less focused, screwing around drawing at home, then not knowing when the time was to apply and how exactly to do it. But that's me and everyone is different.

    If you're really disciplined, then don't go to school, but really if you find a decent school you absolutely should go. People who didn't go to school will tell you, you dont go to school. People who did go to school will tell you to go to school. The best is to just know thyself, and know what would suit you best.

    Last edited by ArtZealot; December 24th, 2012 at 03:49 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Velocity Kendall View Post
    its a lot easier to build a good portfolio and network if youre at college than it is while also working some shit job, which is the alternative.
    This is true...but only in a good school. The opposite is true in a poor school which can be a waste of both time and money. Sadly there are far more schools in the latter category than in the former.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JeffX99 View Post
    This is true...but only in a good school. The opposite is true in a poor school which can be a waste of both time and money. Sadly there are far more schools in the latter category than in the former.
    Yeah, it's totally a roll of the dice that's for sure. I think if someone went to art school with intent of getting in the field of game development, it would be wise to research and go to school in a city with lots of game design studios nearby.

    Seattle, San Francisco, San Diego, Austin, LA, etc. Are all good cities with lots of game development happening in them. Most studios will send envoys to grad shows to scope out talent, so presumably the more the studios in proximity to the school, the more the chances a person will get noticed or make connections.

    Last edited by ArtZealot; December 25th, 2012 at 04:13 AM.
    "I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain."
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    Quote Originally Posted by ArtZealot View Post
    Yeah, it's totally a roll of the dice that's for sure. I think if someone went to art school with intent of getting in the field of game development, it would be wise to research and go to school in a city with lots of game design studios nearby.

    Seattle, San Francisco, San Diego, Austin, LA, etc. Are all good cities with lots of game development happening in them. Most studios will send envoys to grad shows to scope out talent, so presumably the more the studios in proximity to the school, the more the chances a person will get noticed or make connections.
    Very true. Listen around how the industry is in the surroundings of the school. My school has several up-and-coming and established companies right next door and offers so-called "incubation space" for people just getting off the ground, as well as sending around job offers to us students. There is now a voluntary side program that prepares students for launching their own companies and business-strategies for freelancing, and within the four-year study period there's a three-month internship at a studio included, as well as several cooperations with film schools. It's a small school, quite cheap compared to American art schools and quite unknown outside the industry, but it cares greatly for its students. Make sure to look deeper into other than the big-and-famous institutions for that, there are gems like my school in several places, it's worth to take the time and dig a little.



    Check these out too:
    Rotor - GoGoJoJo

    "Limited drawing skills are OK if they are offset by a fearless commitment to putting images on paper."

    "I mean, What is a chair? It's an anti-gravity device." Glen Keane

    "The difficult part is continuously realizing when you've stopped enjoying the process, and re-aligning yourself. It's kind of like meditation/being an art ninja..." ceddo
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    Quote Originally Posted by ArtZealot View Post
    Yeah, it's totally a roll of the dice that's for sure. I think if someone went to art school with intent of getting in the field of game development, it would be wise to research and go to school in a city with lots of game design studios nearby.

    Seattle, San Francisco, San Diego, Austin, LA, etc. Are all good cities with lots of game development happening in them. Most studios will send envoys to grad shows to scope out talent, so presumably the more the studios in proximity to the school, the more the chances a person will get noticed or make connections.
    Very true. Listen around how the industry is in the surroundings of the school. My school has several up-and-coming and established companies right next door and offers so-called "incubation space" for people just getting off the ground, as well as sending around job offers to us students. There is now a voluntary side program that prepares students for launching their own companies and business-strategies for freelancing, and within the four-year study period there's a three-month internship at a studio included, as well as several cooperations with film schools. It's a small school, quite cheap compared to American art schools and quite unknown outside the industry, but it cares greatly for its students. Make sure to look deeper into other than the big-and-famous institutions for that, there are gems like my school in several places, it's worth to take the time and dig a little.



    Check these out too:
    Rotor - GoGoJoJo

    "Limited drawing skills are OK if they are offset by a fearless commitment to putting images on paper."

    "I mean, What is a chair? It's an anti-gravity device." Glen Keane

    "The difficult part is continuously realizing when you've stopped enjoying the process, and re-aligning yourself. It's kind of like meditation/being an art ninja..." ceddo
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