Non-animation beginnings to an animation career?

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  1. #1
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    Non-animation beginnings to an animation career?

    Hello! I'm an ex-lurker and have just recently joined.

    I am about to become a high school senior, and now must get serious about college. I've done art most of my life and am interested in pursuing it as a career. A career in Computer Animation (ah yes, there are so many of us!) is something I'm very interested in and been researching.

    However, I am not interested in an art school. I want to get a well-rounded liberal arts education and the freedom to explore other academic areas of interest to me. Getting a solid foundation in traditional art is important to me though.

    Larger universities appeal to me as they offer more choices and programs; however, I've found that animation programs are not very commonplace in public universities, especially on the undergrad level.

    My question is would majoring in another area such as fine arts/studio art, design, digital media etc (all these subjects are of high interest to me anyway) be a feasible route to take if I hope to study animation on the grad school level?
    Would some sort of background in animation be necessary?
    I am absolutely open to art school post-undergrad.
    I am just unsure whether it's possible to get a masters in animation without a bachelor's in the same area.

    I understand a degree isn't everything when it comes to art careers, but I am more interested in a fulfilling college experience rather than being immediately trained for the industry.

    Also if possible, could I see some suggestions on possible colleges that would fit my goals? I'm looking for a school with strong academics and a strong art program. (Obviously an animation program would be a bonus ) I've been told my stats are competitive enough for some of the top schools. (I don't share the enthusiasm for ivies as my parents though) I'm a Texas resident, if that helps. Money isn't too big of an issue, but a good value is always nicer. Also, the UC's really appeal to me, but I have quite the disadvantage in being out of state.

    Please forgive me for the rather long post! I wanted to be as specific as I could.

    Thanks in advance for those who've taken the time to read this! : ) All sorts of feedback will be much appreciated.

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  3. #2
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    Im currently enrolled in Loyola Marymount University's animation program (undergrad) in their film school. I was also like you and wanted a more well rounded school that would give me options to get into things like a bussiness minor and other areas of study. Their program probably doesnt compare to an art school's, but if you put in the work, then you'll get in a lot out of it. If you've got questions about it, feel free to PM me.

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  4. #3
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    If you are serious about Computer Animation, the best route is to start as soon as you can, in Undergrad. There are large universities such as UCLA, and USC that have a strong animation program. Some would say that they don't compare to the top art schools, but atleast you get to learn the fundamental of animation while experiencing a well rounded education.

    Waiting for grad school to study CA is a bad idea in my opinion. How do you plan on doing graduate level work without any prior training? The tools for CA is every specialized so transitioning from a different art major to CA means you have to start at the beginning. Because you do not learn the foundation of animation in any other art majors. Plus learning animation is a very time consuming process. 2 years in in my opinion is not nearly enough. Plus when you graduate, you will be competing with people that spent 4 to 5 years training. They will undoubtedly have an advantage over you.

    I'm not encouraging you to go to an art school. You are young and you should take a couple of years to experience a well grounded education, and figure out what you want to do with your life. So definitely apply to university with a strong animation department. And if that is not possible, just go to a large university, and after a couple of semesters, if you are still interested in animation, transfer to an art school. Your liberal arts credits will transfer for sure, and any art credits you might have probably will also transfer, too. That way you get to experience both environments.

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  5. #4
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    It's always a tough choice between a traditional university and an all arts college. What it comes right down to it, what is going to suit you better? It's not exactly the education that is questioned here but it's going to be your experience. You'll have to balance out certain things that each has and doesn't have.

    Major universities offer other experiences like fraternities, larger non-art curriculums, larger student bodies, dorms, sports, etc..

    Smaller independent art colleges are much more focused and are much more geared toward the career (some would argue they're almost like trade schools). Some of the unsaid benefits of an art school are the contacts to be made there by others in your chosen field.

    It's literally like choosing between chocolate & vanilla ice cream- both have their merits, but it comes down to your personal preferences. Good luck.

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