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Career choice aargh: New Media vs Animation!

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Career choice aargh: New Media vs Animation!

My friends..Need urgent help. I am from Bombay, India. The thing is whether to choose new media over animation. Well i have done my computer engineering and then worked as sound tech for animation firm.

I developed my keen interest in animation and though i have no firm grounding in fine arts i do a lot of storyboards as well as make flash animations on my own. I tried to gain admission to a proper animation course and in the most prestigious design institute in india(National Institute of design). However, i also applied for something else in the same institute called "new media studies". Now though i don't have admission to animation(they only take 10 students), i got admission to new media as a result of which i was in a dilemma whether to apply to canadian animation schools or pursue something called new media which also had a great amount of creative thinking.

I chose new media and gave it a shot but now things are hazy cos new media is too new to understand exactly where you stand. And the instant satisfaction only animation could give you, not to mention how wild your imagination could go and things you can do on your own. I also ahve a great sense of timing inherent in me because of being a musician. Now i have an option of continuing with new media or giving it up for animation abroad. Can't seem to decide which one.

Does anyone out there know the scope and abilites of new media and if animation can be a part of it in the future? Is new media really worth all the hype its generating, especially when you feel digital revolution is dehumanizing everything? Any comments are plase welcome with urgency!! Whats the ideal qualities a new media aspirant should have?

Lastly if one wants to get into a program where one can combine sound engineering with animation techniques, do courses abroad offer customized-integrated course structures like that?

btw i am interested in script writing for animation and composing sound for animation movies too!! But i mainly am interested in animating though i prefer 2d a lot over 3d mostly..if thats any help..

thanks friends!


Hi, there. Just wanted to let you know that a guy in my animation program took New Media first, then got into Animation. What I saw of this fellow was an intense interest in the different available programs that you can use to go with Animation software and the effect and such they can do. He also caught on to animation programs easily as well. He also came in with a pretty expert knowledge of Flash and web design as that was taught in his New Media program.

He was the first one to get a job out of our program (which was only a one-year post-diploma) and it was offered to him before the program ended.

Now, if I had to do it over again, I would:

--take a 2-year 2D animation program
--take the 1-year post diploma 3D program
--then take the New Media program, so you can work on your demo reel and get it great during those 1-2 years of that program and be able to incorporate the compositing, shake, FX, etc.

...just wanted to add that. Good luck, Erin

Erin ;)
The only thing that is truly yours - that no one can take from you - is your attitude. So if you can take care of that, everything else in life becomes easier. ~unknown

After 10 years, I'm leaving New Media for Animation

I have worked at some extremely prominent web/new media projects at nationally & internationally known companies. I've held titles like Creative Director, Design Director & Sr. Designer. Millions of people have seen my web pages. I'm proud of my portfolio.

Still, I'm leaving this field and returning to grad school to get an MFA in animation. My biggest problem with "new media" is that after 10+ years I don't feel like my career has given me a body of expertise that I would've expected at my age (late thirties).

"New media" changes so much that what's important now will be irrelevant two years from now. When I started in '93, CD-ROM technology was the "future." In '95 putting up a web page was the "future," in '97 it was "content", in '99 it was flash or any silly bubble based idea, '01 was the crash, '03 was about e-commerce & blog/database driven web solutions.

Each of these changes requires learning radically new software tools, but also requires changing your professional purpose for using them: flash animators, interface designers, and e-com database wizards require very different professional temperaments and skill sets.

Some people thrive on this challenge, I know I did for a while. It's particularly seductive if you're a young hotshot out of college (like I was) ready to prove yourself.

As the years went by, it got harder for me to get motivated about the next "big" thing, knowing it was another business fad. All my hard work and learning would become irrelevant as soon as I developed any sophisticated understanding of it. Even worse, the skills I'd acquire with each cycle weren't very useful for the next one.

There's a lot of other stuff that bugged me about this field: Brutally long hours, a macho tech-geek mentality, poor pay, job instability, regular layoffs, lack of benefits, sloppy planning and chaotic schedules. I could accept all these headaches as the trade-offs of any professional path - If I felt I was getting a return on my career investment.

But that's my perspective. Others thrive in this environment. If you're the type of person who loves to solve problems and move on to a completely new one, new media might be for you.


Thanks 'reason 808'! Dreamfollower, thank you to you too for the feedback.

I guess Reason, what you mentioned is exactly the thing i would like to avoid, especially after having a bit
of aversion to new new new technology and totally hating the superior tech geek surrounding/identity..
well at the end of the day you're really right, i have made choices in the past thinking of the challenge and
how much it pays off, but at the end of all this slogging you realize the career returns are not much mentally satisfying.
Animation on the other hand is a skill for life like guitar.. you keep driving it to your level of perfectionism.

And btw it's a geat decision that you have made for the mfa in animation as i guess you must have raked in the money with new media and helps pay for maybe making your own
animation films.
Or at least you have a 'backup job' at hand when you need to find work to be able to work as maybe a consultant to fund your films.

Anyway in the midst of all that speculation, my bollockiness for new media attitude has come through and i got
a bad grade report by the end of yr for ignoring courses i had no itnerest in.. And am gearing up for the
itnerview/studio tests! So maybe thats what im meant for eventually!..

It's been great feedback! man i love this forum! thanks once again!


Thank you friends.. well i am currently pursuing New Media and i can tell you it isnt giving a whole lot of expertise in any one particular field be it technical or cognitive.. it is a generic touch and go approach to a lot of things.. but you'll end up working as usability designer in the industry sticking to standards and inquirie sheets for user studies. In fact a lot of designers from animation too are ending up in this industry sheerly for the money.. but i can't say at this point of my life i could be honest to myself by doing this course.. I gave the test for animation once again and now next month i do have my studio tests coming up as well. Thank you very much for the feedback though tis coming in so damn late.. i lost the forum and got this thread back via google!

And any more responses are welcome too and I would like to see them. Wonder if a lot of 'new medians' access here or not..?

New Media

I never did like the term 'New Media'. It will obviously only be new for so long. We do have a rather large undergraduate program here called by that name. It has three branches in Information Technology, Design and Publishing. What's incorporated into the curriculum is not just 'learning software', but concepts related to all three fields at the foundations level as well as concepts related to interactive media, such as:

* HCI (human computer interface)
* testing for effectiveness of interaction design
* appropriate use of compression, file sizes, etc. for interactivity and download times
* cross platform compatibility

At the graduate level, there are two 'new media' related programs. One is in the Info Tech department and I don't remember the exact name. The other is Computer Graphics Design and is essentially graphic design for the computer screen. It deals with all the things mentioned above. There are courses in 2D computer animation and scripting, digital video and audio, typography, etc.

I'm sure there are similar programs at other universities. Each school seems to have a particular flavor to their program. As it's a new area, different program designers have had ideas about how these programs should be.

Just so you know, web pages are used artistically too, not just for commercial purposes (although many programs only focus on commercial aspects). For some examples (some of the links will be down as some of the web pages may no longer exist), check and follow the links to the art show. The conference art show has been documented for the last 10 years of so. Several years since 1998 have had a component of the show called 'artSite' which contains artistic web pages. You might look to see what's been done. Even if the links are down, I believe there is usually a short description.

On another subject, you seem to have a stronger interest in animaiton than in new media. Many Canadian and US animation schools require that you have a portfolio to be admitted, especially at the graduate level. With your background in a tech area, I don't know what you have in the way of a portfolio. I always think it's better to pursue your passion, so I would recommend applying to the programs that interest you. If you get in GREAT, go for it. If not keep at what you are already doing.

- Marla

If I were you I'd choose "new media", because it's deeply founded on animation, no matter if you're working with cell phones, multimedia presentations, video art... you'll always be able to use animation, and also need to know a lot about its mechanics.

I'm always wary of terms like "new media" because it usually means it's a hodgepodge of software and techniques with no clear focus. Without the focus on a certain aspect of any media you may because a familiar with a lot of things but not really marketable in any one thing.

When a student graduates with a degree in computer animation, illustration or accounting you know what that person's expertise is, when you graduate in "new media" what is your expertise?

This maybe an old way of thinking but I haven't seen any job ads for New Media Guy lately.


Department of Computer Animation
Ringling College of Art and Design
Sarasota Florida