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Can a degree in Comp Animation limit career choices?

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Can a degree in Comp Animation limit career choices?

Hi there,

I'm probably going to ask a few questions that have been answered many times before. But hey, as with everything, you always get that 'same shit different day' story (and yeah, i've searched around the place for hours and have found nothing quite similar to aid me) -so here goes ;P

I am currently 18 and about to apply for univeristy through ucas (students in England should know what this is). I have a few options I'm currently considering;

1)bournemouth uni - reknown for computer animation throughout the UK
2) Portsmouth - more art based animation - although they do have a technicle side of animation - which is called computer animation (really? ;P )

and some others, but it isn't needed for this question.

Anyway, I would like to know, how studying a degree in computer animation (which is really what I would like to do) could/can limit your overall career choice.

My main ambition in the future is eventually become a vfx supervisor or someone who controls the outlook of how the effects are practically (on film sets) and technicly (on computer) performed (in regards to the film industry of course).
This coinsides with another ambition, is that I want to be multiskilled, ie. I don't want to be focused just as a character animator, or modeler. I want the practicle skills of how to compose certain effects on film sets, with the technicle skills and software knowledge to produce or manage/supervise the implementation of CGI.

So, I would, as you've figured, like to know if I could get into the field of: ' vfx/sfx (or whatever other 3 letter accronyms there are for it ;P ) supervisor) ' Or something similar where I can be the, say, director of effects.

Any guidance is appreciated, and please don't refer me to search more for stuff around the net, because, beleive me, I have spent DAYS searching for career advice, animation industry, career etc.



Well.... it seems I've mostly heard that a good traditional background is your best asset. But I believe that's mostly for 3D character animation. I don't know about vfx. Having a solid understanding of design concept and animation prinicples will definitely help you out, whatever route you choose. Make sure you're going somewhere that does more than teach you how to use programs. You want a school that will teach you ANIMATION. Do you think you'll go to grad school? If so, I'd say, go for something more broad and traditional now. Specialize when you get your MFA. Hopefully someone else can offer you some more advice.

VFX background

Most VFX folks have a stong graphics programming background and a good eye (art skills). You pretty much have to be a right brain/left brain person. If that's the area you are interested in, you should consider going to a college or university which has both. Major in one area and take your electives in the other. We have offerings in both areas here at RIT. If you are interested in further information, please let me know.

Hi Barton and welcome to the AWN Forums.

Seeing as how you do not want to be a character animator, but want to focus on Sepcial Effects, you don't want a traditional ANIMATION school. You want to go to an ART school. As a SFX/VFX Supervisor, you are going to need a very good color and design background. A great grasp of nature and machines. Also very good film language. Of course you will also need to know the computer programs, but that is usally the easiest part.

You will most likely need to take a bunch of nature and environmental painting classes, so you train your eye to see good color paletes and visual composition. Film as well. You will need to know film langauge, film composition, camera moves, different lenses and all that stuff. Esspecially now where there are whole shots in live action movies that are now CG. For the most part, the main action is generally blocked out by the director, but the rest is handled by the FX Supervisor.

So basicly, If you go the technical route, most likely you'll top out as a Techical Director, but if you want to be a VFX Supervisor, you WILL need the art background.

the Ape

...we must all face a choice, between what is right... and what is easy."