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Animation vs. Game Design

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Replies to: Animation vs. Game Design

  • gouf78gouf78 Registered User Posts: 5,306 Senior Member
    My D did take AP Art but how much it helps probably depends more on the instructor than anything else. The nice thing was the help and guidelines provided in preparing the portfolio. (Slides, CD's etc). Art-wise go look for life drawing classes or go to the park and sketch kids playing, baseball games, people shopping, etc.
    AP Art was not accepted for college credit at Ringling.
  • gouf78gouf78 Registered User Posts: 5,306 Senior Member
    Colcon--Another Ringling fan! My D LOVED her entire time there (except deadlines...)
    Happy to say she's gainfully employed and loves her job!
  • colcon2010colcon2010 Registered User Posts: 323 Member
    <<< gouf78 wrote: My D did take AP Art but how much it helps probably depends more on the instructor than anything else. The nice thing was the help and guidelines provided in preparing the portfolio. (Slides, CD's etc).>>>

    Well said, gouf! My D also took AP Art, even though she knew going in that the teacher was lazy and moody (she was the teacher for Honors Art the year prior). I swear to you that the teacher never did so much as one demo the entire year. Her method was to have the kids come in and just work on their assignments during each period, with truly no instruction (but tons of homework). D also took classes outside of school, so she put up with the AP teacher b/c all of her friends were in that class! So, from my experience AP Art classes can vary widely. One summer D took a class at a local art league and loved it. That instructor was also the AP Art teacher at a different HS, and he gave D his lesson plan for all these amazing projects, so I knew what a travesty it was that D's AP Art teacher did nothing! D learned to prepare her portfolio for presentation from another teacher (Friday nights) and her slides from websites. Jasper, I think we might be in the same school district! Really, do not worry about your D not taking AP Art. She can still enter any art competitions, work on sets for the school play, get involved in community projects that could put her skills to good use, etc. if that is what she wants to do. Concentrate of the portfolio and good grades more than anything. Good luck to her!
  • colcon2010colcon2010 Registered User Posts: 323 Member
    Hi gouf78, So glad to hear your D enjoyed her 4 years at Ringling and is working at a job she likes! I know the time will fly by, just as Dr. Thompson said it would during freshman orientation last year. It's such a great feeling (and a relief) to know they are happy. We visited a number of art colleges, but once D set foot on Ringling's campus she never looked back! I hope she is as successful as your D after graduation!
  • loveblueloveblue Registered User Posts: 437 Member
    colcon:
    Glad your daughter is doing well! what is your daughter's major?
    From you name I guess this is her second year?
  • mom4artmom4art Registered User Posts: 253 Junior Member
    MidnightMoon, going back to your question in post #13 about Academy of Art and other schools in the US. Academy of Art has buildings all over and not a real campus. I have read others comment that they seem to take anyone, but don't know the success of their grads. Hopefully, another poster can add insight.

    Can I clarify? Are you more interested in Animation or Computer Animation? The Ringling posts seem to be centered on the CA major, which I have heard fabulous things about. I have heard that CalArts is excellent for Animation (non-CA). Perhaps others have additional thoughts. Do you have any other requirements other than it be a school in the US?
  • MidnightMoonMidnightMoon Registered User Posts: 12 New Member
    I'm generally looking at Computer Animation first.

    I'm mainly looking for a school that is linked to many employers and companies so that it would be a tad easier to get a job after graduation.

    It would also be nice if it school or in a state that offers many different types of scholarships/grants. Tuition isn't that huge of a problem, but the more help I can get the better.
  • colcon2010colcon2010 Registered User Posts: 323 Member
    Hi loveblue, Thank you! Yes, this is her second year at Ringling, and she is majoring in Illustration. She really enjoys drawing and painting, and has had the opportunity to also pursue her love of sculpture. It will be interesting to see where she ends up!
  • gouf78gouf78 Registered User Posts: 5,306 Senior Member
    Colcon--Hope your D loves it all 4 years!
    My D had roommates in both CA and illustration. They've all done well but it was interesting to see the final outcomes. One took all critiques and assignments really seriously--her work is phenomenal (and you can trace her progress) and is employed at a great company: the other wanted "to do her thing her way", blew off the critiques (in my opinion) or at least didn't value the opinions and direction of her professors and has struggled since in the job market. It will always be what you make of it.
    The ability to accept criticism gracefully and adapt is a valuable asset. Employers look for it. (Just an observation over several years....)
  • colcon2010colcon2010 Registered User Posts: 323 Member
    << gouf wrote: Colcon--Hope your D loves it all 4 years!
    My D had roommates in both CA and illustration. They've all done well but it was interesting to see the final outcomes. One took all critiques and assignments really seriously--her work is phenomenal (and you can trace her progress) and is employed at a great company: the other wanted "to do her thing her way", blew off the critiques (in my opinion) or at least didn't value the opinions and direction of her professors and has struggled since in the job market. It will always be what you make of it.
    The ability to accept criticism gracefully and adapt is a valuable asset. Employers look for it. (Just an observation over several years....) >>>

    Thank you, gouf. So far, so good! I do get many happy e-mails, literally saying she loves her college and her teachers. I hope it's always like this!

    You are in such a neat position, to see what happens after graduation! Thank you for sharing your stories about the roommates. I am going to pass them on to D. She takes the critiques very seriously and to heart, and tries to use them to improve her work. So, it will be wonderful for her to hear that being receptive to critiques is an asset! She definitely doesn't take them personally, but rather as a chance to grow as an artist (her words). Is your D working in animation? What is the illustration major doing? There are so many directions one can take and it is fascinating to hear real stories about post-grads. Thanks so much for posting!
  • loveblueloveblue Registered User Posts: 437 Member
    colcon:
    My daughter loves drawing, painting also. She is in the second year as your daughter. She have drawing,painting,sculpture, and video this semester.
    Illustration is interesting. my daughter is in cooper and they don't have a major. my daughter don't know what she want to do now.
    gouf:
    You post is helpful to me also. Will pass to daughter to make sure she take the critiques seriously. She maybe already did but give a nice reminder is nice.
  • SudsieSudsie Registered User Posts: 494 Member
    I'm following this thread with interest, as d wants to go into game design. She is looking in the northeast and looknig at various types of programs from game design to animation to liberal arts with focus on game design. With some of these she'd clearly need to do focused graduate work before she'd be able to get a job in industry.

    You may want to see the gamepro magazine/princeton review top 10 listing of game design programs--they put out a new one every year.

    Top Undergraduate Schools for Video Game Design
  • taxguytaxguy Registered User Posts: 6,625 Senior Member
    Sudsie, If your daughter wants game design, I would recommend that she do an undergrad in animation and take come programming classes. Afterwards, she should consider applying to Carnegie Melon's Masters in Entertainment Technology program.
  • gouf78gouf78 Registered User Posts: 5,306 Senior Member
    Colcon--yes, D is working in animation (yea!) and very happy. Actually her roommate who majored in illustration is working at an animation studio also! There are so many facets to the business of art that it is hard to comprehend.
    Someone earlier posted how their son didn't want to work at a big studio because you end up working on one facet of a project and that is true. Animation jobs can be very segmented--story, layout, art, texturing, modeling, lighting, rendering, the list goes on. This is not a bad thing...artists take pride in what they do best, love what they do, and get to work on grand projects seen by millions of people.
    The job list can be filled by other artists--not just those in animation (modeling, some character design etc., the computer whiz). Some positions are filled by those who didn't even go to school--the self-taught person who just has the "knack". More and more it seems though that "the whiz" can get crossed off the interview list--even Pixar (the proverbial start-up) seems to depend more on traditional methods of finding employees. Every resume does needs that all important "reel" to show your stuff.

    Illustration major observations (very limited! and only my opinion) for success--
    The successful ones have a great sense of business. They know their art is also a career and proceed in that direction.
    They have a brain for numbers (time spent on project vs income) and a "gonna go for it" attitude (this works everywhere in the business world but some artists just miss the gene).
    Though they can be perfectionists in their work, they also know when it's time to quit (I hesitate to say "good enough" but it's true).
    They meet deadlines (relates to the "good enough") for work completion from clients and employers (translate professor is needed).
    Takes direction or input gracefully without ego...(from employer)......Man is that hard!
    Researches employment opportunities and follow up on them. (while in school this means grants and interships).
  • pumpkinkingpumpkinking Registered User Posts: 81 Junior Member
    OP, depending on the program, both general game design and animation programs can be very similar in what you will be trained to do. Both areas have similar pipelines that will require artists/illustrators for character/asset design and concept art. On the 3D side, pipeline tasks will be very similar also - pipeline setup, modeling, texturing, rigging, animation, and lighting. While in film and animation areas like effects, simulation (muscle, cloth, hair, etc), and shading are still the realm of technical artists, in games all that is something that is set up by the programmers in the game engine.
    I don't know how much programming a game design degree usually covers, but I doubt it is likely as in depth as a computer science degree. Possibly for scripting in game events, cut scenes, etc?
    One area a game degree would lack is the film making and storytelling aspect of an animation degree. That would prepare you for jobs in story boarding, editing, layout, camera, etc.

    So to answer your question, either degree should get you into either field. The specializations are quite numerous so you will want to decide on something to really rock at while in school. Be aware that some specializations may only exist in the game pipeline, and same with animation/film.

    Just a note - it does seem to be easier to make the jump from film/animation to video games than the other way around, especially if one is interested in character animation. This is due to the limitations of game engines these days, compared to the quality and finesse required for animation and visual effects.

    Regarding game design programs, it is probably better to find a program that is more geared toward either the art/asset creation side or the programming side. Unless you are working for a small startup or cell phone game company, it is unlikely that you will be doing both on the job. Knowing both sides though will probably help you move higher up the food chain if you aspire to lead design positions.

    For 3D software, as a general rule, learn Maya for film, 3DSMax for games. For 2D software, Photoshop/Gimp for both. Composition software such as Nuke for film, After Effects for tv/commercials.
    Art-wise, focus your art studies on the area that is most closely related to the area you would like to pursue:
    animation - life drawing, gesture, animal drawing, human/animal anatomy, acting, improv
    rigging - life drawing, anatomy, programming, math
    human/creature modeling - sculpture, anatomy
    asset/inorganic modeling - sculpture, drafting, programming, anatomy
    camera/layout - film, cinematography, photography, composition
    stage/set dressing - composition, cinematography, film
    texturing/shading - painting, color, programming, modeling
    lighting - painting, color, cinematography, photography, film
    compositing - composition, color, cinematography, film
    effects/simulation - composition, animation, programming, math

    Smaller game/vfx/animation companies may combine many of the above into one, larger companies may have even more specialized tasks such as fur/hair, water, motion graphics, graphic designers, etc.

    Most of the above are related to asset/shot creation however, in which you are problem solving and executing a vision that already exists. If what you are more interested in doing is the preliminary designing and brainstorming and the beginning of the process - character design, game/film story design, story boarding, art direction, color design - that is all done in 2D, then you should consider instead pursuing an illustration/conceptual art degree.

    Regarding AAU, I just know they are not cheap. However they are located near the companies in the Northern California area and graduates often go on to find jobs with companies in the area because of the school's proximity.

    There are a few other cheaper schools in the area that have fairly good reputations - CCA and SJSC off the top of my head. And Southern California has even more. If what you want to do is character animation, I do read online that many students pursue more advanced training either post schooling or concurrently at places such as Animation Mentor because the original degree is just too broad in covering a little bit in every area.
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