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Graphic Design degree or Animation master?

alexandraeacalexandraeac Registered User Posts: 4 New Member
Hello everyone,

I am a Venezuelan current Graphic Design Student who has always dreamed to go USA and find a job as animator in any company specially Disney, Pixar or Dreamworks.

I am hoping you can give me some advice of what should I do or what do you think is the best. I'll explain my situation:

I am studying graphic design because Venezuela doesn't have any animation, or digital art degree; so before I was thinking to transfer and finish my degree in USA and then have a master in animation but due to financial cost I wont be able to do so. So I have planned to transfer to an USA university and finish my degree or finish it in Venezuela and then go and have a master in animation.

I do not have too much experience in animation (only REALLY basic and self-taught concepts) so that is why I want to have some study about it, and I will need scholarships to help me pay my studies.

I will be really grateful is you leave a comment or advice of what you think is the best or any other ideas you have and think may work.

Thank you so much for reading it.
Post edited by alexandraeac on

Replies to: Graphic Design degree or Animation master?

  • RedUmbrellaRedUmbrella Registered User Posts: 89 Junior Member
    In my mind, it depends on your interests. Are you more interested in advertising products, goods, etc., or do you prefer telling stories?

    However, I don't think its an either-or situation. Animators can and have come from a variety of majors, including drawing, illustration and yes, graphic design. Actually, seeing as the majority of graphic design is done on computers these days, it might give you an edge if you're interested in CGI/3D animation.

    If you have the money, you can get that Masters. However, if you have a set budget, a graphic design major won't prevent you from going into animation later on if that's what you want.
  • alexandraeacalexandraeac Registered User Posts: 4 New Member
    Thank you for comment :))

    Maybe I didn't explained good enough, I REALLY want to find a job as animator but because financial costs I had to study graphic design in my country, though I still like it is not the same. So my question is: Will it be a good idea to get a master in animation or just take some courses in USA due I don't have great animation skills and it would get harder for e to get a job if I have no experience.

    Thank you :))
  • MadaboutxMadaboutx Registered User Posts: 1,592 Senior Member
    Talent is what will make or break you in the field.

    Personally, I would say come to USA and change major from graphic design to animation. The reason is because you say yourself that your animation skills are rudimentary. They may not be good enough to get into a good masters program later. The other reason is that graphic design in Venezuela may not be the same as graphic design in USA. You won't know if your graphic design skills are on par with American designers until its too late.

    I'm not being a snob about this either so please don't take it that way. I travelled to other countries and have seen engineers and physicians trained in other countries that lack the skill of American engineers and physicians. It wasn't due to a lack of ability or intelligence, just a matter of training and resources.

    I say come here and get the best of the best the USA has to offer. Pixar and Disney don't hire from every college. You need to find out where they recruit from and attend those colleges.
  • alexandraeacalexandraeac Registered User Posts: 4 New Member
    Thank you for your reply!
  • digmediadigmedia Registered User Posts: 3,304 Senior Member
    I posted this many years ago on this forum. I think it's very interesting.

    From Pixar:
    We do not judge potential candidates on the basis of the school they attended (or didn’t) and therefore do not recommend any particular school(s). As much as we would like to keep on the forefront of universities offering animation and/or computer visualization programs, we do not know the details of all programs. We have listed schools that offer courses in animation but please know that this is simply a list. If your school is not on our list, this does not mean that you are unqualified to apply to Pixar.

    We look at your work first, typically in the form of a videotaped reel. If the reel shows mastery or great potential in the area(s) of animation, lighting, modeling, or writing shaders, we then look at the resume to see your background and experience.

    In choosing an animation related school, look for one that focuses on traditional skills, drawing, painting, sculpture, cinematography. Ask the school how they will help you build an effective portfolio of your work: not merely a collection of your assignments, but a well developed presentation of your unique point of view, and your technical skills. Also ask the school how well integrated their theatre and film departments are with their 2D and 3D art departments.

    Learn enough about computer graphics to know how they work in general. Look for a school that has not substituted electronic arts for traditional (or vice versa). Ask them about how they balance the two. Avoid just learning packages of software. Today’s packages will be replaced several times during your school career, and many studios use proprietary software that you cannot learn in school anyway. Learn enough to know you can learn it, but concentrate on the more expressive traditional skills.
  • pumpkinkingpumpkinking Registered User Posts: 81 Junior Member
    Animationmentor.com, iAnimate, The Art Department, AnimSchool, and more all offer non-degree animation programs or a la carte courses online and taught by industry professionals.

    If you don't have the funds or are not trying to get a student visa to take a shot at getting into the USA to work later, these may be good options to look into further.
  • taxguytaxguy Registered User Posts: 6,625 Senior Member
    OK, listen up. I have learned a LOT about the animation field since my daughter attended a grad program in Computer Art with an animation concentration. We did a lot of research in the field before she applied to grad school. She is now working at a large studio.Animation isn't just one field or require one set of skills. Today, Animators concentrate on an aspect of the animation pipeline. The key is to find out what you like and what you are good in. An animation project, which it be a movie,, game or commercial uses the following specialists: character animators, riggers, modelers, concept artists, lighters, texturers and skinners, special effects,which include specialists in particles and dynamics, hair and fur and well as other areas in dynamics such as smoke and water experts etc.

    MY recommendation is to seek a general program that gives you training in all of these areas either as an undergrad or through a one year broad based program and then go on to further specialize in a field in the animation pipeline through either a grad degree or a good certificate program. I will assure you that you might think you will love part of the pipeline such as character animation, but you will probably change your mind once you get training in each area of the pipeline and see what each area entails.
  • 1Tortoise21Tortoise2 Registered User Posts: 9 New Member
    This commercial illustrates the point taxguy is making (I have no connection to the advertiser, I just like the commercial) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a5abtmwuo1s
  • taxguytaxguy Registered User Posts: 6,625 Senior Member
    edited October 2015
    I have started a thread that you need to read called, "Everything that you need to know if you want to be an animator."
    Please read through the following thread: http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/visual-arts-film-majors/1817820-everything-that-you-need-to-know-if-you-want-to-be-an-animator.html
This discussion has been closed.