Discussion in 'Design and Graphics' started by fivetoadsloth, Apr 16, 2007.

  1. fivetoadsloth macrumors 65816


    Aug 15, 2006
    I recognize on this board that there are many very good and talented graphic artists, animators etc. I am planning on becomming a graphic artist, computer animator "When I grow up" (Im a freshman) with a *Goal* though maybe not realistic of working for a film studio (Pixar, Dreamworks..) Or something of that sort. For school sometime we have to see our counselors and make a career plan so could people recommend different colleges?
    I'd plan at around 6-8 years of college, is that true, recommended?
  2. ATD macrumors 6502a

    Sep 25, 2005
    That's 2 fields of study. Graphic Design you can learn just about anywhere. But if you want to be a animator in the movies that's a different story. There are 2 schools I could suggest.

    One is Cal Arts

    A school founded by Disney and they do pick up many people from here to work at Disney/Pixar.

    The other is the Gnomon School

    This schools focus is toward computer animation and visual effects. Heavy focus on Maya.

  3. morphineseason macrumors regular

    Apr 1, 2007
    The only advice I can offer is that you make sure you take advantage of campus visits, and ask lots of questions. Find out what the graphic design program is like at the college you're thinking about. I made the mistake of signing up for the graphic design program at a local community college (2 year program) and it was a complete nightmare. Just to give you an idea, here's my little story:

    I wanted to do more computer-oriented design, and the teacher I had basically told us not to use computers. One of the classes I took, aptly named "Graphic Design I", was a class where we would get 1 or 2 projects every week, and they were all "think outside of the box" type projects. One of our first projects consisted of cutting out hundreds of black squares from construction paper with an xacto knife and gluing them in different formations that would represent the principles of graphic design. On top of doing the actual cutting, we were to sketch out a certain number of ideas in a sketchpad (I think it was something like 8 sketches for each principle). As if the project didn't sound annoying and tedious enough, the teacher wanted everything to be cut precisely using rulers and took points off for even the slightest of glue marks left behind.

    As you can guess, the projects that came to follow didn't get any better. Each one got more ridiculous than the last. Even on projects that left room for computer-aided design, the teacher would advise against it. They corrected me when I went to resize some images on photoshop and advised that I actually take the images to a photocopier and zoom in or zoom out on that. Can someone tell me how that would be more efficient? Not only is it a waste of time, but also a waste of paper. Anyways, I finally just dropped all the classes. I got absolutely zero enjoyment out of any of it and I planned on changing majors at the end of the semester anyways, so I figured why waste my time when I'm already wasting my money.

    I'm curious if every graphic design program is like this (maybe someone can confirm this?). I probably wouldn't mind trying it again somewhere else if the program was geared more towards what I want to do. For now I just plan on doing it as a hobby though.
  4. ATD macrumors 6502a

    Sep 25, 2005
    LOL, that's all I did for a BA, I got my degree before the age of the computer. From what I understand most good schools will teach a balance of designing by hand and computer skills. Learning computer skills is not the same as learning graphic design. Graphic design is a discipline that's been around for 100s of years, computers are just a new tool used in design, nothing more.
  5. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Jul 4, 2004

    Likewise... those exercises are about teaching you how to see and how to think visually. Also about taking a methodical and precise approach to constructing work. That is how design is learned, not about how to use Photoshop.

    You haven't yet suffered the torture of designing an entire character set, punctuation and all, by compass, curves, ruling pen and ink.

    </tired old dog>
  6. morphineseason macrumors regular

    Apr 1, 2007
    That's understandable. I have no problem with designing by hand, as long as it involves pen/pencil/etc. and paper; not an entire arts and crafts project. I just refuse to waste my time on outdated methods. The same teacher I have even admitted that there's only one business in my area that publishes things by hand (that was when she wasn't reminding us every day that graphic design jobs are extremely hard to come by and that we'd probably have to move out of the area to find a decent job). This is the age of computers and that's what I want to build my craft around.

    Obviously I must have been uneducated on the field when going into it and that was a mistake on my part, I'm just sharing my experience here so someone else doesn't make the same mistake, because just like you said, animation/film are very different than graphic design.
  7. hessdesigns macrumors member

    Sep 14, 2006
    I'm currently attending Ex'pression College ( in Emeryville, CA. I'm going there for Motion Graphic Design, but we also have Animation and Game Design programs as well. The school is located about 5 mins. away from Pixar, and we have a very good relationship with them. If you have any questions about the school, feel free to PM me.
  8. iMeowbot macrumors G3


    Aug 30, 2003
    Those strange little outdated exercises, right down to cutting up little bits of paper, can still be directly relevant to modern designs, even in computer animation.
  9. 7on macrumors 601


    Nov 9, 2003
    Dress Rosa
    Yes. It's pretty much cutting out little bits of paper or painting tiny, tiny mosaic squares. Everyone in my class pretty much had to learn most of the software themselves. Of course if a student was having difficulty doing something the professor was more than happy to help, but more or less we had to fend for ourselves (all while gluing little piece of paper together :p)

    Hey, I graduate in 17 days :D
  10. TheAtwookie macrumors newbie

    Apr 1, 2007
    Lubbock, TX
    You might also check out Mass Communications / Communications colleges/schools at the universities you're thinking of. They'll focus a lot of using the technological tools available to create ads, psa's, Web sites, etc., along with all the stuff that goes with it.

    Our major like that is called Electronic Media & Communication. It's very graphic design-esque.

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