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View Full Version : Animation MFA Dilemma...OSU or RIT? Very difficult decision.


KCRoss42
03-26-2012, 06:24 PM
edit: have deleted this post because I'm not sure if I entered too much information...

taxguy
03-27-2012, 04:59 PM
OSU is definitely not known for its animation offerings. RIT is a rising program that has a LOT more to offer and a lot more choices. Interestingly, their School of Imaging Art,which , houses the Animation program is among the toughest program to get accepted to at RIT.

Karen, free is always nice, which is what you are getting at OSU, but you will need the strongest skills possible if you are going to compete in the animation world, although I do feel that you could get a job right now as a 2d animator. As much as I appreciate free tuition,Free tuition is worthless , in my opinion, if you don't get strong skill training and a decent demo reel. Afer all, what are you going to school for? RIT will, in my opinion, give you stronger training and offer you a lot more offerings. RIT has a very strong program in both 2d and 3d and a lot of offerings in each area. This becomes particularly true if you thrive on structure.


My daughter also got into RIT MFA program and has the opposite background to you. She majored in Digital Design at University of Cincinnati and has taken a number of courses in 3d; however, her traditional animation training is lacking since her major was in design and not a fine art discipline. She also got a bit less money than you per year. She only got 9K per year. Knowing what I do about OSU, I would take RIT over them due to their tremendous amount of offerings. Just curious, why didn't you apply to schools such as SVA or SCAD or even USC? In fact, I am surprised that you didn't apply to Gnomon School of Visual Effects. They may not provide an MFA but are among the best 3d schools in the world. My daughter took some online courses with them and was very impressed.

My daughter, by the way, also thrives more on structure or she would have just used videos.

One more question, did you get into the 2d or 3d program at RIT?

Also, I LOVED your demo reel and now know why you got such high offers from schools. If you do attend RIT , as I have recommended, PM me. I will send you my daughter's name and web site which she posted her portfolio. You two can connect. Also, if you do attend RIT, you should decide quickly since the better appartments will be taken if you wait too long. Trust me: You don't want to stay in the RIT hotel that they bought as dorms.

Finally, I will say to you what I said to my daughter. Regardless of the school that you attend, do try to get both 3d and 2d offerings to become a well rounded animator.Thus, if your main concentration is 2d. take some 3d courses. If , like my daughter, your main concentration is 3d, take some 2d courses.

KCRoss42
03-29-2012, 02:47 AM
Hello Taxguy,

Thanks for the detailed response! :)

OSU actually does have much to offer in terms of 3D- these are the courses taught at the ACCAD building, where the DAIM (Digital Animation and Interactive Media) program is located:

http://accad.osu.edu/academics/courses.html

Pixar and Dreamworks also come and recruit from the DAIM program annually. Here is some of the student work, including research projects and animated shorts, among others:

http://accad.osu.edu/researchmain/gallery/most-recent.html

One of my favorite pieces is "The Games I Made Up," an Aftereffects animation by Mary Twohig. I was told that she's interning at Pixar now, I think.

I actually ended up not applying to the other schools you mentioned because at the time I was dead set on going to RIT, and I was hopeful that I'd be accepted because I was previously accepted there for undergrad (even though I ended up not going there.) I was also sold by it being only 4.5 hours away, as opposed to 13+ hours (SCAD) or across the country...even though I may end up in California after school. I think I could have done more research and applied to more schools. I looked up Gnomon, it looks awesome! I might look into taking an online course if they offer them.

My concern about RIT is that some of the courses are ones that I have taken an equivalent of in undergrad- I got an excellent undergraduate education at Edinboro- although, like I said, I feel like I can always be improving. I got accepted into the 2D program at RIT. I just don't know if I want to go into $100,000 of debt. My main interest is in 2D, so I definitely want to learn 3D to become more well rounded. If there's one thing I learned in NY, it's that the more versatile you are, the more opportunities you have to get hired. I think if I go to OSU and find that it doesn't offer absolutely everything I want, I would be ok taking an online course- or even a continuing ed course separate from the college- to learn what I need to learn. I even heard about a continuing ed course at the Columbus School of Art and Design that's an animal drawing course. I would see it as a chance to further my skills and continue to self-learn, while learning 3D and doing thesis projects, and research projects.

Believe me, this is one of the most difficult decisions I've ever had to make. The financial aspect plays a big part, but in doing a lot of research, a lot of different factors come into the decision. I've actually talked numerous times about this in the last few days, including a counselor- and it's looking like OSU is the school I'm going to.

I'm glad you liked my demo reel, thank you!! :) And thank you for the advice about RIT and the apartments, and everything. I really appreciate you offering advice and opinions. I hope you daughter has a great time at RIT.

taxguy
03-29-2012, 04:24 PM
First, I looked that the course offerings at OSU. Although they did look good, there weren't nearly as many course choices as that of RIT.

Also, and this could be crucial for you: You do NOT get a degree. Here is what OSU says in its FAQ: "Since ACCAD is a research center we do not offer a degree but instead offer both course offerings and research opportunities for students enrolled in programs throughout the University"

If you ever plan on teaching, this could be a major problem for you. You are limiting yourself this way. Please consider this.

I also think that your 2d work is certainly mature enough as to not require more training in it. Frankly, I think you should aim for more of a 3d concentration in order to balance you out.

However, I certainly wish you well. Good luck at OSU. I was there for a semester as part of an exchange program years ago,and it was a fun, wild place.

gawl126
03-29-2012, 04:48 PM
Also, and this could be crucial for you: You do NOT get a degree. Here is what OSU says in its FAQ: "Since ACCAD is a research center we do not offer a degree but instead offer both course offerings and research opportunities for students enrolled in programs throughout the University"

I think you misunderstood this. ACCAD is not a degree program, it's just a collaborative effort for interdisciplinary courses and research. There are degree programs within the school who are affiliated with ACCAD:

"Students studying at ACCAD must first be accepted and enrolled in an Ohio State degree program. Programs that are closely aligned with ACCAD through their specific programs are listed here, however any currently enrolled graduate student at OSU is welcome to take courses at our Center."

taxguy
03-29-2012, 05:02 PM
Gawl126: if they don't have a degree in animation or digital media, what would Karen get a degree in, particularly if it isn't related to animation? I saw no degree program that was animation or digital media centric.

To be honest, what I think OSU is doing is to get Karen to come there so they can show here demo reel as the product of what you get by coming to OSU because her 2d demo reel was great. I don't see any related major that Karen would be getting a degree in,which is maybe why the animation course offerings were so spartan.

gawl126
03-29-2012, 05:45 PM
Gawl126: if they don't have a degree in animation or digital media, what would Karen get a degree in, particularly if it isn't related to animation? I saw no degree program that was animation or digital media centric.

To be honest, what I think OSU is doing is to get Karen to come there so they can show here demo reel as the product of what you get by coming to OSU because her 2d demo reel was great. I don't see any related major that Karen would be getting a degree in,which is maybe why the animation course offerings were so spartan.

Weren't you speaking in the context that ACCAD doesn't give out a degree in general? And isn't Karen doing a MFA in Digital Animation and Interactive Media? I guess I'm a bit confused?

taxguy
03-29-2012, 06:10 PM
Weren't you speaking in the context that ACCAD doesn't give out a degree in general? And isn't Karen doing a MFA in Digital Animation and Interactive Media? I guess I'm a bit confused?

I may be a bit confused myself. However, I don't think her program leads to a degree in Digital Animation and Interactive Media. Search the OSU web site. Although they have a number of majors, I didn''t see anything related to this.

KCRoss42
03-30-2012, 04:15 AM
Just to clear up any confusion- OSU does in fact offer an MFA in animation. It's listed under the "Design" department when searching for it in the general OSU website- but here is the information about the MFA. It's listed under "Affliliated Programs," as there are a number of different MFA's available, including "Digital Animation and Interactive Media (DAIM)", "Dance and Technology," "Art and Technology," and "MS or PhD. in Computer Science and Engineering with focus in Graphics".

http://accad.osu.edu/academics/studying_at_accad/affiliated_programs.html

I do appreciate your concern Taxguy! I can assure you though, it's a very good program. The work showcased on the website is of work done by students during their time at the MFA program, and collaborative research projects done at ACCAD. I've visited and talked in depth with the chairman of the department twice now, met some of the faculty, and talked to several grad students. I'm not sure why the program at OSU isn't more well known though, considering how many successful alumni come out it: http://accad.osu.edu/people/alumni.html

Thanks again for all the responses and helpful advice, I really appreciate it!

fig
03-30-2012, 03:59 PM
A bit unrelated to the issue of the merits of different schools, but as someone who's currently helping a spouse pay off a large student loan I'd look long and hard before taking out a $100k loan to go to school. That's a LOT of money that sticks around for a long, long time when you're only making a modest salary.

To put it in practical terms, is one degree $100,000 better than the other? I'd bet it's probably not.

taxguy
03-30-2012, 08:20 PM
Now that I know that OSU has an MFA in animation. Thus, since you are getting full free ride, I think OSU is unbeatable.

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