posibility of doing phd in 3d animation

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  06 June 2009
Originally Posted by Artbot: On the other hand, it would be a crack-up to have a dinner party where one of your guests is choking on a chicken bone and someone says, "Is there a doctor in the house?!" and you would be able to answer "yes" to that question.

And still not know what to do
  06 June 2009
Originally Posted by rashi: im currently studying to get to the computer engineering faculty in my university

so i would like to know is there any possibility that i can do my higher studies(masters/phd)i 3d animation?

Generally an animation degree is a Fine Art degree so the terminal degree in the field is typically an MFA. Many schools offer an MFA in animation if you so desire and can give you a good grounding in film-making following your degree in CE.

However, if you are interested in a PhD, that would be a terminal degree in something like computer science/engineering. With a specialization in graphics or graphics animation, ideally you would be writing/submitting papers for siggraph, developing new cg techniques and solutions, and probably becoming highly desirable to top studios.

It all depends on what your ultimate goal is.
  06 June 2009
Of course, it all depends on what you want to do with your life. Do you want to be a researcher/teacher or work in industry? We just started a PhD for New Media, but it is heavily research based. You could probably slant 3D graphics with uncanny valley, virtual reality, virtual worlds, cellular, physics based CG research, or even engineering research. It sounds insane, but there are people (even a former ILM artist) salivating trying to get into this degree. Why? Because, there is possibly no 'better job' in the world than being a tenured professor (#1 overall job in Forbes...and no I'm not tenured). Phd professors teach 1-2 classes a year, get a 6 month paid sabbatical every 3 years, around a 6 figure salary, and are basically untouchable (though you have to deliver on the grant side of things). With a Phd, you basically have a job for life as universities, especially in this economic climate, are clamoring to increase their terminal degree (non MFA) percentage stats for federal funding. After saying all that, if there is any inkling of you wanting to work in the industry, then I'd have to question your sanity. A PhD is usually 3 to 4 years of intense studies, that requires extraordinary writing abilities, a creative mind at an elite level, peer reviews like you've never seen, an insane amount of money, and very little actual 3D work I would presume (mostly writing and mathematics for CG research). If you want a more arts based terminal degree, then I'd suggest the MFA actually and not a Phd. Just know exactly what you want to do, before you make any rash decisions.

Last edited by MrPositive : 09 September 2009 at 04:09 AM.
  06 June 2009
Originally Posted by Per-Anders: Did it work?

Only time will tell.
  06 June 2009
Originally Posted by Per-Anders: Errmm... what principle exactly? Did it work?

I've got to agree. Dropping out to work halfway through school is one thing but dropping out right before the finish isn't a very desirable trait on a CV without a really awesome excuse ("Pixar needed me NOW").

As for the PhD in 3d animation, what Leigh and SheepFactory said. Someone who started with a certificate or an AA degree has a five-six year head start on you when it comes to finding work and getting real production experience. They could be making a high five/low six figure salary as a senior or a lead by the time you graduate and try to get your first job with six figures worth of debt.
The Reanimator's Podcast: Three games industry animators that occasionally record a podcast about animation, video games and other nerd media.
  06 June 2009
Originally Posted by switchblade327: I've got to agree. Dropping out to work halfway through school is one thing but dropping out right before the finish isn't a very desirable trait on a CV without a really awesome excuse ("Pixar needed me NOW").

I asked for an exemption to do an independent study in place of my last requirement. They didn't give it to me, so I left.

College isn't just about the degree. There aren't many other places where you can hang with people from a variety of different areas of study. I would imagine if you are getting your PhD, MFA, etc. you have an additional chance to learn from people doing everything from architecture to fashion... and play more beer pong.

As for me... well, don't worry about me.

Last edited by Paul McLaughlin : 06 June 2009 at 11:23 PM.
  06 June 2009
Just my two cents: you CAN get a job in the industry with a PHD.

I used to work at a University research lab focusing on CG and virtual reality research. A lot of the alumni ended up working for EA, Dreamworks, Sony etc. So they ARE in the industry... Of course most of them work on developing new tools: some of them linked to a specific production, come in the R&D department.

It is a very interesting part of CG as you deal with the latest state of the art techniques: stuff that isn't used commercially yet. So you see the development of CG and where things are going etc. But then it's not pure production...

So as a lot of people said: it all depends on what you want to do...

In any case: good luck in pursuing whatever career you choose!
"At midnight, I'll turn into a pumpkin and drive away in my glass slipper." (Roman Holiday)
My blog
  06 June 2009
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Last edited by leigh : 06 June 2009 at 03:41 PM.
  06 June 2009
thanks guys
now i have at least a fair knowledge how stuff go in cg industry

and i would really like to research stuff so i dont think trying for phd is bad idea, but i think i will have to get good results in university and get a scholarship(i hope if it is possible)and go abroad and do higher studies

but i would also like to do 3d modeling so i have to improve my skills to get a good job

and i cannot give up uni and go for fulltime freelance job ,i just dnt knw wat to do hard to make a clear decision
  06 June 2009

hi rashiga

i'm a sri lankan who works in japan as a freelance artist. Me too faced the same problem when i was in sri lanka. When it comes to professional CG training u really don't get much of a choice in sri lanka. I also have never heard of 3D PHD but u can always go for a BFA, MFA. here's link for one of them.


But small piece of advice when it comes to getting a job, more than a degree a strong focus show reel that shows ur unique talent would really work most of the time.

keep in touch
Best regards
  06 June 2009
hi shehan its really nice to meet you specially a fellow sri lankan working as a freelancer in abroad yea now i have realized that its only about the talent when it comes to cg but even learning in a top uni in cg is way too expensive for me so the only option to me is to make use of the free education given in sl
  06 June 2009
Originally Posted by Paul McLaughlin: Yeah, but that college is full of nerds.

Do you want poindexter on your beer pong team... NO.

you don't really go to university or college to have fun, the first aim is to learn something
  06 June 2009
A place you might consider is the digital arts and experimental media program at the University of Washington. They have a pHD program, and so if you are truly interested in pursuing one it is an option.

  06 June 2009
I really really value the Master's degree I got in animation. I'm very happy with the path I took, and wouldn't change anything if I had to do it all over again.

I went to University at Buffalo, a public school in NY, for my undergrad. I started out as a computer science major, but was a bit bored with straight up CS, so I wound up double majoring in CS and Digital Media production. I got a really extensive programming background, while getting a decent start on digital graphics... a bit of Maya, OpenGL programming, VR, 2d stuff, etc. Then I went to NYU's CADA for my MS in animation, and got a good generalist background while concentrating on TD work.

Moving to NYC and getting my MS at NYU opened up a LOT of doors for me. It helps to be in an area that has a lot of production work going on, and all of the teachers at school were working artists. The networking we got out of grad school was invaluable. Networking is just as important as a good reel, if not more so.

Originally Posted by Morlankey: I'm sure I've seen a few animations which were a major part of a thesis. You have to be a bit creative, it can't be just a 3D animation (how is that research?) but maybe it could be related to virtual reality, new dynamic solvers, faster rendering algorithms, etc.

Not true, our thesis projects were just straight up animation pieces. The only requirements are that the project supports your specialty and that there's some artisitic creativity behind it. Can't just be purely technical.
  07 July 2009
Have you looked at working in India?

Hi there,

Have you considered working in the 3D industry in India? I'm from India (I live in the US now) and I do know that the 3D industry has exploded over the last few years. A lot of kids are going into animation now. There have also been quite a few collaborations between US and Indian animation studios. All that considered, you might want to consider applying to some of the animation houses in India. Since it is a newer field there, you would have a better chance of standing out, especially if you work on developing your skills and demo reel on your own free time.

I completely understand the do not want to be engineer thing . Thankfully things are changing slowly, but for a majority of people it is still the "either be a doctor or an engineer" mentality. Good luck!
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