PhD in Computer Animation?


#1

So I was searching and seems that only 1 school in the world has a PHD in computer animation and thats BourneMouth University in the UK.(Im not looking to get a PHD but would be great to get one after my masters)Does anyone know if this is the only one still?


#2

Texas A&M offers a PhD through their Visualization Science program (which isn’t specifically only Computer Animation but is very related).

http://vvvvvv.viz.tamu.edu/


#3

There’s really no specific PhD in computer animation. Most research done in computer animation is normally done by those with a computer science background. Even at Texas A&M you are required to have some kind of computer science background to even apply to the program. Other programs which do a lot of heavy duty computer graphics research include Carnegie Mellon University, Cornell University, Stanford University, University of Washington, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, etc. There’s a ton of computer science programs out there that do tons of research in computer animation, but I’m not sure if this is what you’re looking for.


#4

What is your career goal? I’m curious about the PHD route. I don’t think I’ve met anyone with a Masters let alone the PHD. Just curious so maybe we can point you in the right direction.


#5

well It a long time I even get a masters.Im sure by then the industry will have grown and be to much competition so might have to


#6

I think you would want to spend your time actually working on your stuff. Getting better, practicing. Having a better paper degree won’t really help. Bachelor’s for sure, but after that, I don’t know if it would help.

Is there anything you specifically want to do? Games/film? Animation? FX?

Ah just saw Mr. Positive’s post. Yes I’d agree about that for sure. Interested in teaching now myself after Tron, but need the degree :confused:


#7

There are tons of Master’s degrees in Computer Animation. We have had one for 10 years and there are 3 more within 50 miles of here. We can debate all day on the merits of needing it, but try teaching at the collegiate level full time (in the US at least) without one. :slight_smile:


#8

It sounds like he was in the process of going back to school to get his Masters based upon his first post and he was just asking if there were any other PhD computer animation program besides the one at Bournemouth University in the UK.


#9

o no no Im going for my BS just considering if I want to pursue a PHD in Computer Animation after my masters in Game Design or a related field. Id be called a comp animation doctor lol. Just think its cool. I just love learning and doing projects alot so yea.


#10

Seriously, the only reason you’d ever get a PhD in this field is to be a Tenured Professor for the rest of your career. If that’s what you want, then go for it!


#11

A PhD is good if you want to work in a research department or work at a University. A PhD doesn’t mean you’re restricted to certain positions, it just opens up a few new ones which are more research oriented.

As a Professor, you have the opportunity to travel to other Universities to give talks and to work with other researchers. Which is all paid for thanks to research grants (which you have to apply for). You work on researching new techniques, work on several projects, publish papers, and of course teach classes. I was a research assistant and saw this first hand. The Professor I worked with was out of the country or in another state at least every month giving talks at Universities and working with other researchers. He also gave talks at conferences about the research we were working on. He’s basically paid to research and teach what he is most interested in and has a ton of knowledge in.

I think you should pursue that graduate degree only if you are sure you have good reasons to. Here are links to last year’s SIGGRAPH with people who presented stuff about character animation:

http://www.siggraph.org/s2009/sessions/technical_papers/details/?type=papers&id=41
http://www.siggraph.org/s2009/sessions/technical_papers/details/?type=papers&id=48

Here are some stuff centered around games:

http://www.siggraph.org/s2009/sessions/game_papers/index.php

Take note that most, if not all, researchers are Professors in computer science with students who also are pursuing a graduate degree in computer science. If you’re not going for a computer science degree to study the technical aspects of animation, then it might be a waste of time for you.


#12

sounds like a great retirement plan :slight_smile:


#13

It does sound good, but there’s always a bad side to things. And you’re not exactly pursuing that technical degree, so it might be a bad idea in your case. Not trying to discourage you in any way, but going for a PhD is a big thing.


#14

If you want to get a good solid job at one of the big studios, Master’s or PHD is a safer route. I have seen tons of people with advanced degrees from prestigious schools at the big studios. Usually the smaller companies and some sweat-shops (unfortunately there are many) may not care what degree you have as they are more focussed towards a shorter-term goal, but larger studios tend to hire people for longer term as they are more research oriented.


#15

having a masters or phd in animation isn’t a safer route to getting a solid job at any big or small studio. unless maybe if it’s geared towards the more technical side of things, but even for that it’s still not a guarantee…say if your grades were all just borderline passing. :smiley:


#16

Yes, it’s true, I’ve seen people with advanced degrees at the big studios as well. But in research type roles.

So it really depends on what you want to do in this industry. If you want to do research, then by all means go for it. But if you want to be lets say…a cloth/hair TD then no need for the PHD :wink:


#17

having a masters or phd in animation isn’t a safer route to getting a solid job at any big or small studio. unless maybe if it’s geared towards the more technical side of things, but even for that it’s still not a guarantee…say if your grades were all just borderline passing.

But if you want to be lets say…a cloth/hair TD then no need for the PHD

I totally agree, but if you are that interested in a specific field, get the best education possible out there, then enter the industry. You will be more safe, get safer jobs, won’t have to make your way up working at sweatshops. Times are tough and competition is fierce. Most of the animation jobs involve sound computer/technical knowledge. Even if you are artistic, your technical skills you learn at a Bachelors/Masters/PHD will help you during the tough times. Usually for Arts, MFAs are considered to be the terminal degrees. There won’t be many PHD programs in Arts, if there are, they have to be pretty technical I think.


#18

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