“The Future of Computer Animation Education” by Falk, Havoras, Scaduto-Mendola, Joel, Pepi, et al. …

  • ©Rachel Falk, Perry Havoras, Raffaele Scaduto-Mendola, William J. Joel, Lorelei Pepi, and Steve Weiss




    The Future of Computer Animation Education




    In the last few years, many institutions of higher education have begun to offer programs in computer animation. Programs have sprung from computer science, traditional animation, fine arts and film departments. Today hundreds of schools in the U.S. and abroad offer programs in computer animation. Yet despite the variety of programs available – or perhaps because of it – there is widespread concern about the current state of computer animation education.

    There appears to be little consensus about which core artistic and technical skills a computer animator should possess upon graduation, and few trusted means of assessment beyond the all-important demo reel. Despite a growing market overall, some students graduating from current programs find themselves unable to obtain paid professional employment, and hiring managers report that they must sort through hundreds of demo reels before finding a single qualified applicant. These problems effect students, academics and professionals, as well as the industry as a whole. However, there is little available research to offer guidance on which approaches work well and which do not.

    We are proposing a SIGGRAPH forum on these issues in order to bring into the open several controversial topics. These include the appropriate balance and sequence of artistic and technical courses. These topics are usually discussed in isolation by professional animators, faculty and students. However, we feel that a public forum addressing these issues would be productive, and interesting to a wide variety of participants.


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