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New CGI College Graduates

Share your views on the state of the Animation Industry.

New CGI College Graduates

Postby Dolphin78 » Tue Sep 20, 2011 1:40 pm

New topic which has bothered me for a while...

I've run into a number of young people who got their degrees in computer animation who have given up the field entirely. One opened a mailing service, another does construction and a few more I've lost track of have likely followed similar paths.

Are schools turning out too many students and the field is simply saturated? Did the field simply become too popular like some kind of employment bubble? Is there a better way?

For the kids who think animation looks like fun, I always say, "The more fun something is the less it pays and if it's too much fun, you have to pay them." Yeah, there are exceptions...



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Re: New CGI College Graduates

Postby Charles » Thu Sep 22, 2011 12:16 pm

I don't know how saturated things are concerning CG graduates, new animation talent coming into the industry from colleges, etc, but from what I can tell, some are being absorbed and some are having a tough time breaking in.

The boom in animation has been going on for some 20 years now and although the nature of production and job demands have changed significantly over what it was at the beginning of the cycle, the expansion of animation and the attraction it has on artists as both a vocation and a medium of creative expression has fueled the migration of young people to the art and industry.

Add to the mix the many schools that are aggressively marketing animation as a career and you're bound to have an overflow somewhere along the line.

I think this is happening in many areas of media. For example, I know of a long established sound editor whose credits include many top level motion pictures, and his company is struggling with people out of school who set up shop in a garage so to speak and undercut what his company would charge a studio for sound work.

I don't have data that would illustrate to what extent this is happening, but I'm sure the influx of artists recently graduated from college, universities or trade schools has something to do with the underbidding that's been going on in CG Effects for quite a long while now. The sheer volume of competition, and I'm talking about very talented and qualified individuals and groups, makes for a competitive environment. Add to it the global nature of the business and the competition gets even more intense.

Not everyone will be able to survive in this field. Maybe in the long run they'll do better in some other line of work, who knows. That's why I feel strongly about incurring a large amount of debt from student loans. Learn what you can in the most financially efficient way possible, if possible, and you won't be carrying this additional pressure on your back as you go through life.
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Re: New CGI College Graduates

Postby Charles » Fri Sep 23, 2011 1:33 am

And even with the numbers of people looking to break into the industry, it continues to grow. There's animation activity in more and more remote locations. The business communication I had today was along these very lines. Brought this topic to mind.

Add to the mix the accessibility of animation technology and there's even more people being attracted to it.

It wasn't that long ago at all when the expense of hardware and software capable of producing high end animation was still prohibitively expensive. It's more affordable now than ever before, and much more powerful for the money.

It's a double edged sword. Animation continues to expand. We've yet to see it level off. As it does, it will continue to attract students who want to learn and do things with it.
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Re: New CGI College Graduates

Postby Dolphin78 » Sat Sep 24, 2011 2:29 pm

Charles wrote:.
I think this is happening in many areas of media. For example, I know of a long established sound editor whose credits include many top level motion pictures, and his company is struggling with people out of school who set up shop in a garage so to speak and undercut what his company would charge a studio for sound work.

I don't have data that would illustrate to what extent this is happening, but I'm sure the influx of artists recently graduated from college, universities or trade schools has something to do with the underbidding that's been going on in CG Effects for quite a long while now. The sheer volume of competition, and I'm talking about very talented and qualified individuals and groups, makes for a competitive environment. Add to it the global nature of the business and the competition gets even more intense.

Not everyone will be able to survive in this field. Maybe in the long run they'll do better in some other line of work, who knows. That's why I feel strongly about incurring a large amount of debt from student loans.



A number of factors come to mind. As you mentioned, the audio "garage mixer" who has Pro-tools is certainly there. That one started quite a few years ago for mixers. Now, anyone with a few hundred dollars in computer gear and software can at least try to take a bite of the lower end of the market. Used to be the cost of yearly maintenance on a single proc SGI or 3D software was more than a very powerful, fully tricked out studio is now. Now, we have what used to be a million+ dollar production room in a $1,000 box (very little exaggeration there!). Gotta love progress, but as with audio case, it has its down side for a number of areas of animation.

I couldn't agree more about students running up a big batch of student loans. I've seen the panic of its result before. Perhaps, the very old "journeyman" kind of training where a kid might learn the truth of whether they can make it or not while being paid, or at least not paying many thousands per year only to learn the hard way comes to mind. In reality, most of the CGI world started that way not so long ago.

Real talent, skill, strong work ethic and a good attitude will generally be able to survive. And the field is in deed still growing, so I don't want to be too pessimistic.

Internet is now world wide and part of the competitive picture. In a lot of places, a good salary is somewhere between 1/7th and 1/48th of what it is here.



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Re: New CGI College Graduates

Postby Dolphin78 » Sat Sep 24, 2011 2:54 pm

Charles wrote:And even with the numbers of people looking to break into the industry, it continues to grow. There's animation activity in more and more remote locations. The business communication I had today was along these very lines. Brought this topic to mind.

Add to the mix the accessibility of animation technology and there's even more people being attracted to it.

It wasn't that long ago at all when the expense of hardware and software capable of producing high end animation was still prohibitively expensive. It's more affordable now than ever before, and much more powerful for the money.

It's a double edged sword. Animation continues to expand. We've yet to see it level off. As it does, it will continue to attract students who want to learn and do things with it.


Lol. I agree. I could have saved some typing had I read this before responding to your first reply.

It's a bit different in big feature studios, but features and major commercials are actually a small part of the overall animation, efx and motion graphics market. The entry hurdles and barriers for major parts of the market are simply no long there nor are geographic boundaries. Fortunately, talent and experience still count.

I always dreamed of having a studio overlooking the ocean, or maybe a lake. Friends I work with these days are scattered all over the map, so I guess that dream is now possible.


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