Written by Abhineetam
MA 3D Computer Animation
Selecting your postgraduate course in Animation is not an easy task – there are many amazing courses to choose from. Having gone through the same experience recently, I know how it feels to be confused when you’re looking at similar options and having a hard time deciding which one to go for. I understand it might seem intimidating at first but if you break it down into manageable chunks, it becomes clearer.
I am currently pursuing MA 3D Computer Animation (MA3D) which is one of the three postgraduate courses offered by the National Centre for Computer Animation (NCCA). The other two courses are MA Digital Effects (MADE) and MSc Computer Animation and Visual Effects (CAVE). All three courses have quite a few things in common that make it hard to get a clear picture when selecting one of them at the beginning of choosing a Masters.
For starters, all three courses share the same animation fundamentals which include an overview of the animation pipeline and general concepts. These lessons are part of initial lectures in the first term which are given together to all the postgraduate NCCA students. All three courses have assignments that use this knowledge. Course-specific lessons are added to these fundamentals later in the year.
MA 3D Computer Animation is a good blend of artistic and technical knowledge. The curriculum is designed to help students get a general idea of all the different tools and techniques as they work on assignments in the first term. Following that, bigger projects and modules require group work where it becomes easier to choose a specialty to explore and learn. The assignments are designed to best utilize design thinking while maintaining a production quality workflow.
So, in a nutshell, MA3D is best for students who would like to explore all aspects of animation and then decide which one they would like to specialize in. It is also best for students looking to just animate as modules are designed to give them an opportunity to polish their skills while learning other basic techniques. Autodesk Maya is the tool currently focused on this course.
MA Digital Effects as the name suggests majorly focuses on Visual Effects (VFX) skills. The course work is designed to train a student according to industry level VFX workflow. Houdini and NUKE are the preferred tools that are industry standards. MADE is a primarily technology-driven course with elements of artistic freedom. Assignments are designed to help students create their own pieces of work that are in line with current media requirements and techniques. In brief, MADE is best for students looking to dive into the world of VFX while gaining basic knowledge of animation as well.
Finally, MSc Computer Animation and Visual Effects is a technical course that focuses on skills like coding, simulations, tool development, etc. which are to be used by Animation and Games studios. The curriculum also explores algorithms and industry level tool development using C++. This course is best suited for students who have a science, mathematics, computer programming background and are looking to work in the animation industry.
All three postgraduate courses collaborate on assignments/ group projects and other NCCA events throughout the year which helps students widen their horizons while also focusing on the skills they enjoy the most.
Overall studying at BU’s National Centre for Computer Animation (NCCA) is a great opportunity to learn and grow with the latest trends in animation and game industry while benefiting from state of the art technologies and tools.