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3D Design Colleges and Universities in the United States

Higher Education Articles February 20, 2013

3D Designer are also known as 3D illustrators or 3D animators, they specialize in creating 3-dimensional computer graphics. Thus, 3-dimensional design is typically considered a specialization within the animation field. Students should complete an animation program as part of their educations, if they want to become involve in 3D design.

How to Choose 3D Design School

A combination of computer generated 3D design skills and traditional 2D animation are typically emphasized in animation programs. Coursework focuses on compositing and animation, background design and modeling among other things. When they create and execute these areas, 3D designers are required to make different aesthetic and technical decisions; hence, students should choose their area of focus in accordance with their true aptitude. Some aspiring designers might prefer to enroll in graphic or media design programs.

The field of 3D design is expected to be highly competitive during the period from 2008 to 2018 (source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). Before they zero in on a particular 3D design school, potential students will need to take a look at the career placement history of those who have previously graduated from the program. For instance, those considering a career in the field of CGI film should join a program without hesitation, if the alumni of the program are employed with firms such as Sony Picture Imageworks, Dreamworks or Pixar.

Technology will play an important and large role in the career of a 3-dimensional designer that is why the facilities offered by animation programs may be key to the college and university selection process. Students should consider selecting a college and university program, which provide motion capture labs, stop motion studios, output and editing facilities, and lab equipped for computer and cel animation. In addition, facilities should consist of the latest in editing programs, special effects, and animation. Programs that offer experience on various platforms and with different types of software are valuable. Students need to be aware of how frequently programs and equipment are updated.

Largest 3-Dimensional Design Schools in the Nation

Name of School Student Enrollments Type of Institution
American University 11,684 Private, Four-year
Bradley University 5,873 Private, Four-year
Brigham Young University 34,244 Private, Four-year
Carnegie Mellon University 10,875 Private, Four-year
College of Southern Nevada 40,310 Public, Four-year
East Tennessee State University 13,646 Public, Four-year
Fashion Institute of Technology 10,065 Public, Four-year
Ferris State University 13,532 Public, Four-year
Lesley University 6,690 Private, Four-year
Loyola Marymount University 9,011 Private, Four-year
Madison Area Technical College 14,666 Public, Four-year
Marist College 5,828 Private, Four-year
Olympic College 7,152 Public, Four-year
Rochester Institute of Technology 15,055 Private, Four-year
Sam Houston State University 16,662 Public, Four-year
Savannah College of Art and Design 9,120 Private, Four-year
Southern Methodist University 10,965 Private, Four-year
Texas A&M University-Commerce 8,725 Public, Four-year
University of Idaho 11,791 Public, Four-year
University of Southern California 33,747 Private, Four-year

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