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  1. #1
    Freaking Ratchet Rail Tracer's Avatar
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    Default In a stump. Graphic Design? Computer Graphics?

    Major currently being pursued:
    I was planning on getting a Computer Science degree. However, I am still a pre-Computer Science major. I still have about 3 years to go.

    The situation:
    This semester, I've talked to a couple people within my field.

    I've had a conversation with a senior who is about to graduate with a Computer Science degree. Long story short, he said I seem to be more interested towards Graphic Design instead of Computer Science (Computer Graphics.) The reason was because I sounded more into the making of the models rather than the making of these programs itself(which was what he mostly did in the Computer Graphic courses.) I was told that Computer Science was more into the programming design of the graphics engine. Graphic designers, instead, use those engines to create 3-d models, images, etc (it is making me think somewhere along the lines of Macromedia Flash...which I have used before.)

    I've talked to a professor about my Computer Science degree and the sub-field of Computer Graphics. Although he didn't want to give me any wrong information(his sub-field isn't towards Computer Graphics and the professor that had my sub-field wasn't going to be on campus this semester,) I was also told that Graphic Design might have been the thing I wanted to do. But it would be better to seek information elsewhere like the art department.

    The funny thing was that I've talked to other professors outside the Computer Science field, and they too, said I sounded something like a Graphic Designer. I was told that I should talk to the professors in the art department with a Graphic Design degree and to talk to an academic counselor.

    As a whole, I did wanted myself to do with something like animation, graphics, video-gaming, etc, but my focus was more towards making those models. I was thinking of the possibility of changing my major. I've actually thought of switching my major before this semester started.

    The main question, I suppose is, am I getting this right? Graphic Designers use the engines that Computer Graphics (specialist) create to make 2d/3d models and images?

  2. #2
    Senior Member InsatiableCuriosity's Avatar
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    I have to go out and will answer some of your questions about "graphic design" and the perception of it as a career path when I return later today.

    One thing I *would* advise you to do however, before you come to any major conclusion, is check your Spatial intelligence via some Multiple Intelligences type of testing. Spatial Intelligence and the instinctive understanding and application of Phi are probably the two most critical skills in modern Design.

    Deb
    "Study hard what interests you the most in the most undisciplined, irreverent and original manner possible."
    — Richard P. Feynman

    "Never tell a person a thing is impossible. G*d/the Universe may have been waiting all this time for someone ignorant enough of the impossibility to do just that thing."
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  3. #3
    Freaking Ratchet Rail Tracer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by InsatiableCuriosity View Post
    I have to go out and will answer some of your questions about "graphic design" and the perception of it as a career path when I return later today.

    One thing I *would* advise you to do however, before you come to any major conclusion, is check your Spatial intelligence via some Multiple Intelligences type of testing. Spatial Intelligence and the instinctive understanding and application of Phi are probably the two most critical skills in modern Design.

    Deb
    I've token this test before with the multiple intelligences. My top 3 is usually between visual spatial, intrapersonal, and logical/mathematical.

  4. #4
    Senior Member InsatiableCuriosity's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Takeru View Post
    I've token this test before with the multiple intelligences. My top 3 is usually between visual spatial, intrapersonal, and logical/mathematical.
    Then your advisors are possibly correct

    I teach Graphic Design Production including Typography, Layout, Vector Graphics and Photo Editing. Instinctive understanding of symmetry and mathematical concepts relating to symmetry, balance and proportion are half my battle. If students do not have this set of skills then they are unlikely to achieve sufficient knowledge and understanding to be employable in a highly competitive industry.

    When i studied computing many years ago, I could code with the best of them but my computing skills mostly lay in the area of analysis and flow charting the process (we used NS Diagrams then) for others to code.

    When Apple introduced the Mac and Adobe a few years later introduced PostScript and Vector Graphics I felt like I was coming home!

    My suggestion to you would be to take advantage of student buy-prices on the Adobe CS Suite (about 10-20% of commercial for all programs) and become familiar with the software.

    I know my understanding of IT helps tremendously my ability to be efficient and I still teach binary basics to my students as a means of understanding OS, software and file RAM allocation, file size, storage and speed of transmission.

    If you have any questions let me know and I am certain there are several others from the Design industry here who can offer advice.

    Deb
    "Study hard what interests you the most in the most undisciplined, irreverent and original manner possible."
    — Richard P. Feynman

    "Never tell a person a thing is impossible. G*d/the Universe may have been waiting all this time for someone ignorant enough of the impossibility to do just that thing."
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  5. #5
    Freaking Ratchet Rail Tracer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by InsatiableCuriosity View Post
    If you have any questions let me know and I am certain there are several others from the Design industry here who can offer advice.
    I have actually talked to a professor/adviser in the design department. He was exactly the person I was looking for. Was able to tell me if my interest was related/in the graphic design field or not. In fact, with him, I was able to narrow down the classes that I should take along with the graphic design degree for my specific purpose. He did tell me that I should make myself as visible as much as possible just for the fact that there are many students going into it.

    It is kind of funny though, I had a conversation with this professor about this department using Macs...but the Computer Science and engineering field all used PCs.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Takeru View Post
    The main question, I suppose is, am I getting this right? Graphic Designers use the engines that Computer Graphics (specialist) create to make 2d/3d models and images?
    A lot of these titles are used interchangeably in the real world. I think they often times mean the same thing.

  7. #7
    Senior Member InsatiableCuriosity's Avatar
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    Default Long reply :)

    Quote Originally Posted by Takeru View Post
    I have actually talked to a professor/adviser in the design department. He was exactly the person I was looking for. Was able to tell me if my interest was related/in the graphic design field or not. In fact, with him, I was able to narrow down the classes that I should take along with the graphic design degree for my specific purpose. He did tell me that I should make myself as visible as much as possible just for the fact that there are many students going into it.
    I would agree with your professor wholeheartedly! I also tell my students that to survive and thrive competitively in the industry, not only must you be visible, but you need to put in 10+ hours per week OVER your normal working hours to stay ahead of trends PLUS between 5% and 10% of your income on self learning, publications, technology and software and subscribing to a range of e-journals appropriate to your field.

    Funnily enough clothing fashion and the economy have quite an effect on graphic design trends so history, economics and fashion are all valid fields you may wish to explore.

    Understanding of the basics of your local and international copyright law pertaining to designs, imagery, photography and publications are also important.

    Some sites and free e-journals that you may find advantageous:

    http://www.pantone.com - definitive world standard site for ink and colour trends for printing, fashion and interior design

    http://e.ccialerts.com/a/hBMtLEiAHJQ...OZTevbB/clck80 - AdAge Mediaworks for global news and trends in advertising

    http://e.ccialerts.com/a/hBMtNuOAHJQ...ZTevW3/clck106 - Creativity Online, sister publication to AdAge MediaWorks

    http://www.istockphoto.com - an introduction to image, film, sound and illustration copyright licensing and a great source for inexpensive additional imagery for design work.

    http://www.myfonts.com - great source for typography e-journal to follow the trends pertaining to type style in advertising

    http://www.http://www.digitalmediaonlineinc.com/ - free e-journals and resources for media industry as well as WWUG - World Wide User Group for the media industry spanning Operating Systems, Software and more.

    There are many more but these will give you a good headstart!

    It is kind of funny though, I had a conversation with this professor about this department using Macs...but the Computer Science and engineering field all used PCs.
    I have been in this industry since 1984 (release of the Mac) and am frequently asked this by students. It may surprise many younger people, but the Mac licensed the technology and core engine for Mac OS and the first mouse, and was the first useable GUI (Graphic User Interface) at a reasonable price that was targeted at education and Design industries.

    It was Apple (with Microsoft's assistance oddly enough) who worked with Adobe, Canon (to develop laser printer technology), and Sony (to develop the first 3.5" floppies).

    The graphic industry was a long way down the line in the evolution of font, graphic and publication layout software years before Windows ever appeared. In fact early Mac Users, pre Windows, were frequently told by die-hard MS-DOS users that the Mac was only a toy.

    There was significant investment in staff development, software and hardware based around the Mac in the graphics industry by the time of Windows' arrival, that software companies developing for Windows for several years developed only lesser versions of the software for Windows OS. It has only been in the past 12-15 years that equivalent versions have been developed for both platforms.

    Nevertheless, ROI has been higher among Mac operators in the graphic industry despite higher prices because the Mac operators have not needed to be techs to manage their own software installations, font management etc and Apple, from the beginning, have made the Mac OS and Drives capable of recognising PC files, reading and writing to PC formatted storage off the shelf. And now, because of the Unix core and Intel Processors, you can run both MacOSX and Windows from the same machine.

    Around 80% of the Graphic Industry and the "talent" working in the industry use, and have preference for the Mac OS.


    Good luck with your studies
    "Study hard what interests you the most in the most undisciplined, irreverent and original manner possible."
    — Richard P. Feynman

    "Never tell a person a thing is impossible. G*d/the Universe may have been waiting all this time for someone ignorant enough of the impossibility to do just that thing."
    author unknown

  8. #8
    Freaking Ratchet Rail Tracer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by perfectgirl View Post
    A lot of these titles are used interchangeably in the real world. I think they often times mean the same thing.
    For the most part, it is use interchangeably, but I think there is a difference between the computer graphics that I wanted to get into versus the computer graphics that I was about to get into (until I was corrected by my senior.) There is an art side of computer graphics and a programming side of computer graphics. The class that my senior took was based on programming and creating a Computer Graphics Engine.

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