BFA | Visual Communication Design
I am a BFA Visual Communication Design student with a secondary major in Film! I consider myself to be a graphic designer, programmer, Unity developer, artist, cinematographer, editor, motion designer, 3D modeler, print designer, marketer, skateboarder, gamer, rubix cube solver, anime watcher, musical theater enjoyer, hip hop and punk rock listener, horror lore lover, PC and keyboard builder, and an overall tech enthusiast. But most of all I am someone who loves to learn! I find that knowing a little bit of everything tends to aid me in my design work and self-growth. Furthermore, it’s indicative of the path that I want to take with my life. My dream is to be a generalist developer in the video game industry. It is one of the most interdisciplinary roles which I believe will satisfy my craving for knowledge. That’s why I made CG Pathway for my thesis. To help nerds like me.
In the workforce, most industries have a decently straightforward progression toward success. You go to school, you get a degree, you get an entry-level job, and climb the corporate ladder. But in the world of computer-generated graphics and animation, things aren’t so convenient.
The CG industry is complex to say at the very least. The pipeline contains several different paths, specializations, hierarchies, and required proficiencies. Without the proper literacy to navigate this intricate web, a rookie looking to go into this field is, at best, going to find themselves lost and on the brink of abandoning their dream job or, at worst extremely susceptible to the exploitation of larger corporate entities. What makes this situation so much worse is that acquiring the education necessary to attain the basic literacy to decide on a path is either inaccurate, locked behind an egregious expensive paywall, or annoying and tedious to find (or some combination of the three).
Furthermore, a student has no room for transparent discernment. For example, a student may think they want to be an animator but holds a passion for technical/simulated special effects. Why should they be forced into a selective art program for animators and pay a six-figure bill for the wrong set of skills? All of this could have been easily avoided if they were aware of what was available to them in the first place.
Simply put, students don’t know what they don’t know. So why should we keep them in ignorance?
CG Pathway is a free web application that serves as a discernment tool for those looking to go into animated features, visual effects, motion graphics, and/or game development. It illustrates each of the paths within the CG Industry to make it easily comprehensible and consumable for even the freshest of novices. It provides data analysis on software, geographic data, and employer desires for each position to make sure that when a student does their studies for their desired position, be it through paid education or otherwise, virtually no time is wasted learning irrelevant skills. But most of all, it serves as a guide for the average aspiring artist, designer, and creator so that they can decide who they want to be. It breaks down the idea that CG is some sort of monolith entity composed of arbitrary animators and humanizes it in a way that makes the whole process appear possible and approachable.