Cartoon characters, video game environments, and special effects for film and television are created by animators. They use traditional illustration and modern computer technology to make graphics and animation. Animators often work as part of a team on one aspect of a larger project for a movie, television program or video game. Individual animators may begin with hand drawn and painted illustrations which they will then transfer to a computer. However, advances in technology, particularly touch screens that animators can use like a canvas, are allowing animators to use technology to assist in every step of the animation process. Learn more about becoming one of these artists by searching animation schools today.
Storyboarding Animation Education
Degrees in animation are typically four-year programs. To join an animation college, you will generally need to have a high school diploma or GED and include standardized test scores like the SAT/ACT in your application package. Action analysis, principles of 3D animation, screen design, stop motion, and motion capture might be animation classes you will take. During your program, you will likely have the opportunity to develop a portfolio of animation work. The portfolio is what employers tend to focus on in the hiring process as it demonstrates your potential and skill set.
In addition to your coursework, artistry and creativity may be advantageous for creating characters, costumes, and backgrounds. As animation studios are generally using more technology for animation projects, computer skills might be helpful. Animators usually work in a team environment, and the vast majority of ideas generated by any one animator will not be selected for use in a project. Therefore, excellent interpersonal skills and the ability to listen and accept difficult feedback are also useful.
What Do Animators Do?
The animation team will typically create storyboards to help the team visualize the entire project, and the lead animator will assign specific tasks to each team member. In addition to fully animated features, animators might create special effects that integrate live actors and animation. They also create 3D effects for film and television. Video game animators may work on a level within a game environment to design a specific look and feel for the game. They might also develop characters, as well as costuming, weapons, and other accessories for the character.
Because of the specific needs of each industry, animators tend to specialize and even sub-specialize within a particular field of animation. Employment for animators is projected to grow slower than average in the coming decade, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The desire for computer-based, realistic animation will likely spur this growth. The median annual wage for animators was $60,830 in May 2011.
Production studios for film, television, and video games need to continually generate new content that exceeds consumer expectations in order to have a competitive edge in the entertainment industry. For this reason, job prospects for animators who are artistically innovative and knowledgeable about computer animation techniques should be good. Explore animation schools today!