Becoming a Multimedia Animator
So, you think you might like to become a multimedia animator. Multimedia animators design 2-D and 3-D artwork, including motion graphics and visual effects for mediums such as movies and video games. Though many animators are self-employed, some work for film and video game companies, as well as software publishers, computer systems designers, and advertising firms. Having a strong portfolio is vital to enter this career field. Meeting tight deadlines and working long hours, including nights and weekends, is commonly required.
So, what are the career requirements? Starting with the right education is important.
|Degree Level||Bachelor's degree|
|Degree Fields||Fine art, computer graphics, animation or a related field|
|Certification||Voluntary certification is available|
|Experience||Minimum 1 year of experience for junior animator positions, senior-level roles require 3 or more years of experience|
|Key Skills||Artistic talent, creativity, critical thinking, communication skills, time and project management skills, ability to use computer animation and editing software|
|Salary||$63,630 (median annual salary for multimedia artists and animators)|
Sources: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, O*NET OnLine, Online Job Postings (July to August 2015)
Step 1: Earn a Bachelor's Degree
Many multimedia animators choose to earn a bachelor's degree in fine arts, computer graphics, animation, or a related subject to gain technical and artistic skills. Common subjects in fine arts programs include painting, drawing, and sculpture. Typical subjects in animation or computer graphics programs include basic animation, digital video, organic modeling, and game animation. Students may also gain proficiency with a number of common computer programs in the field, including Maya, FinalCut Pro, and Photoshop.
Develop a strong portfolio. Many employers require a well-developed portfolio from job candidates. Portfolios are often created while students are still completing their degree programs.
Step 2: Obtain Experience
Multimedia animators are expected to have expertise in doing illustrations and using various computer applications. Some degree programs offer internship opportunities, which are a good way for students to get hands-on experience and gain familiarity with commonly used software and programming languages. Internships may also provide networking opportunities.
Step 3: Continue Education
Consider continuing education for career advancement. Some schools offer 1- to 2-year certificate programs for students who already hold a bachelor's degree and are working in the field. Certificate programs are a good way to keep skills sharp and stay current with the newest technology. Programs consist largely of hands-on learning, and provide the opportunity for animators to enhance their portfolios.
Become certified. Voluntary certification, such as the Adobe Certified Expert credential in programs like Adobe Flash, Adobe After Effects, and Adobe Illustrator can prove to employers that a candidate has proficiency in using industry technologies.
Earn a bachelor's degree, obtain work experience, and continue education for advancement are great steps to follow to make the most of a career as a multimedia animator.