Motion Capture Professions: Employment Info & Career Requirements

Mar 04, 2019

Learn about motion capture professions and what they entail. See what the job requirements are, and get the career prospects to determine if this field is right for you.

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Career Definition for a Motion Capture Professional

Motion capture professionals work with actors, digital cameras, and computer processing techniques to create realistic composite figures featured in digitally created scenes and video. Motion capture professions might include motion capture technician, motion capture operator, computer animator, visual effects artist, video game creator, game art designer, texture artist, or motion capture production coordinator.

Working in the field of motion capture, you might be involved in the pre-production or post-production process, or possibly both. You may work with actors in a studio to establish shots, operate a digital camera, add visual texture to scenes, or edit footage using a computer processing program. Those working in motion capture professions can find employment with film production companies or video game development studios as digital camera operators, computer artists, video editors, graphic designers, texture artists, or computer animators.

Required Education Degree programs include Bachelor of Fine Arts in Computer Animation or Visual Communications, a Bachelor of Arts in Media Arts and Animation, an Associate or Bachelor of Science in Graphic Design or Visual Communications
Required Skills Artistic and computer skills, interpersonal skills and camera equipment use
Career Outlook (2016-2026)* 8% growth for multimedia artists and animators
Median Annual Salary (2017)* $70,530 for multimedia artists and animators

Source: *U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Required Education

Many community colleges, universities, technical colleges, and technical institutes offer programs and degrees that can lead to a career in motion capture. A B.F.A in Computer Animation, a B.A. in Media Arts and Animation, an A.S. or B.S. in Graphic Design or a B.S. or B.F.A in Visual Communications are some examples of degrees that need to be earned before seeking motion capture professions.

Skills Required

Motion capture professions call for a high level of artistic and computer skills. Those working in motion capture must have the ability to translate artistic concepts into visual images. Interpersonal skills are crucial, as those working in motion capture professions are likely to work closely with actors, technicians, and artists. Some specialized technical skills may be required for those working with camera equipment.

Career and Economic Outlook

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS, www.bls.gov), the predicted employment growth for multimedia artists and animators is 8% over 2016-2026. The median salary for this occupation was $70,530 in May 2017.

Alternate Career Options

Similar careers in this field include:

Web Developer

A web developer is responsible for putting together, modifying, and maintaining the technical and stylistic aspects of a website. They work with clients to determine what the site should look like and what the client expects it to do. They may work with others to get the text and images for the site, and they may write code to make the site look or perform a certain way. The BLS reports that 16% of web developers were self-employed in 2016. Jobs in this field are expected to grow 15% from 2016 to 2026, and web developers earned a median salary of $67,990 in 2017. Possession of an associate's or bachelor's degree is a common job requirement; a background in computers or graphic design may be desirable.

Graphic Designer

A graphic designer makes images based on clients' projects with the purpose of communicating an idea or concept through a logo, brochure or similar kind of material. Graphic designers put together and modify the look of images and text so that it's visually pleasing to see them paired. Graphic designers usually have a bachelor's degree in graphic design and a portfolio of work to show prospective employers. Workers in this field can earn vendor-issued product certifications. The BLS reports that graphic designers could see job growth of 4% from 2016 to 2026, and that graphic designers were paid a median salary of $48,700 in 2017.

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