Animation Video: Becoming a Computer Animator

Animation Video: Becoming a Computer Animator Transcript

Computers have radically changed the world of animation. Visual effects provided by the digital realm have changed the techniques used by traditional cartoon animators. Special effects available in digital realm have significantly lowered production costs within the field of visual communication, effectively reducing the barrier of entry for newcomers into the field.

Computer animation is the art of creating moving images through the use of computer graphics and modeling. Most professional computer animators work in post production positions of the movie, television, and video gaming industries.

Computer animators apply a number of artistic and digital techniques to create the illusion of movement for 3D and 2D graphics. Animators need to be equally skilled in the fundamentals of the visual arts as well as fluent in the use of computer and graphic design. Typical job duties include a strong mix of both skills including: hand drawing, storyboarding, texture mapping, motion capture, and computer modeling.

Computer Animators need to be up-to-date with the latest hardware and software applications. Growing technologies has allowed animation software to become increasingly accessible and user friendly at home however professionals use high powered workstations and advanced software.

Computer Animators have a wide variety of educational backgrounds from associate degree programs and certifications at community colleges, to advanced degrees of the bachelor, master and PhD levels at universities and art institutions. Most elite companies such as Pixar will require animators to at least have obtained a bachelors level degree. For many computer animation students, internships can be instrumental in gaining hands on experience and opening job networking opportunities. Computer animators at all levels should have a well built portfolio and demo reel to show potential employers. It is good to have a firm grasp of specific software programs however many industry leaders will look for knowledge of basic animation fundamentals and overall creativity as their key hiring priority.

Computer animation is an exciting career field which has gained tremendous popularity with the advancement of technology. A good animator will have strong artistic and computer skills, and enjoy working in a creative team setting. Look into local community colleges, art schools, and universities for computer animation programs in your area.

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