Animation School

Create an exciting career for yourself, one frame at a time

If you want to be an animator, get ready to spend months or years as an assistant, gofer or even as assistant gofer to the lead gofer's helper. Well, that may be an exaggeration - while it's true that it's a long climb to the point in the animation industry where you'll have an active say in major design, it's also a fun climb.

Getting Educated

If you want to be a professional animator, you have to go to school - no one has enough natural skill in animation to go straight to the pros. First, you need to learn about theory and hone your technical skills. Thus, a good animation school should provide comprehensive training in both sides of the craft - the artistic side and the more practical, technical side.

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When thinking of the artistic side, look for a school that allows you to develop as an artist, not just a computer specialist. Spending some time working with basic tools like pencil and paper, modeling clay, etc. can be beneficial to your development as an animator.

That said, you also want to spend a good deal of time learning all the computer programming languages you'll need to know to find work in the industry. Suffice it to say that you should steer clear of any school that tells you that animation is easy - computer animation is as technical and complex as other computer-oriented careers.

Some of the exciting things you'll learn in a computer animation program include layout, character development, editing, acting, color theory, scientific accuracy in the rendering of physical movement and environmental events (like rain and wind), physical posing and positioning - just to name a few.

Job Prospects

Animated television programs and movies continue to be immensely popular, so there will likely be growth in the industry over the next several years. However, there are relatively few jobs available for animators (compared to other occupations in the film industry). In order to get a job, it's vital to have a well-developed portfolio.

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