There is a wide variety of career opportunities available in today’s World of arts. If you are a lover of design, technology, and filmmaking, Animation can be the perfect career path for you. Animators are responsible for creating the illusion of movement through a sequence of static images. The job of an animator is to bring characters and objects to life using a variety of techniques,This is done by hand-drawing or computer-generating 2D or 3D images and then stringing them together to create an animation.
Animators often work in teams with other animators, designers, directors and producers.
If becoming an animator is your sole interest, it is important to learn steps you need to take to start your career. Helping you achieve your goals, we will be outlining the steps to becoming a successful animator.
1. Get A Bachelor’s Degree
Majority of animators have earned a bachelor’s degree in a field related to art, graphic design, and animation.
Many employers require a bachelor’s degree for animation roles or prefer candidates who have them. You can start your career by earning a Bachelor of Arts in animation, graphic design or a related field.
Most traditional colleges, community colleges, and art schools offer degree programs and courses in animation, with specialized degrees in some fields such as graphic design or film and video. You can even pursue higher education by getting your master’s or doctorate in animation or graphic design.
Students can specialize in areas like video gaming, website animation, visual or special effects, and animation for media like film, video or the web. After completing general education requirements, you may take a variety of foundational courses designed to enhance your creativity like art, drawing, multimedia, 2D and 3D animation and graphics.
2. Be A Part Of The Animation Community
A professional organization like the Animation Group will give you access to educational resources as well as access to educational events like seminars and workshops. Adding new animation concepts to your portfolio is a great way to keep your skills fresh. Maintaining a current professional portfolio is critical to your success. Developing relationships with other animators can help you get in front of more potential employers and Job opportunities.
3. Find An Animatiom Program That Teaches Those Skills
The next step is to find a 2D animation course that’s designed to turn out graduates with the skills local studios need.
A good program teaches you how to use animation software for posing, staging, character rigging, and more.
Herzing’s 2D animation program provides in-depth training on Toon Boom Harmony so that students are ready to step right into a studio role after graduation.
Recent Herzing graduate Megan Winters says the laser focus on Harmony was what convinced her to take the training.
4. Create A Portfolio Website
The majority of design programs at the graduate level require students to compile portfolios that can be used to display their work. You can create an interactive art portfolio on a website, or you can make a demo reel and upload it to a website that hosts videos. And You can make that website totally FREE. Both of these options are available online. As you create more work of higher quality, it is essential to keep your portfolio up to date and improve upon it. Employers want to see your best work, so putting together a portfolio is a smart idea.
You should continuously improve your portfolio and demo reel so that you can present your latest and best work when you find work-related opportunities in animation.
Even when you’re not currently working on client projects, make time for personal animation projects. They are liberating to work on since you can animate anything you want to, and you’re not bound by the guidelines and deadlines given by a client.
5. Be Creative
Being creative most times has nothing to do with creating something new. Sometimes, it is just a unique angle to something familiar that no one else could have thought of, if not you. Always be that person searching for new angles or something that makes it distinctly you in every story, idea or animation.
6. Showcase Your Talent And Skills Through Your Portfolio
A key part of getting a job as an animator is to have a strong portfolio that showcases your best work. Your portfolio should include examples of animation, character design and storyboarding. You may also want to include any other relevant work you’ve done in the field.
Make sure all of the work in your portfolio is professional quality. Make sure it’s clear and easy to follow. Include your name and contact information on each piece so employers can get in touch with you about it.
7. Gain Experience With Industry Standard Software Programs
While a bachelor’s degree is the minimum education required to become an animator, many employers prefer candidates with experience using industry-standard software programs. These programs include Autodesk Maya, Adobe Photoshop and Toon Boom Harmony, which are used for modeling, shading and coloring characters and backgrounds.
To gain experience using these programs, consider internships or entry-level jobs that allow you to use them regularly. You can also practice on your own by creating short animations to add to your portfolio.
8. Opt In For Certification Programs To Learn Specific Software
Certification programs can help you learn industry-standard software and gain entry into the animation field. For example, Autodesk offers certification programs in its 3D Studio Max software that teach you how to use tools and features for modeling, texturing, lighting and rendering.
You may also consider getting certified in specific animation software like Toon Boom or Adobe Flash. These certifications show employers that you have a strong understanding of the software and are qualified to work as an animator.
9. Find Entry-Level Jobs In The Animation Industry To Gain Connections connections
Entry-level jobs in the animation industry can help you gain connections and experience that can lead to a job as an animator. Networking is important for finding work in the animation industry, so joining professional organizations like the Association of Computer Animation Artists or the International Animated Film Society can help you meet people who might be able to connect you with opportunities.
You can also look for entry-level positions at studios working on projects similar to the type of animation you want to do. For example, if you want to become an animated feature film animator, you could start by looking for entry-level jobs at studios making television shows or video games.
10. Stay Updated On New Technological Trends In The Industry
Technology is always changing, and it’s important for animators to stay up to date on the latest software and trends in the industry. For example, virtual reality animation has become a growing trend in recent years. Animators who are familiar with this technology can find jobs that use their skills.
It’s also important to keep an eye on what types of animations are popular at any given time. If you want to work as an independent animator, staying updated on current events can help you identify opportunities to create relevant content.
11. Join Professional Organizations
You can join Professional Organizations like the International Animated Film Society (ASIFA) it’s an organization that supports animators and animation enthusiasts. You can join the local chapter in your area to attend events, screenings and lectures with other animators. The ASIFA website also has a job board where you can find listings for entry-level positions in animation.
Steps To Create Animation
In the World of Animation there are selected industries which Animators need to know, such as gaming, film, or television. Understand the different stages of production in those industries such as preproduction, production, and postproduction and the role the animator plays throughout the process.
The animation process can be broken down into different sections. By mastering these stages, you can better choose which role you want to play.
1. Pre-production: In this stage, the animator mentally visualize the final product. An animator might create a storyboard that includes sketches of each frame and helps develop and visualize the storyline. The drawings in a storyboard often contain text describing the movements of the characters.
Sometimes animators will shoot reference videos in pre-production. For example, if they are going to create a character swimming in a pool, they might want to shoot and study a video of a person swimming in a pool.
Model sheets show characters’ facial expressions. These specific drawings allow animators to keep the characters’ personalities consistent. Then, the visuals department creates animatics, which are simple mock ups of the visual animation. An animator will also decide on a few key poses, which are the core positions of the character.
2. Production: Layout artists create 3-D versions of the storyboard drawings. Basically, they bring them to life. Some forms of animation use modelers who shape the drawings into life. Textures provide the tiny details that make animation seem real, such as cracks in sidewalks. Rigging means the characters’ bones and motion is further defined on screen. Some forms of animation use motion capture, which means an actor or actress’ motion is captured and then matched to the animation drawings.
3. Post-production: There are three basic components of post-production which brings together all of the previous elements in production into one seamless storyline. Sound editing adds sound effects and lip-syncing to the animated drawings. Video editing is a process to create proper flow and storyline by rearranging images if necessary.