US Colleges

How to Become an Animator

animator

How to Become an Animator

Are you a toon movie buff who enjoys cartoons or animated creatures? Do you know there is hell of a hard work behind creating them?

Now that is the world of animation that puts souls into characters and links a series of drawings with simulation of movements. Animation is a classic form of art that brings into life even the inanimate objects through sequential drawings. It is one of the most special forms of media and if you want to put your imagination into shape or wants to experiment with your creativity, this field has lot to offer you in terms of learning as well as applying.

Animation is a whole new exciting field that can provide you with a lot of opportunities to work even internationally. It can unlock the door of working in Hollywood but all you need to do is to have the passion to learn the nuances of specialized computer knowledge to make it happen.

Nature of an animator’s job

Animation is an industry that requires synchronized team efforts from many people with varied skills. If one needs to make an animation film, it’s not the work of few specialized people; instead it requires a large number of skilled professionals. For example:

First off, an animation movie requires a story, and then comes the character sketching, creating the right concept, modeling those characters into the right environment with perfect lighting, voice recording, dynamics, editing and much more.

So, for each of these steps involved, there have to be skilled professionals taking care as a:

Modeler: One who makes models for the animation and is expected to have thorough knowledge of forms, volume and anatomy.

Content Developer: One who develops subject matter content.

Artists: Story board artists who have strong skill of drawing sketches and have the ability to visualize the sequence of events. Besides story board artists, there is need of layout artists and texture artists as well. Lay out artists need to angle cameras perfectly as well as needs to sketch the background for animation. The work of lay out artists is akin to cinematographers in a film. Texture artists provide the surface to the characters and environment.

Clean-up artist: These skilled professionals are required to check the consistency and accuracy of the drawings.

Scanner Operator: Scanning of the drawings of clean-up artists is done by scanner operator.

Compositor: Different characters and sequences are brought together in a single frame by this person.

Key frame animator: This is a very specialized skill as one needs to draw the movements of a picture from beginning to end.

Some other jobs in the field of film animation include visualizer, audio and video specialist, background artist, in-between animator, image editor and even rendering artist.

If one wishes to make a career in the world of animation, then besides film animation there are job prospects in areas of video game design, graphics design, product modeling-3D and 2D and publishing houses. Entertainment is the major focus if you want to work as an animator, but today, individuals equipped with animation skills find work in advertising and fashion designing as well. Worth mentioning is the gaming industry where lot of animators with varied skills are always in high demand. The field of teaching is also open to animator graduates as there are mushrooming institutions that offer animation as a subject to learn and these institutions are in constant search of professional teachers. Again, if you specialize in web animation, free lance work is a great option as well.

What are the skills needed to become an animator?

First off one needs good drawing hands and ability to imagine. Creativity is the need in the animation industry. Passion for sketching is an added advantage. One should also possess ability to visualize and utmost dedication and patience to work in this field.

How to become an animator?

There are several institutions that offer with diploma, graduate as well as post-graduate courses. Some institutes have strict eligibility criteria and offers post graduate degrees only to architect engineers. Individuals from stream of fine arts however can apply too.

There exist professional courses on animation that teach styles and techniques of animation. These courses include traditional animation, rotoscoping; computer generated 3-D animation, Photoshop, and many others.

There are several colleges, universities and professional institutes that offer courses in animation. If you are seriously contemplating in getting a degree in Animation then you need to look out for the right college, one with proper accreditation. You can use the animation degree programs directory where you will see several programs offered by different universities. Feel free to request more information from these schools as its free and will get you started in the right direction.