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How to Become a Good Computer Animator
Today, computer animators are very popular and it’s actually a great career for rising programmers. In fact, computer-animators use computers to build 3D animated figures that tell stories or market a product. Additionally, they can also work in different sections which include; video game design, graphic-design and motion picture production. All in all, computer-animation offers a lot of creative-freedom and creative-challenges but it’s also a rapidly evolving industry that will need to keep up with the latest technology developments and software. So below is a step-by-step guide that will help you become a great computer-animator.
How To Get The Necessary Education And Experience:
- Go for creative-writing, drawing and science classes: As a computer animator, you will need some strong visual art-skills like drawing, sculpture and design. In fact, focus on skills in your art-class in high-school and also try to go for art history through books, films and visiting your local museum. Lastly, you may also consider taking classes in computer-aided drafting (CAD) if it’s offered at your school or even research on CAD online.
- Get a bachelor’s degree in computer science and animation: Most employers in this field require a person with a Bachelor of Arts in Computer Animation from an accredited university or college. This degree is very important because it will help you learn the necessary skills in digital art, drawing, storyboarding and also computer software needed to be a qualified computer-animator. However, some computer animators are self-taught and learn their skills from mentors working in the field but they will also need to take animation or art-related classes to further develop their skills.
- Know and learn the software packages used in computer animation: You will also need to learn about the software packages that are commonly used in computer animation. In fact, most bachelor level programs in computer animation will help you develop software skills and give you the basic level of understanding of several different computer programs. On the other hand, some of the most used software packages in computer-animation that may be useful for you to learn include; Flash, Maya, 3D Studio Max, Lightwave 3D, Aftereffects, Photoshop, Illustrator and CorelDraw.
- Go for internship at an animation studio: Most bachelor programs in computer animation feature an internship component that will help you gain practical experience at an animation studio. However, you can also apply for internships outside of your program through organizations like; The Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Foundation.
Understanding You Role as a Computer-Animator:
- Know the difference between a cartoonist and a computer animator: A computer animator works with 3D software to build animated objects, people and images while a cartoonist deals with drawing and creating cartoon stories on both computers and paper. So, as a computer-animator you will need to have excellent drawing skills and also be able to tell stories in form of animations. This implies that you will need to be a highly skilled visual artist who can use technology to create anything.
- Be aware of your work environment: The work environment of a computer animator will shift depending on what industry your working-in which can either be a large animation studio or as a self-employed animator. So, if you’re working at a large animation studio then you will in an office environment with other animators and designers but if you’re working as a freelance computer animator then you be doing your projects from a home-office.
- Get to know the pay-scale of computer-animators: The average yearly salary for multimedia animators is around $64,470. However, your salary can fluctuate basing on the industry that you are employed in. In fact, you can be paid more or less if you work per hour rather than on a salary basis. Additionally, computer animators who work for themselves as freelancers can arrange an hourly pay or pay per project depending on their clients’ capability. Lastly, the highest paying industries for computer animators include; motion-picture, video-industry and software publishers industry.
SECTION-3: How to Search For Computer-Animator Position:
- Develop a demo reel: creating a demo reel is actually the biggest selling point for any computer animator. In fact, a demo reel is a video based portfolio that showcases your best work and it will actually get you a great job or client. Additionally, your demo reel should be dynamic, engaging and well-organized. Lastly, may also upload a demo reel to the web so that it can be easily accessed by potential employers?
- Look for a full time position for internship: in case you get a great internship-position at any animation studio, try to network with fellow employees and supervisors at the studio as much as possible because establishing a good working relationship during your internship could get you a full-time position once you graduate from your program.
- Apply for open positions at animation-studios: You should also consider applying for open positions at animation studios but before doing this, you should consider the area of specialization or a specific-industry to focus-on which may include; motion picture and video industry or advertising and public relations industry. In fact, narrowing down your interests will allow you to apply for open positions that match to your level of interest.