If you’ve been doodling on text books and blank pieces of paper all your life, then you should probably consider animation as your career, simply because animators do what they love to for a living – draw! They use computers or a simple pencil and paper to draw different characters and inanimate objects. Thereafter, they fine tune and edit their creations and use them in films, TV, video games etc.
But hold on, before you get ahead of yourself. As an animator, the basic requirement, no doubt, is good drawing skills. But apart from that, getting a degree in animation is a really smart thing to do. Moreover, your drawing skills may be vastly improved upon and fine tuned in an animation school or college.
What to Study
You can get a Bachelor of Arts degree in Animation which involves you actively learning the tricks of the trade, and we all know how important hands-on experience is if you want to make your mark in any particular field. If you don’t want to do a Bachelor of Arts, then you can also go in for associate degrees or certificates from professional schools and colleges. These courses are generally two to three years long.
So what should a good course in animation cover? Drawing, with a view of the commercial animation industry, animation practices and techniques, computer graphics, programming for 3D which teaches you how to develop your skills for 3D animation, graphic designing and video effects. These are the basics of any animation course and it is an absolute must for a professional animator to be able to master these courses.
Apart from this, it is also helpful if a professional animator has some knowledge of the principles of designing, history of art, lighting effects, image generation and combination, game designing, structure designing, mastering PhotoShop, sound and video techniques and even kinematics of animation techniques. Also, any knowledge pertaining to your field of specialization goes a long way in building your career.
A Few Schools
You can pursue any of these courses in educational institutions such as California Polytechnic State University, University of Arizona, New York University, Rochester Institute of Technology, San Diego State University, and Western Michigan University to name a few.
Getting a proper degree which qualifies you as an animator, eligible for a job in the industry is very important, so don’t even think of neglecting this aspect of planning your career.