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Animation Colleges Degrees and School

A career in the field of animation can lead to opportunities in film animation, computer animation, and a variety of media businesses. Animators make use of computers and other electronic devices to produce drawings and characters. These are often transferred to a film or tape to provide the special effects and imagery for films, computer games, video games, advertising industries, and television commercials. A career in animation requires a high level of creative ability and natural talents. The job market can be competitive, and those that choose to specialize in a particular area can be successful in the long term.

Skills and Job Responsibilities of Graduates of Animation Schools

Graduates are often involved in a variety of design and computer-related courses. Hands-on training can provide them with the tools and experience they need for a successful career. Common responsibilities and skills may include:

  • Working with a high level of energy and creativity
  • Acquiring knowledge about art and layout
  • Becoming an expert in computer design software
  • Learning the principles of design, image generation, and art history
  • Working productively without supervision
  • Learning patience, resourcefulness, and perseverance
  • Understanding character form and design technique
  • Balancing creative and technical skills
  • Understanding motion, perspective, size, and ratios

Career Options for Animation School Graduates

Students can choose to focus on classical animation, film animation, digital animation, or specialize in a specific area of computer animation. They may pursue careers as:

  • Cartoonists

  • Painters

  • Illustrators

  • Graphic Designers

  • Sketch Artists

  • Broadcast Designers

  • Modelers

  • Web Design

Film Animation, Computer Animation, and Other Arenas

Computer animation schools can range from art institutes, art universities, technical colleges, design schools, and formal media production courses at universities. If a student does not attend a formal animation school, they may also pursue a degree or certification in the field of computer animation or related studies.

Training can be pursued in a variety of ways. Schools can train students to work in film animation or specifically in the digital field with computer animation. Freelance work is another option for many, and the web is growing substantially to accommodate this trend. A formal training program can help students develop a portfolio for prospective employers.

Video game animation requires significant training in a computer animation school, and motion capture is often used in movie industry as well. Texture mapping, special effects, and learning lighting techniques are common skills learned.

Movie and television production teams often require skilled animators, and jobs in this field may include using special effects, collision detection, applying lighting effects, and motion capture. Television offers another opportunity for computer animation school students, ranging from opportunities in local news stations to television commercials.

The Internet is one of the fastest growing career options for trained animators, and media industries are expanding at a rapid rate. Websites and static images require skilled computer and digital animation professionals.

Common courses and classes for certification or formal program can include:

  • Art History
  • Computer Applications in Art
  • Introduction to Design and Technical Production
  • Stage Technology
  • Advanced Computer Graphics Courses
  • Game Programming

Animation School Graduates Earning Potential and Employment Prospects

From multimedia artists to salaried animators, the average earnings range from $44,000 to $60,000. The earnings for graduates or those that receive certification can vary depending on skill level, training, employer, and even seniority within a department. Specializing within a skill set or computer program can also help to advance an animator's career. The industry is growing and demand is high. Related occupations may include:

  • Technical Directors

  • Storyboard Artists

  • Cameramen

  • Producers or Project Managers

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