Animation is, quite literally, about bringing life to art. Animation takes static images and infuses them with movement, allowing action to take place. However, animation is not just about artistic ability. It is a technical skill that requires specific training. If you dream of becoming an animator, animation schools offer both campus and online degrees at a range of levels, including associate’s, bachelor’s, and graduate degrees, as well as professional certification.
Attending Animation School
Today, animation schools typically focus on a variety of different types of animation, such as traditional hand-drawn animation, 3D animation, 3D graphics animation and design, what is called “photorealistic” animations, general computer animation, web design, and animation for the web.
While attending animation school, you will likely take courses that will assist you in developing your free-hand drawing skills, as well as computer courses which will teach you how use the latest computer techniques that facilitate animation, including training in computer graphics and visual display software.
Depending on the program offerings, animation schools could also focus on gaming animation (animation for video games), visual effects, and other multimedia elements that are part of the scope of animation. You might also learn a bit about creating storyboards, movie and television production, and how to market your skills to clients and potential employers.
Animation Job Outlook
In order to gain employment as an animator, many employers prefer a bachelor’s degree in animation, graphic design or art. However, computer animation schools also offer associate’s degree and certificates, which could assist individuals in gaining entry-level positions. Furthermore, there are two or three year animation and graphic design schools for individuals who already possess a bachelor’s degree in another field and would like to switch careers.
Most animators will find positions in the motion picture and video industries, while some will work for design firms. Although, compared to fine artists, multimedia artists and animators may have an easier time finding job opportunities, there is still a strong competition for employment. While there is a consumer demand for more realistic 3D movies and video games, as well as the increased need for graphics in mobile technologies, there are also companies who decide to outsource their animation needs overseas. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that employment for multimedia artists and animators will grow slower than average, amounting to a 8% increase through 2020. They also report that the median annual salary for animators and multimedia artists in 2011 was $$60,830, with the top 10% having earned more than $109,370.
Evaluating Computer Animation Schools
If you are interested in becoming an animator, we are here to help you find the best animation degree program for your needs. There are many options when it comes to earning your degree—part-time, full-time or even online. Read about the animation schools that are featured on our site, and request more information today.