Is Computer Animation A Good Career Choice?
A career in animation is one of the most lucrative and most-sought-after courses these days. With attractive salaries and the personal freedom it offers, a career in animation could be the right choice for you. Both movies, video games, and other forms of media use computer animation.
With movies like Ice Age, Kung Fu Panda, Incredibles 2, and others being extremely popular among audiences, computer animation for is something that is not going away any time soon.
Animations for the web are in extremely high demand, and as a result, there’s no shortage of work when it comes to possessing a skill for the craft.
Careers in Computer Animation
Animation is the art of giving life to an object or a character. A blend of technology and entertainment industry, animation is concerned with drawing, design, presentation, and production of graphically attractive and rich clips.
Here is a list of the probable careers in computer animation:
- Animation Technical Director – this is the top-most position on any production company. It involves directing animation movies and creating graphics.
- Graphic Artist – they choose designs, colors, and other aspects of a character or object. They also create cartoons and boost the appeal of adverts and animated movies.
- Video Game Designer – this involves writing codes that makes character behave the way they behave. These codes make them respond to commands.
- Animation Lighting Artist – brighten the scene, create a shadow, or create darkness during suspense.
- Art Director – coordinates activities and ensures everyone does their job. They supervise animation, lighting, commercials, movies, or TV shows.
- Cartoon Animator – they bring characters to life.
- 3D Artist – they create 3D effects on 2D characters making them become more visual.
There are many career paths in computer animation fields, but the above are the most common. Other careers include texture animator, modeler, layout artist, clean up artist, etc.
Before we discuss the pros and cons of a career in computer animation, let’s talk about the history of animation.
A Brief History of Modern Animation
Everything has to start somewhere, and this field is no exception. I know everyone hates history, well, apart from history professors, and that’s why I will make this one short, precise, and informative.
In the early 1800s, the flip book helped to bring the illusion of characters to life. The only thing missing was sound. It wasn’t until Steamboat Willie by Walt Disney in 1928 that animated films came to existence with synchronized sound.
Another film, Flowers and Trees, was released in 1932 by Walt Disney, this time with color. Snow and White and the Seven Dwarfs was released in 1937 became the first ever full-length animated film.
The Seven Dwarfs film made $416 million dollars in Box Office sales. Walt Disney Studios continued making great films and has now become the biggest animation production company in the world.
Pixar became the first company to create a full animation film on a computer, but it later joined hands with Disney to create the first full feature length film that grossed over $300,000.
In 2010, Pixar released Toy Story 3 which made $1 billion. This was the first animated movie in history to reach those sales figures at the box office. Pixar is the most popular and successful animation company in the world.
And that’s it! On to the pros and cons of a career in computer animation.
The Pros of A Computer Animation Career
- The global animation industry is vast, and you can find many opportunities online
- It is a lucrative profession
- It gives a wide room of creativity especially if you are creating your own stories and characters
- Being a challenging job, it pushes you to explore outside of your limits
- You earn a living for being creative
- It pushes you to constantly improve
The Cons of Pursuing Computer Animation
- It is time-consuming and sometimes you must work for long hours
- There’s a lot of repetition which can become tiresome
You can expect to make an average of $61,000 per year starting salary as a computer animator. The higher end salaries are on average at $85,000 per year.
The Technical Skills Needed In Animation
If you are the creative type, you may possess the characteristics needed to succeed in a computer animation field. In addition, you will also need the technical know-how to actual put your creative characteristics to the test.
To give life to a character or object, animators must possess software savvy and practical skills as well as creativity to flourish in this competitive field. On the part of practicality and creativity, that’s something you naturally possess.
Here’s an example of the Adobe Animate computer program, learning how to use tools like this is crucial to your success in computer animation.
In addition to Adobe Animate learning computer animation will allow you to learn these skills as well;
- UX Wireframes
- 3D modeling
- And many others
These tools are fantastic for helping you build a portfolio of viewable assets that you can then show to future employers, or land jobs freelancing.
So, Is Computer Animation Right For You?
Bringing characters to life is an exciting job, but a career in animation is quite challenging. Many animators work for long hours trying to beat strict deadlines. The reward of seeing your characters come to life, however, is one that can’t be replicated in many other career choices.
With passion and dedication to succeed in this field, you will overcome the challenges and handle the pressure that comes with it.