Animation is a series of simultaneous still images manipulated to create the illusion of movement. It creates an opportunity to narrate the most imaginative stories. It is an exciting, fast paced industry. Animators can have integral roles in anything from children’s movies or glamorous television commercials to behind-the-scene roles in action-packed blockbusters and video games.
Being observant and inquisitive about the world is a key to becoming a successful animator. Mastering the art of movement comes from paying attention to small details like a person’s expressions and postures. Pixar Animation Studios, for example, emphasizes on acting experience for animation candidates to ensure they can show a character’s thoughts and feelings through its physical motion. Successful animators stress on the importance of strong drawing skills. It is imperative to have a clear understanding of how to draw a figure and how the body moves.
You don’t have to be the next Michelandelo but you should have strong drawing fundamentals. Most professors advice people are interested in pursuing a career to “Draw, draw and draw some more!” It is a high energy career path that requires a lot of hard work. To excel in an animation career, the qualities mentioned above are almost useless when they aren’t accompanied by the required technical skills. Animators need to utilize both the artistic and the analytical sides of their brains. To give life to creative ideas, animators need to possess the perfect combination of practical and software skills.
Other essential skills include color theory and audio/video editing and web and digital media production. Having prior knowledge in cutting-edge softwares such as 3D Studio Max, Maya, Adobe AfterEffects and Mudbox would be a huge advantage. If you find yourself lacking some of these technical talents, don’t worry! These are the exact skills that you can acquire by earning an animation degree.
Bringing dynamic characters to life is an exciting job, but an animation career isn’t always a walk in the park. Many animators work long hours, including nights and weekends, to adhere to strict deadlines. But if you’re passionate about animation and determined to succeed, the high-pressure, fast-pace environment shouldn’t faze you a bit.