It's alive! is the famous phrase Dr. Frankenstein exclaims as he exalts over the creation of his monster. That which was once still and lifeless became animated. That which didn't move now moved, and that which was dead was now alive. In a similar, although much less creepy way, animators breathe life into lifeless objects and characters, giving them actions and abilities that make them simulate real life beings. What's more is that animators can depict through their drawings the things that are not part of the real world, like talking animals, flying heroes, and coyotes getting blown up by dynamite and fallen off of cliffs yet still surviving.
Myths about animation's origins tell us that a photographer trying to take pictures of a restless cat got frustrated and rapidly snapped pictures of the moving creature, only to discover that when he rapidly flipped through the pictures it looked like the cat was moving. But recent discoveries lead us back to ancient Iran where pictures of animals on a bowl appear to move sequentially when the bowl is spun. Today, however, the field of animation has rapidly expanded to include more than restless kitties and spinning bowls, and with an Associate's Degree in computer animation, your path toward finding a career in animation will begin.Having a career as an animator opens up exciting possibilities for turning an idea into a moving, visible, enjoyable experience.
No matter what type of animation you're performing, it's likely that there will be some common requirements for your animation process. Normally your process begins with the story: you'll craft storyboards and construct models of your objects. This includes going beyond just making characters, but designing the entire environment that sets the mood for your animation. Almost all modern animation corresponds to a script and soundtrack, and you'll work with your team of animators, actors, and producers to turn these initial sounds and ideas into a completed feature presentation for audiences. Since every good animation is technically telling a story, you'll fundamentally have a role as a storyteller. Animators have the ability, especially with today's breathtaking technology to consider every pixel of every frame. Many consider an Associate's degree in video game design since they have a pssion for animation.i
So the depth of your artistic ability will correspond to the depth of the story you want to tell, from backgrounds to facial expressions, even to pacing and timing. Like all artists, you are constantly considering the impact of the visual experience you present to the audience.
You are likely a great artist and storytelling in many ways already. An Associate's Degree will assist in developing these skills, and also provide you with the technical know-how and software knowledge to turn these skills into a career. The film industry not only features full-length animated movies, but also heavily relies on CGI technology in live action films to supplement the effects. Although one of the more appealing industries for animators, film is not the only area hungry for artistic talent like yours. Software developers and publishers need animators for their concepts, including videogames and applications. Specialized design services companies, and marketing companies, also want animators to fill in their ranks and use their talents to tell stories, promote products, and bring their businesses to the next level.
So, like Dr. Frankenstein, you have the ability to breathe life into objects and make them move. Now is the time to do the same thing for your career, and by getting your Associate's Degree in computer animation, you'll be taking the first steps towards harvesting your talents. So get ready to master the concepts of design, animation, collaboration, and software. And get ready to dive into an exciting career that is continuously hungry for impressive artistic minds like yours to add a little motion to our world.
For your Associate’s degree in computer animation most schools will be 60 credit hours in length where 30 will be general electives and 30 be in your core major. Below are just some of the areas a typical degree will cover.
- Animation History
- Computer Animation
- Interactive Design
- Game Development
- Digital Media
- Video Animation
- Mult-Media Design Techniques
- Character Design and Development
Since you’ll be working mostly online you’ll need to be proficient in all of the latest video and graphic design software that all the professional’s use. Depending on the school you end up enrolling in you could cover the following software programs: Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop, Dreamweaver (for web design. If you are going to continue with your career you might also want to start learning Final Cut or even coding programs which are necessary for some positions.
Going to school to earn your Associate’s degree in computer animation can be a big step in anyone’s life. Deciding which school to attending can be a daunting task but we hope to make it easier for you by following the below steps.
1. Research – Start researching any of the schools in your area. If you live in a remote part of the US where colleges are limited you can always choose an online school.
2. Career Options – One thing to know before you enroll is what your career goals are. What do you want to become once you graduate? Do you know the field of study and what is required by the industry to get hired in that field? Make sure that when you start talking to colleges you ask these questions upfront. If you want to become a digital animator but the program you are taking focuses just on video then you won’t be happy when you can’t find a job in your field after you graduate.
3. Tuition Costs – Every Associate degree program will be different in what they teach. If you have certain skills you are brining into a program you might want to enroll in a school that will teach you something different.
4. Transfer Credits – Did you attend a previous school? If so you might have credits that will transfer into your new school. If the school you attended was nationally or regionally accredited the odds are in your favor they could transfer but the final decision is up to your new school. Make sure to find this out first so you don’t have to retake certain classes twice.
5. Instructors – Is the new school you want to attend staffed with instructors that were former computer animators? Do they have animation experience in a real-world environment? These are key things to look into as you ideally want your instructors to be highly trained to give you the real-world experience you need to be successful.
Computer Animation Resources