If you are most comfortable when sitting behind your computer, then perhaps you should consider pursuing a career that utilizes your technological skills. Thanks to the abundance of technological advances in recent years, prospective students have a wealth of new degree programs available for them to pursue. One such program is a bachelor's degree in animation. This field of study is extremely competitive, so it is crucial that you choose an appropriate learning institution and have impeccable grades in each of your courses. Adequate training from a noted institution of higher education is sure to give you an edge in the job market against your competitors.
Students who pursue a bachelor's degree in animation are more than likely planning a career in film animation, or other equally involved animation applications. As you work through your degree program coursework, you will be required to complete classes related to graphics production, communication animation modeling, computer programming, lifelike drawing, drawing and design for animation, 3D graphics design, 3D animation production, technical direction for animation, film writing, and general computer animation. Overall, your courses will require some studio work, some computer work, and some courses that focus on principles and theories related to animation. It will be crucial that you gain a full understanding of the technology and design tools that will make it possible for you to adequately create your visions using animation. Upon successful completion of the bachelor's degree coursework you will have a portfolio that demonstrates your animation abilities, as well as a demo reel to show your capabilities.
A bachelor's degree in animation can prepare you to create television advertisements using computer animation. Often, these advertisements are intended to make the audience want to purchase the product being featured so it is important for the individual doing the animation to adequately portray the item. A degree in animation will also prepare you to use computer software to create scenery and special effects. Your training will also teach you to create animations using a variety of artistic mediums. Since this bachelor's degree program has an extensive amount of hands on training, it is extremely difficult to find an online program that will result in a bachelor's degree. Your future career is very dependent on you completing your coursework at an accredited learning institution. This will ensure that you learn skills from professors who are knowledgeable in the appropriate areas of animation and that they pass on this skills base to you.
Following graduation, your bachelor's degree in animation will allow you to seek employment with multimedia companies, advertising firms, or media companies. The job opportunities that are available for individuals with an animation degree are currently in abundance. If you think you have what it takes to thrive in this technology focused career world, then you should definitely consider pursuing your bachelor's degree in this field of study. It is sure to challenge you creatively, which will keep you coming back to the drawing board to further your animation skills and knowledge base.
Bachelor’s degrees require a total of 120 credits to graduate. If you already have your AA degree then you’ll only need 60 hours. The 60 credit hours needed are usually your core courses. Below are some of the more common courses you’ll need during your degree.
3D Animation – Learn how to create digital animations in 3D as well as 3D modeling, lighting and texturing.
Computer Programming – Any good animator will have software and programing experience. Coding is essential to good animation.
Digital Drawing Classes – If you are a good drawer but need help transitioning to the digital world then this is the course for you. Use a digital stylus for all of your drawing needs.
Character Design – Study character development and design. If you want to work as a video game designer/animator then you can take character design which will teach you all the tips and tricks regarding character creation.
Storyboarding – In your storyboarding class you’ll learn how to develop a story from scratch including characters or even presentations.
During your training you’ll want to get taught as many software packages as possible. Before you enroll in any school ask them what animation software you’ll be trained on. Some of the top schools will train you on the below which are recommended and used in the industry.
- Adobe Premier
- Adobe Flash
- Adobe Photoshop
- Blender by The Blender Foundation
- 3ds Max Autodesk
- Bryce 7 Pro
- Poser Pro Animation
- Cinema 4d Studio
Often animation graduates start applying for jobs after they graduate but one of the things you can do is start working with the career services department at your school prior to graduation. This will give you a big jump start since the other graduates will be looking for the same jobs. Instead of looking for jobs that are just called computer animators try looking at the below careers.
Graphic Designer – Often animators are called graphic designers as the company that is looking for a position would rather employ someone that can do general design work as well as animation.
Storyboarding Assistant – You’ll assist on a team of other storyboarding animators that look at the development of ideas for games, presentations and corporate websites.
Design & Development – Animators are very skilled and can do website design and even some programming development. Don’t overlook design jobs when hunting for a new career.
Marketing Designer – As a marketer you can build sites with animation as well as produce banners and creative used in a marketing department to market a company.
Salary & Industry Overview
The BLS states the median salary for a computer animator is $36,630 and the field is expected to grow overall by 6% yearly. We recommend looking into the web development and marketing side of the industry in order to find a niche that will allow you to grown and make more money.