What Should I Look For In An Animation Program?

For creative and computer savvy individuals who love to draw, watch animated movies and play video games, a career as an animator is a dream job. The position provides creative artists with the chance to go into the world of make-believe and create characters and scenes that can be remembered in a visually compelling animated movie or game. In addition to giving individuals the chance to do what they love each time they go to work, it also pays them handsomely for doing so.

However, the popularity of animation as a career has also led many schools to offer animation programs. While this is not necessarily a bad thing, especially if they are giving quality programs, the sheer number of schools can overwhelm the aspiring animator who is looking for the animation school that would give him the program that would best suit his needs. If this describes the situation you are currently in, don’t worry. There is still a way for you to narrow down the list of animation programs you have on hand so you can ultimately choose the best school to enroll in. The following guidelines are going to be helpful in empowering you to identify the best animation program that will prepare you for a career as an animator.

You want to look at their curriculum. While the use of computer software programs is the norm in the world of animation these days, you should keep in mind that animation is still an art form. Thus, the curriculum should include traditional art classes like drawing, sketching, character design and others as part of the basic or foundation courses. It is wrong to think that software will fix any flaws in your design—it won’t. You can’t expect to land a job in major animation studio if you don’t know the basics of art. So if you’re checking out an animation program and you don’t see traditional art classes but simply an emphasis on learning software, look for another school.

You want to learn from the best. That means having professional animators who are currently working in the industry or have extensive work experience in the field as your teachers. The critique they give to your work is simply invaluable when it comes to improving and honing your craft. More importantly, teachers who are still active in the industry also know people who matter in the world of animation. Their recommendation is going to help you get an internship or even propel you to your first dream job as an animator. Of course, it goes without saying that you need to prove to your professor that you are worthy of the recommendation.

You want to graduate from a school whose students have a history of getting hired by animation studios. This does not only tell you of the quality of instruction that the school is offering, it also signifies that the road has already been paved for you. Since the school already has established a reputation for excellence that its graduates are preferred by companies, all that you need to do is work on your portfolio and prove that you have what it takes to be hired.

Career Spotlight: Animator

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