Computer Animation Career Information by Peter Sakes

The animation industry has changed radically with the advent of computer animation, and the use of complex animation software. However, the animator still has to have much of the traditional artistic talents, along with the ability to pay attention to detail in order to produce animation that is consistent across a large piece of work.

The kind of animator characteristics you will have to develop if you wish to become an animator are the ability to be able to work in a team; an animator is responsible for their own work, but it is a part of a much greater whole, and the animator may have to subsume their own artistic style to merge in the general feel of the whole piece of animation. Communication is important in a team, and as an animator you will have to learn to communicate with the team.

The animation industry is growing fast, as the demand for content for new media is great. Animators will be in increasing demand, but competition will be fierce, and you will need to be able to demonstrate that you will make a good animator. If you have the right animation characteristics, you can develop a good career in animation.

Animation Tools of the Trade

Animation software has gone through a major evolutionary cycle during the last ten years. Different packages have concentrated on different aspects of animation, or have looked at a particular set of applications that can benefit from their software, and so there is considerable market differentiation between different software.

Perhaps the package that most people will have come across is Flash by Macromedia. The software is aimed towards animation on the web, and has become the most popular package in this environment, mostly because it has a quick download time and is very robust. 3D Studio Max has become quite popular for the video games market, although it is beginning to make headway in film production as well.

Alias/Wavefront produces Maya, a very powerful and complex 3D graphics program. This is primarily aimed at the experienced computer animator, and produces professional modeling, texturing, animation, rendering and paint effects. Because it is so complex, Maya takes a great deal of time to become proficient in its use, but the level of professional results makes this investment worthwhile.

There are many other animation tools on the market, but if you are considering a career in animation, it is worthwhile remembering that animation software is simply a tool to use, you need to know the basics of animation and design, and you will need good drawing skills - expertise in animation software is no substitute for these skills.

Peter provides [ site shut down] career information related services and career counseling. In his spare time, Pete enjoys graphic design, digital photography, animation, and technology in general.