The field of animation has a long history, from the old Saturday morning cartoons to modern computer generated imagery (CGI) in blockbuster films. Job opportunities for animators abound, from large studio employment to freelance or contract work. Many large operations have large teams of animators, so whatever your skill set, there may be a role for you somewhere in the process. However, 3D animation is cutting-edge, and if you learn 3D well, you can make yourself indispensable to a firm.
What Is 3D Animation?
Computer animation is a way of using computers to complete the same steps as traditional animation. The 2D version uses a computer to create flat images, such as cartoons, and the 3D version uses a computer to mimic stop-motion animation. 3D objects are modeled, then rigged, then animated, by means of computer technology.
What Types of Skills Are Needed?
A background in and enthusiasm for art and animation is extremely helpful. However, to become successful at 3D animation, you must learn a range of technical skills. Software applications for animation vary but they tend to use the same basic principles. What ever program you end up using, you will need to have a thorough knowledge of animation principles, storyboarding, character modeling, lighting, animatics and more. You will also need to have a good eye for visuals and the ability to work as part of team, sometimes in a high-pressure, deadline-oriented environment.
What If I Want to Be a Freelance Animator?
If you are not interested in working with a large 3D animation company, you may wonder what opportunities exist for freelance animators. The good news is, there is much opportunity for freelance and contract work. Once you learn the basics of 3D computer modeling, you can take your expertise into the fields or architecture or interior design, where static 3D models, called previsuals, are used extensively before real-world work is begun. You may also find contract work in advertising or product design. To start as a freelancer, you’ll need a solid portfolio and a beautiful website to showcase your work. Therefore, it is important to keep practicing and creating as soon as you start to gain skills. Hone your craft, put your name out there, and remember that you may have to start small.
Learning 3D animation is a great way to improve your employability in the animation field. When you choose a high-quality 3D animation class like Hi-Tech Animation, you’ll get hands-on experience with real professionals to lead the way.