How to Prepare for a Career in Animation and Be Highly Successful

Animation is currently big. At first, viewed as merely a field of entertainment for children, its soaring popularity has been cemented by box office successes such as “The Lion King”, “Kung Fu Panda”, “The Incredibles”, “Ice Age” and “Shrek”. Animation movies have presently progressed into a completely new and individualistic genre. Making an animated movie is no different from its more traditional counterpart though technology has made things much easier and has taken animation to newer heights.

However, one thing you have to keep in mind regarding a career in animation is that it is more of freelance work than a fixed job. Unless of course, you land a job in Disney or even Pixar. What’s important is honing your skills and keeping in touch with people in the industry. You should also learn about the production stages and about what the other people contribute to the process.

Where you study counts

Getting the right training is crucial. If you can afford it, try to get into one of the top schools. If it exceeds your budget, you can focus on the skills set that will boost you on the job front by focusing on life drawing and design as well as 3D modeling and motion graphics. Although technology has made animation more computer-oriented, getting to know the pencil and paper basics will grant you an edge over others, and you’ll be more thorough. Sheridan Animation Art and Design is considered to be one of the best schools depending on your budget. The Art Institute Online is also a good option.

The importance of a good demo

  • Try to keep it short but innovative as innovation is what is most sought after
  • Generally people tend to note only the beginning of the reel, a case of first impressions winning over the end. So, it’s important to start with a bang
  • Don’t bother with music as it’s not the prime focus. Instead pay more attention to what you’ve done on the reel and draw focus to it. Like were you in charge of the lighting or modeling? Try being inventive as individualism and creativity are premium qualities
  • Presentation is crucial and so is clarity. Your contact details too should be clearly stated
  • Repeating or reworking on something already done isn’t the key to success as mostly it is your creative potential that is to be gauged.

Get the basics right

Pre-production is an important aspect and so it is important you know about the different layers to it like story boarding, model sheets, layouts and of course, animatics. It is a sort of game plan for what is to follow. It’s necessary to get the blueprint right. When you get to the production stage, it is modeling, layout, rigging, lighting, texturing and animation that comes into focus. The layout here falls to 3D in contrast to the 2D version of the previous story broadest. The final step is the post-production stage that launches in once the film ends. It deals with cutting scenes, transitional effects added where necessary and also adding the voices and sound. To put it simply, there are three things done: video, sound editing and compositing.

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