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What Education do Most Animators have?

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What Education do Most Animators have?

Hello, I'm considering animation as a possible career.

I've been drawing since I was little and I'm very confident in my life drawing skills. I'm a highschool senior applying to the likes of RISD and Cooper Union(art). I've also taken a course in animation and learned some flash, maya, and afteraffects. I've done research, but I'm still on the fence about this right now. I have a bunch of question so any feedback would be helpful. Thanks a lot.

1)What do most animators have a degree in?
Do I need to major in animation?
Am I better off majoring in architecture and coming back to animation in grad school?

2) Which are the most notorious schools?(where companies go to hire)
Do I have to go to the west coast?
How possible is it for me to be hired on campus(if i'm really really good)?

3) What is the outlook of the industry? is it growing or plateauing?
Will I likely be picked up by a major studio or be a freelancer(yikes!)?
What is upward mobility like in a studio?

4) Finally, do animators and special effects people have different skills?


first off...I'm just starting out in animation kinda...but I do know one thing and that is you have to be extremely dedicated to this art form if you want to be successful. You can't just maybe consider or kinda half want to do it. It's a shit load of I would make sure by doing your own test and trials first before making any decisions.

1.) I'd say most animators have some kind of art degree...but it varies. Some animators have degrees in History. Do you need a degree in Animation? No. It all depends on your level of ability and demo reel. A degree means nothing really. Are you better off majoring in architecture? Prolly. I don't know much about that industry but its probably a more stable career. Tho don't quote me on that.

2.)As for good schools? I would say Ringling, maybe AAU in SF, and what I think is your best bet, Animation Mentor. You don't really have to go to the west coast unless you want to meet more people in the industry which can be a good thing. Up to you. Obviously if your really really good you can get hired off campus. Like I said...its all about your demo reel. How possible is it? I good are you?

3.) The industry is definitley growing but so are the number of people wanting to get into the industry. I think the hiring rate is leveling off right now...but it usually grows and what not at various times. Will you get picked up by a major studio? How does your demo reel look? If its medicore...then not very likely. Also a lot of people wish they could be freelancers....there is nothing wroung with it. And obviously with more will rise in levels in job position...unless they fire you.

4.) Yes they do. Animation focuses on the performance of the characters...FX artist model, light, composite render, texture, etc the scenes...a lot of FX artist also have some animation ability.

You do have alot of questions! :P

1. There are animators with fine arts degrees, architectural backgrounds, animation degrees, illustration. It's a medium that makes use of so many different design elements that you will really have people in from all walks of life. Getting your architecture might be good as that will really help your perspective. You could come to animation as a background/layout artist.

2. I live in Canada so our hotspots are in Toronto and Vancouver. sheridan college is a big one. My own school is picking up alot of recognition for their high quality (but expensive!) program. You can get hired on campus if you're really good. A friend I know in 2nd year(there are 4 in our program) has been offered an intern position with Nelvana.

3. Is the entertainment industry growing? You have your answer. No one is a psychic;being hired depends on your portfolio! I don't know anything about upward mobility. I look at the industry as a way to travel. Your skills will be transferable to any studio in the world.

4. Yes. The same way that an architectural engineer and animators have diffferent skills. Animators know it but in a less focussed way than an engineer would. Good animators have a wide range of skills which will make you very employable (freelancing can work out very well).

A degree means nothing really.

Eh? thats because your looking at it as a degree and nothing else,allot people just want a certificate,its not the actually *degree* its the learning experience within it,so it does mean something,and it gives you some experience ,which is what they are after.

At my studio we have got 6 BFAs, 1 MFA, 2 Mechanical Engineers and 1 commerical artist 2 guys who learnt the trade at a 3 year apprenticiship program at a studio.