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So you want to be an Animator? Here's what to expect.

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ScatteredLogical>My take on what Kazmierski is saying is that money doesn't matter as much as you being happy with your career. It's just that your love of the job will show when you tell others what you do, as it should do. No need to feel ashamed. Besides, someone has to be the janitor - otherwise, we're royally screwed. LOL!

Get to know me more through my blog at http://kaidonni.animationblogspot.com/! :cool:

All I know about Ken is that he worked on both Ren & Stimpy and the animated Batman, which are both sources of inspiration and study.

Maybe a web site would be a good way to sneak up on doing a book. I'd love to see some of Ken's work!

It's a relief to hear you talking about tastes. My life has become completely dominated by particular visual obsessions! I just got Jack Hamm's Cartooning The Head and Figure, and it's already one of my favorite drawing books.

Along with Toth, Jack Davis-- and several others, really-- I've been greatly inspired by Bernie Krigstein. I found this link the other night. It's one of my favorite of his EC crime stories, and I don't believe it's seen print outside of the comics themselves. Pretty cool...

http://www.louisville.edu/a-s/finearts/faculty/molotiu/Crime%20SuspenStories.html

All I know about Ken is that he worked on both Ren & Stimpy and the animated Batman, which are both sources of inspiration and study.

I also know that his head is shaped like a peanut. He's said it himself on many occasions. :D

Order my book Jesus Needs Help on Amazon or download on Kindle.

You can also read the first 18 pages of my next book for free at this link: The Hap Hap Happy Happenstance of Fanny Punongtiti

I just don't want to be 40 and look back and realize that I never had time for anything but animation.

Or you could be 40, lookiing back and wondering what would have happened if you had a go at it.:)

Don't worry about that too much. People in animation have families; hobbies etc just like everyone else. We are not just geeks.

Good luck!

-Paul

Geez, you guys flatter me!

Well......the thing is that I'm a notorious procrastinator. It'd be a while ( 6 months minimum) before I'd get something done on this, and a whole book..........well.........

Probably what would be sane is a booklet, at least at first and it wouldn't be all encompassing, it'd just be my old-fart opinions.

I'll mull this over, but in the mean-time y'all can help out with this process but doing a lil' something to fuel this idea:

Ask your questions.

What would you want to see/need to have answered in such a tome?
Work culture? Mindset? Money situations? Pre-reqs? Books to look at? Things to be afraid of?
What colour socks to wear? Tater-tot recipes?
You tell me ( or we, because ANY "seasoned" pro could write or contribute to this.)--hell, maybe this should be a "pro-blog" or something?
( and I swore I'd never have anything to do with something called a "blog"--ick.

So if people really want this kind of thing, gimme a bone to start chewing on, let me know what you need to know.

Mind you, I DO have back-burner things I want to at least get underway, so something like this will have to wrestle for time amongst that and any ( inevitable, sigh) freelance stuff that happens.

Well, it doesn't have to be a big book... :) And I'm sure you have things on the burner. I just think you're on to something there.

I think you've already written your book.

I'm sure you could take each of points you made in those posts and expand on them, adding personal experiences and tips and techniques, making them chapters. Add some of your art and grab the permission to use the art of others (you've already said some examples) and boom. A book that all of us would be proud to have on our shelves, and would be frayed at the edges from its use.

Gene Deitch already wrote "How to Succeed in Animation" and it's free for viewing here on AWN. I like your approach better. Gene's book is for those looking to survive in the industry. Yours sounds like it is for those wanting to know how to get a solid start in the industry and then how to REALLY survive.

Your posts remind me of that book "Understanding Comics", especially the part where Scott talks about how young artists get started drawing and how some of them fall short. That book also talks about (what a friend has called) "animation theory" in many ways. Animation REALLY needs its own version of that book and I think you've just started to write it here.

Think about it. :)

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Greetings, I'm a second year college student animation in Belgium.

Because it's quite a small market in Belgium I'd really like to emigrate in a couple of years to America.
Do you think I should go for it or not?
I'm really into 2D and according to my teachers, who came from the business (despite the fact of the small market) they believe I would make it.
probable because I've got a really weird mind and I've sometime really absurd idea's and stuff

for the record, this is not for showing off
but it's rather that you get a small idea of what kind of a person I am to help you in your advice for my decision.
Because emigrating is a very expensive deal, and to be frankly,
they're aint growing money on the trees :P

here are some linetests I've made the last months:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TfWIcn8sr_0
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FvA9N7xihHE
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fy7IetAJH80
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oH8NlwgqXLk

in the mean time: thank you

Mine was in the eyes too! I was crawling out of a doggie door in our front entrance and my sister and her friend were running by with a boombox. Slammed into my right eye and there's a cyst behind it now which over time latched onto my brain.

Umm..Score! :)

I had a rabbit bite off a huge chunk of my right forefinger when I was a kid. Does that count?

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Everyone is dealing in such absolutes, you have to be "%100 sure!". College is ABOUT exploration, and finding out what you want to do. I have a bunch of friends who went in for animation but found out they were great at modeling, or TD, or whatever! Again I am not saying it isn't hard work, because it's a ton of hard work. But it is ok to try something and decide it’s not for you. If you are in high school you should especially not know exactly what you want to do!

Again all this talk that it is impossible to work anywhere in any long term fashion is absolutely not true! I work with people at my studio that have been there for 8 + years, and don't plan on going anywhere. So yea it's possible to find steady employment at a single place, it's not all that rare. And before everyone jumps on me I am admitting that this industry does have substantial "migrant worker" side to it. But that's practically every industry. Also if you work in say LA, Bay area, or NYC (places where most of the industry is centralized), even if you find yourself looking for a job, you end up working almost down the street. You also make so many connections so quickly that it tends not to be earth shattering. Point is, don't be discouraged, it's a fantastic career and not all doom and gloom. Most people change majors in college at least once anyway, so it's not an all or nothing deal.

I totally, TOTALLY agree.

I went from Sequential Art (comics) to Film to Graphic Design to Illustration to... well, eventually to Animation. It was really that journey through majors that I figured out that animation was for me. I think the key is putting 100% of yourself into anything you do. That way you'll know for sure.

I think constructive "doom and gloom" is good, so anyone considering animation is prepared.

Really, I think it helps if you are a "self-starter". Are you the type of person that needs the warm huggy feeling of a 9 to 5 time clock and a manager telling you what to do and the Matrix like assimilation into a system, or the type of person that is aggressive and works whenever and whatever and makes his own decisions and looks at their career from the outside? I think it HELPS if you're the latter, just so you're prepared to network and bounce from studio to studio if you find yourself in that situation.

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In response to the responses about my response (I’m lost) the only thing I was saying is that to me work isn’t about making money it’s about doing what you enjoy, doing what you want to talk about, doing what you want to do for free. If you are working at something you would do for free then it is that much enjoyable when someone gives you a pay check. I hope that was understandable. I just want to be part of the animation world so bad that I would be happy to do whatever job is open.

Step 1: Obtain a Degree

Step 2: Gain Work Experience

Step 3: Maintain Proficiency in the Technology

And then u will be on right track to become a successful animator.

Best of luck:)

Your best piece is the jumping dwarf - it's the only one where I saw some secondary action and eases. How much figure/life drawing have you done?

2D is a difficult area to break into these days, especially as an animator, just because there's less of it being done than 10 years ago. Keep working on the drawing skills, dig into some serious life drawing so you get a better grip on how the body is put together, and keep practicing. You're off to a good start.

I have some questions, so I thought I'd post them here. Great thread by the way.

Anyway. I'm currently in my sixth and final year of Secondary School and am considering doing animation in college. I'm doing a 1-year PLC thing that teaches drawing and introduces the basics of animation, and after that I hope to move into a 4-year course. I have a few questions:

1. I live in Ireland, which isn't exactly a hotbed of activity in the animation industry. However, I have American citizenship and plan on working there. My question: would it be easy (or possible) to get a foot in the door there even though I did my education in Ireland?

2. Animation Mentor. I've been looking over their site and I'm interested in it. Their student work, if I'm being honest with myself, was leagues ahead of anything that the college I'm aiming for produced last year. Even the unfinished work-in-progress blew the completed student films out of the water in terms of animation quality. Is learning character animation from them really a viable option? What's the opinion on AM in the industry?

3. The course I'm aiming for is here: http://www.iadt.ie . I know that you probably can't tell much about it from just the description (and they don't have student work on the site) but I was wondering if anyone could give any opinions on it. There are only two animation coures in the whole country, and this is apparently the best.

Anyway, that's all I wanted to know. I'm not absolutely set on doing animation- a lot will depend on how I do in the Leaving Cert- but at the moment it's what I'm leaning towards most.

I'm gonna second what Ken and Paul said. I'm past 40, with a 20+ year marriage, an 18-year old son, and a successful animation career that spans all that time. It can be your career without being your life.

In response to the responses about my response (IÕm lost) the only thing I was saying is that to me work isnÕt about making money itÕs about doing what you enjoy, doing what you want to talk about, doing what you want to do for free. If you are working at something you would do for free then it is that much enjoyable when someone gives you a pay check. I hope that was understandable. I just want to be part of the animation world so bad that I would be happy to do whatever job is open.

Think internship.

I used to joke to my classes about those of us in the biz that had, at one time in our childhoods, sustained some kind of head injury. Y'know....anything from an actual head trauma to just wacking your skull on something and having blood drawn.

Add one more to the tally - I got shoved into a steel pole on the playground in first grade and bled like crazy.

The scar has proved handy in checking for a receding hairline. So far, so good... :D

I work with people at my studio that have been there for 8 + years, and don't plan on going anywhere.

The 8+ years part is great, as long as they understand that they aren't in charge of the "going anywhere else" part. Lest we forget, people who had been at WDFA for 10+ years ended up having to go somewhere else when Disney shut down 2D production.

Even if you're happy where you are and don't plan on leaving anytime soon, you should always be looking ahead and planning what to do if you find you have to make a change. It's just self-preservation. And it's true in every field, not just animation.

i hate how everything is so greedy..... what happend to making cartoons for fun or disney who put all the money he made back into his company

i mean maybe i should go the route of making a cartoon series direct to dvd like a few cartoons do

i actually work for a lawyer lol! and also i am a webdesigner who animates on the side, buts its my big dream

i can sell a website to anyone, im a pretty good salesman, i just need to turn that into a cartoon salesman!

thank you for all the help

i hate how everything is so greedy..... what happend to making cartoons for fun or disney who put all the money he made back into his company

I cannot think of anyone that's made commerrcially produced cartoons "for fun".
Its a business, and even back when the artform was a borning it was a business. Winsor McKay hawked Gertie the Dinosaur for money back then too.
Money changes the whole paradigm of this artform, and its something you need to respect if you want to do it for a living.

Personally, I do this stuff for money. I do NOT do it because I love it, I do it because I can, and because i get paid.
The whole " do it for the love" is a myth as far as I'm concerned.

I mean....c'mon.......would anyone tell a plumber or a electrician to do their job for the love of it?
"Greedy" ( unfortunately) keeps the food coming to the table...

Disney was close to going insolvent SEVERAL times. His legacy is really built on the skin of his teeth, and wouldn't have happened if he'd not been lucky, persistance and bull-headed. Without a doubt, the man suffered MANY sleepless nights creating what we all now know. There's a awful lot of gloss applied to his story over the years.

To champion something like he did, greedy is going to have to be part of your strategy these days. Alot of similar endeavours teeter on the brink of collapse, and it doesn't take much to nudge them off into failure.
Looking out after YOUR interests alone is a savvy survival sense.
Nowadays, if you want to make it, you better darn well protect it, and stridently enforced those protections and copyrights. Failing to do so can provide just enough of a hazy window for the unscrupulous to capitalize on your work. All those people that ever had their creative property rights contested have typically failed to completely protect their works.

"We all grow older, we do not have to grow up"--Archie Goodwin ( 1937-1998)

im sure you met some of the greats?? i mean if you worked on pink panther and ren and stimpy you probably met people like John K etc etc

Yes, I have had the fortune to meet folks like John K and others ( actually, I'm one of the few to have lived through a storyboard pitch by Krisfalusi--the man is a maniac when he's "on"!).
The one thing I can say about a lot of the more prominent animation folks I have met is that people can be very..........different in person than they are portrayed in the press etc.
Sometimes those differences amount to let-downs....but I don't look at people like that very often.
Given the craft we share, I choose to look at and respect their abilities before their personalities.
There are a few folks that I do not care for as people, but I truly respect their ability as artists.

One thing to keep in mind is that everyone has flaws. There have been times when I have been treated badly by colleagues whom I respected up to that point. There are times when I have let-down others too.
I have seen people go from being friends to becoming distant acquaintances to people who will not return even the time of day.
That kind of thing hurts, but its part of life anyway.

The one thing I try to do, with the very skilled folks I meet, is to learn from them. A few have, at times, taken me under their wing ( something I'm forever grateful for, even if some of those folks are no longer in my life anymore) and taught me immensely. Some were a bit more aloof and had to "peek over their shoulder" to pick up tricks and tips.
To me, that's the treasure chest of the craft--sharing it with others.
I implore the talent coming up now to one day turn around and take someone else coming up under their wing, and give back as they were given.
I say that because that is where the richness of the craft gets passed on.

As you move into the biz, and work through it you will doubtlessly meet some folks with reps that precede them. Enjoy those encounters ( however they turn out) and learn from them. Keep an open mind about people, and be fair with others. If someone gets under your skin, remember they have flaws too.

"We all grow older, we do not have to grow up"--Archie Goodwin ( 1937-1998)

Thanx!

Normal, I wanted ro let the gravedigger run away completely differend (turnaround and let him stumble a little longer) but my teacher advised me not to do it, because it would take to much time.

On the one hand he was right, because we have a lot of work for school (and I'm also busy on a comicstrip for a music group) but on the other hand I'd rather wish I'v done that because it would have been really cool :D

One thing to keep in mind is that everyone has flaws. There have been times when I have been treated badly by colleagues whom I respected up to that point. There are times when I have let-down others too.
I have seen people go from being friends to becoming distant accquaintances to people who will not return even the time of day.
That kind of thing hurts, but its part of life anyway.

Amen......

Follow @chaostoon on Twitter!

Hey I'm just wondering what quality of demo reels are the average for 2D animation universities. I'm working on some projects, but I don't know how high the bar is. Regardless, I'm pushing myself to the limit, but I'm wondering if most are handing in feature-length fully colured "Lion King" style films or whatever for admission.

Hey I'm just wondering what quality of demo reels are the average for 2D animation universities. I'm working on some projects, but I don't know how high the bar is. Regardless, I'm pushing myself to the limit, but I'm wondering if most are handing in feature-length fully colured "Lion King" style films or whatever for admission.

I've never heard of anyone submitting a completed film of any length to gain admission to a animation school--that is what they are going there for in the first place.

The level of films that emerge from said schools are all over the spectrum as far as competency though. Usual lengths are about 60 seconds. No-one is insane enough to attempt a full length feature in such an environment as the time and resources available are far too prohibitive.

The mean average for the bar is mediocre though, so its not very high.
Some students present amazing work, and some dismal. Most are right in the middle.

"We all grow older, we do not have to grow up"--Archie Goodwin ( 1937-1998)

I'm gonna reveal something scary...........like WEALLY SCAWY scary.

I used to joke to my classes about those of us in the biz that had, at one time in our childhoods, sustained some kind of head injury. Y'know....anything from an actual head trauma to just wacking your skull on something and having blood drawn.

I used to joke about this, and asked how many had sustained such a thing.........until I started noticing that the students that said "no" or were confused by the question were the ones that didn't make it in the biz.

Oh thank goodness! I've banged my head on a radiator and watched my blood pour into my lap AND fallen straight on my head from the top bunk! Now if only I knew where to go for grad school...

My Dad worked at Boeing for 33 years!

...and was distressed everytime that I was layed off from various ad agencies in Seattle (18 years = MANY layoffs!), so needless to say, he was distressed alot!

If the agency lost a major client, and you were the Art Director or Writer, you best watch your back! And the trickle down factor was there as well for all supporting e-pro's, and Account Exec's (Suit's)...

So now LOT'S off people get to enjoy this fun and exciting life style!

(What's really sad is...that I love it!)

The Wife would prefer I go "In-House" somewhere to find that 33 year job...

:confused:

...still lookin'!

Splatman:D

I want to do 3d animation. But I want to self prepare for what is going to come at me in the future. So how exactly do I prepare for the animation world? I already am frantically taking all the art classes and am now starting on computers classes. I've been searching the internet for all possible answers.. including here. So what exactly should I do to prepare myself? Which softwares should I get familiar with now so when I get into the big courses I can use that time to get all the bugs out when the time comes. I don't want to use all that time learning the stuff. I don't just want to be familiar with the software..I want to be an expert in the software. Also what books/sites are there chalked full of information about animation? Should I go to all the latest animated movies? What exactly do I need to do. Anything from you guys would be very appreciated.

"You can never be a real winner if you've never been a loser" -DPoV

saying you only do it cause you can and only for money is really is a downer, ive been animating on the side for the pure love it of, and if I was paid to do it would be more then just cause I can

I love art, art fills a gap in my life, and im sure others too

if people wanted to make money just for a living there are plenty of desk jobs and other 9-5 jobs available

whenever I bring a character to life, its a great feeling, if you lost touch to that im sorry for you. what I have been reading is that most animators make anywhere from 25-60k a year. the job I have now I get about 35k yr, I would rather do something I love and reinvest that money back into what I love and with the left over pay for things like rent and food

money is money, it is the root of evil I don’t need it nor really want it
im happy with what I have and what I don’t have but my dream is to be a 2d animator for a cartoon series

maybe im a rare case, or maybe its because I grew up poor, but all I know I love animation and creating animation even if it sucks

saying you only do it cause you can and only for money is really is a downer, ive been animating on the side for the pure love it of, and if I was paid to do it would be more then just cause I can

I love art, art fills a gap in my life, and im sure others too

if people wanted to make money just for a living there are plenty of desk jobs and other 9-5 jobs available

whenever I bring a character to life, its a great feeling, if you lost touch to that im sorry for you. what I have been reading is that most animators make anywhere from 25-60k a year. the job I have now I get about 35k yr, I would rather do something I love and reinvest that money back into what I love and with the left over pay for things like rent and food

money is money, it is the root of evil I don’t need it nor really want it
im happy with what I have and what I don’t have but my dream is to be a 2d animator for a cartoon series

maybe im a rare case, or maybe its because I grew up poor, but all I know I love animation and creating animation even if it sucks

Well, you need to bear in mind a few things--some of which you couldn't possibly know.

To do professional animation/cartooning, I think a personality needs to be part artist, part idealist, part masochist, and part moron--and if you survive, part realist.

I've been in the cartoon biz for over 22 years now, and there's days when I like it and days I don't.
I've not lost touch with the "love"--I've just put it in its proper place.
The "love" has cost me a lot. The naive wide-eyed "gosh,gee-whiz" feeling I used to have about the biz and the craft has been supplanted by a more reasoned, wisened pragmatic mindset.
Its a job, that I do, and can do well--but that is all it is.

Unfortunately, its not a job, or craft entirely under my control.
Its drawing on demand, to demands.
I may not like the property I'm working on, it might not be to my interests, the pay may be low, the deadlines too tight, my health or moods less than optimum. The management of the project may well be making mistakes and bad judgement calls that I know to be wrong, but its not my place to speak up--because its not MY project, its theirs.
I just cannot express an all abiding love if I cannot respect the material--because sometimes the material is beneath respect.
There's a LOT of factors that conspire against enjoyment and a lot of things I cannot control.
I just do not find joy in wondering how I'm going to pay a bill because the cheque I got for a week's work was $300, or in wrestling with a badly-thought out situation in a script, that I now have to make sense of.........and the deadline is only hours away......

Sometimes there will be material I will throw myself into, and sometimes there's material that I will just go through the motions on.
I do it for the money because, well, my life has changed. I'm no longer single and answerable to no-one. I have responsibilties greater than my own whims and choices and I need an income to address those.
Money isn't evil, its the attitudes about money that are evil. Money is just a tool--a means to an end. I earn money so I take care of those things that are important to me--which is exactly what anyone else does.

All of that mindset comes from experiencing the reality of the biz. There's frustrations and angst aplenty, and though there be good times too, there's always those hard times on the horizon.
Outiders look at the industry with rose-coloured glasses, because they have few, if any, references to what the actual experiences are like.
The associations are usually of their past experience with art, in which they draw for pleasure, drawing when they feel like it and expressing material that they choose.
Newcomers and outsiders often have this elitist delusion they can pick and choose the projects they will work on---and that's seldom the case. If the only job currently in town is "Pillow People" ( yes, its real, and its insipid!), you either do that one, or you starve.

The bulk of the work to be done, unfortunately, resides in the banal.
You draw someone else's creation, for the wage they offer ( or that you negotiate), to their deadlines, and under their demands. Your creative input may well be zero--you could be just a hired wrist. The emotional connection to the work can be nil--because all you have done at the end of the day is committed an act--that someone else will quite possibly treat with total indifference.
( on my more cynical days, I liken animation to prostitution--and the similarities are not that far removed).
The numbers of talent that step out of the factory-situation in animation and take on the fully creative reins are actually very few.

Even the famed Nine Ol' Men from the Disney stables, had their share of embittered souls. They arguably had a tremendous amount of influence with their work, and tremendous talent to back it up.......yet many of them abused life, and some died young. Why?
Maybe the gloss is really only on the surface and the work is full of toil, trial and let-downs.
Creativity, coming from within, ceases to be creativity when its challenged and vetoed by an outside force.

In my experience, that kind of emotional drain is unrelenting because every production is done by committee these days.
Its easy to become cynical and turn one's emotions away from the task--especially if the investment is constantly upset.

When you HAVE TO DO something, something you are not keen about for whatever reason, it stops being fun really fast.
Keep in mind that in the years I've been contributing to these forums, and others, I've NOT been advocating that people take up a 9-5 desk job. That certainly counts for something...

I may not be typical, and I do not profess to be. My career is ONE kind of example in this. I have other interests outside of, but related to, cartooning and those things are what I invest my passion into. Cartooning is just a job for me, after 22 years. I seldom, if ever draw for pleasure anymore because I either do not have time, or the inclination--as there are more important things in life for me.

Your experience may differ.

"We all grow older, we do not have to grow up"--Archie Goodwin ( 1937-1998)

I didn't read all of Ken's last post. It's to damn long and I have to get back to work too.

I think Ken does love his work, but it's not a blind love like a lot of young up and comers have. He doesn't have that, "I love animation so much I'd do it for free," attitude that some people have. He as well as most people has bill to pay and a family to raise and take care off.

I still love animation. I love seeing the characters live and think and act once I get through animating. I guess I'm still young and idealistic enough to be picky about my jobs. I have certain standards that I won't cross. I work at a studio so I don't have the choice of what shows I animate but I choose this studio because I like the work that they put out.

Back to Flash cartoon's original question. You are kind of putting the cart ahead of the donkey with this. Most studios won't buy a series if it's already done and not aired in an established market. For new shows, they want a story outline with a couple of brief episode ideas. That way they can tweek the show to what they feel would be best for their network. If you already animated it, they can no longer do that. The best way would be to go that route and save your money and not hire all those animators to make your show.

You could try like a very short pilot on the internet. Studios don't seem to take internet shorts as solidified shows so they can still tweek them. But I kind of think that time has come and gone for the webshort to TV show.

Aloha,
the Ape

...we must all face a choice, between what is right... and what is easy."

im sorry if i offended you in anyway, i am an outsider and probably never get to your level or even in a real animation studio making cartoons

it is sad to know that its committee run, ive already read about this and know but its still sad to see that everything in america is the same

i just hope i dont sound like im coming off as a jerk, cause im far from it! :eek:

im lucky im still young and have no family to take care of, or house payments, im a renter and probably will always be. I also make money from hosting so i can live anywhere and have income so i can animate as a hobby i hopefully after i save alot will try to goto www.vanarts.com to learn more, they put you in a deadline situation and get you ready for the tough animating times ahead

ken what cartoons have you worked on? if you can say?

i actually spoke with you ape before, and thought it was amazing you worked on fosters and hi puffy are you still working on that show (hi puffy)?

its great to come here to talk to the real pros who are in the biz, but its also sad to find out the truth in the animation world

I want to do 3d animation. But I want to self prepare for what is going to come at me in the future. So how exactly do I prepare for the animation world? I already am frantically taking all the art classes and am now starting on computers classes. I've been searching the internet for all possible answers.. including here. So what exactly should I do to prepare myself? Which softwares should I get familiar with now so when I get into the big courses I can use that time to get all the bugs out when the time comes. I don't want to use all that time learning the stuff. I don't just want to be familiar with the software..I want to be an expert in the software. Also what books/sites are there chalked full of information about animation? Should I go to all the latest animated movies? What exactly do I need to do. Anything from you guys would be very appreciated.

Y'know what, software is a minor concern.
You don't need to be an expert at it because, frankly, nobody gives a hill of beans that you know all the function. Just being "familliar" with the stuff is enough.

What will really counts is artistic ability, because without it, you are useless to the indistry. If you cannot create an appealing image, that clearly shows you have the artistic talents for the job, then all that software expertise is meaningless.

There's more than a few people that have this delusion that the software will take care of things like that, but they are just kidding themselves.
Things like building and animating the characters in 3D will, over time, merge from two separate jobs to one. Kinda just like how it used to be in 2D animation.
3D animation is essentially puppetry, once the virtual object is built, a chimpanzee can pretty much move the thing.
In some aspects of animation, "puppetry" is enough to make a career out of.

For some people thats enough to satisfy there ambitions.

Unfortunately, there's not much more that can be done with such a person, and if the job description changes enough, they could be out the door.
For years, I've advocated incoming talents to be as well rounded as possible--to know something about art, or cartooning--or other aspects of animation like storyboards or design. Even things outside animation like illustration and comics, because if the animation jobs dry up, for whatever reason, you'll still need to put food on the table.

Trouble is, a lot of newcomers are scared shitless hearing that. They don't like hearing because they think it takes them away from their tunnel-visioned goal, and that its just too hard to do those other things.
Hey, I say; " Its your career."

Develop your artistic abilities, become EXPERT in those. Become as good at creating an image as the artists in the movies and TV shows you watch.
Study other things, like illustration, comics, music, writing--so you can bring something else to the equation.
Software is just another tool, like using a paint brush, no-one cares about how much you know the stuff--they just care that you can do good stuff with it.

The other thing: dump being "frantic"--you will not learn anything if you are in a rush. Take your time to explore, experiment, analyze and absorb. The process can take a few years, and you may as well accept that. The amount of intensity and focus you apply can alter that time-line, but very few people seem to be able to muster that kind of ability for any length of time.
Again, having a certificate that says you've learned some software and taken some course means nothing if you do not have artistic ability to back those up. Take your time and learn the skills properly, and develop your talents to the best it can be.

"We all grow older, we do not have to grow up"--Archie Goodwin ( 1937-1998)

I think it's actually really motivating to see how -much- leniency exists, given how much arse-clenching goes on in other similar industries. There's as much a compromise as is possible given the business-driven desires at stake. You'll see that when you go to school. They should have your best interests at heart, but they do until it encroaches upon their ability to make money. The actual industry, if anything, is an improvement because at least it's got a humanistic core, even if the surface wrapper is "staying afloat and procuring a profit."

Doesn't phase me though. It can be an inconvenience but it could be far worse...it could be way less supportive. Just do the best you can given the existing structure...work within the paradigm.

I'm doing that come summer. As for money, I'm still churning out rough work and illustrating for small cash. Really small cash. I'd like to think I could garner something from a few contests, entering for multiple prizes. The money issue is rather daunting, but spending the next four decades of your life might as well be something you like, true. "Echo"

im sorry if i offended you in anyway, i am an outsider and probably never get to your level or even in a real animation studio making cartoons

it is sad to know that its committee run, ive already read about this and know but its still sad to see that everything in america is the same

i just hope i dont sound like im coming off as a jerk, cause im far from it! :eek:

Nope, no offense taken. This thread is all about learning and that's been the aim here. You asked your questions and you got some answers. And I do not speak for all pros, so if others like Ape want to chime in, by all means!

As far as creation by commitee goes, that's oversight for ya.
Its a natural outfall of handing over budgets with 10's of millions of dollars to people. There's more trust placed in a group consensus on creative matters, than on individual visions when that kind of money is involved. After all, that money belongs to someone....

im lucky im still young and have no family to take care of, or house payments, im a renter and probably will always be. I also make money from hosting so i can live anywhere and have income so i can animate as a hobby i hopefully after i save alot will try to goto www.vanarts.com to learn more, they put you in a deadline situation and get you ready for the tough animating times ahead

Your frame of reference is clearly different from mine, even if you were in the industry is could still be different. The key thing here is to keep in mind that the reality of the business can be quite sobering--but that depends upon so many things. Your atttitudes about life, circumstances, life references......so many things.

ken what cartoons have you worked on? if you can say?

Here's a smattering:
James Bond Jr, Ren & Stimpy, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Freakazoid, Johnny Bravo, Baby Huey, 101 Dalmatians, Mummies Alive, Action Man, Reboot, Class of the Titans, Conan, Pink Panther, Batman, Wing Commander Academy, I am Weasel, Bionicle, and currently Chaotic. There's about another 2 dozen or so shows in addition to those.

its great to come here to talk to the real pros who are in the biz, but its also sad to find out the truth in the animation world

Well the aim is not to make you sad, its to make you wise. Wise so you can enjoy working in the animation business in spite of the pitfalls. In fact, that is the whole point of this now-extensive thread.

At no point have I said to you, or anyone," do not do this"--because that's not my style, and I just do not believe in dissuasion. I push reality, or what I believe to be reality within the business--because if you can handle the downside of something, the upside is obviously not going to be a problem, right?

My advice if you are unsure about this industry is to read more about it.
Read everything about the animation biz you can get your hands on--there's no such thing as too much info in this case. In my day, it was reading every book and magazine I could get, but today you have easily 1000 times more info--all of it right in front of you. There's a much richer education to be had out there right now, even without going to school --which used to be the only choice, aside from learning by trial and error.
You'll start to see patterns emerge with the more info you digest. That'll be part of your education. The other part will come actually doing it, and doing it professionally.
Give it a try.

"We all grow older, we do not have to grow up"--Archie Goodwin ( 1937-1998)

This Is A Must See

"On The Lot" is a must see summer show. Watch as twenty-something year old film makers get their beating heart ripped out on national television.

C'mon Wontobe - at least these people are getting some exposure. I doubt anyone held a gun to their head and made them apply for the show, and by now if anyone should know how a reality show elimination works, it should be someone who wants to tell stories for a living.

Frankly, I think they're being treated far better than some reality shows treat their contestants.

What will really counts is artistic ability, because without it, you are useless to the indistry. If you cannot create an appealing
Again, having a certificate that says you've learned some software and taken some course means nothing if you do not have artistic ability to back those up. Take your time and learn the skills properly, and develop your talents to the best it can be.

Well Before high school, I used to aspire to become an industrial designer, Design new and upcoming automobiles and stuff. It wasn't until this year that I found animation. I fell in love with computer animated films and animation in general. In my town, there's not a whole lot of opportunity. with only 550 people (population probably rounded up), best you can do is try and get a scholarship of some kind. with job opportunities comes art. There wasn't really an art program at my school. And since my parents didn't draw or paint I taught myself. I don't know how much of potential I have, but I drew this during Social Studies class while we were watching something on the French and Indian war. This is the only one I could pull up right now because I'm on vacation in MO. But please tell me what to work on. I had my first art class this year and So I'm probably not as great as I could be but I'm trying. I want to be the best I can possibly be you know?

"You can never be a real winner if you've never been a loser" -DPoV

Is that referenced from something, like a photograph? The construction's pretty deliberate in places, and the reflections would be amazingly organic for something off the top of your head.

I'm gonna reveal something scary...........like WEALLY SCAWY scary.

I used to joke to my classes about those of us in the biz that had, at one time in our childhoods, sustained some kind of head injury. Y'know....anything from an actual head trauma to just wacking your skull on something and having blood drawn.

I used to joke about this, and asked how many had sustained such a thing.........until I started noticing that the students that said "no" or were confused by the question were the ones that didn't make it in the biz.

Hit in the head with a hoe.

“Who cares what a bunch of fourth graders think you’re doing what you want to do with your life and that’s the only thing that matters…” -Homer Simpson. True words from a true roll model.

I would love to do an internship although I need to make enough money to get myself from hear in a suburb of Chicago to within driving range of a animation studio willing to give me a chance.

3D animation is essentially puppetry, once the virtual object is built, a chimpanzee can pretty much move the thing.

Sure, just like a chimp can make marks with a pencil. And like making marks with a pencil, it takes someone who knows what they're doing in 3D to go from that basic level to creating a compelling performance and a believable character. Just like in 2D.

I completely agree about the benefit of a broad artistic background; hell, I've built my career on it. The key to a long, successful career is having a range of skills, both traditional and digital.

Also agree about the software. The only time you need to be an expert is if you're going for a TD job. Beyond that, learn what you need to know to do what you're trying to do, and add to the knowledge base as necessary.

Is that referenced from something, like a photograph? The construction's pretty deliberate in places, and the reflections would be amazingly organic for something off the top of your head.

yes, I drew that from a photo. I'm creative but I don't have a photographic memory. And I don't always draw from photo's. I do still life drawings as well. But I drew that in 8th grade so the front rim looks bent. and some of the things on it are bad. But That was a while ago before I took an art class.

The only time you need to be an expert is if you're going for a TD job. Beyond that, learn what you need to know to do what you're trying to do, and add to the knowledge base as necessary.

Do you know exactly where I can find the information you're talking about? And what exactly is a TD job. I'd just like to know.

"You can never be a real winner if you've never been a loser" -DPoV

I'm not sure exactly what you're asking for. What I meant was, learn the basics of whatever software you're interested in, then add the skills you need to accomplish the task you've set for yourself. For example, if you wanted to be a modeler, you'd need to familiarize yourself with the modeling tools in whatever package you're using.

A TD is a technical director. That's the general job title for the folks that set up characters and such for the animators to animate, or those who write shaders, or those who set up lighting in a scene, etc. A TD usually needs to be more expert in the software package than the average animator does.

thanks! and wow thats alot of credits you got there

also i hope james bond jr. comes to dvd ive been waiting for that

im sure you met some of the greats?? i mean if you worked on pink panther and ren and stimpy you probably met people like John K etc etc

any books you really recommend? right now im doing lessons in Hart's Animation Studio and Preston Blairs Animation I

What are the important key programs to know in order to keep up with the 2D or 3D animation industry?

Hi everyone.
Well; the most important thing that I had listen here (AWN forums); is that you have to do another stuff and not just animation; dont put all the eggs in the same basket, get in anothers graphic design aspects, and maybe in another kind of bussines.

I am in a -thirdworld- country and when I talk about animation; is like "anim-what?"; that industry here... doesn't exist. But I definitively will be in this bussines, in the industy... at another country (of course). With a little lucky someday I will go to Canada or Europe to seriusly study animation, i recently buy the "animation survival kit" and I also read all the stuff about animation I can find on internet.

My country... when you hear the word "marihuana" which country bring out your head? (tip: is not mexico)

Actually.. a Technical Director is what I was actually aiming for. I don't just want to animate stuff. I'd want to set up characters and lighting effects like that rather than just animate. I also am wondering whether I should download Maya PLE when I get back. I know a friend who tried but didn't know what to put for a company. I'm thinking I'm going to use Maya when I get into the seriousness of 3D animating, but please correct me if I'm wrong. I was just wondering if you knew any websites that tell you everything about the software or anything. Hope that helps you're explanations.

"You can never be a real winner if you've never been a loser" -DPoV

I Dream to Be A 2D Animator?

i wanna go to 2D Animation and also write up stories to pitch up to many networks. i live in England and wanna really move to America to persue this career. does anyone have any advice on how to prepare?

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Questions

Hi, I'm new to these forums and I'm thirteen. I was just wondering. How would you be able to draw directly over 3D frames? And do any of you know of any free 3D software I could possibly use?:)

Hi, be sure to check out my blog! A few thing there, and I'll also be putting some of my work (pictures and short carttons) there too in the future: http://ukracattack.blogspot.com:)
I am also making a Flash animated cartoon that I plan to air on it's website in Fall 2008. It's called Tednut and it's about an personified peanut named Ted and his friend Kernal, and their basic adventures in their town of Sleepy Oaks, New York: http://tednut.sampasite.com:D

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