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

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Now tell me, worthies, how deep a shit I am in? Shovels ready right here.

The shit is as deep as you want to make it, or believe it is.

In reality, it all comes down to your focus and willingness to use the resources around you.
Using the internet, you have the entire wealth of information and access from around the globe. If you cannot find it on-line, you can probably get it mailed to you.
It's been said in tis thread and elsewhere many times before: one does NOT need formal school to enter and succeed in this business. All of the education materials exist either on-line, or in books and other materials that are available to anyone. Less than 1% of these materials were available when I started in the biz over 20 years ago, and I made a career with no formal schooling in this craft.
The wealth of materials today, means that one only needs the ability to sift through the stuff to find the materials that give them the answers the quickest--there is no dearth of material to use. Many of them cost very little or nothing.

Aside from that, only one's ability to motivate themselves and persist in developing their skills is the prime obstacle they face. Knowing where to look for the answers is probably the first key skill needed, and once you have that, its the simple labour of training the hand and eye to work and see to produce the results you want.

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

Learning by yourself though possible theoretically could be very difficult without a roadmap. Even if you land a roadmap, you next need a mentor. Finally, you need a schedule since the labour part is best done under a ferocious dog, and in self-learing you have to keep a watch and track that you're going as per schedule.

Also, alternatively you can fill gaps by actually searching for places which teach you tough/ complicated modules on your roadmap. And maybe learn the software yourself, if finance and time is an issue.

http://www.3danimationtrainingstudio.com I still have not told my story! - Vineet Raj Kapoor

I might be preaching the same old same old again, but I think I might have a few points to add:

I really beleive that the first 5 years or so, or even longer, are a 'learning period' in which you are finding your direction.

I graduated some 7 years ago from an animation college and it has taken up until now to really figure out where I'm going with my skills/talent.

I spent those years doing bullsh*t little commissions here and there, the odd job for publishers, a picture here and an image there, mostly for oridnary people who wanted artwork done. I worked for one major publisher which paid off nicely, but other than that I was just floating around and wondering where the heck I was gonna end up.

Some days were hopeless- mostly because I wasn't able to envision a career in art- I couldn't picture myself working daily in a studio- and if I did, where would it be, what would I be doing and would this be a steady 9-5 career or would I be in and out of work frequently? Had no idea. I just had no direction out of college and even spent a year or two drawing NOTHING- never picked up a pencil.

Looking back on it now, all of that stuff was very relevant-- it was important for me to go through those really dark times because it was giving me experience and in idea of where to tread and where not to tread. I knew what work would pay off and what wouldn't.

I tried so many different things- I used to go into people's homes and offer mural services for their kids, I used to sell art prints on the street, I sent out hundreds and hundreds of portfolios to publishers, and so on. It just took so long to realize that none of this was going to happen. The odd job always came through-- but nothing was happening to make a substantial living.

So basically, I have seen what this industry is like and I'll say it again- it is SO important to not restrict yourself to one thing when searching for your niche- don't think "I want to be a layout artist" and that's it. Or "I want to paint murals for kids as a living". Or "I want to animate video games forever". 'Cause it ain't gonna happen this way.

The key is to be able to do a little of everything and don't limit yourself to just one path- if you can do a mural here, a layout there and sell some stuff at this weekend's art festival, then you're opening yourself up to more possibilities. And don't just limit yourself to "animation"-- if you're an artist, then you're capable of SO MUCH more than just animation. You can do portraits, caricatures, murals, video game animation, tatoo design, etc etc etc. You'll be surprised when you see how much demand your skills will be in once people get to know your stuff.

So, from my point of view- I spent 5 or 6 good years of slugging it out- and this past year or two I really believe I'm where I wanted to be- somewhere I never imagined- I've been that guy at the big summer festivals drawing caricatures. And the results have been totally mind-boggling to me in terms of success *and* income. The public absolutely LOVES to have their portraits/caricatures drawn and if you hit up the right spots, you will be swamped for days on end and you'll be able to clear a grand in two days or less if you're fast enough and good enough. All cash money and more importantly, you're using your artistic skills for a living. The feeling doesn't get any better, especially after all those years of struggle. I'm going full-force now and am booking the rest of the summer at major festivals and events around the city. Music all day long, families, fun, rides, food, nice outdoor weather, -- what the heck could be better than working in that environment? No boss, no one to report to- you're on your own, you're doing your own artwork, no one is editing it, no one is competing against it, your own hours, your own locations, etc etc. Plus, your artwork is hanging on hundreds of kids' walls at home at the end of the day!! Years later, they say "Oh yeah, I remember that artist!" It's just a great feeling.

So to top it off, keep your options wide open and try a little of everything. The first few years might turn out to be a struggle and a big search of where you're headed. But if you keep on, eventually you find your way.

You're using learning in a very wider sense. In that sense, life is a learning experience.

Here when we say learning animation is about learning the craft for the first time at a college or institute or by self.

http://www.3danimationtrainingstudio.com I still have not told my story! - Vineet Raj Kapoor

Woking Harder to get to the career I Dream of

Hey Ken you sound like my instructor when I was in school Mike Manley which is a good thing, my only question is What if you know you are not the best and are working your butt off, but ain't got no results yet.... I'am looking for an internship in DE but ain't found a thing any suggestions? (Other than work Harder I'am already working harder on my drawing skills)

"I don't get discouraged I get tenacious" D. Stewart

Hey Ken you sound like my instructor when I was in school Mike Manley which is a good thing, my only question is What if you know you are not the best and are working your butt off, but ain't got no results yet.... I'am looking for an internship in DE but ain't found a thing any suggestions? (Other than work Harder I'am already working harder on my drawing skills)

David--
I know of Mike only by his comic work and his wonderful publication: Draw Magazine......an excellent resource that I recommend to anyone and everyone.

To be candid, I am not the best either--you can see my stuff for yourself in the gallery section (Daily Sketch) here in the AWN forums. I sweat the stuff, and some days are less fun than others.

The way to get results is really simple though.........be patient AND persistent.
Giving up guarantees you fail.

Look at your work critically and the work of those you admire......find the common ground in the pro work and emulate that. Work on your weak areas in a ballsy fashion--solutions do exist.
Constantly learn and problem-solve--that will help with the patience.

Frustration is a useful tool in this.......because psychology says that the more intense your emotions are on the problem, the more your psyche invests in a solution......and the sooner you will find one. The human brain is biologically wired to find a solution to every question put to it( even if it has to make something up).

Apply a strategy: start with the very basic, elemental things about drawing and build off of that.
Look at a pro drawing: how do the lines go, where are they thick and thin--is there a pattern to them? Are the shapes doing certain things? Are the positive/negative spaces in the shapes abiding by any patterns? Expand the analysis and procedures from there.

If you need to.....trace off a drawing so your hand duplicates the strokes that the original artist used. By duplicating the neurology ( the physical aspect of their thought process) you can duplicate the actual thought processes.
It works for gymnasts jumping over sawhorses......amongst other things....it can work for you too!

Other things: get your work out there. Post samples, get critiques......keep creating new stuff--keep adding to your visual vocabulary.

And do not give up.

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

I am not very excited about the animation industry and education scene in India. I want to go for a course abroad which stresses on art, traditional animation techniques, 2D as well as 3D. And it better be the world's best. (I am very keen on Europe, but that's only emotional reasons, don't know how career-worthy the continent will be.)

Now tell me, worthies, how deep a shit I am in? Shovels ready right here.

Learning by yourself though possible theoretically could be very difficult without a roadmap. Even if you land a roadmap, you next need a mentor. Finally, you need a schedule since the labour part is best done under a ferocious dog, and in self-learning you have to keep a watch and track that you're going as per schedule.

Also, alternatively you can fill gaps by actually searching for places which teach you tough/ complicated modules on your roadmap. And maybe learn the software yourself, if finance and time is an issue.

Surely, the more expensive courses outside would have the resources to give you a higher level of exposure than the cheaper courses in India.

http://www.3danimationtrainingstudio.com I still have not told my story! - Vineet Raj Kapoor

what are the softwares which a 3D animation aspirant must know ??

what are the softwares which a 3D animation aspirant must know ??

Well this looks to be an incomplete question. But anyway, a 3D animator should know animation in whatever software he chooses to work in or is comfortable in.

Learn animation is about learning all animation principles, and learning to animate through the drawings, learning to design characters and their movements.

Well, you can try the following software to work in - maya, 3ds max, xsi softimage, blender etc

http://www.3danimationtrainingstudio.com I still have not told my story! - Vineet Raj Kapoor

Art Is importent

if you want to be an animator so you art quality must be good for basic fundamental.

I have been away from this forum for years now, and just dropped by. This was the first thread I picked up and think it's the best advice I've probably ever heard for someone starting out.

I haven't read everything in this thread, but the fact that you're so straight up with the facts is kinder than it is harsh. I work at a university in the UK that teaches animation, I'm a part time guy. It is right about 1 in 10 students (it's even less than this for character animators, but does depend on your school). Alot of the students who show promise end up failing, like you said, because something inside them gives up. I also think this is partially the fault of institutions who farm in the students with a corporate gloss and big smile, then when they are on the course the reality hits home. This is not so much deception as keeping some cards to their chest (which I do not agree with) but universities and colleges all over the world are doing it to make their money. It also doesn't help that entry level jobs go overseas, so there is no apprenticeship schemes or learning on the job like there used to be.

Anyway, no to be more positive. The industry is massively expanding. With the current climate who knows how long this will last, but with the ever increasing need for visuals everywhere, there will always be jobs to be had.

What Ken said early on about standing out from the crowd is so important. You are not a sheep (if you are, well done for learning to read for starters). Do not follow the crowd. The wider your knowledge and understanding of the world around you, the more sources you will have to draw from and the better your understanding of visual life.

I myself am still heavily learning. But I would say my one piece of advice aside from what's already been said is do everything to the best of your ability. Really go to town on it. There are alot of roles to be filled out there, and you cannot be the master of them all. A sound understanding of your discipline is essential, but you must specialise if you want to excel. Keep up your other skills but bring it into focus. If you want to be a character animator, aim to be the best character animator in the world. Look at what the top guys are doing, who they learnt from and what their working methods are (god bless dvd extras and the internet). Go to seminars (I found Andrew Gordon's Masterclass very useful), watch video reference, collect your own, keep practising.

Unlike popular belief, you don't have to be in full time ed to succeed at this. You can commit the rest of your time outside of your bill-paying job to learning. It's hard, I know this from experience, but it will motivate you and give you direction. I'm just coming from the side of the people who aren't necessarily in a perfect financial situation. But DEFINATELY get the best education you can. Make the most of it (all what Ken said).

Anyway, I'm done. Just wanted to add my input.

Try To best

You just try on your best .definetily you will got the position on it
but your art skils must be strong.

thanks:)

You require a lot of hard work/ toil in this field, irrespective of who your mentors are. A mentor as usual is contributing 1% but that is important since he puts you on the right path. The remaining 99% is about burning the midnight oil. Luckily with the internet, mentoring is just an email away!

So, upscaling the role played by mentors lead some to believe that expertise is an email away. Sadly that may not be so. An expert is one who learns 50% of what remains, every year (the actual figure may even be 25% every year, but for the sake of mathematical clarity of the proposed theory, i assume it to be 50%). So when would he gain 100%? The answer, mathematically is - never.

So, though you may not need to wait to be an expert, however, you can start if you work very very hard.. remember, Animation is not a corporate stuff job, and quality is quite easily identifiable.

Finally, these are high seas, no matter who your coach was or how prepared you are, it is important where you are today - a great swimmer in the middle of Pacific, or a rookie near a sea beach - in other words a great animator working on his own vision, or a fresh animator working with Pixar :-)

.. Happy swimming in both cases!

http://www.3danimationtrainingstudio.com I still have not told my story! - Vineet Raj Kapoor

I have so many well-constructed ideas for full-scale projects of high quality/caliber but I know my skills aren't there yet so I put them off for a time when I won't have to compromise my vision.

You know, how many pencil tests or backgrounds or lip-syncs do I have to do before I can have some sort of confidence in major undertakings I have, such as Feature-Length films or TV series'. Obviously, I'm not looking for physical figures, but essentially, what I'm asking is, what's it take to finally reach unrestricted creative freedom? (Not limited by skill but only by imagination)

I have so many well-constructed ideas for full-scale projects of high quality/caliber but I know my skills aren't there yet so I put them off for a time when I won't have to compromise my vision.

You know, how many pencil tests or backgrounds or lip-syncs do I have to do before I can have some sort of confidence in major undertakings I have, such as Feature-Length films or TV series'. Obviously, I'm not looking for physical figures, but essentially, what I'm asking is, what's it take to finally reach unrestricted creative freedom? (Not limited by skill but only by imagination)

I just saw your query. I hope my reply above addresses that as well.. else let me know

http://www.3danimationtrainingstudio.com I still have not told my story! - Vineet Raj Kapoor

sorry about multiple posting above.. my internet was not behaving properly and it was showing as an unsuccessful post every time and now I see that it was successful. Is there anyway I can delete the duplicates?

http://www.3danimationtrainingstudio.com I still have not told my story! - Vineet Raj Kapoor

Academy of Animation and Gaming "AAG"

Hi Pals!

You can convert you dreams into reality if you have a will for this feild, and when you place your soul to your dream its really become fun to work......

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So take a look at our site i.e. www.aag.edu.in , and if you’re interested to know about the varied courses offered by us, you can also have counseling sessions to find the course matching of your interest.
for any furhter query please contact us......

So its been 3 years since this thread was begun, how have things changed?

In some ways they have changed positively, in some ways they have changed negatively--and even then, probably not the same for everyone.

Is the biz better today than it was 3 years ago?

Best answer is; Yes and no.
Work can be AS HARD to find as it was back then, but there is work out there.
Artistic skills are still in demand all over the place, its just the synergy/synchronicity of that talent meeting those jobs that often stays in flux.

Persistance and perseverance are the key, remember? If you give up you WILL fail. If you persist,regardless of what comes along or what you have to do in the meantime, success is all but assured.

Advice for the day:

What do you bring to the table?
What do you offer as a talent?

Now, I've gone on about drawing to meet the needs of the studios that are hiring many times before--and that requisite remains true, but........
What do you offer them?
This is a multi-layered question, so consider it as such.
On the face of it, is your immediate skills. You skills with software, basic artistry, techniques etc.....essentially the quality of the "wrist" they hire in you.

The other things are what you as a person have to say.

As you progress in projects, sooner or later you'll be placed into a position where your personal judgement on the material will be called upon.
You'll be asked for input on "what to do" in order to make something work, or to make it better.
Herein lies the true nature of our work.
I think we can all acknowledge that the very heart of what we do lies in the conveyance of moments.
Its moments that make the movie and cartoons we love so very dear and special, right?
Its Darth Vader gesturing to Luke and saying " I am your father".
Its ET turning around and running into a very young Drew Barrymore and both of them screaming on the sight of each other.
Its Iron Giant closing his eyes and saying "Supermannn".
You know those moments........you have some........hold some in your hearts and memories.
THIS is why we do WHAT we do.

And at some point you will be called upon to create one of those moments.

So, what do you have to say about things? What is special about your vision that will define ( or redefine) something we know already, or make something we have not seen much of before into something cool?

When I'm saying this......I'm not just talking about histrionics....what something DOES, though that can be a part of it. I'm talking about what it looks like, sounds like, "feels" like.
Heath Ledger took the Joker and gave him a voice like dried leaves--and with his performance made the character memorable. Bruce Timm and Glen Murakami took Batman and redefined superhero design into a trend that lasted over 17 years now.
Brad Bird and crew took a robot voiced by Vin Diesel and made us care about him deeply.
What are you going to bring?
Its is awe? Wonder? Thrills? Chills? Laughs so intense it'll make the audience wet themselves?
Is your goal to emphasize the absurdity of everyday lives? Is it to celebrate the nobility of heroes and their sacrifices? Or is it the hopeless despair of a dismal future?

What are yo going to do differently? Are you going to design the same old swords and dragons and elves that thousands of other artists have done before? Or are you going to take those icons and redefine them in ways that have not been seen before?
Remember the gun-blades from Final Fantasy? The big honkin' swords on the end of revolvers? Doubtlessly the most unique looking weapons I have ever seen.
Certainly something different AND unexpected. And interesting.

Do you have something like that in your head? It could be a design, or a look, or a ound or a story.
Is it there?

What have you got to say?

Show the world.

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

Remember the gun-blades from Final Fantasy? The big honkin' swords on the end of revolvers? Doubtlessly the most unique looking weapons I have ever seen.
Certainly something different AND unexpected. And interesting.

What are yo going to do differently? Are you going to design the same old swords and dragons and elves that thousands of other artists have done before? Or are you going to take those icons and redefine them in ways that have not been seen before?

Y'know, I don't want to take this off topic, but I have to mention that I actually saw one of those on display at the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art last month. They've got a really old pistol with a knife blade bolted to it in their arms and armory section. Kind of like one of those flint loaders with a butcher knife. I completely flipped out when I saw it. You see these designs in Final Fantasy, Blade II, or the '80's G.I.Joe cartoon and you don't even think about them existing in real life--it's just something cool that works for the story. Then you see one. And not just one in a movie prop store, but one in it's historical context of "wooden ships and iron men".

If you're stumped and thinking that all the good ideas are already taken or done to death, start at your local museum. Take a camera or sketchpad then just wander and daydream about what you are seeing. The ideas will come.

Museum, that is an excellent idea.

help me??

i m a web designer but i actually want to be 2d/3d animator........ i have flash software basic knowledge.... plz guide me that how can i enhance my skills in flash,,,,as well i wanted to learn 2d animation on my own plzz refer me books/ online tutorial/ articles which help me learn 2d animation..........

shiksssssss

i m a web designer but i actually want to be 2d/3d animator........ i have flash software basic knowledge.... plz guide me that how can i enhance my skills in flash,,,,as well i wanted to learn 2d animation on my own plzz refer me books/ online tutorial/ articles which help me learn 2d animation..........

shiksssssss

You got slightly overlooked in the heated debate. Maybe this quote might remind people why we are here.

Don't worry about the debate. It is not for me, it is for you the new learner.. you would find a lot of information in these debates, do go through them

For learning 2D on your own, you can start with "Animator's Survival Kit" by Richard Williams. You can also do your initial drawing excercises using any of these
- "Bridgeman's life drawings"
- "Natural way to draw"

Do set yourself daily targets and expect to work on this for about 2-3 months to start with. After this you'd need some more books. The issue would come when you want reviews of people. Do not expect to upload 100s of drawings and getting reviews. Most of the noble souls won't give free feedbacks after a few days, so try to have a commercial arrangement. There a school can help, or go find a good mentor and agree on a fee with the mentor too if possible.

Do also read "Illusion of Life"

Regards

Vineet

http://www.3danimationtrainingstudio.com I still have not told my story! - Vineet Raj Kapoor

there has always been a greater reliance on a degree in India no matter what subject you read for.

the west, i think animation has been more of a dark art for a chosen few which is why you come across so many animators who teach themselves. also, animation is for mavericks (my opinion solely)

in India, you take the desperate need for validation (i.e. a degree) and then you marry it to the mass market apparent boom in animation and its why you have so many pushy people saying they can 'teach' animation.

i dont think you can teach someone to animate.. they really have to learn it.

Hello,

Without getting in specific situations, isn't animation best discovered in a collaborative environment, with other like-minded individuals? That was the case for me in full time education, and continues to be so in professional life.
Self discovery is an important part of growth in any artistic endeavour, but it is my experience that that growth increases exponentially when inspired with and shared by others.

There is no one way to do any of this 'ere animation stuff, but a solid grounding will certainly help.

Cheerio,
K

Ken, I know your and some other people on here are self taught a

Im in the process of teaching myself 2d animation, and working through Richard Williams, i may take classes somewhere down the line, i dunno, at this point i feel like ive got enough drive and determination to comprehend and become proficient if not pretty good at these concepts on my own, is there any sort of advice or i guess a line up of things one would ideally learn, im in the process of mastering walk and run cycles now, and from doing a little research ive found that it might be best to after that do some push/pull exercises, any thoughts on a game plan for a self tutoring animator

I just wanted to say a big thanks for this thread. As another in the queue of budding animators looking for a starting platform, this has been massively informative and interesting.
I don't have questions that need answering, I've got more reading to do first, just wanted to send those who've contributed a shout-out, in giving me some perspective, direction and motivation.

this is very important theory about gif files so iam very impressed.so i will create my own images thanks to htmlgoodies.com. keep up posting.thanks:):)

_____________________
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This is very important theory about gif files so iam very impressed.so i will create my own images thanks to htmlgoodies.com. keep up posting.thanks:):)

_____________________
SEO Services

Rediscovered Question

Hi everyone,

I have a pretty big question, out of the blue by the looks of it, and I'm hoping some good can come out of your feedback. Any and all help required. Sorry, if it's been previously asked. I'm still new and I haven't read through them all yet.

Alright so my issue is this,

I'm 17, and graduating from highschool this year and I'm preparing/forcing myself to get a BA in Canadian Law. I have never taken a Visual Arts, Digital media, or any type of course pertaining to them ever. Is it already too late to start? And if not, is there any glimmer of hope for me to get anywhere in Animation while I'm in college getting that BA?

Hi everyone,

I'm 17, and graduating from highschool this year and I'm preparing/forcing myself to get a BA in Canadian Law. I have never taken a Visual Arts, Digital media, or any type of course pertaining to them ever. Is it already too late to start? And if not, is there any glimmer of hope for me to get anywhere in Animation while I'm in college getting that BA?

So........you never taken an art course of any kind, and yet you want a career as an artist?

Truthfully, at your age of 17, its not too late to start. C'mon, is "17 yrs old" the new "50 yrs old" or something?? :rolleyes:

No, 17 is not too late, not by a long shot.

BUT.......if you have never taken art, why now? Why the sudden interest? Is this a whim? An affectation? An "interest-of-the-day"??

Or is it something deeper?
Here's how to figure out the answer for yourself:

Do you draw?

And when I say draw, I mean are you obsessed with drawing? Do you draw constantly? Or just sometimes, maybe once a week at most?
If you are truly obsessed with drawing, you'll be putting lines down on a sheet of paper, making image at least an hour a day, maybe more. It'll be more than a passion, almost a fanatical zeal to get what's "inside" of you out.

Now, if that is you, to a tee......then yes, training for a career in animation is a worthwhile goal to attempt.
If its NOT you, if you feel you only come about half-assed half-way up to that--then no.......stick to studying law.
Animation is a "sexy" career choice for a lot of people--mostly because of the glamour of it being elite and all--but it IS elite in nature.
If you have read this thread through, you'll realize that the craft of professional animation is highly competitive, and very demanding.
In straight financial terms, working in law would more than likely be far more secure than working as an animator. If your talent is anything but top-drawer, just forget about having a good income, or even steady work.

You will be hired on, will thrive or starve depending upon your TALENT, not your schooling.
If you are not creating art at a level that is at least 1/2 way near being professional RIGHT NOW, then I'd say you either have to really get cracking, or abandon the "dream" and stick with your first choice.
You can always pursue art as a hobby , however--but the commitment to do this professionally requires someone a breed apart.
If you think you are that, give it a go--but if you are not, spare yourself the heartache.

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

im in school now studying 3d animation :)

You should expect to work long hours, and you have to take time in your work, you just can't rush a project, it takes time to produce good work :) you can do it

laptop

hi guys!!

i m kind a totally new to animation...i m interested to do animation in near future..

i m deciding to buy a laptop and i m worried that whether i will require 512 mb graphics card or no..

will i require the graphics card or not???

plzzzz reply fast
!!

thankssss
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hi guys!!

i m kind a totally new to animation...i m interested to do animation in near future..

i m deciding to buy a laptop and i m worried that whether i will require 512 mb graphics card or no..

will i require the graphics card or not???

plzzzz reply fast
!!

thankssss
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vaibhavraheja
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you need to mention what kind of animation you are talking of. if you are running Flash or Toon Boom you could get away without a graphic card of 512... however if ur running any 3d package it would be prudent to get it.

i would highly recommend a desktop rather than a laptop.. itll cost you less and you could learn all you need to on it.. down the line you could get yourself a high end laptop if u feel the need.

i use both and i prefer the desktop by far to work on... or conversely get something like an Acer or an entry level Dell which wont cost you too much...

Hello, everyone. ;)

Me and my twin sister are both interested in a career in animation, and for the past year we've been learning as much as we can about the craft through books and internet resources, but we don't know much about the reality of the industry.

We are very committed to pursuing animation, but we don't know quite how to get there, so we hope you wise people can help us.
We've read some of your posts, and there were a lot of really helpful ones, so first of all, thank you for all that information and advice. :)

We live in Portugal, which is a country that doesn't offer us many oportunities in this area, so we were wondering, besides obviously the United States, which are some of the countries where we could actually find a job. Which ones have the strongest industries?

Also, what are the chances of being hired as a traditional animator? Do you think it's harder, or is traditional animation really coming back?

Thanks :)

Tweedledum & Tweedledee: Well Richard Williams stresses how important it is to really learn how to draw well before you start animating. Check out www.conceptart.org the community there is all about learning to draw :D Maybe even post some of your drawings in there sketchbook forum. Lots of good advice over there.

I can't really answer your other questions though I'm sorry. But I'm positive that if your really good at what you do. You will find work for it. So focus on being really good! It's hard XD

Really awesome thread with a whole lot of good things said. I don't really have anything to add but I'm glad I joined up here and I'm sure I will have a good time I love Ken's rants.

Looking for work.

My Blog

ANW Sketchbook

There's a lot of animation happening in Europe. If you're just getting started though, it'll probably be a little while before you're ready to hunt for work, so focus on getting as good as you possibly can, and let the job take care of itself when the time comes.

Well, I didn't mean to start a debate earlier, but thank you all for the insight on the possibility of teaching myself. I'm having a similar dilemma with the parent situation but I'm bound and determined no matter what my dad says!:p

Anyway, I wanted to ask another question: If I can't go to an art school to learn animation, then how should I go about creating my own reel. What sort of equipment/programs might I need? I realize that I might not get an answer for this question from here, but I really don't know who or where else to ask.

Thanks!:D

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.

Does this mean like blunt objects bashing your head in or maybe a vicious dog bit off half your face? Hmm I may just yet survive.

Does this count?

Never got bashed on the head (though my brother did, and ironically draws much better than me).

I did, however, spend A LOT of time playing near live power lines when I was little. I also ate things commonly found at hardware stores, but then haven't we all?

When I think about it, getting hit on the head was the least of my "damage".

Never got bashed on the head (though my brother did, and ironically draws much better than me).

I did, however, spend A LOT of time playing near live power lines when I was little. I also ate things commonly found at hardware stores, but then haven't we all?

When I think about it, getting hit on the head was the least of my "damage".

Chuck Jones got dropped on his head as a kid...think that might be the solution?

Thanx for all the replies. You're right, we should focus on becoming good animators first, and then hopefully something will come up. You never know what oportunities you're gonna get...

Right now I'm teaching myself still life. I'm using Jack Hamm's book, First Lessons in Still Life Drawing and Painting. He has some sections where he'll talk about using paints, chalks and things other than pencil. My question is this. Do I have to go out and spend money on the things he use for one page of an exercise, or can I read it, study it and move on and go back to it for a reference if I ever have to use what he was talking about in the future?

Right now I'm teaching myself still life. I'm using Jack Hamm's book, First Lessons in Still Life Drawing and Painting. He has some sections where he'll talk about using paints, chalks and things other than pencil. My question is this. Do I have to go out and spend money on the things he use for one page of an exercise, or can I read it, study it and move on and go back to it for a reference if I ever have to use what he was talking about in the future?

Which option makes more sense to you?
The second one, right?

That is the one to follow. Take things like that with a grain of salt--do not feel bound to take them literally. Use your own judgement--its the only way to develop it.
If you have paints, chalks etc. on hand, then sure, go ahead and explore if you want.
If you can afford to buy the stuff on a whim, then go for it.

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

Which option makes more sense to you?
The second one, right?

That is the one to follow. Take things like that with a grain of salt--do not feel bound to take them literally. Use your own judgement--its the only way to develop it.
If you have paints, chalks etc. on hand, then sure, go ahead and explore if you want.
If you can afford to buy the stuff on a whim, then go for it.

Thanks, I wasn't sure what to do. When I go to school, I see art students with all of these different kinds of things that can be used for drawing, so thats why I wasn't sure what to do. I thought I had to run out to buy all of these things and do everything in the book in order to become great at still life drawing. I will remember what you said when it comes to other books I'm also reading on drawing.

Thanks, I wasn't sure what to do. When I go to school, I see art students with all of these different kinds of things that can be used for drawing, so thats why I wasn't sure what to do. I thought I had to run out to buy all of these things and do everything in the book in order to become great at still life drawing. I will remember what you said when it comes to other books I'm also reading on drawing.

The tools don't matter - it's the knowledge and the ability to put down what you see that's important. If you know what you're doing, you can do a gorgeous life drawing on cheeseburger wrapper with an eyebrow pencil. Why you have an eyebrow pencil on you is another question entirely... ;)

The tools don't matter - it's the knowledge and the ability to put down what you see that's important. If you know what you're doing, you can do a gorgeous life drawing on cheeseburger wrapper with an eyebrow pencil. Why you have an eyebrow pencil on you is another question entirely... ;)

Someone needs to post a link to some napkin art. I am having a hard time finding them but I know some very talented people have done some amazing things on them, napkins.

Someone needs to post a link to some napkin art. I am having a hard time finding them but I know some very talented people have done some amazing things on them, napkins.

Check out Rik Maki's work. His first book, "Scribblin' Away At Mike's Cafe," is a collection of his drawings on paper placemats, scraps of paper, blank spaces on newspapers, and so forth. [URL=http://www.digitalornot.com/insidescrib.1.html]Here's a link to some of his stuff.
[/URL]

Thanks guys for the advice and posting a link to that site.

The ugly advice.

This is the stuff you never want to know, the info I hope you'll never have to use.

So there you are......working for an animation studio. You been there for a little while, done some good work, made some friends, earned some bucks.
Life is good, right?

Then, one day, it happens:

"Sorry, no pay cheques today, but they will be here Monday!"

Sure, it happens to companies sometimes, right?

No.

Stop what you are doing...........drop what you are doing. Do not create another piece of work, not a line, not a frame.

A company with payroll problems is having deeper unseen problems.

Go to your boss. Ask him/her point-blank what the problem is.

Then ask them if the studio has been having money problems outside of the current payroll problem.
If they call a company meeting, ask them there.

If you get an answer like "we are working on it" or "we are talking to investors"--then you have a huge red flag popping up.
If you feel the boss is lying to you, because things are starting to get a bit weird ( weird as in supplies starting to run low or run out, things getting cut back00but no-one admitting a problem) then you have a huge red flag.

DO NOT CONTINUE TO WORK IF YOU ARE NOT PAID, REGARDLESS OF ANY PROMISES.
Ignore the fact that boss might have tears streaming down his face, pleading with you to keep on keeping on. Ignore promises of additional rewards "once things get back on their feet". Ignore it--because you have to. Your interests are now at stake.

I suggest doing the following:
If you are at a meeting, get up and leave right away--do not wait for the meeting to end. If you have spoken to the boss, leave right away and go to your desk.
Gather up ALL of your things.

Take your work. whatever is on your desk, take it.
This is important.
Now, some people say this isn't legal, or that its a breach of contract.

Hey, guess what........not paying you is a breach of contract, and once that is declared, the contract is in arrears and is considered null and void as far as you should be concerned.
Your work is your LEVERAGE in getting paid.

Without leverage, you have NOTHING to ensure you get paid.

If your work is digital, make a copy of the work, and then reduce the work on your station to the starting point, or delete PARTS of the work to a earlier time, say back to the first week of the project.
If this is illegal.............who cares!!??
You have been told you are not going to be paid, and thus you need leverage to ensure that you do.
Making a copy allows you to reinstall the work when things return to normal, OR it allows you to hold the work until you get paid.
Yes, that is holding the work RANSOM, until you get paid.
Your work is your leverage for getting paid.

Yes, your employers might be sincere. They might really be trying to get back on their feet.
They also might not. You cannot tell for sure until they prove it.
Pack up your things and go home.
Do not wait until the end of the work day-you might be locked out of your work. I know of a couple of cases where staff were in the meeting, being told of the company's problems, and someone else was systematically seizing all the work files and locking out all of the work stations behind their backs. The moment the boss says there's trouble, get up and go--don't wait for details.

Gather your things and go immediately.
If someone spots you taking your work, ignore them. Brush them off politely. Tell them you are going home to work, if you have to.
And then go.
Leave the building with your stuff. DO NOT SURRENDER IT.
If you absolutely have to......delete the material completely. Yes, its probably a breach of contract, but as before, so is not paying you. If you are savvy, you have been making backups of the work anyway, right?

Once you get home, await for someone from the studio to call you.
Do not do ANY of the work.
If things go back to normal, the studio will call.
If someone wants the work you took, ask to be paid in full before you return it. Listen to no threats, no cajoling.....nothing. People might yell and scream at you. Do not be intimidated. Hang up the phone on them.
You are protecting YOUR interests.

Your terms are simple, payment for the work done to that date, and you will surrender the work and return to the job. Do not go back to work until they pay you in full.
Once that is made clear........wait for something to happen.
If nothing happens after a week, start looking for a new job.

If a lawyer calls asking for the work, tell them to fuck off and put it in writing.
Making demands to you over the phone is toothless.
You have no idea if its someone posing as a lawyer, do you?
No pay, no work-real simple and clear.

The work is now YOUR asset, and you are now a sub-contractor.
The studio has not paid you for the work, and has declared they are UNABLE to pay you on the specified date, so you are now holding the work and declining your services until they can pay you.
A studio with financial problems will not be able to pay legal fees to get the work back from you anyway, so screw them. Keep the work until they pay--if they ever do.

Oh, and from then on, ask for either cash or certified cheque. You MUST consider their written cheques suspect and likely to bounce.
Any other business would react the same way if one of its suppliers defaults, so why shouldn't you conduct yourself like a business in such a situation?

See, companies that run into trouble, that have cash-flow problems seldom announce it in advance--certainly not to their staff. Often plans are quietly formed to try and get cash-flow happening: either by investors, or even government help.
But the cold truth is that such help seldom comes, or if it does, it seldom helps much.
The harsh reality is that no-one wants to work with a losing team.
Investors like to come into a studio that is successful-- how many people want to put money into something that is failing?

Once financial problems start at a studio, they seldom stop until the studio collapses and closes down.
When it happens..........you as an employee or freelancer have to take clear, decided steps to protect your interests. The studio will NOT protect your interests in this kind of situation. In fact, in most bankruptcies the staff and employees are considered the LAST creditors to be paid-if they ever get paid at all.
Government and lenders usually get and take first priority--and they are the people that need the money the least, in most cases.
If enough staff withhold their work, it can possibly flag that as being assets, and garner funds set aside so the work is surrendered. There might be some nasty talk flung about regarding it, but stick to your guns.
If they want the work, they must pay you.

So......if you are unfortunate to catch wind of this sort of thing where you work.......stop.

Act.

Immediately.
If you do not, you are a doormat. You'll likely see nothing.
If you do, you MIGHT come out ahead in the end.

Good luck.

( PS; This is advice coming from practical/personal experience. I have been that aforementioned doormat. I got/saw nothing from what I was owed.)

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

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