Animation Design Degree Outlook
An animator is an artist or illustrator who creates special effects or other visual images on film, on video, or with computers or other electronic media. The illustration aspects to this skill cannot be emphasized enough, as animators often use story boards and other venues to create their initial work or even to create the final images. Although animators need to learn how to draw by hand, they also use software that creates vector images for animations.
In addition to realistic images or caricatures, animators also create special effects seen in video images. These special images can be seen in movies, commercials, and computer games. When animators produce story boards, they are setting the scene for directors and actors. They follow a script to produce the images, and this creates a guide for production. Not all animators make objects move in multimedia presentations. In some cases the animator will create objects that appear three-dimensional, and a programmer will make them appear to move.
Animators, like any other artist, may work in studios with dozens of other artists or work alone. While some animators are hired by studios to work on a full or part time basis, many animators will work on a contract basis for various projects.
The animator may develop skills through fine art classes or through classes aimed at increasing skills in the arts. Although formal training might not be needed, a bachelor's degree program or other postsecondary training in art and/or design makes it easier for many animators to obtain a job and to obtain a position as a studio director. Directors usually have years of work experience behind them and generally need at least a bachelor's degree. A technical aspect to this degree is especially helpful, as animator must understand the boundaries of software used for animation, if not be able to use the software first hand.
Many colleges offer degrees in fine arts; but it if you know you want to study animation, it would be best to find a school that combines a fine arts program with a computer animation program. Multimedia programs often contain a component that deals with animation as well. If you take art classes on the side, this can only add to your skills as an animator.
Some animators also develop cartoons, books, and other materials that allow for expression outside the computerized realm. If the animator develops writing skills, his or her demand as an artist may increase. The animator also may sell hand-drawn or digital illustrations on the side through various venues.