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Secrets to Becoming a Successful Computer Animator

Animators are artists who utilize motion graphics to tell stories and convey ideas. Nowadays, most animators use some type of computer program or software to aid in the creation of their work. In order to become an animator, a high level of artistic ability is required as well as a strong competency with computers and computer animation programs. Naturally, you will also need to have the creativity to turn ideas into functional moving graphics.

There are a number of different types of animators as well, which means there are many different roads one might take towards getting an animation job. Whether you are interested in creating feature animation films in Hollywood or creating graphics for websites, a career in animation may be just what you are looking for.

Naturally, the first step to becoming an animator is having a strong creative and artistic background. It helps to be an artist of some sort, whether your preferred trade is illustrating, sculpting, or computer design. Though a formal education is not required, having taking art classes or other foundational courses will certainly help. Many animators find that going to a two or four year university helped to hone their skills and give them resources to find jobs in the industry.

Another important step is to choose your focus. As mentioned, there are many different types of animation, and consequently many different types of animation jobs. The main fields animators find work in are websites, television/film, commercials, online advertising, and video games. In each of these fields, an animator might work with 2D animation, 3D animation, or computer graphics.

Once you have decided what your concentration will be, start creating and compiling your portfolio. Try to create a range of animations that will reflect your talents. This will help prospective employers see what you are capable of and whether they will want to hire your services. Try to experiment with different styles and techniques so that those viewing your work can see how versatile you are; however, try to avoid including animations in your portfolio that you absolutely hate doing or feel you are not competent enough in. You don’t want to end up with a job in which your employer is asking you to do work you cannot do or dislike doing.

It is a good idea to enter contests and festivals because these will increase your work’s visibility. Depending on the type of animation you do, this might not be as relevant to you, but especially if you are interested in film, it is a good idea. Another good idea is to look for internships or lower-level jobs within animation or animation orientated companies. This will grant you the opportunity to learn from and befriend professionals who may be able to help you find higher-level positions.

The best thing to do is to keep creating. Even if you have a job in an animation studio, or won a competition, or know a professional with contacts in the industry, always keep making your own work. It will help tremendously in opening new doors for you as well as simply improving your skills.

Find out the education requirements for digital graphics and animation at