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My name is Yamil, I'm a junior at Hudson High School of Learning Technologies. I want the opportunity to work for Sony Computer Entertainment. I am very interested to create a story and be the one to create the animation. What can I do?

I am asking this it's been a dream of mines ever since I was a little kid. And it'll be great if I can work for the best company in the world. #animation #video-game-design #game-design #computer-animation #animators #animator

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Aaron’s Answer

Hey Yamil,
So to start off, it's great that you know where you would like to work. Treat that as your end goal. Study up on all the games that company makes, and try to start designing and creating for similar types of games. If you create cute cuddly casual games, and try to get a job at sony who makes hardcore console games, you'll find your portfolio doesn't line up with that they are looking for and will get passed over. Create content that you know they will love to see in a portfolio.

Another thing is to consider what it is you want to do. You state that you want to design and animate a story/game. At a place like sony, designers design and animators animate.... so pick what it is you really want to do and dive head on into that. Don't let me deter you from trying to make a small game with a hand full of friends tho. I'd actually highly suggest that you do try design, concept, modeling, rigging, texturing, lighting, animation, Creating user interfaces and even scripting/programming to hook it all up. Get a full understanding of what it is to make a game and find what part interests you the most. That is where you find out where you will shine the most.

If you and a few friends can manage to get together and actually create a small engaging and impressive game that you can show off on a device, this will help you tons to get into a game company. The will see that you actually understand what goes into a game, and if it's successfully done, they will appreciate your skills so much more because there will be less to have to teach you.

As I said before, treat Sony as the end goal. That does not mean don't apply to them as soon as you are out of school. Heck, try to get an internship there. But don't be shy to reach out to every other game company for jobs and internships. Every game company gets you one step closer to your end goal of being at sony. Even if they turn you down, don't let that deter you. Create more and try again. Hope this helps. Best of luck to you.

Great answer, very informative Christopher Boutros

Thank you so much, this helped a lot. Yamil C.

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Matthew’s Answer

Great question! A couple things:
-Sony creates some great games and I am sure would be awesome to work for. However, I would not lock yourself into a specific company. Be open to working for other game companies. Especially keep in mind smaller game companies as they will probably have more opportunities to wear multiple hats. Most larger companies that work on larger projects have specialist for each area. This means you would be given specific things to animate. While this is definitely a key part of the story telling, it might not be what you are looking for.
-Consider doing your own game! While it's not easy, this may get you more job satisfaction. Find a friend that does programming and shares your vision. Sometimes small teams can create some of the best games, especially on mobile. Temple Run and Temple RUn 2 are great examples of small teams making a big impact.

Good luck!!

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Natasha’s Answer

One way to start would be to go to their website and see what the typical animator job description and requirements are. For example - http://www.jobs.net/jobs/playstation/en-us/job/United-States/Animator-Temporary/J3G68W66LZJ3GKRS636/

From that description, they are looking for something who has the following skills:
knowledge of Maya, familiarity with game engines, 2d and 3d art skills, and a 4-year degree or equivalent in art. You don't need to wait until college to learn any of that, if you haven't already - you can start today.

If you want to learn more about game engines, you can start with Unity or Unreal Engine (it is now free) - https://www.unrealengine.com/what-is-unreal-engine-4

For developing 2d art skills, I would recommend Schoolism courses ($144 a year) - http://www.schoolism.com/school.php

A licensed version of Maya is $123 a month, which is a bit expensive, but you start learning 3d with Blender instead (which is free) - https://www.blender.org/

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Dang’s Answer

Hi there Yamil,

I went to a school called San Jose State University and they have a pretty great Animation/Illustration program where you'll be able to learn about the Animation industry. It's a State school in San Jose California so the tuitions are cheap. It's in a semester system so you'll pay roughly 3-4K per semester and there are no summer term. The Animation/Illustration program there are very intense and usually students will graduate within 5-6 years. Why? It's a state college so you'll have to deal with some General Educations which are the basic classes that you'll have to retake like English, Math, Science. However, the reason that it's long it's also because the Animation/Illustration classes are super tough. You'll be painting and drawing and learning all sort of things from traditional Illustration/Animation/Story to 3D animation in Maya and modeling as well. They really taught you how to become more well rounded.

When I was at San Jose State University, I graduated within 4.5 years but I also went to a community college for 2.5 years as well to get all my General Educations done in a cheap way. Since school is near home for me, I only own up to 12K when I graduated and there are a lot of opportunities that opens up for me because I dedicated myself to work really hard in the program. I have no life of course during school time because that's how Animation/Illustration program will do to you. You'll find yourself doing homework every other minutes you can find because the critiques and expectation of the program are very high which makes them very good. Most of the people that spend those minutes to improve their skills ended up in places like Sony Animation, Blizzard, Blue Sky, Disney, Pixar...etc. You can find out more about these informations by emailing and asking the teachers there.

I have so much information to talk about here but I can't list it all. Therefore, if you want to find out more about the school, go here http://www.sjsu.edu/design/design_programs/ai_design_program/

I would suggest visiting the place and learn more about the school through asking about it with teachers. Some of the greatest teachers I had was in that school and I'm glad they taught me.

Another note is to look at the best school available out there as well such as Cal Art for animation or Art Center for Entertainment Art. I wouldn't suggest Academy of Art or the Art Institute as those school cares more about your money than teaching you how to get into the industry. You can get the same education by going to San Jose State University. The only trade back is that it'll take you longer. However, if you want more intensity and pay more for your education to graduate about 1- 1.5 years faster, go to Cal Art or Art Center. There are online classes as well such as CGMA Academy or Gnome's so check out those as well as they are cheaper but you must have a lot of self motivations in order to be on those school. On site school gives you more motivations because you'll learn more with peers who work as hard or even harder than you and that would motivate you to catch up to them. Online, you'll be by yourself and you won't see how hard students actually would work to make their art great.