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What are the different fields of animation?

My name is Frank and i'm currently a senior in highschool. I'm currently interested in animation, but don't quite know how many fields there are. #animation

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Xavera’s Answer

Depending on what kind of animation you want to do there’s 2D, 3D, gaming animation, still frame, motion graphics.

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Karen’s Answer

Animation is very broad. The largest fields are film, television/advertising/marketing, gaming. Within "animation" there are many specialties. At larger studios you would likely be doing one task whereas at smaller studios you have to conduct more than one ability. For example, if you are a modeler with Disney Animation Studios, chances are you don't also do character design or rigging. In a small game studio you might do character design and modeling or expected to model and rig. To get yourself started, check out https://sciencebehindpixar.org/ which is (obviously) more focused on 3D animation for film.

Karen recommends the following next steps:

Reflect on what got you interested in animation and why. When you say "animation" what do you think of? What gets you excited?
Watch the credits or look online for what production company or studio completed your dream examples. Educate yourself on the job titles you see and what they mean. When you start to see trends (e.g. everything you like is in commercials or in VFX or in games) look for programs that can support your interests.
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robert’s Answer

Computer Science is important, various software applications are important, and art/design are very important.

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Christy’s Answer

Hi, Frank. This is a broad question. You may be thinking in terms of art, but I'm an animation writer, so I think in terms of storytelling. So without knowing exactly what you mean, let's see what I can come up with.

Animation can be made for TV, film, the web, and many other applications. That can change what the "fields" might be because high-end CGI for movies or advertising isn't the same as the type of quicker, less expensive animation done for TV. Computer games is another area where they are many different types of animation used, from high-end CGI in console games to quicker, simpler animation for mobile games. Many games currently use the Unity engine, so you may want to look into learning that if you're interested in game animation.

Generally within animation, there are many, many areas of expertise: producing, writing, story editing, directing, storyboarding, art/animating, art directing, character design, sound, music and other production jobs.

If you're thinking more specifically of the art/animating part of it, in today's market of animation you will need to have two strong areas of expertise:

1) fundamental drawing, illustrating, painting - meaning good life figure drawing, good perspective drawing, and all basic art skills. You would need these skills especially for storyboarding, character design, and world/setting design.

2) strong computer animating skills - and this can be further divided into various aspects of creating scenes and characters in computer animation. You could design characters, build objects and settings and scenery, build the characters, do the rigging for characters, do the lighting, do the special effects, and so on. The bigger the project, the more specialties there will be.




Christy recommends the following next steps:

Decide which area of animation interests you, then begin to research those areas. Is it art? Music? Writing? Producing? Editing?
If art is your focus, work hard on your fundamental drawing and illustrating skills. Study HOW stories are told visually in animation. How one scene flows to the next, how one shot flows to the next. Learn the different cinematic shots (wide shots, pans, close-ups, etc.) and how they're applied. Maybe sit down with a favorite piece of animation and do your own storyboard version of it to dissect exactly how the storytelling works.
Begin learning how to create digital art and build your computer animation skills. Look for colleges that offer specific courses in digital animation.
While studying in college, build up a portfolio. When you graduate and begin to look for work, the most vital tool you will need to sell yourself is a strong art portfolio. Search on-line for examples of art portfolios and study what you find. Good luck!
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