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What jobs are there for Computer Animation?

I am interested in careers around computer animation, both 3D and 2D. What kind of jobs are there in that field?

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PRASANJIT’s Answer

1)Video Game Developer
2)Film and TV
3)Cartoon Animator
4)Animation Technical Director
5)Graphic Artist
6)Animation Lighting Artist
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Mickael’s Answer

Hi Ben,

I am not from this sector of computer engineering so take my feedback as totally incomplete.

I can clearly see jobs in marketing, in movie making (special effects or just animation movies). These are two very broad domains, and I am sure there are more that I am totally missing.
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Jerome’s Answer

More than you think. Simulation (manufacturing, training, etc.) is a huge field -- consider things like the animations displayed for pilots in flight trainers. You might want to talk to some of the big aerospace or military hardware vendors about what opportunities are available in that space, if you're interested.
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Darrell’s Answer

Ben,
There are a lot of opportunities in computer animation, but first, do you want to be on the art side, the engineering side, production side, or story side of this field?

For the art side, you can make movies and tv shows (Stop Motion - "Marcel The Shell with Shoes On", CGI such as any of the Marvel Movies, Disney, Nickelodeon) , commercials, game design, simulators, virtual reality, or you could use it to do data visualization such as displaying the data returned from NASA's new James Webb Telescope. Further on the art side - animation is just a drawing - and it will need sound effects - so study to become a Foley Artist. Your characters will also need a voice - so train to be a vocal actor. So many options here.

For the engineering side, you can write the tools/libraries that animators will use - such as can be found in Adobe or high end systems such as AVID.com and Telestream.net.

For the production side - you could be a producer who works on the story boards for the animation, Come up with the idea/project development, plan (preproduction), the shoot (production), the final product (post-production) and the distribution of the content. Here you will need to develop good business skills to formulate an estimate for a budget and licensing fees etc.

For the story side - any good animation starts with a story. Are you a good writer? Can you create suspense or intrigue? Think of Bugs Bunny or Daffy Duck - they have a personality. What is the personality of your characters in your story. Note that for animation, it's just ink/paint on a surface - but it's up to the animator to give it life.

I would suggest looking at Rochester Institute of Technology as a school that has a big program around film and animation. It's very competitive to get in, so you will need to create a portfolio. Explore an open house (either on-line or at a local school to you) and see what opportunities they have in this field. There are other schools out there such as Pratt, RISD, Syracuse, Cal. Institute of the Arts, CMU, Full Say, Savannah College of Art and Design, etc. etc. Find one that focuses on the area that you are interested in. Interview the department chair, ask questions, and good luck!

Darrell recommends the following next steps:

Find a college/university that offers a program - and attend an open house either on-line or in person
Talk to the department chair about where their students get hired after graduating from their program
Job shadow or intern someone who does animation to see if that is what you like to do
Sign up to be an extra on a movie set so that you can experience the live action process of creating an experience for others to enjoy
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Roy’s Answer

Hi Ben, I see that others have given you some really good advice too. I completely agree with them that this field is an excellent one to get into. Your going to get great computer skills and knowledge. There are opportunities in Business, all Computer companies or high tech for sure, also as an example holywood or Disney or other entertainment business. Games of course, and business that might want someone to help them show off their products and services. Here's one that may surprise you the Military. As our military continues to improve to protect this great nation it will also have need for someone with your talents, and heart. So seems like you can go local or small or big, it really comes down to what you want or like. Sometimes too it comes down to what your willing to sacrifice in terms of travel or relocation or would just like to try out. A good way to check on what you want is to do an internship, either a summer or small holiday one with a company or business.
Good luck.
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