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What kind of majors do animation (3D or 2D), or film jobs look for in their candidates, and what colleges or universities offer good programs for these jobs?

What kind of majors do animation (3D or 2D), or film jobs look for in their candidates, and what colleges or universities offer good programs for these jobs?

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T.J.’s Answer

Hello Angela!

Employers will generally favor a candidate has the background experience that matches the type of animation they're working on.

For example:
➝ For a 2D animation company, they prefer candidates to have experience with 2D animation.
➝ For a 3D animation company, they prefer candidates to have experience with 3D animation.

Other types of art -- such as Illustration, Graphic design, or Fine arts -- do not provide the best foundation for animation.

Because all art disciplines are different, each art field requires a specific set of skills and knowledge.

It's good to start off with fine arts subjects, such as drawing and life sketching. However, the way to get the specific skills you need for animation is by studying animation.

There are various places to get a education in animation. Here's a list of the most recommended US animation schools:
https://tinyurl.com/animation-review-uscolleges

Regardless, the college degree you get doesn't matter. What the animation industry values the most is your portfolio.
If you decide to go to college: Do your best to focus on your portfolio and learn more about the industry.

Here's a good list of education resources you can use to get started!
https://tinyurl.com/mirandas-animation-resources

Sending you support on your journey to explore animation :)
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Jamie’s Answer

It's kind of a difficult question to answer.

2d animation is very different in a lot of ways to 3d animation. There are definitely crossovers like understanding weight, movement, etc.

But the techniques and tools you would use to achieve either are very very different.

If you're not sure what you'd like to do (2d, or 3d) then I would suggest checking out some tutorials on youtube and getting in there and trying some simple walk cycles and animations in both 2d and 3d to see which you prefer.

Then you'll have a better idea of what road you might want to go down.

There are tons of schools out there that will have 2d animation programs and 3d animation programs. You just need to figure out which you'd like to pursue and then do some research into that.

And as someone mentioned earlier, studios don't necessarily care where you went to school... they want to see your reel (portfolio if it's stills) and if your reel is good then you have your foot in the door.

There ARE schools that can help get your foot in the door, some of them that come to mind are Ringling, The Dave School, SCAD, and Gnomon... Full Sail is also in Florida... BUT those schools are not cheap. So it's not a requirement that you spend tons of cash on a school to get a job at a studio. But they're an option if you can afford them and know what you want to do.

Good luck!
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Rossana’s Answer

Hey Angela,

Great question!

When applying to these jobs, recruiters usually look at your portfolio/reel rather than where you attended school or what you majored in. If the recruiter can see that you have the skills and passion, then you're invited in for the interviewing process and so on.
While studios don't look at where you went to school or majored in, these are things that can potentially help you in getting your portfolio/reel up to the industry standard and making connections. Depending on what kind of animation you want to pursue, it will greatly impact the best college for you. For instance, if you wish to pursue 2D then the best college would be CalArts for instance or if you want to go down the 3D route then maybe Ringling College of Art and Design is a better fit for you. That said, there are more educational paths available to you over the standard college route. There are amazing accredited online programs like AnimSchool or Animation Mentor that do incredible work with their students - definitely worth checking out. A lot of animation focused colleges (like the ones previously mentioned) are quite costly so it's important to know they are not your only option to pursue a career in animation.
Sorry I couldn't speak too much on film since I only studied character animation! You're going to do great!
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Liana’s Answer

Hi Angela,

If you're interested in learning more about amination, maybe you can become a motion graphic designer. Most University in Florida has a degree in amination. You can check out the schools you're interested in! Here is the list. I wish you the best of luck in finding a great school!

https://www.animationcareerreview.com/articles/list-florida-schools-animation-degree-programs
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