If you’re a naturally creative person with a strong interest in 3-D modeling and animation, you may want to know more about how to get a degree in computer animation. As more creative people become interested in these careers, more colleges are offering degrees in this field. Spots in the top schools tend to be highly sought-after, and these schools typically expect their students to show some artistic accomplishments before enrolling. Getting into the best possible program is important as job availability is projected to grow more slowly than in other fields.
To get into a good computer animation school, you need to create a portfolio of your best work. Your portfolio needs to be able to sell your natural talent and artistic skill and show the interviewer that you understand what it means to become a professional animator. Of course, even the top schools don’t expect first-year students to already have professional-level art skills. They want to see that you have the vision and ambition to become a professional animator in the film, television or video game industry.
How to Create a Portfolio for Computer Animation School
Your physical portfolio should contain a sample of your best 3-D renderings either printed out on high-quality paper or rendered as a high-definition video on a CD or DVD. Examples of your best work should be just that: a collection of the best work you’ve done so far. If you don’t have enough examples, work on a few more pieces before the interview or possibly before applying for a school. However, don’t get caught up in trying to outdo yourself and blow the other applicants out of the water. This strategy can easily lead to artist’s block or work that leaves the interviewer less than impressed.
Include the broadest possible range of art that showcases your abilities. If you have drawings or paintings, include them in your portfolio to show the interviewer that you have broadly developed taste. Your goal in the interview is to show the school that you have a special and unique sensibility without coming across as childish or egotistical, even if you are extremely confident.
What Is the Job Outlook for Computer Animators?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, computer animation careers are expected to grow over the next 10 years but only by about 6 percent. Most computer animators are self-employed and work from home, and the next largest percentage of animators work in the film and video game industries. Compared to the 57 percent of self-employed animators, only about 13 percent work in film or video games. Many other animators work for software makers, advertisers and computer systems designers.
The job growth predicted for computer animators is mostly due to the increased demand for high-quality 3-D graphics in video games and movies. However, employers tend to keep their costs low by hiring animators overseas where wages are lower. The need for computer animators in most other industries is expected to stay the same, although as mobile technology develops, animators will be needed to provide graphics on these platforms.
Related Resource: Front End Developer
Applying and interviewing for a computer animation degree is an exciting and challenging process. Make sure to show your best work and an eagerness to learn when trying to get a degree in computer animation.