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How do I Become a Computer Animator?

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  • Written By: G. Wiesen
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 07 December 2016
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To become a computer animator, you should strongly consider receiving formal education in computer animation and art in general. You may also find it helpful to immerse yourself in both the basic artistic aspects of computer animation and the specifics of the industry itself. As you learn to become a computer animator, you will also want to create a demo reel that illustrates your actual abilities for potential employers and try to make contacts within the industry. Then you will want to start trying to find work with a company that hires computer animators, such as an animation studio or video game developer.

One of the biggest requirements for someone looking to become a computer animator is a strong understanding and actual ability regarding animation. A computer animator needs to really know how to use various computer programs to achieve the desired effects for a character, background, vehicle, or other animated object. You should look into different schools with computer animation programs to find one that will be able to teach you the skills you will need in the industry. As you look at schools, consider who the instructors are and look for programs with teachers who have worked within the industry and really know what they are teaching.

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You will also want to find a school that teaches the programs used in the computer animation industry. There are several different major computer animation programs that most animation houses and game studios use, often with their own proprietary software and plug-ins. You should be sure you are taught how to use the most popular and common programs in the industry, so your education is practical.

A major part of your education as you work to become a computer animator is the creation of your demo reel and portfolio. These will serve as your way of demonstrating your artistic abilities to prospective employers, and from the very first day of classes you should consider each project as a potential piece to include in your final portfolio and demo reel. You will want to be sure that any program provides you with ample opportunities to create strong work to include in your reel and portfolio.

Once you have your education and have produced a strong demo reel, you will then want to find studios at which you can become a computer animator. The biggest employers of animators are usually animation studios, video game developers, and entertainment special effects houses. You should look for these types of businesses that have opportunities for new and talented animators, and send out copies of your demo reel and portfolio to the appropriate offices.

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