How Do I Choose the Best Animation Programs?

A flower drawn by an animation artist.
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  • Written By: G. Wiesen
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 16 March 2014
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To choose the best animation programs for your education, you should consider the type of animation you would like to be able to do and how well the program will allow you to focus on that type. If you want to work in creating traditional or two-dimensional (2D) animation, for example, then you should look for a school with courses in traditional animation techniques. On the other hand, if you want to work in computer or three-dimensional (3D) animation, then you should find a school with a program in computer animation. You should also try to determine how well graduates of different animation programs are able to find work after graduation.

Animation programs are scholastic courses intended for students interested in working in animation. These programs are often available from art schools or technical schools, though some colleges and universities may offer animation programs as part of the art department. Finding the best programs typically requires that you have an idea of what type of animation you want to create, and understand how well the school can teach you.


For traditional or 2D animation, you should look for animation programs that focus on 2D animation techniques. This can include traditional methods, such as the creation of individual frames on paper or cels, as well as classes that teach you to use modern computer technology to create 2D animation. You should be careful, however, since the market for 2D animation is typically quite a bit smaller than the market for 3D animation. Some animation programs in traditional methods, therefore, may not help you find work as well as programs in 3D animation.

Animation programs in 3D animation are typically available from a number of different art and technical schools. You should look for a program that will teach you certain basic aspects of animation that still carry over into 3D animation, but with a focus on the use of computers in animation. It can be helpful to look for a program that will allow you to take classes in different aspects of computer animation, such as modeling, character animation, lighting and effects, and texturing. You should also consider what computer programs are used in classrooms at different schools, and ensure you learn to use the software that is used in the industry in which you wish to work.

It can also be helpful to look at how successful graduates from various animation programs have been in finding work. You should be sure that successful graduates are actually working in animation or a similar field, as some schools may report success for graduates who are managers working in retail or other unrelated fields. It can also be beneficial to view the portfolios and demo reels of graduates, to see the kind of work being produced by students in various programs.


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