If you want to live out of your imagination, consider a career in 3D animation.
3D CGI is the art of using computer generated images to animate characters in a scene.
Until now, we have had 2D animation. Cartoons are a traditional form of 2D animation.
With 3D, there is a startling difference.
Now there is depth. Now there is realism.
Animated scenes are one picture after another. Each picture is a frame. The scene starts with one frame then transitions into another frame. The timing from one frame to the next one is a few milliseconds.
When hundreds of frames flash close together, you experience the optical illusion of movement.
When you see an animated movie, you’re watching a skit made with 3D animation. In fact, 2D animation is fading away. It pales in contrast to 3D. Almost all big budget movies that need special effects use some form of 3D CGI.
Your Life As A 3D Animator
If you choose a career in 3D animation, you will design with computer software. You’ll craft images using digital models. After constructing the character, you will add details like hair, skin, and clothes. You’ll complete the scene by adding a background. In a country scene, for example, you will add grass, bushes, and trees.
Projects vary in size and scope.
- You could work in a feature movie.
- You could develop short skits for advertising.
- You could animate video games.
- You could create the special effects for a Hollywood action movie.
If you like one aspect of 3D design over another, you could specialize. You may specialize in only certain parts of a scene. The rest of the work gets done by other animators. For instance, you may be responsible for creating the main characters in a scene. Meanwhile, your colleague may create the buildings and streets. Together, you’ll work to create interesting characters who have fascinating adventures.
If you choose the movie industry, you will work with others in a film. You may work with film directors, music directors, writers, and voice actors.
How Much Can You Earn?
Since the work requires considerable education, it pays well. It is one of the most promising careers because it demands a high level of technical skill. There is a huge demand for people with technical skills.
According to The US Bureau of Labor Statistics, 3D animators earn a median salary of $61,370. Bear in mind that this is the lower end of the scale. On the higher end, good animators earn six figures a year. How much you earn depends on the industry you’re working in and the State you are living in.
How Much Education Do You Need?
This is one of those skills that it is difficult to learn on your own. Unlike, say, graphic design or website design, it is far more intense. You will need four years of education after high school. Besides the bachelor’s level, you can also earn a master’s degree in it.
You will need to take art, computer, anatomy, and natural science courses.
What does a typical syllabus look like?
Let’s look at Platt College to get an idea. If you were to take animation at Platt College, your courses would include:
- Character design and development
- Knowledge of dynamics
- Game engine implementation.
The purpose of a curriculum like this is to teach you to think like an artist or designer. You will learn how to express your visual creativity with the power of technology.
Your Career Options
What choices could you expect after graduation?
Unlike a degree in humanities, you will be in high demand by employers. It is difficult for them to get enough well-qualified people.
You will get offers from website design firms, video game makers, advertising firms, and movie studios.
Imagine participating in making special effects for feature length films? Imagine getting credit for your role in the making of a best-selling video game? These and many other choices are possible should you decide on a career in 3D animation.