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Careers in Animation

"Gone are the days in which animation was portrayed as Saturday morning cartoons..."

computer animation It used to be that most young artists considering a career in animation looked at Disney and anime as the direction to take. Today, in the real world of animation, choices are much wider and some say much more interesting.

When two huge oil rigs slammed into each other during Hurricane Andrew in 1992, the question was, “Which owner would have to foot the expensive bill for repairs?”

What could unraveling what happened in an accident like this have to do with animation?

Most animation graduates wouldn't think that unraveling what happened in an accident like this would be a challenge they might encounter in their chosen field. But for some graduates of The Art Institutes animation programs, this is the kind of intriguing, nontraditional animation work that is a great fit with their skills and interests.

Today's animation graduates put their skills to work in the fields of aerospace, forensics, architecture, healthcare, medicine and home design and construction.

"Animation used to be limited to 2D Art only," says Kevin Fraser, lead animation instructor at The Art Institute of Toronto. “These days animation is part of a multimedia including Flash, 3D, and video games."

According to Michael Edmonds, education manager for Autodesk, animation careers in accident reconstruction, architectural design, health, aerospace and construction fields are thriving. “Animation is very much an art, and yet work in nontraditional animation careers involves such important professional skills as critical thinking and research abilities,” says Edmonds.

Nontraditional animation areas now offer opportunities to graduates. Says Bill Foster, animation instructor at The Art Institute of Vancouver-Burnaby, “Eight years ago I created my own digital art company and I've been busy ever since doing nontraditional animation for a wide variety of companies. These companies include a children's video game maker, a furniture designer, and a company that produces training videos for soccer coaches.”

Art Institute of Atlanta graduate Ty Michelfelder creates short animations for the Matrix Board and the Video Board at Turner Field, home of the Atlanta Braves professional baseball team. The purpose of the animations vary from "let's get the crowd going" to advertisement. Says Michelfelder, “Some animations are conceived and created as a team and others are individual animations. We are given a great deal of creative latitude and encouraged to explore new ideas.”

Like other animation graduates, Michelfelder never would have guessed she would be creating animation for a major league baseball team. “Although my degree is in animation, I never would have imagined doing what I am doing now,” says Michelfelder.

Working at home, she's able to enjoy a flexible schedule, and pursue hobbies outside of work. She sees a long career in animation, saying “I plan on staying in this area of animation because I enjoy the variety of assignments and the medium. Creating animations that I am able to watch people respond to is very gratifying work.”

Gone are the days in which animation was portrayed as Saturday morning cartoons. Today, animation skills are needed in a myriad of industries, and this gives graduates and animation professionals more career opportunities.

“Animation is a powerful and effective tool for providing information as it can communicate to every generation,” says Fraser from The Art Institute of Toronto. “It is a diverse media that requires critical thinking. As animators and story-tellers, we learn to entertain, and entertain to learn. The craft is never without discovery.”

Courtesy of ARA Content - The Art Institutes

More about animation jobs around the Web:

Animation Arena - Jobs

Animation Jobs - careers in 3D digital design

Animation World Network


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