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Building Your Computer Animation Portfolio

Computer animation is a growing field with numerous job opportunities available for those with a degree. Getting your first job after graduation can be difficult since employers often want someone with experience and education. However having an excellent portfolio full of examples of your work is a great way to convince an employer to hire you although experience may be lacking from your resume.

Portfolios in computer animation are often referred to as demo reels since most people put together sample clips of their work into a montage. This allows the prospective employer to easily see their skills, knowledge, and experience in the field of computer animation.

When creating your demo reel or portfolio for a prospective computer animation job it is important that you include a variety of different samples of your work. Many contain a scene with a camera move that has been rendered, a space scene, a walk cycle, and a 2D pencil test since this shows a variety of skills. While you may specialize in a certain area, you need to show you can do other things beyond it in order to secure a job offer. Businesses and companies prefer individuals with multiple skills and talents as opposed to a person with only a specialty.

Making your computer animation portfolio unique helps the employer remember you, and it separates you from other candidates. Use your creativity and skills to create a demo reel that is unique to who you are in a classy and professional manner. Ideally, you should make the demo reel that is easy to reproduce onto a DVD or video cassette. This makes it easy for you to create a copy of your demo roll to leave with the prospective employer for later review.

To enhance your job prospects you might consider creating your own website while putting together your computer animation portfolio. Websites are great personal marketing tools since they provide you with a place to advertise yourself and your services for a relatively inexpensive price. With a website you can place your resume, demo reel, and even more samples of your work online with relative ease. This makes it convenient for an employer that would like to see more samples of your work or wants to revisit them again but can't since you took your demo reel with you after the interview. Just make sure you design the website in a professional manner and only present your best work online rather than everything you've ever done.

Finally it is important that you create some type of physical portfolio to bring along with you to job interviews. Although you prefer for the employer to see your demo reel, technology does not always work and allow for this to happen. Instead of only being able to explain your skills and experience, you do have the ability to show a little bit of proof to back up what you are claiming with a paper portfolio. A typical page in a portfolio can contain character sketches, illustrations, drawings of different figures, or other print samples of what you have done. Providing this is a good alternative and often leads the employer to give you a chance to show your demo reel at another time when the technology is working rather than simply writing you off as unprepared.  This could be the second chance you need to land the job and become a computer animator.


Schools Offering Training Programs in Computer Animation

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            Computer Animation, Bachelor of Science (Online)
            • Full Sail’s curriculum combines elements of creativity, art, business and life skills, technical prowess, and academic achievement.
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            Media Arts and Animation (BFA)
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            Digital Arts and Computer Animation Associate Program
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            Master of Fine Arts: Graphic Design
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