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)
            • Campus-based and online degrees include Computer Animation (BS), Digital Arts and Design (BS), Graphic Design (BS), and more
            • Students take ongoing portfolio courses that allow them to build and refine their design portfolio
            • Courses teach skills such as advertising, branding, visual messaging, and concept design
            • Curriculum combines elements of creativity, art, business and life skills, technical prowess, and academic achievement
            • Online Courses
            ABCO Technology , Los Angeles
            Good for Working Adults
            • An accredited computer training academy preparing students to enter the IT industry as Network Engineers, Software Engineers, Web Apps Developer, Website Designers, Programmers, Database Administrators since 2000.
            • Holds A+ certification from CompTIA.
            • Located in Los Angeles, approximately 10 minutes away from LAX.
            • Flexible class schedules offered during day times, evenings and weekends.
            • Helping students start a career in technology within 3 - 9 months.
            • Educates with the mission to serve the needs of the local community and graduates by matching opportunities to skills.
            • Military friendly school.
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            • Flexible Scheduling
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            Bachelor of Science, Animation & VFX
            • Located in Hollywood, CA, offering degrees in film, music production, business, animation and more.
            • Scholarship, financial aid and military benefits are available for students who qualify.
            • Programs taught by award-winning industry professionals in real-world working environments.
            • Features industry-standard facilities including recording studios, soundstages, green screen, movie theatres and more.
            • Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).
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            Computer Animation (MFA)
            • Alumni have appeared in reality competition shows such as Top Chef and Project Runway.
            • Has a team of about 4,000 faculty members focused on helping students tap opportunities in a marketplace driven by ideas.
            • Offers programs in design, media arts, fashion, and culinary.
            • Provides program coordinators who work with students to ensure they have the learning materials, assignments, facilities, and faculty to get the most out of the program.
            • Over 50 campus locations nationwide.
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            Game Software Development - Bachelor
            • Average class size is 25, allowing for more one-on-one time with instructors.
            • Has a 97% employment rate among available graduates.
            • All  graduates receive Lifetime Employment  Assistance—free and forever.
            • Michigan's largest independent college.
            • Most instructors are working professionals in the fields they teach.
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