How Long Does Computer Animation School Take?

A career in computer animation is exciting and rewarding. It provides one with a creative outlet and a way to make good money doing something they love. The field of computer animation is rapidly growing as new technologies are being developed and computer animation is no longer reserved for special effects but is used in almost all films being made today. Computer animation is used to create backgrounds and scenes that look so real that production companies use this technology to save both time and expense when making their films. To enter this fast paced technical career, one needs to hold a degree from an accredited computer animation school.

Obtaining a degree from a computer animation school will take about four years because many courses are required to learn animation techniques. At the end of four years, a BA degree is earned. Students may go on to earn a master's degree if they so choose. A master's degree in computer animation would take anywhere from 18 months to 4 years to complete depending on how many classes were taken each semester.

To enter the workforce and be competitive on the job market, a bachelor's degree, or four years of study would be the norm. During that time students learn by doing, and create a portfolio of animated short films which they can use as samples of their work when seeking a job.

During the first year of computer design school, students begin with the basics of 2D design. This type of animation was used for years to create the classic cartoons. The characters are drawn by hand and redrawn for each frame to create movement. This type of animated design helps students understand character movement and storyboard creation. Other classes taken include general English and math classes which are prerequisites for more advanced classes to come.

In the years that follow, students learn the subtleties of 3D computer animation and how to create realistic images and movements in virtual space. In order to do this, students must learn to use complex animation software that is commonly used in animation studios today. Students are also required to take classes such as geometry and physics to understand how to create models and how physical laws affect objects. All of these courses work together to teach students how to create computer animations that have lifelike movement.

There are a few online schools which offer computer animation degrees, but most students choose local technical schools or universities where they can get plenty of hands on experience and one-on-one instruction. It is important to select a computer animation school that is accredited. Attending an accredited school makes one eligible for financial aid and also makes one more desirable to potential employers. One should expect to devote four years in a computer animation school to become ready for employment.

Upon the completion of four years of computer animation school, students will have learned how to create animated films from conception to completion and will have created a portfolio of their own short films. They will be ready to enter the job market where they can enjoy an exciting career in the film industry.

Schools Offering Training Programs in Computer Animation

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            Bachelor of Science, Animation & VFX
            • Located in Hollywood, CA, offering degrees in film, music production, business, animation and more.
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            Computer Animation, Bachelor of Science (Online)
            • Full Sail University offers online degree programs that are designed for the world of entertainment, media, arts, and technology. Full Sail's approach is centered on real-world industry experience and creative problem solving.
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            Media Arts and Animation (BFA)
            • Alumni have appeared in reality competition shows such as Top Chef and Project Runway.
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            Digital Arts and Computer Animation Associate Program
            Laurus College , Santa Maria
            • Approved A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) since 2009.
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            Master of Fine Arts: Graphic Design
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