What Does a Computer Animator Do?

Most cartoons are computer generated animations. Before computers, artists would sit down and draw the same picture and just shift it ever so slightly in each drawing to create the illusion that the character is moving. Now, instead of drawing hundreds and thousands of drawings, computer animators are able to create the same cartoons through the use of software. The computer animator will draw hundreds of frames where they shift just a little bit with each frame. This also will then give the illusion of the character moving.

A computer animator will still, at times, draw their characters freehand and later scan them into the computer and manipulate them with their software. Being artistically inclined is a must for people wanting to break into this field. They must have an eye for detail and color, know where to put the lines, and have computer proficiency. Most computer animators will use Apple computers, but they should be well versed in both the Apple and the PCs to be more marketable.

Computer animators spend long hours sitting at the computer creating their animations. Computer animators traditionally worked in television and film, but now are often found working in certain Web development areas of multimedia products or even online and off-line games. Some further specialize in 2D or 3D animation to further their career in computer animation. Keeping on the cutting edge of development is always important with any field, so staying on top of the latest computer animation software is important.

As with most careers, a person's resume is an important factor in landing a good job. In computer animation, your profile is basically a visual of your resume. Some companies require both, but your portfolio is what would sell you as a computer animator. Creating an extensive portfolio is important as it is your picture book of successes. This field of work is very competitive, so it is very important to market your abilities.

The average salary for a computer animator is anywhere from $40,000 a year to $60,000 a year, depending on the area of expertise. Film animation may pay better than Web development.

There is a lot of opportunity for freelancing in this industry, especially for Web development because many companies are looking to have the best catchy website. Flash animation and other animation for the Web have become more popular.

Computer animators use their artistic ability to create a mood or express a thought without verbalizing it. A computer animator with a strong portfolio and a love of art should have no problems landing a career in computer animation with the proper training between film, television, video games, website development, and other multimedia.

Schools Offering Training Programs in Computer Animation

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            Digital Arts and Computer Animation Associate Program
            Laurus College , Atascadero
            • Approved A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) since 2009.
            • Offers career assistance and resource services to both students and graduates.
            • Several scholarship opportunities are available to students who qualify.
            • Accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACCSC).
            • 4 campus locations in Atascadero, San Luis Obispo, Santa Maria, and Oxnard, California, with online options as well.
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            Computer Animation, Bachelor of Science (Online)
            • Push Your Creativity To The Next Level.
            • Full Sail’s curriculum combines elements of creativity, art, business and life skills, technical prowess, and academic achievement.
            • Full Sail offers accelerated programs, so a degree that would normally take four years takes 24 months on average.
            • Students work with industry-standard tools and technologies, allowing them to gain practical knowledge and real-world experience.
            • Join us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram to interact with our community, read about grad success, and see campus images.
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            Media Arts and Animation (BFA)
            • 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.
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            ABCO Technology , Inglewood
            • 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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            Game Development (Bachelor)

            50 Years of Excellence In Education

            Coleman University is a private non-profit teaching university founded in 1963 and located in San Diego, California. Its undergraduate and graduate programs prepare individuals for technology-focused careers and leadership. As San Diego’s oldest school dedicated to information technology, Coleman University has historically educated a large number of the region’s business-technology professionals.


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