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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            Computer Animation, Bachelor of Science (Online)
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            Digital Arts and Computer Animation Associate Program
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