Ok I’m a highschool student, Junior, and I would like to know something. I love animation but if I wanna see it as a career, I would like to know if there are many jobs available in animation. If I were to go to a college and get a bachelors degree in animation where would that get me?
If your a high school student in China or India then animation should be a good career for some time. In the US you may have some problems. A few years ago, in the US animation was on the top a great place to be. Then the major animation companies decided to outsource to Asia and close animation facilities in the US, France and Japan.
Now if you notice the trend in major features, as well as TV, more and more animation is moving 3D. Much of the traditional 2D animation is done in Korea, China and starting in India. Traditional TV animations like Scuby Doo originate in the US with storyboard, layout, planning, and some keyframeing. This is then packaged up and sent to Asia for animation and finally compositing.
The one place I think other forms of animation may have for US animators is via the web. Web based animations and HOPEFULLY short iPod animation can be created by smaller animation companies and even individuals. Tools like TBS are an essential key to this move. Now if we can convince Apple that new animation shorts have an iPod market we may ALL benefit.
Also if you do go to Animation school pick a GOOD one. I personally think Canada has one of the best, but there are many in the US (many in Los Angles, etc).
I would love to see an animation consortium that would allow independents to work through to sell product to non traditional animation venues, the web, iPod, Portable video players, etc.
this is a very interesting discussion
i also think the future for ‘standalone’ animators is in short forms.
the longer productions are very expensive and the second thing is people don’t have that amount of attention to be interested in longer films (i’m not talking about full-length animated films shown in the movie theatres).
in other words: i think longer films won’t pay unless made in the outsourced locations for a fraction of the normal costs.
no animator in the west world could earn a living, doing such longer forms, neither in bigger studios, nor alone. and i think the trend will go much further…
So is 2d animation all done over seas? :-<br />Another question, would it be better for me, living in the U.S., to learn 3d animation if I expect to get a job here?
First not all the 2D animation is done overseas. There are a number of smaller studios that work in the US doing commercials and I think Nick does some if not most of it’s TV animation in the US although I could be wronf on this.
For feature films? ANYONE know where “Curios George” was done? As for Disney they have been doing 2D direct to disk animations. These are done overseas.
For the immediate time being 3D feature film is done primarily in the US although this is already changing. A couple of productions have been / are being done in the UK. Aardman will be releasing something this summer. By the way, THEY DO GREAT WORK AND I’D LOVE TO WORK FOR THEM!
Right now a large portion of the 3D animators came from 2D departments when they where dismantled. So there are/were a lot of unemployed animators out there.
Now the trends: A number of new animation schools have opened up in China and India. From what I’ve read they are being funded by their governments and by the US animation companies. Of course the number one thing being taught or to be taught is 3D animation. So we don’t yet know where this will go but I think you get the idea.
If the projects are controlled by US production, as I mentioned in my last post on this item, the animation can come from most anywhere. I have noticed some subtle cues as to the animations origination place, I think due to cultural differences, but most people won’t notice.
There may be a ray of hope on the horizon for some US animators from the Disney/Pixar deal. Pixar seems to know the formula for good to great animated features. Now the Question Will Pixar become mired in the Disney bureaucracy or will Pixar be able to resusitate Disney’s moribund mentality.
I DON’T want to discourage you from going to school for animation. I think animation is great fun and very fulfilling. IF you think about it the animator is creating a new world. I also think many animators are just actors that don’t want to be on the stage. If you love your work, and you can get paid for it, then that’s one of the most satisfying things you can do with your life. But remember you do have to eat.
If you do decide to go to school for animation then you probably should be able to draw and draw WELL. So get the paper and pencils out and make some graphite fly! Understand the body, both human and animal (the weight of the body, proportions, muscles, and skeletal structure). And really look at how things move. Watch how we walk, the ways our faces move, the gestures we make, learn how to see the emotion of a stance or a look or a movment. The idea is to be able to reproduce this in your animations. Watch the “physics” of how everything moves, from the cat or dog to the drop of water or the rubber ball.
And finally, and I stress this, look for and work towards a VERY good animation school. The better the school the more you will learn. In animation reading the book is step 1. Steps 2 through 50 are doing it and redoing it again until it’s perfect.
To quote a PBS TV personality: “Draw, Draw, Draw, Draw, Draw”…
Thank you for the feedback JavaJoe and gester. I love animation and I really look forward to making a career out of it. I would just prefer 2d over 3d anytime.
“Chilerkle”, I think some of what your noticing is from multiple markets for animation. More and more animation is being produced for multiple countries with various languages. As such they will animate a lip sync “generically”. This makes it easier to “match?” to a voice. It won’t match exactly but for much of TV animation the average consumer won’t care.
The part of out sourcing that bothers me is once again it’s not about the quality, the story, the artistry, it’s about the MONEY.
The “Walmarting”, of the world…
Money makes the world go round, as they say…