DiceTV: Getting to Work in the Wide World of Computer Animation

 

Computer animation specialists work on motion pictures, computer games, billboards, TV, the Web, even business and scientific projects. Here’s background, and tips on how you can transition into this expanding field.

The Script

 

There! I just put the finishing touches on a brand new animated character.

My career has blossomed since I became a computer animation specialist. Now I work on motion pictures, computer games, billboards, TV, the Web even business and scientific projects.

My new character – Cat – will help me tell you about the industry and the story of how I transitioned into this expanding field. I’m Cat Miller and this is DiceTV.

Once there was a starving artist named Cat, who tried to eek out a living painting portraits of “aristocats.”

To take her mind off her troubles, she went to see Toy Story 3. Suddenly she had an idea. “Maybe I could be a computer animator,” she cried.

She stumbled upon a kindly career counselor who told her that anyone with a creative background or art degree can succeed; but she’d need to learn basic creative software like: Adobe Creative Suite, Maya, 3D Studio Max and Softimage.Wow, that seems like a lot to learn, thought Cat. But she enrolled in a creative college and applied herself to her studies.

She also learned Photoshop, After Effects, ZBrush, Mudbox, Nuke and… PFTRack.

But when she discovered that she would also need to learn rendering, motion builder and motion capture applications, and other animation techniques, she became very  discouraged.

Then, a wise old animation instructor spoke to Cat’s class. He explained that the top priority for computer animators is learning the 12 principals of animation originally developed by professionals at Walt Disney. He demonstrated each technique and Cat was encouraged.

Finally, he said: “As long as your demo reel shows industry-standard quality, you’ll get hired no matter what your educational background.”

Cat had learned enough to create a demo and submitted it to several employers. Soon she was earning a paycheck, eating regular meals, collaborating with writers and learning even more techniques on the job. Best of all, she really enjoyed her work.

So the moral of the story is: If you’re creative and you take the time to learn computer animation techniques and software, you too can look like the cat who swallowed the canary.

I’m Cat Miller and this has been DiceTV. We now return you to your regular desktop.

Editor’s Note: Yes, Cat did the drawings herself.

DiceTV: Getting to Work in the Wide World of Computer Animation

12 Responses to “DiceTV: Getting to Work in the Wide World of Computer Animation”

  1. Emily Adamo

    Very well done! I love your character and how you make it so appealing. I’ve always wanted to do creative graphics, but I’m to busy with IT Technology providing customer support in all areas.

    Maybe I’ll try this and see if I too, can get a job that I’ll really love.

    Thanks Cat

    Keep up the good work!

  2. Emily Adamo

    Very well done! I love your character and how you make it so appealing. I’ve always wanted to do creative graphics, but I’m to busy with IT Technology providing customer support in all areas.

    Maybe I’ll try this and see if I too, can get a job that I’ll really love.

    Thanks Cat

    Keep up the good work!

  3. Nicely done. I’m new to Cat but sure enjoyed the story and energy. The treat began while downloading with the first motionless frame and the overwrought Parisian artiste feel.

    Thanks for brightening my early morning. Today in San Jose promises 96 degrees of hot. The Cats here will be meowing.
    Yours, Marc Siegel
    Community Manager/Internet Project Mgr.

  4. Nicely done. I’m new to Cat but sure enjoyed the story and energy. The treat began while downloading with the first motionless frame and the overwrought Parisian artiste feel.

    Thanks for brightening my early morning. Today in San Jose promises 96 degrees of hot. The Cats here will be meowing.
    Yours, Marc Siegel
    Community Manager/Internet Project Mgr.

  5. It’s also a good idea to focus on one aspect of the business to get your foot in the door— such as modeling, lighting, animation, programming, producer, etc. It’s rare someone is hired right out of school with all these talents—

  6. It’s also a good idea to focus on one aspect of the business to get your foot in the door— such as modeling, lighting, animation, programming, producer, etc. It’s rare someone is hired right out of school with all these talents—

  7. Ronald Stuckey

    I believe for the young today, there is room for animators on TV as well as big screen. I see many channels open that could present shows on relationships and human relations stories to help those whom suffered some type of trauma in their lives. I would love to find the team to open those doors. Opportunity awaits those with the vision to provide solutuions to the Mental health issues that corrupting America today. The fix is needed right now, and money is to be made on the talents of visionaries. R stuckey

  8. Ronald Stuckey

    I believe for the young today, there is room for animators on TV as well as big screen. I see many channels open that could present shows on relationships and human relations stories to help those whom suffered some type of trauma in their lives. I would love to find the team to open those doors. Opportunity awaits those with the vision to provide solutuions to the Mental health issues that corrupting America today. The fix is needed right now, and money is to be made on the talents of visionaries. R stuckey