How to Become a 3D Animator

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How to Become a 3D Animator

See yourself as the next Walt Disney, but in third dimension? You should know how to become a 3D animator, so that you waste no time wandering here and there. Take this article as your reference guide.

Whether you grew up with star (wars) in your eyes, walking and talking dogs or frogs, or whether you get the process of mechanics in motion by brining into use complex multimedia software, if you wish to put your skills to right use, a career in 3D animation can give your creativity a platform to demonstrate your knowledge of animation in a way no other field can. The whole story is that, unlike many career fields where a person has no stage to flaunt their creative know-how, animation is one field of art where not only can you show off what your creativity cells can do, but can also bring into use the latest technology to stretch your imagination further.

To become a 3D animator, you need not learn animation as much as you need to do animation. Before embarking upon a career as interesting as this, make sure your sack of creativity is full, and you have the desire to see something new in everything. It is then that the various steps involved in becoming a successful 3D animator becomes easier as you proceed. So, some important information on 3D animator career goes as follows.

Find Your Niche

Animation, especially 3D animation, involves working in the direction of creating special characters and software for video games, television, and movies. Before seeking the necessary education and training, figure out what you want to work for. A 3D movie? Or creating a website? Or do you wish to create a new 3D version of Call of Duty someday? While the ultimate aim of video game animation is to create characters that are close to reality, websites often require a lot of innovativeness in their creation. Your education will be highly driven by what base you choose, and therefore, decide where you want to put your skills to use.

Enroll in a Fine Art or Animation School

Right after completing your high school education, you can enroll in an animation school for a degree or certificate. These programs include learning both 2D as well as 3D animation, and teach their students how to develop characters and models by bringing into use complex animation software. Along with that, they train their students to work upon different computer graphics, and prepare them in a competitive manner. Once you have a degree in hand, you will take a step further in the field of 3D animation with confidence and determination.

For your convenience, here’s a list of the best animation schools in the United States of America:

  • California Institute of the Arts (CalArts), CA
  • Carnegie Mellon University (CMU), PA
  • Brigham Young University, UT
  • University of Central Florida, FL
  • The Art Institute of Boston at Lesley University, MA
  • Rochester Institute of Technology, NY

Become an Intern

Either you could begin hunting for a conventional job in an animation firm right after you’ve completed your education, or you could get hired as an intern in a firm, where you would get the necessary on-the-job training, along with a deeper understanding of how 3D animation works. This way, you would be able to frame a better portfolio, and get better career opportunities when you go for a corporate job. Work for a few months or years with an animation firm, and then proceed to work on bigger projects that come your way.

Begin Job Hunting

Usually, many firms hire their interns as regular employees after a few years of training. If you wish to continue in the firm at a better position, good for you. However, statistics say that almost 60 percent of 3D animators and animation artists are self-employed. How about you opening a separate firm of yours, and begin working on your own? This way, you can expect greater remuneration, and earn an individual status for yourself too. However, if this is not possible, apply for a job in the best animation firms in your state, and wait for them to call you. Also, you could register on online job portals such as Monster, Craigslist, or SimplyHired to keep a check on the latest vacancies.

Your distinctness will take you places, and this is the gist of 3D animation. Based on the projects they take up, and the experience they have, the average salary of 3D animators ranges well between $40,000 – $80,000. However, one can easily touch the six-figured salary in just a few years, if they work hard towards getting that big break. This field may require hard work from your side, but if you’re ready to take up all challenges that come your way, who knows, you might end up doing animation for a Hollywood movie?

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