Let us assume you have always enjoyed sketching and doodling. Your creations have often brought a smile to the face of many. Then you may well be on the road to a career in animation. Mind you, there is a lot more to the picture we have just given. To begin with there are many sectors of animation that one can specialize in. For example, there are job opportunities in the major media like television and film. Then there is the new world of the internet and CD-ROM. Several more opportunities can be added to the list as well. To make it even more interesting within these major categories there are sub categories when you can really take your specialty to the limit.
If you have a budding interest in this field then you are probably aware of the terms 2D and 3D animator. Do not be fooled into thinking that 3D has replaced 2D. It is the very skills of the 2D animation that has made 3D possible. There is no indication that 2D animation will become outdated.
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Most of the developed skills of 2D animators have come through life drawing and compositions. These have been the two leading factors but these have been combined with other elements as well such as studies in proportions, structure, lines of action and of course basic anatomy. An understanding of how and what makes us move can lend to the success of a 2D animator. As if there were not enough skills involved to the list, we must add slugging, storyboarding, character design and clean up. No doubt if you talk to a few 2D animators, they have some additional duties to add to their regime.
For the 3D animator you can add all of the above plus a few more. The focus for this area centers on modeling, texture and lighting as in fits into the scope of the 3D environment. They fast learn how to get the most out many of the software packages available to them in their line of work.
The storyboard artist has to be one of the most creative individuals in animation. They are setting the foundation for the story. They must have a great imagination and superior visualization capabilities. Then they must be well structured in order to maintain the continuity. There are often positions open for assistants here but most often, there is not much glamour at that level of the industry. It is an excellent stepping-stone to move up in the ranks of animation.
Now the layout artist creates the foundation. In other words, he provides the background for the scenes gleaning the requirements from the storyboard. In essence, they are a rough copy of a future work.
Just in case you think, you have heard it all there is one other department that must be given attention and that is the in-between. You should become familiar with this position and its requirements because it is the most likely place where you will have the opportunity to break into the industry.
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