Do you have the talent to take a flat drawing and transform it into a 2D or 3D image? If you're both technically and artistically inclined and interested in computer games, movies or advertising, you can hone your skills with studies in animation.
Bachelor's degrees are considered the entry-level degree for multimedia artists and animators, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Courses for bachelor's degrees in animation include subjects like these:
- 3D modeling, storyboarding and cinematic storytelling
- Anatomy and animation principles and techniques
- Analysis of form, figure drawing and modeling
- Art history and history of animation and visual effects
- Artistic composition, perspective, color and design
- Computer graphics for animation
- Multimedia technologies
- Preproduction principles
Many programs involve portfolio development or a demonstration project. You must also meet general education requirements such as English, math, social science, natural science and humanities, which can help you build communication and business skills.
Animation career options, outlook and salaries
Professionals in the field of animation often specialize in one area such as 3D modeling, character animation, storyboarding, classical breakdown or visual effects. Job titles can include 2D or 3D animator or modeler, visual effects artist, compositor, character designer or concept artist.
The BLS predicts an employment increase of 8 percent for animators between 2010 and 2020. This slower than average growth is expected because the field is highly competitive and some work may move overseas. The BLS reports median annual wages of $58,510 for multimedia artists and animators in 2010.
Beyond your bachelor's degree
Master's degrees in animation could prepare you for management or greater responsibility. Advanced programs often balance research, communications, media theory, history and law with practical production and delivery of content. Although doctoral degrees specifically in animation are rare in the U.S., they are more common in the U.K. Graduates most commonly teach or engage in research at the university level or opt for top positions in industry.
Whether you want to upgrade your existing skills as an animator, or you are planning to enter the field, online degree programs are conveniently available. Animators are often self-employed, and if you're currently working in the field, flexible scheduling can help you balance your deadlines, studies and other obligations. Don't waste your creative talent; with a bachelor's degree you can be a competitive candidate for a career in animation.