Animation is amazing. However I realize that the path to becoming an animator isn’t all fun and games, especially when your school doesn’t even have that major. However, fortune was on my side when I got to be one of the guinea pigs in the first ever 2D animation class at my school. Although taking the animation class taught me a lot, it was an eye opener and a slight disappointment. I was informed I would make no money, be overworked, and often be out of work. Yet, I still want to pursue this career. (Call me crazy) After touring Bent Image Lab in Portland, meeting everyone and seeing what they actually do behind the scenes, I knew that I had made the right decision.
I spoke to an alumnus from my school who worked on Coraline for Laika and asked for his advice on what to do to pursue a career in animation. His response was to learn the following programs on my own:
- All Adobe Suite
- After Effects
- Small Amount of Flash
- 3D Studio Max
- Motion Builder
- CG Animation and Sculpting
- Texturing, lighting, rendering
Clearly, that’s a ton of programs to master on my own. Luckily the animation program, Maya is offered to anyone for over a year and can be downloaded and used non-profitably. I’ve yet to begin learning Maya but I will document my learning process here as it unfolds (if the internet decides to not hate me and lets me find an affordable tutorial).
One of the things that was repeated a thousand times in the beginning 2D Animation class was that the best animations have a clear message without talking. The short, Luxo Jr. made by Pixar Animation Studios is an excellent example because it brings life into two inanimate objects.