Animation Programs from Accredited Colleges & Universities

Computer Animation

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The mere mention of animation often brings to mind images of silly Saturday morning cartoons that we all enjoyed as children. This business began has roots in simple toys, such as flip books and phenakistoscopes.

Today, animation is a huge growing industry, and careers in this field are typically very rewarding and fulfilling. In order to be successful in an animation career, however, a good education and strong background in this field is usually necessary. Most individuals pursuing their dreams as animators typically get started by earning animation degrees at art and animation schools, where they will learn the necessary skills to create several different types of animation.

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Programs available:
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Animation in the Past

The first animated feature length movies were introduced in the early part of the 19th century. Although Walt Disney’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is often credited as the film full-length animated motion picture, this is a misconception. In reality, there were actually a handful of animated films before the release of this Disney classic. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs was just received with much more enthusiasm than the previous films. It was the popularity of this film that helped Walt Disney and his company shoot to the top and become one of the wealthiest and most recognized entities in the world.

Animations of the past were all typically hand drawn, frame by frame, which took quite a long time. Before the modern era of computer generated cartoons, animators used to need just a few simple drawing implements, a whole lot of talent, and endless imagination.

Types of Animation

In general, there are three main types of animation that professionals might use. Nearly all of these animation techniques are still in use today, although some methods are more popular than others.

  • Stop Motion Animation Stop motion animation is a type of 3-D animation that has been around for years. To make a motion picture with this type of animation, objects are filmed or photographed once. They are then moved just slightly, and they are filmed or photographed again. This process is repeated for each frame of an animated picture. One of the most popular and common forms of stop motion animation is clay animation, or claymation.
  • Regular Animation Two-dimensional animation is often referred to as 2-D, flat, or regular animation. Hand drawn animation, or cel animation, falls into this category. Since this is an extremely time consuming process, however, and it is not often used to create modern animated features. Instead, many animators and producers favor using 2-D images created by computers to create 2-D animation, since it is so much faster and more efficient.
  • Computer Animation Computer animation is by far the most common type of animation used today. This type of animation is created by using special software and computer graphics. Depending on how animators want their show to look, computers can be used to create either 2-D or 3-D animation.

Skills Animation Schools Look For

Animation today has become very high tech, and animation schools are basically a necessity for starting a career in this field. Not just anyone is admitted to these types of schools, however, and prospective students must have adequate skills to make it as animators. For instance, since they often work in large groups and teams, aspiring animators must have excellent communication and people skills.

It may seem obvious to some, but animation schools often look for students who are creative and imaginative. These students will basically become visual storytellers, and they must be able to make their art come alive. Because the intended audience for animations is children, animators must also be able to think like children at times.

Computer literacy is also a very important skill for modern animators, considering that the majority of animation today is created with computers. Despite this, animators should still have excellent drawing, sketching, and illustration skills.

Skills and talent aren’t the only prerequisites for getting accepted to most animation schools, however. The majority of these schools also have a number of other requirements as well.

Requirements for Animation Schools

Although the requirements for getting accepted at an animation school vary depending on the school, most of these educational institutes have the same basic requirements.

  • Application Like most other colleges and universities, animation schools typically require students to fill out an application. The information on this application is generally very basic. For example, they may ask for personal information as well as previous school information.
  • Transcripts Any school transcripts should also be sent to animation schools as part of the application process. This includes high school transcripts as well as transcripts from any previous colleges, universities, and trade schools. Many times, animation schools will look at the classes that a prospective student has as well as his overall grades.
  • Portfolio Because animation schools focus on artistic skills, prospective students are also usually required to submit portfolios as well. Most animation schools require portfolios that contain several examples of an artist’s best work, including drawings and computer graphics. Applicants to animation schools, however, should read the guidelines regarding portfolios for each separate school to ensure that they are sending what is required.