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What Is Computer Animation?
Computer animation involves creating moving images with the help of computers. This type of animation is used in films, television shows, video games, and advertisements.
To create an animated scene, computer animators generally start with one picture, known as a frame. The next picture is changed just slightly, so that it represents a fraction of a second later, as is the next picture, and so on. When the frames are flashed on a screen in rapid succession, they create the illusion of moving images. On average, an average computer animated movie shows about 25 frames per second. At this rate, a feature length 90 minute movie will use 135,000 different images.
Most modern computer animation that you see today is 3D computer animation. Unlike 2D animation, which looks flat and cartoonish, 3D animation has more depth and it is a little more realistic. To create this type of animation, a computer animator must first create a virtual model using special modeling software.
Computer animation can be used to create short animated scenes, and it can be used to create full-length movies. Some movies have even combined real life actors and scenes with computer animation in order to create stellar special effects.
What Types of Jobs Can a Computer Animator Do?
A computer animator can help create different parts of an animated scene or movie. Many animators specialize in different aspects of computer animation.
Every animated scene and film, for example, starts with a simple idea. Computer animators might create a possible storyboard, or they may help create different characters or settings.
Some computer animators will also help create and animate the different characters in a film. Often, countless hours are spent fine tuning a characters movements, along with the looks of their skin, clothes, and hair.
While some computer animators more artistic, others might be better at programming. This task generally requires advanced computer knowledge and programming experience.
What Kind of Money Can a Computer Animator Make?
Computer animation is a highly specialized field, and the average salaries for computer animators reflect this. In short, a computer animator can expect to make a decent wage.
When first starting his career, a less experienced computer animator may make as little as $30,000 annually. As he gains more experience, however, he can expect to make roughly $65,000 each year.
Very talented and experienced computer animators can even make upwards of $100,000 annually. This type of salary, however, is generally more commonly seen in larger animation studios in big cities.
What Type of Education Does a Computer Animator Need?
As mentioned above, computer animation is a highly specialized field, and aspiring computer animators must usually spend at least a few years in school.
Some traditional and online universities may offer special two or four year degree programs in computer animation. Students in these programs will usually need to take computer programming courses, along with graphic design courses.
Many art schools also offer computer animation courses. Students in these types of schools generally focus on the more creative and artistic side of computer animation. Find an animation school today.
Internships can also help a student start his career as a computer animator. During these internships, students work alongside professional computer animators. These opportunities give aspiring computer animators valuable hands on experience in this field.
Where Can a Person Work With a Degree In Computer Animation?
Computer animation is a rapidly expanding field, and there are several different places that hire computer animators.
Production studios and animation studios are generally the most common types of companies that hire computer animators. These companies use computer animation to create movies and television shows.
Animators might also be able to find employment in the advertising and video game industries.