Thursday, March 31, 2011

Get in Touch with Your Artistic Side by taking Digital Animation Programs

Digital animation plays a huge role in many movies and cartoons today — from films like Avatar to characters such as Yogi Bear and Boo Boo in the recent motion picture release. It is also employed on TV and, of course, online. Clearly digital animation and film animation have come a very long way to dominate the mainstream market. If your interest lies in creativity and artistry, there are many job opportunities in the field of digital animation from which to choose upon graduation from one of Canada’s animation programs.

Exactly what sorts of jobs are available to those educated in digital animation? Well, they range from lighters, modelers, riggers and 3D character animators to level designers for games, texture artists, visual effects supervisors, compositors and technical directors. People in all of these positions must work together in order to create the finished product. Each adds an important step the digital animation process, which includes the use of computer software. Digital animators, for example, storyboard and create models with the assistance of modelers. They also design and animation environment that includes backgrounds, sets and objects as well as characters. During this stage, lighters finesse the lighting on a shot, while compositors composite together the resulting character and environment renders into a final shot. The next step is to create each frame, work out the timing of movements and make sure it all meets the script and soundtrack requirements.

In order to enter the field, you must attend an animation program, such as the one offered at Centennial College, which has been shaping the knowledge of digital animators since it launched in 1996. Students who are interested in applying must present at minimum an Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) or equivalent or be 19 years of age or older. They are also required to possess compulsory English 12C or U credit or skills assessment, or equivalent. Lastly, English proficiency, a program admission session and a portfolio review are required. Portfolios may include 10 to 15 pieces such as illustration, photography, video animation, computer generated artwork, music, performance art or publishing.

The animation program takes 14 months to complete and results in an Ontario College Diploma. During their time in the undertaking, students learn about animation for TV, broadcast, and game design. In addition, they are trained in film animation. Students have a great opportunity to excel due to Centennial College’s small sized-classrooms, one-on-one instruction, a project-based learning approach; and 24-hour, 7-day-a-week access to labs and workstations. They are also well trained in life drawing, acting for animation and storyboard training.

Students participate in courses such as: Animation Fundamentals, Character Design, Modeling and Rigging, Matte Painting and more. To complement in-class learning, students have opportunity to participate in a field placement. As a result, one important outcome of the Digital Animation program is that students produce a demo reel to showcase their abilities.

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