I recently had someone ask me, about the Animation Industry, and how to get in. I chuckled to myself, mainly because I’m still new to it, I’ve never personally tried to get in myself, and after all this time I’m still learning a lot. I said why not, I wanted to see what she would ask, and maybe just maybe I could help out a little. I figured I’d share a little of the conversation.
Do you need to know how to draw?
This a question I’ve have seen a lot, I’ve even asked it. The simple answer is no, not really. But it will defiantly help in a lot of ways, with a ton of things you might want to do, or even try. Even at the technical side of things, being artistic will help you out in the long run. The truth is, if your even interested in doing Animation, your most likely artistic in someway.
Do you need to go to college and get a degree to get into the industry or get a job?
No, you really don’t have to, but some of the bigger studios may require a degree. and it never hurts with any studio, even if they don’t ask. For example:
Walt Disney Animation Studios: Modeler needs a Bachelors Degree or equivalent experience. The simple fact I run it and see is it is all about your demo reel. It matters a lot, and I mean a hell of a lot. If you look up anything about getting into the industry, don’t be surprised if you see a mention of a demo reel each and every time.
Now this question can also pose a yes, I don’t pay much attention to the technical side. I’ve tried my hand at programming, and I don’t like it. Be sure to check positions, you like, or are trying for, each company is different.
Does it matter what college to check out or go to?
This was one I wasn’t sure about how to answer. I’ve never been to or enrolled into any college before. I am currently looking, because I want to check at as many places as I can. I will say when I first started, I contacted 3 different schools. The first two didn’t get back to me ever. The only one that did was The Academy of Art University, and I can say they were very helpful.
The big thing here is to check out the place real good, make sure they are worth your time, effort, and money. Don’t be a fool and rush into something, that in reality will end up being a waste of time. I’ve known people go to college, graduate, get their degree, and not learn anything.
What Software should I learn and use?
Maya? 3DSMax? Blender? If you look across the net, you will find a lot of great and amazing tools to use and learn. A lot of companies will use Maya and 3DSMax, a long with Photoshop. For example Pixar uses its own proprietary software, as well as Dreamworks I believe.
In the end I would be willing to dare it doesn’t matter. If you don’t have money to spend on something like Maya, or even a way to use it, go for a another piece of software. Blender may in fact be free, which isn’t a bad thing. It is always evolving as well, and has turned into something great. Blender has been used on the History channel and on Spider Man 2, in certain ways.
Those questions where the biggest things she had asked me. I thought it was very nice to see a young lady wanting to get into the industry. Anyone looking to get into the industry should go for it. You never know, you may find yourself working on the next big thing. Don’t be fooled though, it isn’t easy, it takes a lot of time to do, and can be frustrating.
If you’ve got the passion and love for animation, I don’t think anything will hold you back. Work smart, have fun, in the end it will all pay off, in someway. If anyone has had experience with this or has tried, I’d love to know your input.