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Info on Working as an Animator in Montana
Despite its out-of-the-way location and lack of major cities, the state of Montana supports roughly 125,000 commercial businesses, as well as countless private employers. Thanks to recent technological advances in the world's film industry, Montana businesses are experiencing a fast-increasing economic demand for local professional animation artists.
Montana Schools and Training Programs for Animation
Colleges, Universities and instructional facilities throughout the state of Montana offer training and degree programs in animated design. The typical major for aspiring animators attending Montana colleges is visual communications, although some successful professional animators majored in photography or fine arts. Montana colleges with animation degree programs include University of Montana in Missoula, Montana State University in Great Falls and Montana Tech in Butte, among others.
In recent times, many Montana animation students acquire professional skills online by enrolling at one of many accredited internet art schools. Popular cyber colleges with programs in animation design include the Academy of Art University, Post University, Full Sail University, Stratford Career Institute, University of Phoenix, The Art Institutes and ITT Tech, to name a few.
Working as an Animator in Montana
Montana commercial businesses regularly enlist the help of local animation artists. Animated designs are produced for purposes such as amusement, fund raising, architectural planning, advertising, web pages, mobile apps and more. Montana companies that hire animators include legal service providers, educational organizations, hospitals, community groups, advertisers, photo finishing labs, software developers and many others.
Some Montana motion picture companies have their own animation departments. Major Montana movie makers include Whitman Enterprises in Whitefish, Irish Luck Productions in Missoula, The Montana Movie Factory in Butte and THL-Digital-Video-Productions in Billings. Other local animators work for Montana-based, graphic design info tech firms that deal with animation. Successful Montana graphics IT corporations include Pyron Technology in Missoula, Jenna Jones Design in Billings, Cafe Artemis in Helena and Works by Design in Bozeman.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics does not provide current info regarding annual incomes for professional animation designers in Montana. In any case, BLS data is usually based on the full time incomes of U.S. citizens employed at U.S. companies. No reliable data seems to exist regarding the incomes of part time artists, freelance professionals and local animators recruited by foreign companies.
Skills of a Professional Animator
Skills of a professional animator include advanced drawing technique, photography, lighting, web design, programming and interactive media. However, the most useful skill any animator can possess is proficiency with animation software. The current popular favorites among professional animators are 3D Studio Max and Toon Boom Digital Pro. Less expensive versions (for the rest of us) include Toon Boom Studio and Illusion Mage. Beginners are encouraged to try one of several free, open source animation programs like Pencil for 2D animation and Blender for more complex, 3D designs.