Mark DiGiacomo, Founder of Digital Elixir Studios
Well... there are an increasing number of schools possibly taking advantage of the desire for young people to animate. That doesn't necessarily mean jobs will be waiting when they step out of those doors. The Great Recession has thrown a big curve ball into the mix too. I do think the demand will continue to grow, not in the least due to the diversification of animation into all production as we're already seeing. But I caution any aspiring person interested to look hard at it and have other aspects to your education and life-plan because it is not an easy business and may never be. So the answer to your question is yes and no. There's an increasing number of wide-eyed animation graduates who may enter a very tough market for work, yet I think there will be increased need for certain talents and capabilities over the long haul. There may not be opportunities for every recent graduate to get a solid paying job, however. Sometimes you need to go get the work and make it happen in a field where profit margins have historically been a very tight game.
Peter Adamakos, Disada Productions
There is an ever-increasing demand for so-called animators due to the sheer quantity of footage today. We seek quantity over quality and as the quality falls lower and lower anyone and his/her grandmother can be an animator. What talent does it take to push a computer grid around? If a computer animator dies at his desk he will be replaced before he hits the floor and the scene will be done with no decipherable difference between their work. Those who learn real animation as well as computer techniques will rule the industry when crap has had it's "run".
Paul Kakert, Owner of EDP
As long as animators offer a broad set of skills that allow them to evolve with industry needs in animation and motion graphics, then the need will increase. We have reached the point where content is king. The Internet is so easily accessible and even the most complex animations and large videos stream with ease to every computer and mobile device out there. All that screams for more content, and somebody has to produce that content and meet that need.
Chad Briggs, Element X Creative
This is a tough one to answer. There is more and more animated forms of media being produced but their is a lot of pressure from overseas studios fighting for budgets. To really be good and stay employed in this industry, you have to be deadly serious about your craft and continually hone it. If you don't stay up to par or aren't polishing your skills (or learning new ones), you will get left behind.
Paul Griswold, Fusion Digital Productions
I think there's going to be an increase in demand for animators because of the increase in online entertainment, such as Revision 3's shows, Leo Laporte's TWiT Network, and so on. However, I also think there's going to be a decrease in the payscale for animators as these types of productions have much lower budgets and animation is slowly becoming more of a commodity.
Ron Allen, GAPC Entertainment
There is an increasing demand for animators from industrial applications to the proliferation of 3d and computer generated feature films. Almost every commercial on television has effects/animation. The internet is increasingly able to deliver more complicated and sophisticated visual content. Technology changes so quickly as do software applications that it’s difficult to keep up. The flavour of the day is constantly changing. The public has grown up with the technology and I am looking forward to seeing how the boundaries are expanded by the new generations.
Simona Lyriti, Graphissimo
The demand will increase--a lot, but it is still very low compared with the potential of the market. While the computer use for business will grow all over the world, the need for animation will grow too. Companies will need to explain their products and they will need more animation. The game industry is growing. The film industry is now based on post production and the telecommunications just started to make apps for small devices. So, everybody wants us in some way, more or less. It is just the beginning of the digital animation, only 20 years since we started.
Jerry Chambless, Illum Productions
I feel that there are more artists than there are jobs. The numbers of schools that are popping up catering to an “animation” career are mind boggling considering how small our community actually is. However every business demographic needs competent, creative, out of the box thinkers. That will never change.
Mark Cappello, Invisible Entertainment
I think the need is relatively constant for animators and despite the fact that we’ve seen a real upswing in animators being hired in the games industry we’ve also seen a dramatic increase in the amount of colleges and trade schools pumping out high amounts of graduates. The reason I believe the demand is constant is I’ve seen countless 2-,3-, and 4-year vets step out of the industry into something much more stable. There seems to be a point where the animator reflects on his/her career and decides to leave the flaky field in order to work in another career.
Michael Domgard, Outpost12
The demand continues to increase due to an increasing demand for higher quality output done faster. The work is more complex than ever, while the deadlines are tighter than ever. And that trend is only going to continue.