What Does Computer Animation Mean?
Computer animation is a subdiscipline of animation and computer graphics. Also called “CGI” (computer-generated imagery or computer-generated imaging), computer animation is created using 2D or 3D computer graphics. Unlike traditional animation, which may involve creating images, objects and environments by hand, just about everything in computer animation requires the use of computers. That said, the curriculum for animation degree programs and computer animation programs is still somewhat similar.
Coursework for Computer Animation Programs
If you are interested in a career in computer animation, you must be creative and tech savvy. As a computer animator, you will be required to create images using various digital methods and advanced programs. Most of your time will be spent creating and achieving desired effects using a computer. Computer animation students will take courses such as Animation Theory and Techniques, Life Drawing, Shading and Lighting, 2D Animation, 3D Animation, Anatomy, Physics, Color Theory, 3D Graphics Design, Computer Programming, Graphic Design, Graphics Production, Rendering, Computer Animation, Compositing, Scriptwriting, Animation Modeling, Rigging, and Directing for Animation.
Students must take a number of general education courses such as English, Communications, History, and Art as well as studio classes/workshops. Although optional, students will likely enroll in an internship program which will give them the opportunity to receive hands-on training at a local production studio, graphic design firm, gaming company, web design firm or other similar environment.
What Can I do with a Degree in Computer Animation?
Because computer animation students obtain a wide variety of skills that can prepare them for a career in multiple mediums and industries, the career options for talented animators vary. Computer animators may find work in web design, interactive media, computer drawing/illustration, architecture, computer programming, medical imaging, media production, animated films, manufacturing and production (mechanical animation), graphic design and education and training.
Although computer animators work in many different fields, a sizable number work in the television production, film & video, and gaming industries. Just a few job titles include computer animator, concept artist, compositor, character designer, environments production designer, layout artist, storyboard assistant, modeler, editing assistant, scanner, character animator, rendering supervisor or special effects artist.