Categories: Animation Articles

Guide to Becoming an Animator in Video Game Industry

Video games are a multi-billion dollar industry driven by animators. Those animators make an excellent salary and are in great demand. If you want a career as a video game animator, there are several steps you should take. They include getting training, creativity and proficiency in key software programs. A career as a video game animator also requires technical skill and experience in illustration, animation, art and computer graphics. Successful animators must also be able to work well with others.

What You Need

A specialty within computer animation, video game animation deals with the interactive aspects of animation and the design of video games. Many game animators have bachelor’s degrees in animation, art, computer graphics or illustration. However, a talented person with the right combination of creativity, skills and experience using animation software normally encourages employers to sometimes overlook the educational requirement. Further, the artist needs movie production skills, an understanding of movement, lighting and texture and must be a great storyteller.

What To Get

It typically takes 2 to 4 years working with video game animation to develop the technical proficiency to get mid to advanced level positions. It requires the ability to create animated images and environments and have them interact in video games. A mastery of programs like After-Effects, Flash, FinalCut Pro, Illustrator, Maya, Photoshop, Studio Max and other video production and graphics programs are also essential. Video game animators must be skilled with digital pens and paper, visual color discrimination and using digital cameras.

5 Crucial Steps

Want to become a video game animator? You should take the following steps:

Get a bachelor’s degree in an area which allows you to master the use of the video game animation creation software, techniques and technologies for creating 2-D and 3-D images and the design and development of skills in animation, art, audio, lighting and texture. It’s essential to choose a program which provides training designed to prepare you for the video game industry and offers internships.

You should build a portfolio of work showing your skill using video game animation technology. This portfolio can be hosted on your website or saved on DVD. Choose the content in your portfolio carefully. Don’t focus on technical tricks. Choose work which shows your technical skills. Customize your portfolio to show the skills and style the employer needs.

Get as much experience as possible in video game animation. Whether you need to volunteer, take an entry level position or do freelance work. This will make you familiar with the field and provide you with work for your portfolio. Non-profits, schools or small companies are often glad to get people willing to volunteer to produce animated video games for them.

Continue to update and improve your skills. Video game animation technology changes rapidly. Take classes in or volunteer to help people who use the latest animation technology. Keep abreast of the changes in the video game animation field. Contact product vendors like Adobe and Autodesk for information and product samples. Go to conferences and other gatherings where video game animation technology is demonstrated and discussed. This is a great way to get the video game animation skills employer’s want.

Community Author Bio:

Mike Mitchell is a writer and a ESO currency reviewer who has been researching, writing, and working in the video game industry for more than a decade.

Written by Ruan Smit

Ruan Smit started Pixelsmithstudios with the vision of creating a new design orientated environment of sharing, learning and expertise development amongst local Animators,Illustrators,Game Developers and VFX artists in South Africa.

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