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Wednesday, 13-Oct-2010 16:17 Email | Share | | Bookmark
Career Schooling Designed for 3D Animation

Do you burn for a career as a 3D computer animation artist? Perhaps you’re looking at schools, but you can’t quite justify that financial outlay. These schools cost a lot of money and they never guarantee you employment. Unfortunately, applied arts trade school grads often lack the fundamental job skills most employers need.

Some of the best chefs work their way up from dishwasher, and some of the most incompetent ones have culinary degrees. Similarly, on the 3D computer animation scene, your portfolio and track record carry more weight than the “letters after your name” you may have purchased from any trade school.

Please do not misinterpret me; I’m not disparaging education. On the contrary, graduating from a selective university will enrich your life beyond compare.

What the top animation houses are looking for are a flair for design and true facility with leading 3d animation software such as Maya and 3D Studio Max. Before you even think about writing a check to a trade school you can get your feet wet in the field by learning any of the free 3D animation programs available online. By experimenting, learning the 3D software, and doing some pro bono stuff that leads to paid work, you’ll be learning the business without borrowing tens of thousands of dollars to pay for a mainly technical education whose value may never hit the break- even point.

Once you’ve begun to establish yourself in the field you will either become disenchanted with it and seek a more traditional education such as a four year college degree, or you will know that you want to do it the right way, and you will have become a strong candidate for admission to one of the truly world-class art schools like The Art Institute of Chicago, RISD or Pratt. Or perhaps you’ll have started your life’s work in the computer animation field, making so much money you’ll never look back.

The advice here is basically to try before you buy. Trade schools serve an important purpose, but they are also marketing machines. A little investigation shows that diploma mills – private trade schools with very minimal admission standards – are far less influential with job recruiters than the selective schools are. Instead of taking the path of least resistance – enrolling in the nearest diploma mill – why not get some of the latest 3D animation software, learn it well, get your feet wet in the business and really position yourself to make your next career move a well-informed and prudent one?


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