3D design & animation offers new worlds of opportunity
Lock on to a new future with a career in 3D design and animation.
Video games are a multi-billion dollar industry today, with a variety of games and platforms available. The multimedia designers and animators who create animation for video games and other media are in demand, with an 8 percent rate of growth predicted in the field. Jackson Community College offers an associate in applied science degree in 3D design and animation to help students prepare for careers in digital illustration for motion picture and video industries, advertising and computer systems design services.
The 3D design and animation program combines the latest in three-dimensional modeling programs with some traditional artist skills to prepare students for this growing occupation. Students will begin with the basics of three-dimensional modeling – designing computer characters and objects for use in video games and more – and then progresses to more advanced techniques. Students learn both graphic design and animation computer programs, including Adobe PhotoShop, Maya, Unity, Blender and 3D Studio Max.
“There are quite a few opportunities now for students as video game artists, programmers, game writers, level designers; there are multiple pathways toward a career,” said instructor Christie Hughes.
Multimedia artists will create graphics and animation using computer programs, and will often work with a team of animators and artists to create a game or visual effect. They may work with others on brainstorming ideas for games or characters, develop storyboards to map out key scenes in animation, edit animations based on feedback from directors, other designers or clients, as well as meet with clients to review and develop timelines.
Those interested in a career in 3D design and animation should have or understand some traditional artistic hand skills, such as understanding light, figure drawing and perspective drawing, and skill with today’s computer animation programs in texturing and modeling. They should enjoy activities of a logical, scientific and technical nature, and it helps to be a competitive person who enjoys computer games in order to help create them.
Earnings of animators average about $58,000, and may range from $40,000 to $80,000. Job opportunities are best in California or on the East Coast, but Michigan also has some smaller companies in areas like Ann Arbor and Plymouth. Some artists are self-employed and work from home, while others work in office environments. In addition to video games, they may work on business-related videos, or in the film industry.
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