VanArts News Article

How to Become a 3D Animator

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Study Magazine reached out to VanArts looking for information to include in an article on "How to Become a 3D Animator."  The following quotes provided by our Director of Communications & Student Services Ken Priebe are featured in the article: 

What does it take to be a 3D Animator? 

Technical skill and comfort with computer software is obviously important,” says Vancouver Institute of Media Arts’ Ken Priebe, “but even more important is a sense of visual art and film language, traditional art skills and a knack for acting and performance. Animation is another form of acting.

The unique thing about the animation program at VanArts is the singular focus on character animation, compared to most other programs that combine students’ time on more technical aspects like modeling and visual effects. We have separate programs for these areas which are equally specialized and focused.  We also have small class sizes and our industry pro faculty members have worked at such studios as Disney, DreamWorks, and Industrial Light & Magic.

Animation is fun and can be very rewarding, but it’s also very hard work and the industry is changing all the time.  Students need to be aware that many of the jobs they get may be contract-based, and they should be open to changing studios or moving around to different cities to keep their career going.  They should also be able to work on a team, take direction well and always stay connected to their fellow peers for referrals into future opportunities.

As for VanArts' own graduates, Priebe says, “They’re working all over the world and in many studios local to Vancouver, with credits on major feature films and TV series. Many are now in senior/supervisory roles as lead animators and directors.  Most recently, we found 11 of our Animation & Visual Effects graduates had worked on the #1 box office film Ender’s Game. The gaming industry is still alive and well in Vancouver, particularly in the area of mobile gaming, start-up companies and new technologies and platforms.