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Articles on Animation:
   Major in Animation
   A future in Graphic Design

Major in Animation

Article by Rachelle Wiggins

“God, the greatest of creators…made us in his image. When we create, it pleases God, because He sees us reflecting his image. He sees us “imaging” him to the rest of the world. God loves to see his image shine throughout the world.”  ~Steven Altrogge

               When you think back over your life, what are the stories that inspired your curiosity, made your laugh or cry or lifted your imagination beyond the every day? Whether it was the heroic bravery of “Robin Hood,” the self-sacrificing love seen in “Beauty and the Beast” or the humorous family bonds depicted in “Despicable Me”—somewhere in your heart is a tale that came alive in a unique way and left a lifelong impression. 

               Animation has been defined as “the art of making inanimate objects appear to move.” Others have simply called it: imagination coming to life. Pursuing a degree in the field of animation involves the exploration of computer software used to create animation, graphics, and special effects for a multitude of mediums including TV, film, computer and video games.

               There are a number of desirable skills and traits needed for someone interested in choosing this college major. While it is true that most animation programs now place a strong emphasis on computer animation, requiring students to be technologically competent and able to keep up with ever changing computer programs within the field, students with strong artistic abilities are still strongly preferred. Yes, the technical aspects are important, but the physical aspects of animation such as sketching and drawing remain at the foundation of this degree.  Therefore creativity, a keen eye for visual detail and a knack for strong storytelling go hand-in-hand with this major.  Other notable traits include the ability to give and receive constructive criticism, ingenuity and being a team player.

Once immersed in your major you can expect your time will likely be divided between regular classroom hours, studio experience and hands-on work in the computer lab.  Often a four-year degree may culminate with a senior project. You may be challenged with the production of an original animated film or the creation of a digital portfolio. Much of the program up until that point may revolve around learning technical aspects of animation such as sound design, texture and lighting, layout and background design, digital imagining and studio technique. Some of the other courses you might expect in this major include:

  • Drawing
  • History of Animation
  • Storyboarding
  • 2-D and 3-D Animation
  • Advanced Modeling

The continued demand for good animation and visual effects makes animation a marketable field in the future. The projected growth rate for related jobs in the next decade is around 8%, which is just above the national average for all occupations.  Possible Related Careers include:

  • Animator
  • Illustrator
  • Game Designer
  • Animation Scripter
  • Art Director
  • Theater/Film/TV Technician
  • Flash/Web Animator
  • Graphic Designer/Web Designer 

Walt Disney once said, “I would rather entertain and hope that people learned something than educate people and hope they were entertained.” If you’re ready to let your light shine brightly in this world by using the creative and artistic skills God has given you, then maybe choosing a career in animation is the next right step in that journey!