The Animation Film Renaissance Computer animation has created a renaissance in the film industry says Bret Hartinger, Editor for TorchOnline.com, “And there’s absolutely no doubt that, in terms of new technologies and the resources spent on these films, the genre has never been more impressive. So yes, the renaissance continues.” Computer animation in films like the 2009 epic blockbuster, Avatar, utilized breakthrough cutting edge 3D cinematography and revolutionary motion-capture techniques to create an entirely realistic video game like alien world, where the real world and animation became entirely interchangeable. The film was the first ever to gross over $2 billion dollars at the box office and won three academy awards. The animation industry will need over 90,000 skilled multimedia animators by 2018 to keep the computer animation film renaissance going strong. Animation Films Get Up to $300 Million Dollar Budgets Recent computer animation success stories like Disney’s 2010 release, Tangled, grossed over $167.8 million dollars. Large animation studios have huge budgets for their computer animation projects. One of the most expensive films ever produced that utilizes tons and tons of animation is Green Lantern, with a production price of around, $300 million USD (ListofMostExpensiveFilms.org), and the reason studios are willing to spend such big money is that audiences love computer animated films and the special effects that computer animation can bring to both film, television, and the internet. The global animation renaissance is alive and thriving. In 2009, the animation industry grossed over $75 billion USD, and as of 2011 the worldwide gaming industry was worth around $48.9 billion USD (AnimationMentor.com). Happy Animation Sensations Workers in the animation industry have a very high job satisfaction rate. In fact, in 2010 DreamWorks Animations SKG (DreamWorks Studios) was ranked number 6 in America’s top 100 companies to work for (MoneyCNN.com). Professional animators have made some of the following comments about what they find most rewarding about their jobs, according to AnimationIndustryReport.com: Doing what they love and getting paid for it Creativity – the ability to bring characters to life Working in a creative environment with creative people Entertaining others with their work – touching them emotionally Joy of seeing their work onscreen and their name in the credits Teamwork Audience appreciation The excitement and challenge of solving creative problems, learning Artistic Personality Traits Animation isn’t just about creating cool moving images on a computer screen. It also involves a lot of hard work. Animators need to have strong artistic, drawing, and visual perception skills. They can’t be afraid of computers, as computer software creates the vast majority of finished animation in today’s world. They must be self-starters who can work on a team and individually for long periods of time. They also need a lot of creativity and the ability to meet deadlines. Animation Industry Headaches-Technology Changes & Outsourcing Ranges Animation industry workers may be artistic, but they still experience their fair share of headaches due to the never ending stampede of changes in technology. Workers must constantly update their game by learning new software and technologies because changes multiply like rabbits in any industry so dependent on technology. As with other technology dependent industries, large studios and animation companies are looking to cut down on costs by outsourcing to technology rich countries like India. In fact, industry giants like Warner Brothers, Fun Bag Animation, ILM, and Disney are all planning to set up shop in India to produce animation films and movies (EducationCafe.com). Animation Companies are Hiring For the free spirited, some animators create their own production companies and actually create their own animated films. Others become freelance animators and graphic designers, working on a single project or contract basis. For those in need of workplace karma and fellow technological artisans, there are a lot of great companies hiring in the animation industry, besides the outsourcing big boys listed above. Companies like Escotoonz of the Escort Group, AIM Studios Mumbai, Crest Communications, 2NZ Animation, DreamTeen Animation, Maya Entertainment, Toonz Animation Studio, Silvertoon Studio, UTV Toons, Zee Institute of Creative Arts, Prasad Studios, Acropetal, JadooWorks, Color Chips and Heart Animation, Pentamedia Graphics, and others are being started every week. Future Animation Industry Trends Animation is a fast paced and changing industry. Many animation experts feel that future trends in the industry include the rise of motion-capture in film creation, outsourcing and cost-cutting by large animation companies, and unbelievably fast new advances in animation technologies, so hold on to your hats. It’s never a dull day in the animation world! Everyday Tasks in an Artist’s-Animator’s Life So what’s it like bringing art and technology together to create new alien species and worlds? Well, you might be surprised that it still involves some basics you may have learned in your high school art classes. Illustrating storyboards and designing models Designing an animated environment that includes backgrounds, sets, and objects Creating and designing characters Making each frame Working out the timing of movements and making sure things meet the script and soundtrack requirements Using computer software, including Flash, Maya, Light wave and others Working as part of a team Working with clients (developing concepts, pitching ideas, etc.) You’re Hired Animator There are some basic things you can do to help yourself become a successful working animator. The first is to get the proper education and skills from a reputable art or animation college. Once you have your awesome animation/art skills professional animators recommend: Creating a high quality demo reel of some of your work Having a mentor in the field to go to for advice Building strong industry relationship (doing some internships) Trying to specialize in one main arena of animation Having a pleasant personality, meeting deadlines, and being a team player Animation Sum-Up The animation industry has been experiencing a renaissance fueled by technology and a red hot entertainment industry. People love going to movies, even when they can’t afford it, and they love special effects and computer animation films. Not only is the industry is expected to continue growing at an excellent pace, it boasts the highest job satisfaction rates of any other career field in the US. If you’ve got the talent, skills and drive to be an animator, find a rewarding career in this booming industry.