Knowing animation but not rigging, modelling, etc?
as I was whining about in another thread, I'm currently faced with a bit of a dilemma concerning art schools. Now, I don't want to repeat that pathetic rant, but here's an issue that's linked with my problem:
The programe that I got accepted into is Character Animation - it focuses very strongly on animation itself. It teaches design, layout and such as well, but mostly it turns out animators who can make characters come alive and such. There's no rigging, modelling or texturing, for example, that's all in the other study program.
I know that with working your ass off you can achieve a whole lot, and I don't plan to slack. But if I leave school knowing how to animate but not how to do that other stuff, will I even stand a chance finding a job? Or should I rather try for another program? (That'd cost me another year at least because they want a year's work experience beforehand.) Is it possible to teach yourself how to righ/model/whatev?
In hindsight I wish I'd paid more attention to the well-roundedness of the school but right now it's the only option I have and I'm wondering if it'd be wrong for me to leave it be.
It all depends on what you want to do and where you want to do it.
The bigger the studio, the more specialized the artists that work there. Smaller studios usually employ people that are more well rounded.
If you would like to be an animator at Pixar, Dreamworks, Imageworks or a place of that size, you are better off specializing on animation. If you'd prefer to work on commercials or smaller shows at a small studio you'd be better off knowing how to do multiple things.
Having said that, there are a lot of people that have one specialty with associated other talents. Some specialties go well with others... For example, modeler who can also texture and do layout. Animator who can also rig and do character sim. Lighter who also can do FX. 2D animator who also does story boards or viz dev. etc.
Like any creative field its competitive. Sometimes being a specialist will give you the edge over someone else. If you've focused on animation for 4 years (or whatever) then you will probably be better than someone who is more of a generalist. You'll get the animator job over them probably. (but you'll never get a character modeling job with an animation reel)
I can't really imagine an art school where you only animate..
Are they going to give you fully rigged characters and predetermined stories/scenarios? Is it a training, a bachelors or a post grad?
It's all a matter of taste in the end.
I think a lot of animation is also in the character design and how you intend your character to be - emotionally. Therefore I would go for the other course where you also model/text/rig besides animating. Even if you're mainly interested in animating you can divide your timetables in such a way that you'll spend most of the time animating. At the end of the ride you'll also have an idea of how to build a model and thats a plus in the industry - even if you apply for an animation-specific job.
If you focus 100% on character animation with the intention to be hired by Pixar, that would be a somewhat risky future prospect. If you're confident then definitely try, but the margin of people that want it and also get hired is very slim.
If I was going to choose a school that only taught CG animation, I'd want to make sure that the rigs they provided were super appealing and really well put together.
The rigs they provide you with will be the ones you'll have on your reel. I've seen many professional animators respond better to poor animation on a really appealing rig than really good animation on a poor rig.
You never mentioned if the course was 2d or 3d....so I'll just add this....If I was going to choose a school that taught me 2d animation, I'd want to make sure that they had truly world class drawing instructors who know how to teach. There are barely any 2d jobs left, but quality draftsmanship can take you places.
For me, learning new things on my own is just part of being in this industry. I think if you have the drive, you can always teach yourself new things after you're finished with school. I've had to do it throughout my career just to stay employed. So, I wouldn't stress over it too much...if you feel you missed something, it's been my experience that you can always pick it up later.
Hope that helps in some way. Best of luck to you in making your decision.
Lewis, it's a bachelor program. And the other course doesn't teach you to animate, but only modelling, rigging, character design, et. Matte painting, drawing, layout, storyboarding and such are included in both courses. My class does only 2d animation in the first year to give a solid foundation and then moves on to computer animation as well.
Right now I've decided to give it a shot and see if I really love animation enough to accept the unstable lifestyle that comes with it. If I think that I don't, I can always still do something else, but first I'll try it
This is one of those questions that's pretty hard to answer. I know a few people who only animate and have been making an okay go at it so far. I know layout specialists who have been struggling.
Ideally, you want to know a bunch of stuff well enough to find work, or if you learn one thing- be so good at it that people always hire you.
In the mean time, you don't need a formal course to learn different elements of animation - and you don't need to choose 2D or 3D and stick with it.
if you love animating specifically learn 3D programs, but also try to pick up Flash and Harmony. Then you can apply as an animator in many different areas.
If you also love storyboarding or layout- keep researching it.
Your education isn't a collar forcing you to follow a certain path - it's just a starting point.