Working World

February 2017

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6 February, 2017 l Working World l FEATURE ARTICLE M ultimedia artists and animators create two- and three-dimen- sional models and animation. Multimedia artists and animators create two- and three-dimensional models, animation, and visual effects for tele- vision, movies, video games, and other forms of media. DUTIES Multimedia artists and animators typi- cally do the following: • Use computer programs and illustra- tions to create graphics and anima- tion • Work with a team of animators and artists to create a movie, game, or visual effect • Research upcoming projects to help create realistic designs or animations • Develop storyboards that map out key scenes in animations • Edit animations and effects on the basis of feedback from directors, other animators, game designers, or clients • Meet with clients, other animators, games designers, directors, and oth- er staff (which may include actors) to review deadlines and development time lines Multimedia artists and animators often work in a specific medium. Some focus on creating animated movies or video games. Others create visual ef- fects for movies and television shows. Creating computer-generated images (known as CGI) may include taking im- ages of an actor's movements and then animating them into three-dimensional characters. Other animators design scenery or backgrounds for locations. Artists and animators can further specialize with- in these fields. Within animated movies and video games, artists often specialize in characters or in scenery and background design. Video game artists may focus on level design: creating the look, feel, and layout for the levels of a video game. Animators work in teams to develop a movie, a visual effect, or an electronic game. Each animator works on a portion of the project, and then the pieces are put together to create one cohesive ani- mation. Some multimedia artists and anima- tors create their work primarily by using computer software or by writing their own computer code. Many animation companies have their own computer animation software that artists must learn to use. Video game designers also work in a wide variety of platforms, in- cluding mobile gaming and online social networks. Other artists and animators prefer to work by drawing and painting by hand and then translating the resulting imag- es into computer programs. Some mul- timedia artists use storyboards or "an- imatics," which look like a comic strip, to help visualize the final product during the design process. HOW TO BECOME A MULTIMEDIA ARTIST OR ANIMATOR Employers look for workers who have a good portfolio of work and strong com- puter programming skills. Most multimedia artists and anima- tors need a bachelor's degree in com- puter graphics, art, or a related field to develop both an impressive portfolio of work and the strong technical skills that many employers prefer. EDUCATION Employers typically require a bachelor's degree, and they look for workers who have a good portfolio of work and strong technical skills. Multimedia artists and animators typically have a bachelor's degree in fine art, computer graphics, animation, or a related field. Programs in computer graphics often include courses in computer science in addition to art courses. Bachelor's degree programs in art include courses in painting, drawing, and sculpture. Degrees in animation often require classes in drawing, animation, and film. Many schools have specialized de- grees in topics such as interactive media or game design. TRAINING Some animation studios have their own software and computer applications that they use to create films, and they often provide on-the-job training so that workers can use the specific software and computer applications. IMPORTANT QUALITIES • Artistic talent. Animators and artists should have artistic ability and a good understanding of color, texture, and light. However, they may be able to compensate for artistic shortcomings with better technical skills. • Communication skills. Multimedia art- Career Path: Animators

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