Someone asked me to make this answer re-bloggable, so I deleted the other one and here we go!
hi! I was just wondering if i could get your look on this. if I want to be a concept or production artist, should I aim to go into Illustration, Animation, or Computer Animation? I’ve been looking around and initially thought I’d just aim for Computer Animation, but I’m getting worried there seems to be a bit of a lack of design focus in comparison to regular Animation,and it seems like a lot of graduates from the program have moved on to doing 3D modelling etc(sorta lookin at CCA and Ringling?)
Terms are confusing, huh? There are two sides to the entertainment world:
- pre-production designs the look and generates the animatic. little, if any, of their work is seen in the final film/show.
- post-production creates the product. Their work is the final show.
The university majors you’ve listed prepare students in differing amounts for either side of production. Note, that in the United States, there are more jobs in 3D post-production than in pre-production or 2d post-production.
- Illustration is about taking a concept and presenting it in a 2D format, meaning it’s a good foundation for pre-production concept design. You will learn how to make a beautiful, message-conveying piece but might struggle to finish images quickly. You won’t learn how to animate and thus will struggle in post-production. There aren’t many illustration jobs available to new talent.
- 2D/Traditional Animation (I’m assuming this is what you mean by “Animation”) teaches you how to do 2D post-production animation. Therefore, you will learn how to draw series of pictures that simulate movement as well as storyboarding and composition. Your teachers will be more concerned with movement and sketching rather than finished imagery. Note, 2D animation jobs outside the mobile gaming industry may ask you to move outside the US.
- Computer Animation teaches students how to use tools in 3D post-production. There are many areas you can specialize in to fit into the 3D pipeline. However, there is less emphasis on drawing and design. Many Computer Animation students don’t draw at all. These jobs are the most plentiful within the US since it takes more folks to make a movie than to design it.
If you are interested in character design and storyboarding for animated films and television shows, I would recommend studying “2D/Traditional Animation.” This will give you a strong drawing foundation in a style suited to animation, and it will also give you a firm foundation on shot design and composition. Since it bridges aspects in both pre- and post-production, you will have more job opportunities.
I also recommend this! You can learn 3d programs on your own, or through shorter classes, but if you can get classically trained it’s ALWAYS a plus! Remember, there are far fewer jobs in preproduction than in production, so think wisely!