3D World

A PAS­SION FOR AN­I­MA­TION

Kevin dis­cusses his ca­reer and shares his ad­vice for budding an­i­ma­tors

- Career · Animation

Can you tell us why you chose to spe­cialise in an­i­ma­tion?

I was orig­i­nally a gen­er­al­ist, which is a term used to de­scribe some­one who has ex­per­tise in all ar­eas of CGI such as mod­el­ling, tex­tur­ing, and light­ing. Work­ing more closely with an­i­ma­tors, it be­came clear to me that this was an area of CGI I felt a great pas­sion for. I de­cided to re-train in char­ac­ter an­i­ma­tion and took an on­line course called An­i­ma­tion Men­tor. Al­though I was a be­gin­ner, I had a foun­da­tion in CGI and it did not take me long to find my feet. I still do mod­el­ling, tex­tur­ing and light­ing, but an­i­ma­tion is my pas­sion.

What ad­vice would you give to an­i­ma­tors just start­ing their ca­reer?

Work hard and gain a good foun­da­tion aca­dem­i­cally. It is im­por­tant to have the build­ing blocks via at­ten­dance at col­lege, or an on­line course, be­fore start­ing in the in­dus­try. There is, how­ever, only so much you can be shown through study. It’s on the job where you’ll gain real ex­pe­ri­ence, as you’ll have to deal with chal­leng­ing sit­u­a­tions on a daily ba­sis. Al­ways be open to feed­back, as no­body knows ev­ery­thing – you can al­ways learn more. I would also rec­om­mend gain­ing ex­pe­ri­ence over mul­ti­ple dis­ci­plines, as this al­lows you to have more cre­ative con­trol over your own spe­cial­ism. It is im­por­tant to have a grasp over other ar­eas. If you can come onto a job and are able to set the scene, make place­holder props, adapt rigs and un­der­stand ba­sic light­ing, then your skills as an an­i­ma­tor will im­prove.

What qual­i­ties, skills and abil­i­ties are es­sen­tial to be­ing a lead an­i­ma­tor?

Com­mu­ni­ca­tion, pa­tience and an artis­tic flair. You have to know your trade, as well as how to give feed­back to oth­ers and how to in­ter­pret client needs. You also need to be metic­u­lous and have a great sense of at­ten­tion to detail. Last but not least, it is im­per­a­tive to be able to work as part of a team. A stu­dio is like the in­side of a watch and all the parts need to work in con­junc­tion with each other. Be able to ac­cept crit­i­cism with­out tak­ing things per­son­ally.

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