My desired job within the games industry is to be an animator, and this post is going to contain some of the advice I have been given, and my research into what I need to do to become an animator. I have spent some time researching into university courses over the past few months, and I visited the UCAS exhibition back in June to see what varied universities had to offer.
The top of my list so far is Teeside University, because the university itself is well renowned for animation, and lots of industry professionals studied animation there, so this information alone is good to know. After looking into the courses myself, I am most interested in the BA (Hons) Computer Games Animation course because this course covers everything I would ideally love to learn to become an animator. It covers 2D animation and illustration, 3D character animation and rigging, and motion capture, and is specifically aimed at the video games industry, which is my ideal industry to work for. The overall ratings for the course are really good, with 94% satisfaction (at the time of writing), which scores higher than any of their other animation courses. It is a full time 3 year course (4 years including work placement), and the entry requirements involve an interview and presenting your portfolio. I think that this course has everything that I want in order to learn how to be an animator and set me up for the games industry, and so this university takes the top spot in my list of potential universities.
Other potential universities
University for the Creative Arts has potential because they seem to have a good computer animation course, which covers both 2D and 3D animation, along with concept art, story development, and lots of broad areas, however this makes me worry about how much practical animation will be involved. The course involves software that I am already familiar with, Autodesk Maya and Photoshop, so it shouldn’t be too far out of my comfort zone. Graduates of the course have been known to go into companies such as Blue Zoo and Framestore, and the course’s showreel looks very good, so this course could be a good alternative, however the campuses are VERY far away and mostly based in expensive places to live, so this isn’t ideal for me.
Wrexham Glyndwr university’ BA (Hons) Animation course also looks good, and this one is based around 2D and 3D animation, which means that I would get a range of experience and learn more about techniques regarding many forms of animation, however at this moment I don’t think this course has everything that I would want, because Teeside has all of this, and more, so I’m much more likely to go for Teeside. The course requires 112 UCAS points to join, but isn’t the top of my list.
I asked Matt for advice on what to do, and how he got into the animation industry, and his advice was that he made his showreel with all of his best work and sent it to as many people and places as possible through as many social media networks as possible, and that when those places gave him advice on improvements, he would make improvements and show the people the improvements. He also recommended that my showreel be short and only my best work, and that I try to include quirky different things to set mine apart from other candidates, and that I do not stop animating!
Taking this useful advice into account, as I go through University, I will make my showreel and keep on updating it with only my best stuff, and spend lots of my spare time making some varied, different things in attempt to set me apart from other candidates, and I will make accounts on as much social media as possible so that when the time comes to promote my work, I will be able to spread my showreel as much as possible.