The rapidly growing use of animation and multimedia in our advertising and communications universe begins in the graphic design field. In theory that is still the case, although as the basic communications tools all have video capability today; many communications companies utilize animators and multimedia designers as their principal creative managers.

An Education in Animation

In any case, graphic designers and multimedia designers not only need the traditional artistic skills; they also need a thorough understanding of the computers and software tools used to generate moving images. For entry level positions using these skills most job applicants today have a bachelor’s degree from an animation school. In some cases, agencies who need a skilled computer operator for multimedia purposes may hire a graduate with an associate’s degree.

There are several names for degrees that incorporate animation as a principal element; they include digital media production, multimedia, visual communication, and – still – graphic arts. There are a number of accredited online schools that utilize broadband internet access to teach the very skills that are used to assemble the educational materials. Studying online for a degree in animation or multimedia can be an exciting prospect that involves sharing the learning experience and the animation projects you develop with students and instructors from far away locations.

Animation and multimedia students either learn a lot about computer programming or learn to work with a computer programmer. Many aspects of the profession involve more than moving characters. There are shading and lighting aspects to animation that require knowledgeable programming. There are also 3D programs used today in multimedia that require both research and practice.

Careers in Animation

The platforms and professions that require animated and multimedia features also require study. For that reason, there is one set of degrees available in game development and design, and another that is directed at the production of animated or multimedia components for websites, and a third that is targeted at advertising agencies. Specialization within the field can be critical to some jobs – such as videogames – and simply a resume asset in others, such as web design.

• Advertising agencies of any size usually retain a multimedia programmer or an animator on staff. The web becomes a more important advertising outlet every year and increasingly, those ads involve animation developed with Java or Macromedia Flash software.

• Web design firms use animation and multimedia to make websites comprehensive units. Whether they are designed to inform or to sell, websites today feature animation and multimedia as critical focal points within the structure of the website. For that reason, an animator on staff at a web design and development firm can be juggling several projects at once.

• Animation is a basic requirement in game development. It is also the most intense professional option for an animator, due to the subtleties that are built in as part of game continuity. Video games are a huge commercial market, but creative positions within the industry are very competitive due to the widespread interest among the thousands of gamers that grow up to be animators.

Author's Bio: 

Bob Hartzell writes on education and careers for several websites