Model Animation is the creation of complex character or object models, whether using computer graphic software or clay molding. Model animation dates back to the 1925 silent film, The Lost World, where Willis O’Brien was able to combine stop-motion footage of animated dinosaurs and live actor footage in the same frame for the first time. Model figures are often used with stop-motion techniques due to the fact that they’re much easier to reposition for frame shots rather than drawing every individual frame.
In order to pursue this career, the candidate needs to master anatomy (both human and animal), perspective, weight, volume, proportion and/or architecture, and sometimes industrial or automotive design. Most importantly, modelers must have considerable artistic ability and creativity. The best way to prepare for a career in model animation is by earning an animation degree. Animation schools provide students with state of the art technology and professional industry-seasoned instructors that will prepare them with the confidence and skills necessary to begin a career in animation. Generally, degree programs are offered under the broader animation field with specialized classes in modeling.
Animation graduates of note who have carved out a successful careers as animation modelers include Kemer Stevenson, who did the animation for “Happy Feet,” and Francesco Panzieri, who did “Clash of the Titans.” Since animation modelers often get jobs based on the quality of their portfolio, it’s important to get as much practice and experience prior to graduation as possible.
Animation Modeler Salary Expectations*
For creating character animations, you need to create complex organic models—this is where animation modelers come in. Successful animation modelers are masters at the human and animal anatomy, architectural, industrial, or automotive design among other things. Character modelers are responsible for the structure and sculpting of all the cartoons and animated movies we see today. Most animation modelers earn an average salary of $68,000 a year.
*According to Indeed.com
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