Storyboards are graphic illustrations representing the sequence of actions planned for a video game production. They’re a way to conceptualize the layout of the game using images and text that provide thorough instructions for scenes, game levels and goals. Storyboard artists work closely with game designers to define the game’s parameters. According to the online job site indeed.com, video game storyboard artists earn approximately $71,000 a year.
Character animators take the character descriptions created by video game designers and give them dimension. This may be the most critical step in the development of a compelling video game, since what distinguishes video games from other types of entertainment is the ability not merely to watch a character triumphing over obstacles but to become that character triumphing over obstacles. According to the annual creative salary survey done by the Creative Group™, character animators make between $55,000 and $90,000 a year.
Is it absolutely essential to have a degree to get a job in the video game industry? No. The industry, though, is a $20 billion a year sector. It can be tough to get a leg up. Companies prefer to hire seasoned professionals with significant credits on their resumes. You have to start somewhere, and a professional training program is a good place to begin.
Artists specializing in storyboarding and character animation are generally graduates of video design programs at colleges or universities, technology schools or art schools. There are also online educational providers that specialize in video game-related art and design coursework.
The top animation school in the United States is Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. In 2008, the Disney Corporation began a five year partnership with CMU. CMU provides animation and associated robotics for Disney’s theme parks, Pixar Animation Studios and ESPN.
Students majoring in animation enroll in CMU’s Bachelor of Computer Science and Arts program, which is an interdepartmental collaboration between the School of Computer Science and the College of Fine Arts. Coursework emphasizes art, game design, animation technology, computer graphics and the design of artificial intelligence elements.
Another top notch animation school is the California Institute of the Arts in Valencia, California. Students have the option of an undergraduate Bachelor of Arts Degree in either Character Animation or Experimental Animation, or a Master of Fine Arts in Experimental Animation. Coursework emphasizes both 2D and 3D computer animation.
Get information on animation degrees using the form on this page. School representatives will guide you through the process and answer any questions you may have about the various programs that are available to help you earn your animation degree.
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