The character animator must have a deep understanding of how different types of characters move. They also know how to portray a wide range of facial expressions. This role in the team that develops computer and video games is another important one. An artist can create a character that looks very authentic, but if the way it moves or shows emotions is off, then the game players will definitely notice. The quality of the game experience will suffer as a result.
The way a character in a video game moves and shows emotions must also be tied to its personality.
Now that video games characters are being portrayed in 3D, they take are more like characters in feature films. Part of the 3D character animator’s job is to make them look as realistic and natural as possible.
A person who is interested in working as a 3D character animator may want to consider enrolling in a Bachelor’s degree program in Visual Arts with a concentration in Game Arts. This type of program will give you a good foundation in the kinds of skills you will need to be successful in the gaming industry. Along with courses in 3D modeling, students also learn about project management as it applies to the computer and video game industry, and creative visualization.
Another educational option for prospective 3D character animator is to pursue a degree in 3D Graphic Arts. This program is also known as Computer Graphic Animation. Students who are enrolled in this program learn skills that they can apply to the computer and video game industry, as well as animation for movies and forensic work.
The student who chooses a 3D Graphic Arts program will take a variety of courses, including art history, organic modeling, and life drawing. Other courses focus on special effects, marketing communications, vector graphics, video production and clay modeling. Students who sign up for this program also take web programming and scripting for the web.
When choosing a program to get the training needed to be a 3D character animator, a student should ask whether they will have a portfolio to show prospective employers when they are finished the program. Hiring decisions for artists in the computer and video game industries are more likely to be made based on what the applicant can do, as opposed to where they happened to go to school.
People who are recruiting for gaming companies are very familiar with what the different schools are teaching. Before making a decision about which program to enroll in, a prospective student needs to research the school thoroughly. Ask about placement rates and where graduates of the program are getting jobs. This information is very useful in making sure that the courses being taught will help the student reach his or her goals.
Pay for this type of position will vary, depending on the company and its location. According to CD-Ed.com, the average salary for a 3D animator is approximately $65,000. Once the animator has some experience under his or her belt, the salary range increases to about $86,000 per year. Here’s a little more animator pay information: