• We have compiled a list of the best animation schools from around the world, find a animation school in your area. This list is updated weekly so check back with us if you don't find a animation school in your area.
  • If this is the last time we hear about Ultimate Peter Parker, Bendis has certainly closed out his run on an issue that upholds and celebrates everything that we've grown to love about the still a teenager Peter Parker of the Ultimate line. ..
  • Find schools in your area that offer degrees or classes in video game design.

Animation Articles

Featured Animation Article
How to choose the right Animation School for you. How to choose the right Animation School for you.

The one question we get asked most often at Animation Arena is the "which animation school should I go to?" question. That's still a tricky question to answer but the good news is with the rise of Pixar Animation Studios, DreamWorks and other animation studios becoming a professional animator is actually a viable career path. Some of our top grossing movies are animated features so the demand for good animators has definitely increased and with the increase in demand more schools and universities are offering animation degrees.
The key is to choose the right animation school for you. How do you determine if a school is right for you? You should develop a checklist of the things you want to get out of school and don't just say I want a job when I graduate...

Read how to choose the right animation school for you >
Featured Animation Article
Choosing a 3D Animation School

If you go to a top quality and reputable school like Full Sail, Digital Media Art College or Art Institute (and do _well_), your chances of getting your foot in the door for an interview increase ten-fold. The recruiters know what is taught at these schools and can assume that you are versed in a lot of things that most other candidates are not, but not always though...

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Motion Capture Animation
Do You Own These Top 10 Animation Books?

"Animation can explain whatever the mind of man can conceive." – Walt Disney

Have you ever found a book that you began to read which held your attention so much it was difficult to put down? Animators have! When an animator discovers a really good book about his craft they simply can't lay it down. The book speaks a language only they understand. The best animation books are the ones that you cannot put down. They are an elite group of books written by the founders of animation and only a handful of their students. Reading alone does not make anyone an animator. But, having the history and knowledge of animation from individuals like Ollie Johnston and Frank Thomas at your finger tips is priceless. Those studying animation will quickly find they have committed themselves to a life long adventure of learning the art. Masters of any art form are life long learners. There are ten got to have books we will share with you today. One of these is referred to as the "Animation Bible."

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3d Animation Articles
What Animation Software Do I Need To Learn?

The most common animation software used for making animated films is Maya. Maya is a complex but extremely powerful tool. A student will have a nice learning curve with it. Again, most schools will teach you as you go. If you are learning on your own then stay close to the tutorials. Maya animation software is also one of the most expensive. The interface is user friendly but densely populated.

3DS Max is a simpler animation software by comparison. It is highly used for the gaming industry although not limited to. The action film Lost In Space was created completely with 3DS Max. The interface is friendly and as with other programs can be altered to fit your style. This is also a pricey animation software, but as with other things, give it time and the price will come down. Another animation software used by many for gaming is Softimage. Here is a link to the price sheet for these three products by Autodesk.

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Using Motion Capture or Performance Capture Technology to Enable Lifelike 3D Animation – Is it Acting or Animation?

With movies like James Cameron's Avatar pushing new boundaries of 3D animation, the concept of "performance capture" has come to the fore, addressing perhaps for the first time the issue of how to truly merge acting with animation.

Unlike previous movies using motion capture technology, where facial movements still needed to be added in post-production by animators, performance capture allows every facial movement and nuance expressed by the actors to be conveyed by their virtual 3D selves.

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Choosing a 3D Animation Software Package Choosing a 3D Animation Software Package

For the budding 3D animator, choosing the "right" animation program is a bit like choosing a car. Even though there are many choices, every model is going to offer the essential function of getting you to from point A to B. Horsepower, extras and reputation will be the factors that make up the difference between them. Those differences will be reflected in the varying prices, from cheap to mortgage-payment high. Which one is the "right" one? Like a car, the answer will vary with the user.

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Sample Article Mobile Apps Offer New Market for Animators

Adapting your skills to app animation… Skilled digital animators won't have many problems with the technical side of designing for apps. The programs used are familiar: Flash, Anime Studio Pro, After Effects… etc. Whatever your preferred style of animation, you should be able to easily apply your skills to apps.

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Sample Article Choosing a 3D Animation School

Your guide to choosing a animation school

You get what you pay for. Private schools such as Ringling, Sheridan, Full Sail, Digital Media Art College, The Art Institute etc. will cost you a lot more than state run schools (like twice as much or more!). They're a bit more picky about who they accept and pride themselves in producing top quality graduates...

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Introduction to 3D Animation

Learning 3D Animation
Animators must have a keen understanding of motion, movement, and acting. It may surprise you that the best animators take acting lessons - this helps them understand how their own body moves, and makes it easier to transfer that understanding into believable animation...

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How your animation school can help you land a job

Entering the job market is difficult for every graduate, and the creative industries are even more competitive than most. 2D and 3D animators often find it difficult to find that initial "break" that get their careers rolling.
How can you give yourself a competitive edge in the job market? One place to look for advantages is from your animation school.

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3D Animation Training

As 3D animation develops and expands, animation jobs appear in new areas. 3D animators are no longer required to live in southern California, but rather can take up employment all over the world. 3D animators work to create movies, television, commercials, video games, online video and instructional video. Animators can work for the government, the private sector and non-profit organizations; animators can take an artistic or commercial focus. ..

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Sample Article Becoming a 3D animator

(Interview of Giovanni Nakpil)

I almost never got to do 3D at all. I originally saw myself taking Creative Advertising in College, since I thought that was the field where I could best apply my love for drawing. Back then, 3D animation was not quite as big as it is today. After going through different courses the college offered, I came across a 3D animation course.

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Sample Article Featured Artist: Peter Konig

(Animator/Modeler/Sculpter)

I've worked on a number of different films in a variety of roles. I've designed, sculpted and fabricated and art directed on films such as: Bill and Ted's Bogus journey, Radio Flyer, Of Mice and Men, Honey, I Blew up the Kid, Jurassic Park, Coneheads, Starship Troopers, Dragonheart, Evolution, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, and Starship Troopers II to name a few. I've also animated and animation supervised on several films including: Tremors II, Starship Troopers I and II, The Haunting, Cat's and Dogs, Blade II, The Stepford Wives, and currently Mask II.

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Bobby Boom Beck Working for Pixar

(Interview of Alex Orrelle Pixar animator)

Alex Orrelle is a London-born, Israeli-raised animator. He has studied animation at the Academy of Art College in San Francisco, where he directed a group project CG short called "Freeware". The short won the Alias|Wavefront student competition. Alex went on to work at Manex Visual Effects, as a character animator for the Matrix sequels. His current job is at Pixar, where he serves as both character animator and storyboard artist.

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Sample Article 3D Modeling The Hulk

Even though you probably haven't spent much time wondering about companies they make action figures, the answer might surprise you. In a world of high tech modeling and CAD programs, such figures are among the last holdouts of a most ancient art: realistic sculpture.

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Video Game Design Articles
Sample Article I wanna get into the games industry!!, but how?

In order to be a video game artist you have to have a good mix of traditional art skills and modern computer based art skills, the balance of which will depend on the eventual specialization you go for. Within the title "games artist" are many sub-categories of artist including animators, texture artists, character modelers, object modelers, concept artists, etc etc...

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Sample Article The role of a Video Game Artist

As you might expect, artists in the game industry do a range of diverse jobs, and as such, several specific job categories have developed over time. Each of the categories is associated with different styles, techniques and areas within the game development process. Although the details will vary between companies, the following list of definitions should be useful at least as a guide:...

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Sample Article The role of a Video Game Developer

To come and work in the games industry as a programmer you really, really have to be into games. Just thinking that this is more exciting than going and working on databases or in accounting isn't enough motivation. Too many people have been lured by the false image of young programmers with fast sports cars, and been predictably disappointed. Sure, it can happen, but that shouldn't be your reason for wanting to write games...

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Sample Article List of the best Video Game Design Schools

The following is a list of colleges and universities with programs that would help someone in their pursuit of a career in technical direction ,character animation and Video Game Design. The list is dedicated to schools that many game houses feel caters to both the technical direction and to the more artistic field of character animation and Video Game Design...

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Sample Article Salary Overview for the Gaming Industry

Artists/Animators - There is still a shortage on the market of experienced 3D animators. Top grads from programs like Ringling and Vancouver are still getting offers in the $50-$60K range. Of course, that is for the top talent. There are more bad demo reels out there than there are fish in the sea (a little hyperbole never hurt anyone). Lead artists with a hit console title to their credit are entertaining offers in the low six figures...

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Animating for Video Games Animating for Video Games

Video game animation offers a plethora of exciting opportunities and hurtles. For those involved, this digital playground offers a rich and rewarding experience, creating animation that connects to the audience on a more personal level then ever before. (Most sudios also mostly hire full time, rather than by contract!) For those interested in pursuing a career in this field, Sam recommends, "Find your passion, and just do it."

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character animation The Increasing Role of Character Animation in Video Games

"Almost every video game today uses character animation. It's become a standard element in modern entertainment software," says Mark Stuart, who is a video games designer for Bionic Games and is currently working on Spyborgs...

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Sample Article Game Design School

With the peaking interest in animation and video game design among budding artists, there is suddenly a host of options as to how to get the best training for these colorful field. However, as with any worthwhile endeavor, the "right" training isn't always the most convenient, or the cheapest...

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Sample Article Video Game Design

(By Jennifer Olsen with Jill Zinner)

The demand for video game designers has grown dramatically through the years. This has caused the burgeoning influx of aspiring video game developers and designers into video game design schools armed with the faith that they too can cut in as soon as they have acquired the necessary skills for the job. By arming yourself with the right skills and attitude, being a video game designer will not remain a dream forever. You can be part of the team that will recreate Sims, WarCraft, Counter Strike and many others...

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Sample Article Going to Video Game School

(By Elisa Batista)

However, he ended up scrapping those plans when one of his brothers -- a 37-year-old computer programmer -- encouraged him to apply to DigiPen Institute of Technology -- a four-year college in Bellevue, Washington dedicated solely to the study and development of video games. After witnessing Akhtar spend 3 to 4 hours a day after work playing video games, his brother was convinced he would not be happy as a chemist...

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Sample Article Off to college to major in ... video games?

(By Mark Clayton)

This fall, Southern Methodist University in Dallas will enroll 32 students in its new 18-month master's level certificate program in video-game design. Shawnee State University in Portsmouth, Ohio, is offering for the first time a full-blown undergraduate major in "game and simulation arts" as part of its bachelor of fine arts degree program. A few big-name universities are toying with the serious side of video games...

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Sample Article Tips for Creating a Video Game Animator's Demo Reel

(By Dave Vasquez)

Today there are as many game studios as there are games being made. There's not one standard formula. Just like in film, studios have their own styles, requirements, etc. I've tried to summarize some tips below that may help you if you're looking to put together an animation demo reel for a game studio...

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Bobby Boom Beck Animation Mentor CEO Bobby "Boom" Beck

What was your reason for opening Animation Mentor?

It needed to happen. After several years of reviewing many demo reels for potential candidates and seeing how the work simply did not measure up to what we were looking for, I began to have a thought in the back of my head, "how can these schools produce work that is of such low quality? There has to be a better way."

Read full Interview >


2d Animation Articles
Sample Article The 28 Principles of animation

(by Mark Kennedy)

This article was given to me by Mark Kennedy (storyboard artist on Hercules and Tarzan). Thank you Mark for all those handouts!! Often times animators and storyboarders in the industry are able to get handouts from some of the artists who are great teachers. This is an example of such kind of handout that gets circulated among the artists gradually.

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Drawing for Animation Drawing for Animation

Drawing Lessons #1: Draw what you See

The biggest problem that artists must overcome is not one of technique or of inspiration. The biggest problem is the lack of seeing. When people go through their lives every day, they do not see. They look. There is a very simple reason for this; no-one could possibly notice every detail in the world around us. So the brain filters out the details for us. When you are walking down the street, you see the street, the sidewalk, the other people, and the buildings. You do not notice the cracks in the sidewalk or the weeds growing in those cracks;...

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Sample Article Becoming an animator

(by Shanna Smith)

What does it take to be a Disney animator? What spectrums of talent and elements of training are needed to produce these wonder-working "actors with pencils" called animators? We recently put these questions to Frank Gladstone, Manager of Animation Training for Disney, who works out of the Disney-MGM Studios at Walt Disney World.

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Sample Article Character Animation Books

(by Harold Whitaker and John Halas)

Acting for Animators covers a lot of ground that doesn't get addressed much in animation school. Sure, we're all told to make the character "live and breathe", but most of the info that follows that admonition is from an art perspective. Hooks draws on his acting training and experience to give a different set of tools animators can use to reach that goal. The information on psychological gestures alone is worth the cost of the book (there's something you don't hear about in your Maya classes).

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Sample Article Concept Artist

Aaron St. Goddard

I try to create a level of realism in my designs which will make people think that it really can exist and function in the real world. This is definitely the most challenging part of coming up with a design, since people are so accustomed to knowing what looks right or what looks wrong. Even if the design is outrageously strange, I'll try hard to make it based in some sort of working reality.

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Bobby Boom Beck Choosing an 2D Animation School

If you interested in Animation, then don't go to a school that _doesn't_ offer a program in Animation, electives don't count. A lot of schools offer electives in using animation software, and that's not the same thing as being educated in Animation...

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Sample Article Acting and Animation

(by Doron A. Meir)

In the following article I have put on paper my thoughts considering acting in animation, which apply to any form of character animation - including 3D. The article is not meant to provide a "good acting in animation" formula - simply because such a formula does not exist. Every animator has his personal attitude, every film has needs of its own, and undoubtedly there are other ways of getting good acting.

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Sample Article Brokensaints.com Character Designer

Andrew West

I think I enjoyed drawing Raimi the computer hacker most. I had a lot of freedom with what I had him wear and look like a lot. It was very enjoyable dressing up. But I guess I liked them all the same. It's like parents like all their kids the same I think, it's too hard to choose one over another!

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Flash Animation Articles
Sample Article Featured Artist: Annika Bergström

(Interview)

I started working with Flash seriously in August 2003, when I began to study multimedia and web production. I had been curious about Flash for years though so when I finally got my hands on it and had time to learn it I couldn't stop myself. It's such a fantastic program!...

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Sample Article All in a Flash

Animated conversation Developing decent web animations has been more like a climb up the Eiger than a walk in the park. However, the latest breed of software available has been built to capture the designer's imagination without killing off the muse. Alistair Dabbs goes through the motions...

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Sample Article Learning Flash

(Interview with Keith Peters)

There's an old joke that lists "You know you're a Flash addict when..." My favorite was, "when you start looking at everything around you and saying, 'I bet I could do that in Flash."...

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Sample Article How I got started in Flash

(Interview with Jared Tarbell)

My first roadblock with Flash was the confusion resulting from the large number of places in which code could be placed. Never before had I seen a programming language where the code was applied on the object it was describing. Eventually I learned to love this particular feature. This pretty much sums up the ongoing relationship I have had with Flash...

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Sample Article Good Flash Design

(Interview with Hillman Curtis)

It's great. What's not to like? I know the big complaint is that there's a lot of "bad" flash design...but that can be said about any type of design. Flash took off fast because it's a great product...

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Sample Article Schools that teach Flash

The following is a list of colleges, universities and tech schools with programs that would help someone in their pursuit of a career in the technical direction of the animation industry or the creative side of animation. The list is dedicated to schools that many animation studios feel caters to technical direction and to the more artistic field of character animation...

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3D Modeling Articles
Introduction to 3D Modeling

Modeling is the process of taking a shape and molding it into a completed 3D mesh. The most typical means of creating a 3D model is to take a simple object, called a primitive, and extend or "grow" it into a shape that can be refined and detailed. Primitives can be anything from a single point (called a vertex), a two-dimensional line (an edge), a curve (a spline), to three dimensional objects (faces or polygons)...

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Sample Article Featured Artist: Peter Konig

(Animator/Modeler/Sculpter)

I've worked on a number of different films in a variety of roles. I've designed, sculpted and fabricated and art directed on films such as: Bill and Ted's Bogus journey, Radio Flyer, Of Mice and Men, Honey, I Blew up the Kid, Jurassic Park, Coneheads, Starship Troopers, Dragonheart, Evolution, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, and Starship Troopers II to name a few. I've also animated and animation supervised on several films including: Tremors II, Starship Troopers I and II, The Haunting, Cat's and Dogs, Blade II, The Stepford Wives, and currently Mask II.

Read Full Story >


Sample Article 3D Modeling The Hulk

Even though you probably haven't spent much time wondering about companies they make action figures, the answer might surprise you. In a world of high tech modeling and CAD programs, such figures are among the last holdouts of a most ancient art: realistic sculpture.

Read full article >



Brought to you by Animation Mentor
Sample Article Top Five Things NOT to Do On Your Demo Reel

(by Carlos Baena)

Do NOT try to make a one-size fits all demo reel. Make your demo reel specific to the position and studio for which you are applying. If you're applying as an animator to a big animation studio where departments are very specialized, then everything on the reel should say only "animation." It should not say "texturing" or "lighting" or "modeling." Also, if you're applying to a visual effects company that does realistic work...

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Sample Article A Day in the Life of a Professional Animator

(by Delio Tramontozzi)

"DahhHH Nnahh NahhHHH..... DAH DAH Dahhhhhh," bellows from my small desktop speakers at my desk, while getting inspired and killing some time before the start of the day and dailies. With a smile and a "Goodmornin' Tozzi!" I look up as both Rick and Jay pass by on the way to their desks...

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Sample Article Studio Etiquette: Keep your Ego in check

(by Jamy Wheless)

What makes a good animator? Is it getting great poses? Understanding timing? Paying attention to arcs? How about being a good actor? Actually, it's all of this and more. But one of the key ingredients not discussed often enough is having a positive attitude and being able to work with others...

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