Best Animation Bootcamps
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Films, video games, web pages, and mobile apps all use animation. The rapid advancement in this technology and in consumers' demand for realistic animation in movies and gaming made animation one of the fastest-growing industries in the global media and entertainment market in 2020. Streaming video offered the fastest-growing distribution channel for this medium.
Animation brings drawings to life, making inanimate objects appear to move. It does this by showing a series of images in rapid succession, creating the illusion of movement. Traditionally, animators draw a sequence of images on transparent paper. Today, a 3D animator primarily uses software programs to create their imaginary world.
Animators work on films, video games, and apps for mobile devices. They may also work as forensic animators, using their skills to reenact accidents or crime scenes. Animation is used in digital advertising, mathematical modeling, education, and scientific visualization. You do not have to be in the tech industry to pursue this craft.
The high demand for this skill has given rise to animation bootcamps. These intensive programs help students gain the knowledge to pursue entry-level jobs in this growing field.
Best Animation Bootcamps
Deep Dive Coding
- Locations: Remote
- Program Cost: $2,995
- Learning Formats: Online
- Time Commitment: Full Time
Deep Dive Coding offers a four-week intensive bootcamp introducing game design and development using Unity. Unity is one of the most popular cross-platform game engines used to develop games such as Angry Birds, Temple Run, and Monument Valley. The system can create both 2D and 3D content.
Students attend this immersive, synchronous bootcamp via Zoom Monday-Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Participants learn about game design prototyping, game psychology, and game mechanics. Students will create a playable digital game by the end of the bootcamp.
- Locations: Remote
- Program Cost: $2,800
- Learning Formats: Online
- Time Commitment: Part Time
General Assembly offers a 3D modeling and animation Bootcamp that functions similarly to a workshop. This class can only be taken online and requires previous experience with Adobe Photoshop. Students will learn about basic 3D modeling through the use of Autodesk Maya. This course is designed for beginners looking to practice creating 3D characters and other animation.
According to General Assembly, over 45% of their part-time students receive tuition reimbursement from their employers. If students wish to expand beyond this animation bootcamp, they can also choose from a selection of other courses, such as Visual Design. General Assembly offers their bootcamps in dozens of locations worldwide.
- Locations: Remote, New York City
- Program Cost: $3,495
- Learning Formats: Online, In Person
- Time Commitment: Full Time, Part Time
Noble Desktop's motion graphics certificate course is perfect for those wanting to try their hand at animation and motion graphics. By the end of the class, students will be familiar with visual effects and video editing and will have created a portfolio of their projects. They will also gain experience with tools such as Adobe Premiere Pro and Adobe After Effects.
This certification course is offered online or at Noble Desktop's New York City campus. All students are offered a free course retake within the year. Noble Desktop offers career services to their students, which includes resume review and mock interviews.
Other Notable Design Bootcamps
While the following companies offer bootcamps geared more toward visual or user experience (UX) and user interface (UI) design, students can still gain useful instruction related to animation.
- BrainStation: $15,000
- DesignLab: $7,649
- Noble Desktop: $3,495
- Springboard: $11,900
- University of California, Berkeley: $13,495
What Is Animation?
Animation consists of multiple drawings or positions of models that, when photographed in succession, create the illusion of movement. Traditional animation consists of drawing pictures or building models. Most of today's animation is computer-generated imagery.
The global animation market is expected to reach about $642.5 billion by 2030, growing from $354.7 billion in 2020. Mobile applications, 3D gaming, digital marketing, and the increasing demand for 3D animation films contribute to the strong growth in animation.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the motion picture and video industries represent the largest employer for animators and special effect artists. Software publishers, computer systems design, and advertising services comprise the next three largest employers.
What Does an Animator Do?
Because of this growing market, animators experience strong demand. Many animators specialize in a specific type of animation, such as 2D or 3D, 2D vector, stop motion, or motion graphics. They may also create animation for one particular media, such as video games, movies, or web pages.
Most fields require animators to use computer software programs and drawings to create animation. They may also meet with clients, such as game designers and directors, to review and edit animation. According to the BLS, 59% of animators are self-employed.
What Is an Animation Bootcamp Like?
Because animation bootcamps are still up-and-coming, aspiring animators may need to start with a visual design or game design bootcamp. Many offer instruction in the computer programs and programming code used in animation.
Students may learn valuable skills and techniques in UX/UI design as well as C++ and C# programming languages. Many bootcamps also offer the opportunity to develop a portfolio, an essential element when starting your animation career.
Remember that coding bootcamps usually provide intense instruction in a short time frame. Even part-time students will need to spend a significant amount of time studying to get the most out of these animation bootcamps.
Animation Career Outlook
The BLS projects a 16% job growth for special effect artists and animators from 2020-2030. This growth rate is much faster than the average for all occupations and translates to about 7,800 job openings every year.
The BLS also reports that animators earned a median wage of $78,790 in May 2021. However, salaries vary by industry, location, and experience level. For example, animators in advertising and public relations earned a median salary of $87,540 in 2021, while those in the motion picture and video industries made a median of $78,790.
The following represent some of the common careers for those pursuing animation jobs.
2D and 3D animators combine artistic abilities and computer software programming to create visual images. 2D animation consists of flat figures in a two-dimensional space. Artists may start by designing the characters and developing a storyboard representing the sequence of actions.
A 3D animator works with computer software to create vivid, three-dimensional animations. They may produce animations and special effects for television, film, video games, and websites. Payscale reports that 3D animators make an average yearly salary of $55,760, with the top 10% earning over $87,000 as of May 2022.
Background artists work in numerous fields, including television, motion pictures, video games, web design, and advertising. In animation, they provide the background setting and the scene in which the animation occurs, such as a skyline. Also called background painters, they require advanced 2D and 3D background development skills.
Some employers prefer candidates with a bachelor's in fine art or graphic design. A strong portfolio may also get prospective background artists through the door. As of May 2022, Comparably reports that salaries for background artists range from $34,120-$99,920, with an average salary of $50,910.
Character animators breathe life into animated figures, giving them a personality. They animate a character's moods, emotions, and expressions. The characters aren't always human. Sometimes they are animals, robots, or normally inanimate objects. No matter the character type, these animators work solely on character development.
Employers may look for artistically adept applicants trained in animation with a solid understanding of anatomy and UX principles. These animators may work with tools like 3ds Max, MotionBuilder, and Unreal Engine. Payscale reports that 3D character animators earn an average wage of $57,290 as of March 2022.
Frequently Asked Questions About Animation Bootcamps
Can I learn animation on my own?
While some animators are self-taught, today's animation requires learning numerous software programs and computer programming languages. You can learn the basics on your own, which can help you deduce which type of animation to pursue.
Some employers require a bachelor's degree, while others emphasize a candidate's portfolio. Competitive companies like Pixar may require their interns to be enrolled in a university. Online bootcamps can offer high-level instruction and help aspiring animators build their portfolios.
What is the best online animation course?
Because of the varying types of animation, the best online animation course is different for everyone. A prospective animator interested in 3D animation for films may want to take a different course than the student looking to get into gaming or advertising.
A well-rounded, fundamental program in animation may offer the best instruction for those uncertain of their career path. Many online bootcamps provide specific skill sets, so make sure the one you choose aligns with your career objectives.
Can I learn animation without knowing how to draw?
Much of today's 3D animation takes place with the help of computer software. However, knowing basic drawing skills can help with sketches, visualizing storyboards, and other details involved in animation.
Animators generally do not require fine art drawing skills, and the drawing skills they do need can be learned. Taking life drawing classes can help animators learn drawing and anatomy simultaneously.
In fact, in 3D animation, many professionals create incredible animations without drawing anything. In 2D animation, drawing is much more essential. Having a strong art portfolio can lead to increased job opportunities.