I would love to go into animation, but how do I get there?

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Squigysqump
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Hello,

My dream has always been to work in animation. I love science, history and English but creating stories through the use of animations is a job I would love so much that I would probably do it for free. But I need some help. Currently in doing my GCSEs: history, French, Spanish, triple science, English (literature and language) and maths (and further maths). What A levels would be wise for me to take for going into animation? My dad would like me to get a degree in a 'proper' subject first in case I change my mind about animation, and I'm aiming for a top university (Cambridge, Edinburgh etc.). I want to study something I enjoy as well but I'm not sure if taking Art A Level is the best idea as it damages my prospects to get into these universities, and I don't really enjoy doing Art at school; I prefer doing my own drawings at home. I would also like some advice on increasing my prospects in making it in animation. One day I would love to work at a studio such as Pixar, but I know this requires extremely hard work and dedication. Any advice?
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EmergencyBagels
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im no expert but i think i may be able to have some answers
firstly, i dont really think art particularly damages prospects especially if youre trying to get into an arts/humanities course. oxbridge offers art degrees which you would obviously need art a level for, so it must be an a level they accept and take seriously. i know my friend got to interview at cambridge for english lit and she does art a level so its obviously not a big deal breaker, although it may be less respected by some i guess.
but if you dont like art at school, then i think youd be alright without it. what you could do (it was something i considered) is not do art a level, but keep on drawing, keeping sketchbook etc so that you can apply for an art foundation which is free if youre under 19 and you only need a good portfolio and personal statement for. its only one year, but itll be an experience and keep your options open as most art courses ive seen (if you do choose to do one in animation for example) do like people to have an art foundation, e.g. ual require one for all their art courses i think.
so i definitely think thatd be something to consider.
in terms of A level/degree if you want to have the chance of a secure job outside of animation/keep your options open, i think maths/computing/further maths might be a good idea - then in theory if you like you could do a computer science degree and some offer a joint or focus on video game design or animation, while leaving you a capable programmer with good job prospects at the same time, for example, newcastle has a course called computer science (game engineering) which is accredited by various institutes and has a leaving salary of £25k a year apparently which isnt bad.
while i know you didnt specify an interest in video game animation, it will still give you a basis in the technical side of computer animation. when ive looked for myself, jobs sites such as prospects.com do say animators can come from arts or computing backgrounds. if you still want to be an animator after that then masters degrees are available. similarly, if you want to do an art degree then computer science conversion courses are available.
some pretty well respected institutions offer masters in animation i.e. arts university bournemouth but actually getting the job of animator im afraid i have no idea about :-(
those are just my thoughts and some things i wish id thought of before choosing my a levels and degree
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EmergencyBagels
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good links also
http://www.creativebloq.com/animatio...pixar-10121018
http://www.pixar.com/careers/Available-Internships

quite interesting i think
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ShadowyPrincess
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Hi,
I would say art skills are pretty essential for the animation industry, despite the fact most of it is no longer 2d you still need to have a good idea of weight, form and proportion. Also you may decide that you are suited to a different area, e.g lighting, rendering, modelling, texturing, visual effects e.t.c all of which end up under the general header of 'animation' when you look at university courses, some needing more artistic skills than others.
I did a computer animation course at Bournemouth which is regarded as one of the best in the UK, however Hertfordshire is now catching them up, you might want to look at this thread to give you more of an idea of what unis expect from you when applying: http://www.thestudentroom.co.uk/showthread.php?t=301364
However if you are unsure this is the career path you want then do a related degree first e.g fine art or maths if your more techonologically minded and then a masters course in animation (speaking as someone who wish they had done that! But I have decided not to enter the industry for personal reasons so don't let me put you off in any way, but please do do lots of research about the industry before you make a decision)
Also Pixar is very hard to get into, not only do you need to be amazing you also have to get a visa which is more difficult without a masters or extensive work experience.
If you want any more help feel free to message me
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happyinthehaze
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Hi

I Havent read this thread but, basically - do your degree that you want to do - but while you do it, contact local animation places and DO WORK EXPERIENCE THERE ie work there once a week for free for say, half a day or a full day.

There you go.

Keep up with the festivals, have opinions - then see where you are after graduating. Will you need a further qual? Basically, get through the door somewhere while you do your degree and bingo.

(Original post by Squigysqump)
Hello,

My dream has always been to work in animation. I love science, history and English but creating stories through the use of animations is a job I would love so much that I would probably do it for free. But I need some help. Currently in doing my GCSEs: history, French, Spanish, triple science, English (literature and language) and maths (and further maths). What A levels would be wise for me to take for going into animation? My dad would like me to get a degree in a 'proper' subject first in case I change my mind about animation, and I'm aiming for a top university (Cambridge, Edinburgh etc.). I want to study something I enjoy as well but I'm not sure if taking Art A Level is the best idea as it damages my prospects to get into these universities, and I don't really enjoy doing Art at school; I prefer doing my own drawings at home. I would also like some advice on increasing my prospects in making it in animation. One day I would love to work at a studio such as Pixar, but I know this requires extremely hard work and dedication. Any advice?
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GemmaJewell2
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(Original post by Squigysqump)
Hello,

My dream has always been to work in animation. I love science, history and English but creating stories through the use of animations is a job I would love so much that I would probably do it for free. But I need some help. Currently in doing my GCSEs: history, French, Spanish, triple science, English (literature and language) and maths (and further maths). What A levels would be wise for me to take for going into animation? My dad would like me to get a degree in a 'proper' subject first in case I change my mind about animation, and I'm aiming for a top university (Cambridge, Edinburgh etc.). I want to study something I enjoy as well but I'm not sure if taking Art A Level is the best idea as it damages my prospects to get into these universities, and I don't really enjoy doing Art at school; I prefer doing my own drawings at home. I would also like some advice on increasing my prospects in making it in animation. One day I would love to work at a studio such as Pixar, but I know this requires extremely hard work and dedication. Any advice?
Hi Squigysqump,

I think you need to follow your dreams and aim for the career that you'll love, as your the one that has to work in it.

At least when picking your A-levels, I definitely believe you should pick at least one art based course, so it leaves you with more options and time to think of what you really want to study. I am currently a student at Bournemouth University and the animation course here is so well known in the industry. Students have worked on the visual effects for films such as Interstellar and has been praised the prime minister in Parliament! Its also delivered by the National Centre for Computer Animation. However to get on the course it is required that you study at least one creative subjects such as Fine Art, Graphic Design or Photography. They also state that other relevant A-levels are visual, mathematical or computing subjects.

It would also be good to start a portfolio of work you have created and do some work experience to find to boost your CV!

Good luck with your GCSE's!

If you have any questions, feel free to ask
Gemma
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Birmingham City University
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Hi there - it's Amanda here at BCU! I just wanted to tell you about our graduate Michael Price. He studied animation with us and has now got a number of top studios on his client list - like Aardman. He's shared some advice on getting ahead in this industry which might help you! www.bcu.ac.uk/how-to/michael-p
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Ravensbourne
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(Original post by Squigysqump)
Hello,

My dream has always been to work in animation. I love science, history and English but creating stories through the use of animations is a job I would love so much that I would probably do it for free. But I need some help. Currently in doing my GCSEs: history, French, Spanish, triple science, English (literature and language) and maths (and further maths). What A levels would be wise for me to take for going into animation? My dad would like me to get a degree in a 'proper' subject first in case I change my mind about animation, and I'm aiming for a top university (Cambridge, Edinburgh etc.). I want to study something I enjoy as well but I'm not sure if taking Art A Level is the best idea as it damages my prospects to get into these universities, and I don't really enjoy doing Art at school; I prefer doing my own drawings at home. I would also like some advice on increasing my prospects in making it in animation. One day I would love to work at a studio such as Pixar, but I know this requires extremely hard work and dedication. Any advice?
Hi Squigysqump,

I'm an animation student from Ravensbourne,I think its great that you're aiming high to work into Pixar, it will definitely be challenging, as you said requires extremely hard work and dedication.

In terms of whether to study or choose it at A level, it really is up to you. If you do not enjoy art at school, I would probably say it is not a good idea to force yourself to do art A level, however you could approach it differently and think of A level as an oppurtunity to work on your skills and portfolio. You can dedicate yourself with the time and freedom to experiment and create things. Getting the practice and familiarizing yourself with fundamentals early.

If you choose not to keep in mind in future you may be asked why you did not choose any art based course for A level but definitely keep sketchbooks at home and constantly practice sketching and anatomy. It is also quite important to do observation drawings as it shows them you observe your surroundings.The things in animation are inspired from what we see and experience, so it is vital that you demonstrate these things such as colour shape weight timing in your work.

I would also suggest looking into an art foundation which is free if you are under 19 as Emergency Bagels said, it is basically a year for you to get a taste of what you may potentially be doing at uni. Great way to build up your portfolio as well and keep your options open, after the foundation you can still go on to study another degree that is not directly related.

Hope this has been helpful
Jay
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