Careers in Animation
Computer, puppet and hand-drawn animation are used extensively in feature films, television, commercials, video games, educational multimedia, Internet sites, scientific simulations, architectural models and forensic evidence. Animation is a labor-intensive art form and often requires the skills and creative contributions of a large team of collaborators, which opens up possibilities for aspiring animators. Employment opportunities in this field include screenwriting, storyboarding, layout, character animation, effects animation, art direction, sound design, computer-modeling, lighting, cinematography, editing, technical direction and production management. While many of these opportunities are full-time staff positions at studios, individuals just beginning an animation career often work as freelancers.
The California Employment Development Department (EDD) collects data about the state’s workforce. These data include information about the number of people employed in the field, job outlook, and wage information. The California EDD predicts for the period 2008-2018 the number of openings for multimedia artists and animators to increase by over 7%. For more detailed information about positions in multimedia design and animation, check the California Occupational Guide for the occupations listed below: http://www.labormarketinfo.edd.ca.gov/occguides/Search.aspx.
Necessary Education and Skills for Career Success
Traditionally, animators have created hand-drawn images or moved three-dimensional miniatures. Increasingly, computers are utilized in animation, but those productions still adhere to traditional principles. The best new animators will have a solid foundation in fine arts, mastery of motion design and timing, and extensive experience working on both traditional and digital animated films. Additionally, employers will look for animators with characteristics such as creativity, energy, diligence, good humor, communication skills and the ability to collaborate effectively.
General Info About the Program
De Anza’s Film Animation Program is the largest and most comprehensive of its kind in Northern California. The curriculum offers: concept development courses in screenwriting, storyboard and layout; an animal, figure and perspective drawing sequence; production seminars in stop-motion technique, drawn animation and sound design; computer animation courses taught by leading professionals; and extensive animation history courses.
Animation Production & History Certificate and Degree Programs*
The following links open in .pdf.
Certificates of Achievement:
Certificates of Achievement-Advanced:
Associate Degree (A.A.):
*De Anza College's Animation program is undergoing restructuring with limited course offerings during 2011-12. Check back during 2012-13 for updated program listings.
More information about the Animation Department
Creative Arts Division
Contact: Margaret Bdzil