3D animation has earned a reputation of being one of the ‘coolest’, most interesting, stimulating and glamorous jobs in the world. It is well paid too! Is there any wonder why jobs in this field are so sought after today? What this means is that need to be good at what you do, very good. You also need to have the skills and training so that you can stand closer to the front of the queue. There are generally more people than jobs for studio work.
Firstly, 3D animation has a few different specialisations; you need to go after the jobs that need your skills. If you have been through formal training, at some stage you would have honed your skills in a particular area. 3D is about more than just creating adorable cartoon characters for film or TV. A 3D animator can diversify into animated website design, they can create fantastic video games, even online casino video games or create CD’s, be it for entertainment, education or marketing aids for the corporate world. So, you need to decide which direction you want to pursue first.
While you are studying, or if self taught, you need to create a portfolio of work. When you apply for a job, this is a necessity as it shows your skills and your capabilities. It should show your best work and showcase your skills. This is a great way to package and promote yourself, so don’t put in anything that is not 100%. Bear in mind that someone will probably only spend about 60 seconds looking at it.
In this vein, not all 3D animation jobs are advertised, so you may need to go out and network – especially if you have decided to freelance. Join networks, trade shows or PR events. Making a contact with the right person may get your portfolio viewed and if good, chances are you will land the job. Follow up once you have submitted your portfolio, do not let things slide. While a studio may not be hiring this month, they may be hiring 2 months down the line. Remember, this is a hugely competitive career and fast paced environment. The better you are at promoting yourself, the more chance you have at getting work.
Another way to land that job is to get an internship once you have finished studying. Internships, while it may not pay well, if at all, it is a great way to pave your future path. They give you an opportunity of implementing what you have been taught under the watchful eye of highly experience animators. Plus they have an advantage of allowing you to showcase your skills, gain experience, get familiar with software in a ‘real.