Post-Secondary Animation Programs Will Prepare You for Film Animation

“With hard work, this program can be a great springboard into the animation field … I could not have gotten as far as (I have) without attending the program. I whole heartedly recommend it to future students,” raves TJ Galda, a 2000 graduate of Centennial College’s animation program. TJ is now as senior consultant with Alias/ Wavefront.

Digital animation is a major part of the entertainment industry today. From special effects in movies such as Battle LA to cartoon and video game characters, brand mascots and more, animation is used for a variety of purposes. Centennial College’s animation program is one of the most reliable animation programs in the province. Having launched in 1996, it has been shaping the careers of hundreds of digital animators and other professionals in the field.

Resulting in an Ontario College Diploma, the program takes 14 months to complete. A unique project-based learning experience in animation for TV, broadcast, game design, and film that is well recognized within the animation and visual effects industry is at the base of the program. Students work in small classrooms, which allows for one-on-one time with instructors, and have access to labs and workstations 24 hours a day, seven days a week. In addition, students are provided with the opportunity to hear film animation and digital animation guest speakers share their anecdotes. Students are also assisted with producing demo reels to showcase your abilities to potential employers. Lastly, there exists an opportunity for a animation program field placement during which students apply what they have learned and obtain new knowledge from employers. Specific courses in this undertaking include: Animation Fundamentals, Scripting, Integrated Media, VFX Compositing, Matte Painting, 3D Character Animation, Modeling and Rigging, and many others.

Students who are interested in applying must present at minimum an Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) or equivalent or be 19 years of age or older. They are also required to possess compulsory English 12C or U credit or skills assessment, or equivalent. Lastly, English proficiency, a program admission session and a portfolio review are required. Portfolios may include 10 to 15 pieces such as illustration, photography, video animation, computer generated artwork, music, performance art or publishing.

Upon graduation, students obtain a large range of jobs in the film animation and other animation fields. These positions include: lighters, modelers, riggers and 3D character animators to level designers for games, texture artists, visual effects supervisors, compositors and technical directors. All of these jobs are essentially intertwined to produce the finished movie, cartoon, game, etc. For example, digital animators are responsible for storyboarding and creating models with the assistance of modelers. They also design and animation environment that includes backgrounds, sets and objects as well as characters. Meanwhile, lighters finesse the lighting on a shot, and compositors composite together the resulting character and environment renders into a final shot. The next step is to create each frame, work out the timing of movements and make sure it all meets the script and soundtrack requirements.

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