5 Questions You Should Ask Before Taking a 3D Animation Course
The field of animation is pretty vast and dynamic. Figuring out your way to the best course can be daunting. If you dream of making it big in the animation industry, you need to begin by choosing the right 3D animation course. You need to begin by asking yourself these five important questions.
Choosing the right course is no easy feat. After all, it’s a very important decision that will affect you for years to come.
It becomes even more difficult when you are aspiring to make it big in a creative industry like animation. The decision involves a lot of deliberation on your part. Because the field is huge and contains endless possibilities.
There are a lot of things to consider and most of them often come down to your personal choices. Is cost a major factor in your decision? Do you prefer the reputation of the institution above everything else? Are you only looking for the best infrastructure?
The decision is completely yours. But how you arrive at it matters. Apart from the few concerns above, there are certain things you should think of by default while looking for a 3D animation course.
Here are 5 important questions to ask yourself before choosing a 3D animation course:
1. What are the Benefits of a Formal Education/Diploma in 3D Animation?
In the 21st century, the internet is king. There’s no dearth of courses and learning material on the world wide web. Everything you want to know or learn, you can through the internet.
Formal education seems to be taking a backseat as more and more students are flocking to the internet to self-learn.
Does that make learning 3D animation from a formal institution a bad idea?
It is possible to make a career for yourself without formal education – but it’s very, very risky.
Because formal education acts as a facilitator of your journey to make it big in the animation industry. It gives you:
- A structured path to get from A to B. In other words, a well-designed 3D animation course program will give you clarity and help you build skills faster.
- Many studios and companies value that above all else.
- You may not have access to relevant resources all the time (even if you do, you may not know which ones work best for you!)
- Portfolio building opportunities. A portfolio makes you stand out. It makes your work “yours”. Building a great portfolio can be tough without mentor support or guidance.
- Industry connections and networking opportunities. Nobody flourishes in a vacuum. You can learn a great deal on your own, but a strong network and connections go a long way in determining where you eventually land.
- Specialised Training. We already know how vast animation is. You might lose great opportunities if you take a “jack-of-all-trades” approach to your career as an animator.
- Support and motivation. In a formal educational context, you’re surrounded by aspiring artists or animators. This keeps you motivated and helps you stay inspired.
Formal education guides you towards the right path and can work wonders for your motivation as well. Especially when you’re just starting. It’s a great place to build a solid foundation for your career!
Stop dithering and start looking!
3D Animation course at MAGES is focused on industry-relevant portfolio-building along with basic skills training. Learn the fundamentals, cultivate artistic qualities, develop a professional showreel for your portfolio and much more! Find out more here.
2. Does the Course Offer Options for Specialisation?
Let’s face it.
Competition is fierce. And it’s only getting fiercer. Especially when it comes to creative industries like animation.
Having specialised skills or knowledge is key to standing out. This is what makes you unique. This is what makes you “you”.
Yes, you can benefit a lot from a year of general art/animation classes that teach you the basics. But, specialisation works.
Make sure there is an opportunity for you to choose a specialization through specific art classes. Because getting hired as a junior generalist is difficult. So it helps to be specialized.
Companies and studios these days want T-Shaped people – people who have specialisation and expertise in a particular field along with a lot of basic skills. Such people have a lot of generic skills that also complement their knowledge in a particular field.
If this is what the recruitment scenario today demands, it doesn’t hurt to develop skills accordingly. In fact, this raises your chances of getting hired by your dream company or studio!
3. How Experienced is the Faculty?
Having a reputable program isn’t enough.
A highly experienced faculty makes a lot of difference. After all, your instructors are going to be teaching you the skills you need to land opportunities in the field of animation.
It’s important to find out what kind of skills, knowledge and experience the faculty of a particular institution has. Are their skills pertinent to the area you want to achieve expertise in? Do they have industry-relevant experience?
A faculty that boasts of industry-level experience has a lot to offer. It knows the industry in and out and can guide you in the best possible way. It may even have industry connections. Or it could help you learn how to establish the right contacts to achieve your goals and fulfil your ambitions.
MAGES offers 50 years of combined experience through our lecturers, who have real games industry experience. Find out more about our programs and faculty here!
4. What are the Classes, Coursework and Infrastructure Like?
Always try to check the specifics of the course you’re hoping to take.
Most educational institutions have an online presence. You can always go to their websites and check what they have to offer. It’s wise to check course listings and figure out what works for you.
You can consider asking yourself the following things:
- What does their coursework entail? What are the classes like?
- Does your institution of choice have a well-defined infrastructure? What kind of facilities (digital and otherwise) does your institution of choice have? Does it have the labs and infrastructure needed for a course in 3D animation?
- What kind of learning environment does it have? Does it have a good student support system? A good learning environment is conducive to better skills. A well-defined student support system is conducive to motivation and less stressful learning. They’re both key to having positive results from investing in a course.
- Is the student-to-teacher ratio high? A high ratio means no specialised or individual attention. This might not work in your favour. So ensure that before enrolling yourself in a course right away.
5. Are You Ready To Be An Animator?
Practice makes everyone perfect.
No amount of formal education can make you a great animator if you don’t practice your craft.
Yes, the journey will get tough. Yes, it will get dry and monotonous at times. And yes, you’ll have to be the kind of person who doesn’t tire from doing the same things over and over again.
You’ll have to be happy spending weeks working only to produce a few seconds of animation.
You’ll have to be stubborn and determined and above all passionate. You’ll have to give it all it takes. There are no two ways about it.
So, are you sure you’re ready to be an animator?
Ask yourself these 5 questions to ensure a career in animation is what you want and that you’re ready for it!
Your journey as an aspiring 3D animator doesn’t stop at just figuring out this is what you want to do. There’s a lot to think about especially if you want to go for formal education. A Diploma in Animation provides a formalised “safety-net” in terms of employment, as well.
We’ve already established how a formal educational context benefits you as a potential and aspiring animator. And we have talked about other crucial questions you should ask yourself before you decide what 3D animation course you want to pursue.
Here are a few other things you can (and should) consider after you’ve figured out the answers to the key questions discussed in the post above:
- Scope – Where can you work in animation? What kind of jobs are available in the field of animation?
- Alumni – How have the alumni of the institution (and program) of your choice fared? What kind of opportunities did they land?
- Cost – How affordable is your program of choice? Affordability matters. This is often a very important consideration for people wanting to pursue any degree.
- Affiliation – Is the institution of your choice affiliated to a recognised university? This goes a long way in adding credibility to your work.
- Time spent on finishing the degree – This depends on how quickly you want to get a degree. Does the institution of your choice offer different kinds of animation programs? Does it have certificate, diploma or specialised courses on animation?
At MAGES, we focus on helping students make a living doing what they love. We provide a clear route to the Games, Art, and Film Industries through specialised and affordable education focused on employability.
Do you want to do what you love and make a living off it? Begin your creative journey with MAGES now!