Cho's Lab

DMD · Media Design · Programming · Robotics · Entrepreneurship

Animation: About Us

INTERESTED IN ANIMATION AS A CAREER? Metro Vancouver’s a happening place for animation. If you’ve ever played The Sims, Command & Conquer, Need for Speed, Rock Band, FIFA Football or NHL Hockey, you already know about EA video games. Electronic Arts Canada is located in Burnaby and is EA’s largest studio. Sony Imageworks opened a studio in Vancouver in Spring 2011. Digital Domain, an Academy Award-winning visual effects company, has a studio in Vancouver as well. Ever watch Toy Story, The Incredibles, Finding Nemo, Up, or Wall E? Those animation features are the work of Pixar Animation. Did you know they have a studio in Vancouver too?

If you’re planning on going to animation school after graduation, you need to focus on your drawing skills. Your art portfolio matters as much as your knowledge of computer animation programs. The technical aspect of 2D (ToonBoom) and 3D (3DS Max) animation software can only take you so far. The ability to draw, to create and tell a story, and to animate what you act out will push your animation to a higher level.

Animation schools are looking for motivated, reliable students with a strong work ethic who are experienced in theatre (optional but considered a plus), drawing and detailed computer design. At least, that’s what one admissions officer at a Vancouver animation school told me this summer.

To develop your animation skills to the fullest, be aware that – No matter what your grade is, when you take Animation for the 1st time, credit will be for Animation 10. The 2nd time you take the course, credit will be for Animation 11 and the 3rd time, credit will be for Animation 12. You must pass Animation 10 to move on to Animation 11 and you must pass Animation 11 to continue to Animation 12. This course is for grade 10-12 students only.

What if I just want to take Animation as an elective? No worries. You’re more than welcome to take the course (and have fun, hopefully), but the above paragraph about course credit applies to you too. Who knows? Your (digital) doodles and stories could take you down an unexpected path.