3D Animators in the Philippines
A 3D Animator is a 3D artist who is responsible for animating or giving life-like movements to a 3D image by manipulating its lights, shadow, texture and color.
What course do I need to take to become a 3D animator?
Different employers may require different courses or degrees for those interested in becoming a 3D animator. Common courses/degrees that may help you get a 3D animator job include:
- Bachelor of Fine Arts
- Bachelor of Fine Arts major in Visual Communication
- Visual Graphic Design NC III
- 2D Digital Animation NC III
- 3D Animation NC III
- Animation NC II
- Illustration NC II
Want to know what professionals have to say about 3D animators in the Philippines? Read on below to find out more:
Name: Elmer Ona
Current Job: Freelance 3D animator
Job Responsibilities: creating animated television commercials, web commercials, map projections, and music videos.
What does an animator do? Can you tell us how the animation process goes?
Producing an animated work is a long and complex process. There are often several people involved in it and they are tasked with working on specific stages of the production.
Generally speaking, the animation process can be divided into four stages: the conceptualization stage, the storyboarding stage, the pre-production, and the production stage.
The conceptualization stage is where we come up with concepts for the project we intend to produce such as an animated short or a television commercial for example. After a concept has been approved, we’ll draft a storyboard that depicts the individual frames that will be used for the shoot. Once the storyboard is done, we’ll move on to the pre-production stage where we start drawing the characters, backgrounds, and other details that give the short its general feel. After that, we move on to the production stage where the actual animation begins.
When we get to the production stage, we’d start to give the characters some shape (we call it modeling), then we’d place what we call “controls” on the individual elements of the animated work (we call it rigging). These controls will determine which areas will move when a button is pressed. You can think of it as the joints of the human body which connect groups of bones and allow them to move independently.
After the controls have been set, we’ll start applying appropriate colors to the elements of the video. We call this “texturing.” This is important because you have to apply the right kind and amount of colors at the right places in order to give the elements a realistic look.
After that, we’ll start to record the poses needed for the animation. Once the poses have been recorded, we move on to the lighting and staging stage where we adjust the lighting and placement of various elements in the animated work. After those are done, we move on to the rendering and compositing stage where we piece everything we’ve worked on together to make it one complete whole.
After that, we’ll just pore over the details to make sure that nothing is amiss then we’ll submit the finished product to the client for approval. The rest is up to them.
What kind of programs or tools do you use for your work?
Personally, I use Cinema 4D. Most animators use Autodesk’s Maya for 3D animation, but I’m not very comfortable with using it to perform more complicated tasks like rigging so I usually use the former.
For compositing, I usually use Adobe After Effects although sometimes I also use Adobe Photoshop.
Are there any specific skills or traits that you think would help someone become an effective animator?
For animation, you need to have a sense of timing. Some people have a natural talent for it; some acquire it through constant practice. For example, when I started working on animations, my timings were off, but as I worked on more projects, I learned how to cope.
Another thing is passion. If you love what you’re doing, you’ll eventually learn the things you need to as you go along.
Do you need to have good drawing skills to become an animator?
Not necessarily. I know plenty of animators who are not good at drawing. I guess that would help if you’ll be doing 2D animation because you’ll be working on some of the drawings yourself, but that’s not a requirement in 3D animation because your task is to make objects move. The drawing part is usually someone else’s job, so you don’t really have to worry about it.
Do you have to be a graduate of a particular course to become an animator?
Not really. It depends on your skills. I know plenty of people whose courses are not related to animation at all and there are some that didn’t even finish college.
I’m not saying you don’t need a college degree to become an animator because having one can be an advantage, but if you have the passion and you’re willing to work hard, you’ll manage.
What advice can you give to people who are also interested in pursuing a career in animation?
Try to pay attention to your Mathematics subjects, especially algebra and geometry. People always complain about how they’d never use all these formulas and equations once they graduate from school, but they would come in handy once you start working on animations.
Also, be observant of your surroundings. Animation involves a lot of details, so you need to have a good idea of how things look and work so you can make your animated works as realistic and as lively as possible.