Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Fancy a Career in Animation? Here's How To Get Started....

free 3D software - yours to try at no cost
Fancy a career in 3D animation, but don't know where to start?  You're not alone. A lot of different skills go into making up a great animator, and no-one wants to waste a lot of time on a career that isn't right for them.  One way of finding out if digital animation is the right career for you is to do a couple of free tutorials online. And a great place to start is with the 3D software Blender - it's completely free to download and install, and there are many free tutorials out there to get you started.

Free Blender Tutorial at YouTube

To begin, go to the Blender homepage at and download their free software. It's easy to do, and quick to install on your laptop, or your friend's laptop. Any reasonably modern machine should be able to run Blender.

Next, go to YouTube and search for Basic Blender Tutorials.  What you want are the most basic tutorials available, that teach you the really simple stuff, assuming absolutely no prior knowledge of the programme. Below is one we like, which teaches you how to model a coffee cup. To do this tutorial you will need a PC (it's not so good on a Mac) and a three button mouse (or Wacom tablet).

If you're running a Mac, you might try this Mac-friendly tutorial below instead. The author gives instructions for both platforms (Blender is slightly different on a Mac vs a PC), so if you are on a Mac you are more likely to be able to follow the tutorial without running into problems.

If you can follow one or both of these tutorials without giving up in despair and wanting to chuck the computer out of the window - a career in animation might be for you.

A willingness to learn, an openness to embrace new software, the desire to combine technical and artistic skills - these are the hallmarks of a good digital artist. If this sounds like you - you will most likely enjoy the course at Animation Apprentice.

For more information on finding work and surviving in the animation and visual effects business, read our post on how to find a job in the animation industry, and check out our post about what not to do at a job interview. Also see our post on starting your own small animation business, learn how to create an invoice, and see how we are helping our students find work through our film co-operative Nano Films.  Download the free Escape Studios Careers in VFX Handbook. Take a look at how can help you find a job, and read our piece about how to survive as a freelance animator. Also, find out what Cinesite look for in a student's demo reel, and read our post on setting up your own animation business. 

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