"WHAT IS IT ABOUT ANIMATION, GRAPHICS, ILLUSTRATIONS, THAT CREATE MEANING? AND THIS IS AN IMPORTANT QUESTION TO ASK AND ANSWER BECAUSE THE MORE WE UNDERSTAND HOW THE BRAIN CREATES MEANING, THE BETTER WE CAN COMMUNICATE, AND, I ALSO THINK, THE BETTER WE CAN THINK AND COLLABORATE TOGETHER." – TOM WUJEC
Team Work Skills – Working in groups is essential to being an animator. No production is completed alone. It requires an army of animators to complete. Therefore…
Organizational Skills — are key to keeping track of drawings, files of drawings, animated clips and for developing a systematic approach to problem-solving. Students must also maintain a portfolio of all their work.
Problem-Solving Skills – each new animation presents a new set of challenges that must be met. While the Animation Sequence is typically consistent, the problems each new idea presents are different.
Communication Skills – The ability to effectively express what needs to happen, where when and how-- is critical to the entire animation process. Working as a team under timelines screams for clear direction from start to finish.
Time Management Skills – everything in the studio is on a deadline; not having a finished product when it is expected is unforgivable in the entertainment industry.
Writing and Math Skills – the center piece and capstone for an animation is a good story. Therefore, writing—from synopsis to detailed scripts—requires strong creative writing skills. In the editorial department, the sound track recordings are broken down onto X-sheets which involve timing and math.
How will this pathway help students?
That's a great question! This pathway is actually quite large: it is made up of seven courses, that range from beginning to advanced. Animation is also closely tied to local universities that offer articulation agreement to give students credits for coursework that they have shown. We are very proud of the accolades that Animation students have earned. To date, the program has won five silver medals and one bronze, at the state level.
Television | Computers | Gaming Industries
Film | Telecommunications | Advertising
Lead Animator | Key Animator | Clean-Up Artist
Storyboard Artist | In-Betweener | Finishing Artist
Background Artist | Assistant / Intern
Pre-Requisite skills or classes required?
All of them do except for the semester-long class, Introduction to Animation.
We do, however, offer “Warren Animation Club”-- also known as “WAC” on Wednesday evenings between the hours of 6:30-8:30pm. It isan open house for anyone within the community–regardless of age or enrollment in the school—to come in, sit down and try animation for free. It is not a class per se, but it can be for students seeking to try animation without actually taking the class. Anyone who shows up is permitted to try the equipment and is assisted by currently enrolled advanced Warren Animation students.
Some students may have a certain perception of what an Animator is, or what their job responsibilities are. Animation students sometimes find themselves realizing that it is an entirely different experience than what they had expected. That being said, one of the most important life lessons that Animation students seem to experience is realizing the difference between reality and expectation; and that is an important skill to have in life.
21st Century Education
Being comfortable and excited about working with a team of people is key in the Animation pathway. On that note, collaboration and communication go hand-in-hand. Critical thinking is also very important for Animation, since you may find yourself wondering how to approach a project or challenge in a creative and efficient way. Furthermore, creativity is – above all – a necessary component in become a successful Animator.
Opportunities for Students
The Warren Animation Program is regularly visited by animators who visit the school every other year to meet with students in order to share their experiences in animation and to evaluate the program and its facilities. It is referred to as the Animator’s Forum. Students in the Animation pathway may also have the opportunity to work with college students who are finishing their culminating projects.
Animation students also attend field trips related to the industry, to colleges, and post-secondary institutions to learn about becoming a professional Animator.