Becoming an Animator – Learning What It Takes to be a Successful Pro

Animator at work

Unlike the rest of us, Toothless and Hiccup were not born in a day. Actually, this loveable duo from How to Train Your Dragon loved by many children around the world was amazingly designed by a group of talented animators facing their computer screens. While you may have seen them on cinemas, the adorable dragon and the determined young boy are simply a product of simultaneous still images intricately controlled in order to visualize an illusion of series of movements on the screen.

The army of animators doesn’t just work on your favourite children’s movies. They also play imperative roles in the making of action blockbusters such as The Lego movie, Transformers, high resolution video games, exquisite television commercials and many others! So, how would you like to become one of the people who make these exciting projects come true?

Also known as multimedia artists, animators create animation, special effects and other visual images using electronic tools and computers for creations or products. In such competitive field, it is essential for you to know that you have everything that it takes to pour your energy into career in animation. So, what does it mean to be a successful in the field?

Successful Animator – Defining the Character

If animation is your forte, you have to determine if you have to qualities to pour yourself into the profession. For instance, a successful animator knows when to be inquisitive and curious about the world around them. An animator sees the world a lot different than an average person.

Animators should be experts of the art of movement. This is the reason why big studios around the world consider an acting experience helpful in carrying out animation. For instance, Pixar Animation Studios like to stress the importance on how their candidates ensure they know how to show their character’s feelings through its motion.

The Technical Skills

So you have decided you are a natural animator and are ready to excel in your career. What about the technical skills needed?
Animators are artistic. They think outside the box. For them to give life to their ideas and visualize the dream they have in mind, they need to be analytical and creative. The mixture of being tech savvy and practical skills can be the perfect ingredient to foster in this field.

A lot of individuals also ask whether you need to know how to draw in order to become a good animator. Experts emphasize the importance of firm drawing skills. It is essential to have a vivid understanding of how a character is drawn and how the animator visualizes its movements. You, however, don’t have to draw like a famous painter but you need to know the fundamentals of drawing and art.

While some institution’s procedure of teaching animation varies from one to another, it is important for you to understand the skills of audio-video editing, color conjecture, web authoring and digital media production. Exposing yourself to advanced software such as 3D Studio Max, Adobe Flash and Mudbox is integral. These are the common skills you can get by getting an animation degree.

The Most Needed Experience

Apprenticeship plays a vital role in your career in animation. Why? The answer is simple. Not all institutions with animation courses can give you the most updated resolutions towards a modern animation product. You however, can obtain training through getting experience from entry-level jobs. Internships on animation studios are a good way to earn practice hands-on animation career. It provides you a good material for a professional portfolio that shows your artistic skills as an animator. Above all, it is your best chance to work with professional animators who can give worthy inputs.

Are you up for the challenge?

Bringing characters to life is a fun, challenging and exciting job. However, don’t expect animation career to be an easy path. Animators work long hours to beat deadlines. If you are passionate about your dreams and determined to do what you do best, this high-pressure field shouldn’t put you off a bit.

Freedom and Passion in Creating Dreams – The Key to Entwining Your Future

freedom to achieve dreamsWhen you look at a corporate office or perhaps you have opened a magazine or you browsed a website, you see what seems to be a ‘perfect life’ for someone. You might also see someone reaching his dreams. Suddenly, you just feel that string of being unsure of yourself. Suddenly, you just feel a streak of low self-confidence in you, that someone else looks like they have the ideal state of reaching their dreams with the perfect opportunity while you are there, struggling to keep your head above the water. Believe us, you are not alone.

Some people have found a realization in the process of reaching their dreams. Some people just don’t. But, you have to know that there is one insight out there that puts someone above the others. Sometimes the feeling of being limited can paralyze you from reaching your dreams. However, when you understand the true meaning of lack of restrictions, you will start living by it. You will finally allow finding yourself in your career path. You have to realize that there are no rules. You need to live with the fact that freedom does exist.

Creating Your Dreams with Passion

You desire for excitement. You yearn for change. You have this big dream in you continually flowing like a secret fountain of youth. Having a dream is potent, beautiful and energetic – but at the same time, it can also be frustrating and exhausting, especially when you are trying to fit in the industry where competition is high. We know passion will keep you recharged and going. Passion is going to pump up your inspiration and motivations, making you feel like a huge part of the group of people chasing their dreams. Then, you realize that when the sense of freedom and passion sprouts in you, you suddenly feel hopeful. So, what is next? You need to find the medium of making that dream come true.

This is what Middle East Talents Awards is all about. We thought that it is one medium for the younger generation who want to be somebody in the digital arts industry. Yes, we want to make you feel like you are catching the stars. We want to make you feel like you are running in the field, trying to reach for the sky stretching right before your eyes. Some of you may feel like this is next to impossible and believe us, this is where most dreamers like you give up. But, you also have to believe us that the distance between your life now and the future is never that far. You just have to believe that you are capable of doing so, and that you are choosing the right paths to take.

Middle East Talent Awards isn’t just a competition. We want to motivate you on the positive side of ambition and desire to succeed. We want to keep you excited rather than feeling the pressure of life’s challenges. Be a part of your dream. Feel the freedom. Sense the passion. Create your dream. Entwine with your bright future.

Pixelhunters & Middle East Tallents Awards in a collaboration with ANIMAGO AWARDS

animago AWARD 2014 – Participate now!

Here we go: DIGITAL PRODUCTION, German trade magazine for digital media productions and visualisation, is already in the FINAL CALL FOR ENTRIES for the 18th animago AWARD. And you’re invited to register online at www.animago.com for the 2014 contest. The registration deadline for submissions is July 21, 2014.
More than 1,000 submissions in 2013, which were sent to us by international digital artists from 66 different countries – what a great recognition for our project. The animago AWARD has indeed now firmly established itself as a major name across the entire globe. Last year, the animago celebrated a record number of submitted productions and once again reflected a fantastic range of themes that showcased not only the inspiring creativity of the artists but also their outstanding technical performance and skill.

Especially we like to call attention to “BEST YOUNG PRODUCTION”. Each year this category is endowed with prize money € 3,000. Each person of the winner team additionally will get a RenderCube sponsored by our partner CADnetwork.
Also a big Thank You goes to Dell & Nvidia. They will be sponsoring the category “JURY´S PRIZE” and the lucky winners will receive a Precision Workstation M3800 with a high-performance NVIDIA® Quadro® graphics card.

Participation is free of charge and worthwhile for both professionals and newcomers. Individuals who send in their productions are not just subjecting their work to the vote of the independent jury; they are also taking advantage of the opportunity to showcase their abilities within the industry. The ceremonial animago AWARD gala on October 16, 2014 at the Potsdam-Babelsberg Media City is the climax of the two-day animago AWARD & CONFERENCE.

Click here for all Information & categories:
Please use this link: http://service.digitalproduction.com/dp/web.asp?C=3104

Click here to get inspired by our animago TRAILER
Please use this link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YD3TlGi28gE

Website: www.animago.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/animagoAWARD 
Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/animagoAWARD

Download More Information here:

Pixelhunters & FUNN Sharjah Media Arts for Youth and Children in collaboration for Middle East Talents Awards

We are very pleased and excited to announce that Pixelhunters is now in collaboration with FUNN Sharjah Media Arts for Youth and Children (www.funn.ae)– an organization under the patronage of Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher Al Qasimi, wife of His Highness, the Ruler of Sharjah that promotes media art for the youth of Sharjah and United Arab Emirates.

Governed under Sharjah Islamic Culture Capital, FUNN works on its vision towards nurturing the future generation of creative artists in media and film.
The first Middle East Talents Awards created a huge hit among young artists and thriving individuals in getting their skills seen across the world. This year, we would like to announce that META will coordinate with FUNN to bring about the best of our youth in media arts.

Middle East Talents Awards will help in supporting and promoting Sharjah International Children’s Film Festival – an event hosted by FUNN to develop young film makers and digital artists amidst this highly competitive industry. The film festival is to encourage and promote the media literacy of young generation, cultivate children’s sense of creativity and show their skills in filmmaking.

In relation to this, short films created by children participating in Middle East Talents Awards will also have the chance to be showcased to FUNN’s film festival. A representative from their organization will also become one of the judges for META’s next season of awards.

Just like FUNN, Pixelhunters will conduct workshops on computer animation during their festival – all free of charge. This is to continue to impart our knowledge and expertise to the children who are showing interest in digital arts. We are happy to be a part of this collaboration while we continue to push through our educational activities for the youth.

Career path for young people

Knowing What Hinders Them and How to Deal With It Have you started thinking about which career to take?

 

Some people may think that choosing a career path might be as easy as picking a major. Well, this is not generally the case. Planning your career is a little bit complicated and is considered a tough process by most individuals. This is the reason why you should take the steps needed and act accordingly in a very attentive way.

 

One good example are young individuals showing their interest in the arts industry. The evolution of digital arts in that matter brought about hundreds of young people wishing to take part in the breakout. The thing about digital arts industry is that it changes constantly. It is dynamic by nature. Without professionals to teach young minds, one digital artist can never ride along the bandwagon of innovation. It is due to this example that you should study your field well and know how to catch up with it. This is also the reason why one digital artist should consider scouting for internship opportunities in order to go along with the updates and trends.

 

Yes, there are different programs that have been developed by companies and universities in order to help young people jumpstart their career. Moreover, these choices allow young jobseekers to narrow their choices and find a path that yields success. However, just like any path, there is always a rough part of the road. It is common to see a lot of young individuals facing challenges and it is more common to see them feeling lost. If you are in this situation, then learn to do something about it.

 

Survival of the Fittest for Young People in the Job hunting Market

 

During the current economic climate which is originally described as the most challenging labour scenario for young people, market researchers found out that most of these young jobseekers are overwhelmed with high competition, low demand and speed of digital process of recruitment that seems like moving faster than ever. Because of the vast competition, it is a little bit challenging for these young individuals to catch up with the highlights in the labour market.

 

There has been many researches that highlight the hardships these young people face in today’s job hunting arena. With a competitive economy, most individuals find it a little bit daunting to enter the work force, making it vulnerable for young ones to fall on underemployment and even unemployment at its worst.

 

Competition- It is indeed one of the challenges that these professionals face. In this digital era, the entire recruitment process has been made easier and faster. This is why some people seem to be unaware of the available job openings nearby their area. They also do not know that a quicker response to any job posting is required to determine success. This is particularly accurate in the digital arts market. Since most of these professionals are taking their game online, it follows that a fast moving process online also makes it available to almost everybody. In fact, these kinds of vacancies are easily filled, causing the employers to close the applications within few days and even hours.

 

Finding Employment in a Tight Economy

 

One of the best ways to jumpstart your career is to begin working on your passion projects during your free time. If you are a struggling digital artist, start it off. Having such activities and hobbies related to it will validate your diligence and efficiency. These are actually some of the qualities every employee is looking for. It could be related to any of the following:

 

• Participating in voluntary works related to your career

 

• Creating and building your online portfolio and blog posts

 

• Attending workshops and seminars

 

• Taking technical courses and scouting for open internships and trainings.

 

If you are going to engage yourself to these options, you will increase your chances of landing a job and even getting yourself ready. Sometimes, an individual who starts to interact with other people who share his passion is capable to get employed easily through recommendations or social media platforms sites such as Facebook and LinkedIn.

 

In a firm labour market, it is hard to get employed. Nevertheless, don’t stop sending your resume and portfolio. Take the proactive way of calling a possible employer or ask the employed people if their companies have openings or accept internships. If you are able to identify your strengths and determine which ones you like doing the most, you won’t make mistakes in taking your career path.

 

About Dr. Ani Atanasova:

 

Dr. Ani Atanasova is the CEO of LIFIHUNTERS & PIXELHUNTERS companies. She has a multi-faceted and multi-national background in science, culture, management, and a strong scientific background in the Quantum and Optoelectronics field. Dr. Atanasova is the United Arab Emirates’ Correspondent for the Young Business Leaders Organization France, she is the chair of the UAE Chapter of the International Game Developers Association, a core management team member of CEO Clubs UAE female division, and is a juror of the 2012-2013 International Business Awards, Stevie Awards and “A Design” Awards.

 

The original article you can find here: http://www.capitalbusiness.me/main/details/best-practices/197#.U43jEigXLsT

Middle East Talents Awards and The Story Mile – Reliving the Heritage

An Initiative of Zayed University & Pixelhunters – together to stimulate and promote the Emirati storytelling traditions.

We have always loved to be around the youth. It makes us want to help them achieve a brighter future by encouraging them to do what they are most passionate about. In our contemporary world, it is undeniable to see a lot of children and younger adults going towards the wrong road. Being individuals who want to inspire others can be one of the most fulfilling jobs we’ve had. It allows us to express the things that we think of as well as the things that we want to extend to the youth. This includes our principles and philosophies of life. We want to share it with others. This is the reason why we came up with different ideas on how to train and motivate the youth around us. This is the reason why we came up with Middle East Talents Awards. Middle East Talents Awards enables the youth to mold their minds, direct them towards the right way and help them do the right thing. In lieu with this, we have recently opened an idea with Zayed University. We have always wanted to work with young minds when it comes to art and we think telling and creating stories is one of its traditional forms of expression through words. We are used to be exposure to skilful individuals who make use of paints and visual applications to express their interest in art. When we had the chance to hear and see these amazing stories that tell lessons, we were in awe. Words are indeed a mighty way of expression. The Story Mile is an exhibition by the students of Zayed University that reveals tales of historical figures and events in light boxes along the seafront path. With its partnership with our very own Middle East Talents Awards, we dare to help these young artists reach more people through the power of the internet. We will post their stories along with their maker’s insights. We will make it closer to you. The Storyteller Club is set to revive the country’s jinn characters with its series of Emirati fairy tales and fables called the ‘Story Mile’. The first book in a three volume series was published by Zayed University and H.H. Sheikha Alyazia bint Sultan bint Khalifa Al Nahyan’s ZOWD Foundation and launched this year at the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair. In this modern society, we often forget our rich heritage and get lost with how modern fairy tales have been introduced to us since our childhood. Brionée LaThrop, Story Mile’s Program Manager got inspired to introduce the rich Emirati heritage to her students to bring back its memoirs and allow the younger generation to appreciate them once again. The project went to more than the four corners of their classroom as its initiative was commissioned by the Abu Dhabi Music & Art Foundation to yield more original stories for the Abu Dhabi Festival. Now, the Story Mile is more than a school drive. These tell tale stories of traditions reached the younger minds, allowing them to get to know more of their folklore. What is so special about these forms of arts is that the students are the creators of the stories, allowing them to express their modern form of art without losing touch with the old culture. Many times when people forget how we are molded by our ancestors, these kinds of stories tell them without leaving its readers bored. It tells a unique story with a simple lesson that can sometimes be forgotten in our modern age. This project by the Al Kharareef Storytelling Club aims to keep the city closer to its heritage and culture despite its continuous efforts to move forward in life. With our advocacy in Middle East Talents Awards and Pixelhunters, we dare to encourage everyone, not just the story creators but every dreamer to express themselves through art so that one day, no single young mind shall remain silent with their dreams sleeping. Support us in discovering the power of our youth!

Image from one8one.com

We have always loved to be around the youth. It makes us want to help them achieve a brighter future by encouraging them to do what they are most passionate about. In our contemporary world, it is undeniable to see a lot of children and younger adults going towards the wrong road. Being individuals who want to inspire others can be one of the most fulfilling jobs we’ve had. It allows us to express the things that we think of as well as the things that we want to extend to the youth. This includes our principles and philosophies of life. We want to share it with others. This is the reason why we came up with different ideas on how to train and motivate the youth around us. This is the reason why we came up with Middle East Talents Awards.

Middle East Talents Awards enables the youth to mold their minds, direct them towards the right way and help them do the right thing. In lieu with this, we have recently opened an idea with Zayed University. We have always wanted to work with young minds when it comes to art and we think telling and creating stories is one of its traditional forms of expression through words. We are used to be exposure to skilful individuals who make use of paints and visual applications to express their interest in art. When we had the chance to hear and see these amazing stories that tell lessons, we were in awe. Words are indeed a mighty way of expression.

The Story Mile is an exhibition by the students of Zayed University that reveals tales of historical figures and events in light boxes along the seafront path. With its partnership with our very own Middle East Talents Awards, we dare to help these young artists reach more people through the power of the internet. We will post their stories along with their maker’s insights. We will make it closer to you.

The Storyteller Club is set to revive the country’s jinn characters with its series of Emirati fairy tales and fables called the ‘Story Mile’. The first book in a three volume series was published by Zayed University and H.H. Sheikha Alyazia bint Sultan bint Khalifa Al Nahyan’s ZOWD Foundation and launched this year at the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair.

In this modern society, we often forget our rich heritage and get lost with how modern fairy tales have been introduced to us since our childhood. Brionée LaThrop, Story Mile’s Program Manager got inspired to introduce the rich Emirati heritage to her students to bring back its memoirs and allow the younger generation to appreciate them once again. The project went to more than the four corners of their classroom as its initiative was commissioned by the Abu Dhabi Music & Art Foundation to yield more original stories for the Abu Dhabi Festival.

Now, the Story Mile is more than a school drive. These tell tale stories of traditions reached the younger minds, allowing them to get to know more of their folklore. What is so special about these forms of arts is that the students are the creators of the stories, allowing them to express their modern form of art without losing touch with the old culture. Many times when people forget how we are molded by our ancestors, these kinds of stories tell them without leaving its readers bored. It tells a unique story with a simple lesson that can sometimes be forgotten in our modern age. This project by the Al Kharareef Storytelling Club aims to keep the city closer to its heritage and culture despite its continuous efforts to move forward in life.

With our advocacy in Middle East Talents Awards and Pixelhunters, we dare to encourage everyone, not just the story creators but every dreamer to express themselves through art so that one day, no single young mind shall remain silent with their dreams sleeping.

‘Story Mile’ project puts a fresh new spin on traditional Emirati tales

Mzraat Salama copy 2A host of Emirati folklore characters have been given a new lease of life through imaginative stories written and illustrated by students from Zayed University’s female campus. 

Members of the university’s Kharareef (Storyteller) Club have revived the country’s forgotten djinn characters with a series of Emirati fairy tales entitled ‘Story Mile’, which is set to be published this year by Zayed University.

Brione LaThrop, Story Mile’s Programme Manager, was inspired to re-introduce her students at the university to their rich Emirati heritage of storytelling after finding out how little her students appreciated them.

“Whenever I asked my students who their favourite characters from childhood were, they almost always responded with Disney characters,” she said. “When I asked them why traditional Emirati characters weren’t their favourite they looked at me in shock, saying ‘Why on earth would they ever be our favourite characters? Our parents told us they would kill us and eat us!’ That was always their reaction.”

Brione’s project became so successful that it expanded from a classroom initiative and led to a commission from Abu Dhabi Music & Art Foundation (ADMAF) to create original stories for the Abu Dhabi Festival.

After being displayed in the form of storyboards in Abu Dhabi’s Khalifa Park last month, the stories will be available in book form for the very first time at the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair, which opens on Wednesday at ADNEC.

“We had always planned to develop the Story Mile into books. It was a natural transition for the preservation of these tales and just another vehicle to allow us to re-introduce these cultural icons that make up the Story Mile back into Emirati storytelling tradition,” said Brione.

The university students were presented with 24 traditional Emirati characters and 42 themes. “As they only knew a handful of the characters, everyone wanted the same ones at first,” said Brione.

A definitive list of characters was compiled with the help of local historian and Master Storyteller Abdul Aziz Al Mussallam, who has been researching Emirati folklore characters for years and travels from emirate to emirate collecting oral stories. The characters were also authenticated as genuinely Emirati by the Department of Culture, Heritage and Information.

Umm Duwais, a female djinn character, is one of the most well known characters in Emirati folklore. She is described as a temptress with an enchanting scent and captivating beauty who lures cheating men to their death with bladed hands. Her terrifying character has been used in fables for years in Emirati culture as a warning to unfaithful men, as well as a threat to misbehaving kids. “I’ve never met an Emirati that hasn’t heard of Umm Duwais,” said Brione. “She is definitely the most iconic of them all.”

Despite the scary nature of many of the characters, Brione and her students were determined to show a different side to them with this project. “One of the reasons why the characters have died out over the years is because they were so terrifying,” said Brione.  “We all knew that in order for this project to be successful we would have to introduce different aspects to the characters.”

Students used different themes to create their own interpretations of their assigned characters. For example, one student chose to portray Umm Duwais as the guardian of Emirati love, while another portrayed her as an orphan protector who saves children from an abusive uncle.

“While the characters themselves have been around for hundreds of years, the stories are totally original,” said Brione. “We used themes to bring out different sides of the characters, like respect, integrity, selflessness, courage – universal themes that apply to every culture.”

Abu Ras, another well-known traditional Emirati character, is a guardian of the souq who traditionally catches thieves but becomes a defender of human rights for one of the stories.

Abu Ras punishes a man who abuses his servant by taking him back in time and making him work as a labourer, and the man eventually apologizes to his servant after spending time in his shoes.

“The moral of that story is nobody deserves to be mistreated,” said Brione. “We want the stories to have an impact.”

The book keeps alive stories in danger of being lost in the modern world, and Brione says: “I wanted my students to look at these characters as guardians that are here to safeguard Emirati values and heritage.” reem@7days.ae

  Abu Dhabi's storytelling tradition kept alive along the Corniche _ The National-1 Modern Emirati fables have an age-old message of respect for others _ The National-1 Modern Emirati fables have an age-old message of respect for others _ The National-2 Modern Emirati fables have an age-old message of respect for others _ The National-3 UAE's long-lost djinn find a new voice _ The National-1 UAE's long-lost djinn find a new voice _ The National-2