Before you even consider a career in this field first decide if you have what it takes. Do you like drawing and are you artistic? Natural talent is everything and if you are good at drawing you already have an advantage. Are you a fanatic at technology? Do you think out of the box? Can you apply yourself to hours and hours of repetitive tasks? To become a 3D animator, you need to be passionate, artistic and technology minded. You need to learn how to use a computer and be comfortable and capable of using new programs and/or Desktop Applications.
Most people start off first earning a qualification in fine art and/or animation. One of the most important aspects of training is taking courses in both 2D and 3D animation, creating storyboards, characters and models. Many students also elect to study anatomy which gives them a good in-depth knowledge of how people and animals move, something that can prove extremely helpful for emulating realistic characters.
3D animation about more than creating cartoons. Today it covers a wide range of fields such as video, games, website creation and of course the big earners – movies and television. In order to be employable, it is recommended that you decide on and then concentrate on studying a particular field, thereby honing your studies in one direction. Along the way you should build up a portfolio of work that encompasses your best work. An image creates an impression, if you want that job you need to prove you have the skills.
3D animation usually entails hours and hours of studio work and you should be able to work in a group, as part of a team and be able to take direction. It is rare that you will find an animator working alone. The nature of animation is such that it requires considerable man hours working to deadlines, the only way this can be accomplished is by large teams working together.
It is possible for animators to freelance, which makes this career much sought after. You do not need to work in an office, or even work office hours. However, before you can get to this stage you will need to prove your worth. Freelance animators are well paid, with good reason.
Study plays a vital role in becoming a 3D animator, but it is only once you start working that you start honing your skills. It is possible to bypass study completely, especially if you are very talented and have built up a fantastic portfolio. Remember though, 3D animation as a career is extremely competitive, so the more credibility you have behind you the better. A 3D animator never stops learning. With constantly updated and advancements in technology, 3D animators have to keep up to date constantly, they never stop learning.