BMH Blog

What is Animation?


What is Animation?

Well, there is a clinical answer: the illusion of simulating movement using successive images.

And then, there is the preferred one: breathing life, intent and emotion into real or unreal objects, people, creatures, or anything for that matter. Even a leaf blowing in the wind can capture the essence of a particular emotion. Perhaps the leaf is not real, but we have captured the essence of something. This is not limited to the just the animation of the leaf. How the movement is framed and focussed with a camera; how the light is utilised to stage and direct the audience; how colour influences the mood; all of this contributes to the experience and interpretation of the animation.

What is taught in the Animation Diploma?

Limiting the Animation Diploma to the discipline of animating is wrong. The word ‘animation’ describes the movement of the character and ‘animated feature’ can also describe a genre of film. In any production; video games, short film, an animated feature or series; a lot more goes into the production pipeline than just the job of animating. Similarly, a lot more is taught throughout this 3 – year diploma. Understanding narrative, storyboarding, learning how to draw the human form, produce interesting characters in 3D and 2D, modelling and texturing environments, creating augmented reality experiences, are but a few modules contributing to this unique specialisation.

While the above areas can be bundled to produce a short animation from concept to final film the above learning points can be applied to other career paths and disciplines.

In a nutshell we teach students art, illustration and design fundamentals coupled with 2D and 3D tools and software to produce 3D characters, vehicles, environments, AR experiences, imagery and stories using a range of relevant industry skills.

Due to the technical and creative demands of this field, someone talented in drawing and technical problem solving is best suited. The industries diverse nature still allows for a heavy lean of either skillset. Only good at drawing? Become a concept or story board artist. Only good at technical hurdles? Become a rigging artist. Good at both? Choose your destiny!

What is the difference between Graphic Design and Animation?

To make it easier to understand, treat them as 2 different jobs expecting different responsibilities. From an academic sense, at Boston they are 2 completely different specialisations and courses.

The specialisations both utilise art fundamentals to produce content for very a different market and job description. There is a lot of overlapping and borrowing of skills across these disciplines however the final product and job responsibilities distinguishes them.

Need someone to animate a dog running into a meadow of flowers, get an animator. Need a website or interface designed for a mobile app, get a graphic/UX designer. Need an explainer video with some motion art and characters, get an animator that understands graphic design.

(To get a stronger sense of Graphic Design, please see here).

Where do animators or digital 2D/3D artists work?

Advertising agencies, animation production houses, video game studios, architectural firms, film studios, video and VFX/post-production houses, sculpting studios, due to the advent of 3D printing and additive manufacturing 3D artists can find some work here as well.

What skills do I need to pursue a career in gaming/film making?

  • A healthy attitude towards constantly learning and growing your skills.
  • Ability to receive criticism and work in a team.
  • The “12 Principles of Animation” is the keystone for all 2D and 3D animators.
  • Understanding human anatomy is helpful for character artists.
  • A keen eye for observation.
  • Design and art fundamentals are a huge benefit.
  • Strong sense of visual literacy.
  • Passion! Perseverance! Passion! Perseverance!