Unit 11: task 1
Evaluate them – what do they tell me about yourself?
When looking at the tasks I have conducted, I can see that I am influenced by a lot of different animators with different genres, along with other creators with different disciplines like game developers, sound designers, etc. This is probably because I admire people who put a lot of dedication into their work and have an artistic flair; I have also discovered that I am interested in exploring characters in animation, such as the way they move and express themselves, allowing the audience to understand the character better.
What Strengths do they highlight?
The task I have conducted highlight my strengths in researching, such as researching new techniques and methods or researching people and products. They also highlight strengths in Photoshop, communication, teamwork and documentation.
What skills do I have currently?
The skills I currently have are Photoshop skills, After Effect skills, Illustrator skills, Premier skills.
What are my ambitions career wise?
I would like to create and direct my own animated show and have it broadcast on TV or on a online platform like Netflix
What is my perfect job? Detail it, and then find out about what skills does it want?
My perfect job for me would be working as animation director at Adult Swim, the closes thing I could find: Director, Development – Boomerang. It says:
“Responsible for the creative stewarding of all key Boomerang series. Provide creative guidance/notes to the creators and serve as their network story editor and their conduit to other departments (Standards and Practices, Legal, etc…) at Turner through premise, outlines, storyboards, animatics, workprints and finals. Act as the conduit between Network and WB Studios, managing relationships and provide relevant strategic data such as delivery, creative direction, stunt opportunities, and character/show positioning to all divisions both domestic and international. Serve as Boomerang oversight and key creative liaison for WBA and/or key partner series as assigned.” (Director, Development – Boomerang, n.d.)
BA degree or equivalent work experience in a related field.
4+ years of hands-on creative production experience or related areas in comedy/animation/children’s entertainment.
Network or studio experience in either current or development in a management capacity.
Must be very well informed on all aspects of the animation industry as well as comedy, kids entertainment and pop culture as it applies to our audience.
Possess strong written and verbal communication skills, and a strong knowledge of story.
(Director, Development – Boomerang, n.d.)
Research, what does it require from my skills wise, to be able to consider fulfilling my ambition as a career?
To become an animation director which is someone who recruits and coordinates animation teams, they review all the work the team produces and decides whether it’s good enough. They also work with the main director by interpreting briefs and communicating them to the animation teams. “Animation director is one of the highest positions in the animation industry. Talent, creativity, and management ability are essential, as well as a bachelors or master’s degree in animation and/or film. The right degree, talent, and management ability are just the beginning. Animation directors usually have a minimum of five to seven years’ experience in the industry before advancing to this position. Because they must be familiar with how all departments work, animators on the path to becoming animation directors will likely perform tasks in all departments ranging from in-betweener to entry-level animator and up.” (Burton, 2015)
What skills do you need to develop?
The skills I would need to develop would be my animation skills, my management skills, my verbal and written communication skills and my organization skills.
What do I want to do?
I want to improve my knowledge, skills and experience in animation, specifically 2D animation. I also want to improve my storyboarding skills, my organization skills and my time management skills.
How are you going to do it?
By setting up my final major project to focus around these areas, that way I can do research into the subjects whilst also applying it to my project. I can also practice animation and storyboarding at home by setting up mini tasks through each month, practicing certain techniques, methods and processes.
Produce a career timeline, detailing what you would hope would be your career path, so that you are able to reach your goal and achieve your ambition.
- Finish digital design and animation course with a distinction
- Practice animation and storyboarding over the summer
- Begin Animation BA course at Farnham University of Creative Arts
- Finish the course and either form a team and create a studio or join an already existing studio as an employee or assistant and work my way up.
- Once I’ve been in the industry for a couple of years and I have good knowledge of the industry, start to pitch shows and ideas, and hope to get accepted.
Unit 11 task 2
Animation has played a key part in my life since an early age, although it was not until I began studying Digital Design and Animation that I began to appreciate its influence on me. I first discovered that I was interested in animation when looking back at myself, my choices and what I have pursued previously; I have always been interested in cartoons, anime and stop motion; I enjoy doing character design and have pursued art.
Over time, I have developed an interest in people, how they act and feel, their facial expressions and body language, which is something that I am interested in exploring through my creative work. I am also interested in world-building and enjoy creating worlds and universes full of interesting rules and characters; I have done this within my own time, writing up my own ideas and designing characters from them. Because of this, I have realised animation is what I should pursue as a career and this would allow me to explore these interests. From my interests, I have spent time studying anatomy, researching character design, experimenting with 2D animation and learning about scriptwriting. I have explored this for my Final Major Project in my first year, which was to create an interactive comic. For this, I studied layout, colour theory and digital techniques, such as using programs like Photoshop and learning about Madefire’s motion book tool.
My course has helped me to develop many other skills. I have completed projects using After Effects, Adobe Premiere, 3DS Max, InDesign and Audacity. I have also developed skills in sound production, video editing and photography. At college, I have learnt to work independently and in a team which I have demonstrated in my final major project which is all independent work and in a recent project which I had to film with a group to create an interactive promotional video. From the interactive promotional video project, I have learnt how to record with a group, how to set up a green screen and use it, how to operate lights and adjusting them for specific effects, and how to key footage on After Effects, along with other techniques such as creating mask paths, text paths, animating objects and compositing other materials. In my first year of college I achieved a distinction for my final major project, this was because I was able to stay calm and work under pressure. I am dyslexic, this has made studying more of a challenge, my passion for media has helped me to succeed in my education. Before I began media, I have been using my dyslexia as a strength in creative and practical courses, I’m able to visualize and problem solve, I look at things as a whole rather than pieces.
I have independently created a short animation using Photoshop which is on my online portfolio, it is frame by frame animation that lasts for 15 seconds, it is about a rusty robot having trouble with its jaw. My tutor has asked me to give a tutorial on how to do frame by frame animation on Photoshop to the first years. I partake in events like PencilMania which is a weekly challenge designed to put our creativity and drawing skills to the test. I have also explored different creative techniques, such as data moshing and glitching, using corrupted data to create interesting visual effects. I have achieved Duke of Edinburgh bronze and silver. I volunteered at the Red Cross charity shop in my local area, this has improved my communication and organizational skills. I have a part-time job, working with my parents on their campsite through the summer. This job has provided me with valuable experience of working independently and working under pressure. My skills, knowledge and experience have helped me become the person I am today and I hope to use these throughout my studies and my career. Now that I have found my passion for animation and media, I am excited to continue my studies and embrace the opportunities that university brings for my personal and creative development.
What universities I applied to and why?
The universities I applied to are Farnham University, De Monforte University and London College of communication. I applied to London College of Communication because of the amount of resources available and where the University is located as it would allow me for many opportunities to gain experience. I applied to De Monforte the status I heard about and the work that I had seen produced by the students; for the last university (Farnham University), I applied to it because of the way the course works, the equipment and rooms available, and the creative community I heard about.
Different traditional methods of progression
There four different traditional methods to progress through the industry, the main two methods that most people use are Apprenticeships and Internships. Apprenticeships are like a job but with low pay, this is because at the same time you are being taught how to work in the industry, learning new skills and gaining experience in the industry. This can also be a great way of introducing yourself into the industry; an internship is like an apprenticeship, except its more about the training as it can grant a position in the company you are working for and there are some internships that don’t pay.
The last two methods are applying to the company directly or working with an agency; applying directly to a company is as it describes, applying to the company by email or other means of contact. This is not the most effective way, however if one does succeed in impressing the company’s employers, they are sure to get into the industry. An agency is sort of the same, except you use the agency to look open jobs that are at certain companies, making it a lot easier to find a company looking to employ and increasing your chances at success.
Using one of those methods to find a possible vacancy
I used an agency to find a job as a junior animator, here is a link to the job:
The reason I would apply for this would be to increase my experience within the industry and gain some knowledge and skills in animation that I wouldn’t be able to get in education.
What are non-traditional progress methods?
Non-traditional methods are using Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and other social or online media platforms to create a portfolio of your work to be shown to the public, this intern shows what skills and experience you have with your chosen discipline and can convince employers to try and hire you for your skills.
Cold call letter
Dear Neil Kidney
I am writing to you because I believe I will be a reliable asset to your studio with my knowledge and experience with animation; the reason why I want to apply to your studio is because I enjoy your animated works and I am interested in seeing the processes your studio uses to create these animated shorts. I will be able add on to the 2D animation types, such as frame by frame animation, allowing your company to have a wider variety in animation.
My skills include being able to use Photoshop and After Effects to animate, I can storyboard, I can create concept art, create scripts and draw quick sketch ideas. I am also able to work in a team and do independent work, I am able to work under pressure from deadlines, I am a fast learner, a good listener, I am dedicated to my work and I am very punctual. This can be shown through my last two years of my college as I have nearly a 100% in my attendance; for my proof Photoshop skills and After Effects, I have created an interactive comic book by creating assets like panels and extra parts to lay over those panels, in Photoshop. For After Effects, I have created my own version of the terminator title sequence; I have also created an interactive promotion video, using After Effects to create the effects. These projects contained deadlines which I had to stick to which I have done successfully.
I would be incredibly happy if you were to offer me a job at your studio, my CV is attached to this email for you to get better information on me and please contact me via email, if you decide you would like to interview me.
Unit 11 Task 3
Student attending at Canterbury College
Course: Digital design and Animation Extended Diploma
I am a Student currently focusing on improving his chosen main discipline skills which is animation; I am a very ambitious, hardworking individual which can be seen through my work on my previous projects on the current course I’m on and how I have handled with my own weaknesses such as my dyslexia, which I have now turned into a strength. My interests are in animation, such as animated movies, cartoons and anime; I am also interested in gaming, socialising with others and spending time alone.
I’m looking to join an animation studio to improve my knowledge and experience with animation, along with better understanding of the animation industry.
Homewood School & Sixth Form
I have experience and skills in using 3Ds max, Adobe Premier, After Effects and Photoshop, I also know photography, filming, sound design and writing scripts.
Strengths and weaknesses
– I am very creative
– I work well in a team and independently
– I’m good at meeting deadlines
– I can stay calm under pressure
– I am well organized
– Sometimes I find it hard to stay focused
– My dyslexia can sometimes cause small spelling mistakes
Cold call letter
Dear Madam or Sir
I am writing to because I want to apply for the job vacancy, Junior runner as I believe this will be the best route towards my goals in the media industry. I believe I will also be a reliable asset as I am a quick learner, I always work at my full and I always try to keep a good attendance, I also process skills and experience with creating media, such as using certain software like After Effect, Adobe Premier and Photoshop, and having experience in filming, photography and sound recording.
For my proof Photoshop skills and After Effects, I have created an interactive comic book by creating assets like panels and extra parts to lay over those panels, in Photoshop. For After Effects, I have created my own version of the terminator title sequence; I have also created an interactive promotion video, using After Effects to create the effects. These projects contained deadlines which I had to stick to which I have done successfully. My career goal in the media industry is to be an animation director and to create my own animated show, which is why it is important to learn more about the industry and to learn the necessary skills used by directors and other media employees that have transferable skills that are similar to my career goals. This is why I believe it would be best for me to be a runner, so I can observe.
I would be very happy if you were to accept my offer for the job at BBC, my CV is attached to the email for you to get better information on me and please contact me via email, if you decide you would like to interview me.
Social media presence
My YouTube account is very minimal in its content; however, it is a good way of presenting my finished animation work as it is video.
My Youtube channel contains seven videos, three of them being results of experimenting with different ways to create the illusion of speed, the techniques are using blur lines, smearing and creating multiples.
One of them being a rotoscope which I created to see how the perspective changes as the camera tracks a target walking past it.
Two of the videos are walk cycles that uses different animation types and methods, one is a walk cycle that was created by first making the character’s limbs, body and head in illustrator, then transferring those layers to After Effects where I animated them. The other walk cycle was made by first creating the key frames of the walk cycle by using acetate, then scanning them into the computer and putting it into photoshop where I added the in-between frames by using a graphics tablet to draw them.
The last video was a quick simple animation I created of a robot, this was only done to gain more experience at animation and learn from my mistakes.
My Instagram is again minimal in its content but this is because it is also more personal; it does range through animation I have done, the processes of those animations.
I have three pieces, one is a photo of a 8 bit GIF I created using Pixly, I could not publish the GIF on Instagram as it does not support GIFS.
Another one is a video of the rotoscope I created whilst applying 2D animation techniques, it shows the key frames I first created, then the fully completed rotoscope.
The last piece is again a video of one my animations I created, it was done to allow me to gain more experience in creating animation and was putting into practice the timing used in animation.
Unit 11 Task 4
Looking at the work I have produced for unit 11, the portfolio, the CV and the letter, evaluating them and detailing their strengths and weaknesses.
Looking at the portfolio, I believe it is very limited but shows off some of my good projects and other pieces I have worked very well. I believe this is a good way of presenting myself through the work I have done, this because a portfolio shows the skills you have learnt, the experiences you have and how passionate you are in your main discipline. However, there are also weaknesses to it, it is not able to show our transferable skills and it isn’t as descriptive about who you are as a CV or cold letter.
Looking at the CV, I believe I have done alright with showing who I am, the skills and experiences I have and the basics of a CV like my grades; however, I believe I could improve it if I had time to get feedback on it. A CV is a good way of giving a quick detailed description of who you are, it can show the skills and experiences they have required, it shows their transferable skills they have required, it can give the employer a good idea on who you are as a person and whether you will be a good addition to the company, and it can show the grades you have required which can be used in the job, e.g. English, Maths, etc. However, the CV also has weakness which is that it can sometimes not give the employer a full understanding of what the employee is capable of, unlike a portfolio.
Looking at the cold letter I have required, I believe I have done very well in addressing the company, showing how I can be a reliable employee, the skills and experiences I have and how passionate I am for the job. The cold call letter is a good way of introducing yourself to the company, it can show the skills and experiences you have and it can sometimes make the employers ask for an interview or have a look at your portfolio. The weaknesses to a cold call letter is that it may not always score you an interview and it doesn’t show as much information as a CV.
Which is most productive?
Believe that the most productive way to present yourself is through a portfolio, this is because it is able to give a better understanding of your skills and experience through the work, at the same time showing proof of these skills and experience.
However, they each out preform each other in different case scenarios as they are all design for different occasions such as the CV is used for applying for job vacancies and showing that you are worth the interview. A portfolio usually also goes with the CV or you bring it with you for the interview, that way it allows you to prove your skills and experiences you talked about in your CV, and be able to explain it better to the interviewer. A cold call letter is suited for applying to a company that is not looking for employees as it is designed to introduce yourself to the company and make it relevant that you want to be an employee.