A street-smart guide on how to break into the field of computer animation and digital visual effects, including candid tips from animators, producers, and directors working at today's top animation studios.
"It's never been easier to obtain the information that's necessary to get into this business. The things that you need to know and learn, and the people that can give that advice are more accessible than ever. It's a great time to get into this field. And all it requires on your part is to do it."
Brad Carvey / freelance animator and instructor
"There's tons of work out there. And it doesn't necessarily mean just doing title spots for your local cable station. There's lots of work in the high end of the business, and you can get there really easy if you push. Never imagine that it's unattainable. Because it is attainable."
John Allardice / Supervising Animator, Foundation Imaging
Library of Congress Catalog Card Number: 99-62471
Table of Contents [TOP]
"...The world of computer animation and visual effects is arguably today's hottest profession. Technology has pumped new life into the entertainment business, creating a cry for talented animators, artists and creative people of all kinds...Think of this book as your pocket mentor. You won't find any techniques or instructions on how to create animation in this work. What you will find is a gold mine of candid, practical advice that you can put to good use today - right now!..."
Chapter 1: GETTING STARTED
Learn how to prove your ability, why schooling should exercise both sides of your brain, how to choose a school for training, and more...
Chapter 2: SOFTWARE AND HARDWARE
Learn how to target your software skills, how to choose a computer for training, where to get advice, and more...
Chapter 3: DEMO REELS
Learn five secrets that will get your demo reel noticed, the most common demo reel mistakes, and more...
Chapter 4: GETTING THE JOB
Learn how targeting increases your chances of getting a job, how to handle yourself in an interview, getting an internship, and more...
Chapter 5: WORKING FREELANCE
Find out why many animators are choosing to work freelance, how to get your own share of the freelance pie, and more...
Chapter 6: SETTING UP SHOP
Learn how to set up a home-based animation business including choosing a name, incorporating, stationary, advertising, and more...
Chapter 7: YOUR PAYMENT POLICY
Learn three ways to ensure you'll get paid, and more...
Chapter 8: FINDING CLIENTS
Learn how to find, develop and manage clients, how to create a prospect list, controlling meetings, and more...
Chapter 9: PROJECTS
Learn how to manage a project from bidding the job to collecting your fee, and more...
Chapter 10: BUILDING YOUR BUSINESS
Learn ten client myths that can torpedo your business and how to handle them, the key ingredient that assures your success, and more...
A nod toward the many professionals who offered advice that appears in this volume, including animators, producers, and directors from Foundation Imaging, Will Vinton Studios, Rhythm & Hues, Station X, Blue Sky Studios, Metrolight Studios, Digital Muse, and more...
Appendix A: Animation Schools
A list of 46 of the top animation schools in the United States and Canada including addresses, phone and fax numbers, and website addresses.
Appendix B: Animation and Digital Effects Studios
A list of 110 of the top animation and digital effects studios who are looking for talented people like you including addresses, phone and fax numbers, and website addresses.
Appendix C: Additional Resources
A list of helpful magazines, books, directories, software, hardware, and organizations that will get you started on the path to success.
A comprehensive index of subjects, people, and topics disscussed in this book.
"I have been in the computer animation business for five years and I found this book to be an excellent reference on how to get in this field. The impressive number of quotes from industry professionals - telling it like it is - is sure to give anyone the confidence they'll need to succeed. In fact, industry veterans will find Myers' book especially useful. Let's face it, projects and companies come and go. This is not a stable business. This book is the perfect reference for industry veterans who want to move on to those dream projects with other companies. If and when I decide to venture out, this book is going to be my guide."
Chris Ohlgren, Master Animator/Will Vinton Studios
"As entertaining as it is informative, Dale Myers' book combines practical advice for animators with bits of perennial wisdom that could benefit anyone's life or career. So, read it and reap."
Charlie M. Meyers, Ph.D./Dept. Coordinator
Animation & Digital Media/Center for Creative Studies
"If you are even thinking about working in the computer animation business buy this book! There are lots of books on learning the programs, but this book tells you how to work in the business. There are single paragraphs, which if they save you just one major headache or failure are worth the price of the book. Although there is no substitute for experience, it is important to have a good map of the area you are getting into. Dale Myers' "Computer Animation: Expert Advice on Breaking Into the Business" is that guide. Donít even think about it, just buy it, read it and use it."
Alex Mark / freelance animator
"From pursuing the proper training and getting that first professional job to setting up your own animation studio, Myers has written a step-by-step process that should ensure success. The advice and comments from professional animators that appear throughout the book provide an invaluable real world perspective that has previously not been available to those just starting out in our business."
Steven D. Wild, President / Grace & Wild, Inc.
"Five stars! An instant classic! Myers has put together the definitive guide to turning your passion into a career that pays! Thorough, humorous, and loaded with insightful nuggets of information from people who are where you want to be. A must read for anyone looking to get into this business."
Bill Anderson / freelance animator
"Dale Myers' book is an invaluable asset for all 3D animators wanting to make it in the business. Those getting started will find it's a resource they return to repeatedly. Seasoned veterans will gain much insight into the animation trade. You'll find it will pay for itself many times over the first time you apply Dale's expert advise."
Jon Tindall / MetroGrafx Software & Animation
"A great book for beginners or experienced professionals. Dale's book looks at the entire world of computer graphics and animation from all points of view - what it's really like and where it's headed."
Bruce Branit / creative director, Digital Muse
"...the 'how-to' reference guide for getting started in an exciting, rapidly expanding computer age career..."
James A. Cox / Editor-in-Chief, Midwest Book Review
About the Author [TOP]
Dale K. Myers is a thirty year veteran of radio and television with more than a decade of experience as a freelance computer animator. Honored with three Emmy ® awards for his 1993 computer animated short, ROBO JR, Myers worked with Will Vinton Studios, where he served as Lead Animator on six of their award winning M&M ® commercials. In 2003, Myers' stunning computer animated recreation of the Kennedy assassination was featured in ABC-TV's 40th anniversary special, Peter Jennings Reporting: The Kennedy Assassination - Beyond Conspiracy which earned Myers his fourth Emmy ® award for "Outstanding Individual Achievement in Graphic and Artistic Design."
COMPUTER ANIMATION: Expert Advice on Breaking into the Business
by Dale K. Myers (ISBN: 0-9662709-6-7) 160 pp.