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In recent years, the animation industry has taken a drastic shift away from using traditional art and

has moved towards using advanced technology as the method of choice for animation. While this shift makes the animation process much easier and less time consuming, it has angered many dedicated animators and old-fashioned audiences who fell in love with the movies made the traditional way. While digital animation has been practiced since the late 70s, it did not uickly become the popular method it is now. In !""#, when $i%ars &'oy (tory) was released, it became clear to the public that this was the future of animation. 'his stirred the traditional animation community as many professionals tried to learn the digital method uickly in order to avoid losing their *obs. +s a result, the animators who had technical knowledge were successful in switching to the computer. ,any artists who had been relying on their drawing skills in order to animate were not effective in the switch and lost their *obs. -evertheless, those artists who grew up watching traditional animation movies, such as those populari.ed by Walt /isney, may still entertain dreams of practicing traditional animation, and despite recent innovations, these careers still e%ist today in small pockets, and even thrive in some countries. + student who wishes to pursue a career in animation becomes faced with a decision to either learn the art of two-dimensional animation, also known as traditional, or the newer three-dimensional, &high tech) animation. While the similarities between these two styles of animation are evident to the naked eye, they differ greatly from each other in preparation and skill development, *ob availability, and work environment. 'hese factors should be e%amined closely before making educational and career decisions.

0irst, whether an animator is working in digital or traditional animation, a strong set of skills is needed1 however, they are very different skill sets and re uire differing amounts of training and education. 0or instance, in the ever competitive field of drawn 2traditional3 animation, skill and raw talent come before technical knowledge. If there is one thing that a traditional animator should know, it is how to draw. 'he vast ma*ority of *obs in traditional animation use common pencils and paper. 'aking a few drawing and animation classes is not going to land you the *ob, but having talent will. 4ittle to no education is re uired to become a traditional animator and many artists are self-taught. 4earning 5-/ animation, however, re uires a completely different skill set. -o drawing talent is needed but technical knowledge makes up the ma*ority of what employers look for in animators. 'he comple%ity of the software that is commonly used makes it difficult to teach yourself. In digital animation, a college education is highly recommended. ,any colleges now offer programs in digital animation because it has become a ma*or media industry and many available animation *obs re uire these degrees. (econd, the availability and kinds of *obs available differ tremendously depending on which animation track you choose to pursue. ,ost animators seek after *obs in film, but the 5-/ animation industry is booming with *ob opportunities outside of cinema. 'hese include6 contracts with the military, forensics, and in the medical field to name a few. In addition, the pay scale between these *obs does not differ greatly and how much you make is determined by how skilled you are. 7obs outside of film are more secure as well, but it comes down to personal preference whether the digital animator chooses to be secure and employed full-time or temporarily employed for pro*ects in entertainment. 8nfortunately for traditional animators, their field is limited to entertainment and advertising. 'he ma*ority of drawn animation e%ists in

television work and side film pro*ects, but is more popular overseas. +nimators must actively seek out these opportunities, because they are so few and far between. 'hird, the work environments in a digital studio compared to traditional ones are worlds apart. Working in a traditional animation studio can be a fun e%perience if you have a passion for drawing. +nimators are a team of talented and artsy individuals, and self-proclaimed &actors with pencils9. 'he work process consists of many positions as every frame must be drawn, inked, colored, and then filmed. ,ost of the steps are done by hand, unless a computer is used on some portions to speed up the process. :lose collaborations with co-workers and directors is necessary to keep a consistent style to the work. In contrast, the environment of a digital animation studio could be called an artsy computer lab. ;ecause of the e%tensive computer work, animators tend to be more computer savvy than artistic. 'he animators spend their days tediously tweaking 5-/ renderings on various programs to bring their creations to life. +lthough there is still collaboration between artists, it is not on the same scale as what is needed in a traditional studio. +lso, while the atmosphere is casual, animators run on a tight schedule to avoid spending too long on one area of their work. Whether an aspiring animator chooses to pursue digital or traditional animation, they can be assured that a somewhat profitable and fulfilling career awaits where they can put their creative talents to use. 'here are benefits and downsides to each form, it is up to the individual as to whether the educational re uirements and skills re uired, probability of finding a *ob in their desired field, and work atmosphere fits their particular personality and abilities.