Learning the Right Tool for a Career in Animation

"With Animate Pro, I can work traditionally on paper and clean up using the software, or work directly on the computer and create a more graphic look." — Andrea Alcaraz, Student, Seneca College

Learning the Right Tool for a Career in Animation

How long have you been in this profession?

2 years, I’m in my 2nd year of school

What are your most important accomplishments?

Being accepted into an animation school in Canada has been one of my biggest accomplishments. Using the principles of animation and using them in a software like Animate Pro has been a huge accomplishment. Also doing a short film and trying to become a better artist.

Please describe how you were introduced to animation

I’ve been really impressed by animation films and cartoons since I was little. I always wondered how the animations were made. It wasn’t until my last year of high school that I found out the whole process behind scenes, and that there was actually a career on animation. It was amazing how they combined art, motion and technology at the same time. I started doing more research and decided that was what I wanted to do in the future.

How is the Animate Pro covered in your classroom?

The classes are given in the Mac labs. We started out by learning the workspace, buttons, controls, etc. During the first 2 or 3 weeks we learned traditional animation (using paper, vectorizing, cleaning up and coloring with the software) and animating directly on the computer frame by frame with a tablet. The rest of the course was focused on cut-out animation, compositing, exporting sound, lip synch, camera moves, etc. We had a final assignment where we had to combine everything learned during the semester, and animate a whole scene.

How big is your class? How old are your students?

My class has about 25 people. The range of age varies between 20 to 30 years old. Most of them are in their early 20´s.

History with the Animate Pro:

Do you create animation using Animate Pro only?

No. I also animate traditionally on paper, After Effects and I’m learning Flash.

Why did you choose to combine these products?

It depends on the project I’m working on and the style I’m going for. For example, I use After Effects combined with Photoshop for textures, but the animation is quite limited. With Animate Pro, I can work traditionally on paper and clean up using the software, or work directly on the computer and create a more graphic look.

What kind of animation projects do you create?

Mostly school assignments. Whenever I get some free time I try to experiment on my own. This past summer I did a short film about recycling which was lots of fun and helped me understand how the whole process of a film works.

What are your top five favorite features in Animate Pro?

Compositing, Animation disk and rotation tools, Pegs, Multiplane Camera, Xsheet, palette and colour features. I specially find the last one very useful for cut-out animation. If you try to change a certain colour, you just go to the library and pick another one

What Animate Pro’s features allow you to distinguish your animation?

Brushes: I like to play with the line quality of my designs, and with Animate Pro it is easy get different types of lines depending on the brushes and the texture used. Even though it’s a vector-based software, it keeps the traditional quality.

How fast was the learning curve for you?

Quite fast actually. I think the software is pretty user-friendly and straightforward. Working on my short helped me

How do you feel about Animate Pro?

I find Animate Pro as an amazing tool for animators. It definitely has had a positive impact in my overall animation skills, affecting also my classical animation.

In what type of animation studios are you looking for work?

I’d love to work in studios that use 2D animation for TV shows and films (like Nelvana, Elliot Animation, etc). Once I get the knowledge in the 3D area, I’d like to work for some studios like Pixar, Blue Sky, etc.

Equipment used:

Mac Book and Intuos Wacom tablet

About Andrea Alcaraz

Andrea Alcaraz was born in Mexico City. She has always been interested in art and design, but she never really got into it until a few years ago, when she decided that’s what she wanted for a career. Andrea moved to Canada by herself 3 years ago in pursuit of that dream. She is very proud of her roots and they inspire her a lot. Andrea always tries to put some of her culture in her ideas, concepts, drawings and animations.

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