In case you missed it, one of SA’s largest video games news websites, MyGaming.co.za, recently featured The Animation School in an article.
In the article, The Animation School’s principal Nuno Martins talks about animation in relation to games development, check it out!
The industry of animation and game design is blossoming in South Africa, and there are various paths open to those seeking a career in game development. As well as programming skills, animation itself is integral to a well-realised video game, and so for the artistic types, this is a viable career path into the game development industry.
MyGaming caught up with one of the SA’s most well-known institutes, The Animation School. The Cape Town-based Animation School is a training centre where students can learn the ropes and advanced elements of animation.
“The curriculum structure adapts to what’s happening in the industry,” said Nuno Martins, principle and co-founder of the Animation School. “For example, Walt Disney introduced an animation production pipeline in the early 30’s that is very similar if not identical to what most studios use today, however the tools which animators use have changed and continue to change and this is why The Animation School is constantly evolving.”
“If you don’t evolve you will fall behind,” added Martins.
MyGaming asked Martins if people would struggle or be at a disadvantage if they are unfamiliar or are not proficient with animation programs.
“We have mixed opinions about this; in some instances we feel that applicants should have some idea of how animation programs work as this will facilitate the learning process, however in another instance we feel that self-taught applicants develop bad habits in workflow which can be difficult to undo at a later stage,” explained Martins.
“We’d prefer applicants to develop their digital drawing skills, encouraging them to begin working with a digital drawing tablet,” Martins elaborated. “The digital drawing pipeline is now mainstream in most production pipelines and South Africans need begin drawing digitally within school level so that the transition to digital is seamless once they enter our diploma program.”
With regards to game design, Martins explained that while the curriculum doesn’t focus on video game development, it has paved the way for many students to enter the video game industry.
“We have through the years seen many applicants enter the diploma program to learn all aspects of animation which allows game developers to adapt to the lower resolution scenarios when entering the market,” said Martins.
“We can confidentially say that the majority of our students are interested in games but make the decision on whether to pursue a career in the game industry upon graduation. We have seen graduates easily enter the games industry with the skills they have learnt in our diploma program, and some have gone on to work for top gaming studios.”
Martins also offered up some advice for people looking to study animation, and particularly game design.
“Research your options clearly prior to entering a gaming career or any other career for that matter. Education is very expensive and we strongly suggest that applicants entertain every possible scenario before making the decision to register at a specific institution,” said Martins.
“Ask questions, talk to professionals that are already in the field you wish to enter, attend job shadows, join forums and blogs online, network with professionals and also please visit more than 3 educational institutions before making a decision.
“The gaming industry is one of the fastest growing industries in the digital age, meaning that you will need to find the institution that offers a curriculum that is both theoretical and practical as gaming requires equal balance between planning and production,” concluded Martins.