Multimedia Artist and Animator

multi  media artists and animators

Multimedia artists and animators use their creativity and tech savvy to construct visual effects and animations for TV, movies, commercials, games and more. They rely on a flurry of different software programs as well as more rudimentary artistic techniques to build the most realistic and vivid scenes and designs for a particular project. They typically work in teams that can vary in size depending on the scope of the project, ranging from vast groups for feature films to smaller teams of two or three for shorter commercials.

Multimedia artists and animators may require specialized knowledge about software programs to pursue a career. Online courses may teach you about the broader concepts necessary to build an understanding of these tools. Moreover, online classes are often more flexible for individuals with busy schedules. This may make schooling a reasonable option for those with children, full-time jobs or other important responsibilities.

Are Online Multimedia Artist and Animator Programs for You?

Here are some things to consider when choosing an online multimedia artist and animator program:

  • Professional multimedia artists and animators typically have a bachelor's degree in computer graphics, art, animation or a related field, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics[i].
  • However, many employers may consider other professional distinctions - such as an impressive portfolio and proof of technical skill - to be more valuable in the hiring process.
  • Experience may often be one of the factors that sets job seekers apart from one another while pursuing a career in multimedia art and animation. Therefore, a learning opportunity that offers hands-on experience with software programs and trained professionals may be critical.
  • At the same time, some animation studios use their own homegrown software and programs to complete work. In these scenarios, on-the-job training is often necessary, and employees may be charged with proving their technical proficiency before they are hired permanently.

Multimedia Artist and Animator Career Paths and Potential Salaries

There are many career paths you may choose to pursue after attending online courses in a multimedia artist and animator program. While many online routes may teach you the basic tenants of designing and animating material for a show, commercial, movie or the like, there are a wide variety of very specific careers and positions - from compositors to 3D artists - that work under the general umbrella of multimedia art and animation.

Multimedia Artists and Animators[i]
From a very basic perspective, multimedia artists and animators construct visual effects and animate elements in a piece of video for TV, movies, video games, commercials and other forms of media. 

  • 2012 median annual salary: $61,370
  • Job growth through 2022: 6 percent (slower than average)
  • Entry-level education: Bachelor's degree

Graphic Designers[ii]
The main difference between multimedia artists and animators and graphic designers is that the former works with video while the latter mainly works with still images. Graphic designers primarily use computer programs to produce captivating images and materials for advertisements, brochures, magazines, corporate reports and more.

  • 2012 median annual salary: $44,150
  • Job growth through 2022: 7 percent (slower than average)
  • Entry-level education: Bachelor's degree

Art Directors[iii]
Art directors typically occupy an administrative and creative role for a company. Not only do they work on and approve artistic and design elements for newspapers, advertisements, movie, television production or other project, they also develop a necessary timeline and a budget for these endeavors. The art director normally has final say over matters of overall style and tone for a given project.

  • 2012 median annual salary: $80,880
  • Job growth through 2022: 3 percent (slower than average)
  • Entry-level education: Bachelor's degree

[i] http://www.bls.gov/ooh/arts-and-design/multimedia-artists-and-animators.htm#tab-7

[ii] http://www.bls.gov/ooh/arts-and-design/graphic-designers.htm 

[iii] http://www.bls.gov/ooh/arts-and-design/art-directors.htm