Canadian Education in Animation
To gain a well-rounded Canadian education in animation, the student needs to become acquainted with, if not entirely proficient in, a wide array of techniques. As the art form evolves, techniques are shared and new ones are developed, a situation that makes animation one that captures attention for a very long time.
A student is likely to begin a Canadian education in animation by learning traditional animation techniques. This form, also called hand-drawn, or cel, animation) was the mainstay of the animation business during almost all of the 20th century but computer animation quickly became more advantageous once that technology became widely available toward the end of the century.
Where traditional animation involves drawing, stop-motion animation uses objects instead. To accomplish this form of animation, objects are placed in strategic locations and positions before being photographed, to make one frame. The next frame typically uses those same objects but location and position are adjusted just enough so that, when frames are projected in quick succession, the illusion of motion is achieved.
With the advent of computer animation toward the end of the 20th century, the genre exploded with possibility as well as popularity. Today, some of the most popular animated movies are made with computerized animation and box-office receipts suggest a strong future for this type film.
Anyone undertaking a Canadian education in animation will quickly learn that, within each basic form, other techniques have developed, too. Many animators choose to specialize in one form or another but even more animators use a combination of several.
Both the stop-motion and computer-generated forms of animation usually employ more than one technique to complete a production. For full-length films and television shows, a team of specialists is usually needed, each contributing his or her special expertise to the overall production.
When pursuing a Canadian education in animation, it is wise to explore all the fundamental techniques as well as the sub-specialties within each category. This full-spectrum exploration gives the student a better realization of all the tools and techniques available and it’s very likely a student will develop a preference for one over the others.