August 01, 2022

Coding Career Spotlight: Animation


Using code to make images come to life

Most people understand that a coding education can set you up for a successful career as a software engineer. But a foundation in code can actually prepare you for all kinds of fulfilling careers across a broad spectrum of fields! For example, visual artists and illustrators can use a degree in coding to propel themselves into the world of animation.


Buzz Lightyear wasn’t born in a day. In fact, the charismatic space cadet from Toy Story was intricately designed on a computer screen by an army of animators. That adored astronaut is actually a series of still images manipulated to create the illusion of movement.

Animators, also known as multimedia artists or motion graphics specialists, create special effects, animation or other visual images using computers or other electronic tools. And animation isn’t restricted to children’s cartoons. Animators play integral roles on projects spanning from action movies and video games to television commercials, websites, mobile applications, virtual tours of architecture, and recreating crime scenes for forensics.


In order to give digital life to their creative ideas, animators must access both the artistic right and analytical left side of their brains. Not only do they need to have visual creativity and inspiration, they also need the technical skills to make that inspiration visible using animation software.


Right now, almost all animations are made by computers using computer graphics. And most animation studios – especially big movie studios! – generally work on tight timelines, meaning they’re constantly looking for ways to make their process more efficient. Animators who can code can contribute to that in many ways. For example, when programs glitch, an artist with a knowledge of code has a much greater chance of fixing that problem on the spot instead of needing to call in a technical director.

Keep an eye out in the coming weeks and months for more blogs in the Coding Career Spotlight series. You might be surprised to learn about all of the professional paths that open up with a coding education!