If you're considering taking the plunge, and signing up for 2D animation training this year, you're probably taking a hard look at your potential job options after graduation.
Many people think a career in film or television is the only option for 2D animators—but there are definitely other career paths you can pursue with quality training and a strong portfolio.
In this post, we'll walk you through 3 solid job options in 2D animation, with a spotlight on the Ottawa animation scene.
What kind of reputation does Ottawa have within the animation industry? What kinds of opportunities are available for talented, ambitious 2D animators? Let's take a look.
2D animation for film and television
Ottawa is a fantastic place to pursue a career in 2D animation for film and television. The Ottawa International Animation Festival is ranked the #1 film festival for animators in North America.
And the city is home to numerous high profile animation studios, including Mercury Filmworks, Jam Filled, Kratt Brothers Company, and Big Jump Productions.
Mercury has produced some of the world's most popular 2D animated television shows, including Disney's "The Lion Guard" and "Tangled: The Series".
Toon Boom calls Ottawa the "next animation capital" of Canada—and the ideal place to build a stable career, with a lower cost of living than major centres like Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver.
So what's it like to work in this industry?
Just starting out as a 2D animator for film and television, you can expect to work under an Animation Director, Key Animator, or Senior 2D Animator.
In many cases, you'll be following a brief and working with an established set of characters. But as you gain experience and skill, there will be opportunities to suggest storylines and design your own characters.
In an entry-level 2D animator role, your responsibilities will include:
- modelling specific parts and shapes required by the script
- creating frames and characters
- applying your knowledge of timing, weight, and posing
- choosing different textures, colors and lighting for the animation
- using 2D animation software like ToonBoom Harmony, Adobe Flash, and After Effects to create and edit images
- working closely with other team members, such as 3D artists, graphic designers, producers, animators, and technical departments
- working under pressure and within tight deadlines
- dealing with production issues and solving problems
As an entry-level 2D animator for film or television, you'll need to follow direction well, and be very open to criticism. Working with more experienced animators will offer excellent opportunities to make industry connections, enhance your skills, and open up more advanced job roles.
2D animation for websites & marketing
Let's say you don't land a job in TV or film straight out of 2D animation college, but still want a challenging job that lets you use your hard-earned skills.
You might consider working for a website design firm or marketing agency. More than ever, animation and illustration are being used to create more beautiful, impactful, and unique websites.
Animation is also used for marketing videos, product demos, and to explain the value or function of a particular service. Tons of companies use 2D animation to sell and promote their offerings, and capture the imagination of potential customers through story-telling.
There's potential for great creativity and technical precision in this kind of work. And the application of 2D animation in marketing is only expected to grow in the coming years.
2D animation for video games
Love video games and plan to make a career out of it after 2D animation training? There's definitely demand for your skills in this industry. In particular, the social mobile gaming world is growing fast, and always looking for top animation talent.
If you pursue a job in video game 2D animation, your daily work will include tasks like:
- creating a variety of 2D assets, including characters, props and backgrounds, ranging from concepts to game-ready art
- help develop new features and ideas for games
- contribute to promotional materials and marketing efforts
- help with branding and visual display
- design concepts for mobile and web platforms
- use Illustrator, After Effects, and Photoshop
- collaborate with a production team and artistic director to brainstorm new game concepts
Canada is the third largest video game producer in the world, and Ottawa is quietly becoming a strong player in this industry. In 2017, the city hosted the Canadian Videogame Competition & Expo, where participants were surprised to learn how many popular games had their roots in Ottawa.
There are about 23 video game companies in Ottawa, including well known studies like Breakfall and Snowed In.
In 2017, these two companies, along with 3 others, moved into a collective developer space to share resources and further grow the Ottawa gaming industry. This new alliance is located in Hintonberg, and called the The Capital Game Hub.
There's no doubt that gaming is a very competitive industry, and breaking into 2D animation jobs can be a challenge for recent grads—but there is definitely a thriving scene and solid opportunities in Ottawa for talented and persistent animators.
More information about 2D animation careers & training in Ottawa
Haven't begun training yet, and want more information about 2D animation careers and diploma programs in Ottawa?
We're happy to provide advising services to anyone considering a career in 2D animation. Our goal is to help students determine whether this training is right for them, and better understand their job options in the Ottawa area.
Chat live with an Admissions Advisor right now to get started. Or click below to explore the 2D Animation program. We're here to help!