Another often asked question regarding coming to the NYFA animation program is “Do I need drawing and artistic abilities and skills in order to attend your school?”.
If you have art school and or drawing experience that is a definite plus as it indicates that you have above average ability to visualize your characters and scenes. We do have a life drawing class during our first semester as it’s very important to have a grasp of the human anatomy for modeling and animation.
For modelers drawing skills are a definite plus and if you can design a character and draw a decent turnaround, then draw him/her in an action pose and model the character accurately with correct topology then that’s a really nice thing to put on your reel. You may for instance see a job advertisement for a modeler with this addition: “Traditional art skills and ability to do draft occasional concept drawings/paintings would be a major plus”.
However I know some good modelers who are not such great draftsmen, and in allot of companies artists specialize and so one person does the drawings and another does the models.
As I said in a recent blog, artistic skills are not essential. Technical abilities are highly valued in the animation industry so you can be lacking artistically and still do well in such ares as shading and lighting, rigging, rendering and particle systems. These areas require good skills in scripting languages such as Python, Maxscript and MEL, and programing languages such as C++.
Robert Appleton, New York Film Academy 3D Animation School Instructor