Multimedia Artists and Animators


Education and Training Requirements

High School

If you are interested in working in the video game field as an artist or animator, you should take art and computer classes in high school. Math classes, such as algebra and geometry, will also be helpful. If your school offers graphic design classes, be sure to take those. Biology classes can offer the opportunity to learn about anatomy and physics can teach you about motion. Most artists and animators today have college degrees, so take classes that will help you prepare for a college education, including history, government, and English.

Postsecondary Training

Many people in this field have degrees in computer and video game design, animation, fine arts, or graphic arts. It is important to get a broad-based background in the arts, and traditional arts should not be overlooked. Classes in drawing, sculpture, painting, and color theory will teach you many of the basics artists need to know. Some schools offer classes in animation, and even if you don't plan on becoming an animator, these classes will be helpful to you later in your career. Naturally, computer classes are important to take, and you should try to learn about game art software, such as 3D Studio Max, as well as other software, like Photoshop. And even though artists and animators usually don't do game programming, take computer programming classes to at least learn the basics. The more you understand about all aspects of game development, the better able you'll be to make your artistic contributions enhance a game.

A growing number of schools offer courses or degrees in game design. Visit the International Game Developers Association’s Web site,, to find animation education programs.

Other Education or Training

The International Game Developers Association offers webinars for new members on a variety of game-related topics, as well as workshops at industry events. Contact the association for more information.

Certification, Licensing, and Special Requirements

Certification or Licensing

There are no certification or licensing requirements for multimedia artists and animators.

Experience, Skills, and Personality Traits

Any experience designing basic video games will be useful; an internship as a game design assistant will also be helpful.

Multimedia artists and animators must be creative and able to translate their imaginative ideas into visual representations. They should have a keen sense of color, be able to visualize things in three dimensions, and work as part of a group. Like all artists, they are able to give and receive criticism in a fair and impersonal manner. Curiosity and a willingness to learn are important traits that drive artists and animators to use new technologies or try different techniques to get just the right visual effect for something like a character's shadow. Artists and animators should also like to play games themselves. The enjoyment they get from playing, and an understanding of why they like to play games, helps them to be better game makers.