Powerful Geography
Multimedia Artists and Animators

Multimedia Artists and Animators

Multimedia Artists and Animators

Main Topic: Human Geography
Secondary Topic: Environment and Society

Overview:  Multimedia artists and animators create two- and three-dimensional models, images that appear to move, and visual effects for television, movies, video games, and other forms of media. Multimedia artists and animators often work in a specific medium. Some focus on creating animated movies or video games. Others create visual effects for movies and television shows. Creating computer-generated images (known as CGI) may include taking images of an actor’s movements and then animating them into three-dimensional characters. Other animators design scenery or backgrounds for locations. Artists and animators can further specialize within these fields. Within animated movies and video games, artists often specialize in characters or in scenery and background design. Video game artists may focus on level design: creating the look, feel, and layout for the levels of a video game. Animators work in teams to develop a movie, a visual effect, or an electronic game. Each animator works on a portion of the project, and then the pieces are put together to create one cohesive animation. Some multimedia artists and animators create their work primarily by using computer software or by writing their own computer code. Many animation companies have their own computer animation software that artists must learn to use. Video game designers also work in a variety of platforms, including mobile gaming and online social networks. Other artists and animators prefer to work by drawing and painting by hand and then translating the resulting images into computer programs. Some multimedia artists use storyboards or “animatics,” which look like a comic strip, to help visualize the final product during the design process. Many multimedia artists and animators put their creative work on the Internet. If the images become popular, these artists can gain more recognition, which may lead to future employment or freelance work. Geography is important for multimedia artists in understanding relationships between people, places, culture, and economics, and how successful design of models, visuals, and other creative works are dependent on sensitivity to location.  Many CGI, for example, are location-based, and effective artists should have a well-rounded grasp of both physical and human geography, and all their subsets, in order to model that space virtually.

Geographers at work:  Physical geographer, industrial geographer, cultural geographer, economic geographer, environmental geographers, human geographers

Recommended College Courses:  Economic geography, cultural geography, industrial geography, environmental geography, human geography, physical geography; geographic information systems; cartography

Skills:  Understanding of economics, finance, markets, logistics, and labor, as well as how multimedia design is influenced by geography (people and places); computer and database systems; geographic information systems; critical thinking; teamwork

Occupation Group: Arts and Design

Learn more about Multimedia Artists and Animators from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and U.S. Department of Labor:  https://www.bls.gov/ooh/arts-and-design/multimedia-artists-and-animators.htm#tab-1

Written by Christopher Anderson