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How Can I Learn to Make Cartoons on the Computer?

Do you want to be the creator of the next blockbuster animated film? Making digital cartoons requires both drawing and computer skills. You can learn to create digital art and animation by entering into an undergraduate degree program.

Overview of Computer Illustration and Animation

Digital arts are a growing field. Making cartoons on your computer requires skills in drawing and illustration coupled with technical aptitude in graphics software. Multimedia artists produce 2-D and 3-D illustrations and graphics that can be still or animated, such as in a video game or animated movie. To explore digital arts, you can enter into a degree program that prepares you for entry-level positions.

Important Facts About This Field of Study

Online Availability DeVry University and University of Phoenix offer online programs
Programs Computer Animation, Media Communications, Web Graphic Design
Possible Careers Video Game Artist, Marketing and Advertising, Journalism
Prerequisites Some schools may require you to purchase your own computer equipment

Undergraduate Degree Programs

Both associate and bachelor's degree programs are available in the digital arts. Common degree titles may include digital arts, visual communication, graphic design, animation and illustration. Through a visual communications program, you may choose to concentrate in illustration or animation.

The curriculum for learning digital arts encompasses topics that range from freehand drawing to 3-D computer modeling. You will delve into illustration software such as Adobe Illustrator. The program may also offer you the opportunity to gain real-world experience through the completion of an internship. Common courses may include:

  • Illustration
  • Art history
  • 2-D and 3-D design
  • Typography
  • Animation techniques

Career Outlook

For 2019-2029, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that jobs for multimedia artists and animators, including digital animators, are predicted to grow just 4%, which is as fast as average. The BLS also reported that about 56% of those working in this field were self-employed as of 2019. Others worked for motion picture and video industries, computer systems design services industries, and software publishers. According to the BLS, animators should expect to see job growth in the fields of video game animation and mobile device animation. For May 2020, the BLS reported a median annual salary of $77,700 for multimedia artists and animators.