Toronto. Vancouver. Los Angeles. Paris. Dublin. London.
These are among the world’s most established cities in the animation industry — home to some of the largest studios, best schools and top talent. This is naturally why they were selected to host Toon Boom Animation Career Camps.
Through hands-on training, keynote speakers and networking, the free events connected professional animators with the future-proofed steps, skills and strategies needed to improve their earnings and opportunities today, and safeguard their careers tomorrow.
The first round of Animation Career Camps were a massive success and Toon Boom cannot express its gratitude enough to those who attended, as well as the keynote speakers, trainers, local industry experts, and venues who helped make it all possible. The events attracted over 300 professional animators, of which 95 percent said they were either ‘extremely satisfied’ or ‘very satisfied’ with the experience and training. Additionally, over half have gone on to receive a Toon Boom certification, are in the process of getting one, or are very interested.
Get Toon Boom certified, get the animation career you want
There’s sound reason why — particularly for those seeking employment or planning on making a career shift. Toon Boom certification is the best way for an animator to show their skills in the world’s leading animation software. Sand McDowall (aka Sand McUnicorn) attended the Toronto Animation Career Camp and decided to continue her training by getting certified.
Her Toon Boom certification ultimately helped her land a character animator position at Nelvana in Toronto. During the hiring process, the interviewer expressed interest and optimism in McDowall’s new credentials. To prepare for her certification and further her skills development, she used the free tutorials on the Toon Boom Learn Portal.
“Since my background is mostly as a generalist, being Toon Boom certified will help express my skill set as a professional,” McDowall explains.
“I would recommend the certification process; it takes a week or so to go through the Learn Portal to practice and prep for the test, but once you get to the exam portion it’s not long at all.”
Where there’s an up-skill, there’s a way
Additionally, the Paris Animation Career Camp helped show animator Kaisa Pirttinen that she could easily learn and up-skill in Harmony. While working as a 3D artist at Rovio Entertainment, she was introduced to Toon Boom software and knew she wanted to pursue 2D. At the time of the camp, she had just finished another round of studies at the prestigious Gobelins, L’ École de l’image and was seeking employment; she hoped the event could teach her more about rigging and different types of Harmony animation.
“Being at the Animation Career Camp did benefit my career. Learning more about Toon Boom software and in-depth knowledge improved my opportunities at finding work in 2D animation studios,” says Pirttinen.
She followed up her training at the Animation Career Camp by completing the rigging and cut-out journeys on the Toon Boom Learn Portal. Coincidentally, Gigglebug Entertainment reached out to her soon after the event. Having up-skilled and learned different aspects of Harmony animation, she was able to enter the interview confidently — and got the job.
Toon Boom certification: Show what you know
Pirttinen will be beginning her position as a Harmony animator at Gigglebug Entertainment next month and is currently in the process of completing her Toon Boom certification. Similarly, Dublin Animation Career Camp attendee João Rodrigues is also getting certified.
He says, “If two people have similar experience and showreels, certification is a way of showing that studios don’t need to worry about your skill level.”
Prior to attending the camp, Rodrigues had recently gotten a job at Lighthouse Studios working on upcoming Amazon series The Bug Diaries. Having learned Harmony animation via Youtube tutorials and through his previous position at Boulder Media, he had been augmenting his skills by completing Learn Portal journeys. The Dublin Animation Career offered an invaluable opportunity to get hands-on practice guided by leading industry experts and trainers.
“The [Dublin Animation Career Camp] was a huge opportunity to learn rigging and understand the inner workings of what I am used to using, but may not fully understand. It helped me a lot and was an incredible experience,” says Rodrigues.
While the first round of Animation Career Camps have been completed, more events may be planned for the future. In the meantime, animators can continue to future-proof and specialize their skills by completing journeys on the Toon Boom Learn Portal and pursuing Toon Boom certification.