There is a booming animation industry here in the Okanagan. This industry has created hundreds of jobs and countless hours of entertainment. In another exciting twist, you can get world-class animation training right here in Kelowna.
The Okanagan is now home to two animation training schools: The Center for Arts and Technology and Okanagan College. Both programs focus on drawing, design, and the principles and techniques of traditional and digital character animation. Classes are taught by industry professionals to help students develop artistic skills, technical dexterity and creativity thinking.
New funding from the Province will allow Okanagan College to offer its Animation Diploma program on an ongoing basis and at a lower cost to students. The program launched in Sept. 2017 and is based out of a cutting-edge laboratory at the Okanagan Centre for Innovation in downtown Kelowna. Interested? Here is a little more information on what the college has to offer.
The application process…
The portfolio requirements for entry include life drawing, perspective drawing and some digital artwork. They also like to know that people have some knowledge of working with software like 2D software and photoshop. Other creative projects like knitting, woodworking or photography are also great to see. The College likes seeing something that speaks about the student that’s outside of animation.
The animation classroom is located in the brand new Innovation Centre in downtown Kelowna. Students are literally walking distance from studios like Yeti Farm, Hyper Hippo, and Bardel so it is easy to access tours, meetings, and guest speakers.
The Innovation Centre itself has so many great features. The course curriculum involves using the theatre for animation history class and animators master classes. The beautiful staircase in the building is also used as a canvas to project different images the students have designed.
Each student has their own computer station and a sit-stand desk. They have a regular monitor and on that monitor they can see whatever it is that the instructor is doing at the front of the class, so if a lesson or a presentation is happening on the front screen it will also show up for the students on their own screens. In addition, students have access to Photoshop,Harmony and Maya software programs.
The job market…
One of the advantages of the students being in the Okanagan is that the industry is booming here. In fact, it is one of the reasons why the program happened, there is just such a demand for animators right now. Well trained animators who are ready for employment is what the industry needs to continue to grow.
The pace of innovation….
Technology changes a lot but the fundamentals remain true required skills. The Okanagan College program ensures basic fundamental principles are a priority and doesn’t just hop right on the technology train. The basic, old school training will always be the same so basics first, software later is a good way to go.
For more information about the animation program at Okanagan College, check out their program guide.