Innovative technology paves way for aspiring animators to share their creations

By Mae Yen Yap / Culture Editor - The Post

Animator Katie Frasier was working at a bakery. It was a job she didn’t plan for after college.

For seven months, Frasier struggled for a job in her field. The competition within the animation industry was difficult, she said. But, she worked on independent projects on her off hours while applying for animation positions. And then a phone call came.

South Park Studios asked Frasier to work as an animation generalist for the 20th season of the popular adult cartoon South Park. “The hours were really long… so it was rough, but I learned so much in that short period of time,” Frasier said.

However, between working with talented people and producing new content every day, the experience was incredible, she said. Frasier has since left the job, but her art techniques and time management skills greatly improved due to her time at the studio.

When a person watches animated films or plays video games, they are often unaware of the amount of time, effort and technical skills poured into the product. It’s hard and competitive, but these creators bring life to the young and old.

Animation programs are now more common in universities across the nation. Ohio University’s School of Media Arts and Studies’ games and animation program was recently announced as the second best animation program in Ohio, and one of the top 10 animation programs in the Midwest.

As of Fall Semester, the program has a total of 826 undergraduate and graduate students, said Judy Wilson, the administrative service assistant for the School of Media Arts and Studies, said. The school is also expanding its program, offering a new three-year MFA in communication media arts. When Emelia Douglas began pursuing her bachelor’s degree in games and animation, “it was like a reality check.”

“Especially (when I was) starting out, it would take hours and hours to do just two or three seconds of work.” Emelia Douglas, an OU 2017 alumna “It would take hours and hours to do just two or three seconds of work,” Douglas, a 2017 OU alumna, said. “I finally understood why it took cartoon studios and various TV shows so long to come out: because it takes forever to animate.”

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