Think back to video games and animated movies from 5 or 10 years ago. If you take a look at the computer graphics quality of the 2003 Finding Nemo and compare it to the 2016 Finding Dory, the difference is astonishing. The same can be said for almost every film or video game series when compared to its predecessors. How has the 3D animation quality of films and games evolved so much in the span of a few years? Technology and innovative creators are revolutionizing the industry.

The requirements for a professional animator today are increasingly technical. According to a UK study, software and programming are two of the top skills needed in gaming, animation and visual effects. In fact, over half of the jobs in gaming look for coding and developing skills.

Software skills alone are a requirement for over 64 percent of positions in the animation industry and 31 percent in the video game industry.

Filling these open positions with talented workers with the right technical skills has been a difficult challenge for some. According to the same survey, 47 percent of gaming and animation employers state that finding qualified applicants with the tech skills to fill these roles has been a major hurdle.

Global Animation Outlook

From a global perspective, the skills shortage isn’t as great now as it was last year, but there's still a significant demand. In a LinkedIn report of the top skills that employers are looking for in 2016, game development went from 24 to 29 and computer graphics and animation dropped 20 slots from 17 to 37. It is also important to note that 8 of the top 10 skills were technical.

The need for professionals in the video game and film industries to have digital skills is greater than ever, because cutting-edge technology is in high demand. Creating a full length animated film or a video game often takes years at the biggest studios. Industry leaders are searching for ways to create beautiful productions more efficiently and thanks to technology it’s possible.

For instance, 3D printing has accelerated the modeling process in stop-motion. Facial animation has been one of the most challenging aspects for animators. But, software like NaturalFront’s Facial Animation Software uses advanced algorithms to make realistic and accurate facial animations. Facial models are generated in minutes by using photos of real human faces, which makes the process more efficient and lifelike. Once a facial model is created, it will have realistic animation built-in.

The game and animation industries are increasingly reliant on computer technology. As technologies evolve, studios will be on the lookout for tech savvy, creative professionals that not only keep up but innovate.