Hello Animators and Motion Designers!
For students currently enrolled in an animation program such as NTU’s ADM, Digipen’s Animation, NYP’s Animation, 3Dsense, or similar programs, it is essential to have a clear understanding of their career path and industry expectations. So, here it is, a guide to the Singapore Animation Industry.
I have personally witnessed numerous unfounded speculations, hearsay horror stories, and negative mentalities that can hinder the industry. It is pointless to complain or spread negativity, rather we should take action.
The following advice is specific to the animation industry in Singapore and intended for Singaporean animation students. Here are some pointers to help you understand the Singapore Animation Industry.
Entertainment vs Advertising
Offering animation and motion design services enables you to explore two seemingly related but distinct industries: the Entertainment industry and the Advertising industry.
Entertainment vs Advertising
Animation work in the entertainment industry includes Disney/Pixar animated feature films, Hollywood VFX blockbuster films, original shows, and children’s shows on streaming platforms like Netflix, as well as those on broadcast media.
In the advertising industry, animation work involves creating 3D product CGI films for electronics commercials, 3D animated demos of the internal workings of medication, milk formulas, shampoos, and more.
The creation of visually appealing moving images in both industries demands similar skill sets. Nevertheless, the market and job opportunities for these industries are fundamentally diverse. To position and equip themselves correctly, students must acknowledge and comprehend these distinctions.
Align Interests, Skills and Industry Demands
Animation and motion design encompass a vast range of skills from storytelling and acting to design and even optimizing 3D renders. It’s almost impossible to be proficient in every aspect, but you can excel in a few sub-disciplines, especially those closely related to your skills.
At the time of writing, 3D generalists are highly sought after in the advertising industry to create visually appealing product ads. For the entertainment industry, there is a greater emphasis on intellectual property (IP) creation, which necessitates strong pre-production skills like storyboarding and concept design. Although there are fewer job openings on the pre-production side due to the higher number of people required for production, some studios still outsource production work to be cost-effective, while others keep it in-house.
This oversimplifies the economics of the industry, but it highlights the importance of students reaching out to professionals in their desired field to ensure that their interests align with industry demand. On this note, don’t just speak to one person (also don’t just believe everything I say here), speak to as many as you can, from as many different companies as you can to avoid overly-biased perspectives and misjudgments.
Knowing the animation industry landscape is crucial for student animators, as I’ve seen many fall into the trap of pursuing careers in areas with limited job opportunities, such as 2D hand-drawn animation production in Singapore. However, while such job openings are rare in Singapore, opportunities exist in Europe and Japan. It’s important for students to align their interests with market demand to make informed educational and career choices.
I hope this information has been useful for students. Please share it with your peers, stay motivated, and strive for professionalism and confidence in your craft as a community. Keep animating, keep dreaming! This post is based on my personal observations and experiences in the industry, so you may have different experiences and opinions. I would love to learn from your experiences too, so feel free to DM me on Instagram!