Programming in the film industry/can a animator also learn software. Development?

I have been having trouble choosing between the two, i want to merge both topics but from what I see of software developers they seem to be open to developing any project than having a single field niche which they develop projects for such as film, and in terms of programming fields the most I can find for programming is game development to begin graphics programming, but I’m not sure whether it’s possible to learn graphics programming without being interested in game mechanics/game development.

I’m not entirely unwilling to do other projects in other fields, but my worry is the workload and professional expectations. I’m not sure whether i could be a professional in both. I don’t know if the workload of a general developer can also allow for animating and vice versa, which is why I want to merge the two, but im not sure where to find this “film technology” field.

Does anyone have any advice? And if so, what would you say are good beginner programming projects in film/animation/video, the “hello world” of this field? Thank you again.

I expect that most of the time a studio will have both an animation team and a software-development team, as well as a company of software technicians. Yes, the animators will understand how computers and programming work, but they would not be tasked to do it.

of course you can do both.

do you already have programming experience? depending on that it can be a long way though…
good beginner projects could be blender add-ons of varying complexity. :slight_smile:

everything you learn for game real-time 3d-graphics also can be applied to other fields.

Programming in general isn’t hard: imagine a very dumb trainee and you have to tell him everthing… i mean e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g… yes… i mean it literally… even how to breath…
Complexity is the really hard problem and that’s the reason why most people don’t understand why changes in blender aren’t so easy. Most bug reports are non-repeatable or the reporter answers not any more… but the devs spent time on that… and if they change something because the momentary architecture get unmanageable everybody is crying: they broke the addons or blender itself… (have fun with the internal renderer from pre 2.49)

The question is: do you want to learn how to develop applications scripts… then this may be a specialized programming language only available in some 3D-suit or in the case of blender: python.
Or do you want to do hard core graphics programming then you will use math, math and math… After you read mathematical books and papers.

For both a general understanding is helpfull. This is like: you don’t have to know how to draw or even be master in it… but it helps enormously to make a simple sketch (even on paper) to make/express yourself clearly or for others. (Steven Spielberg did once a sketch with a horse jumping over a fire… okay now you know what it is supposed to be… but he isn’t a bad director/producer and there are directors who draw their storybords themself)

Of course there are also appointment and manage apps and Email clients and … used in the filmindustry :wink:

On the other hand there are many programmers who try some art or artist who to program…

(I know this isn’t much of a help. But in the end you have to decide for your situation :sweat_smile: .)

Maybe this is a advice: don’t choose. Try to learn something about the two as if you want to make it in this genre, learn, go on and then decide… ohh wait i have to search… do you know this:
(This is not what i meant but alos cool PonySmasher (David F.Sandberg) he does everthing :wink: )
Look here : Sonja Christoph — Switching lanes: From movies and blockbuster VFX to triple-A games :star_struck:… yes it’s 42 minutes… watch it…

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Animator and Developer are too different to do both on the same job.
It’s likely that you’ll have to choose one or the other.
Also, I don’t know for being a developper, but to be an animator you need a few years of training to be relevant. I suspect you need quite some experience in development to be relevant too.

But an animator with good scripting (python) abilities can be quite valuable.

And a developer with artistic/3D knowledge can be quite valuable too.

If you plan to be an animator, you can work for a company / film project and help develop tools for animator. But you’ll be a little aside regular animation team that as some strict quotas.
You need to produce like 4/15s (depend on the project) of animation per day. It’s quite challenging as a whole so if you start developing tools you may not animate a lot and you’ll be part of another team than animation team.
Unless you’re an animation supervisor, which may not be bounded to daily quotas but more here to manage the team and distribute work, correct shots… (that varies depending on the project).
In that case, providing tools for the team can be great. But between managing and doing said tools you’re likely to be animating quite less than an animator.
But, to be an animation supervisor, you need to be really good as an animator and have different experiences in animation projects. It’s more a long term goal where you’re main job will be animation, your hobby is development and at some point in your career you can mix both.

There is very different jobs in film for someone who can do code. Only a few company have enough budget to hire blender developers. But you can work on the pipeline, and create some connections between a database that contains all the information about projects (shots, assets …) and the DCC the company uses ( Blender, Maya, Nuke, Houdini…).
You can also be a technical artist, that do tools to ease the job of the artists. They have more a generalist profile so they can touch up different fields (animation, lighting, modeling …)
In that case, you may sometime do code (mainly python) and sometime work on 3D scenes, but it will be more fixing stuff than to do art stuff.

Or you can work on a small company / team , where people can do very different things.
There it’s unlikely that you’ll be doing C/C++ development but more simple tools to automate things on a project. And work on art stuff in parallel. But it’s more a generalist profile that can touch up different area , than a specialist profile ( modeler, lighter, animator)

If you’re passionate about animation and development, it’s ok to do both. But you may find jobs on one or the other. Sometime it’s great to follow our passion and see where that lead us.
You may find other areas of interest. Like rigging, that can involve some technical skills, scripting abilities and a sense of animation. Some people do rigging and animation, but once again, you may end up doing more rigging than animation in the end.

Just to be clear, by animator, are you talking about the people in charge of doing character animation, or someone working on animation projects ?
I talked about people doing character animation, that is very specific, rather than working in this business as a CG-artist, which can lead to very different kind of jobs. Some are more or less technical and can involve doing art and programming to some extent.

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Let the record show that – (koff, koff) years ago – “my very first program (in BASIC) was eight lines long, took me six months to write, and had a bug in it.” :slight_smile: This is true.

While it is certainly beneficial to know the dirty details of “how the magic actually works,” your actual need to know it as an animator will depend on the strength of the supporting technical cast that works behind you. And, in general, the total size of the company.

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Yes that’s the whole programm :rofl:.

In terms of animation. In some aspect I can say that you can do animator tasks or animation work while at the same you won’t consider yourself an animator at all. You just see motions, implement them in keyframes, that’s all. If you create some basic animations, say about 20 animations for an entire game (like walking, running, jumping) more or less you have ticked the checkboxes.

However in terms of programming, things are very fluid. Because there is not specific paradigm or one ultimate correct way of doing things. If you exclude the learning curve required (which is steep in some sense), of all tutorials and books required. At the end is all about solving a really good and annoying problem. So eventually as you see programming + context is the same, you can’t learn pure programming (same as pure mathematics exist), but you always need to carry the baggage of the context with you.

In general terms, you can try lots of things. If you are very good at taking notes, you won’t have any problem at all learning. The only thing that remains is to practice multiple times the same things in order to become really good at it.

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Looks like infinite loop. :slight_smile:

In some BASIC dialects the interpreter just would say:

Line 1 not found.

This was extremly aweful when used in in line 30590… :crazy_face: