Originally Posted by TBK
I'm sure this question has been answered about a hundred times, but it's a long list. I am 20 years old and about to start college. My passion is video games...pretty much everything about them. I have been playing video games since I was four years old, and by "playing video games" I mean I have played a good four to eight hours a day every day....forever. In fact my day is not complete until I get at least one video game in. I am a connoisseur of sorts, I love every type of video game, from sports to rpgs, shooters, action-adventure, racing...if it has a category I'll play it...and even if it doesn't I'll look into it.
I have decided that Video games are my passion and my life and I would like to choose a career that involves video games. Eventually I want to start my own company just like Brandon Beck and Mark Merrill did; where I can make my own games and put my unique ideas out there. See, My father was a construction worker, and through him I've learned that you can't expect people to do work for you that you aren't capable of or willing to try and do yourself. With that philosophy in mind I have decided to start my grand adventure in the world of animation.
My problem is I just plain don't know where to get started. What do I major in? What do I use to animate stuff? How do I turn billions of numbers and letters into lines, and turn those lines into people and places and music and amazement that is the modern video game?
Now I'm not asking you to run my life Mr. Trix. I would just like to know....where do I start?!?
Start with XSI mod tool (it's legal and free and a professional tool with just a different license) and start visiting animation forums. The 11 second club is once place where you can work on your chops and get some feedback. After college, consider some art graduate programs in digital animation. It's a good way to improve your breadth of knowledge. You will probably want to major in digital art and take classes on anatomy. Also, I highly recommend you try dance or gymnastics and martial arts to improve your understanding of human motion.
Most importantly, make self improvement the highest priority. On the weekends, animate. After school, animate. Make it your entire life, seek out professional critiques and feedback. If you have the proper drive you will be able to do well.