Online and Digital Animation Tools

In the world of animation, designers have choices between 3D, 2D, stop-motion or traditional cel animation. Each type of animation provides an abundance of choices for the animator, giving control over content, style, story lines and the method of distribution of the animated film or short. With the help of the Internet and online animation schools, the unique vision of even the newest animation genius can be created and distributed to a large audience of potential fans.

Cel animation is the process of hand-drawing scenery and characters that are transferred onto transparent cels, or sheets of thin plastic, enabling the scenery to remain intact while the character action is added in a series of hand-drawn frames. These cels and images are typically photographed by a camera and then linked together in a fast slideshow-type of presentation that can be viewed on a television or other screen. Cel animation does not require special animation software; a basic video editor can bring the cel drawings to life.

With the sophistication of software available, cel animation can easily become a 2-D animation production. Scanning in hand-drawings or creating the still images solely with a digital illustration program brings the older method of animation into a more modern format. After the drawings are saved as image files, they can be compiled into a series of animated frames by using software of online animation tools like Stupeflix, a free, web-based video editing application. Programs like Flash are also popular for animators, especially those who wish to add interactivity to an animated production, or for a familiar feel, many animators start with the tools available in MS Power Point.

3D animation requires the ability to digitally design scenery and characters in order to produce an animated presentation that is as true to life as possible. Visual effects and the ease of replicating simple motions through built-in software tools, like Animoids 3D, is an attractive aspect of 3D animation. Web-based 3D animation applications are popping up all over the Internet to assist would-be 3D animators bring a creative vision to life, and many of these creations have gone viral.

Stop-motion animation is the process of capturing still images of objects like clay, puppets or even Lego figures and connecting the frames together, much like the images created in cel animation. Stop-motion animation requires studio or stage type lighting and the construction of 3D sets that act much like the sets on films or television shows. Each frame of the stop-motion animation shows a slight movement of the characters or changes in scenery, giving the film or short a feeling of movement within the storyline. MonkeyJam provides excellent tools for those interested in creating stop-motion shorts and films.

Animation has increased in popularity online with the availability of websites and online animation tools to help the amateur animator bring creative visions to life. These tools and software bridge the gap for many people considering going to an online animation school to experiment, create and practice the skills needed to become a professional cel, 2D, 3D or stop-motion animator.

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Westwood College Online Bachelor of Arts in Visual Communications

Visual Communications is a broad term for career paths that encompass several different mediums and industries. A visual communications professional can work in advertising, merchandising, digital, web, or graphic design, illustration, animation, photography or within production companies that specialize in film, theater or stage productions.

Westwood College Online offers a Bachelor of Arts degree in Visual Communications for those who wish to pursue a career as a communications manager, design artist, illustrator, graphic design manager, production art manager or a web designer. This online design degree program can be completed in as little as three years in order to help facilitate students who wish to enter the job market as fast as possible. The course topics include print production, advanced image editing, advertising campaign concepts, fundamentals of digital illustration, digital layout and packaging design as well as a core curriculum designed to help students navigate real-world life and work situations.

The Bachelor of Arts in Visual Communications program from Westwood College Online helps students achieve career and salary goals. The average salary for graphic and web designers is $38,000-$40,000 annually. Art Directors can make around $50,000 per year, while Creative Directors are reported to make $100,000 annually. Job competition for visual communications professionals may be tougher than average, due to the number of these professionals competing for jobs, but it is still a career choice that offers many options including consulting, freelancing and the ability to work from home. Average career growth for visual communications professionals is projected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Visual communications may face a more competitive environment when it comes to careers and jobs, but the different types of careers available make this degree program a beneficial option for those interested in digital, print or conceptual design. Westwood College Online offers a Bachelor of Arts in Visual Communications that provides the knowledge and skills to students who wish to enter into the fun, exciting and creative world of visual communications.

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American Advertising Federation ADDY Awards

Advertising professionals spend a lot of time trying to get the attention of the public on behalf of a company, business, organization product or brand. Much of this work entails long sessions of creative brainstorming, mind mapping and developing advertising campaigns that relate to specific demographics. It is this dedication to providing the public with product and business information that has spurred multitudes of creative advertising endeavors that have even helped to shape society today.

In light of the countless hours of work needed to produce commercials, websites, newspaper, direct mail or other methods of advertising, the AAF (American Advertising Federation) annually acknowledges the best of the best advertising on a local, state and national level, giving credit to those who spend days and nights attempting to dazzle the public with new and innovative reasons to buy a product, use a service or just get the word out about a cause. This recognition is a motivating force for students in Online Advertising Degree programs who burn the midnight oil crafting new and unique marketing messages.

The ADDY awards are also presented to students enrolled in a college or university full or part time, as well as student interns. Much like the professional ADDY awards, judging takes place on local, state and national levels, with each “best in show,” moving up the ranks toward the national award. Student entries may be samples of work completed in degree-related classes, but cannot be submitted as a student entry if the student is employed in an advertising position. Students may submit entries in many of the same categories as the professional ADDY awards, including websites, radio and television, newspaper, mixed media, interactive media and editorials, to name a few. While the student ADDY awards encompass far fewer categories than the professional awards, the prestige of winning a student ADDY award is an accomplishment that can lead to a better paying job or position within an advertising company.

Commercials, billboards, websites and advertising campaigns are created to help educate, inform and influence the public in terms of what to buy or where to go for products, services or even vacations and medical care. The complexity of a simple television commercial or radio spot requires endless hours of work, creativity and motivation, not to mention the copy writing of a website or even a box of cereal. The acknowledgment of talent, ingenuity and creativity can make a world of difference in the life of an advertising professional or company, and the ADDY awards help give these professionals the validation needed to continue bringing these advertising concepts to life for the public.

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Web Development Diploma from Strayer University

Web Development is a diverse career field that helps represent industries and businesses across the world online. Careers in web development require the reinforcement and refinement of programming, design and layout skills as well as the expert knowledge of different methods of web programming, online integration and any other needs a corporation or organization may have regarding its online presence, brand and the functionality of a website.

Companies hiring web development professionals vary. Many of these businesses contract web development services to third party companies or private consultants and freelancers. Other companies may rely on the Internet enough to require a full time, on-staff web developer. Most businesses or corporations require a web developer at one time or another, and with the increase in technology and reliance on the Internet, obtaining an online design degree with a web development concentration is a strong career choice for the recent high school graduate to the business or management professional.

A web developer differs from a web designer in the ability to program and integrate “back end” applications on a website that help increase the ability of a website to function as an informational portal, e-commerce site, or tie numerous end-user applications into a company’s day-to-day functions. These types of websites and knowledge require a web development professional with experience and education who can produce results, increasing business and revenue for the company. Strayer University offers an online diploma program in Web Development for students wishing to quickly begin a career in web development, or for professionals interested in adding web development to a current skill set.

The Web Development Diploma Program from Strayer University is offered online and requires only 45 to 54 credit hours to complete and can also be a stepping stone into a degree program if additional education is required. Students at Strayer University enjoy the flexibility and diversity of these programs and upon completion, can begin working in the promising career field of web development. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that web development will grow at a faster than average rate over the next decade as companies continue to turn to the Internet for business purposes, or need to increase accessibility to modern website technology. Web developers can further specialize in the different technologies and programming languages available, and are reported to make an average of $38,000 - $62,000 annually.

Strayer University’s Online Diploma in Web Development assists students and professionals obtain the education and training needed in order to create and maintain websites for businesses, corporations and organizations. This program includes the basics of web development, security and programming information, as well as teaching the practical concerns of web development.

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Industrial Chic Interior Design

The world of Industrial Chic design celebrates the open, warehouse and factory look of the early 1900s by integrating structural elements and mechanical accents into home and office decor. This design trend is a product of the repurposing of industrial areas into apartments, lofts and other spaces in downtown areas of major cities. Instead of spending the extra time and money on renovating these industrial spaces, interior designers and decorators began to integrate the natural elements of these spaces into the rooms, embracing the look with a new vision of decorating styles.

Industrial Chic design can incorporate several different elements, from the wall, ceiling and floor materials already in place, to the addition of decorative elements that give even the most suburban home an industrial feel. Many of these spaces are using the cement floors original to the space, or painting the brick or cinder block walls a neutral color to help accent the darker accessories of the style. Interior designers also profess that high ceilings are also important to the industrial chic design style, keeping the open space available and enabling large decorative accents to take center stage. Exposed duct work, industrial lighting and appliances, frames or shelving with a metallic style are all options in industrial chic design style.

More than the architectural structure elements that are incorporated into industrial chic design, themes can evolve from the various styles, as well. Mechanical themes fit well into industrial chic design, especially elements that revisit older styles of vehicles, motorcycle or other automobile equipment. Factory pieces like carts, gears and old equipment can be turned into decorations on the walls or repurposed into furniture accents. Old, vintage work benches and other surfaces can make great work areas or end tables. Many interior design professionals advise using vintage work carts in designs as decorative tables, shelving for accents or as interesting conversation pieces. Combining the aged metals of vintage designs with modern textiles can completely bring the style of industrial chic together with a warmth, giving one of the more unique styles to a home or office than ever before.

Industrial chic is a design style the revisits old style industrial elements typically found in warehouses and factories, combining unfinished structural accents with livable space. This style enables those with large, open spaces in urban settings to keep costs and effort down when redecorating by using the inherent structural elements of those spaces within the design. For the interior designer faced with creating a new look from older elements, industrial chic design may be a valid choice to help bring difficult lines and the needs of the home owner or office dweller together.

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