i tell you what - i wasnt sure about going into games at first, but being a games animator ROCKS! i am working next to ex-disney, wrner brothers, peppers ghost, square japan, mainframe etc etc employees - people from so many different backgrounds, tv, film. games everything and all the animators on our team say that they are doing more animtion now than they were in any other job they have done. if you want to learn how to animate i cant think of a better place to start. depsite having all these people to learn from, the standard of animation is excellent - the models we use are not exactly high poly but they are brilliant for learning aniamtion - they have fingers, facial expressions and everything. the biggest difference is that people will see your game animation from ALL angles so you REALLY have to know what you’re doing, animation for tv/film is only viewed form one angle so you can cheat a lot and sometimes get a bit sloppy as if it looks right from one view you can get away with it, but not with games. also - imagine animating for tv/film - if you were lucky enough to get to animate a monster, he would only be on screen fo r a certain amount of time and most of that part of him would be cut off due to different camera shots etc. you might only have to animate from the wait up if he was walking along the street: you might think that’s cool but i like animating every piece of the character, you really learn what’s going on with the body when he moves around, how the feet realte to the torso, balance etc, i love it.
another thing is the freedom you get. form wht people have told me, in most film/tv environments you dont get much freedom - there are many people above you who have already decided the look/what your character will be doing etc etc and you are just transfreering their ideas across. from what i’ve experienced in games you are just told very loosely what needs to be done - animate a the character falling over (however you want, however many frames you want), animate an attack (whatever you want), make him act (however you want) - you have to think for yourself and i have learned so much by doing this. also, the quality of the models now means that it’s almost as good as film animation now - just the other week i was animating a troll-like character and i was thinking to myself - how lucky am i! if i was animating something that could be in feature films - lord of the rings or something, brilliant
i could go on for ages, but i really truly advise, especially for those wanting to go into animation, seriously dont disregard gaming animation as a place to start as it’s an EXCELLENT place to learn your craft. where else do you get to animate a giant eight- armed monster one day and a centaur-like creature the next. it’s not that bad really
obviously, if you want o go into vfx i cant really comment as i dont know that much about that side of things