Animation – Education Versus Business


The future of any industry depends on many factors, not least of which is Education.

Tyrell account manager Stephen Murnane revisits the discussion about Animation and Vfx and the massive opportunities that currently exist within the market for artists in all roles and disciplines.


Conversation has been re-ignited about the number of graduates and how they are prepared for starting in the companies that require their skills.

Artists from all over the world are being employed in Ireland, and the skills/experience they bring with them is amazing, but on the other hand the proportion of Irish artists is very low.

Ensuring that the industry continues to grow means protecting it’s biggest resource which is people. Clients hear me say all the time, the technology is the easy bit, the difficult bit is the staff.

There is no doubt in my mind that an Education should be just that, an education – and kept separate from the commercial world. Graduates need to have learned the principles and apply their creative minds without being constricted by specific workflows that are followed within the industry.

However, there needs to be an appreciation on the college side that they need in some way to replicate, and keep up with the changes that are happening rapidly within the industry, and be able and ready to respond quickly to address the education of their students so that they don’t graduate lacking a fundamental understanding of the skills required by industry.

It’s a fine balance and one that will never have both sides happy but we can certainly get closer than we currently are.

We need more engagement from the Animation houses both in the form of internships and provision of masterclasses (by top personnel). This is admittedly very difficult, as in this current very busy time, to free up time in your schedule to go to a college is very difficult but the long term benefit is getting interns/new entrants into the industry more aware of what they should expect is massive.

Many colleges on the continent include as part of their degree course 6 months internships within animation companies. Facilitating this the colleges work closely with the end users to make sure the interns are aware of how they operate and are prepared to hit the ground running. That’s not to say they are the fully formed article, they’re students after all!

But my impression from the end companies is that they are more prepared than the students emerging from our colleges. To be fair they have been doing this longer for a very developed animation industry within their own countries but we should look at their model and see where we can adapt to emulate the successful parts form it.

I’m certainly not going to solve this with a blog article and there is movement here to address what I have written about above and there is an appetite on both side both commercial and education to increase both the numbers and quality of graduates from Ireland into what in anybody’s terms is a major success story in Ireland at the moment.There are moves to ensure that at Secondary School level people realise there are real opportunities for a long term career and you don’t have to be Michelangelo to find roles within the industry.

In Previous Animation blogs I have detailed the opportunities available in the Irish Animation Industry, hopefully this time I can offer some suggestions about how we can improve the future prospects for this key creative industry.

In the end it’s all about opportunities and you can find a current list of Animation Jobs here.

Latest News – Irish animation studio Cartoon Saloon to make film for Apple –

We are always ready to start or continue a conversation, please contact us to find out how we can help.


Adobe Photoshop
Adobe Indesign
Adobe Illustrator
Adobe Acrobat
UX wireframes
User interface (UI) design
3D modeling

Don’t be intimidated by the list above. Many of these skills are covered in the curriculum of an Animation Course.