Top Studios and Industry Experts join forces to create first Certification for Digital Artists

Digital artists in film, games, animation and design industries are reliant on diplomas and degrees to prove their skills and competencies when applying for entry-level roles.

Adelaide, Australia, 13th April 2022 - Digital artists in film, games, animation and design industries are reliant on diplomas and degrees to prove their skills and competencies when applying for entry-level roles. While extremely valuable, there is no meaningful and globally supported baseline on which to assess if artists are actually ready for the challenges of industry. Software-centric accreditations have been on the market for many years, but provide a very narrow scope and fall short when it comes to proving skills and competencies for actual careers.

Three years ago, The Rookies - an Australian company on a mission to develop future forward learning experiences and career opportunities for aspiring young artists - set out to solve this problem by creating an open source archive that will standardise skills for digital artists on a global stage.

Today, the team is proud to announce the launch of Certified Digital Artist, the industry’s first certification for digital artists in animation, visual effects and games, grounded in its competency framework for entry-level positions for production environments.

For talent, this helps provide clear goals and expectations for their learning path and helps them gain a competitive edge in the job market by demonstrating your mastery of core creative media skills. This clarity about what competencies are relevant today allows them to stay at the forefront of a rapidly changing industry, see how they can progress, and develop their career over a lifetime.

For studio’s recruitment teams, this accreditation helps reduce the drain on teams and resources normally allocated to dealing with unqualified applications for entry level roles. The ability to recommend these unified skills and competencies simplifies feedback to applicants and sets clear expectations for applicants wanting to reapply.

For educational facilities and production companies, the certification provides the much needed support to create curriculums that adequately prepare talent standards that would enable them to provide training that is "fit-for-purpose."

“A CDA is better qualified than other digital artists, and recognised by industry partners as someone who is credible and suitable for entry-level roles in creative industries. Individuals who have received a CDA micro-credential are trained in industry accepted principles and best practice,” says Andrew McDonald co-founder of The Rookies and Certified Digital Artist.

10 companies and agencies have been pivotal in bringing this project to life, with key funding contributions from Epic Games and the Government of South Australia - Department of Innovation and Skills. The following companies are full supporters of this initiative and helped determine the benchmark for entry-level roles: Sony Pictures Imageworks, Technicolor, Method Studios, Playside Studios, Monkeystack, Crystal Dynamics and DNEG.

“Many of my students ask if their skills are good enough to start applying for jobs. This certification gives them the definitive answer that they are ready to start applying for their dream job!" says Michael Tanzillo, Substance 3D at Adobe.

Over 350 industry experts, educators and consultants contributed their time and knowledge to help define the core competencies and skills outlined in the resource, making sure the resource was suitable for market and responsive to industry needs.

“I think this is going to help us have access to a more diverse pool as some individuals that are self-taught can now technically apply for accreditation – REALLY exciting!" Christeen Mackey, Lead Recruiter - Art & Animation @ Blizzard Entertainment

For each of the three primary industries, the most common entry-level roles have been considered. For each of the roles, the following information has been reviewed and agreed by all partners involved:

  • Prerequisites: Skills that are not directly reviewed as part of the certification process, but rather a guide for skills that are expected. These skills form the basis of all certified skills and are very easy to determine indirectly when reviewing artist capabilities.
  • Entry Level Skills & Capabilities: These skills form the basis for the core competencies that a digital artist will be required to demonstrate during their application process.
  • Portfolio Projects: This includes recommendations and creative briefs that applicants should use as a guide for creating projects for their portfolios. The briefs relate very closely to that of the certified skills and are a clear way for applicants to demonstrate their knowledge through a creative project.

Official applications to become Certified Digital Artists will commence June 2022. Until this time, the team plans to expand their partnerships, continue to refine the resource, and continue to standardise skills for digital artists on a global stage.

More information can be found here:

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Please contact Andrew McDonald via [email protected]