From gouache to gadgets, shopping with animators on your holiday gift list

Whether that person on your holiday shopping list is a seasoned animator or just an enthusiast for fun, gifts tailored to their interests will always be a big hit. You might want to give them something they can use: that gadget they’ve always wanted, a boost to their software systems, or maybe just something fun and memorable related to their favorite animation topic. If you’re having trouble choosing a gift, this little guide will help you narrow down your choices.

  1. 2D software for Flash Lover
  2. 3D software to increase their creativity
  3. Computer hardware is a welcome addition to a slow computer
  4. Graphics tablets and other peripherals
  5. Even digital artists need art supplies
  6. Don’t forget these accessories
  7. Media from your favorite genre is always welcome
  8. Furniture to help your creator for days
  9. Every maker loves memorabilia

2D software for Flash Lover

When you buy a computer animator, you have to choose software. Animation software packages can be a bit pricey, so offering one of the standard brand name packages is a great way to show that you value them so much money isn’t an item. It’s also a great way to support your independent animation efforts.

If your animator is in 2D, Adobe Flash should be at the top of your shopping list. If you want to take it a step further and delve into it, the Adobe Creative Suite brings together several of Adobe’s well-known animation, design, and web production products.

For 2D traditionalists, there are Toon Boom Studio, Toon Boom Solo and Toon Boom Harmony, programs that take a more traditional approach to the cel animation computerization process with some great effects.

3D software to increase their creativity

The 3D world offers a lot of software to choose from, but the biggest and best-known names in the industry are Maya and 3D Studio Max. For the architectural and drawing animator there is also AutoCAD.

What do you have to get? Get to know your potential recipient. Ask mean questions; you might even get lucky and they will tell you right away that they wanted a particular software package.

If it’s not within your budget, visit CNet, which offers a complete catalog of downloadable programs in many fields, including 2D and 3D animation programs at affordable prices. You can shop through offers and compare features to find a package that contains exactly what you want for the gift recipient without breaking the bank.

Computer hardware is a welcome addition to a slow computer

One problem with high quality animation software is that it is a bit demanding in terms of system requirements; without being able to run it, sometimes we can’t use it. It’s possible that the animator you buy has all the software you need, but their computer can’t handle it. Of course you can always buy a new computer, but buy upgrades much more economical.

A few extra RAM sticks can give you a gift of available system resources; an extra hard drive makes it easier for the animator turned packer who can’t delete a single iteration of the project.

Video cards are also a good gift; most associate graphics cards with an improved gaming experience, but animation designers in these games need the same improved graphics.

However, buying hardware for someone else’s computer can be a little tricky. If you can, at the very least find the make and model of their computer and look at the specs to see where an upgrade is available.

Graphics tablets and other peripherals

The most obvious computer peripheral that an animator needs is a graphics tablet.

When buying a tablet, the following characteristics should be taken into account: price, pressure sensitivity and working area. For example, you can get the Adesso CyberTablet 12000 with a massive 12-by-9-inch working area, but you’ll be sacrificing pressure sensitivity and quality. The CyberTablet is a pretty good tablet and great for everyday use, but there’s still a noticeable difference between it and a high-end Intuos or Graphire. Both tablets have smaller active areas and a higher price tag, but also have higher pressure sensitivity and smoother pen-to-tablet surface interaction.

Even digital artists need art supplies

You can never give enough of one thing: art supplies. Animators pass like crazy without pictures of blue pencils. If your animator has an artistic bent outside of animation, grab some ink pens, brushes, pencils, pastels, sketchbooks, markers, crayons, and paint (watercolor, acrylic, and oil are all popular).

Don’t forget these accessories

Side accessories can also make good gifts. Light tables are essential for hand-drawn 2D animation, and desktops can take that animation process away from the awkward, cramped limitation of a table or art table.

Media from your favorite genre is always welcome

Most likely, your animator is an avid cartoon and movie fan, a gamer, a passionate artist, or a combination of the three. With that in mind, why not pick some media from their favorite genre?

However, before you buy a game, make sure it is supported by the platform they have or else you may end up buying a game console with it.

Also in the field of media you can always donate books: art books, tutorials or books on other animation and art related topics under the sun. And for a year-round gift, give a magazine subscription or two.

Furniture to help your creator for days

The animators need their own furniture: drawing tables, stools… but none of those hard, painful wooden stools. An animator who spends hours bending at a light-colored table or staring at a computer screen wants something comfortable under his butt so he doesn’t have the animator’s equivalent of saddle sores.

An upholstered drawing chair and stool can make good gifts if someone spends a lot of time at an art table. However, for the computer receiver, look for something more; Executive leather office chairs are comfortable and fit great compared to a standard computer chair. And let’s not forget the tables themselves; Drawing and art tables come in a variety of sizes and styles, from folding to traditionally tilted easel styles. You can even buy them in sets with lights and seats.

Every maker loves memorabilia

Does your animation-obsessed gifted yen have one for a particular game, series, or animated movie? Do they like collectibles like clothes, stuffed animals or other memorabilia? Then try shopping in branded stores. The Disney Store offers merchandise from hundreds of successful cartoons and movies, as well as the Warner Brothers Store. You can even buy original movies from movies, sometimes autographed by the animators themselves.

Try AnimeNation too. Nintendo sells toys, t-shirts, etc.; as well as Sony, Blizzard and many other animation and game studios. Letting a gift recipient lose a gift card at one of these stores is like letting a kid run loose in a candy store; There are so many to buy and you may even want to buy something for yourself.

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