Animation is a new and exciting career field with numerous opportunities. Animators create images for companies such as motion picture studios, gaming companies, and advertising agencies, either by hand or with computers.

They create commercials, feature films, video games, and television shows. Animation is a modern art form with numerous career opportunities. If you’ve always been interested in animation, you can make a career out of it!

What Is an Animator? & How to become an Animator

A 2D, 3D, or stop-motion animator creates animation and visual effects for film, commercials, television shows, video games, computer graphics, and even mobile applications. Animators use their abilities to create animation sequences by hand or with computer software and can work in a variety of roles, including special effect animators, multimedia artists, 3D animators, graphic designers, and game designers.

A Beginner’s Guide on How to Become an Animator

Animators are frequently freelancers who work for motion picture studios, video game studios, cartoon networks, advertising agencies, web design firms, and mobile technology companies on a project-by-project basis. Entry-level positions in animation studios and production companies include storyboard artists, modellers, junior animators, and junior compositors.

Compositors, concept artists, character designers, background designers, layout artists, and animators are examples of mid-level positions. Art directors, storey directors, animation technical directors, and special effects directors are examples of senior-level positions. Animators can also work as producers or directors.

What does an animator do?

Animators use their creativity and modern art skills to create a series of images known as animations that can be used in a variety of media formats. Some of their works use storyboards for movies, avatars for video games, and other digital graphics. Most animators work as part of a creative team and specialise in one area. Animators are responsible for the following tasks:

  • Demonstrating inventive problem-solving abilities
  • High-quality motion graphics, titles, and animation
  • Making visual concept mockups and animations
  • Understanding of user experience and social media platforms
  • Understanding of animation software and editing tools
  • Making game art
  • Effective time management abilities
  • Outstanding organisational abilities
  • Capability to work both collaboratively with a team and productively on one’s own
  • Being time-sensitive
  • Being adaptable and open to new experiences Possessing storytelling abilities
  • Excellent observational abilities
  • Interaction with other teams
  • Giving feedback and making suggestions to coworkers
  • Keeping to strict deadlines
  • Making stop-motion videos for commercials and films

These animation tasks may differ depending on the job. Success is usually determined by your overall work ethic and level of commitment to the job. Employers seek well-rounded candidates who have a good mix of hard and soft skills.

How to Become an Animator

How to Become an Animator

Before landing animation jobs, animators typically complete artistic training programmes and gain experience through internships. Consider the steps below to become an animator:

Education: Earn a bachelor’s degree in animation to learn the technical skills and computer programmes required, such as After Effects, Maya, Adobe Premiere Pro, and Final Cut Pro.

Specialized training: Many animation programmes specialise in specific areas, such as special effects or 2D animation. Determine the type of animation you want to pursue and look for training courses and degree programmes that fit that specialty.

Internships: While still in school, complete internships to gain valuable, hands-on work experience. You can also help out at local non-profits or schools by donating your animation skills for educational videos. These experiences will aid in the development of your portfolio and the enhancement of your resume.

5 Tips for Aspiring Animators

If you want to be an animator, use these tips to help you develop the necessary skills:

1. Improve your soft skills.

An animator must have soft skills, such as strong communication skills, in addition to artistic ability and technical skills. Animators must be able to work well in groups and manage their time effectively, as a 10-second animated sequence can take weeks to perfect. To create believable animations, animators must be aware of human behaviour, facial expressions, and emotions.

2. Dedicate yourself to developing your skills. 

Your instructors can only teach you so much about how to become an animator, no matter how good your animation programme is. They can motivate you to do your best, but you must ultimately put in the effort.

In addition to developing foundational art skills and learning animation and editing software, you’ll want to hone your acting and observation abilities. This can assist you in understanding body language and movements, allowing you to recreate specific emotions and qualities in your characters. Another important factor is teamwork.

Collaboration is required for animation projects, and you will need to practise being a good group member as well as managing feedback and critiques.

3. Understand the production process

Animators must be knowledgeable about their chosen industry, such as gaming, film, or television. Learn about the various stages of production in those industries, such as preproduction, production, and postproduction, as well as the role of the animator throughout the process. Understanding the craft of video editing, regardless of industry, can help you as an animator.

4. Keep your skills up to date.

Keep up with the latest developments and trends in the animation industry, and update your skill set to stay competitive. Learn new skills and software by taking online animation courses. To prepare for more senior-level positions, animators can also pursue a master’s degree, such as a Master of Fine Arts in Animation and Visual Effects.

5. Make a demo reel.

A demo reel is a two to four-minute video that highlights the best animated sequences you’ve created. On your website, include a link to your demo reel. Because many employers look at demo reels as part of an application, you can create different demo reels for different types of animation for your job search.

6. Create a portfolio.

Your portfolio should include examples of your best work from internships and volunteer opportunities, as well as examples of the type of work you want to do. Many animators maintain online portfolios in order to easily share their work.

7. Get a variety of work experience.

While in school, look for internships and freelance opportunities to gain experience outside of the classroom. (Your Career Services team or instructors may be able to connect you with current industry professionals.)

Even if you graduate and find a full-time job, you’re more likely to begin as an entry-level animator than as a lead animator. While working to advance your career, you may want to do some freelance work or volunteer for organisations that are important to you.

All of this experience can help you network with other professionals, develop your skills, and broaden your portfolio. Remember that putting in the time and effort to your own development and success is a big part of how to become an animator!

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