Animators are artists who generate numerous images called frames which provide delusion of movement known as animation when shown in rapid sequence. They use chronological images of puppets and drawings to give illusion of moving pictures for films, computer games and music videos mostly.
Animators produce films/videos for animation studios, video game companies and film production companies. Usually animators specialize in particular areas of interest such as motion graphics, stop motion, 3D animation and 2D animation.
Basic roles, duties & responsibilities of animators
So, what do animators do? Here is the list of basic roles, duties or responsibilities carried out by animators:
- Produce storyboards that reflect the script
- Create precise frame by frame illustrations
- Design characters, environment and backgrounds
- Expertise in software such as Maya, Flash, Cinema 4D, and Light Wave
- Present designs to clients for assessment
- Bargain contracts
- Draw in 2D to produce sketches and artworks for illustrations
Animators should be able to be upbeat in selling their works and ideas to potential clients and customers. However, it depends on whether you are freelancing, self employed or working for a company.
Employers of animators
- Video game companies
- Film production studios
- Web design businesses
- Marketing businesses
- Feature films
- Music videos companies
Animators often work independently as film makers creating short films and aiming to win commissions from the animation commissioners at big broadcasting companies. Managing to get a short film broadcast can escort to commission for a film, series or music videos.
Freelancing is very popular and preferred nowadays. On the other hand, it takes longer time and devotion to be established and gain reputation.
Qualification and Training
Graduates from any academic background can pursue their career in animation. A degree in related field such as illustration, graphic design, television or film will set you up for entry in animation. Post Graduation degree in animation or related field will be an added advantage.
Although the work prospects are open to all competent graduates, the following list of degrees is especially relevant:
- Design and art
- 3D design
- Graphic design
- Spatial design
- Electrical and computer engineering
Graduates can apply for residency to raise the profile, build contacts and portfolio. Residencies offer the chances to have right to use facilities and working environment. It also gives the exposure and jumpstart to work their way in business. The duration of residencies can last from two or three weeks to few months. Graduates have options to work on their own or work their way in professional industries and assist in projects.
Required skills or job specifications for animators
Animation is a very fast growing business with vast prospects. To build a reputation and get established in the business animators need to have special skills relevant to the field. Employers hire promising graduates and animators with the following skills:
- Artistic and technical skills
- Storytelling ability
- Flexibility to toggle between multiple projects at given time
- Ability to work under pressure and within deadlines
- Aptitude for details
- Creativity and originality