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Animator PDF Print E-mail

Job overview
An animator is an artist who uses a computer and special software to transform still images into moving pictures.

Animators are especially known for creating popular cartoons like Shrek, the Lion King and many other animated films.

What do people do in this occupation?
In the past, animating was a long and arduous process; however in recent years, animation methods have become more varied and advanced making the animator's job less tedious and more creative.

Animators can work in a variety of fields including film, television, video games and the internet.

  • Character animators specialise in creating the movement and dialogue of animated characters.
  •  Special effects animators animate anything that is not a character. This usually includes vehicles, machinery, and natural phenomena such as rain.
  •  Inbetweeners and cleanup artists
    In large-scale productions by major studios, each animator usually has one or more assistants called "inbetweeners" or "clean-up artists".

These assistants make drawings between the "key poses" drawn by the animator.

They also re-draw any sketches that are deemed too rough.Usually an artist is hired for the first time within this capacity and can later advance to full animator status.

Television also offers a fair amount of opportunity in computer animation as shows and adverts are littered with animated logos, characters and digital special effects.

Static internet images are not captivating therefore animators are employed to create animated online advertisements and content, in order to capture the attention of visitors.

Freelance work is another option for animators, particularly those specialising in web animation.

What kinds of people are suitable for this career?
A career in animation requires strong artistic skills and a solid familiarity with the latest in computer animation technologies.
In addition to drawing ability and technical skill, animators need to be good storytellers with a flair for conceptualising dramatic plotlines.

This includes having a good sense of timing and pacing, and knowing how to get characters to express emotions in a believable way.

The ability to work well with others is important as each animation piece usually requires the collaboration of several animators as well as other artists who are not animators.

Computer animation, like many creative fields, is fiercely competitive. In order to remain relevant an animator must continually read, research and talk to other people within the industry.

What qualifications are needed?
Most entry-level positions require an animator to have a bachelor’s degree in a related field such as fine arts or media.

Internationally there are a number of animation schools that offer course work specifically in computer animation and associated technologies.

In addition to this, a strong portfolio of work is an essential part of landing a job in computer animation and becoming an animator.

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