Animators create an extensive series of images that form the animation seen in movies, commercials, television programs, and video games. If you think you can bring life to animation characters who are expressive and portray a wide range of emotions, this could be a great career choice for you. Your work can range from producing 3D models to display on a company’s website to making movies with complex special effects.
Use this guide to find out some of the guidelines around an animator career and create your unique animator resume. To begin, let’s talk about the three main resume formats.
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Job Duties of an Animator
As an animator, your job may revolve around creating characters for a movie, working on special effects for a TV show, or making the scenery for a video game. You might have to consult with clients and design professionals to clarify work, use storyboards to plan your animations, create animations with 3D modeling software and make any changes colleagues or clients request.
Following are the primary duties of an animator:
Reading storylines and scripts to understand animation requirements.
Preparing presentations with raw designs to customers.
Creating models, illustrations, and drawings by hand or electronically.
Animating realistic, story-driven character actions that are exciting, emotional, and compelling.
Animating creatures, props, vehicles, cameras, and actions based on storyboards, script pages, or descriptions.
Composing and animating cameras in a cinematic style.
Ensuring synchronization of frames and audio.
Working closely with 3D artists, leads, and the animation supervisor to ensure clients’ requirements are met.
Giving and receiving constructive, creative feedback across teams.
Animator Median Salaries
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data, an animator earns $77,700 per year or an average of $37.36 per hour. Due to the increased demand for animation in movies, television, and video games, from 2019 to 2029, the employment of special effects artists and animators is expected to grow by 4%.
Top Skills for Animators
Animators who work in 2D or 3D model-making, stop-frame, and computer-generated animation require more than just creativity. A thorough understanding of visual communication, a passion for sketching and drawing, and expertise in traditional animation techniques and modern animation software are needed to tell a story through animation.
Let’s discuss the top six skills expected from a professional animator:
- Expert in Adobe Animate: Those in the animation industry know that Adobe Animate is a powerful tool for creating vector graphics. As an advanced user of this program, you will create complex animations such as those used by video game designers. Mastering Animate will help you to build a strong foundation in the animation field.
- Drawing skills: To give life to expressive and passionate characters who can connect with the viewers, animators need good drawing skills. Your drawings should also reflect your creativity.
- Animation pipeline familiarity: The animation pipeline is the detailed planning of your project including concept, designs, storyboard, layouts, music, poses, and outline. Familiarity with the animation pipeline will help you fulfill your goals properly and deliver the project on deadline.
- Story development ability: To be a good animator, you also need to be a good storyteller. It takes skills to create compelling stories and present them to an audience in an appealing way. Think of it this way: Without a good story, Woody and the other toys in Toy Story would never captivate the hearts of millions all over the world with their adventures.
- Incorporating realistic movements: You should know about animation movement techniques and combine them for your art to appear more realistic and believable
- Creating unique and impactful characters: A good animator should bring lively and expressive characters into their work. Doing so demands practice, imagination, and creativity. To build solid and impactful characters, you should know how to draw emotive expressions and striking poses. If your characters don’t match the storyline, then the animation would seem conflicting.
Educational Requirements for Animators
DegreeTo become an animator, you can start with an associate degree in animation. But if you wish to expand your knowledge on computer animation, editing, and hand drawing, then opting for a bachelor's degree in animation or related fields like fine arts, entertainment design, computer graphics, and art and illustration will be a better option. For more advanced learning, you can also do a master's degree in animation.
The Ringling College of Art and Design, Savannah College of Art and Design, and California Institute of the Arts, which are some of the best schools in animation, will help you improve your storytelling ability while also teaching you the technical aspects of 3-D and stop-motion animation.
CertificationPeople who do not want to spend as much time studying for a degree can develop animation skills through certificate programs, workshops, and continuing education classes. Like the School of Visual Arts in New York City, the Rhode Island School of Design, and the Minneapolis College of Art and Design, some schools offer education programs in animation. You can also enroll in online platforms like Coursera, Udemy and edX for certificate programs.
Animator Resume-Writing Tips
Keeping your resume updated and revised is very important. Below are three simple tips to make your resume stand out from the crowd. Let's see what you need to keep in mind as an animator while building your resume:
Highlight your animation software knowledge.Being an animator, you should have expertise in specific animation software like Autodesk Maya, Toon Boom Harmony, and Moho. Recruiters favor candidates who have good technical skills and are familiar with different animation techniques. So, you need to highlight your animation software knowledge in your resume to convince them that you are an asset to the company.
You can add phrases like, “Used Maya to create realistic characters with a full range of emotions and movement.” You can also use keywords like “Expert in Adobe Animate,” “Realistic movement expert,” and “Character Creation developer” in your skills section.
What makes you a unique animator?To emphasize your uniqueness as an animator, you need to specify what makes you different from others in the field. For example, saying something like, “Designed quality benchmarks for animation projects that doubled production speed,” is optimal.
Can I be a self-taught animator?
Can I become an animator without knowing how to draw?
If getting into 3D animation is your goal, then you needn't always be a great artist to be a great animator. Your animations can be excellent as long as you have a strong understanding of the 12 principles of animation, regardless of whether or not you know how to draw. Even though this is the case, you still need to have some basic drawing skills to work extensively and move up in this field.
Is knowledge of mathematical concepts important for animators?
Mathematical concepts like algebra, trigonometry, geometry, or calculus are crucial for animators. Animated films are now constructed entirely on computers and rely on these concepts to bring the animation characters into life. Algebra is used to create the special effects that make images sparkle and shine, trigonometry helps you rotate and move symbols, and integral calculus can help you understand light scenes.