What does an animator do?
The daily duties of an animator will vary considerably based on their chosen field of specialisation, however the elements of their work are fairly consistent across media. Work on a project begins with initials plans and sketches based on research or an idea, the plot of the animation is storyboarded, characters and background elements are confirmed, design work is undertaken (often with other members of production or art departments in large-scale projects, and the final animated piece is synched to sound and voiceover tracks. The same basic elements are used across video games, cartoons and feature films, though the end product and user experience varies greatly.
- Design concept models of characters
- Synchronise audio with images
- Create background detail for scenes
- Liaise with art department and production crew
What skills do I need to be an animator?
Animators are highly creative people who also possess the technical skills and prowess necessary to use complicated computer programs to complete their work. They are able to devise and create highly imaginative worlds and characters, either as a commissioned artist or for a personal project. Working as an animator requires excellent attention to detail, ensuring work is consistent and seamless, as well as creative flair to add interest to the work. Due to the scope of work needed to complete an animated project, animators seldom work alone and need to be able to communicate well and operate as part of a creative team.
- Highly creative
- Ability to work as part of a team
- Excellent attention to detail
- Skilled with computers
Animators can choose from a wide range of career options in many varied fields when developing their professional skill set. A personal interest in the medium you'll be working in will naturally be an advantage in understanding the form and enjoying your work.
Video game artists
Special effects animator
Study pathways for animators
There are a number of study options that aim to help you achieve your career goals. Choose a course that is specific to your specialisation and get a head start on your career.
Find a course that will help you develop your creative skills
Work towards your career goals with targeted outcome-based courses
Learn the ins-and-outs of working in the film and gaming industries
There are professional associations for the different industries animators work in. Applying for membership of a peak body may help you increase your professional standing.
Getting a job after graduation
Put your training to good use and get the best professional head start in your digital media career. Emphasise your personal strengths and achievements in your resume and target your cover letter to the job description listed.
Job Prospects and Salaries
Employment prospects and salaries for an animator are highly dependent on your specialisation and the particular industry you work in.