Learning Paths

5 Skills You Need to Become an Excellent Animator

Think you were born to string sequential images of drawings, puppets and models together to produce films for commercials, computer games, music videos and websites?

If so, you’re on the road to becoming an animator! A few key skills you’ll need as an animator include: artistic talent, creativity, storytelling ability, attention to detail, ability to work under pressure meeting tight deadlines.

As an animator, you will have to work creatively to produce original and aesthetically pleasing designs and solutions and amongst other tasks; use specialist computer generation software, present designs to customers for evaluation, promote and run the business, negotiate contracts, liaise and work effectively with other design and production staff.

5 Skills You Need to Become an Excellent Animator:

1. Attention to Detail

With many games and movies being rendered in 4K resolution, there are infinitely more pixels and details to perfect. The ability to perfect every minute detail is one of the skills all 3D animators must develop. Animators now have the ability to animate items like individual strands of hair in fine detail. Each frame needs to be assessed with a fine-tooth comb (ahem) to add as many features as possible; the detail level expected by the audience has vastly increased.

Skills You Need to Become an Excellent Animator

2. Creativity

A 3D animator should have the ability to take the real world and transform it into a natural part of a world of fantasy. As an artist, you’ll need to dig into a deep well of inspiration, ideas and creativity that spurs you on daily. While believable animation isn’t tough to produce, audiences yearn for the ‘never-been-seen-before’. So it’s your job as the animator to make each motion memorable. This is another important point; having an acute sense of rhythm, timing and motion is imperative for a smooth flowing movie.

3. Absorbing Information Quickly

Whether switching studios or starting new projects, your ability to be agile and learn new skills and layouts will be crucial. The user interface of each software program may differ vastly depending on the publisher. And if an animator is comfortable learning new software in a few days, an abundance of positions are more likely to be available to them.

4. Ability to Work Under Pressure & Be a Master Organizer

Whether you’re self-employed or working for an agency, meeting tight deadlines and the ability to work under pressure are crucial for an animator. With a solid organization system for the thousands of individual files you’ll have to work with, you’ll cut down on wasted time searching for the files you need to use. Where’s that adorable, singing pink ribbon with blue spots that I used recently? If your memory isn’t fabulous, utilise design notes so you can quickly reference information while brushing up on an old technique or re-acquainting yourself with old software.

5. Desire to Push Boundaries & Persevere Through Obstacles

Each 3D animation project can last a long time; so learning to pace yourself and work comfortably through the challenges of each project without burning out is key. Working within a team will always have plenty of challenges, but if you’re determined to create something truly unique, you’ll need to push the limits and persist in overcoming the various obstacles along the way. Energy drink anyone? Forging a path to create something that truly resonates with an audience may be the difference between great entertainment and a masterpiece.

Skills to become an Animator

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