How To Become An Animator

The world of animation can be an exciting career choice for those looking to make a hobby a career. Animation might just be the perfect career path for someone who enjoys the arts and wants a fulfilling career. The animator training requirements for various industries will vary according to their software programs and techniques. It can help if you have experience in graphic design or drawing.

What Is An Animator?

Animators design 2D and 3D animation for websites, films, video, games, and mobile media, using animation software like Unity 3D, SketchUp, AutoDesk 3D, and ZBrush. With video being one of the most important first-choice mediums for people to consume information.  Animated visuals easily add a ton of clarity to messages; so having an animator in a company or project is extremely important these days. Even today, drawing skills and sculpting remain important to animation, but advanced technology has opened up a myriad of new possibilities. 

The majority of animators work at home and must constantly look for freelancing opportunities. Other people are employed by companies or studios full time. It is not uncommon for animators to work weekends or evenings as well. So, be prepared!  

What Is It Like To Be An Animator?

In many cases, animators and special effects artists work from offices, but others do so from home.

Animators and visual effects artists usually work as a team on a movie, visual effect, or electronic game. A team of animators works on a different part of the animation, and then the pieces are assembled into a single animation.

The majority of animators work at home and must constantly look for freelancing opportunities. Other people are employed by companies or studios full time. It is not uncommon for animators to work weekends or evenings as well. So, be prepared! 

What Skills Do You Need To Become An Animator?

The following are a few skills you need to become an animator or special effect’s artist:


1. Computer Skills
Create graphics and animations using computer programs and illustrations.

2. Creativity
In order to create original ideas and bring them to life, animators and special effects
artists need to think creatively

3. Communication
Animators and special effects artists need to work as part of a complex team and respond well to criticism and feedback.

4. Artistic Talent
In order to be successful as an animator or special effect’s artist, one must have a good sense of colour, texture, and light. Their technical skills may compensate for their artistic shortcomings.

5. Time Management Skills
Many game design companies and studios are notoriously long-working, especially if tight deadlines are involved. Artists and animators who are working on a deadline need to manage their time effectively.

Animator Education Requirements

Just starting college or changing your major might have you wondering, “what degree do animators need?”. Animation and graphic arts are often studied as part of an animator’s undergraduate education. In addition to having communication and project management skills, they should be creative and artistic. Computer abilities and a working knowledge of video editing software are also required.

Bachelors Degree
Obtaining a bachelor’s degree in animation gives students valuable art skills as well as a foundation in the technology used in the industry. Gaming, visual effects, website animation, film, and video animation are all specialities within the animation field. Courses on animator education and training focus on arts and drawing, multimedia, 2D and 3D animation, and graphics.

Make sure you pick the right program. An animator degree program should provide courses in skills that are in line with the required qualifications for the specific speciality the student is interested in. A student pursuing a career path in special effects animation for film might not benefit from interactive animation courses required for gaming.

Work Experience
In order to qualify as an animator, it is crucial to have work experience. Artists with experience tend to be in greater demand. Oh dear, that old catch-22 chestnut. Have no fear, there is a solution. The internship requirement of degree programs that offer animation programs enables students to gain on-the-job experience. In general, graduates and animators with no formal training will need to work in assistant positions for a while before moving up to full-fledged animation positions. Just make sure they give you real animation work to do; you are not there to make them coffee!

Various degrees of skill are also available in this area, providing the artist with additional means of gaining valuable job experience. You might want to get experience with jobs that have similar responsibilities when you’re just starting out. An animator’s basic tasks include:

  1. Illustrating and creating visual effects
  2. Coordinate with other animators
  3. For inspiration on designs, conduct research
  4. Adjusting animations to match visuals

Make use of your animation skills by volunteering. Small businesses, non-profits, schools, and community groups can benefit from the animation services of dynamic animators such as enhancing their websites or providing animation for informative short films. On a resume and demo reel, volunteer work can be used as professional experience. Even though you are volunteering, give the projects your all! Even though you are not getting paid, you are engaging in a mutually beneficial project where the small business or non-profit gets a lovely animation and you get a lovely animation to put into your portfolio.

Building a portfolio
Demonstrate your qualifications by building a portfolio or a demo reel. Students who are pursuing a degree program should develop portfolios or demo reels to highlight their artistic skill, creativity, and technical ability. It is important to regularly update your portfolio in order to include latest work samples as you move forward in your career. Furthermore, the content must relate to the job you are applying for and must follow the employer’s preference.

For the position for which they are applying, artists can tailor their demo reels to showcase the style and technical skills that they have. Whenever possible, using content that reflects similar work and ideas is important when applying for an animator position. If you are working towards becoming a movie animator and striving to achieve this goal, you might want to incorporate a variety of content to demonstrate your abilities, depending on the job description. Regardless of the method you choose, this step is essential for you to stand out from the rest.

Additional training to keep you updated with the latest software
With Academy Class, you can update your skill set and learn all about the latest software available for animators.

To view all the courses Academy Class offers to animators, Click Here

What Are The Available Career Paths As An Animator?

1. Visual Effects

By using software programs such as Adobe After Effects, students develop techniques for creating illusions and simulated events. Their goal is to create credible live-action footage from digital images. Students will study storytelling, layering and compositing in After Effects, as well as creating and controlling 3D particle systems.

2. Character Animation

To connect with audiences, animators need to develop memorable and realistic characters. Drawing complicated characters and creating their environment requires a combination of artistic and technical skills. Courses such as life drawing, visual design, dialogue, and sound effects help students learn how to build characters and alternate realities.

3. Mobile Game Development

To develop engaging entertainment for video games, animators must have creative and technical skills. Research is conducted; character sketches and story development discussed; and tools such as Adobe Animate are used to develop games for mobile and computer platforms.

4. Advertising

Learning this field prepares students with the technical and theoretical skills needed to create digital advertising campaigns. In addition to social media strategies, students learn how to create multimedia branding campaigns to reach print, television, and other channels of advertising.