Animators use advanced computer software to create animated environments, characters and objects for film, television, gaming and advertisements. This field requires artistic creativity, advanced computer knowledge and a flair for narrative story-telling. Animators often work as part of a team creating different aspects of complicated animations and special effects that use programs such as Modo, Softimage and Lightwave. Stay skilled in the most up-to-date animation software so your work is fresh.
Computer animators need advanced programming skills in the latest software. An animator often earns a bachelor's degree in design with a concentration in animation or computer-aided design. In addition to this degree, it is common for an animator to earn certification in software programs such as Adobe Creative Suite, Lightwave and Modo.
A key to getting your first animation job is to have a strong portfolio that shows the breadth and quality of your work. The final year of most degree programs focuses on creating this. If you know your direction in animation such as film, advertising or gaming, target your portfolio toward that work and present examples of animated characters, environments and objects.
Being a successful animator requires creativity and advanced computer programming skills. Know your stuff when it comes to the latest trends and best work being done in the field. With the popularity of 3D and animation films, the advances in technology are rapid. The gaming industry is also booming with sequels of games that require new story lines and characters.
Three of the main industries for animators are film and television, gaming and advertising and each have their own career path. In film and television animation, it is common to work as part of a large team producing small elements of a given design. The gaming industry requires intricate knowledge of the story lines and characters of a given company's games. You may be creating new characters and narratives or troubleshooting the existing animation. Advertising agencies employ animators for digital campaigns, rebuilding dynamic websites or advertisements for clients.
Grace Bordelon is a public relations professional, teacher and writer. She owns her own boutique public relations firm that specializes in the advertising, gaming and software industries. She also teaches at a major design school for fine artists, commercial artists and graphic designers. Bordelon holds a B.A. in international economics and an M.A. in English from Bard College.