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How to Become an Animator – 2024 Step-by-Step Guide

Computer animation is a fairly new career and it provides individuals with so many business opportunities that the fact that it has become very popular comes as no surprise. Besides, people have the chance to express their creativity by creating new characters or motives and earn money on the way.

If you have spent your entire life drawing and are interested in learning about this career path, you have come to the right place. As it is to be expected, there are certain requirements that one has to meet, and in this article, we are going to tell what those are. This step-by-step guide is hopefully going to answer all your questions regarding this line of work.

Understand the job

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Skipping this initial step is the most frequent mistake people make. They think that there isn’t much to learn about the work an animator does, but that is not true. Yes, they bring certain characters to life, but there are so many different techniques that are used and different sets of skills that a professional needs to possess.

What’s more, there are numerous different types of animation. Some create pictures that are used to make a movie, while others only work on special effects. Some even work on storyboards that are used by movie directors to visualize the set and the position of all the actors.

Learn about the skills

As with any other job, there are certain skill requirements, besides being ‘hard-working’, that you must have if you want to be a successful animator in the future. First of all, you have to be patient. If you want to work in the cinema industry, this quality is extremely important. Why? Well, making these movies is a process that can last for years. Just some short scenes can take weeks.

Secondly, you have to be quite good at observing the world and people around you. Depending on the job, you might be asked to recreate a certain situation or design people with specific facial expressions. This is not an easy task by all means, so in order to complete it successfully, you have to train yourself to notice all those tiny details.

Finally, you have to work well with others. The animation is a process that includes many different tasks that are performed by multiple people, who are experts in their fields. Because of this, you have to possess communication skills to collaborate with your colleagues to create something that the audience will love.

2D or 3D?

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As you surely know, these two are the main types of animation and you should choose one of them. Naturally, when it comes to 2D you have to draw everything frame-by-frame. This means that people have to draw every movement of their character. Typically, there are 24 frames per second meaning that one needs to create 24 different drawings for one second of the scene.

On the other hand, you can go with 3D which is a modern technique. Since they create all the scenes via a computer, animators need to possess the knowledge about not only the software they use but also about geometry and graphics to make everything seem more realistic.

Get the necessary education

Technically speaking, you do not need a formal education to get a job as an animator. However, having a degree in graphic arts, animation or fine arts is always beneficial. If you are in high school and believe that this is the right career path for you then you should investigate universities or colleges that offer a degree in animation.

On the other hand, if you want to make a career change, you can always opt for a traditional or online program. Do online research and find the one that offers you everything you need. There is one thing that you have to do before applying and that is to choose what kind of animation you want to master.

Another thing that is of crucial importance is the computer skill. Without possessing this one, you won’t get far in this line of work. As you probably, there are multiple programs that animators use like flipaclip pc, so you should investigate these as well. This is something that you should learn while you are attending the chosen program.

Design a demo reel

Now that you have acquired all the information and mastered all the skills, it is time to find a job. The first thing that you have to do is to create a demo reel. What is this exactly? Simply put, this is a video that depicts your work i.e. includes animations that you have created.

When applying for different jobs with companies, you should make slight changes to your portfolio. For example, some employers want to see only the highlights of certain animations, while others like to watch different scenes. Some of them might even provide you with the list of things they would like to see.

Furthermore, depending on the job you are applying for, you might want to create a demo reel accordingly. What we are trying to say is that every job requires a certain set of skills, so to increase the chances of actually getting hired you should make a demo reel that shows future employers that you meet all their requirements.

Don’t forget about the CV and cover letter

These are two traditional documents that you have to submit together with the demo reel. When it comes to these two, the CV should contain all the information about your education and previous employment, while in the cover letter you should introduce yourself and your portfolio. Describe the demo reel and talk about the reasons why you are applying for a certain job position, and also, why you are the perfect candidate.

Create a website

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Having a website where people can see your work and learn about your qualifications is of crucial importance, especially for those who have decided to work as freelancers. Clearly, your animations should be at the center of attention. Nevertheless, do not forget to add a section where you will write about yourself and also remember to add your email address and other contact info.

About Stefania Trtica