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    Animators create special effects and other moving images that include hand-drawn and computer-generated sketches, videos and other electronic media for use in movies, music videos, commercials, computer games, and virtual reality. An animator may specialize in creating characters, environments or special effects. Animators typically work on teams, with certain individuals responsible for developing part of the overall motion picture, game or other production.

    Job Outlook for Careers in Animation

    According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment of animators is projected to grow 6 percent from 2014 to 2024. Projected growth will be due to increased demand for animation and visual effects in video games, movies, and television.

    Additionally, animation work will be needed in website development, computer graphics, mobile technologies, design services and scientific research. Competition for animation jobs should be stiff, since the number of qualified animators generally exceed the number of available openings. Although, highly specialized animation or special effects skills could help professionals stand out among the competition.

    So, what does an Animator do?

    Animators do everything relating to their scenes, including plotting the camera moves, editing the soundtrack, charting information, and producing a composited version of their work for comments from the Director or Animation Director.

    In addition to creating the animated movement and performance, animators are responsible for the consistent design and line quality of their animation. On some projects, animators may be expected to be involved in the digital compositing and editing stages. Animators may develop skills and preferences for different aspects of animation, such as special effects or lip sync, and consequently find they work mainly in those areas.

    In principle, the role of animator is the same for all techniques of animation; the differences are in the tools used and in some of the skills required. Jobs titles include: 2D computer animator, 3D computer animator, stop motion animator, CG modeler, compositor, digital painter, layout artist, model maker, storyboard artist, or roto artist.

    Does this sound like you?

    • I like to combine creativity with technical skills.
    • I have a good understanding of the principles of storytelling and filmmaking.
    • I love to draw.
    • I’m able to take direction and I appreciate constructive feedback.
    • I like to work both independently and as part of a team.

    Take the Next Step:  Enroll in Media Arts at The Seattle Skills Center