2D COMPUTER ANIMATOR

(ANIMATION)

DEPARTMENTS
2D COMPUTER ANIMATION

OVERVIEW
Animating scenes of an animated product including plotting the camera moves, editing the soundtrack, and charting information on dope sheets
Producing a composited version of this work for comments from the Director

For this role, you will need to:

  • Have animation and acting skills, combined with a good sense of graphic design
  • Have a good level of computer literacy
  • Have a good working knowledge of relevant graphics, animation and compositing software, including Photoshop, Illustrator, After Effects Flash and/or Cel Action
  • Have a good understanding of the principles of animation and filmmaking
  • Have knowledge of drawing and structure
  • Be self-motivated
  • Be able to take direction and willing to address constructive feedback
  • Be able to communicate clearly with colleagues
  • Be able to manage relevant aspects of production
  • Have the capacity to work both independently and as part of a team
  • Have an appreciation of accuracy and pay close attention to detail
  • Be able to deliver on schedule, working calmly and efficiently under pressure, if required
  • Have respect for the procedures and requirements of a particular studio or production
  • Have knowledge of the requirements of the relevant health and safety legislation and procedures

WHAT DOES AN ANIMATOR DO?
Animators do everything relating to their scenes, including plotting the camera moves, editing the soundtrack (if required), charting information on dope sheets and producing a composited version of their work for comments from the Director.

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.
Animators create the action, developing character and performance; a process comparable to a model animator being given a puppet or model to animate.

Animators can find themselves doing a bit of everything. Design and drawing skills are more likely to be required because, depending on the project, Animators may be working from rough storyboards or producing their own layouts, sometimes as drawn artwork to be scanned in to the computer.

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.

Will I need a qualification?
To be an Animator in 2D computer animation, it will help you to have an animation, film or illustration degree. It would also help you to have training in 2D drawn animation but, for some studios, good drawing can be a lower priority.

For this role, portfolios are less important than showreels which demonstrate your talent for animation, design, acting and timing.

While many Animators working in 2D computer animation are graduates, different studios have different philosophies about recruiting and you will always be hired on the strength of your work. Personal work demonstrating animation talent and an understanding of filmmaking can be a useful addition to a showreel, and could help you get an Animator job without having a degree.

WHAT’S THE BEST ROUTE IN?

There is no typical career route to follow to become a 2D Computer Animator. One of the more likely routes you can follow is to be an animation graduate with some knowledge of 2D drawn animation.

You could also achieve this role having been a 2D animator, 2D drawn effects animator, web designer, storyboard artist or illustrator.

RELATED JOB ROLES

COMPOSITOR
Compositors construct the final image by combining layers of previously created material, including computer animation, special effects, graphics, 2D animation, live action and static background plates.

ANIMATION DIRECTOR
Have overall responsibility for the quality of an animated product.

2D DRAWN ANIMATOR 
Animators in 2D drawn animation produce series of static drawings which create the illusion of movement.

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