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Animator Career Description

Animators use film, video, computers or other electronic tools and media to create special effects, animation or other visual images for products like movies, computer games, music videos and commercials. Multimedia artists and animators tend to work primarily in computer and data processing services, advertising and the motion picture and television industries. They draw by hand and use computers to create the large series of pictures that form the animated images or special effects seen in movies, television programs and computer games.

Animator Career Specializations

Some multimedia artists and animators draw storyboards for television commercials, movies and animated features. Storyboards present television commercials in a series of scenes similar to a comic strip, and allow an advertising agency to evaluate proposed commercials with the company doing the advertising. Storyboards also serve as guides to placing actors and cameras and to other details during the production of commercials.

Animator Career Working Environment

Most of these artists work in office buildings or in private studios in their homes. Artists who sit at drafting tables or use computers for extended periods may experience back pain, eyestrain or fatigue. While many work a standard 40-hour seek, during busy periods, they may work overtime to meet deadlines. While self-employed artists can set their own hours, they may spend much of their time and effort recruiting potential customers or clients and building a reputation.

Programs to Consider:

Animator Career Required Training

Creativity is essential for all types of artists; people in the field must have a strong sense of aesthetics, possess an eye for color and detail, and an appreciation for beauty and a sense of balance and proportion. Although formal training is not strictly necessary for artists, it is very difficult to become skilled enough to make a living without at least some training. 

Evidence of appropriate talent and skill - displayed in an artist's portfolio - is an important factor used by art directors, clients and others in deciding whether to hire or contract out work. This portfolio is a collection of hand-made, computer-generated, photographic or printed samples of the artist's best work. Assembling a successful portfolio requires skills usually developed in a bachelor's degree program or other postsecondary training in art or visual communications.

Animator Career Coursework

Many colleges and universities offer degree programs leading to the Bachelor in Fine Arts (BFA) and Master of Fine Arts (MFA). Coursework usually includes core subjects, such as English, social science and natural science in addition to art history and studio art. 

Independent schools of art and design also offer postsecondary studio training in the fine arts leading to an Associate in Art (AA) or Bachelor in Fine Arts (BFA) degree. Typically, these programs focus more intensively on studio work than the academic programs in a university setting. 

Formal educational programs also provide training in computer techniques, as computers are widely used in the visual arts, and knowledge and training in them are critical for many jobs in these fields.

Animator Salary

Median Salary--$68,060 in 2011

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