Animation can be a lucrative and artistically rewarding career path. Even still, it’s essential to understand that several aspects of animation are challenging and require investing a lot of time and patience to hone skills that ensure you can do your job efficiently. So if you can learn some of the basic skills every animator needs to practice, you’ll be on your way to a successful career in this gratifying industry.
A large part of what animators do involves communication and teamwork. On any given day, animators might speak at length with other project departments. These meetings might include questions about desired creative elements, storyboard presentations, or discussions about fixes to a particular aspect of your team’s deliverables. If you genuinely want to be an animator, an excellent place to start is with your ability to communicate clearly and work as part of a team.
Animation is a prolonged and detail-oriented process. Even creating a ten-second snippet of a man bouncing a ball can take hours of work to produce and perfect. Because the process is so time-consuming, a strong sense of patience is vital to your success.
Additionally, animators are responsible for ensuring that each line, curve, and squiggle in their subject’s motions work seamlessly into one another. They must also make sure that their linework and coloring are clean and well-shaded to produce the best animation possible for a project. As such, acute attention to detail is also a skill you’ll want to cultivate.
Perhaps two of the most vital skills every animator needs to practice are drawing and character design. Animation is a visual medium that requires artistry and extensive knowledge of intricate drawing and subject motion, so it’s critical to attaining a level of mastery in drawing.
You’ll also want to perfect your process for original character design. Character design is the process of creating your characters from scratch and using them to cultivate your individual artistic tastes and styles, practice the fundamentals of drawing, and develop advanced skills like storyboarding.
Animation technology is constantly evolving to become more detailed, efficient, and precise in its capabilities. Because of how quickly this tech develops, would-be animators must understand and stay current with the newest industry-standard tech available. Plus, because the animation industry is highly competitive, staying current with industry programs and tech is the best way to stay ahead of, or at least near, the competition.
While animation can be a rewarding and lucrative career choice, it comes with many challenges, so approach the industry with the right mentality and skill set.