3D Animator

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Animator

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Artistic or Creative Analytic or ScientificSkill Level 4Skill Level 5

3D animators design and create visual effects using 3D modelling, character animation, textures, lighting, rigging, rendering and compositing. They work with a special digital 3D mesh that forms Future Growth Strong the shape of the character or object. They can apply fur, hair, textures or other effects to the mesh to produce a realistic result.

3D animators may work in industries such as filmmaking, game design,
television, online content development, advertising, education or government. In Australia, 3D animators mostly work in the  metropolitan areas.


ANZSCO description:
Plans, designs, develops, and prepares pictures and diagrams to communicate messages, clarify meaning, assist in presentations and illustrate stories, using traditional and digital media such as drawing, painting, drafting, collage, models, photography, and image capture and manipulation software.

Knowledge, skills and attributes

A 3D animator needs:

  • creative flair and a high level of drawing skills
  • strong spatial perception skills
  • enthusiasm for experimenting with different techniques
  • knowledge of digital image production techniques
  • high attention to detail, and strong problem solving abilities
  • good planning and organisation skills
  • to be able to work individually and as part of a team.
  • good communication skills

3D Animator
(Source: Charles Sturt University)

Duties and Tasks

  • Meeting with clients and key stakeholders, such as directors, actors, video game designers and other animators, to determine the scope of the work and project deadlines

  • Researching subjects to ensure accurate animated representations

  • Communicating with other designers to ensure a cohesive vision across the product

  • Storyboarding to develop scenes that require animation

  • Using software to create animated characters, scenes and graphics

  • Adjusting colors, lighting, shadows and textures to perfect lifelike appearances

  • Integrating client and stakeholder feedback into final designs

  • Develop 3D multimedia projects involving computer graphics.

  • Coordinate and create illustrations, scanning and photo retouching.

  • Use imagination, judgment, skill, and experience to design life-like animations.

  • Create 3D art animation assets for interactive productions.

  • Design brochures, logos, presentations, print ads as needed.

  • Cooperate with the production staffs to analyze and understand the 3D graphic requests.

  • Change and control colors, shadow, texture, light, etc to create life-like animations.

  • Develop animation composites and renders for interactive productions.

  • Manage and store 3D animation images and files.

  • Review technology upgrades to ensure compatibility with existing and future requirements.

  • Coordinate with different departments to develop and execute computer animation project. Maintain production studio.

  • Attend project team meetings.

Working conditions

3D animators work in an office environment in a design department or studio and may work on projects independently or with other team members. They may be required to work on more than one project at a time. Designing and developing an animation project is a lengthy process and animators may work long hours (evenings and on weekends) to meet deadlines.

Tools and technologies

3D animators use specially developed industry hardware and software to create 3D and motion-captured digital animations, moving images and graphics. They predominantly work with computer-generated imagery (CGI) production techniques along with storyboarding and prototyping software. They may also use traditional drawn animation or 2D digital animation, depending on the project requirements.

Education and training/entrance requirements

To become a 3D animator you usually need to complete a formal qualification in animation, digital design or a related area. The Diploma of Screen and Media (Animation and Games Design) and the Advanced Diploma of Animation are offered at TAFE colleges and other registered training organisations throughout Australia.

You can complete a degree majoring in animation, digital design, integrated design, games art and design or a related area.

Additionally, 3D animators should be versed in a variety of industry-standard applications, including Maya, MotionBuilder, Mudbox, FBX, 3ds Max, ZBrush, Premiere and After Effects. Experience with Cinema 4D may also be required by companies seeking animators with motion design skills. As technology evolves — and consumers increasingly rely on smartphones and tablets — animators with mobile skills will have a competitive edge.


Employment Opportunities

While technical savvy and an artistic eye are certainly critical to succeeding as a 3D animator, employers also want candidates to possess robust soft skills. These techniques are not job specific, but they show potential employers that you can interact with others effectively to produce exceptional work.

Valuable soft skills for 3D animators include time management, multitasking and the ability to write and speak well. In fact, excellent communication is a must.

 

Did You Know?

The Conversation

Animated advertisements have been integral to the development of Australian animation since its very beginning. Although we are currently celebrating the centenary [2015], there were actually a few smatterings of animation that occurred in Australia several years prior to 1915. This included animated advertisements screened in cinemas.
(Source: The Conversation - 26/6/2015)

 

Animator
   Information, Media and Telecommunications

Clerical or OrganisingAnalytic or ScientificSkill Level 5



An animator creates models or draws characters and objects in a sequence of different positions to give the illusion of movement. They synchronise lip movements with words, and actions with music Future Growth Strong and sound effects. Animators can use a range of traditional and digital techniques, including cell animation, claymation, motion graphics, rendering and morphing.

An animator produces multiple images called frames, which when sequenced together create an illusion of movement - this is known as animation. The images can be made up of digital or hand-drawn pictures, models or puppets. Animators use computer or stop-frame animation to create movement and personality. As an animator, your work could be used in animated films or television cartoons. It may also be used for advertisements, computer games, websites and music videos.

Computer-generated animation features strongly in motion pictures (to create special effects or an animated film in its own right), as well as in aspects of television, the internet and the computer games industry.

The basic skill of animation still relies heavily on artistic ability, but there is an increasing need for animators to be familiar with technical computer packages.

You could specialise in one of the following animation techniques:

  • 2D hand-drawn or traditional

  • 2D computer-generated

  • 3D computer-generated imagery (CGI)

  • stop-frame, stop-motion or model animation.

Producing an animation involves many stages and processes. This can include generating ideas in the development stage to building models during production, and editing the final piece in post-production. Working on a smaller project might mean that you are involved with production more broadly. On large or long-running productions, you could be part of a team of animators and assistants working on one project for several weeks, months or even years.

A Day in the life of an animator
(Source: Balance Careers)


ANZSCO description: Plans, designs and develops the production of digitally delivered information, promotional content, instructional material and entertainment through online and recorded digital media using static and animated information, text, pictures, video and sound to produce information and entertainment tailored to an intended audience and purpose.

Knowledge, skills and attributes

  • creativity and imagination
  • good drawing or modelling skills
  • patience and concentration
  • acting skills to bring characters to life
  • accuracy and attention to detail
  • the ability to take direction and ability to work with others
  • artistic talent and technical skills
  • a good eye for detail
  • communication and storytelling skills
  • networking skills and commitment to projects through previous work experience
  • an engagement with the industry from submitting work to festivals and competitions
  • the flexibility to switch between several projects at once.

 

Disney and Pixar’s Soul | Official Trailer | Disney+
https://youtu.be/xOsLIiBStEs

 

How would you draw this character???

Duties and Tasks

Producing animation involves a number of stages including generating ideas, building models and rigging lighting.

Computer animation uses software known as CGI (computer-generated imagery).

Tasks typically involve:

  • liaising with clients and developing animation from their concepts
  • creating storyboards that depict the script and narrative
  • drawing in 2D to create sketches, artwork or illustrations
  • designing models, backgrounds, sets, characters, objects and the animation environment
  • using a range of materials, including modelling clay, plaster, oil paints, watercolours and acrylics
  • developing the timing and pace of the movements of a character or object during the sequence of images and ensuring they follow the soundtrack and audio requirements
  • using technical software packages, such as Flash, 3ds Max, Maya, LightWave, Softimage and Cinema 4D
  • building up accurate, detailed, frame-by-frame visuals
  • recording dialogue and working with editors to composite the various layers of animation (backgrounds, special effects, characters and graphics) in order to produce the finished piece
  • working to production deadlines and meeting clients' commercial requirements
  • working as part of a broader production team, which might include liaising with printers, copywriters, photographers, designers, account executives, website designers or marketing specialists
  • dealing with diverse business cultures, delivering presentations and finding funding.
  • Much of the work involves pitching and being proactive in selling your ideas and work to prospective customers and clients. This applies whether you're self-employed, working freelance or employed within a company.

Working conditions

For many projects you would usually work normal office hours, Monday to Friday, but you may sometimes need to work overtime and weekends to meet deadlines. Animation work can be based at an office or studio depending on your role and the type of animation.

Working as a freelance animator may give you the opportunity to work from home.

In stop-motion animation you may spend a lot of time on your feet adjusting models. In other types of animation, you would spend most of your time sitting at a computer or drawing board.

Education and training/entrance requirements

You can work as an animator without formal qualifications, but increasingly, entry to this occupation requires completion of a university degree.

You can also become an animator by completing a degree in animation, graphic design, digital media, new media design, fine arts, creative arts, visual arts or visual communication. To get into these courses you usually need to gain your senior secondary school certificate or equivalent, with English. Applicants may also be required to attend an interview and/or submit a portfolio of work.

Consumers will continue to demand more realistic video games, movie and television special effects, and three-dimensional movies. They will also demand newer computer hardware, which adds to the complexity of the games themselves. Video game studios will require additional multimedia artists and animators to meet this increased demand.

For animators, a portfolio should contain a variety of pieces that illustrate your range, like life drawings, scenes or original characters and locations. You should also include examples of different mediums — such as paintings, sketches, sculptures or computer graphics — to emphasize the breadth of your abilities.

 

3D Animator

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Cinematographer

Publisher

Graphic Designer

Multimedia Specialist

Newspaper Editor

Games Developer

IT Analyst

Radio Producer Presenter

Writer

Illustrator

Director

Broadcasting Technician

3D Animator

Archivist

Librarian

Social Media Manager

Journalist

Applications Programmer

Film Producer

Photographer

Web Designer

Cinematographer

Publisher

Graphic Designer

Multimedia Specialist

Newspaper Editor

Games Developer

IT Analyst

Radio Producer Presenter

Writer

Illustrator

Director

Broadcasting Technician

3D Animator

Archivist

Librarian