Feeling confused about future possibilities in animation?
Well, the animation industry has grown tremendously due to technological advancements in the current decade. That’s why choosing a career in animation will always be fruitful.
Cheers! The animation industry market size is bound to grow up to $642.5 billion by 2030.
Today, the animation is used to create movies, TV shows, video games, interactive learning experiences, visually appealing ads, product demonstrations, and much more.
TRON School of Animation has prepared thousands of students for jobs in the media & entertainment industry with their skills in Animation, Visual Effects, Gaming, Filmmaking, Multimedia, Web Design, Graphic Design, AR/VR, and more through our job-oriented courses.
In this blog post, we bring you various available options in the animation career. The required skills and qualifications, salary, and future trends and developments in animation.
Ready? Let’s begin.
Career options in Animation Industry
A single animation film requires large teams designated for different roles, which boosts huge employment opportunities in the field. Animation is a more lucrative and concrete career in all art positions.
Let us discuss each animation career option in detail. We have segregated all animation careers into 3 phases:
- Pre-production team
- Production team
- Post-production team
Pre-production Careers in Animation
1. Art Director
Once the concept is out on the table, art directors articulate the vision to the team and clients. Art directors also determine which artistic elements to use, review, approve copy, design, or photography. Basically, they create the overall design and direct others who develop artwork or layouts.
Skills required: Project management, Coordination with animation team, Creativity, Vision, and publishing skills
2. Storyboard Artist
Storyboard artists translate the script and the director’s vision into pictures. They produce a series of panels of visualised images along with the animation directions, like when a character enters the scene and what he does next.
Skills required: Drawing, Storytelling, Observational skills, Knowledge of animation.
3. Character Designer
Character designers take inspiration from the script and the director’s input on the character’s personality and appearance to design the character. They design the character’s personality, behaviour, and expression, which works as a vehicle for storytelling.
Skills required: Very strong drawing skills, Knowledge of animation, Creativity, and Digital illustration.
4. Background Designer
Background designers use the storyboard panels that have been signed off to create detailed backgrounds for each scene. They start with the list of all the needed backgrounds and then create them based on the theme and visual style of animation.
Skills required: Drawing, Knowledge of environments and landscapes, Creativity, and Communication skills.
5. Head of Story
Also called Storyboard supervisors, they work with the director, storyboard artists, and writers to identify and solve storytelling problems relating to structure, narrative, character arcs, continuity, complexity, etc. They also ensure the continuity between the animated scenes, often managing multiple revisions and variations in the process.
Skills required: Drawing, knowledge of animation and editing, vision, and leadership.
Modelers or model makers build digital or physical versions of everything that is seen on screen in animation. They begin by putting up a wire frame and sculpting the model’s overall appearance around it.
Skills required: understanding of art elements, anatomical knowledge, animation production process/pipeline.
Production Careers in Animation
1. Animation Technical Director
Animation TDs work with the animation software, developing and testing tools, custom features, and add-ons, ensuring it does the best job for the animators and layout artists. They ensure a smooth and fast workflow of artists with the help of efficient digital tools.
Skills required: Technical support, Programming or Coding skills, proficiency with tools like Adobe, Maya, etc., and Knowledge of animation and its process.
Animators create films by producing original and aesthetically pleasing designs and solutions using specialist computer generation software such as Maya, Flash, and After Effects. Traditional animators used to draw each frame by hand. However, today, animators can draw into software that improves their performance and enhances artistic abilities.
Skills required: Drawing, understanding of expressions of humans and other figures, a good understanding of principles and mechanics of animation.
Compositors, also known as finishing artists, create the final image of a frame, shot, or sequence. They combine digital elements, like animations, background plates, graphics, and special effects (SFX), to make a believable picture.
Skills required: Understanding animation and its elements, attention to detail, and knowledge of composite programming.
4. Effects Technical Director
Effects technical directors (FX TDs) create physics-based digital effects, such as explosions, smoke, and water, that animation artists can use in their shots and sequences.
Skills required: Problem-solving, Support, Programming or Coding skills, and Understanding of animation.
5. Layout Artist
Layout artists determine the depth and perspective of what is displayed on the screen. They use various components that include photographs and illustrations to create captivating layouts.
Skills required: Understanding of lighting and camera techniques, communication, and animation software.
6. Lighting Artist
The lighting artist ensures that all shots are complete and lighting rigs are optimised and organised to be ready for production. They use light to enhance the scene’s tone, atmosphere, depth, and mood. They also show the weather or time of the day using light.
Skills required: Understanding of principles behind lighting, Basics of animation, software, and problem-solving.
Riggers create digital skeletons or rigs that define the movements of a character or creature, such as how a person’s face and mouth move when they sing or how someone raises an eyebrow. As part of the process, animators test rigs and often present feedback based on the movement or posture required. They create rigs for anything that moves in an animation.
Skills required: Knowledge of art and animation, Animation software, Coding, and Teamwork.
Post-Production Careers in Animation
Composers write original music for animation. They write music to reflect and communicate the atmosphere, the character’s emotions, and the story. They create the soundtrack in sync with the scenes to increase the overall impact.
Skills required: High level of Musical skills, Music Production, Composition, and business management skills.
Editors shape the whole animation. They craft the storytelling from the start of the production to the finish. They arrange the final footage and make revisions with all the elements included till the producer approves the work.
Skills required: Storytelling, Knowledge of the animation process, Knowledge of software editing, Musical skill, & Teamwork.
3. Sound Designer
Sound designers collect, edit, and create sound effects, ambient effects, and even music for various needs in animation. They create sound in computers or record real-life sounds, known as foley. For example, the sound of rain, flames, or a frying pan.
Skills required: Musical instruments, Sound technicals, Software, Storytelling, and organisation.
Further, Production Management and Marketing teams include Directors, producers, production coordinators, runners, and marketing and sales teams.
Skills required to become an Animation professional
To be a professional in animation, you need to have a combination of technical and artistic skills. Here are some of the key skills that are typically required:
- Drawing and Illustration: A solid foundation in drawing and illustration is essential to create characters and backgrounds in 2D animation.
- Computer Skills: Proficiency in computer software such as Adobe Creative Suite, Toon Boom, Maya, or 3D Studio Max is important for 2D or 3D animation.
- Creativity: The ability to develop new and innovative ideas for stories and characters is crucial for creating engaging animations.
- Storytelling: A strong sense of storytelling is essential in creating compelling narratives that capture the audience’s attention.
- Attention to Detail: Animators must have a keen eye for detail to ensure that the animation is visually appealing and consistent.
- Time Management: The ability to work under tight deadlines and prioritize tasks is necessary to meet project timelines.
- Communication Skills: Effective communication skills are essential when collaborating with other animators, directors, and producers on a project.
- Problem-Solving Skills: Animators must be able to troubleshoot technical issues that arise during the animation process and find creative solutions.
- Adaptability: The animation industry is constantly evolving, so animators must be open to learning new techniques and adapting to new technologies.
- Passion: Above all, passion for animation is necessary to produce high-quality work and grow as an animator.
Popular animation courses that one can do in India are BSc Animation, BA Animation, Bachelor of Visual Arts in Animation, and other specializations such as graphic design, media, or VFX.
Besides that, various online portals offer various Animation Certificate Courses and Free Online Animation Courses.
TRON offers various long-term and short-term courses and placement assistance to kick-start your career in animation.
Tools required to become an Animator
- Adobe Photoshop
- Adobe Illustrator
- Corel Draw
- Adobe InDesign
- Adobe After Effect
- Adobe Audition
- Adobe Premiere Pro
To start your career in animation, you need to add more skills and become industry ready. For a complete list of tools and curricula for animation, download the TRON brochure.
Salary in the field of Animation in India
- According to the Ambition box, an animator’s salary in India ranges from 2 LPA to 7 LPA.
- Your favorite Disney animators studio pays their animators between $33,131 to $751,397.
- Globally, the salaries start at $54,126 yearly, and they can range up to $101,217 per year based on the ranks and seniority levels.
Tips to become a top animator
Becoming a top animator requires dedication, hard work, and talent. Here are some tips that may help you become a top animator:
- Build a strong foundation in the basics: Start by learning the fundamental principles of animation, such as timing, spacing, and anticipation.
- Learn from the masters: Study the work of established animators to gain inspiration and learn new techniques.
- Practice the craft: Spend time animating daily, experimenting with new techniques, and challenging yourself to create new and exciting work.
- Develop a Strong Portfolio: A strong portfolio is essential to showcase your skills and attract potential clients or employers.
- Collaborate with others: Work with other animators, writers, and directors to gain experience and learn from different perspectives.
- Network with industry people: Attend workshops and conferences to learn from field experts and meet other animators.
- Stay current with industry trends and tools: The animation industry is constantly evolving, so staying current with the latest trends and tools is important.
Emerging trends in Animation:
The animation industry constantly evolves, with new technologies and techniques always emerging.
Virtual and augmented reality are increasingly used to create immersive experiences for audiences.
To stay ahead of the curve, animators should learn how to use tools like Unity and Unreal Engine to create interactive and engaging VR and AR experiences.
To stay ahead in the era of highly potential Artificial intelligence, animators should learn to use these AI tools like DeepMotion and Artomatix and automate repetitive tasks and streamline workflow.
Real-time animation is becoming more popular, allowing animators to see the results of their work instantly.
Animators should learn how to use tools like Epic’s MetaHuman Creator and Unity’s Animation Rigging to create real-time animations for games and interactive experiences.
There is a growing interest in 2D animation. Animators should learn how to use tools like Toon Boom Harmony and Adobe Animate to create high-quality 2D animations.
The animation industry has experienced much growth in recent years, showing no signs of slowing down.
The main growth driver is the demand for high-quality content across various media, including film, television, video games, and online platforms.
There has never been a better time for aspiring animators to pursue a career in animation.
Kickstart your Animation career with Tron School of Animation with our highly experienced faculties and 21+ industry-ready short-term and long-term amination courses.
At Tron, our students work in a studio-like environment, practice industry-specific software, attend course-specific workshops, and participate in studio visits.
So, if you have a passion for animation, don’t hesitate to pursue your dreams and make the most of this industry’s exciting opportunities with Tron.
FAQs on Career in Animation
What are the main career options in animation?
There are various career options in animation that are:
- FX Artist
- Motion Graphics Artist
- Modelling Artist
- Rigging Artist
- Render Artist
- Character Animator
- Video Editor
- 3D Generalist
Is animation a good career?
Yes, Animation is a good career for those who have passion for art, graphics and story telling. Animation industry is growing and evolving in recent years with a huge increase in career options and growth opportunities. Also, the demand for skilled animators and VFX artists is increasing day-by-day.