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Animators may do some or all of the following

  • build models, puppets or sets, or hand-draw or paint characters, and give them skin surfaces with texture and colour
  • film models and hand-drawn animations
  • create 3-D mesh wireframes to produce backdrops for 2-D and 3-D animation scenes
  • use computer programs to 'rig' characters, giving them skeletons that allow them to be animated
  • use computer animation programs to animate characters, or objects, in 2-D or 3-D
  • produce special effects such as colour fading and reflection.

More senior animators may also

  • meet with directors, clients or employers and agree on a brief (work plan)
  • plan animation and design work for their team
  • direct the filming of motion capture (recording physical movements that are then translated into digital images)
  • be involved in hiring and managing staff.

Animators need to have

  • drawing, painting, and design skills, if they are making models
  • animation skills (2-D and 3-D)
  • knowledge of at least one animation software package
  • an understanding of how people and animals move and express their feelings
  • the ability to create different moods and feelings in characters
  • knowledge of film, television or video game production
  • good communication skills.


Animators need to be

  • creative and imaginative
  • disciplined, motivated and good at setting goals
  • comfortable promoting themselves and their work
  • adaptable and able to accept criticism of their work, particularly when they are starting out
  • able to work well under pressure and to deadlines.