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Working in animation – Have You Got What It Takes?

Working in animation

If you are artistic but perhaps you also like working at a computer have you thought about working in animation?

There are different types of animation but they all involve producing images called frames, which when put together create the illusion of motion.

What kind of animation could I work in?

The differences between animation type lie in the tools used. The following are examples of the type of animation that you could choose to do.

2D drawn animation where you produce a series of drawings and record them in sequence to create the illusion of movement.

2D computer animation where you use tools like Flash or CelAction to animate scenes, plotting the camera moves, editing the soundtrack if used, and charting information on dope sheets.

3D computer animation which involves using specialist software such as Maya to produce three-dimensional images which, in sequence, create the illusion of movement.

Stop motion animation where you animate models, 3D objects or puppets one frame at a time to create a performance and provide the illusion of motion.

What to study to work in animation

There are study options including art or specific animation qualifications, including BTECs at Level 3, HNDs and degrees, but building up experience is important too.

You could look for local animated film competitions or festivals and get involved. This would give you the opportunity to meet other animators and people in the industry as well as developing your experience and being fun!

To find work as an animator you will need video or film footage of your work to show to employers.

Animator: Working hours and pay

Animators can work freelance or for an employer. The hours are normally between 35 – 40 a week, Monday to Friday unless you’re freelance and then you’ll make your own hours.

Starting salaries are normally around £14,000 and with experience you could earn around £36,000.


About Lynette Daly

Lynette is the publishing editor of Moving On magazine. Moving On is devoted to helping young people make good choices for their future – education, qualifications and careers. Moving On really wants to motivate you! Our articles cover a range of topics to inspire and give ideas. Our magazines are delivered free to all schools, colleges and sixth forms in England and is also available online.

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