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How to Become an Animation Designer

Game Design/Animation

An animation designer is someone who utilizes a number of different media to make an image come to life either through drawings, 2D digital imagery, or 3D digital imaging.

A basic understanding of illustration, 3D animation studies, and stop frame photography is a good way to ensure you have a foundation to excel as an animation designer. As well, you have potential to engage in freelance jobs, giving you freedom and flexibility in your work environment. 

To Become an Animation Designer - Animation Design Schools

What are the Duties and Responsibilities of an Animation Designer?

An animation designer typically performs an array of duties throughout the workday including:
• Accumulating single shots
• Working with still-frame elements such as a camera, editing software, and making props for the shots
• Working with lighting
• Understanding stop animation software and drawing animation software
• Using a drawing board to sketch out digital or physical elements for animation scenes
• Collaborating with a large team of creative individuals
• Working constructively towards timelines with a number of different tasks
• Keeping an inventory of materials

Many more skills are needed such as an understanding of design elements and putting such elements into practice. 

What Skill Sets are Needed to Become an Animation Designer?

Working with a large team is of key importance for an animation designer, as well as:
• Time management skills and an emphasis on results
• Great interpersonal communication
• The ability to do repetitive tasks for long hours on end
• Stop frame experience
• The ability to elaborate on a vision and collaborate towards a final product
• Flexibility regarding creative direction
• A willingness to constantly learn and keep up with modern forms of animation
• Computer knowledge and preferably an understanding of animation and editing software

There are a number of other elements that work in favor of an animation designer, but collaboration on an artistic vision is essential to successful projects. 

What Schooling is Needed to Become an Animation Designer?

Post-secondary education is the best way to become an animation designer, usually with a bachelor’s degree in the arts with experience in animation or media. As an animation designer, drawing experience is preferred, as well as storyboard and illustration abilities. Being able to draw out a vision for yourself and a team is a great way to build a portfolio and show that you are artistically mature enough to take on a project.

An animation designer can also utilize private design programs to add onto their existing credentials or use such programs as their base credential to enter work. Specialized programs may present more hands on training than a degree program, but the job outlook may not be as lucrative. 

What is the Job Outlook for an Animation Designer?

The job outlook for an animation designer is moderate, but rising do to a heavy market for children’s television and movies. Jobs for 3D animators are in demand now more than ever, so a job in 3D animation may be the best option for solidifying an animation designer career path with larger media companies.

Overall, becoming an animation designer takes patience, team work, and a consistent creative ability on the job. If animation design sounds like a field that you would be interested in entering, contacting a college or design program is a great way to understand what specific programs structures consist of.

Talking to someone in the field will give you background into everyday job duties and the work life of an animation designer!

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