ANIMATORS use artistic talent to create special effects, animation, or other visual images. They work primarily in the motion picture and video industries. They draw by hand and use computers to create the series of pictures that form the animation images or special effects seen in movies, television programs, and computer games. Some use clay, wood, sand models, and puppets to create three-dimensional animation. They film the drawings, sculpture, and puppets one frame at a time. They then edit scenes together and match them to the soundtrack.
Salary, Size & Growth
- $52,500 average per year ($25.25 per hour)
- A medium occupation (26,600 workers in 2010)
- Expected to grow moderately (1.4% per year)
A portfolio is an important factor used by art directors, employers, clients, and others in deciding whether or not to hire an ANIMATOR. A portfolio is a collection of handmade, computer-generated, or printed samples of the best work done by the animator. An animator with a good portfolio, but no training or experience, can succeed in the art world. However, putting together a good portfolio requires skills usually developed in a post-secondary art school program, such as a bachelor''s degree program in fine art, graphic design, or visual communications. Most programs in art and design also provide training in computer design techniques, increasingly important as a qualification for many jobs in commercial art.