So You Want To Be an Animator?

So You Want To Be an Animator?

So You Want To Be an Animator - Building Your Career - Extra Credits


Read the Animators survival kit

what type of animation do you want to do? 2d, 3d, mo cap?

What field do you want to work in? Game, video?

Knowing what kind of animation you want to work in is going to help you equip yourself with the necessary skill set.


You don’t have to go to school but if you do check out Animation Mentor. The graduation to empolyement rate is pretty impressive.

Check out a schools students demo reel to get a general idea of what your skill level will be after graduation

Find out the schools graduate to job placement rate

The quality and creativity of your work needs to stand out if you want to get job these days. The strength of your portfolio is what is going to get you hired.


Look up the reels of accomplished animators working in desired field get idea of what a good demo reel should contain and also show you a quality target to aim for. Set a high bar for yourself.


What makes a good animator and how do you get better?

A good animator is always studying movement, walks, body language, facial expressions. Then the good animator exaggerates them.

Watch video footage frame by frame then study that bodies mechanics involved frame by frame

A good animator studies acting fundamentals, super suggested, make the chance to take an acting class.

Watch movies and videos, build an ever-expanding library of interesting performances. Study them come back look at them more from a different point of view. How did these interesting performances make you feel and why? watch about what that scene did that made it a great memorable scene.

It is very important to remember that studying real life should always take priority. Reality is the source all animators draw their inspiration from.

An individual’s animation is the interpretation of reality. Colorful, warped, cool excreta …

A good animator is aware of what their animation needs to achieve in the greater context of the project. A good film animator understands the purpose of the shot they are working on as how it relates to the film. What message is it sending off, what is it foreshadowing. A good game animator knows the difference between when it is more important to look good or if it is more important that the game play feels good.

A good animator is a team player. Animation is usally a team effort if you are working on games or movies you will be part of a large team and it is important that you are someone people enjoy working with. Someone who people can cooperate with, take direction, offer supportive criticism and just be plain nice to be around. If people like working with you getting work will be a lot easier.

A good animator always pushes them self to keep getting better and better. In this field there is always something new to learn. Learn it become the best, keep learning stay the best.

You will never reach the top of the mountain, because there is no top to this mountain. Once you think you are about to reach the top that is when the next cliff face is waiting ahead.

Celebrate how far you’ve come and then start climbing again 


Big mistakes new animators Make

  1. Not progressing as quickly as you had hoped and becoming demotivated
  2. comparing yourself to experienced animators and being discouraged as a result
  3. Not planning your animation properly and thus having a poorly thought out ending
  4. Putting off making an animation until the “perfect” moment
  5. Making it to the fatal stage and hitting a fatal slump in motivation
  6. Trying to imitate someone elses style instead of exploring your own
  7. Plagiarizing another animators work and pretending that it is your own
  8. Being to focused on the end result and not enjoying the process

Compare your animations to your own animations see and enjoy how much you grow from each project.

Enjoy the process work on projects that you enjoy. Because it is popular does not mean you have to do it. Make the noise, don’t be drowned out by it.

Interested in networking with other animators check out the “Animators guild forums” (this is for 2D animators, yet still good to look through always good to learn and learn .)

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