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Make illustrated objects come to life using artistic and technical talents.

Salary Range

$52,000 - $81,224

Salary range derived from OFLC job titles

What does an Animator do?

Animators simulate movement by creating a rapid progression of image sequences. Each image is called a frame, and by running them together you create an optical illusion where the eye connects static shots into continuous movement. You can animate something by hand or through computer imaging.

Your overall goal as an animator is to bring an object to life. For this you need more than stop-motion filming or a digital skeleton structure. You need artistic creativity and strong storytelling skills. Your work must act and dance like a real boy, so to speak. So you need to imagine and plot out how it will interact with other characters and surrounding environments.

If you’re illustrating a tap-dancing cat, for example, you could be the best artist in the world, but if that cat lands flatfooted instead of on its toes, then it won’t seem like a tap-dancing cat. Without the artistic vision your technical skills lose value.

On the whole, your artistic vision defines your work and creations while your technical skills allow you to bring that vision to life. You layer characters, objects, and backgrounds to create a world that will capture and intrigue your viewer.

The animation field tends to be divided into the areas of 2D animators and 3D animators, though it is very common for animators to practice both types.

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