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How To Become an Animator - Complete Guide

Published By Team Setmycareer on Sep 08, 2023

Discover How To Become an Animator


Are you passionate about animation and dream of making a mark in the world of visual storytelling? Becoming an animator is an exciting and rewarding journey, but it requires dedication, creativity, and a solid understanding of the craft. In this comprehensive guide, we will take you through the steps to become an animator and excel in your career.

Whether you're a beginner looking to get started or an experienced animator aiming to reach new heights, our expert insights and Career Development sessions will help you stand out and outrank the competition.


The Role of an Animator

Animators are artists who use sequential images/ of drawings, puppets and models to produce films for commercials, computer games, pop music videos and websites. Animation is the art of creating moving images/. This line of work is all about creating a series of individual ‘frames’, which make images/ come to life when they are flicked through in rapid succession. Previously, animation was done manually, with animators drawing multiple frames to depict a single action, i.e. the kind of animation that you witnessed during a typical scene from the Hanna-Barbera cartoon, Tom and Jerry.

Today, computer-generated imagery (CGI) has mostly replaced manual animation, but a significant amount of artistic talent is still required. Animators are employed in various segments of the entertainment industry, including film, television and video games. To create awesome animation, they firstly need to read the script and break the story down into individual storyboards.

Animators create films for production companies, major animation studios and computer games companies. Typical responsibilities of the job includes to working creatively to produce original and aesthetically pleasing designs and solutions, using specialist computer generation software such as Maya, Flash and After Effects, presenting designs to customers for evaluation and promoting and running the business.

They are also engaged in negotiating contracts and liaising and working effectively with other design and production staff

Types of Animation

Animation is a diverse field with several sub-genres, each requiring different skills and techniques. Some common types of animation include:

Animation is a diverse field with several sub-genres, each requiring different skills and techniques. Some common types of animation include:

  • 2D Animation: This classic form of animation involves creating two-dimensional drawings or characters that are then manipulated to create movement.
  • 3D Animation: In 3D animation, animators work with three-dimensional objects and characters to produce realistic and immersive visuals.
  • Stop Motion: Stop motion animation involves capturing individual frames of physical objects, such as clay figures or puppets, to create motion when played in sequence.
  • Computer Generated Imagery (CGI): CGI animation is widely used in modern films and games, involving the creation of realistic digital environments and characters.

Steps to Becoming an Animator

3. Develop Your Artistic Skills

Animation is first and foremost an art form. To excel in this field, you must hone your artistic skills. Start by mastering the fundamentals of drawing, including anatomy, perspective, and character design. Practice sketching daily to improve your hand-eye coordination and creativity.

4. Choose the Right Education

While formal education isn't always mandatory, it can provide valuable training and networking opportunities. Consider enrolling in animation programs or courses at renowned institutions. Look for programs that offer a curriculum aligned with your specific interests, whether it's 2D, 3D, or another animation style.

5. Invest in Animation Software

To become a proficient animator, you'll need to become familiar with industry-standard animation software. Programs like Adobe Animate, Autodesk Maya, and Blender are commonly used tools for 2D and 3D animation. Invest time in learning these software applications thoroughly.

6. Build a Strong Portfolio

Your portfolio is your calling card in the animation industry. Compile your best work, including character animations, storyboards, and concept art, to showcase your skills and creativity. Ensure your portfolio reflects your unique style and versatility as an animator.

7. Networking and Internships

Networking is a vital aspect of a successful animation career. Attend industry events, conferences, and workshops to connect with professionals in the field. Consider internships or freelance opportunities to gain practical experience and build a network of contacts.

8. Specialization

As you progress in your animation career, consider specializing in a particular niche or style. Specialization can set you apart and make you more attractive to employers or clients. Whether it's character animation, visual effects, or game design, becoming an expert in a specific area can be your key to success.

9. Create an Online Presence

In today's digital age, having an online presence is essential for animators. Create a professional website or portfolio showcasing your work. Engage with the animation community on social media platforms like LinkedIn and Twitter to share your insights and connect with potential collaborators.

10. Continuous Learning

Animation is an ever-evolving field with new techniques and technologies emerging regularly. Stay updated by investing in continuous learning. Attend workshops, watch tutorials, and read industry publications to stay at the forefront of animation trends.

11. Seek Feedback and Improve

Constructive feedback is invaluable for growth. Be open to critique from peers and mentors. Use feedback as a tool for improvement, and don't be afraid to revise and refine your work.

12. Meet Deadlines and Collaborate

Meeting project deadlines is crucial in the animation industry. Develop strong time management skills and work well in a team. Collaborative work is common in animation, so effective communication and teamwork are essential.

Is This Career Right For You?

Are you feeling uncertain about your career path? Not sure which direction to take? Take the first step towards a fulfilling future

Animator Vs Designer

Aspect Animator Designer
Primary Focus Creating motion and animations for objects, characters, and scenes. Visual and graphic design, creating static visual elements.
Core Skill Animation, including 2D, 3D, or stop-motion animation. Graphic design, web design, UI/UX design, or illustration.
Medium Digital media, film, television, gaming, advertising, and more. Digital media, print, web, branding, and marketing.
Tools Animation software like Adobe Animate, Maya, Blender, etc. Graphic design tools such as Adobe Creative Suite, Figma, Sketch, etc.
Output Animated sequences, character movements, special effects, etc. Logos, websites, brochures, posters, user interfaces, etc.
Collaboration Often collaborates with other animators and sound designers. Collaborates with clients, developers, marketers, and copywriters.
Key Skills Storyboarding, rigging, keyframing, character design, and timing. Typography, layout, color theory, user experience, and branding.


Becoming an Animator is an exciting and fulfilling journey filled with endless possibilities for creativity and storytelling. By following these steps and continuously honing your skills, you can excel in your animation career and outrank the competition. Remember, persistence, dedication, and a passion for animation are the keys to your success in this dynamic field.

Choosing your career path can be challenging, Our psychometric career test is designed to assess your strengths, interests, and aptitudes. By understanding your unique qualities, we can provide you with personalized Online Career Counselling tailored to your aspirations. Or if you are currently working as an Animator and want to change your job then consider taking Career Transition program to find the best fit career for you.



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