By Will Hallsworth - Creative Assembly

The Missing Dead Activity Pack to be used with the Missing Dead Game app

What does the Job entail?

Animators are artists who use computers and other techniques to create moving images which tell a story or provide information. They work in a variety of industry’s including film, games, television and advertising.

Some animators choose to develop a specialty, such as hand-drawing, 3D model making or computer-generated images (CGI).

Animators within the computer games industry may work on different parts for a games release. All work closely with designers, artists, programmers and marketing; this can help create a plot or develop a character.

An in-game team create animations for characters, creatures and objects that you would see within the game you are playing. Whereas a cinematics team create amazing marketing trailers and in-game film clips which help tell the story of the game. 

Different areas/specialisms of the role:

  • Traditional / Cel Animation - A traditional form of animation used in early cartoons or animated movies where each frame is drawn by hand on transparent sheets called “cels".
  • 2D Animation - The same techniques as traditional/cel animation but using computers and software programs to create and edit images and vector graphics.
  • Stop Motion - A technique used in films such as Wallace and Gromit where an object is photographed in a succession of images. Each image includes a subtle movement of the object.
  • 3D Animation - Is the process of animating three-dimensional characters or objects in computer software packages. 3d animation is widely used in films, video games, television programs and commercials.
  • Motion Graphics - A form of animation commonly used in informational videos, film titles, animated logos, promotional campaigns, and advertisements. 

 Main skills required:

  • Creativity and imagination – when thinking about how a character moves you bring it to life and add to their personality.
  • Patience and attention to detail – every movement matters, for example, to make someone look like they are really walking or jumping you have think about every part of their body and what it might be doing
  • Drawing skills – to create animation from images you will need to first draw out every scene and what the character does
  • Computer literacy – there are lots of different computer programmes that you can use to animate
  • Communication and presentation skills – when working as a team you will want to be able to share your ideas and also listen to the ideas of others, to be a team member is a skill in itself which is also very important

 Interesting Facts:

Toy Story (1995) was the first ever animated feature generated completely on computers.

The animators who made How to train your Dragon (2010) had to attend “flight school” during production in which they would study flight physics and movements of different creatures.

Important subjects to do at school:

Creativity, Imagination and attention to detail play a large part in animation, school subjects that also help are:

  • Art - for demonstrating your creativity, imagination and technical skills
  • English - a valuable for communication and presentation skills for working as part of a team
  • Maths - some animation roles can be more technical than creative, and maths can play an important role here
  • Computer studies - depending on the specialism, computer studies may be useful as many animation jobs use computers and animation software
  • Design & Technology - for demonstrating your creativity, imagination and technical skills. This can also be useful if you are interested in graphic design, media or engineering