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    Unlike us, Buzz Lightyear wasn’t born in a day. The fascinating space cadet from Toy Story that is loved by children all over the world was intricately designed on a computer screen by an army of animators. This much-loved astronaut is a series of still images manipulated to create an illusion of movement.

    Animation is not only found in children’s movies either. Animators play integral, behind the scene roles in action-packed blockbusters such as War of the Planet of the Apes, high octane video games like Assassin’s Creed, trendy television commercials and so much more. How would you like to be part of these exciting projects daily?

    In such a specialised and competitive field, it is important to be sure that you have what it takes to succeed before investing your time and energy into pursuing a career in animation. To help you get up to speed with the industry and what you can expect, we have compiled some need to know animation information for you.

    What does an animator do?

    Animators are also known as multimedia artists. They create special effects, animation or other visual images using computers or other electronic tools for products or creations.

    As you know by now, animators help create television shows, movies, and video games. Besides the obvious, there are many lesser-known examples where animation is used. We grow up thinking that all animators do is work for movie studios or cartoon studios; this is simply not the case.

    Animators are part of our everyday life, from advertisements, motion graphics, special effects, advertisements on the internet, medical explanations, reconstructing crime scenes for forensics… there are just too many to list!

    Animators don’t just create cartoons. Here are a few great examples, designing of animated graphics for websites, creating simulations for military practices and creating virtual tours. These are only to name a few!

    What are some characteristics of a successful animator?

    If you are considering pursuing a career in animation, the next step is to determine if you have the inherent qualities that lend themselves well to the occupation. Knowing this information ahead of time will help you avoid wasting time and effort if it is not the right fit for you.

    Animation is not an easy task. It is tedious and a very long process. It is a combination of art and science. To flourish, you must have an artistic eye but also enjoy breaking things down to see how they work. Animation is often an understanding of mechanics and making them artful.

    To give you an example, a non-animator might not notice the stranger in the line ahead of them at a coffee shop, but an animator sees details and might analyse that individual – from their posture and facial expression to the way they walk and talk.

    All animators need to have patience. It takes patience and creativity to plan and implement your projects well. Animators should possess an attentive eye and the willingness to continually improve the way they observe form and space. The traditional methods of animation in the education process are extremely important. Animators have to have a great understanding of a form in 3D space, where it be transferring that manually or digitally.

    What are the technical skills needed in animation?

    Perhaps you have discovered you have the natural characteristics needed to succeed in an animation career. But you are not quite clear yet. Those qualities are useless if they are not accompanied by the necessary technical skills for animation.

    To give life to their creative ideas, animators must use both the artistic right and analytical left side of their brains. You will need to have the perfect combination of practical skills and software savvy to flourish in this field.

    Skills in animation itself is a MUST! 3D animation skills are the key to animation at the moment. Becoming skilled in programmes such as 3D Studio Max and Maya are very important to further yourself in the field of animation.

    So… are you up for a challenge?

    Bringing characters and images to life is a very exciting job, but a career in animation is not for the faint-hearted. Many animators work long hours, including nights and weekends, to adhere to strict deadlines. If you are passionate about animations and you are determined to succeed, the high-pressure, fast-paced environment should not phase you one bit.

    If you are ready to take the next step you can read more here on our Bachelor of Applied Art in 3D Animation and register.