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Character Animator - Career Profile
What does a Character Animator do? Where does a Character Animator work? ACR takes a look:
About Character Animators
Character animators create and design characters using animation software, 3D modeling, 2D animations, and even puppetry. These creative professionals develop characters that use movement to tell a story, whether its for film, television, video games or mobile applications.
Character Animator Jobs
Character animators create then manipulate animated characters to interact in digital environments by using computer software such as Flash, Lightwave, Maya and other programs. They also draw storyboards, create models, and design environments. Character animators work with sound engineers to make sure movements are in harmony with sound, and they work with clients to help pitch ideas and develop concepts.
Character animators work in film and video production studios, advertising agencies, public relations firms, software publishers, computer systems design firms, graphic design firms, game design firms, web design firms, and at colleges and universities.
Character Animator Salaries
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, as of May 2009, the mean annual wage for animators overall was $62,810 per year. The lowest paid animators earned $32,360 per year and the highest paid animators earned $99,130 per year.
Becoming a Character Animator
To become a character animator, you will need a bachelor’s degree in fine art, animation, computer animation, or film with an animation focus. Anatomy and geometry courses are recommended as well as an internship to gain valuable hands on experience. Most employers prefer to hire candidates with a degree and experience, but animators with exceptional talent will have no problems meeting the requirements for most entry-level positions.
Job Trends for Character Animators
The Bureau of Labor Statistics combines multimedia and animator careers into one. According to the Bureau, “demand for multimedia artists and animators will increase as consumers continue to demand more realistic video games, movie and television special effects, and 3D animated movies. An increasing need for computer graphics in the growing number of mobile technologies will present additional job opportunities as well as the demand for animators in alternative areas such as scientific research and design services.”
There are 79,000 multimedia artists and animators working in the industry today. These professionals are the second largest group of artists in the art world. At 84,000 strong, art directors are the largest group.
The job outlook for multimedia artists and animators is better than any other art-related field. Employment for multimedia artists and animators is expected to grow 14 percent through 2018. Between now and 2018, employment for multimedia artists and animators will increase from 79,000 to 90,200.