Computer animators work to bring objects to life through the use of computer graphics. Like traditional animators, computer animators manipulate graphics and images to simulate movement. However, unlike traditional animators, computer animators use digital technology to create new visual effects and motions that help avoid the monotonous, frame-by-frame drawing required for each picture. Computer animation is a very lucrative business and shows no sign of slowing down in the future. Computer animators can find work in a variety of places, from film and television studios, to video game productions, to advertising companies. A computer animator usually has a flexible schedule. The number of hours they work every week can vary as long as they get their work done. Normally working about eight hours a day, five days a week, a computer animator’s schedule can stretch into evenings and weekends if there is an especially important deadline approaching. Not much is demanded of a computer animator on a physical basis, but they are required to stay constantly creative. Animators must persistently come up with new stories, characters, and scenes for their work (Computer). Computer animators begin their day developing ideas into storyboards. Afterwards, around noon, they meet with clients to discuss different ideas, then the animators begin putting together the images and constructing scenes on the computer. This work can take all morning and all afternoon, including a lunch break, of course. Afterwards, the animators must meet with the clients again, along with advertising agencies to strategize on the project. After a specific job is agreed upon, the animator spends the rest of his day working on the computer, either starting a new job or continuing a previous one (Animation). Computer animators and multimedia artists earn a salary of about $44,000. In the film and movie industry, the average salary is about $60,000. As with every career, an animator’s salary will vary with the employer and region (Animation). Computer animators who work full-time for a single employer often receive benefits, such as paid sick days, vacation time, and dental coverage. Self-employed animators, who work on a contract basis for different companies, must usually provide their own benefits (Computer). There are no strict educational requirements for computer animators. However, the key to getting work in this area is having a great “demo reel.” Demo reels contain samples of an animator’s best work, and are required by most employers during the hiring process. Putting together a successful demo reel requires skills usually developed in a post-secondary training program in art, design, or visual communications (Computer). Computer animators need a solid background in computers and computer software. In addition to these technical skills, however, they need to be artistic and creative. Customary art skills, for instance the ability to draw by hand, are exceedingly useful (Computer). Computer animation is a rapidly expanding career. There are numerous job options for an animator to choose, from film and television to video game production. This career field is extremely popular, and shows no signs of slowing down in the years to come.
“Computer Animator.” Career Cruising. 2008. 22 Jan. 2008. <http://www.careercrusing.com/Careers/JobDetails.aspx?LoginID=a7077c6f-27a5-422c-b515-e26b2a759cel-&OccNumber=105&Language=English>. “Animation Career Information.” adigitaldreamer. 2007. 22 Jan. 2008. <http://www.adigitaldreamer.com/articles/animationcareerinto.htm>.