No matter the age, everyone always has that one favourite animated movie or a cartoon series they grew up watching. As kids, not many realise that these animations require a lot of work and dedicated hours by an army of animators working behind the scene.
Animation is a well-paid out field and one can work on some of the best projects. Still, this is a competitive field that requires a degree in animation and multimedia from a university like MGU. However, before all of that, let us first understand what an animator does and if it is the right field to be working in.
What do Animators do?
Animators is an umbrella term for candidates who work in motion graphics and animation. They are multimedia specialists who use design software to create images, movies, films, games, commercials etc. Traditionally, animators created these animations through hand-drawn images which are then put together to create a moving picture.
Animation today has expanded to create 2D and 3D art using certain software. These softwares are used to create storyboards, modelling, scripting and all other aspects of animation. Animation is typically a full-time job position at multimedia companies but one can also work freelance basis on a project to project basis.
Animation is a field where individuals must be creative and willing to work independently for long hours. Animators can start working with a diploma in animation. Many top universities in India offer both diploma and full-time courses in animation such as the University of Bhopal.
Skills required to work as an Animator
Before applying to study or work in any field, one must possess some skills. These skills can be in terms of technical skills and personality skills as well. For animation, the technical and personality skills requirements are as below.
In terms of technical skills, prospective animators should know to use certain animation software, as mentioned above. Knowledge of some programming languages like Python is also helpful to use said designing software. There are many animation software one can use but the most popular ones that are taught in design colleges in Bhopal are as below.
Adobe Creative Suite: Adobe Creative Suite includes a host of software that is used by animators regularly. The suite includes Photoshop, Illustrator, Acrobat DC, Premiere Pro, InDesign and Adobe Express. Among them, for animators, Illustrator is important where any design and icons can be made with ease.
Maya: Another popular animation software is Maya. It is one of the most powerful in its genre and has a host of features and tools for animation and also for modelling. Maya uses Python or MEL which can help create some thoroughly customized projects.
Motion Graphics: Motion Graphics is a technical skill that is a type of animation. Motion Graphics that can create moving pictures, cartoons, claymation and other animation. While animation is much broader, motion graphics come under animation. Often both terms are used interchangeably but there are differences between both.
3DS Max: 3DS Max is the animation software of Autodesk. Formerly, it was known as 3D Studio and also 3D Studio Max. It is used to, in particular, create 3D animations, games, models, etc. The software is easier and much simpler to use making it a major advantage over other software.
Besides technical skills, recruiters also look for some personality skills. These skills would act as a bonus and would enable chosen candidates to work efficiently. The top personality skills animators must have are as below.
Attention to detail: Animation requires much attention to detail from the animator. One has to work for long hours meticulously working on different aspects of animation. Each little tiny detail is worked on and reworked on in order to give a professional look to the finished work.
Patient: As mentioned above, the animation is quite a lonely work where professionals are working on their own on their computers cooped up in a tiny room. Animation is a long process, drawing the different elements, reworking them is necessary, etc. Patience is a must to work in this field.
Creative and Artistic: Without a doubt, animators must have a great deal of creativity. Individuals with an artistic eye and an ability to create beautiful designs that are aesthetically pleasing as well. Most animators are individuals who used to doodle and draw as kids.
Analytical: Animators work on designing software and operating them requires an analytical mindset. Although analytical skills are typically associated with Science-based courses, animation also finds use for it. Designing characters to move and turn in a certain way requires knowledge of Physics and therefore analytics.
Jobs and Salary in Animation
The Indian animation industry is at an all time high. Both eastern and western media regularly hires Indian animators for work. Prospective students can expect to find work in film, television, video games etc. With experience, higher educational degrees and skills more jobs would open up. Elaborated below are some job profiles and salaries for animation in India.
There are many job profiles, in animation, one can work as. These profiles will differ based on the type of animation, experience level, skill level and also the software used. Additionally, based on the company and the product being created, the profile will also differ. Stated below are some profiles a diploma in animation and multimedia or full-time degree holders can work as, in the field of animation.
- 2D Animator
- 3D Animator
- Image Editor
- Character Animator
- Rendering Artist
- Storyboard Artist
- Keyframe Animator
Salary in animation is highly competitive and differs greatly as well. On average, Animators in India earn around INR 3.12 LPA while experienced Animators with more than 20 years of experience can make up to INR 20 LPA. If this average salary were to be divided into different skills, 3D Animation has average pay of INR 3.04 LPA and for 2D Animation, it is INR 3 LPA.
Software-wise, for candidates who know one of the software stated above, the average salaries are as followed. Individuals who know Autodesk Maya earn INR 3.57 LPA, for Adobe After Effects the average pay is INR 4 LPA. Finally, with Adobe Photoshop one can expect to earn around INR 3.5 LPA.
Animation is an exciting field that provides an immense scope for expanding the career into different specialisations. However, these jobs also mean long work hours, months spent learning a design software and perfecting art skills, tight deadlines, working with teammates etc. If the reader is artistic with a goal to carve out a name in animation, the rapid pace of the industry would not be bothersome.