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Animator

by Staff Reporter
If you are a creative, have a good eye for detail and can communicate well then a career as an Animator could be for you.

Career Overview

An Amimator will create multiply images known as frames which will be pieced together to generate the impression of movement.  This movement is known as animation.  There are many forms of animation that an Animator can find themselves walking in.  This includes 2D-animation, 3D animation, stop motion and computer generated animation.  All of these forms of animation are grounded in artistic ability; whether images are digital or hand-drawn, the Animator is the creator of the design.  In computer generated animation, visuals can be used in motion pictures, computer games and television as special effects.  

Required School Subjects

You will not need to have taken any particular high school subjects in order to study Animation.  However, you should have basic computer literacy.

Recommended subjects:

  • Engineering Graphics and Design
  • Visual Arts
  • Design

Institution and APS

The following institutions are highly recommended for studies in the Animation:

  • Durban University of Technology (DUT)
  • Prestige Academy
  • SAE Institute

There is no specific APS required at each of these institutions.

Required Qualification/s

In order to qualify as an Animator, you will need to have a formal qualification.  This could either be a Degree, National Diploma or Higher Certificate.  Some qualifications focus specifically on animation while others have multiple focuses with animation being one of them.  For example, DUT’s National Diploma and Bachelor of Technology in Video Technology incoporates a variety of projects throughout the course of study.  Another well-balanced qualification is a Bachlor of Arts (or Bachelor of Applied Arts) in Motion Design and Animation (or specific form of animation).  This type of qualification will give you the basic groundwork to develop your artistic ability and grow your techical knowledge. 

Required Skills

You will need to have the following skills to succeed as an Animator:

  • artistic ability
  • computer literacy
  • effective communication
  • attention to detail
  • teamworker
  • be flexible

Where you can work

You will be able to work in a range of fields as an Animator.  It will depend on the whether you would like to work in 2D animation, 3D module-making animation, stop frame or animation in the computer generation space.  Regardless of your area of interest, you will need a portfolio to showcase your capabilities when looking for employment.  Your employer is most likely to be a production company, computer game studio, music/television company or an advertising agency.  This is if you opt to work with industry professionals in a company.  However, many Animators work freelance and even go into the business of short film development.  Either way, you will be required to be dynamic and creative when working on different projects.  

Often character creation as well as as planning/visulising concepts is an important part of the position.  It is important to stay updated with animation programmes and software as a large amount of animation work is done using computers.

Working Hours

In general, most Animators work a normal hours (between 40 and 42 hours a week).  However, this can vary depending on the project you’re working on and deadlines that you need to meet.

Expected Salary

As an Animator, your salary will vary according to the company you work for or the number of clients you have when freelancing. On average, the annual salary an Animator will earn in South Africa is R179 332.

What to expect

Here are a few things you can expect from a career as an Animator:

  • animation is an internationally recognised profession so you could have clients on a global scale
  • most of your work time will be spent in an office or studio
  • you will need to be familiar with and keep up-to-date with animation programmes and software

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