What course did you study?
I studied 3D animation
How did you get into Animation? What made you choose this career?
I actually have a degree in Speech and Language Communication. After I graduated I shortly realised that I had studied the wrong profession. I have always been very creative and wanted to do something that allowed me to think creatively. I met a primary school friend who is a Compositor and introduced me to animation. After doing some research, I found it incredibly interesting so I decided to go for it and enroll onto the course.
What does an Animator do?
An animator brings life to characters/objects. We have an image/3D object and get given a number of frames. In every frame we move the object very slightly from the one preceding it and by the end of the frame range you’re left with an animation that gives the illusion of movement.
What skills does an animator need? And do you need to be a good artist?
There are many skills needed to be an animator but I’d say the most important ones are; creativity, attention to detail, patience and the ability to listen. The last one is particularly important, especially when it comes to receiving feedback on work. Sometimes, it’s very easy to get wrapped up in your animation and think it’s the best thing ever until you get hit with some critique which brings you back down to earth. It’s always important to remember not to take it personally and to just listen to the advice given. You do not need to be good at drawing if you want to do 3D animation, however, you do need to know body mechanics and how the body moves when it shifts weight for example. Therefore, life drawing is always useful as we see how the body moves and adjusts in different poses.
What surprised you the most when you first started in the industry?
How friendly and helpful everyone is! Everyone I worked with was always willing to help me out no matter how busy they were. Everyone has their own hurdles and bad days but they’re all willing to help one and other. You realise when you enter the industry that you are one small part of something big. Our trainer at MPC always said ‘a company is like a giant clock’.
What advice would you give someone looking to start a career in Animation?
Do your research and see what type of animation you want to do - whether it be more cartoony animation or realistic animation. Network and meet as many people as possible! There are lots of events where you can meet people in the industry such as ‘Show your Animation’ or VFX festivals. Finally, just be prepared to work very hard, when you do an animation you need to just throw yourself into it and block out everything around you. It will require a lot of motivation and patience but it’s all worth it.