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What Are the Different Types of Animation Career Opportunities?

Dan Cavallari
Dan Cavallari

Animation career opportunities are vast, especially since the advent of 3-D animation and computer animation. Larger production companies will often have numerous animators on staff, as well as computer technicians and other professionals who are responsible for making animations ready for television, film, or the Internet. A person with extensive knowledge or experience with various computer programs can seize on animation career opportunities, as can artists with drawing or painting skills. Other jobs within the animation industry may include accountants, writers, advertisers and marketers, maintenance personnel, and information technology specialists.

The process of animation has evolved over the years, and in modern times, several types of animation exist. Many animation career opportunities will be focused on one type of animation, while others may be focused on all different types. A CGI professional creates and manipulates computer generated images (CGI). These images can be used in cartoons, though they can also be used in live action films and television shows. A CGI artist will work primarily with specific computer programs that are often quite complex, so intensive computer training will be necessary to qualify for such animation career opportunities.

A flower drawn by an animation artist.
A flower drawn by an animation artist.

More traditional animation involves drawing a series of pictures with ink, pencil, pen, or paints. Some specific animation career opportunities will focus exclusively on this type of animation, and the best job candidate will therefore have extensive knowledge, experience, or skills with painting or drawing. Some artists will draw pencil sketches as the base for the animation, and a painter will then paint over the sketches to give them depth and color. Another person may be responsible for compiling the images and creating the moving picture, essentially filming the movement.

The Internet has opened up a treasure trove of animation career opportunities completely outside film or television. An animator may be responsible for web design and/or content, creating graphics for various websites or even short films for companies. Freelance animators often work in such settings, creating content for businesses or individuals in need of a more attractive web presentation.

Video games have also opened up animation career opportunities. An animator can work exclusively for a video game company that creates new characters and scenery from scratch. An animator is likely to work closely with a video game producer or editor, as well as the writer, to produce visual content that can be manipulated by the player of the game. This is a complex job that will require significant skill and training.

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    • A flower drawn by an animation artist.
      By: lenka
      A flower drawn by an animation artist.