Advice for aspiring animators to land a job in the animation industry.
Animator is an actor with a pencil in his hand.
I am an animation producer at Satya Production House.
I have been working in the animation industry for 10+ years and responsible for producing animation for over 70 tv episodes and films. Hence, usually have to hire animators for a season, and we have to screen hundreds of animators profile and portfolios on a daily basis.
I want to share these tips with animators, which I have learned in past years. These will not only help aspiring animators to land there first job or contract but make the life of hiring managers and producers easy; who are looking to hire them.
Avoid being the jack of all trades and master of none :
The common mistake while studying in the animation field I see is animators acquiring skills of all software and departments of animation, like lighting, modelling, texture, animation, rigging etc. It is good to know all the departments, but you have to be a specialist of one. Say for example if you are an animator, you should know basics of riggings that you can convey your thoughts to the rigger. But you should be genuinely focusing on animation. Be specific with your portfolio as mention in point to follow.
Build a solid Animation Portfolio:
We don’t care what degree the candidate holds. But we strongly see the animation skills. It is what matters and the end of the day, how can you animate. Not to mention, you will always have to give a test to see how you fit on the production.
Moreover, aspiring animators should strive to be specific with the portfolio. When we do casting for the floor, or even while outsourcing to the freelancers, we categories the animator into two :
- Actions Shots: Animators with skill sets of action shots. One who can animate action shots like fights scenes, chase or even creature animators. The approach for this kind of shot is slightly different than of action shot.
- Acting Shot: Animators that are specialised in the Acting shot. Specifically the expressions, postures and drama in them.
You should, of course, learn to animate both of the kinds, but have a potent force in a specific style can give you the advantage to get more critical shot in the sequence. It will get you more sense of authority from animation director or acting supervisors.
Get yourself on LinkedIn:
There are many job portal that offers to list for animator jobs. Eventually, I have found much of the success of finding animators for a significant number of projects on LinkedIn. Hence, 80% of the talent I acquire is from LinkedIn, and the rest is mostly from walk-ins and professional recommendations.
LinkedIn is more of a networking site than hiring in my opinion. You make the real connection. It also teaches to work well with a team and coordinating on the professional level. A must-have skill, whether you are working on the production floor or remotely as a freelancer.
Learn to Sketch for Animation:
Sketching skill is often ignored by new animation professionals due to paradigm shift to 3D animation. No matter what department you work in, drawing talent will always add to your portfolio and give weight to your profile.
You don’t have to be pro for this, Simple stick figures and quick sketches also work wonders. We work in a visual field, and sketching is the best form of visual communication. It is far more comfortable to draw than say, what line of action or pose required for the shot.
Work on Feedbacks:
The most valuable asset to an animator is feedback. When you work on something for long, you become blind and immune to the mistakes in the shots. It is natural; repetition is reputation. Eventually, even the repeated mistakes seem like usual after hours and days of working on the same shot. Hence, feedback from an artist friend, supervisor, anybody will lend a fresh perspective.
I hope this helps, nonetheless, if you have any queries I would be more than happy to answer them. Please shoot me a mail: [email protected] Cheers and best of luck!
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