2D & 3D Character Computer Animation

Computer animators use software such as 3D Studio Max, Maya, or Adobe Animate to produce animation for film, television and video. Specific examples of their creative work ranges from video games, television shows, computer simulations and educational modules to special effects for movies, websites and advertising. 

As in all productions of this kind, a substantial amount of preparation takes place before the actual animation work begins. Working with the director, the animator plans and develops the story behind the animation, model characters, the background scenes, the arrangement of models in a scene, the use and placement of lighting and motion cameras and the interaction between objects. This pre-production work also includes developing storyboards, layout and character designs, and when it is finished the animator begins to create, refine and render the objects on their computer. 

Traits and Talents

In graphic designing you work closely and extensively with your clients to create a product that is both visually appealing and able to fulfill the clients’ requirements. From estimating the cost of materials and time needed to complete the project to determining the medium best suited to produce the desired visual effect, the ability to listen to and understand your clients’ vision is essential to your success. 

Education and Training

  • A college diploma in commercial or graphic arts, computer graphics or animated design is required. 
  • Experience or training in multimedia design at a post-secondary, college or technical institution may be required. 
  • Creative ability and artistic talent, as demonstrated by a portfolio of work, are required. 

The Workplace

Graphic arts technicians perform some or all of the following duties: 

  • Review the graphic designer’s instructions 
  • Produce or assist in developing and producing design concepts 
  • Capture elements such as titles, text, drawings, illustrations, graphics, lettering, colour harmonization, etc. using a computer 
  • Produce computerized images and drawings 
  • Digitize images using peripherals and transform them using retouching systems, graphic palettes or specialized software 
  • Perform the layout, page make-up and placement using the conceptual mock-ups provided 
  • Produce proofs and camera-ready materials and prepare film and any other prepress materials 
  • Paint or ink individual cells of 2-D or 3-D animated drawings according to animator’s specifications using an electronic palette 
  • Lay out, draw or paint letters, figures, logos and designs for windows, advertisements, billboards, vehicles, books and publications using specialized software or painting equipment 
  • Work in an interdisciplinary environment. 

Skills for Success

The key Skills for Success for this career path are:

  • Creativity & Innovation
  • Problem Solving
  • Digital

Sample Job Titles

  • Level Designer 
  • Character modeller 
  • Animator 
  • Rigger 
  • Art Director 
  • Generalist Artist 
  • Lighter and Compositor 
  • Texture Artist 
  •  Environment/Background Artist 
  • Layout/Previsualization Artist 
  • Special Effects Artist 
  • Graphics Designer 
  • Motion Graphic Artist 

Companies and Sectors

  • Self-employed/Freelancer 
  •  Local visual effects, animation, or video game studios 
  • International film, animation or video game studios 
  • Larger motion picture studios 
  • Commercial and ad firms 
  • Graphic Design firms 
  • Architectural firms