Knowing more about the animation industry and the potential career options available to you will help you focus on an area of expertise.
What do animation graduates do?
Ravensbourne animation graduates work not only in animation but across a whole range of related roles.
The animation sector can be roughly divided into four areas:
- 2D drawn or traditional
- 2D computer generated
- Stop frame
- 3D computer generated
Most companies work in one area but some studios cover all four.
An animator creates life. They focus on movement, expression, and manipulate characters as if they were alive. Predominately working with 3D rigs, they key (save) movements frame by frame.
A runners responsibilities can vary from delivering post, cleaning and sending/receiving items to and from other companies, but all the while becoming familiar with the industry-sector/career and receiving on the job training with specialised tools.
Match-move artists imitate camera moves in 3D space, in which to track movement. This allows others to mix 3D CGI and plates (live action) together.
Roto artists mask around characters, props and environments on live action plates, essentially cutting them out. This requires pixel-perfect precision and an appreciation of frame-by-frame timing.
Compositors create the final look of the shot and tie all of the CG and live action together seamlessly. This job usually follows on from the roto artist role.
Storyboard artists quickly iterate storyboards for the director, making very clear illustrations of what the audience will see. Strong communication and presentation skills here are a must.
Layout artists create scenes as blocked compositions, using simple geometry or near-finished models and rigs, they imitate what the scene could look like animated.
Matte painters create 2D artistic works that are commonly used as backdrops for environment backgrounds and scene extensions.
Concept artists design and create the look of the whole project by visualising and committing the director's intentions to visual form. Their concept creations are used and referenced throughout the production.
Character artists are responsible for making, (potentially) designing and rigging CG characters. This usually involves modelling and texturing within the specifications of the concept art.
Environment artists model and texture everything other than characters, scenes, props and items.
An animation TD, or Rigger, is responsible for creating rigs in characters sometimes using researched bone structures, muscle systems and other processes that aid the animator to give the character movement.
Generalists perform most tasks in the 3D pipeline like designing, modelling, texturing, rigging and animating.
Game designers make games, have knowledge of the game making process and pipeline, and could be required to code.