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The 7 Qualities Of A Highly Successful Animator

Animation industry and dream to work

If you are looking to get into the animation industry and dream to work for the big shot animation studios like Disney or Pixar, you need to get relevant edification before anything else.

Animation is an ever-changing field. And becoming a successful animator takes more than just passion and vivid imagination.

After all, it is no easy task to breathe life into images and ideas.

According to studies, the human brain processes visual information 60,000 times faster than text. Moreover, around 65% of people pick up visual images faster and easier. The weight is heavier on the graphic side of the scale, and thus has contributed significantly to the animation industry’s progress.

While a burning desire to work in the animation industry paired with undying love for cartooning is a winning combination, you will need a lot more than just that to succeed in this action-packed field. Extensive training, tech-savvy skills, mastering the arts, and an unquenchable thirst to succeed are among the many traits you`ll need to develop before you get your foot stuck in the right door.

TL;DR, here are the top 7 qualities essential to your success as an animator! 

1.   Creativity & imagination

Ingenuity is the fuel that fires up an animator’s desire to create a chef-d’oeuvre of a video. While most can learn to maneuver videos using super-advanced technologies, only a true artist is capable of creating videos that are filled with vivid imagination.

Don’t be afraid of unlocking your imagination, let it out, instead of keeping it caged up in your head.

Be open to ideas, explore for creativity lessons and inspiration, but whatever you do, never confine yourself in a box of standards and rules. If you do, you’ll end up killing your dream of success with your bare hands before it even begins.

So, before you are left in the dust as the innovators move forward, breathe creativity in and let your imagination run wild!

2.   Flawless Drawing Skills

Animation is a complex process with plenty of steps that make it seem dauntingly detailed. First comes a script, then the animator has to create a storyboard to visualize the script.

The storyboard is a crucial part of the animation process.

To sell your storyboard, you need to have impeccable drawing skills. Have you ever played Pictionary with a person who is awful at drawing? Imagine drawing a boa constrictor digesting an elephant for the grownups to guess a hat. How annoying would that be!

Similarly, an animator should have exceptional drawing skills to help put his concept across without leaving any room for confusion. You can always practice, watch tutorials online, and work on your drawings to improve your skills.

3.   Technical Skills & computer literacy

The skill this point discusses is quite an obvious one. The entire job of an animator is to create lifelike animations. To do so, extensive knowledge of technical skills, computer literacy, and proficiency in graphic design and animation is a must.

Animators should be skillful in creating a variety of characters, add or remove visual effects, focus on motions and movements, well-versed in audio editing, video editing, and having mastery in animation software like After Effects, Maya, and many more.

The more varied experiences you gain, the more opportunities you will have to expand your skillset. Striving to achieve significant experience will provide a broader perspective and may open doorways that would have been closed otherwise.

4.   Analyzing Skills

Paying close attention to detail is crucial to producing an epic animation. You cannot put your work out in the world without thoroughly scrutinizing it. A successful animator makes sure his final work is free from silly mistakes and loose ends.

Therefore, analyzing skills are a must for a successful animator.

Analyzing skills allow animators to pay attention to details like the eye-blinks, hair, character’s expressions, motion, movements, and everything else. Therefore, it is safe to assume that attention to detail ensures that the animation turns out to be professional and error-free.

You can follow these five steps to achieve optimal attention to detail and reflect analytical skills in your work:

  • Create and take your own quality-control measures
  • Focus on what you want to achieve
  • Check and recheck your content again and again!
  • Try to get feedback and constructive criticism from your friends or colleagues
  • Dedicate time to scrutinize your work

5.   Master of the Color Theory

The animation world relies deeply on colors. Sure, there are animated videos out there purely based on black and white color scheme, but a pop of color never hurts anyone. Right?

However, you cannot add just about any color in your animation and expect it to hit the bull’s eye. According to NeuroMarketing, “if a good color sells, the right color sells better.”

According to research, about 90% of snap judgments are made based on color alone. So, if you want to captivate your audience, you must understand the psychology behind colors.

Before you go on choosing the colors for your animation, make sure you have an understandability of the core message you want to convey.

Cartoon character

The colors you choose should align with the message of your video, so you do not end up giving mixed signals to your audience. You can always take inspiration from the animated movies and videos that are easily accessible via various platforms.

6.   Patience & Organization

It can take hours, days, weeks, months, and on large scale projects, even years before it comes to a substantial conclusion. Thus, patience is a virtue that pays off lucratively, especially when it comes to animation. A person who prefers a fast-paced, dynamic environment cannot endure for long in the slow world of motion graphics.

However, patience only pays off when you have the organizing skills to showcase your work to the world out there.

Since over half of the world has gone digital, having an online animation portfolio helps an animator in sticking a foot in the right door of opportunity. However, this portfolio can only come to pass when an individual puts on display an astute use of organization skills. 

7.   An Actor

A great tip we picked up from the ever-famous Walt Disney is to bring acting to animations.

It is widely known that Disney hired an acting teacher to learn animation so as to improve the skills of his animators. When you act out the scenes that you have written, you get the essence of the entire scene. Your animation gets a more realistic touch that captivates the audience.

So, to become a successful animator, you have to become an actor as well. Not the very best, but an actor, nonetheless.

The video above shows David Badgerow in Smurfs reference reel, acting out the scenes as shown in the featured film. This is what ‘acting’ is all about for an animator. It helps the creative team craft a more lifelike animatronics, making their work lives easier.

Do you have what it takes to be a successful animator?

Whether you create 2D or 3D animated videos or any other type of animation, master these qualities, and there is nothing that can stop you from becoming the very best.

For an animator, the learning curve for animation never stops! Be a spectator to the world around you, explore, and observe. Success awaits you.

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AyeshaBinish

Ayesha Binish is a content expert, possessing a flair for delivering unparalleled services in subjects like fashion, travel, health and technology. Her blog can be found at fashionbells.com

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