Multimedia Artists and Animators
Create animation and visual effects for television, movies, video games, and other media. They create two- and three-dimensional models and animation.
This is what you may be doing
  • Create graphics and animation using computer programs and illustration
  • Work with a team of animators and artists to create a movie, game, or visual effect
  • Research upcoming projects to help create a realistic design or animation
  • Develop storyboards that map out key scenes in the animation
  • Edit animation and effects based on feedback from directors, head animators, game designers, or clients
  • Meet with clients, head animators, games designers, and directors to review deadlines and development timelines

Multimedia artists and animators often work in a specific medium. Some focus on creating animated movies or video games. Others create visual effects for movies and television shows. Visual effects, also called computer generated images or CGI, include creating animation from images of actors performing or designing scenery or backgrounds for locations.Artists and animators can further specialize within these fields. Within animated movies and video games, artists often specialize in characters or scenery and background design.

Video game artists may focus on level design: creating the look, feel, and layout for the levels of a video game.Animators work in teams to develop a movie, visual effect, or electronic game. Each animator works on a portion of the project, and then they put the pieces together to create one cohesive animation. Some multimedia artists and animators create their work primarily using computer software or by writing their own computer code. Many animation companies have their own computer animation software that artists must learn to use. Other artists and animators prefer to work by drawing and painting by hand and then translating that work into computer programs. Some multimedia artists use storyboards, which look like a comic strip, to help visualize the final product during the design process.

Education

Employers typically do not require a degree, but they look for workers who have a good portfolio of work and strong technical skills. However, many multimedia artists and animators have a bachelor’s degree in fine art, computer graphics, animation, or a related field. Programs in computer graphics often include courses in computer science, such as programming, and in graphics.

Bachelor’s degree programs in art include courses in painting, drawing, and sculpture. Degrees in animation often require classes in drawing, animation, and film. Some schools have specialized degrees in topics such as interactive media or game design.

Training

Some animation studios have their own software and computer applications that they use to create films. They give workers on-the-job training to use this software. Animators may be hired for a probationary period while they prove that they have the skills and talent to become a permanent employee.