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What does a 3D Animator do?

Learn all about 3D Animator duties, skills and much more. Get expert advice on how to become a 3D Animator.

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Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 3 min read

A 3D animator is responsible for creating motion graphics and animations to be used in various forms of media, including movies, video games, commercials, and more. They use software to create three-dimensional models of characters, objects, and environments, and then animate them to bring them to life.

3D animators must have a strong understanding of the principles of animation, as well as an eye for detail and a creative mind. They must be able to work within a team to bring their vision to life, and must be able to communicate effectively with those they are working with.

3D Animator job duties include:

  • Create 3D models of characters, environments, and objects
  • Animate 3D models using animation software
  • Create visual effects for 3D models
  • Add lighting and shading effects to 3D models
  • Render 3D images using computer graphics software
  • Create storyboards or plans for animations
  • Edit animations to correct errors or improve quality
  • Work with other animators or team members to create a cohesive product
  • Test animations to check for errors and revise as needed
  • Present final animations to clients or producers

3D Animator Job Requirements

A 3D Animator typically needs a bachelor's degree in computer graphics, animation, or a related field. Many animators are self-taught, but a degree from an accredited institution can give animators an edge when competing for jobs. Many 3D Animators become certified in various animation software programs. Experience is also important for landing a job as a 3D Animator. Many animators gain experience by working on personal projects or by interning at an animation studio.

3D Animator Skills

  • Modeling
  • Rigging
  • Texturing
  • Lighting
  • Rendering
  • Animation
  • Motion Graphics
  • Compositing
  • Modeling
  • Character Design
  • Storyboarding

Related: Top 3D Animator Skills: Definition and Examples

How to become a 3D Animator

3D animators are responsible for creating the three-dimensional moving images in films, television programs, video games and commercials. They use computer software to make objects, such as characters and scenery, appear lifelike on screen. To become a 3D animator, you will need to have strong artistic skills and a good understanding of the latest computer technology.

Most animators start out by completing a bachelor’s degree in computer animation or a related field. During your studies, you will take classes in drawing, 3D modeling, animation and software applications. It is also important to get experience using the latest computer animation software programs. Many colleges have internship programs that can give you the opportunity to work with experienced animators and learn from them.

After completing your degree, you will need to find a job with a company that produces animations. You may have to start out working as an assistant animator or in another entry-level position. With experience and a strong portfolio of work, you can eventually move up to becoming a lead animator or animation director.

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