Animators take the static creations of game artists and bring them to life through movement. 

As an animator, you’ll have a keen eye for how bodies and objects move in real life. That could mean working with actors to record their actions with sensors, or your work might be based on more informal observation, reference images, and practice.

From 2D to 3D characters, and from hand-drawn cartoon styles to ultra-realistic graphic motion, there are many areas you could choose to explore and specialise in. 

ArtEntry-level role
Also referred to as:

Games Animator, 3D Animator, CG Animator, Character Animator

You’ll love this role if you’re into:
  • Drawing
  • Telling Stories
  • Being Organised

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Most people working in games animation have a degree. Some of these degrees will be from courses in art or computer animation. This role might also be more technical than you may think, it requires patience, creativity, and attention to detail. 

When applying for roles or higher education, it will be your portfolio or ‘showreel’ that will really help you to stand out. Your showreel is a collection of your best work presented usually in the form of a short video. 

To build your showreel, you’ll need to start animating and making games in your spare time. There are lots of tools freely available online to get you started creating 2D, 3D, and animated artwork and you can use our handy tool picker to find one that suits your level.  

Keep in mind: employers are looking for showreels that are full of character and personality. Walk cycles (how your characters move), can be particularly important to get right, ensuring your creations have real depth, weight and personality.  

Once you have some of your own work to show, find the right way to present it. Exporting to video will make your portfolio easy to access. You could host your work on a specialist art portfolio site or build a simple website of your own. Have a look at Behance, ArtStation or Wix.  

Remember: while there are no set pathways to your dream gaming job, getting experience is key. For the most specialist and senior roles – such as concept artist, technical artist, technical animator and VFX artist – you will probably have built up experience in other art department roles first.

Education pathways

Where are you in your games journey?

I love the magic of giving personality and emotion to a character and seeing them on screen
Rachel Senior - Animator, Wargaming UKRead the full story
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