Technical Animator

A Technical Animator makes sure that a game’s animators have all the right software tools for their work and helps smooth the journey from design into code. 

Perhaps an animator wants to try a new idea but isn’t sure it will work in the code. Or maybe a programmer is concerned about translating a move into the game’s platform. As Technical Animator you work out what’s possible, solve problems and help the teams collaborate.

This role calls for experience in coding and animation, plus good communication skills. You’ve probably spent a while working in one or both of those disciplines before taking on this job, but it’s becoming more common for people to start off their career in games as Technical Animators.

Also referred to as:

Animation Rigger

You’ll love this role if you’re into:
  • Coding
  • Helping People
  • Designing things

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Many Technical Animators have a degree, which provides professional development and a recognised qualification to employers. However, there are many available pathways and all people working in games claim a unique career journey. Above all, you will need to demonstrate passion and skills in your chosen field. For this job role, you should be someone who loves problem-solving, has an eye for detail and works well within teams. 

As a professional, you bridge the gap between animation, design and code, helping animators bring to life game art by using a range of tools that may include Blender and Maya, as well as game design programs (engines) like Unity and Unreal. We recommend using our tool picker to help you choose the right ones for your current level and purpose.  

Working in the games industry is highly competitive and you’ll need to make sure your portfolio (a collection of your best work) stands out to employers and course leaders.

As a Technical Animator, you will need to demonstrate your teamwork and leadership skills, as well as your technical proficiency in animation of 3D models. For more ideas, see our top tips page on building your portfolio

Whatever role you are working in, it is essential that you understand the game making process. You can head to our build a game section for first steps; join a regular game jam to build up your skills and network; or start modding others games to gain experience. 

Education pathways

Where are you in your games journey?

I love it when I add functionality to a rig, and the animators use it in a way that I wasn't expecting.
Melker Samuel Berg - Technical Animator, Studio GoboRead the full story
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