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Become An Animation Director

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Working As An Animation Director

  • Interacting With Computers
  • Thinking Creatively
  • Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge
  • Communicating with Persons Outside Organization
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Mostly Sitting

  • Make Decisions

  • Stressful

  • $85,000

    Average Salary

What Does An Animation Director Do

Multimedia artists and animators create two- and three-dimensional models, animation, and visual effects for television, movies, video games, and other forms of media.

Duties

Multimedia artists and animators typically do the following:

  • Use computer programs and illustrations to create graphics and animation
  • Work with a team of animators and artists to create a movie, game, or visual effect
  • Research upcoming projects to help create realistic designs or animations
  • Develop storyboards that map out key scenes in animations
  • Edit animations and effects on the basis of feedback from directors, other animators, game designers, or clients
  • Meet with clients, other animators, games designers, directors, and other staff (which may include actors) to review deadlines and development time lines

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. Creating computer-generated images (known as CGI) may include taking images of an actor’s movements and then animating them into three-dimensional characters. Other animators design 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 in 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, a visual effect, or an electronic game. Each animator works on a portion of the project, and then the pieces are put together to create one cohesive animation.

Some multimedia artists and animators create their work primarily by 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. Video game designers also work in a wide variety of platforms, including mobile gaming and online social networks.

Other artists and animators prefer to work by drawing and painting by hand and then translating the resulting images into computer programs. Some multimedia artists use storyboards or “animatics,” which look like a comic strip, to help visualize the final product during the design process.

Many multimedia artists and animators put their creative work on the Internet. If the images become popular, these artists can gain more recognition, which can lead to future employment or freelance work.

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How To Become An Animation Director

Most multimedia artists and animators need a bachelor’s degree in computer graphics, art, or a related field to develop both an impressive portfolio of work and the strong technical skills that many employers prefer.

Education

Employers typically require a bachelor’s degree, and they look for workers who have a good portfolio of work and strong technical skills. Multimedia artists and animators typically 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 in addition to art courses.

Bachelor’s degree programs in art include courses in painting, drawing, and sculpture. Degrees in animation often require classes in drawing, animation, and film. Many 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, and they often provide on-the-job training so that workers can use the specific software and computer applications.

Important Qualities

Artistic talent. Animators and artists should have artistic ability and a good understanding of color, texture, and light. However, they may be able to compensate for artistic shortcomings with better technical skills.

Communication skills. Multimedia artists and animators need to work as part of a complex team and respond well to criticism and feedback.

Computer skills. Many multimedia artists and animators use computer programs or write programming code to do most of their work.

Creativity. Artists and animators must be able to think creatively to develop original ideas and make them come to life.

Time-management skills. The hours required by most studio and game design companies can be long, particularly when there are tight deadlines. Artists and animators need to be able to manage their time effectively when a deadline approaches.

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Animation Director Demographics

Gender

Male

60.9%

Female

22.0%

Unknown

17.1%
Ethnicity

White

57.0%

Hispanic or Latino

18.7%

Asian

10.6%

Black or African American

10.1%

Unknown

3.6%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

57.1%

Japanese

28.6%

Filipino

14.3%

Animation Director Education

Schools

Savannah College of Art and Design

19.5%

Academy of Art University

15.3%

School of Visual Arts

11.0%

California Institute of the Arts

6.8%

Art Institute of California - Inland

4.2%

Syracuse University

3.4%

Columbia College Chicago

3.4%

Virginia Commonwealth University

3.4%

University of Phoenix

3.4%

University of Southern California

3.4%

University of the Arts

3.4%

Full Sail University

2.5%

New York University

2.5%

University of California - Los Angeles

2.5%

Rochester Institute of Technology

2.5%

Fashion Institute of Technology

2.5%

University of Utah

2.5%

Art Institute of Pittsburgh

2.5%

Art Institute of Philadelphia

2.5%

Pratt Institute-Main

2.5%
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Majors

Animation

39.7%

Fine Arts

11.9%

Photography

9.5%

Graphic Design

7.5%

Computer Science

5.1%

Business

3.7%

Design And Visual Communication

3.1%

Communication

2.4%

Visual And Performing Arts

2.4%

Veterinary Medicine

2.0%

Biology

2.0%

Digital Media

1.7%

Theatre

1.4%

Computer Applications

1.4%

Animal Science

1.4%

English

1.0%

Social Work

1.0%

Advertising

1.0%

Electrical Engineering

1.0%

Chemistry

1.0%
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Degrees

Bachelors

56.1%

Other

17.1%

Masters

13.0%

Associate

6.8%

Certificate

2.7%

Doctorate

2.4%

Diploma

1.9%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary
Average Yearly Salary
$85,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$39,000
Min 10%
$85,000
Median 50%
$85,000
Median 50%
$85,000
Median 50%
$85,000
Median 50%
$85,000
Median 50%
$85,000
Median 50%
$85,000
Median 50%
$185,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Microsoft
Highest Paying City
San Francisco, CA
Highest Paying State
North Dakota
Avg Experience Level
2.9 years
How much does an Animation Director make at top companies?
The national average salary for an Animation Director in the United States is $85,760 per year or $41 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $39,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $185,000.

Real Animation Director Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Animation Director Microsoft Corporation Kirkland, WA May 15, 2013 $160,507
Animation Director Bento Box Animation LLC Burbank, CA Mar 07, 2011 $156,525 -
$172,178
Director of 3D Animation Wet CA Feb 25, 2016 $151,154
Animation Director Microsoft Corporation Redmond, WA Sep 15, 2010 $135,000
Creative Animation Director I Am Bizzy, LLC San Francisco, CA Mar 10, 2015 $130,000
Creative Animation Director I Am Bizzy, LLC San Francisco, CA Jan 02, 2015 $127,307 -
$137,742
Creative Animation Director I Am Bizzy, LLC Los Angeles, CA Mar 25, 2013 $120,000 -
$140,000
Creative Animation Director I Am Bizzy, LLC San Francisco, CA Mar 18, 2013 $117,000 -
$127,000
Animation Director Activision Publishing Inc. Middleton, WI Dec 02, 2016 $110,000
Animation Director CCP North America, Inc. Decatur, GA Sep 04, 2013 $80,000 -
$144,000
Animation Director Red Giant Studios, LLC San Francisco, CA Oct 01, 2009 $62,401
Special Effects Animation Director Just Cause Productions, Inc. Marina del Rey, CA Oct 01, 2011 $60,210
Special Effects Animation Director Just Cause Entertainment, Inc. Marina del Rey, CA Nov 01, 2012 $60,210

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Top Skills for An Animation Director

  1. Graphic Design
  2. Video Production
  3. Board Meetings
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Designed and generated Motion Graphic Content and Graphic Designs for majority of studio projects.
  • Managed animation department, promoted to manage video and animation departments.
  • Used Alias Power Animator and Maya to create various animation cycles (i.e.
  • Managed and directed all animation, FX and outsourced art for all Turbine MMO franchises.
  • Developed and delivered didactic and hands-on training curricula for research scientists and animal care staff.

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Top 10 Best States for Animation Directors

  1. New York
  2. California
  3. District of Columbia
  4. Minnesota
  5. Connecticut
  6. Maryland
  7. New Jersey
  8. Georgia
  9. Texas
  10. Florida
  • (23 jobs)
  • (32 jobs)
  • (2 jobs)
  • (6 jobs)
  • (3 jobs)
  • (2 jobs)
  • (2 jobs)
  • (1 jobs)
  • (12 jobs)
  • (13 jobs)

Top Animation Director Employers

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Jobs From Top Animation Director Employers

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