Animator skills play an important role in the creation of a video game, a movie or a television show. Animators are artists that create animations, special effects, etc using computer softwares and electronic tools.
An animator is an artist who creates multiple images, known as frames, which give an illusion of movement called animation when displayed in rapid sequence. Animators can work in a variety of fields including film, television, and video games. Animation is closely related to filmmaking and like filmmaking is extremely labor-intensive, which means that most significant works require the collaboration of several animators. The methods of creating the images or frames for an animation piece depends on the animators’ artistic styles and their field. (Wikipedia)
An animator not only creates animations, he has to give its characters life and for that he needs to be very talented, to be creative, to master technical skills, the art of movement and other skills that you will discover further.
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Some essential animator skills that I think every animator should have are:
Technical animator skills
To give life to the characters, an animator needs to combine the artistic skills with practical skills. It is very important to have strong drawing skills because it is easier and faster to sketch your ideas on paper. Also, an animator needs to understand how the body moves and to be aware of the 12 principles of animation. Technical animator skills include audio/video editing and cutting-edge softwares like Adobe Flash, 3D Studio Max, and more.
Grafic design skills
The main responsibility of an animator is to bring elements to life and for that it needs to have knowledge of graphic motion. Animators should know how to create figures, visual effects, and how to make animations more real to live.
All animations need colors. To be a successful animator you need to understand the color theory. You have to know how to use colors on your characters and what color you should use to express different emotions, feelings, etc. You have to think at what your animation want to communicate to the audience and to choose the perfect colors for that.
Sense of timing and spacing
An animator needs to use his knowledge of animation and to be able to move elements in order to create natural and soft movements. Also, he has to have a good sense of timing and spacing, to anticipate movements, to action and to react.
A good animator must pay attention at small details. These details, like where is the character looking, how fast the figure should move, an eye-blink, etc. make the difference and could give your animation a more professional look. A true animator will observe and analyze every detail of one individual, its expressions, the way they walk, etc. and everything that surrounds it.
It may takes years to develop your own style, but every animator should make their mark and create original animations that people will remember with pleasure. Make your art unique and so you make yourself known in this industry.
Besides all these major skills, animators should be able to cooperate with others colleagues, be reliable, responsible, creative, perseverant and innovative.
Here are some articles that help me to write this post and may be useful for you if you want to find out more about what is an animator and what skills are required to become a great one.