Today's animators need a unique set of professional design and team-player skills to surmount the challenges of taut release deadlines, competitive personalities, and other stresses in their otherwise creative jobs. It's not enough to know how to use the latest versions of 3D and 2D design software. A successful animator has to employ people skills, maturity, and professionalism to see a project through, from inception to release.
Whether you're working in traditional hand-drawn animation, computer generated animation, or stop-frame animation projects, you won't toil in a vacuum. While animation projects are viewed in a linear fashion, often your work will be done out of sequence, requiring consistent and careful communication and coordination between all members of the design and production staff.
You'll be asked to coordinate your work with writers, music score composers and Foley artists, code writers and programmers, promotions and marketing staff, and other illustrators and artists that all have to pull together toward a common goal.
Depending on your role, you may also have to meet with clients, sub-contractors, and technical staff on a regular basis. And you will have to remain up to speed on the latest releases in the more commonly used 3D design and illustration software, attending refresher courses and certification classes. Often, animators also need to train on the latest versions of proprietary software created and used exclusively by their employers.
When the going gets tough and deadlines loom, you may be asked to roll up your sleeves and work long hours until the job is done.