Career in Animation

How to build Career in animation.

picture of sequence of bear drawings
Planning sheet sequence of Drawings for 2D Animation

Before taking up any step towards the field of Animation, one has to first understand, what the field is all about. The word ‘Animation’ is derived from ‘Anima’ the Latin word for soul or spirit. the verb ‘to animate’ literally means ‘to give life to’. The general term describes a wide  range of film making techniques where series of drawings or position of characters and  back-grounds are shot frame by frame to create the  illusion of motion, this form of animated films represents the work of graphic artist “The Animator” who create the illusion of a continuous motion in the film.

Like any other visual art animation process starts with a piece of white paper and a pencil. Same is applicable even in the case of animation. So, to become an animator one has to master the Drawing skills.

Picture of animator working on light box and digital animation screen
Animators working on 2D light box & Digital screen

The next vital step is to get a solid foundation of Classical Animation. By classical Animation I mean traditional style of animation in which sequence of drawings are made to create the illusion of motion (Tom and Jerry style of animation). To become character animation artist, one has to learn the twelve-basic principle of animation that can be mastered through classical animation technique.

Along with knowledge of drawing and Classical animation student has to learn film Language, Script writing and has to develop Acting skills. One has to understand that animation film making process is quite similar to live action film making process.

To become Animator, one has to develop acting skills. It is the acting skills of animator that holds the audience for hours in the theater and take then into emotional roller-costar ride throughout the film, without been realizing that they are merely watching sequence of drawing.

collage of animated films
Poster from popular animation Films

Next logical step in direction of career in animation ideally should be to learn 2D based animation software like Adobe Animate and Toonboom Studio. Do not forget to set you hand on Adob Photoshop for creation of those wonderful Back grounds and matts that’s been use in animated films and series.

With all above skills, now student can confidently go for accruing the skills of 3D animation software. They can learn either Maya, 3D Studio Max, 4D Cinema, Blender or Houdini. All the five software’s have their pros and cons. All software’s are capable of giving similar type of output. First two belongs to Autodesk you and you have to pay for it, but Blender comes free and form open source platforms. If you ask me, I prefer Maya over Max for an obvious reason that in India most of the Animation studios use Maya as their standard software for character animation base projects. In my opinion Blender is the best option for students, you don’t have to pay for it.

Students must also checkout Houdini, it’s becoming popular among young 3D animator because of its new Particle system that create realistic Fluidic, Dust and Smoke effects. More over they offer free apprenticeships modules for students.

collage of editing and VFX monitor
Editing & Visual effects

While choosing the institute or studio for animation training, it is advisable to learn form place where core animation production works are executed. Also, one should verify the work experience and exposer of the teaching staff.

My years of experience taught me that only in a proper studio step up student gets the necessary experience and exposure to develop the skills of highly demanding trait like Animation.

So, if you think, you have those creative genes. Then you can surely look forward to the career in field of Animation by choosing right institute or studio that offers the course curriculum that I have mention above.


Binoy Shankar,

Picture of toonone CEO binoy shankar

Animation Film Maker

( Experience of over nineteen years in field of Animation)