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Junior Animator

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Similar Titles

  • Associate Animator
  • Junior VFX

Tools

Most Used:

  • Autodesk Maya
  • MotionBuilder

Good To Know:

  • Nuke
  • After Effects
  • Unreal Engine 5 and Niagara
  • Cartoon Animator 4
  • 3DS Max
  • Xsens
  • Toon Boon Harmony or Animate CC
  • Jira or Trello
  • Slack or Microsoft Teams

Role Summary

A Junior Animator plays a supportive role in bringing characters to life, adding personality and flair in line with the project's vision. Entrusted with crafting animations, they are responsible for animating characters and cameras in both stylised and realistic aesthetics, using motion capture data, keyframe, and facial animations.

They collaborate closely with a team of designers, coders, technical animators, and other professionals, contributing to the game development process. In essence, the Junior Animator supports the realisation of the game's design and creative vision, contributing to the visual and animated elements of the game.

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Knowledge

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The specific understanding around software tools and techniques, terminology and the responsibilities of the role. 
  • Awareness of the 12 Principles of Animation (Squash and Stretch, Anticipation, Staging, Straight Ahead Action and Pose to Pose, Follow Through and Overlapping Action, Slow In and Slow Out, Arc, Secondary Action, Timing, Exaggeration, Solid Drawing, Appeal) and foundational elements, such as body mechanics, timing, and spacing.
  • The Junior Animator has a basic understanding of keyframe and motion capture techniques, essential for natural and dynamic animations.
  • An understanding of fundamental game mechanics, including character movement. This includes knowledge of basic actions like walking and running, as well as manoeuvres such as climbing and interacting with objects. An awareness of the physics involved in movement, including gravity and collision detection is also desirable.
  • The Junior Animator recognises industry-standard animation tools, including Autodesk Maya and MotionBuilder.
  • Keeps up to date with the latest industry trends in animation, though not necessarily an expert.
  • A foundational understanding of techniques used in game visual effects, such as texture mapping, lighting and shading and motion graphics.
  • A basic understanding of implementation of animation into a game engine.

Skills

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The specific proficiency around technical skills, the types of creative and problem solving abilities, and areas of communication and adaptability.
  • The Junior Animator has basic knowledge of tools like Maya, MotionBuilder, and others, with a willingness to learn more.
  • Recognising artistic concepts and seeing how animations can fit within the game's context.
  • Demonstrating a willingness to learn and use software tools including but not limited to, Adobe After Effects, Autodesk Maya or Blender for creating visual effects.
  • Being able to understand project requirements and work with the team.
  • Familiarity with engines like Unreal Engine 5, with a focus on learning more.
  • Assisting with shader design that aligns with the game's direction.
  • Comprehending insights from senior roles and refining work accordingly.

Behaviour

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In relation to the capabilities around working within the team, and the expectations when it comes to professionalism or commitments to the role and company culture.
  • Shows enthusiasm for the craft of animation.
  • Eager to grow and adapt in the fast-paced realm of game animation.
  • Open to feedback and effectively communicates with the team.
  • Shows genuine interest in games and their mechanics.
  • Continuously looks for opportunities to learn and improve.

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What to expect in the day to day duties:

  • The Junior Animator collaborates with senior animators to craft animation assets that align with the game's artistic vision.
  • The Junior Animator works to integrate animation assets within gameplay, ensuring animation transitions are seamless and work within the game design.
  • Continuously learning and applying basic software tools and techniques, the Junior Animator collaborates with VFX artists.This collaboration ensures synchronisation between character movements and environmental interactions, contributing to immersive gameplay experiences.
  • Partnering with the animation team, the Junior Animator assists in the character animation process. Their role involves understanding character concepts, aiding in keyframe and in-between frame animation to ensure smooth, realistic motion. They also assist in character rigging, setting up skeletons for realistic movement.
  • The Junior Animator participates in brainstorming sessions, contributing ideas and solutions, offering their perspectives to enhance animations.
  • The Junior Animator aids in comprehending and translating the designer's vision into the game environment. This involves creating initial sketches and basic animations, forming the foundation for more detailed scenes.
  • The Junior Animator adapts their work based on insights from senior team members.
  • The Junior Animator maintains the quality standards of their tasks and manages time effectively.
  • Keeping an eye on current industry trends, tools, and techniques, the Junior Animator aims for consistent growth.

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Interview One

Did you undergo any specific training or education (formal or informal) that you think was beneficial in obtaining your current role?

BFA in Animation.

Describe your journey into your current role in the gaming industry.

I started with my BFA in animation to land my first job as a QA tester. Eight months later I moved into Technical Animation and have been there ever since.

What experiences or qualifications were most critical in securing your current role?

Bachelors in similar or related field. Also having a sufficient portfolio demonstrating skills needed for the position.

What were some of the challenges you faced when trying to get into the industry, and how did you overcome them? Do you have any advice for individuals trying to get into your role?

You will face rejection. Out of my first 50 application I heard back from 1 person. Apply now, and apply often.

Interview Two

Did you undergo any specific training or education (formal or informal) that you think was beneficial in obtaining your current role?

iAnimate.

Describe your journey into your current role in the gaming industry.

I went to college for 3D animation while working retail. Every summer school years I took a class at iAnimate in order to keep progressing.

What experiences or qualifications were most critical in securing your current role?

In engine experience with Unreal. State machines, animation blueprints, etc. Knowledge of rigging in Maya was a big bonus too.

What were some of the challenges you faced when trying to get into the industry, and how did you overcome them? Do you have any advice for individuals trying to get into your role?

Biggest challenge was the constant rejection letters I would get. It's hard to deal with that. I eventually was able to overcome this by looking away from triple A studios and focusing on smaller indie companies.

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Correction Form

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