Looking out for an animator? Need to know how and where to find the best candidates? Here is a comprehensive guide to finding the best animators. Read on!
Animators create series of images seen in movies, commercials, television programs, and video programs. Animation specialists can create animator videos for several animation styles such as 2D character animation, motion graphics animation, and 3D animation. Animators can be full-time employees or hire animators.
If you wondering where can I find an animator?
There are several avenues you can explore such as job boards, posting requirements on social media websites, and freelance animators agency or animation studios. You can try posting requirements for free animators for hire if you are looking for some minor elementary work.
But before you jump in and hire an animator, you need to be aware of the qualifications, skills required. We will try to answer various questions such as how to find an animator and how much does it cost? How much to charge for making animation video? Where to find animators?
Hiring market for animators
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts employment opportunities will grow by 4% from 2018 to 2028. This is faster growth than the national average. Animator for hire often works in a specific medium.
They can focus on creating animated videos or video games or animation specialists work on creating CGI images. There is an increase in demand for more realistic animation and video games. There is a growing trend of using animated videos for creating realistic product videos or explainer videos.
Another interesting statistic about animation artists is half of them operate as freelancers and work from home. If you are wondering how much does it cost to hire an animator? According to BLS average pay of multimedia-artists, is $75,270 per year or $36.19 per hour.
Top 15 job titles that companies are hiring
Here are job titles opted by companies while hiring animators,
1. Art Director
Art directors are one of the core members of the animation team. They are hired when there is a heavy visual element in the project. The art director has the final say in the footage included in the animation video. Their salary averages $70,000 to $80,000 a year.
2. Stop Motion Animator
Stop motion animator is a labor-intensive discipline. They need to have attention to detail aside. They set up physical rigs usually to specifications. The stop motion animator’s salary is around $60000 a year.
3. 3D Modeler
3D modelers work with animation tools to bring fully rendered models and environments to life. 3D modeler not work not just in entertainment but also work in engineering, advertising, architecture, etc. The average salary of a 3D modeler is $35,000/year.
4. Flash Animator
Flash animators work using Adobe tools they combine skills of illustrator, graphic designers, and compositions to create 2D and 3D animation in Adobe Flash. A flash animator’s average salary of $78,230/year.
5. Composting Artist
Composting artists are responsible for the final animation video they work closely with other animation staff to create a layer of polish and ensure the project looks consistent. A composting artist’s salary ranges from $50,000 to $75,000/year.
6. Storyboard Artist
Storyboard artists produce the concept artwork. The production teamwork on the basis of the work of the storyboard artists. They are involved in the project from start to finish. The storyboard artist’s salary ranges from $80000 to $100000 a year.
7. Mathematical Modeler
Mathematical models use mathematical formulae to create complicated models. They typically work in aeronautics and are now working in video gaming. They typically earn $80,000/year.
8. Forensic Animator
Forensic animators use their skills to help investigators piece together a crime scene. They also help insurance firms during liability claims. Forensic animators recreate real-life scenarios. The forensic animators work $20 to $100/hour.
9. Render Wrangler
Render Wrangler help to render the animation in a useable format. Modern animation is very large and contains many terabytes of data. The wrangler help to render the film. The salary of a render wrangler is around $15/hour.
10. Texture Artist
Texture artists are proficient in creating texture to make the models look realistic. The texture artist’s average salary is $60000/year.
11. Effects Animator
Effects animators are responsible for adding natural or supernatural characters to the film. They work with VFX supervisors to develop the finished and final product. Their average salaries range between $37,500 to $94,500/year.
12. Background Painter
Background painters are responsible for creating the background for animators and live-action films. They may create the background manually or use software tools. The average salary of a background animator is $45,097/year.
13. Video Game Designer
Video game designers use several skills to create computer and video games for gaming consoles. The average salary of a video game designer is $90,270/year.
14. Character Animator
Character animators create and design characters using animation software, 3D modeling, 2D animation, and puppetry. They develop characters to tell a story. The average salary of an animator is $69168/year.
Cartoonists draw advertising, political, or social cartoons. In the animation industry, they render drawing of characters, environments, and objects for small or large-scale production. Cartoonist earns $14.35/hour.
Qualifications to look for in animators
While you looking for professional animators you need to remember the training requirements may vary depending on the industry you choose. The best animator has Bachelor’s degree in Computer Animation, graphics arts, and fine arts. The best schools for Bachelor’s degree in Computer Animation are,
- Rhode Island School of Design
- Ringling College of Art and Design
- California Institute of the Art
- University of Southern California
- Savannah College of Art and Design.
The best schools for Bachelor’s degree in Graphic arts are,
- University of Pennsylvania
- University of Florida
- Boston University
- Carnegie Mellon University
- University of Miami
Skills to look for in an animator
When you are hiring animators freelance, you need to evaluate their technical and soft skills. The criteria for skills may differ depending on your requirement. Whether you need animator design or email animator or cartoon animator for hire here are some skills you need to look for when you hire animators.
Technical skills required,
- Adobe Photoshop
- Adobe InDesign
- Graphic design
- Adobe Illustrator
- Adobe Acrobat
- Adobe AfterEffects
- User experience wireframing
- 3D modeling
- Interaction design
- Motion graphics
- Ability to illustrate and storyboard.
The soft skills required are,
- Communicate well
- Outstanding work ethics, character, integrity, and professionalism,
- Multitasking, prioritize, and ability to meet deadlines.
- Team player
- Project management skills
- Attention to detail
Certifications to look for in animator
When you want to hire a video animator or freelance animation artist, you may want to shortlist animation freelancers with certifications. Here are some certifications you may want professional animator to have,
1. Adobe Certified Associate certifications are industry-recognized credential that validates the skills of animation designer in Adobe digital-software. Digital animators can get certified in the following,
- Adobe After Effects
- Adobe Animator
- Adobe Dreamweaver
- Adobe Illustrator
- Adobe InDesign
- Adobe Photoshop
- Adobe Premiere Pro
2. Maya Certification by AutoDesk – Maya is a popular tool used by animation designers. AutoDesk offers training and certification for beginner, intermediate, and advanced animation professionals.
3. Wow Certified Web Designers Apprentice – Web Professional International Certification is aimed at individuals who want freelance animation for websites. Animators websites often prefer Wow certified Web Designers. Some of the certificates available are:-
- Certified Web Designers
- Certified Web Designers Novice
- Certified Web Animator Novice
- Certified WP Administrator Novice
- Certified Web and Mobile App Developer Novice
4. Apple Certified Pro-Final Cut Pro – Apple professional applications are the industry standard for various professionals including multimedia artists. Apple offers the following certifications to animators,
- Final Cut Pro
- Logic Pro
5. Avid Certified User for Pro Tools – Avid Certification can help an animation designer demonstrate their skills and credentials.
6. Unity certification – The Unity certification is aimed at animator profile with gaming experience. There are four major certifications,
- Certified Users
- Certified Associate
- Certified Professional
- Certified Expert
Also Read: Hire UX Designer | Everything you must know
Rate per hour of animator
When you are trying to find an animator, you need to know the latest animator rates. Freelance animator hourly rate in the USA for 2D animator is $ 20/hour. Freelance animators usually bill their clients by the second fees vary depending on the type of animation and experiences rates may vary. The rates for 2D animation,
- Advertising: $300-$400/sec
- Corporate: $150-$1000/sec
- Education: $125-$1000/sec
- Industrial animation: $150-$1000/sec
- Web animator: $120-$800/sec
Madrid is one of the top destinations for animators. The animator rate in Madrid ranges from 980 EUR/month to 3200 EUR/month, the average salary 2120 EUR/month.
- Entry-level animator earns 1150 EUR/
- Mid-level animator earns 2130 EUR
- Senior-level animator earns 3050 EUR
In India salary depends on the job profile,
- 2D/3D animator : Rs 300,00 to Rs 2,000,000/-
- Background artist: Rs. 150,000 to Rs. 600,000/-
- Story Board artist: Rs 150,00 to Rs 1,000,000/-
- Character animator : Rs 150,00 to Rs 720,000/-
- Special effect artist : Rs 150,00 to Rs 720,000/-
Top 10 job boards to find the best animator
Whether you are looking for an animator for hire, or cartoon animators, or animation artists, you will possibly begin your search on Job boards. The job portals help you find animators whether you looking for the best animators or cheap animations. The top job portals to visit when you are looking for animators are,
- Toptal: Toptal is a freelancer marketplace. Each freelance animator profile is verified. You can post animator needed requirements.
- Upwork: Upwork is one of the best resources of freelance animators for hire.
- unremot.com: unremot is a place where you can find animators. You can view the profiles of top animators profiles and contact them using the Unremot virtual office.
- Dribble: Dribble is a community for animators. An animator designer creates their portfolio on the platform. Using Dribble Hire you can search through their portfolio or post for jobs mentioning freelance animation rates you are willing to offer.
- Behance: Behance is a freelance marketplace for the animated designer. Behance allows Animation artist using Adobe to showcase their work. You can post requirements for animators for hire and access profiles.
- Freelancer: Freelancers is one of the best platforms to hire freelance animators. With over one million registered users you can find cheap animators for hire.
- Flexjobs: Flexjob is a job portal where you can hire an animator looking for remote freelance work or part-time work.
- Peopleperhour: Peopleperhour is an online platform where you can find animation freelance or independent animators.
- Guru: Guru is a great freelancer website. You can use the portal to hire animator or find cartoon animators for hire.
- Indeed: Indeed is one of the largest job portals, you can consult when you are looking for animators. You can post requirements and screen animator professional and hire animation artist. Look at animation profiles
Top 10 companies hiring animator and salaries offered
It is a good idea to know the top 10 companies hiring animators. You may learn about the animation rates prevalent in the industry. Here is the list of top companies are,
- Apple is an American multinational technology company. Apple Graphic Designer gets $73,305/year.
- DreamWork Animation creates high-quality entertainment, including CG animated feature films. Animator hire working in DreamWork Animation earn $74,193 – $164,794/year.
- Walt Disney Company is the world’s largest media conglomerate. The animation profile in Walt Disney includes Cartoonist/animator with a salary of $116,000 – $125,000 and CG animators who earn $83,000 – $89,000/year.
- Electronic Art is an American video game company. 3D animation artists earn $60,000 annually.
- PlayStation is an American video gaming company. Playstation animation for hire salary ranges from $58,549 – $92,284.
- Blizzard Entertainment is an American video game developer company. The typical salary of animators in Blizzard Entertainment can range from $63,422 – $97,613.
- Pixar Animation Studio is an American computer-animated studio based in California. The salary of animators at Pixar ranges from$34,971 – $125,116.
- Blue Sky Studio is an American Animation company based in Greenwich. The animation rate of animators at Blue Sky Studio can range from $46,000 – $92,000.
- IdeaMachine Studio produces marketing and training videos. Animator hourly rate at IdeMachine Studio is $24/hour.
- UMBC is a university in Maryland. The teaching assistant in Maryland can earn $23493/year.
Top 10 interview questions for an animator
When you realize I need an animator, it is important to prepare a list of interview questions to judge their technical and soft skills. Whether you need cheap animation animators or experienced you must judge their competence animators.
Question 1: What is rigging?
Rationale: Any animator working on 3D animation should be able to answer the question.
Answer: Rigging is the process of creating a skeleton with joints that act as a framework for 3D models. We set limits on the joints so that they move convincingly.
Question 2: What is the most difficult part of being in the animation business?
Rationale: This question helps to see the understanding of the animation business.
Answer: I love being part of the animation business. The work is however time-consuming. Projects take a long to start. There are so many different types of projects to explore and so little time.
Question 3: What are you doing to keep current in technology?
Rationale: A good animator should keep up with the latest technological advances in their field.
Answer: I am a member of the animation forum and subscribe to Animation Insider. I also follow blogs of leading animators I admire.
Question 4: What is texturing?
Rationale: This is a basic question any animator should be able to answer.
Answer: Texturing is the process by which professional animators can produce minute details. The details may be added to the character or environment. Animators use tools like Photoshop for environmental texturing and Z brush for Character texturing.
Question 5: How do keep track of work so that it gets done on time.
Rationale: When you hire an animator it is important they complete work especially if they work from home.
Answer: In the production environment it is difficult to keep track of work. I show my work to my supervisor at regular intervals and make corrections if regularly.
Question 6: Explain A Ambient occlusion?
Rationale: This is a technical question to judge the skills of the animator.
Answer: Ambient occlusion is a shading method used in 3D computer graphics and helps to add realism to the local reflection model.
Question 7: Tell me about your favorite 2D or 3D animated films of all and why?
Rationale: This question helps to analyze the passion the animator has.
Answer: My favorite 2D film is Pinocchio. The movie is a masterpiece for classical animation form and has stellar music. My favorite CG film is Ratioullie. Every aspect of the film whether it was animation, voice acting, art direction, and direction was flawlessly executed.
Question 8: What is the use of animation?
Rationale: This is a question usually asked to entry-level animators.
Answer: Animation is used everywhere, animation is used to explain complicated concepts in a simplified manner. Animation is used in entertainment and can be used to express our feelings. The animation is used in sectors such as advertising, art, education, entertainment, engineering, etc.
Question 9: What is a frame?
Rationale: This is a technical question asked to animators.
Answer: Keyframe or frame is the start and endpoint of an object with the help of software to fill the action between them.
Question 10: What is multimedia?
Rationale: This is a technical question to judge the skills of the animator.
Answer: Multimedia is a combination of animation, text, audio, and video, etc.
How much does it cost to hire an animator?
The freelance animator rates will depend on their expertise. Their rates will depend on technical proficiency and experience. Animation experts can charge anywhere up to $51/hour.
The average animation rates, when you hire an animator can vary from $2000 to $2500 for a standard 2D animation.
Are animators in demand?
Yes, animation artists are in demand. It has become a lucrative career. Animator’s jobs work on visual and video-oriented. Animators today go beyond entertaining adults and children. Animation videos are used for making educational content and to connect with the audiences. There is projected growth of 4% in the next ten years.