What Are the Job Duties of a 2D Animator?

2D animators create characters, storyboards, and backgrounds for animation in a two-dimensional space. 2D animators may have titles such as animator, character designer, or storyboard artist. Schools offering Animation degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Career Overview

2D animators focus on creating characters, backgrounds, and scene transitions, bringing creative ideas and concepts to life. Job duties of 2D animators revolve around designing and producing images; they include:

  • Producing special effects and action graphics
  • Creating frames and characters
  • Designing advertisements and websites
  • Inking
  • Coloring

Important Facts About This Occupation

Median Pay (2014)$63,630 (for all multimedia artists and animators)
Job Outlook (2012-2022)6% growth (for all multimedia artists and animators)
Entry-level EducationBachelor's degree
Work EnvironmentArtists typically work an average full-time schedule, between 35 to 40 hours a week. However, hours may increase as animators approach a deadline. Many animators are self-employed and work on a freelance basis. Some travel may be required.

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Skills

2D animators begin their designs with a pencil and paper and use the latest technology to create their final designs. 2D animators must have a thorough understanding of computer programs such as:

  • Adobe Photoshop
  • Adobe Flash
  • Adobe Illustrator
  • Adobe FreeHand

In addition, most 2D animators work with art directors, artists, editors, and producers to create their final designs so interpersonal skills are required. They work closely with their co-workers and clients to ensure they deliver a great final product.

Work Environment

2D animators help create websites, video games, advertisements, and videos. Job titles may include:

  • Assistant Animator
  • Character Designer
  • Storyboard Artist

Many 2D animators want to work for large production companies. Large-scale animated productions, like feature films and TV shows, increasingly use 3D animation. Most 2D animators work for small design firms, small studio companies, or as independent contractors. Animators in those firms must know how to communicate and persuade, to increase their business, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov).

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