What Is An Animator (Stop Motion)?

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What Is An Animator (Stop Motion)?

Overview

  • Animating models or puppets one frame at a time to create a performance and provide the action outlined in the storyboard

Is this role right for me?

To do this role, you will need to:

    • have strong observational, acting and timing skills
    • be able to work in a range of stop motion animation techniques, including excellent sculpting skills (if working in clay)
    • have good communication skills, including in liaising with members of other departments, particularly model making
    • have good team-working skills
    • be able to clean up models or puppets and make replacement parts, if required
    • be able to operate relevant animation and camera equipment
    • have a good understanding of character development and storytelling
    • be flexible and adapt to the requirements of different types of production for a variety of media, such as television, films, commercials, etc.
    • be able to take direction and accept constructive feedback
    • be able to work without supervision and follow a brief
    • be able to deliver on schedule, working calmly and efficiently under pressure
    • show respect for the procedures and requirements of a particular studio or production
    • have knowledge of the requirements of the relevant health and safety legislation and procedures

What does an Animator (Stop Motion) do?

Stop Motion Animators bring models or puppets to life, animating them one frame at a time to create a performance and provide the action outlined in the storyboard.

They follow a brief from a Director, Animation Director/Supervisor or Studio Director, and may also refer to established characterization developed by a Director or Key/Senior Animator.

Stop Motion, also called Stop Frame, describes animation that is created by moving models, puppets or any three-dimensional objects frame-by-frame in front of a camera to create the illusion of movement. Other terms used are Model or Puppet Animation, Table Top or 3D, although nowadays 3D usually applies to computer animation.

In character animation, Animators could be ‘cast’ like actors, for their particular talents, such as comedy, dialogue, action, charm, simplicity; or their ability to animate certain types of character; or for their skill at animating inanimate objects. However, they should also be all-rounders with the ability to replicate the animation style that the Senior Animator has set for each particular character.

Depending on the size of the production, they may be involved with pre-production and are likely to collaborate with Model Makers and Riggers to ensure that the models or puppets are prepared for the action that is required.

On smaller productions, they may work alone. On larger projects they may be one of a team and supported by an Assistant Animator. They can be responsible for supervising the work of more junior animators.

Will I need a qualification?

To become a Stop Motion Animator, it will generally help you to have a degree in animation, fine art, sculpture, graphics, illustration, or another related subject.

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