Who is a Visual Effects Animator?
A visual effects animator is a professional that’s responsible for special effects in films. Now interestingly, they focus on the special effects that cannot be added during the live action shoot. For example, a lot of times, the green screen is used when shooting actors in the studio.
The actual, exciting background we see in the movie however is inserted later. Similarly, these professionals are also responsible for actually creating entire characters. As such all they use is computer software programs to create these entities and integrate them in the film. These characters can be so lively that they can also interact with live action characters.
Remember the dinosaurs and the Anaconda in those blockbuster movies? Well that’s what the visual effects animators can do! Thus the TV shows, commercials, films and other such projects actually become more realistic and exciting.
Background Education / Training
Though it may be safely said that you do not require a formal study to be a visual animator, they certainly train themselves hard and create a strong background in multimedia art and animation. Most of them actually work a other artists and work on their story telling and aesthetic skills for long before they actually realize their dream of being a visual effects animators.
It is usually recommended that professionals interested in this career study arts, fine arts, photography or similar art related fields. Some of them actually go for higher specializations in visual media and visual effects eventually. The ability and training to use computer software with speed is highly valued as a skill.
Most of these professionals spend a lot of time in an office using their computers and animation software. However, those that work with larger media agencies and film studios may actually travel to document, understand and watch the actual filming happen, for research and development.
Their hours are often long and they can be commonly seen working in tight deadlines, on weekends and nights. A lot of them are self-employed and freelance or consult.
The industries that conventionally used to employ them were motion pictures, film industry and video game companies, but of late media agencies, larger YouTube channels, companies that create content for schools, companies that create DIY projects for school and even digital marketing agencies employ them. A lot of content development companies employ animators to create ad videos or films for their clients.
If it wasn’t exciting enough to transport people to a fantasy / realistic world using art and technology, the salary is lucrative. While disregarding the top-notch in the industry who earn in millions, even the junior animators earn good amounts as they freelance and / or get employed full-time. The more credentials and portfolio you have, the better your earning potential is.