As discussed in my previous post, there are 4 basic types of animation techniques, namely: 2d Traditional (Cel), 2d Computer Generated, Stop Motion and 3d Animation.
All 4 require some basic common skill set but differ slightly when it comes to the actual Production stage.
Typical stages of any animation development are:
Development -> Pre-production -> Production -> Post production
Brief description of each stage and career opportunities in each are given below:
Development mainly involves concept / idea development and identifying the target market. Other commercial aspects are also to be considered. Getting sponsors, arranging finances etc are also part of this stage.
Job titles can be likes of Director and Producers.
This involves making the idea more well defined into a script or a story board. This may also involve some background work , layout design etc.
Job titles can be likes of Production designer, Art director, Character/ Prop/ Background designer, Story board supervisor / artist , Layout supervisor/ artist, etc
The production stage is where there is most variation between the different animation forms. This is the stage where actual work takes place.
In 2D drawn animation, it involves drawing, cleaning up inking and painting drawings, scanning and digitizing drawings, and positioning the images into animation sequences.
In 2D computer animation it involves composing and colouring digital drawings, and positioning the images into animation sequences.
Job titles can be likes of Animation director, Lead / Assistant/ Trainee / Junior animator, Runner, etc.
In Stop Frame animation it involves building the sets and puppets or models, creating armatures and rigging the models so that the animators can move them, dressing the sets and setting up cameras and lights and also operating the cameras to capture the animators adjustments.
For Stop Motion Animation, there are some additional type of career opportunities like:
Model maker / Artist / Team lead, Director of photography, Still photographer, Motion Control Operator, Lighting, Camera, etc.
In 3D animation it involves a very wide range of activities from modeling the characters to lighting the set to actually animating the characters. As opposed to 2D animation where character is important, in 3D animation its the sequence of events / scenes that is more important.
Some of the special jobs in 3D animation area are:
Visual Effects (VFX) Supervisor, CG Supervisor, Fur/Feathers FX Artist , Shading/Texture Supervisor, Texture Artist/Texture Painter, Rigging Supevisor, rigger, Rendering Supervisor , Lead Animator (Supervising Animator), Cloth Simulation FX Artist , Water FX Artist, 3D tracker / mover, Lighting Supervisor , Rendering Supervisor, renderer, Systems Administrator and IT support, etc.
Post production stage is like a assembly stage for a car manufacturing. Here, all the pieces come together, edited, given finishing touches. The out put is then converted to required format like a film, DVD, CD etc.
Job titles can be likes of Head of Compositing, Chief / Assistant editor, Compositor etc.