Did the scene surprise you where a million rats invade a pastry shop in the latest blockbuster? Have you watched animated films like The Lion King and Toy Story a dozen times? And then wondered how that happens? Well, it’s called animation and it’s the work of an animator or animators. What’s more, it’s possible for you to do it too!
An animator gives motion to an object. To animate means to give appearance of movement using varying drawings. Drawing each and every frame individually with gradual variation does it. The procedure is hard, and requires patience. The drawings are then played at the desired speed, which makes its look smooth.
An animator creates sequences of motion picture art that tell a story or communicate a message. Traditional animators used to draw each picture individually on paper, which were then transferred onto film, and when played back rapidly (about 25 frames per second), gave the effect of motion.
Animators work as a team. Basically, the work consists of making drawings and working under a supervising animator, who usually gives out the scenes that are shorter, and works on the longer ones himself. An animator does the acting, gestures, mouth shapes, but is not responsible for every single drawing in the scene. One second of 35-mm film can consist of 24 frames, but lots of people work on it.
Most animators say it’s a rewarding experience. The work of an animator is not as technical as it sounds. It requires more of creativity. Animation gets technical though in certain scenes, when you have to keep track of the character walking in front of a moving background, especially if the character is also moving towards and away from the camera. To excel in this field you have to know the character you are animating – how they’d respond or react to something.
Animation scenes are denoted by number of feet, so you’re responsible for certain amount of footage. Four to eight feet will take you about a week.
There are various forms of animation, such as Clay Animation, Puppet Animation and two and three Dimensional Animation (responsible for Classics like The Lion King, or the path breaking Stuart little)