Three dimensional (3D) animator

What they do

3D animators plan, design and create visual effects using 3D modelling, character animation, textures, lighting, rigging, rendering and compositing. They work with a special digital 3D mesh that forms the shape of the character or object. They can apply fur, hair, textures or other effects to the mesh to produce a realistic result.

3D animators may work in industries such as filmmaking, game design, television, online content development, advertising, education or government. In Western Australia, 3D animators mostly work in the Perth metropolitan area.

Working conditions

3D animators work in an office environment in a design department or studio and may work on projects independently or with other team members. They may be required to work on more than one project at a time. Designing and developing an animation project is a lengthy process and animators may work long hours (evenings and on weekends) to meet deadlines.

Tools and technologies

3D animators use specially developed industry hardware and software to create 3D and motion-captured digital animations, moving images and graphics. They predominantly work with computer-generated imagery (CGI) production techniques along with storyboarding and prototyping software. They may also use traditional drawn animation or 2D digital animation, depending on the project requirements.

How do I become one?

Education and training

To become a 3D animator, you usually need to gain a qualification in animation, digital design or a related area.

The Diploma of Screen and Media, Diploma of Screen Media (Animation and Games Art), Diploma of Screen and Media (Animation & Visualisation), Advanced Diploma of Screen and Media (Animation & Visualisation) and the Advanced Diploma of Screen and Media (Digital Art and Animation) are offered at TAFE colleges and other registered training organisations throughout Western Australia. To find a training provider near you, browse the Jobs and Skills WA website or visit the My Skills website.

You can complete a degree majoring in animation, digital design, games art and design or a related area. Most universities in Western Australia offer relevant courses. Contact the universities you are interested in for more information.