Salary and Outlook
According to the US Department of Labor, there are 62,400 people employed as special effects artists and animators in
the United States.
The median annual salary is $77,700.
Entry level employees earn approximately $42,390 per year and senior employees earn approximately $142,750
Estimates do not include other potential benefits such as health insurance, overtime pay, or retirement benefits that may be offered by employers.
- Design complex graphics and animation, using independent judgment, creativity, and computer equipment.
- Participate in design and production of multimedia campaigns, handling budgeting and scheduling, and assisting with such responsibilities as production coordination, background design, and progress tracking.
- Create two-dimensional and three-dimensional images depicting objects in motion or illustrating a process, using computer animation or modeling programs.
- Make objects or characters appear lifelike by manipulating light, color, texture, shadow, and transparency, or manipulating static images to give the illusion of motion.
- Apply story development, directing, cinematography, and editing to animation to create storyboards that show the flow of the animation and map out key scenes and characters.
- Implement and maintain configuration control systems.
- Script, plan, and create animated narrative sequences under tight deadlines, using computer software and hand drawing techniques.
- Develop briefings, brochures, multimedia presentations, web pages, promotional products, technical illustrations, and computer artwork for use in products, technical manuals, literature, newsletters, and slide shows.
- Create and install special effects as required by the script, mixing chemicals and fabricating needed parts from wood, metal, plaster, and clay.
- Assemble, typeset, scan, and produce digital camera-ready art or film negatives and printer's proofs.
- Convert real objects to animated objects through modeling, using techniques such as optical scanning.
- Create pen-and-paper images to be scanned, edited, colored, textured, or animated by computer.
- Use models to simulate the behavior of animated objects in the finished sequence.
- Create basic designs, drawings, and illustrations for product labels, cartons, direct mail, or television.