What does a Lead Animator do?

Animators perform a number of different tasks, with the end goal of creating visual works that can be displayed through different media sources, including film, TV, websites, and social media. This role requires storyboarding, drawing using physical and digital tools, creating frames for animation, and pulling frames together into moving pictures. Animators must be able to work collaboratively as well as independently and often on tight deadlines.

Animators do not require a degree for entry level positions. However, Bachelor's degree in art, animation, or similar fields may be preferred. This role requires individuals who are extremely detail-oriented and who possess necessary communication skills for collaborative work.

What responsibilities are common for Lead Animator jobs?
  • Receive and examine design requirements for each project
  • Research various design techniques to provide accurate designs for requested animations
  • Create multiple design drafts and collaborate with teams and stakeholders for final direction
  • Use requested design tools, including physical and digital tools, to create initial designs
  • Create and elaborate on storyboards for requested projects
  • Use existing tools to draw final frames to be animated
  • Utilize industry animation tools or methods to finalize animation projects
  • Work collaboratively with other animators to ensure consistency and accuracy of animated designs
What are the typical qualifications for Lead Animator jobs?
  • 0-1 years of experience drawing and animating
  • Experience using animation software, such as Adobe Animate, Maya, Cinema 4D, or Blender
  • Proven ability to draw across different types of artistic styles
  • Experience implementing different animation styles, including traditional animation, 3D computer animation, 2D vector animation and others
  • General computer literacy, including experience with common operating systems (Windows, Linux, MacOS) and productivity tools
  • Strong desire and ability to work collaboratively to fulfill project demands
  • Ability to work independently as needed
  • Comfort presenting and explaining animations, storyboards and designs to stakeholders
  • Significant attention to detail and patience to work carefully and efficiently
Education--
Work/Life Balance
3.5 ★
Salary Range--
Career Opportunity
3.7 ★
Avg. Experience5-7 years

Lead Animator Salaries

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Glassdoor Estimated Salary

Lead Animator Career Path

Learn how to become a Lead Animator, what skills and education you need to succeed, and what level of pay to expect at each step on your career path.

Lead Animator
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Senior Lead Animator
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Director of Animation
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Lead Animator

Years of Experience Distribution

0 - 1
0%
2 - 4
44%
5 - 7
56%
8+
0%
Not including years spent in education and/or training

Lead Animator Insights

Read what Lead Animator professionals have to say about their job experiences and view top companies for this career.
Streamline StudiosStreamline Studios
Animator and Rigging Artist
15 Sept 2020

“Streamline is quite divers working environment which you will be having equal chance to work and grow as local Malaysians.”

GramGram
Junior Animator
2 Dec 2020

“Working at Gram fuels my desire to be great animator and work in its industry.”

Electric Theatre CollectiveElectric Theatre Collective
VFX Artist
30 Jan 2023

“Cool projects Protection from bad clients Didn’t have to work late really Fun culture with nice people”

CodeLabs (Pakistan)CodeLabs (Pakistan)
Animator
4 Jan 2022

“Best place to work with creative minds and everyone helps other to be better and i feel blessed to be working with such creative minds”

Yowza AnimationYowza Animation
2D Harmony Animator
2 Jan 2023

“There was little communication regarding expectations or what was being done to prevent crunch (if anything).”

Xentrix StudiosXentrix Studios
3D Animator
3 May 2022

“If you are ready to work 24/7 then you will get a good salary raise.”

TitmouseTitmouse
2D Animator
23 Aug 2022

“The pay in Canada is half what is the salary for the same position in the LA studio.”

Pixel Zoo
3D Animator
24 Nov 2022

“I have been working here for past one year and couldn’t say much negative about this place .. flexible work hours”

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Lead Animator Interviews

Frequently asked questions about the role and responsibilities of animators

An animator spends their day creating animations and visual effects for industries like video gaming, television, movies, or advertising. They typically work on a computer or tablet with common software programs. They communicate with clients to understand the specifics of their projects. They may generate ideas or storyboards with other types of artistic media.

Talented animators can easily find work in a wide variety of industries, entertainment and otherwise. Working as an animator is a great way to get paid to create art. Animators are able to share their talents and vision with lots of viewers. Animators can focus on just one type of animation or try lots of different projects.

Animation is highly detail-oriented, and animators need extensive software skills. Animators spend many hours on a computer or other device. Projects are often deadline-based, meaning animators may need to work long hours. Freelance workers may find working from home isolating and lonely.

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Lead Animator jobs