5 Steps to Becoming a Lighting Supervisor in the Animation Field

5 Steps to Becoming a Lighting Supervisor in the Animation Field

Are you passionate about creating visually stunning animations and interested in a career as a lighting supervisor? In this article, we will outline the 5 essential steps you need to take to become a successful lighting supervisor in the animation industry. From gaining the necessary education and experience to building a strong portfolio, we will guide you through the process of achieving your dream job in the world of animation lighting.

Step 1: Gain Experience in Animation

Intern at an animation studio

Interning at an animation studio is a great way to gain hands-on experience in the field. This will allow you to learn from professionals, gain insight into the industry, and build your network. Look for internships at studios that produce the type of animation you are interested in, whether it’s 2D, 3D, stop-motion, or another style.

Work on personal animation projects

In addition to interning, it’s important to work on your own animation projects. This will allow you to practice your skills, experiment with different techniques, and build a portfolio of work. Consider creating short films, animations for social media, or even a personal website to showcase your work.

Attend animation workshops and conferences

Attending animation workshops and conferences is a great way to learn from industry experts, stay up-to-date on the latest trends and technologies, and network with other professionals in the field. Look for events in your area or consider traveling to larger conferences to expand your knowledge and connections.

Step 2: Develop Strong Lighting Skills

Learn lighting software such as Maya or Blender

To excel as a lighting supervisor in the animation field, it is crucial to have a strong understanding of lighting software such as Maya or Blender. These tools are commonly used in the industry for creating realistic lighting effects and enhancing the overall visual appeal of animated scenes. By familiarizing yourself with these software programs, you will be better equipped to create stunning lighting designs that bring your animations to life.

Experiment with different lighting techniques

One of the best ways to develop your lighting skills is to experiment with different lighting techniques. Try using different types of light sources, adjusting the intensity and color of the light, and playing around with shadows and reflections. By exploring various lighting options, you will gain valuable insight into how different lighting choices can impact the mood and atmosphere of a scene.

Study the work of industry professionals

To further enhance your lighting skills, take the time to study the work of industry professionals in the animation field. Pay close attention to how they use lighting to create visually striking and engaging animations. Analyze their techniques, study their lighting setups, and try to replicate their effects in your own work. By learning from the best in the industry, you can gain valuable insights and inspiration that will help you become a successful lighting supervisor.

Step 3: Build a Strong Portfolio

Include a variety of lighting projects

When building your portfolio as a lighting supervisor in the animation field, it’s important to showcase a diverse range of lighting projects. This demonstrates your versatility and ability to work on different types of animations. Include examples of your work on various genres such as action, comedy, drama, and fantasy to show potential employers that you can adapt your lighting skills to suit different storytelling styles.

Showcase your ability to work with different styles

In addition to showcasing a variety of projects, highlight your ability to work with different lighting styles. Whether it’s creating moody and atmospheric lighting for a horror scene or bright and colorful lighting for a children’s animation, demonstrate your proficiency in adapting to different visual aesthetics. This will show employers that you are capable of bringing their creative vision to life through lighting.

Highlight any relevant industry experience

Finally, make sure to highlight any relevant industry experience in your portfolio. Include projects you have worked on for animation studios, film production companies, or other relevant employers. This will demonstrate to potential employers that you have practical experience in the field and are familiar with the demands and expectations of working in the animation industry. By showcasing a strong portfolio that includes a variety of lighting projects, demonstrates your ability to work with different styles, and highlights relevant industry experience, you will increase your chances of becoming a successful lighting supervisor in the animation field.

Step 4: Network with Industry Professionals

Attend industry events and meetups

One of the best ways to network with industry professionals is to attend industry events and meetups. These events provide a great opportunity to meet and connect with other lighting supervisors, as well as other professionals in the animation field. By attending these events, you can learn from others, share your own experiences, and build valuable connections that can help further your career.

Connect with lighting supervisors on social media

In addition to attending events in person, it’s also important to connect with lighting supervisors on social media. Platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram can be great places to connect with professionals in the animation field. By following lighting supervisors, commenting on their posts, and engaging with their content, you can start to build relationships with them and potentially even find mentorship opportunities.

Seek mentorship from experienced professionals

Mentorship can be incredibly valuable in any field, and the animation industry is no exception. Seek out experienced lighting supervisors who are willing to mentor you and provide guidance as you navigate your career. A mentor can offer advice, share their own experiences, and help you develop the skills and knowledge you need to succeed as a lighting supervisor in the animation field.

Step 5: Apply for Lighting Supervisor Positions

Now that you have gained experience and honed your skills in lighting design and supervision, it’s time to take the next step towards becoming a Lighting Supervisor in the animation field. Follow these steps to increase your chances of landing your dream job:

Search for job openings at animation studios

Start by researching and identifying animation studios that are known for their high-quality work in lighting and visual effects. Check their career pages regularly for job openings for Lighting Supervisor positions. Networking with industry professionals and joining online forums or job boards specific to the animation field can also help you stay updated on job opportunities.

Submit your portfolio and resume

When applying for Lighting Supervisor positions, it’s crucial to showcase your previous work and expertise in lighting design. Create a comprehensive portfolio that highlights your best projects, including lighting setups, renders, and final results. Tailor your resume to emphasize your relevant experience, skills, and achievements in the field of lighting supervision.

Prepare for interviews and demonstrate your skills

Once you have applied for a Lighting Supervisor position and have been invited for an interview, it’s time to prepare and demonstrate your skills. Research the animation studio and familiarize yourself with their work and projects. Be ready to discuss your approach to lighting design, problem-solving skills, and experience working with a team. Consider creating a presentation or demo reel to showcase your lighting techniques and creative vision.

By following these steps and putting your best foot forward during the application process, you can increase your chances of securing a Lighting Supervisor position in the competitive animation industry. Good luck!


Becoming a lighting supervisor in the animation field is a rewarding and challenging career path that requires dedication, creativity, and technical expertise. By following these 5 steps – gaining experience, building a strong portfolio, networking with industry professionals, continuing your education, and staying up-to-date with industry trends – you can position yourself for success in this competitive field. With hard work and determination, you can achieve your goal of becoming a lighting supervisor and making a significant impact in the world of animation.