Steps to Become a Character Animator in the Animation Industry

Steps to Become a Character Animator in the Animation Industry

Are you passionate about bringing characters to life through animation? Becoming a character animator in the animation industry can be a rewarding career path for those with a love for storytelling and creativity. In this article, we will explore the essential steps you need to take to kickstart your journey towards becoming a successful character animator. From honing your artistic skills to mastering the latest animation software, we will provide you with valuable insights to help you achieve your dream job in the animation industry.

Education and Training

Earn a degree in animation or related field

One of the first steps to become a character animator in the animation industry is to earn a degree in animation or a related field. A Bachelor’s degree in animation, graphic design, fine arts, or a similar discipline can provide you with the foundational knowledge and skills needed to succeed in this competitive field.

Attend workshops and online courses

In addition to formal education, attending workshops and online courses can also help you enhance your skills and stay updated with the latest trends and techniques in character animation. Many industry professionals offer workshops and online courses that focus on specific aspects of character animation, such as movement, expression, and storytelling.

Build a strong portfolio

Building a strong portfolio is essential for showcasing your skills and attracting potential employers in the animation industry. Your portfolio should include a variety of character animation projects that demonstrate your ability to bring characters to life through movement, emotion, and personality. Make sure to regularly update and refine your portfolio to reflect your growth and development as a character animator.

Develop Animation Skills

To become a successful character animator in the animation industry, it is essential to develop strong animation skills. Here are some steps to help you improve your animation abilities:

Practice drawing and sketching

Drawing and sketching are fundamental skills for character animators. Practice drawing regularly to improve your understanding of shapes, anatomy, and movement. Pay attention to details such as facial expressions, body language, and gestures to bring your characters to life.

Learn 2D and 3D animation techniques

Character animators should be proficient in both 2D and 3D animation techniques. Take courses or workshops to learn the principles of animation, such as timing, spacing, and squash and stretch. Understanding these techniques will help you create believable and dynamic character movements.

Master different animation software

Familiarize yourself with popular animation software such as Adobe Animate, Toon Boom Harmony, and Autodesk Maya. Each software has its own set of tools and features, so it is important to practice using them to create animations efficiently. Experiment with different techniques and styles to expand your skill set and stay up-to-date with industry trends.

Gain Experience

Gaining experience is crucial for becoming a successful character animator in the animation industry. Here are some steps you can take to gain valuable experience:

Intern at animation studios

One of the best ways to gain experience in character animation is by interning at animation studios. This will give you hands-on experience working on real projects and allow you to learn from industry professionals. Look for internships at studios that align with your interests and career goals.

Work on personal projects

In addition to interning at animation studios, working on personal projects is a great way to gain experience and improve your skills. Create your own animations, characters, and stories to showcase your talent and creativity. This will not only help you build a strong portfolio but also demonstrate your passion for animation.

Collaborate with other animators

Collaborating with other animators is another effective way to gain experience and learn from others in the industry. Join online animation communities, attend networking events, and reach out to fellow animators to collaborate on projects. This will not only help you expand your network but also provide valuable learning opportunities.


Networking is crucial in any industry, and the animation industry is no exception. Building connections with other professionals can open up new opportunities and help you stay up-to-date with the latest trends and technologies in character animation.

Attend industry events and conferences

Attending industry events and conferences is a great way to meet other professionals in the field and learn from their experiences. These events often feature workshops, panels, and networking opportunities that can help you expand your knowledge and make valuable connections.

Join online animation communities

Joining online animation communities is another effective way to network with other professionals in the industry. Platforms like LinkedIn, ArtStation, and CGSociety have dedicated groups and forums where you can connect with like-minded individuals, share your work, and seek feedback from others.

Connect with professionals in the field

Building relationships with professionals in the field can provide valuable insights and mentorship opportunities. Reach out to animators whose work you admire, attend studio tours and industry mixers, and consider joining mentorship programs to connect with experienced professionals who can help guide you in your career.


In conclusion, becoming a character animator in the animation industry requires a combination of creativity, technical skills, and dedication. By following the steps outlined in this article, aspiring animators can develop their skills, build a strong portfolio, and network with industry professionals to increase their chances of success in this competitive field. With hard work and perseverance, anyone with a passion for animation can achieve their dream of becoming a character animator.