What are the skills required for animation- (with Diagram)

skills needed for animation as an animator

In order to be a skilled animator, you can follow the list below and easily accumulate the skills required for animation.

Animation plays an important role in our day to day life, from kid’s animation stories to creating models for research, study and business presentation, several aspects of our lives are benefited from it. 

There are a wide range of opportunities for a strongly skilled animator. But in order to be a successful animator, you must know the skills required for animation.

You may work remotely from your home or at the office. Wherever you work, make sure that the below given skills are mastered by you in order to be an unbeatable animator. 

45+ Best skills needed for animation as an animator

  1. Bachelor’s degree or equivalent degree in Computer Animation required or equivalent work experience
  2. Working experience on visual effects for film, commercials or feature animation
  3. Working with strict deadlines 
  4. Ability to work under pressure 
  5. Ability to take right decision and find creative solutions during the iterative process
  6. Excellent attention to detail
  7. Working within a team and with other departments
  8. Strong skills in organization 
  9. Excellent verbal and nonverbal communication skills
  10. Performing multiple tasks
  11. Setting priorities and performing most productively
  12. Having problem-solving skills
  13. Expertise in Linux and Advanced Python Scripting 
  14. Holding advanced knowledge of Maya
  15. Practical experience with Shotgun is plus
  16. Having knowledge of C++ programming language is considered as an asset
  17. You must be highly creative person
  18. Skilled in AE; Cinema 4D a big plus
  19. Capability to understand the shot and enhance it through animation
  20. Excellent verbal and written communication skill in English
  21. Attention to detail
  22. An excellent understanding of animation principles
  23. Holding a strong aesthetic eye and sense of timing
  24. Strong interpersonal skills
  25. Capability to work with other members at office or remotely
  26. Carrying positive attitude
  27.  Must be a solution-oriented individual with a passion for animation
  28. Extremely willingness to learn constantly 
  29. Adoptable to the changes
  30. Can manage own self and be a team player
  31. Having practical experience in accurately and comprehensively write bug reports
  32. Strong knowledge of Microsoft Office applications
  33. Having a portfolio that showcases your skills and stunning aesthetic sense
  34. Skilled in Adobe After Effects, Premier Pro, Photoshop, Illustrator or similar designing tools
  35. Proficiency in visual storytelling
  36. Can work well in collaboration with cross-functional teams
  37. Possessing proactive personality and must be self-driven
  38. Mind set of taking ownership 
  39. Passionate in animation
  40. Willing to work in a fast-paced environment
  41. Autodesk Maya animation tools
  42. Must be capable to solve animation technical problems
  43. Having practical knowledge of mocap (capture, cleanup, implementation)
  44. Strong understanding of Toon Boom Harmony
  45. Solid knowledge of designing
  46. Willing to work at flexible hours 
  47. Practical work experience of 2D stop motion and computer-generated animation
  48. Using creativity in storytelling with presentation abilities

Here are the skills which you need for becoming a professional animator:

Good Visualization skills:

As an animator you must be able to present your story in an appealing and visually engaging way. Position of the camera and it’s movement all these must be led by the animator. More appealing and engaging a piece of animation you create, the better animator you become. 

Strong sense of timing and spacing:

As the right sense of timing and the spacing can create a better animation in the same way if you fail to understand the proper timing and spacing you will be creating a low quality animation.  Understanding the movement of the character, how fast it will be, what are the actions and reactions it will have, If some character will have to move slowly all this thing has to be properly understood by the animator.  You also need to understand how much distance will a character move and how much will that overshoot. 

Acting skills:

Animation is all about performance, therefore in order to be an expert animator you must be a person who is performance oriented.  Most of the  animators create the script and will have a recorded dialogue.  if you have a strong acting skill it will help you to impart those in your animation and it will ensure that your animated character is becoming really alive by a perfect way of acting even though it is an imaginary.  Small actions like  brushing the hair and rubbing the chin etc can add a special living touch in your animation. 

You must have an eye for small details like eye blink, character’s looking direction etc in your story. As you develop these observation skills to notice the small things, you will find that you are creating a really professional piece of animation. 

Thinking Logically:

Applying your creative logical thinking like when a character is jumping then it must put the ground down or it has to bend down, this kind of logical thinking will always help you to create an animation which looks real and appealing. More logic you use while giving life to the character, the better the animation will become. 

Some of the primary skills every animator need are:

  • Drawing skills.
  • Painting skills
  • Sculpting skills
  • Software skills
  • Programming skills 
  • Creative thinking skill
  • Excellent communication skill
  • Ability to work as a team
  • Willingness to be continuous learner 
  • Being up-to-date with the current technology

How to learn the skills to Become a professional animator?

Without doubt you can start learning animation by taking some certificate courses from some online learning platforms.  but if you want to become a professional animator then it is always good that you go for a degree in animation.  Try to have at least a bachelor’s degree in animation and if you want to be more academically stronger than you should achieve the master degree in animation, as many of the companies require a degree from a reputed university. Moreover, learning skills is the most important, even if you have received a degree from a reputed university but did not brush up the skill well then it will be difficult for you to find a good job.

If you are a school or high school student and want to become a professional animator then the most wise decision will be to start learning animation by taking some certificate courses.

The professional area to apply the animation skills:

At present days animation is used in several Industries like film, cartoon movie, cartoon serial, business, education, advertisement, gaming etc.

 So if you learn the skills of animation well and master them, there will always be many opportunities before you.  You can either work in film industries as an animator, you can also create cartoon series which are always fascinating to the children.  Animation is also becoming an integral part of the education and advertisement industry in order to portray the product or the knowledge  in an appealing and attractive way. Video games are another very popular industry where you can use your animation skill and create a professional career, where your animation skills will always be in demand. 

Here is an real example of a company demanding the animation skills:


  • You need to use motion capture data as a base.
  • Responsible for creating appealing and stunning animations which are fluid, responsive, and cinematic.
  • Creating immersive game experiences.
  • You need to Implement the necessary steps, troubleshoot in need and debug animation systems.
  • You must give your effort to improve animation pipelines.


  • Having Bachelor’s degree in Animation or equivalent Animation Courses.
  • Producing outstanding demo reels.

Skills for animator:

  • You must have  a deep rooted interest in animation. especially in video games and game development.
  • Strong ability to animate the human figure to create realistic character animations with motion capture data.
  • Must be a positive minded and solution oriented person.
  • Applying innovation, creative ideas and resolution to the entire process of creating animation, solving the  technical problems and challenges throughout the production process.
  • Possessing strong interpersonal and communication skills, to present your idea and knowledge appropriately with others.
  • Ability to work with a team.
  • Be a continuous learner to continue to grow in the field of animation. 
  • Be adaptive to changes and up-to-date with the technological advancement.
  • Be able to manage your own duties with responsibility.

Let me know your suggestion in the comment section below for adding more life to this article and helping others to grow.

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