Animation Jobs in the Video Game Industry: The Ultimate Quick Guide

Animation Jobs in the Video Game Industry: The Ultimate Quick Guide


The video game industry has experienced exponential growth over the last few years, and with it, the demand for skilled animators has risen. With millions of gamers worldwide, the animation job market in the video game industry offers incredible opportunities for those looking to turn their passion into a career. This article will explore the various animation jobs available, the skills required, and the steps you can take to land your dream job in this exciting and dynamic industry.

Types of Animation Jobs in the Video Game Industry

  • Character Animator: Character animators are responsible for bringing game characters to life through movement and facial expressions. They work closely with character designers and riggers to create believable, engaging, and visually stunning characters that captivate players.

  • Environment Animator: Environment animators create the immersive and interactive worlds that gamers explore. They design and animate landscapes, buildings, and various other environmental elements, ensuring that each setting is visually cohesive and engaging.

  • VFX Animator: VFX animators are responsible for creating the visual effects seen in video games. This can include anything from explosions and particle effects to magical spells and weather phenomena. VFX animators work closely with game designers and programmers to ensure the effects are seamlessly integrated into the gameplay.

  • Technical Animator: Technical animators act as a bridge between the art and programming departments. They develop tools, scripts, and pipelines to optimize the animation process, making it more efficient and allowing for greater collaboration between team members.

  • UI/UX Animator: UI/UX animators are responsible for designing and animating the user interface and user experience elements in a game. This includes menus, buttons, icons, and other interactive components that players interact with during gameplay.

  • Cinematic Animator: Cinematic animators create the in-game cinematics and cutscenes that help tell the game's story. They work with directors, writers, and voice actors to develop engaging narratives and create visually compelling scenes that enhance the overall gaming experience.

Skills Required for Animation Jobs in the Video Game Industry

  • Proficiency in animation software: To succeed in the video game industry, animators must be well-versed in popular software programs such as Autodesk Maya, 3DS Max, Blender, or Houdini.

  • Understanding of animation principles: Successful animators must have a strong grasp of the fundamental principles of animation, such as timing, weight, and anticipation.

  • Knowledge of rigging and skinning: Animators must be familiar with the process of rigging and skinning characters, which allows for realistic character movement and deformation.

  • Strong drawing and visual storytelling abilities: Animators must be able to communicate ideas visually and understand how to convey emotion and narrative through their animations.

  • Creativity and adaptability: As the video game industry is constantly evolving, animators must be able to adapt to new styles and techniques, as well as generate creative solutions to various design challenges.

  • Ability to work in a team: Video game development is a collaborative process, and animators must be able to work effectively with others, including designers, programmers, and other artists.

  • Strong communication skills: Animators must be able to clearly articulate their ideas and provide constructive feedback to help improve the work of their colleagues.

Education and Experience for a Career in Video Game Animation

  • Degree programs: Many aspiring animators choose to pursue a degree in animation, game design, or a related field. These programs typically cover a range of topics, including 2D and 3D animation, character design, and game development.

  • Certification programs: Some animators opt for short-term certification programs that focus on specific aspects of animation, such as software proficiency or specific techniques. These programs can help bolster an animator's skills and improve their chances of landing a job in the industry.

  • Online tutorials and courses: Many animators are self-taught or have supplemented their formal education with online resources. Websites like Udemy, Coursera, and YouTube offer a wealth of tutorials and courses on various animation topics.

  • Forums and communities: Joining online forums and communities can provide valuable insights, feedback, and networking opportunities for aspiring animators. Websites like Polycount, CG Society, and the 11 Second Club are great places to connect with fellow animators and industry professionals.

  • Showcase your best work: An animator's portfolio is a crucial tool for showcasing their abilities and landing a job in the video game industry. Include a variety of animation styles and techniques to demonstrate versatility and skill.

  • Personal projects: Creating personal animation projects or participating in game jams can help develop your skills and provide additional work for your portfolio.

  • Networking: Attend industry events, such as conferences and expos, to connect with professionals and showcase your portfolio. Networking can lead to valuable connections and job opportunities.

Job Opportunities Video Game Animators

  • Game development studios: Large studios, such as Ubisoft, Electronic Arts, and Activision Blizzard, are always on the lookout for talented animators to join their teams on Hitmarker.

  • Indie game studios: Smaller independent studios also offer opportunities for animators on Hitmarker, too, often providing more creative freedom and a closer-knit team environment.

  • Freelance work: Many animators choose to work as freelancers, taking on projects for various clients or collaborating with other freelancers on game development projects.

Career Outlook for Video Game Animators

The video game industry continues to grow, and the demand for skilled animators shows no signs of slowing down. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment of multimedia artists and animators is projected to grow 4% from 2019 to 2029, about as fast as the average for all occupations.


The video game industry offers a wide range of animation jobs for those with the right skills, passion, and dedication. By pursuing a relevant education, honing your skills through self-learning and practice, and building a strong portfolio, you can position yourself for a successful career in this exciting and ever-evolving industry. With hard work and determination, you can transform your love for animation and video games into a thriving career. Take the next step by clicking here to see the full list of animation vacancies now hiring in the industry.

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