Animators are responsible for portraying movement and behavior by owning their animations from connecting through production, at various points in the asset pipeline. In EA SPORTS games, most often their skill is used to give life to the human characters in the game, but sometimes animations are also applied to objects, scenery, vegetation, environmental effects, and other objects. Animators must be able to create emotionally believable characters that allow gamers to interact with the game, in a realistic and believable fashion. In a game like Madden, the gamer expects the animated action to be a realistic representation of the action they'd see in real life football game.
EA Animators use specialized software packages, including Maya, 3ds Max, and our proprietary animation engine to create the animations for both in-game behavior as well as and predefined sequences (or cut scenes). Other responsibilities would include creating effects and activities such as blending, tagging, state transitions, compression, and expression. Animators need a strong understanding of classic animation principles such as staging, squash and stretch, timing, anticipation, follow-through, exaggeration, and arcs
What skills does EA look for??
EA looks for Animators who demonstrate a strong proficiency in animation packages including Maya, 3ds Max, MotionBuilder, as well as experience with proprietary or commercially available game engines such as Unity or Unreal; they possess an ability to learn and work with proprietary animation run-time integration tools; they are knowledgeable in the technical aspects of rigging and skinning characters for animation; they have an ability to animate the human form, giving the character weight, personality, mood, and believability; they are comfortable animating in realistic and stylized motion, and they can demonstrate a strong understanding of classic animation principles and fundamentals.
Animators must be able to work as part of a team and also on their own, taking responsibility for organizing their work within the production schedule, managing files, and meeting deadlines. It's essential to have an understanding of the production process and the ability to communicate effectively with other disciplines. Some knowledge of programming is desirable.
Game animation must be simple and expressive. The Animator should know how to reveal attitude, emotions, and mood through a character's movement and behavior, and be able to create memorable characters that will appeal to players. It's essential to have knowledge of the timing and appearance of human and animal movement as well as facial expressions. At EA, Animators usually possess a degree in Fine Arts or Computer Animation.