A PASSION FOR ANIMATION
Kevin discusses his career and shares his advice for budding animators
Can you tell us why you chose to specialise in animation?
I was originally a generalist, which is a term used to describe someone who has expertise in all areas of CGI such as modelling, texturing, and lighting. Working more closely with animators, it became clear to me that this was an area of CGI I felt a great passion for. I decided to re-train in character animation and took an online course called Animation Mentor. Although I was a beginner, I had a foundation in CGI and it did not take me long to find my feet. I still do modelling, texturing and lighting, but animation is my passion.
What advice would you give to animators just starting their career?
Work hard and gain a good foundation academically. It is important to have the building blocks via attendance at college, or an online course, before starting in the industry. There is, however, only so much you can be shown through study. It’s on the job where you’ll gain real experience, as you’ll have to deal with challenging situations on a daily basis. Always be open to feedback, as nobody knows everything – you can always learn more. I would also recommend gaining experience over multiple disciplines, as this allows you to have more creative control over your own specialism. It is important to have a grasp over other areas. If you can come onto a job and are able to set the scene, make placeholder props, adapt rigs and understand basic lighting, then your skills as an animator will improve.
What qualities, skills and abilities are essential to being a lead animator?
Communication, patience and an artistic flair. You have to know your trade, as well as how to give feedback to others and how to interpret client needs. You also need to be meticulous and have a great sense of attention to detail. Last but not least, it is imperative to be able to work as part of a team. A studio is like the inside of a watch and all the parts need to work in conjunction with each other. Be able to accept criticism without taking things personally.