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Your Career in Video Game Animation

About This Job

Pursuing a career in Video Game Animation is unlike any other. It is the art of animating characters and objects in video games. Video games are changing rapidly as technology progresses, so creating a well-animated sequence for them requires both artistic talents along with knowledge of computers and advances in technology. Video Game Animators give life to all in game 2D and 3D assets using a variety of animation software tools. Animators add movement, personality, and realism to video games via their hard work and expert skills. When choosing a career in Video Game Animation, you will find yourself working with some of the most creative people in the entertainment industry, developing amazing games and having fun while doing so. Lastly, a career in Video Game Animation will be fun, fulfilling, and lucrative.  

A Career in Animation

Key Duties​

  • Creating interactive animation and special effects using computer software and hardware 
  • Collaborating with programmers and developers to ensure all design briefs are being followed  
  • Creating animations and art assets with software and other methods such as: Illustrations/2D Art, 3D models, Rigs, 2D or 3D animations, and UI/HUD elements  
  • Telling a story and presenting ideas/information in a visual way using creativity and artistic abilities 
  • Producing high quality animations under supervision 
  • Participating in team meetings 
  • Keeping up to date with all video game animation trends, techniques, and data  

Critical Skills

Soft Skills

  • Able to work well independently as well as in a team  
  • Excellent communication  
  • Strong leadership skills with the ability to take initiative  
  • Curiosity with a willingness to learn  
  • A passion for video games  
  • Creativity  
  • Detail-oriented 
  • Inventive 
  • Visual imagination  
  • Organizational skills

Hard Skills

  • Strong knowledge of illustration, 3D modelling, texturing, rigging, 2D and 3D animation  
  • Proficient in Photoshop, Maya, 3ds Max, and Graphic Illustrator  
  • Knowledge of game engine software 

Work Environment

  • Regular business hours but may occasionally be expected to work evenings and weekends to meet deadlines  
  • Most animators work in big cities where video game studios, animation studios, and movie and television studios are located. In some cases, you may be required to travel to attend trade shows such as GDC, E3, PAX or Gamescon 
  • Constant engagement and collaboration with internal staff from other departments, such as, design, programming, and production 
  • A relaxed workplace that often requires you to work under pressure to complete tight deadlines  
  • A creative and on-demand environment where collaboration and teamwork are essential  

Professional Certifications/Licenses

A college or university degree in Video Game Animation is required.

The video gaming industry was estimated to be worth $178.73 billion in 2021, which is an increase of 14.4% from 2020. This is a marked difference from what was predicted in 2016, forecasting a total worth of $90.07 billion for the same period (76.8% higher than projected), demonstrating that we could see a further acceleration in growth.

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The average salary in the video game industry in Canada was $78,600 and there were more than 55,000 jobs in 2021. While there are more small studios than big ones, most jobs are found within the big ones.