An animator is an artist who creates multiple images that give an illusion of
movement called animation when displayed in rapid sequence; the images are
called frames and key frames . Animators can work in a variety of fields
including film, television, and video games. Usually, an animation piece
requires the collaboration of several animators. The methods of creating the
images or frames for an animation piece depends on the animators' artistic
styles and their field.
Other artists who contribute to animated cartoons , but who are not animators,
include layout artists (who design the backgrounds, lighting, and camera
angles), storyboard artists (who draw panels of the action from the script),
and background artists (who paint the "scenery"). Moreover, voice actors and
musicians , among other talent, may be added as necessary to give the
animation additional depth.
Among the specialized of animators are character animators (artists who
specialize in character movement, dialogue, acting , etc.) and special effects
animators (who animate anything that is not a character; most commonly
vehicles , machinery , and natural phenomena such as rain, snow, and water).
Inbetweeners and cleanup artists
In large-scale productions by major studios, each animator usually has one or
more assistants, " inbetweeners " and " clean-up artists", who make drawings
between the "key poses" drawn by the animator, and also re-draw any
sketches that are too roughly made to be used as such. Usually, an artist is
hired for the first time in one of these categories, and can later advance to full
In the past, animating was a long and arduous process; each frame of a given
scene was hand-drawn, then transposed onto celluloid, where they would be
traced and painted. These finished "cels" were then placed together and
filmed, one frame at a time.
Animation methods have become far more varied in recent years - today's
cartoons could be created using any number of interesting methods , mostly
using computers to make the animation process cheaper and faster. These
more efficient animation procedures have made the animator's job less tedious
and more creative.