Animating takes many skills


Cartoonists hard at work, the screech of pencils on paper, the clicking of the mouse, frame by frame animators created animations for all people to enjoy.

Animator, John Teeter said, “The best part about working in the animation industry is the fact that I get to think outside of the box. It’s one of the few jobs that people expect you to be a little quirky to a certain extent. Each artist has a personality all of their own and we strive to let everyone have input when creating a concept to a project. There are no bad ideas in this industry and even if an idea doesn’t work with a specific project it will most likely be used in something else down the line.”

According to the Quora website in the past animators would sketch out, color in, shade, and highlight drawings, millions of them, taking pictures of all of them frame by frame and editing them all together into an animation. Although some cartoonists have continued to use that method, according to the Pixar website many now use animation software on computers that is used to create three-dimensional computer models of characters, props, and sets.

“Advancements in technology have been huge in the last five years and keeping up with it is a full time project in itself. Motion capture is probably my favorite as it has gone from being very expensive to something that can be done in a small studio at a relatively inexpensive cost,” Teeter said.


Although animating takes a bulk of cartoonist time, many still have hobbies of their own, most of which still have some sort of tie with art.

“I do street painting, murals, art, and graphic design, being an artist helps me with my creative visions for animation and being a graphic designer got me a work project where I had to create an animation. After finishing the work project I realized how much I liked animation and decided to continue creating more,” Graphic design artist, Hector Diaz said.

The earliest animated film ever made on standard motion-picture film, was “Humorous Phases of Funny Faces,” made in 1906 by newspaper cartoonist J. Stuart Blackton.

“I haven’t ever seen the cartoon, but it probably involved all of the things that we incorporate in our animations today such as music, sound effects, and picture editing,” Melody Yeung, visual arts major said.

Being an animator, if a client is not sure about his or her animation, rather than making it and having to do it all over again because the client does not approve of it, animators act out visual images for their clients.

“There are always funny things happening around the office. Once I was acting out a scene of animated wizard. I was in the middle of a sequence where I was waving a magic wand around

while wearing a wizard hat and a client walked in and immediately said, ‘So that’s how you do it….MAGIC!!!.’ We often use that term now when clients’ ask how we do what we do,” Teeter said.

Animation has evolved since film cameras and patching together drawings. It will continue to evolve as the years go by.

“The animation industry is very expansive and growing at an incredible rate. Gaming, motion pictures, advertising, and television are just a few genres,” Teeter said, “Within these areas of animation there are modelers, texture artists, lighting and rendering artists, rigging artists, and more. Some artists excel in one particular and that’s what they do because that’s their passion.”