An animator is an artist that works to make still images look as if they are moving. Traditionally an animator drew images by hand, each image was slightly different from the previous and when viewed in sequence the images appeared to be moving. Today an animator draws the image at the beginning of a sequence of movement and then draws the image at the end of that sequence. A computer is then used to draw the images in between that give the illusion of movement.

Animators will work with a large number of other professionals to create an animation. These include background artists, layout artists, voice actors and musicians.

An animator exhibits a combination of capabilities from the Skills Framework for the Information Age (SFIA) and from the Leadership competencies for Queensland.

SFIA profile

Within the SFIA profile, the animator has level 3 and 4 capabilities, i.e. applies and enables the skills outlined below.

Refer to the framework for descriptions of the seven levels of responsibility and accountability.

SFIA skillSFIA skill code SFIA skill level of responsibility SFIA skills level descriptor
Testing TEST 3 Reviews requirements and specifications and defines test conditions. Designs test cases and test scripts under own direction, mapping back to pre-determined criteria, recording and reporting outcomes. Analyses and reports test activities and results. Identifies and reports issues and risks associated with own work.
Animation development ADEV 4 Uses design tools (such as wireframes) to evolve rapid prototypes of web pages and assess the viability of design concepts. Using complex visual design tools, employs organic modelling techniques, such as boned rigs to create and animate virtual characters within the context of a game (or similar system) design. Builds visual and audio components and integrates them into the system structure, typically using a games engine.

Leadership skills

Leadership competencies for Queensland describes what highly effective, everyday leadership looks like in the sector. In simple, action-oriented language, it provides a common understanding of the foundations for success across all roles. The profile describes three performance dimensions (vision, results and accountability) and 11 leadership competencies required against five leadership streams.

Leadership streams are not connected to a level or classification, but rather reflect the balance between leadership and technical skills required of an individual. Individuals can consider the value proposition of roles rather than the traditional lens of hierarchical structures or classification levels. The five leadership streams are:

  • Individual contributor (Leads self and does not supervise others)
  • Team leader (leads a team and typically reports to a program leader)
  • Program leader (leads team leaders and/or multiple areas of work)
  • Executive (leads program leaders or other executives)
  • Chief executive (leads the organisation).

When developing a role description, identify the role type and then focus on the most important attributes and create a balance between SFIA skills and leadership skills.

Entry points

A degree level qualification in areas such as Creative Industries or Animation is required to gain employment in this field.

Learning and development

A degree level qualification in areas such as Creative Industries or Animation is required to gain employment in this field.