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Special Effects Artists and Animators

Special Effects Artists and Animators

Overview
Job Zone Four: Considerable Preparation Needed
Experience

A considerable amount of work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is needed for these occupations. For example, an accountant must complete four years of college and work for several years in accounting to be considered qualified.

Education

Most of these occupations require a four-year bachelor's degree, but some do not.

Job Training

Employees in these occupations usually need several years of work-related experience, on-the-job training, and/or vocational training.

Examples

Many of these occupations involve coordinating, supervising, managing, or training others. Examples include real estate brokers, sales managers, database administrators, graphic designers, chemists, art directors, and cost estimators.

Create special effects or animations using film, video, computers, or other electronic tools and media for use in products, such as computer games, movies, music videos, and commercials.

Salary Salary

Salary at 10th Percentile: $42K
Salary at 25th Percentile: $56K
Median Salary: $77K
Salary at 75th Percentile: $108K
Salary at 90th Percentile: $142K

Demand
Career Demand by State Career Demand by State Legend
Core Tasks

Design complex graphics and animation, using independent judgment, creativity, and computer equipment.

Create basic designs, drawings, and illustrations for product labels, cartons, direct mail, or television.

Participate in design and production of multimedia campaigns, handling budgeting and scheduling, and assisting with such responsibilities as production coordination, background design, and progress tracking.

Implement and maintain configuration control systems.

Script, plan, and create animated narrative sequences under tight deadlines, using computer software and hand drawing techniques.

Create two-dimensional and three-dimensional images depicting objects in motion or illustrating a process, using computer animation or modeling programs.

Create and install special effects as required by the script, mixing chemicals and fabricating needed parts from wood, metal, plaster, and clay.

Develop briefings, brochures, multimedia presentations, web pages, promotional products, technical illustrations, and computer artwork for use in products, technical manuals, literature, newsletters, and slide shows.

Apply story development, directing, cinematography, and editing to animation to create storyboards that show the flow of the animation and map out key scenes and characters.

Make objects or characters appear lifelike by manipulating light, color, texture, shadow, and transparency, or manipulating static images to give the illusion of motion.

Assemble, typeset, scan, and produce digital camera-ready art or film negatives and printer's proofs.

Convert real objects to animated objects through modeling, using techniques such as optical scanning.

Create pen-and-paper images to be scanned, edited, colored, textured, or animated by computer.

Use models to simulate the behavior of animated objects in the finished sequence.

Technology Skills
Technology
Example
Hot Technology
Computer aided design CAD software
solidThinking
Configuration management software
Perforce Helix software
Desktop publishing software
Adobe Systems Adobe InDesign
Development environment software
XML User Interface XUI
Document management software
Adobe Systems Adobe Acrobat
Enterprise application integration software
Extensible Markup Language XML
Graphics or photo imaging software
Trimble SketchUp Pro
Object or component oriented development software
Python
Office suite software
Microsoft Office
Operating system software
UNIX
Platform interconnectivity software
Adobe Systems AdobeMlashMX
Presentation software
Microsoft PowerPoint
Spreadsheet software
Microsoft Excel
Video creation and editing software
YouTube
Web page creation and editing software
Social media sites
Web platform development software
PHP: Hypertext preprocessor
Word processing software
Microsoft Word
Tools Used
Tool
Example
Computer Equipment and Accessories
Personal computers
Photographic or filming or video equipment
Panoramic digital cameras
Top 10 Knowledge Required
Computers and Electronics
99%
Importance

Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.

English Language
88%
Importance

Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.

Design
85%
Importance

Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.

Communications and Media
83%
Importance

Knowledge of media production, communication, and dissemination techniques and methods. This includes alternative ways to inform and entertain via written, oral, and visual media.

Customer and Personal Service
79%
Importance

Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.

Sales and Marketing
78%
Importance

Knowledge of principles and methods for showing, promoting, and selling products or services. This includes marketing strategy and tactics, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.

Telecommunications
69%
Importance

Knowledge of transmission, broadcasting, switching, control, and operation of telecommunications systems.

Engineering and Technology
64%
Importance

Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.

Production and Processing
63%
Importance

Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.

Geography
61%
Importance

Knowledge of principles and methods for describing the features of land, sea, and air masses, including their physical characteristics, locations, interrelationships, and distribution of plant, animal, and human life.

Top 10 Skills
Active Listening
78%
Importance

Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Critical Thinking
75%
Importance

Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Reading Comprehension
75%
Importance

Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

Speaking
65%
Importance

Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Active Learning
63%
Importance

Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.

Judgment and Decision Making
63%
Importance

Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.

Writing
63%
Importance

Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.

Complex Problem Solving
60%
Importance

Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.

Monitoring
60%
Importance

Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.

Time Management
60%
Importance

Managing one's own time and the time of others.

Top 10 Abilities
Oral Comprehension
83%
Importance

The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.

Oral Expression
80%
Importance

The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.

Visualization
80%
Importance

The ability to imagine how something will look after it is moved around or when its parts are moved or rearranged.

Written Comprehension
80%
Importance

The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.

Near Vision
78%
Importance

The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).

Deductive Reasoning
73%
Importance

The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.

Problem Sensitivity
73%
Importance

The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.

Visual Color Discrimination
73%
Importance

The ability to match or detect differences between colors, including shades of color and brightness.

Originality
70%
Importance

The ability to come up with unusual or clever ideas about a given topic or situation, or to develop creative ways to solve a problem.

Speech Clarity
70%
Importance

The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.

Top 10 Work Activities
Interacting With Computers
97%
Importance

Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.

Thinking Creatively
97%
Importance

Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.

Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
96%
Importance

Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.

Getting Information
91%
Importance

Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.

Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge
87%
Importance

Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.

Processing Information
82%
Importance

Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.

Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events
81%
Importance

Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.

Making Decisions and Solving Problems
81%
Importance

Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.

Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
77%
Importance

Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.

Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards
71%
Importance

Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.

Detailed Work Activities

Create computer-generated graphics or animation.

Prepare production storyboards.

Draw detailed or technical illustrations.

Develop artistic or design concepts for decoration, exhibition, or commercial purposes.

Construct distinctive physical objects for artistic, functional, or commercial purposes.

Coordinate logistics for productions or events.

Convert data among multiple digital or analog formats.

Work Context
Electronic Mail

How often do you use electronic mail in this job?

Indoors, Environmentally Controlled

How often does this job require working indoors in environmentally controlled conditions?

Face-to-Face Discussions

How often do you have to have face-to-face discussions with individuals or teams in this job?

Importance of Being Exact or Accurate

How important is being very exact or highly accurate in performing this job?

Time Pressure

How often does this job require the worker to meet strict deadlines?

Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls

How much does this job require using your hands to handle, control, or feel objects, tools or controls?

Spend Time Sitting

How much does this job require sitting?

Frequency of Decision Making

How frequently is the worker required to make decisions that affect other people, the financial resources, and/or the image and reputation of the organization?

Contact With Others

How much does this job require the worker to be in contact with others (face-to-face, by telephone, or otherwise) in order to perform it?

Responsibility for Outcomes and Results

How responsible is the worker for work outcomes and results of other workers?

Education
Majors
Major
Graphic Communications
Computer Software and Media Applications
Visual and Performing Arts, General
Design and Applied Arts
Fine and Studio Arts
Interests
Artistic
100%
Importance

Artistic occupations frequently involve working with forms, designs and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules.

Investigative
58%
Importance

Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.

Conventional
43%
Importance

Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.

Realistic
43%
Importance

Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.

Enterprising
24%
Importance

Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.

Social
19%
Importance

Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.

Top 10 Work Styles
Attention to Detail
96%
Importance

Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.

Cooperation
84%
Importance

Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.

Integrity
84%
Importance

Job requires being honest and ethical.

Achievement/Effort
82%
Importance

Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.

Adaptability/Flexibility
82%
Importance

Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.

Dependability
81%
Importance

Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.

Initiative
80%
Importance

Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.

Stress Tolerance
80%
Importance

Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.

Persistence
78%
Importance

Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.

Self Control
78%
Importance

Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.

Work Values
Independence
81%
Importance

Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.

Achievement
72%
Importance

Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.

Working Conditions
69%
Importance

Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.

Recognition
62%
Importance

Occupations that satisfy this work value offer advancement, potential for leadership, and are often considered prestigious. Corresponding needs are Advancement, Authority, Recognition and Social Status.

Relationships
62%
Importance

Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.

Support
48%
Importance

Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.