What Do Animators Do In Video Games

what do animators do in video games

Have you ever been amazed by the realistic characters’ movements in your favourite video games? Have you wondered how animators bring virtual worlds to life? This article on what do animators do in video games explains animators’ exciting work to create immersive game experiences through motion and movement. 

Game animators bring virtual characters, creatures and objects to life through their motions. They design and create character movements, attacks, facial expressions, and more using animation software.

A video game animator is responsible for designing and developing the movement of everything seen within a game, from the main player character to background objects and enemies. Using specialized 3D animation software and motion capture technology, animators ensure that every element in the game moves smoothly and realistically, whether it’s jumping over obstacles or lip-syncing for dialogue. Let us read on to learn about what do animators do in video games.

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Day in the Life of a Video Game Animator

A typical day for a video game animator starts with reviewing notes or feedback from the previous day’s work. They will then meet with the design and development teams to discuss upcoming scenes or features needing animation. Much of their day is spent at their computer modelling character movements, rigging 3D models and debugging animations using specialized software. 

video game animator

Attention to detail is essential as animators must precisely sync motions to make gameplay feel realistic and fluid. They also test animations in the actual game engine. Before a new build is released, the animator ensures all motions work as intended. It’s collaborative work that requires both technical skills and creative problem-solving. Let us know more about what do animators do in video games. 

Skills Required

A video game animator requires strong technical skills to bring characters, environments and objects to life through animation software like 3DS Max and Maya. They must understand game engines like Unity and Unreal to implement animations into interactive experiences.

video game animations

Soft skills are also vital – strong communication and taking feedback are essential for collaborating with designers and programmers. Creativity, time management and organization are essential for animating with personality within development deadlines.

Utilizing 2D animation software and cartoon creators can further enhance the creative process, providing animators with the tools they need to bring their imaginative ideas to life.

Education and Training

The next topic in our “What do animators do in video games” guide is Education and Training. While not always necessary, a bachelor’s degree in animation, game design, or visual development can help aspiring game animators gain industry-relevant skills and build their portfolio. 

video game animation in progress

Coursework should include 3D animation software like Maya or 3DS Max. For those seeking career changes, boot camp or online courses in game development fundamentals and tools can help develop a competitive skillset.

Top Tools and Software

Next, let’s discuss tools and software to further learn better about What do animators do in video games. Some of the most popular tools used by animators include 3D animation software like Maya, Blender and 3DS Max. These allow animators to create 3D models and bring them to life with movement. 2D animation is also standard, and programs like Adobe Animate, Toon Boom and TVPaint are used to hand-draw frame-by-frame animations. 

animation tools

Unreal Engine and Unity are useful for creating interactive experiences and video games. Other essential software includes those for conceptualizing like Photoshop, editing videos like Premiere Pro, modelling sculpts like ZBrush and animation software like Aurora 3D Animation Maker. Understanding these industry standards can help animators bring their creative visions to the screen.

Career Path and Advancement

An animator typically starts as a junior or entry-level animator. With more experience, they can progress to roles like senior animator or lead animator, managing the work of others. Some animators become specialists focusing on areas like character animation. With many years of experience, some animators become animation supervisors overseeing larger projects or starting their animation studios. 

Salary and Demand Outlook

The average salary for a game animator is around £30,000 to £40,000 in the UK, but experienced animators can earn over £60,000.


The games industry is growing, so job prospects for animators are excellent. According to statistics, demand is expected to increase by 5% over the next decade. And that is all for What do animators do in video games!

How to Get Started

Here is how the aspiring animators can take to start their career:

animations in blender

  • Learn animation software like 3Ds Max, Maya or Blender. Complete online courses on sites like iAnimate or Udemy to gain skills.
  • Practice regularly by creating animations of characters walking, jumping, etc. and save them in a reel to showcase your talents.
  • Consider getting a bachelor’s degree in animation or a relevant field. If not possible, gain experience through internships or online certifications and join a game animation company.
  • Research video game studios and study their games to understand the type of animations required. Tailor your reel accordingly.
  • Attend industry events and networking sessions to meet professionals and find job opportunities. Interact with them online as well to get feedback.
  • Apply for animation jobs and internships listed on sites like Hitmarker, Glassdoor or company career pages. Highlight your reel and relevant skills in the application. So that is all about what do animators do in video games. 


What skills do game animators need?

Game animators need creative, solid skills and proficiency in 3D animation software like 3D Max and Maya. They must be able to communicate and take feedback from the design team. Other essential skills are attention to detail, problem-solving, and the ability to work in a team.

Why is animation important in games?

Animation brings characters, creatures and environments to life in games. It makes the virtual world feel interactive and realistic for players. Good animation improves the gameplay experience and storytelling. It adds personality to characters and makes their actions feel impactful.

How do you become an animator for video games?

Aspiring animators can learn animation skills through online courses. Creating a game animation demo reel and applying for internships at studios helps. A bachelor's degree and building a portfolio through internships or freelance work is also essential.

What does a gameplay animator do?

Gameplay animators bring characters' movements, attacks and reactions to life through animation, working with designers to understand needs and refine work in game engines.


Moreover, animators play a vital role in creating immersive game worlds by bringing virtual characters and environments to life through motion. Their creative work adds personality and realism, enhancing the player experience.

So, for those interested in pursuing this career, learning critical skills through online courses and building a portfolio can help aspiring animators get started in the exciting field of game animation. This article on what do animators do in video games has helped you know everything about it. 

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