Animation Camera Operator

Take charge of filming animated sequences.
picture of Animation Camera Operator

Quick Stats

Salary Range
$20,000 – $81,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Animation Camera Operators do?

Just like television shows and movies, an animated film or program has to be filmed. This might seem easier than filming real people—after all you don’t have to deal with the antics of hysterical reality stars. But a job as an Animation Camera Operator has its own challenges.

To be an Animation Camera Operator, you need lots of patience. Animation Camera Operators not only spend hours doing the same thing, but they also work with Directors and Writers who might not always be organized.

Aside from being a frustrating character trait, disorganization can also result in wasted time and money. This is because you shoot frames in the sequence they will appear on screen. If one frame is forgotten or out of place, it means you’ll have to find it, and then go back and reshoot from where it was supposed to be.

So how exactly do you shoot an animated movie? The first thing you need to do is position the camera. You fix it so that is is able to catch the background, and then you add the cels. Cels are transparent sheets where the animation is drawn or painted on. Today, cels are no longer used in major productions as much as before, but smaller shows still use them.

Once the cel is in place, you film the frame and then move on to the next. During filming, you keep an eye on things like lighting, positioning, and color difference from frame to frame. Although some of this can be changed during editing, you want to keep things as consistent as possible during shooting. This ensures an end product that flows smoothly and beautifully.

Should I be an Animation Camera Operator?

You should have an associate's degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Outside the Box Thinker: Your creative brainpower gets a workout as you come up with innovative ideas.
  • Team Player: You're able to listen, communicate, and work with tons of different people.
  • Flexible: You're open to change and think variety is the spice of life.

  • Also known as: Camera Operator, Animation

    How to Become an
    Animation Camera Operator

    Most Animation Camera Operators have a Bachelor's degree or an Associate's degree. Chart?chd=s:bz9kaa&chl=no+college+%2818%25%29|certificate+%2817%25%29|associate%27s+%2841%25%29|bachelor%27s+%2824%25%29||&cht=p3&chs=466x180&chxr=0,18,41
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