How To Become a Stop Motion Animator

How To Become a Stop Motion Animator

What is a Stop Motion Animator?
A Stop Motion Animator is an individual who uses a filmmaking technique called Stop Motion, in which objects are physically manipulated in small increments between individually photographed frames.

What is the job?
The role of Stop Motion Animator involves using models, puppets or clay to create animated films, television commercials, and branded entertainment. They combine the art of photography with narrative skill, as well as the ability to manipulate lighting and calculate angles to create stop motion animation without digitally manipulation.

A Stop Motion Animator will build the animation by taking pictures of objects and scenes in different positions. When these pictures are put together, it appears as if the object is moving on its own within the scene. This unusual approach makes it a compelling kind of animation, quite different from a hand drawn cartoon or computer-generated animation, and the technique has been used in some of the most successful animation projects ever produced.

As a Stop Motion Animator you must understand the lighting and angles of each shot to dramatise the scenes, form a compelling storyline, and utilise the stop motion choppiness as a technique to more vividly create the story you want to tell.

Key Skills

  • Good understanding of the effects of different lighting and angles
  • Good photography skills
  • Creativity
  • Flexibility to switch between projects
  • Good eye for detail
  • An engagement with the industry
  • Ability to work with others and work independently
  • Artistic talent and technical skills
  • Patience!

Salary & Working Hours
Experienced Stop Motion Animators can earn around £23-26,000 and once you’ve gained around ten years of experience this could progress to £36,000 depending on the studio you are working for.

Working hours are usually regular office hours (approximately 40 hours per week), but as deadlines approach you may need to work overtime, including at the weekend. Flexitime is quite common.

How To Become a Stop Motion Animator
To become a Stop Motion Animator, a degree in fine arts, film, animation or another related subject can be useful as it will provide you with the relevant skills that you need. Some employers can require a few years of professional production experience in addition to this, but this isn’t always necessary. If you’re wanting to become a Stop Motion Animator and have no experience behind you, it can be a good idea to get some experience in the form of work experience, part-time jobs, volunteering or even an internship. Any experience is better than no experience!

Latest Stop Motion Animator Jobs

Where Can It Take You?
The employment for Stop Motion Animators is expected to grow 8% for the 2016-2026 decade, and this comes as a result of increased demand for animation and more realistic visual effects in video games, movies, and television. Whilst the popularity of stop motion animation has gone down with the advent of computer technology, there is still a small pocket of demand for this art as stop motion movement is appealing in its uniqueness. Therefore, as a Stop Motion Animator you may get the opportunity to work on very niche projects that are not available to other Animators.

Become a Stop Motion Animator
If you are ready for the next step in your career, why not take a look at the latest Stop Motion Animator vacancies on our jobs board? You can view our latest vacancies here.