Jobs in Stop Motion Animation
The animation industry in the UK has a great tradition of Stop Frame, or Stop Motion (also known as Model, Puppet or Clay Animation) animation. Studios like Aardman, Hot Animation and Cosgrove Hall, and shows such as Wallace & Gromit, Engie Benjy, and Bob The Builder are indicative of the expertise the UK has in this area.
As the most potentially time consuming form of animation, stop motion requires enormous amounts of patience and dedication and there are a huge variety of tasks and activities that go into making a piece of stop motion animation. This is reflected in the wide range of job roles available.
The Development stage broadly involves the conceiving and identifying of ideas and designing initial concepts. Pitching the product and securing funding and intellectual property rights are also important at this stage.
The Development stage very much requires a strong understanding of the target market and any commercial constraints, opportunities and competition it presents.
Jobs in Development:
In broad generalised terms, the Pre Production stage involves fleshing out the idea to make it ready for production, typically involving writing the script, drawing the storyboard, designing character turnarounds, designing sets and creating an animatic or storyboard reel.
Jobs in Pre Production:
|Production Designer||Storyboard Supervisor|
|Head of Art Department||Storyboard Assistant *|
The Production phase in Stop Frame animation involves building the sets and puppets or models, creating armatures and rigging the models so that the animators can move them, dressing the sets and setting up cameras and lights and also operating the cameras to capture the animators adjustments.
Production can also include the use of CGI (3D Computer Animation) to simulate action that is impossible through the use of models. Different studios will handle this differently, either using an in house department or outsourcing this work to a Facility House or Post Production company.
Jobs in Production:
|Assistant Director (several grades)||Animation Director|
|Head of Model Making||Senior Animator|
|Model Making Team Leader||Animator|
|Model Maker/Puppet Maker2||Assistant Animator|
|Junior Model Maker / Assistant Model Maker *||Junior Assistant Animator *|
|Model Making Trainee *||Trainee Assistant Animator *|
|Costume Making Assistant *|
|Model Maintenance Person||Stills Photographer|
|Director of Photography||Studio Runner *|
|Assistant L.C./Camera||Production Technology Team|
|Camera Assistant *|
|Motion Control Operator||Production Secretary|
|Floor Manager||CG Animation Director|
|Gaffer||CG Lead Modeller|
|CG Lead Rigger|
|Construction Manager||CG Rigger|
|Set Builder3||CG Textures & Painter|
|Set Building Assistant *||CG Lead Animator|
|Prop Maker (can be combined with Set Builder)||CG Animator|
|Prop Making Assistant *||CG Lead Lighter|
|Scenic Artist||Lighting TD / CG Lighter (several levels)|
|Set Maintenance Person||Data Manager|
|Set Dresser||CG Renderer|
Post Production involves collating assets e.g. filmed footage and digital files, into the finished film. It includes editing, scoring the music, quality checking and outputting the final product into the required formats.
Jobs in Post-Production
|Editor||CG Compositor FX|
* entry level with appropriate qualifications
2 covering various specialists: Sculptor, Welder, Metal Worker, Foamer,Texture & Painter, Mould Maker, Caster, Trim and Seam (Fettler), Armature Maker, Painter, Finisher, Costume Maker.
3 This may break down into specialized jobs, or be the work of a team which does everything. May be part of the model making department on a smaller production.
This is a short selection of words and phrases commonly used in UK Animation.Read More
Planning a career in animation? You may find some of the books listed here useful.Read More