video game recruiters

Job Title 

 3D Animator


 Job Overview 

 A 3D Animator brings characters and environments to life for movies, television, and video games. 


Responsibilities may include: 

  • Working with team of animators to maintain the visual direction for movement in the game
  • Animating assets for use in game
  • Developing and animating in-game cinematic scenes with strong camera compositions
  • Working with combat designers on combat move specifications and art direction
  • Administering animation assets developed both internally and by third parties
  • Interacting with Technical Artists and Technical Animators to understand Character Animation Pipeline
  • Developing and adhering to quality review processes Overseeing 3rd parties in the production of animation assets


 Required skills include:

  • Extensive professional experience animating in Maya.
  • Solid understanding of cinematography, staging, editing, pacing, timing, and narrative development.
  • Strong demonstration of keyframe or motion capture character animation workflow.
  • Strong working knowledge of 3D layout and camera animation.
  • Excellent time management skills (for assigned tasks) and the ability to handle large workloads efficiently.
  • 2-3 years of direct experience in studio game development as an animator.
  • Flexibility and willingness to incorporate feedback into multiple iterations and revisions.
  • Desire and ability to put in the time and effort necessary to make a game great.

video game recruiters

 Job Trends

 Demand for 3D animator jobs in games is expected to grow over 12 percent from 2022 to 2030, with an average of 7,800 openings per year. Remote and onsite opportunities are available.

 According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the typical entrant-level game design jobs don’t have job-related experience. As such, the job market for animators is not overly competitive. As of 2020, the top five states with the most opportunities for animators are: 

1) California

2) Washington

3) Texas

4) North Carolina

5) Georgia

 6) New York

video game recruiters

 Interview Tips 

 While animators are in demand, it is critical for you to make a good impression during your interview by treating it as a business meeting. Here are ten essential tips for animators from some of the industry’s top recruiting firms: 


 1) Be Punctual

 Arrive at least 15 minutes before the interview so you can take some time to relax and unwind before meeting the interviewer. Being early also demonstrates that you are a reliable and responsible employee, which are essential qualities in the gaming industry. 


 2) Forget the Tie

 While you want to look cordial, responsible, trustworthy, and hardworking, most gaming companies typically have a laid-back atmosphere. While a hip blazer over a casual shirt is okay, a suit and tie just say you aren’t familiar with the industry. 


 3) Research the Employer

 Gaming companies are looking for animators who match their company, so do enough research to become familiar with the type of animations the company uses. 


 4) Speak with Everyone

 Sometimes companies will have a team or “committee” of interviewers for high-profile positions. Be sure to say hello to everyone directly and address the person who asks questions. Note it is often the person who does the least amount of talking that makes the decision. 


 5) Don’t Be Negative 

 While knowing your weaknesses is one of your greatest strengths, it is vital to be positive and not apologize for your failures. Instead, couch past mistakes as learning experiences that taught you how to improve your work. 


 6) Expect a Test

 Employers looking to fill animator positions will often ask you to demonstrate your skills. While recruiters will usually inform you of a test, sometimes they forget, so be prepared. 


 7) Study

 Expect the interviewer(s) to ask questions that will require some preparation on your part. Examples include:

  • “Explain a problem you had with an animation project and what you did to correct the issue.” 
  • “As the gaming industry is continually evolving, what are your plans for staying abreast of changes?”
  • “Explain one of your greatest animation successes and how you feel it contributed to both your work and possibly the gaming industry as a whole.” 


 8) Money

 While your salary is essential, never ask about compensation structure at the initial interview. Instead, wait until you are offered a position before talking about money. 


 9) Don’t Overshare

 Everyone has had jobs they weren’t crazy about. However, complaining about past jobs or talking too much about sensitive issues can make you look like a complainer or someone who breaches confidentiality. 


 10) Follow Up

 Send an email within 24 hours after the interview thanking the recruiter for their time. This simple task will help you stand out from the crowd as most applicants don’t make an effort.

video game recruiters

 Portfolio Tips 

 To improve your chances of landing game design jobs, you will have to put the time into building a portfolio that showcases your animation skill. Keep these points in mind:


 1) Show Only Relevant Work

 Concentrate on past work that focuses on your 3D animation skills. Avoid including fan art unless it won some type of award or recognition. Just be sure you are clear about who created the character. 


 3) Organize Your Work

 Don’t place all your work together in one section. Instead, separate your work into categories, such as illustrations, storyboards, and videos, and put your most recent work first. This will show you are organized and respect others’ time. 


 4) Out with the Old; In with the New

 As the quality of your work evolves as you gain experience, you should take out the older stuff that probably isn’t as good as your newer material. Be sure to keep updating your portfolio as you create new animations. 


 5) Choosing a Host 

 The best place to show off your work is on your website, but your portfolio is only as good as the service you are using to host the site. Be sure the host you pick provides solid uptime and stay away from free sites that are branded with the web host’s logo or use third-party advertising. If not your own personal site, then DAM recommends sites like ArtStation, Behance or CarbonMade.


 6) Education and Experience 

 Landing an animator position requires strong credentials, so list all relevant degrees, certificates, internships, volunteer experiences, awards, and recognitions you received. 


 Salary Ranges 

 The latest figures from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics show 3D animator jobs in games earned an annual salary of $80k in 2020. This represents the average for people with all levels of experience. Here is a breakdown of the salary ranges for mid-to top-level 3D animators: 

  • Mid-Level 3D-Animator base salary = $85k – $95k annually.
  • Senior 3D-Animator base salary = $95k – $120k annually.
  • Lead/Principal 3D-Animator base salary = $120k – $150k annually. 


 Why Choose DAM

Working with DAM provides job seekers the benefits of having access to unpublished opportunities as well as career consultation and salary negotiation. We will help you develop a comprehensive resume and a well-thought-out portfolio showcasing your skills and abilities by taking an objective eye to your work. Our goal is to help you stand apart from the crowd by presenting your strengths and experiences to potential employers in the best possible light.

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