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This apprenticeship standard is in development and is not yet ready to use

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Junior animator

Reference Number: ST0488

Details of standard

This apprenticeship standard is currently in development and its contents are subject to change

Occupation summary

This occupation is found in the British and International animation industries, providing animated content for film, television, advertising, games, corporate and immersive reality industries. Animation companies and studios vary in size and the number of employees they have, and are described as small, medium or large companies. They are to be found across England and the UK. The output and remit of an animation studio is varied, and they will produce work for a range of clients across advertising, film, television and commercial. Some studios specialise in one area, particularly children’s media, which is the largest area of the industry.  There are a number of studios who also provide service work to other creative industries to diversify their revenue streams, providing visual effects, animated content, live action or interactive content production.

Animation is the process of displaying still images in a rapid sequence to create the illusion of movement. The animation the Junior Animator is required to create may vary and can include dialogue or non-dialogue. These images can be created using various process including: hand drawn, computer generated, or pictures of 3D objects.

The broad purpose of the Junior Animator’s role is to create animated assets and content, by producing the motions, gestures, expressions and performance of two or three dimensional characters and inanimate objects.                          

This is a junior level role, in their daily work, an employee in this occupation works closely with the Animator, Animation Lead, Supervisor and Director, along with clients and team members. They must be able to take direction and feedback, in order to create the actions of their animated character, according to the story and the director's wishes. To support this, they must also be able to interpret a storyboard and any character layout/scene planning that has been done in advance.

An employee in this occupation will be responsible for animating characters or scenes.  The junior animator should have an excellent knowledge of timing and spacing within the story being animated and have excellent drawing skills. Using model sheets, and any given reference material, they will be able to visualise the character/object/creature in any number of poses, and stage the character/object/creature effectively according to the layout/scene plan.

Junior Animators must also know and understand how characters develop, and their role in that development, the principles of anatomy and how these affect movement, shot construction and composition, shot breakdown and continuity. They must also be aware of the brand guidelines, design or subject matter of the animation being created.

They are a highly creative individual who must be able to focus on their own work for long periods, but also be able to work in collaboration within a team. 

The Junior Animator should understand their place within the production workflow process, and be able to organise their animation files and filing system accordingly. They should be able to use the equipment required of a given project, learn and keep up-to-date with animation software, and be able to use traditional techniques such as hand drawn as required. They should be able to export their work for review, and to work within a given schedule. This role may include out of hours or irregular working patterns when collaborating on international projects.

This Standard has a core and four options, with the option taken dependant on the animation specialism of the employer.

Core duties:

Research information, resources and tools such as real-world objects from the world around you and find appropriate visual, written, empirical and physical references in order to create credible animation

Improve own knowledge and performance in animation by seeking out information about emerging practice in the animation industry such as new tools, software, data and other related technology

Work effectively in collaboration with colleagues, partners and suppliers in the animation industry

Work autonomously and communicate effectively with clients or customers in the animation industry, effectively prioritising and meeting deadlines in order to meet agreed production requirements

Prepare to create animated characters/objects/creatures by assessing the requirements set by the brief by adapting to meet the required creative, narrative and technical demands of the production

Plan and present ideas and tell stories to dramatise a narrative, plan shots and demonstrate action to meet animation production requirements to clients or colleagues in the animation industry

Create animated assets in line with production requirements, ensuring output is correct and meets the requirements for the next stage of the process

Follow your organisations policies and procedures to organise, store and retrieve animated assets

Undertake basic compositing and rendering of an animation to meet organisational requirements

Option duties:

2D Animation – including the creation of hand drawn images onto cells or computer animations

Create 2D Animated content by producing a series of sequential 2d images, which, when played back, produce the illusion of movement 

Test 2D animated sequences to confirm and check continuity

Stop Motion Animation – including the posing and movement of models such as clay figures

Make characters move in stop motion animation in line with production requirements and ensure continuity throughout the shots

Evaluate characters and sequences in line with feedback to ensure requirements are met

3D Animation – including the creation of Visual Effects and post production assets

Create 3D Animation by producing accurate key frames and in-betweens, breathing life into the character/ object/creature where necessary

Evaluate 3D animations created in line with feedback to ensure requirements are met

Interactive media and immersive reality - including Augmented Reality/Virtual Reality (AR/VR) and Games animation creation

Create animated assets for use in computer games, interactive media or immersive reality

Evaluate animations created for use in computer games, interactive media or immersive reality in line with feedback to ensure requirements are met

Typical job titles

Typical job titles include Junior Animator

Entry requirements

Whilst any entry requirements will be a matter for individual employers, typically an apprentice might be expected to have already achieved A Levels such as Art and Design, Graphic Design or Computer Science, or a Level 3 Diploma in Games, Animation and VFX skills.

Core occupation duties

Duty

KSBs

Duty 1 Research information, resources and tools such as real-world objects from the world around you and find appropriate visual, written, empirical and physical references in order to create credible animation

K1 K2 K3

S1 S2 S3

B1

Duty 2 Improve own knowledge and performance in animation by seeking out information about emerging practice in the animation industry such as new tools, software, data and other related technology

K4 K5 K6

S4 S5 S6 S7

B1 B2

Duty 3 Work effectively in collaboration with colleagues, partners and suppliers in the animation industry

K7 K8 K9 K10

S8 S9 S10 S11

B2 B3 B4

Duty 4 Work autonomously and communicate effectively with clients or customers in the animation industry, effectively prioritising and meeting deadlines in order to meet agreed production requirements

K11 K12 K13 K14

S12 S13 S14 S15 S16

B5

Duty 5 Prepare to create animated characters/objects/creatures by assessing the requirements set by the brief by adapting to meet the required creative, narrative and technical demands of the production

K15 K16 K17 K18 K19

S14 S17 S18 S19 S20

B6

Duty 6 Plan and present ideas and tell stories to dramatise a narrative, plan shots and demonstrate action to meet animation production requirements to clients or colleagues in the animation industry

K20 K21 K22 K23

S21 S22 S23 S24

B7

Duty 7 Create animated assets in line with production requirements, ensuring output is correct and meets the requirements for the next stage of the process

K24 K25 K26 K27

S25 S26 S27 S28

B6

Duty 8 Follow your organisations policies and procedures to organise, store and retrieve animated assets

K28 K29 K30 K31 K32

S29 S30 S31

B5

Duty 9 Undertake basic compositing and rendering of an animation to meet organisational requirements

K33 K34 K35 K36 K37 K38 K39 K40

S32 S33 S34 S35 S36

B7


Option duties

Duty

KSBs

Duty 10: Create 2D Animated content by producing a series of sequential 2d images, which, when played back, produce the illusion of movement.


Option title/s

 2D Animation

K41 K42 K43 K44 K45 K46 K47 K48

S37 S38 S39 S40 S41 S42 S43

B6

Duty 11: Test 2D animated sequences to confirm and check continuity


Option title/s

 2D Animation

K31 K41 K48 K49 K50

S41 S44 S45 S46 S47

B7

Duty 12: Make characters move in stop motion animation in line with production requirements and ensure continuity throughout the shots


Option title/s

 Stop-Motion Animation

K51 K52 K53 K54 K55 K56 K57 K58

S48 S49 S50 S51 S52 S53 S54

B6

Duty 13: Evaluate characters and sequences in line with feedback to ensure requirements are met


Option title/s

 Stop-Motion Animation

K31 K50 K52 K58 K59

S55 S56 S57 S58 S59

B7

Duty 14: Create 3D Animation by producing accurate key frames and in-betweens, breathing life in to the character/object/creature where necessary


Option title/s

 3D Animation

K54 K60 K61 K62 K63 K64 K65 K66

S60 S61 S62 S63 S64 S65

B6

Duty 15: Evaluate 3D animations created in line with feedback to ensure requirements are met


Option title/s

 3D Animation

K24 K31 K50 K61 K67

S58 S59 S66 S67 S68

B7

Duty 16: Create animated assets for use in computer games, interactive media or immersive reality


Option title/s

 Interactive media and immersive reality

K68 K69 K70 K71 K72 K73

S69 S70 S71 S72 S73 S74 B6

Duty 17: Evaluate animations created for use in computer games, interactive media or immersive reality in line with feedback to ensure requirements are met


Option title/s

 Interactive media and immersive reality

K31 K50 K67 K73 K74

S56 S58 S59 S75 S76 S77 B7

KSBs

Knowledge

K1: How to use own surroundings and research of visual, written and empirical and physical references to inspire and inform animated creations

K2: Know and understand the traditional and digital methods for producing animated sequences such as hand drawn or computer generated animation

K3: Understand the brand guidelines or subject matter of the animation to be created

K4: Understand the history and development of the animation industry and animation genres including, but not limited to, children's, family, adult, experimental, information content

K5: Know and understand the different animation styles, core techniques and technologies used such as 2D, 3D and Stop Motion

K6: Understand the dynamics of the animation sector and current and future trends in animation

K7: Know and understand own responsibility for identifying and reporting risks relating to Health and Safety

K8: How to work effectively, both individually or as part of a team

K9: Understand the context within the production of own role, the department they are working in, and the subsequent stages of the workflow process

K10: Understand the animation production pipeline and how own role interacts with this

K11: Know and understand the technical and production parameters and client requirements for the project, such as; the schedule, timelines, budget, animation medium, frame count, field size, aspect ratio and format

K12: Understand the particular operational and technical standards of other departments and the challenges they face

K13: How good, timely communication can contribute to productive working relationships with clients and customers

K14: Understand the brand, market position, departments, communication methods, financial processes, culture and ways of working for animation productions you work on

K15: How live action reference can influence your ability to animate characters/objects/creatures

K16: Understand character/object/creature development and your role in that development

K17: The principles of anatomy and how these affect movement

K18: Understand shot construction and composition

K19: Understand shot breakdown and continuity

K20: How to present ideas and information effectively using story/playboards or story telling

K21: How to use language which is clear, avoids jargon and is appropriate to the audience

K22: Understand the effect your voice tone, pace, volume and body language can have on your audience during presentations

K23: How to encourage questions in both oral and written presentations

K24: Understand the creative style, overall concept and level of animation required for the production

K25: Understand any performance guidelines for the characters they are working on, such as how they may react and behave in different situations

K26: Understand the logic of physical motion, weight, balance, texture and form

K27: Understand character movement and lip sync

K28: Know how to use the relevant graphics, animation and compositing software for an animation production

K29: How to maintain record systems of drawings and associated information

K30: Understand the possibilities and constraints offered by the software you are using for the animation production

K31: Understand the importance of maintaining data security and following your organisation's guidelines and file structures for storage

K32: The legal and regulatory requirements which apply to animated assets such as copyright and intellectual property rights

K33: Understand the rendering requirements for the production

K34: Understand the intended appearance and required degree of realism of the finished image you are working on

K35: Know and understand the factors affecting render speed, such as size of texture map, ray and reflection depth, global illumination, ambient occlusion, anti-aliasing, blurry reflections or area shadows

K36: Know and understand rendering techniques, such as: ray tracing, texture mapping to define the colour, texture and reflectance of objects and environments, exposure depth of field to alter the sense of depth or focus on objects and environments, toon rendering and stereo rendering

K37: How to use z-buffering techniques to simulate a sense of perspective to describe the distance between objects and environments

K38: How creative blurring and transforms give the appearance of live-action

K39: Understand the surface properties and how shading models can be applied to represent variations in different materials

K40: How to save and duplicate render settings across multiple files

K41: Understand the principles of 2D animation

K42: How to use interpolated morphing to make animation more fluid

K43: How rotoscopy is used in 2D animation

K44: Understand the concepts of key animation and in-between animation

K45: Understand shot breakdown and continuity

K46: Recognise and understand the drawing skills that are needed for the animation or artwork being produced

K47: Understand the traditional and digital methods for producing animated sequences

K48: Understand how to use industry-standard 2D animation software

K49: Understand the use of 2D vector graphics and manipulation of images

K50: Understand why it is important to evaluate progress and seek feedback on your work in animation

K51: The principles of stop motion animation

K52: Understand the media and techniques used in stop motion animation

K53: The materials used and how they are resistant to movement e.g. joints, stability, plasticine preservation

K54: How to improvise rigging and when it is appropriate for you to do so

K55: Understand the capabilities and limitations of models

K56: Understand the importance of lighting, camera angles and frame rates for stop motion

K57: Understand shot construction, composition, breakdown and continuity of shots

K58: Understand the development of the animated character through its movement and timing

K59: Understand the need to work methodically in an organised and concentrated manner, paying attention to detail

K60: Understand the principles and techniques of digital animation, such as hi and low resolution modelling, meshing, colouring, matte making, digital sculpting of 3D animation

K61: Understand the physics of motion and resistance

K62: Know and understand the techniques, issues, costs and output of motion-capture, and when it is appropriate to use it

K63: How to use industry-standard 3D animation software

K64: How to achieve different looks in computer generated assets including shininess, reflectivity, texture, roughness

K65: Understand the physical properties and mechanics of particle systems, structures, cloths, fluids and crowds and how they react and respond to different stimuli

K66: How to create renditions of naturalistic physical or magical phenomena such as fire, water, clouds, smoke and physical destruction

K67: Understand the requirements and expectations of other team members who will use the animations you create

K68: Understand relevant standards and conventions relating to user-interface design

K69: Understand the principles of interaction design, especially regarding usability and accessibility

K70: When and why an animation might be cut-off prematurely, and how to minimise the risk of this adversely affecting the user’s experience of the product

K71: Understand the impact on own work of technical parameters such as the processing power, memory, bandwidth, screen size, resolution, colour depth, physical user interface etc. of the target platform(s)

K72: Which of the events or user interactions will trigger your animations

K73: How each animation will be used in the product (for example, whether it will play once, loop several times or indefinitely, etc.)

K74: Understand the purpose and target users for the animated assets being created

Skills

S1 Determine what is required for their own work as a junior animator by analysing briefs, specifications, visual references, technical and production parameters

S2 Research ideas and information for the animation being created

S3 Read and interpret the relevant sources of information for the production, such as; the script, animatic, x-sheet or dope-sheet, character, colour and model reference and soundtrack

S4 Continue to update own animation skills, use new tools, software, data and other related technology

S5 Adapt and be able to meet the requirements of the animation style or genre specified for the production

S6 Use reliable information to keep-up-to date with the laws, regulations, codes of practice, standards and guidelines that govern animation and how they affect your work

S7 Maintain an awareness of the current priorities, constraints and opportunities of your work as junior animator at all times

S8 Comply with relevant legislation and organisational policies and procedures such as Health and Safety

S9 Work methodically in an organised and concentrated manner, paying particular attention to detail

S10 Identify the information you need to carry out your work to expected standards on each animation production

S11 Work effectively both individually and as part of a wider animation team

S12 Operate within and adhere to agreed organisational policies, standards and procedures

S13 Maintain an awareness of the current priorities, constraints and opportunities of the client's budget or production requirements at all times

S14 Move characters on set in whatever style is required to meet the creative, narrative and technical demands of the production

S15 Respond to feedback about the animated material you create in a positive way, making refinements as requested by clients or supervisors

S16 Deliver good customer service in a creative environment

S17 Develop an animated character/object/creature through its movement and timing

S18 Contribute ideas to aid the creative development of the character/object/creature, shot and overall production

S19 Create animations using given camera angles, or make adjustments to camera animations according to the production demands and schedule

S20 Create the assets that meet the requirements of the animation department

S21 Plan story/playboards to communicate key ideas with the team or clients

S22 Create story/playboards that depict the script and narrative

S23 Present work in progress, or completed animations to colleagues or clients

S24 Respond carefully to questions, making sure you provide the information the audience is asking for

S25 Animate primary and secondary characters/objects/creatures and elements

S26 Interpret the personality and traits of the character/object/creature, conveying the emotions, behaviours and actions within a scene

S27 Ensure that animations are in sync with the soundtrack

S28 Create animation in line with production demands, and ensure the output is correct for the next stage of the process

S29 Select and use the industry standard software package required by the animation production

S30 Adapt to the various styles, techniques, procedures and software that may be required by the animation production

S31 Prepare and store files in line with production requirements, to enable the next stage of animation production to run efficiently

S32 Undertake test renders at appropriate times to determine the length of time required for rendering and check for errors

S33 Establish the render settings that gain the required appearance and create sufficient flexibility for compositing

S34 Apply render settings that enable the required degree of realism

S35 Prioritise renders in accordance with production priorities

S36 Calculate render times and storage space required to meet production requirements

S37 Create a series of key frames to structure the animation that are appropriate to the animation production

S38 Provide the key frames and check they meet the needs of the production with the director

S39 Work in line with shot breakdown ensuring continuity

S40 Create the movement and performance required by the production to in-between the animation, adding frames or cleaning up as required

S41 Test animated sequences to confirm the effects and continuity meet requirements

S42 Use the appropriate software for the techniques and procedures required

S43 Use rotoscoping to produce animated frames

S44 Create animation according to the production demands

S45 Review output with relevant people and offer suggestions to assist others with the production

S46 Respond positively to feedback about the animations you create, making refinements as needed

S47 Remain constantly flexible and adaptable to new directions, creative requirements and software developments

S48 Adjust lighting and camera equipment to meet production and aesthetic requirements of specific scenes throughout the production

S49 Plan and block through shots under direction, where appropriate recording real life videos to try out the performance as a reference

S50 Create pop through or rehearsal movie and agree with the director an appropriate series of key frames to structure the animation

S51 Time out each shot that is appropriate to the production and agree these with the director

S52 Prepare for and re-animate individual shots according to the director’s notes

S53 Move characters on set in whatever style is required to meet the creative, narrative and technical demands of the production

S54 Review models with relevant people and offer suggestions that assist others with the animation production

S55 Test the stop motion animation characters and sequences you have created against the production specifications

S56 Review animations created with the relevant people, offering suggestions to assist others with the production

S57 Respond positively to feedback about the stop motion animations you create, making refinements as needed

S58 Remain constantly flexible and adaptable to changes in the creative requirements of the production

S59 Prepare and store assets and files in line with production requirements to enable the next stage of production to run efficiently

S60 Block animation using stepped or spline techniques, structuring the animation appropriately for the production and in agreement with the director

S61 Create animation layers that work on top of existing motion capture data and polish captured performances to meet production requirements

S62 Create the movement and performance required by the production to in-between the animation, adjusting the curves and adding extras keys as appropriate

S63 Script rigs for animated characters in line with production requirements

S64 Ensure rigging techniques and references create credible animation with movements that are realistic for the type of object being modelled and the style of animation required

S65 Ensure that animations maintain continuity of character/performance with other shots in the sequence and/or other animators work

S66 Test the 3D animations you have created against the production specifications

S67 Review animations created with the relevant people, offering suggestions to assist others with the production

S68 Respond positively to feedback about the 3D animations you create, making refinements as needed

S69 Design animations within specified parameters and constraints relating to the target platform and medium

S70 Create animations that are attractive, easy to use and fit for purpose

S71 Save your animations in appropriate formats so that they can be easily incorporated into the product

S72 Provide clear documentation for others to incorporate your animations into the product

S73 Organise animations using appropriate filing and naming conventions so that they can be located easily by others

S74 Liaise with colleagues, such as designers and developers, to ensure your animations are appropriate and meet requirements

S75 Test the animated assets you have created against the production specifications and to ensure they are easy to use and fit-for-purpose

S76 Review assets created with the relevant people, offering suggestions to assist others with the production

S77 Respond positively to feedback about the assets you create, making refinements as needed

Behaviour


B1: Self motivation - a self-starter, with a proactive approach to tasks and managing own development

B2: Adaptability- Adapts positively to changing work priorities and patterns, ensuring productions deadlines continue to be met

B3: Flexibility – A positive approach to working independently and collaboratively as part of a team

B4: Strong work ethic - motivated, proactive, committed punctual and reliable

B5: Maintains company and customer confidentiality, acting as an ambassador for their employer

B6: Displays a passion for developing animation and creative media creation

B7: Displays a positive attitude - constructive thinking and motivated to succeed 

Qualifications

English and Maths qualifications

Apprentices without level 2 English and maths will need to achieve this level prior to taking the End-Point Assessment.  For those with an education, health and care plan or a legacy statement, the apprenticeship’s English and maths minimum requirement is Entry Level 3. A British Sign Language (BSL) qualification is an alternative to the English qualification for those whose primary language is BSL. 

Additional details

Occupational Level: 4

Duration (months): 18

Review

This standard will be reviewed after three years.


Crown copyright © 2019. You may re-use this information (not including logos) free of charge in any format or medium, under the terms of the Open Government Licence. Visit www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/doc/open-government-licence

Status: In development
Proposal approved Standard approved Assessment plan approved
Level: 4
Reference: ST0488
Version: 1
Date updated: 11/04/2019
Route: Creative and design
Options: 2D Animation, 3D Animation, Interactive Media & Immersive Reality, Stop Motion Animation
Trailblazer contact(s): helenjbrunsdon@gmail.com
Employers involved in creating the standard: British Animation Awards, Tiger Aspect, Framestore, Lupus Films, Blue-Zoo Productions Ltd, Aardman Animations Ltd, Red Kite Animation, Cartoon Network, Studio Liddell, Mackinnon and Saunders, Wildseed Studios, Hit Entertainment, Passion Pictures, CBB, A&O Studios Ltd, Collingwood & Co.

Version log

Version Date updated Change Previous version
1 11/04/2019 Standard first published

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