is an artist
who creates multiple images called frames and Key frames
that form an illusion of movement called animation
when rapidly displayed. Animators can work in a variety of fields including film
, television, video games
, and the internet
. Usually, an animation piece requires the collaboration of several animators. The methods of creating the images or frames for an animation piece depends on the animators' artistic styles and their field.
Other artists who contribute to animated cartoons, but who are not animators, include layout artists (who design the backgrounds, lighting, and camera angles), storyboard artists (who draw panels of the action from the script), and background artists (who paint the "scenery"). Moreover, voice actors, musicians and other talent may be added as necessary to give the animation additional depth.
Among the specialized categorizations of animators are character animators
(artists who specialize in character movement, dialogue
, etc.) and special effects animators
(who animate anything that is not
a character; most commonly vehicles
, and natural phenomena such as rain, snow, and water).
Inbetweeners and cleanup artists
In large-scale productions by major studios, each animator usually has one or more assistants, "inbetweeners
" and "cleanup artists", who make drawings between the "key poses" drawn by the animator, and also re-draw any sketches that are too roughly made to be used as such. Usually, an artist is hired for the first time in one of these categories, and can later advance to full animator status.
In the past, animating was a long and arduous process; each frame of a given scene was hand-drawn, then transposed onto sheets of celluloid
, where they would be traced and painted. These finished "cels" were then placed together and filmed, one frame at a time.
Animation methods have become far more varied in recent years - today's cartoons could be created using any number of interesting methods, mostly using computers to make the animation process cheaper and faster. These more efficient animation procedures have made the animator's job less tedious and more creative.